5 Quick Things: December 2019

Welcome to 5 Quick Things that I saw since last month that I thought were interesting enough to share with you. None of them are particularly timely so feel free to just enjoy 🙂

>Number One<

Finally a Christmas Mascot (or Mascat) I Can Believe In

I’ve never really been to Iceland. My only time in Iceland was for a layover where a piece of glass got stuck in my jeans and I ended up with a big bloody gash in my leg. I don’t know how actually popular Jólakötturinn or how held this is as Christmas tradition but I like fun stories and I like elder beasts who devour children so I enjoyed learning this fact.

Also anything that justifies people giving me socks as gifts is a big thumbs up in my book.

>Number Two<

It’s Trauma Stupid

The YouTube algorithm put this video in my path recently as I had actually actively been avoiding the channel (it kept suggesting I watch her video about Rogue One, which, no thanks) but I’m so glad it eventually got smart because this video essay is fantastic. Russian Doll aired on Netflix earlier this year and despite being one of the most amazing, innovative, and frankly downright funny shows on the channel was critically praised for about 2 minutes and then disappeared from public discourse. Showcasing not just a love for the show but also a deep dive on the themes, trauma, character, and meta text of the show this essay does so much more than just “explain the ending” that so many other videos spend their time trying to do. This video pointed out a few things I missed in the show and actually made me want to re-watch the series to see if I could shake out any more thoughts so that’s my glowing endorsement of Russian Doll.

>Number Three<

End Game Broke Me.

EndGame came out over six months ago and I would lying if I told you that I haven’t spent at least a few minutes every day since I saw being lividly mad. This article hits many of the points that have left me wondering if anything Disney makes in the near future (or far future) will be any good at all. Disney has often made plastic things that aired on the side of caution but as they approach the status of 40% of the marketplace their caution seems more baffling and frustrating to me. My laundry list of problems with EndGame only starts with the things listed in this article and extends deeply through the film so maybe someday I’ll have the patience to write out all my thoughts – until then enjoy me slowly linking articles with “yes!!!! thiss!!!!!” to some of you.

>Number Four<

Can It Endure? Can It Be Endured?

Despite (or because of) the inflammatory title I ended up reading this article about Judaism and its modern influence and significance. This piece is fairly nuanced about the role that faith and non-faith have in calling or claiming one’s self as Jewish but also the nature of why Judaism is still enduring. There’s not a way to make this not sound like a scathing critique but it’s also 17 pages so there’s quite a bit of everything in it and I really enjoyed reading and thinking about all of the ideas inside of this essay. Since Judaism is fundamentally structured differently from many other religions it is both an insight into some scholarly voices I hadn’t heard and also a kind of strange addition of the thoughts I’ve mulled over the past couple years.

>Number Five<

Performative Acting and Social Media

This comic series, A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible, ended years ago. All together there are only 46 “comics” and they are largely surrealist, pessimistic, paradoxical, and dream like. I love them. The artist and the writer both went on to do fantastical other things as well which is always wonderful to see. I like to read these when I’m really feeling down and out or a little disconnected so just to wrap up the year here are my three favorites:

Tiny, Almost Manageable

Caroline’s Doppelganger

Christmas Disaster Special

Anyway, that’s all for now, see you next year!

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