Alone in a Crowd

Feature

There are more ways than ever to connect with each other. It’s hard to imagine an era when people awaited the arrival of their correspondence strapped in saddle bags. Longhand letter writing is a charm of a bygone time, and any small sect of people who still try to keep it alive appreciate it for its purity. There aren’t any of the trappings of modern communication. No visible friend counts, gifs, or emojis. Nothing flashy driving the want to stay in touch except suspense and imagination. Even email’s been leveled to one-liners or co-opted by instant messengers like G-chat and Skype. Blogs are popularized by purveyors of trends who want to teach you a lifestyle: how to wrap an infinity scarf or create a refreshing grapefruit spritzer.

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And in the middle of it all stands the behemoth social media. Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat have all morphed from handy tools to actual propellants of our culture. Tweets are regularly featured in the news. Emojis stand in for text within text. We get what the peach and eggplant mean–a far cry from actually having to woo someone into liking you in the first place, much less into your pants.

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With this insane glut, like Augustus Gloop stuffing chocolate in his face, one of the last things anyone would describe an average American as is lonely. It’s a natural conclusion that the more interactions you have, the less you’re alone. In a society of likes, followers, and subscribers, it’s hard to imagine anyone feeling stranded in a hollow abyss of loneliness.

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Good Friday

I’m baacckk! And what better day than today to be here? 1) It’s gorgeous outside ☀️, and 2) the leader of the free world just keeps giving us reasons to regret being cognizant. But since we can’t do anything about that, for at least one day, let’s just pretend he doesn’t exist and focus on some goodness! There’s plenty of it.

  • BECK. His tour is stopping in Minneapolis August 17 for the first time in 9 years! Of course I went ham on Etix and refreshed for a half hour until 10AM in case anything happened without me knowing and snagged tickets. And that just reminded me of this homage he orchestrated, covering David Bowie’s Sound and Vision. It fills my soul with joy, literally, almost to tears. The menagerie of vocalists and instrumentalists is too much. Swelling, hopeful, joyful.
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Image via NPR.

Anu and her family were followed by the BBC as it reported on funding for kids who need prosthetic limbs to pursue sports. NPR reports, “The National Health Service got a grant of some $2 million for that effort after last summer’s Paralympics, but the money was split between research efforts and the “active limbs” program, and further funding is in doubt.” To find out more or donate here in the U.S., check out Limbs for Life.

  • For some of you, this won’t mean squat because you were ahead of the game. For us here in Minnesota? FINALLY. Our Sunday liquor ban has been lifted, and I look forward to being able to buy whatever my heart desires whenever I want to all day Sunday.
  • So, when’s the premiere of Wonder Cat? 😹

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Little Dragon

Season High

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Image via Little Dragon.

Has the world has caught up to Little Dragon? Not this time. Combining the electro-pop-whatever Little Dragon has going on and marrying a little R&B in “Season High” makes for a weird, inviting adventure. Like being piqued with arousal with a lover, you’re not sure what comes next, but you know you’re on the cusp of something momentous.

The whole of “Season High” came off both abrasively fragile and dancey. Starting with “Celebrate,” it reminds us of 2010’s Foster the People in the very first seconds of the song. Eventually, the song unfolds into a reminiscent complement to Prince or Michael Jackson. It’s got pops and head nods galore–whispering while the beat drops, Little Dragon keeps the disco alive.

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Sayonara sucker.

Bill O’Reilly is OUT after two decades at the top of FOX News.

It’s about time some evil stopped triumphing around here for God’s sake. This won’t stop him from running his mouth elsewhere, but at least his most lucrative platform has been whisked away from him. I hope this causes him to take a long hard look at his pathetic excuse for a life and livelihood. I mean, it probably won’t, but hope got us this far.

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Boy, bye.

 

Updates

Wakey, wakey! We’ve got some new items of interest for you!

  • A new excursion down the rabbit hole with a two-part interview about the good and the not-so-good in ourselves.
  • Are you dream happy (think, trigger happy)? Our culture tells us relationships will make us happy, but that’s obviously not always true.
  • A review of the horror movie XX. It’s a unique and thought-provoking anthology that puts a new twist on what’s really scary.

 

We make life scary.

Women are often praised for their emotional complexity. We keep a lot of balls in the air, seemingly effortlessly moving from work to friends to family. It’s a double-edged sword. Tending to multiple needs at once can be a strength. It’s gratifying to feel accomplished and can benefit others. But when we overlook our own needs, we suffer. We’re stretched too thin, taken for granted, neglected.

The horror anthology XX illustrates what happens when women are in the latter. Four short films show women who have lost their power in dynamics like motherhood, friends, and family. Even if you haven’t directly experienced these, you’ve probably been affected by the aftermath. The stealth of secrecy can steal your identity and strength.

Each was written and/or directed by a woman–Roxanne Benjamin, Sofia Carrillo, Karyn Kusama, Annie Clark (St. Vincent), and Jovanka Vuckovic. The styles are distinct, as different as women themselves.

Sofia Carrillo, Annie Clark, Roxanne Benjamin, Jovanka Vuckovic
Image via the Toronto Star.

Continue reading “We make life scary.”