5 Quick Things: January 2023

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<

Bodies are Weird (Good Vibes)

Bodies, bodies, bodies. One of the things that we all share is that we are all the proud owner of some lumpy flesh sitting on top of muscle and bones. We get a lot of messages in this world about our bodies also. How good or bad they are, how imperfect, how wrong, and how they can be molded and fixed. We have discussions about them endlessly but this piece from a massage therapist about bodies strangely made me feel kind of better about my personal flesh lump.

The truth is that we’re all very mean about our bodies and other peoples bodies but we have to exist inside of them so I wish we could all be as kind of this person who has seen these bodies, borne naked onto him, and simply seen a person instead of a problem to fix.

>Number Two<

Americans Live on Credit Cards (and why it matters)

This absolute banger of a paper about how debt keeps people from striking and improving their own material conditions as it leads them to instability which in turn causes risk aversion in order to increase self-preservation. The paper isn’t very long and not too difficult to read so I would definitely commit yourself to reading it and realizing that unions, strikes, laws around debt and employment and asking for higher wages and less financialization of your life is the only way to reverse these trends.

>Number Three<

You Already Know Fortune Cookies Aren’t Chinese

I don’t even know how I came across Linus Boman‘s YouTube channel but he basically exclusively talks about fonts. You know, fonts, the type faces you interact with on every surface of every thing but don’t think about at all. While I understand that this may or may not be inherently interesting to anyone else, as a person with some mild to moderate dyslexia I’ve paid a lot more attention to fonts than your average bear so I really enjoy these videos especially when, like this one in particular, the font itself conveys more than just letters. The series of “Chinese food” style fonts reminds me of the “Chinese leitmotif” both are which are completely divorced from anything from China and have deep seated roots in (you guessed it) racism. Definitely don’t miss this if you love a little history and make sure to check out his other videos too!

>Number Four<

I’m Going to Bang This Drum Forever, Sorry

I asked a beloved friend to watch Snowpiercer. It is, in fact, one of my favorite movies and I feel that it’s one of the best of the 2010s (fight me) and after he watched it he messaged me to ask me how the train works. He found articles about it. He linked me the articles about it. This happened 4 times with 4 separate people and then I stopped sharing how much I liked the movie with anyone because Snowpiercer is not a movie about a train and media isn’t a fucking puzzle box to be solved with hyper realism and asking the wrong questions. This article strikes at that from another angle but I also love it and I am high fiving the author in my heart just for this quote:

If it were possible to “solve” something, then you would reach the point where there was nothing in a work of art worth analyzing any more. It would be, finally and truly, dead – pinned like a butterfly beneath glass.

>Number Five<

Your Apple is Bad and You Should Feel Bad

This article is one in a series about the politics that appear in anime. I think a lot of Westerns miss the politics inside of anime because they don’t map very well onto Europeans and American political issues and ideas. Worries, thoughts, the political window, and the solutions to issues all look different and therefore may just fly right over the heads of your average anime watcher. While I haven’t been watching anime for almost a decade now it’s nice that there are still people who are working to dig into the interesting aspects of the media and not just dismissing it or putting it on a pedestal.

Alright folks that’s all she wrote, see you next month!

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