On the third Wednesday of every month here I run through all the things I'm reading, watching, and listening to. It's a monthly tour of my arts experience; music, art, video essay, books, and so on . Sometimes though this culture review is called "First Fridays" or "Sittin' Sundays" because it doesn't always happen on the third Wednesday.
It has also occasionally been known as "Second Saturdays".
Once it was called "Thinkin' Through Thursdays". That was on the fourth Thursday of the month. And then for awhile, early on, it was called "Tappin' Two Time Tuesday" which took place on the second Tuesday and was mostly restricted to tap dance performances, but I quickly found that too limiting as I watch and read very little about tap dancing.
At this point I am forced to admit I was possibly seduced by the consonance of it all.
Maybe then we should get on with it?
Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
This is a middle grade novel told in the first person about a short girl who ends up during the summer playing a munchkin in a semi-professional theater production of The Wizard of Oz. I am actually rereading it and enjoying it immensely. Though this book has some critical acclaim, I was surprised to find it is less popular than I would have thought. Upon reflection I can see there is something very particular about the eleven year old main character that would be off-putting to some people, maybe in the way Holden Caufield, especially these days, divides audiences. Julia, the mc, is, weirdly authentic, and immensely charming in the honesty of her account to us as readers. And the book reflects subtly on the struggle of her frank self versus how she represents in the World. This is a terrific writer, but I would more freely recommend her book Counting by Sevens to people, even if I might enjoy this book a bit more.
The Witch Trials of J.K. Rowling by Contrapoints
One of the best long form video essayists currently out there now. One of the truly engaging things about her essays is that they seem archly political and almost unserious, only to end up extraordinarily measured, thoughtful, and full of insight.
I am not listening to a lot of music currently, which makes for a great opportunity to wonder at the soundtrack/music selections for Ted Lasso. The music is so informed, and it adds so much to this show. Here, as an example of so many I could choose, is the closing song from the most recent episode of the show that my lovely wife and I watched a couple days ago.
The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House
There is nothing I could tell you briefly about this Japanese show that would express just how great it is, or even give any idea of what it is. Not least because having now watched all of it I only understand some of that myself. But here is the cut and paste description of this Netflix show: Two inseparable friends move to Kyoto to chase their dreams of becoming maiko but decide to pursue different passions while living under the same roof.
And with that we're out of time? Room? Willingness to add more for today?
But don't worry, we'll be back for more next month on...
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