non-required reading, age of average, daisy jones, perry mason, of course succession
Notes on the things I've been into (April) & NOTES
I’m sending an extra newsletter this week. I’m working on a longer essay, but wanted to send a few notes on things I’ve been enjoying. Maybe I’ll send a roundup like this more often.
This past newsletter mentioned Babbit & Tell Me I’m An Artist, but here are a few more:
Red-Headed Pilgrim by Kevin Maloney.
Wrapped this up in the Caribbean. It’s funny. It’s semi-autobiographical about a guy bouncing around some dumb jobs, trying to find his soul mate, and then having a kid. He works at a teddy bear factory, goes to dirtbag bars. If you like fast-paced irony, then this is a great book.
Non-Required Reading from 2016
Remember those great American non-required reading books?
I always really liked those because they were great magazine stories, and I still get magazines (yes, to my house, in print).
They discontinued them a few years ago (not sure why) but I found this one from 2016 at the local Books-A-Million
I like anthologies because you have permission to skip around
That said, I’m not a huge fan of short story collections. I get too invested in the characters and then it ends
The Age of Average by Alex Murrell (article)
Everything looks the same now. You can’t stop it. Every coffeeshop, every apartment complex, every Airbnb, every book, every Instagram face.
Spoil or not to spoil? (article)
In the wake of that mighty Succession episode, Miles McNutt questions the very nature of spoilers
Jami Attenberg’s Substack
I’m not a huge fan of her novels, but her Substack is a breath of creative fresh air. Especially because she lives in New Orleans, and I used to live in New Orleans, and I was just in New Orleans a few weeks ago
Her latest is called “Let’s Only Make Good Art” which is true, let’s do that
Speaking of classics, should they be updated for modern sensibilities? (article)
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Finished Daisy Jones and The Six on Amazon. I didn’t read the book, but the show had a nice will-they-or-won’t-they affect, and it took some turns I didn’t expect. Like the singer getting sober early. And the two leads not quite catching up with each other. More thoughts here. What did you think?
Perry Mason on HBO. I have some gripes about this show — but the main plot is very smart and twisty, the same as season 1. It’s like True Detective with an actual mystery and not as much gore.
I talked to my Grandma this week and she was telling me about Gunsmoke. And Bonanza. Big fan. She also likes Perry Mason (the original).
Succession on HBO. Lots of Succession discourse. I’ll just say before the “thing” happened, I was getting slightly frustrated by how the show seemed to be going in circles. This took care of it. Thoughts?
Air the movie. I haven’t seen it yet. I want to, soon.
I’m rewatching Seinfeld. The show is so much better now that our understanding of TV has evolved.
Office Space (?). I rewatched this over the weekend. Yes, it’s the classic workplace comedy, complete with an epic printer destruction sequence. I was struck by a couple of things:
I used to have a commute! I don’t anymore. This is a gamechanger for a lot of my frustrations at work
Formal wear! It was crazy when Peter came into the office wearing a short-sleeve button up and sandals. Wild times. Thinking of the tech-bro culture of the mid-to-late 00s, this movie had an immediate impact on being more casual at work. Towards the end after Peter gets “promoted” he goes back to wearing a suit.
Simple apartment buildings. We still have basic apartments, but very few movies show *real-life* like this: big parking lots, non-descript apartment buildings, chain restaurants. That’s the way it is in the South at least.
Notes on Substack
I just published my first note on Substack Notes, and would love for you to join me there!
Notes is a new space on Substack for us to share links, short posts, quotes, photos, and more. I plan to use it for things that don’t fit in the newsletter, like work-in-progress and links like what is above. If you’re into Twitter, I can see this working out quite nicely. I’ll probably stay on Twitter for more of my growth-type content, but will probably move writing and culture content over here. I’ve also posted frequently on Medium, but will probably shift off of that platform too.
I like this and have some more thoughts coming this weekend.
“By definition, it is not possible to everyone to be above the average.” — Jim Collins
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I’m also enjoying Perry Mason. This is a good show which isn’t “event TV.” I was also thinking how everything looked the same the other day. I live in the Salt Lake metro area and all the towns look the same. They all have the same restaurants and the same big box stores living in identical shopping complexes. Your hometown is everywhere.