It feels odd to write a pop-culture focused blog right now, especially with the everything going on these days. Writing an essay about a movie or video game feels so futile when I’d much rather rail against an illegitimate court or decry ineffectual politicians doing nothing to stop gun violence. With it is that desires for lightness, for a break from it all. It’s an odd line to walk, somewhere between being able to unplug but also not have my head in the sand.
In light of that, here are some things that I’ve been taking comfort and finding joy in lately.
It’s no secret I’m a sucker for Pixar’s stuff, and Lightyear scratches an itch I didn’t know I had. It’s hopeful science-fiction, done up with a NASA-punk aesthetic that harkens to a more optimistic eye towards space travel. Then it goes and wears its heart on its sleeve as it tells a rollicking, well-executed space adventure. Such a delight.
Video Game: Fallout 4
I’ve never played a proper Bethesda open-world RPG before (I’m told Outer Worlds doesn’t count), so this has been an adventure for me. It’s a lot of fun, I’ve thoroughly lost the plot (I think I’m looking for my kidnapped baby and maybe avenging my dead husband?) as I explore a post-apocalyptic Massachusetts. It’s fairly mindless, and sometimes that’s needed.
Book: The Speaking Bones
The conclusion to Ken Liu’s Dandelion Dynasty came out this week and I’ve been carving out time to read it. It’s more of this sweeping fantasy epic about modernity and nation building and people charting their own stories in a setting that draws on East Asian history moreso than European Medieval. Plus there’s a map in the beginning and I’m a sucker for a book with a map.
Album: Laurel Hell
Mitski’s newest album has a decided 80s verve to it that kicks some of the songs into anthemic gear while still retaining their poignancy. It’s a solid album and, naturally, I got it on vinyl.
TV: Bob’s Burgers
I finally caught up on the twelfth season and it’s always impressive that the show has managed to hold onto its DNA for over a decade. It’s got all the heart and humor as it’s ever had and the recent movie that came out is more of the same.
Poem: “The Second Coming“
This poem by William Butler Yeats has been on my mind a bunch lately. I wonder why.