THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #136

LOVE:

Pleasantville:

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For a great many years, I’ve felt that I was living in the wrong moment. Life would be so much better if it was 1933 and I was in Hollywood. Or 1890 in Paris. Or 1900 in an English manor where I was the eldest son of an adventurous, titled family. We’d have a great number of adventures in the Middle East, be recognized in the Court of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, and I’d be a lifelong friend of Oscar Wilde. I’ve long thought that it would be better back then because everything old is naturally superior. But this, I have come to believe, is an illusion. Everything is rosy in retrospect, but each of those time periods had its miseries. My beloved Diana Vreeland spoke about not caring for the past. As a person who spends so much time in history, I’ve never understood that. When Karl Lagerfeld talks about being concerned only for the future, I can’t grasp why. But on to what spawned the broadening of my mind. I had to watch Pleasantville for a class, and I could not rip my eyes from the screen. It’s about two teenagers who are transported to the perfect world of a 1950s sitcom. Everything seems just as it should, but the people are repressed and bored. They aren’t fully aware of this, though. Just because something seems pleasant does not mean that it really is. Living by a societal expectation can kill you. And as I watched the movie and got more and more involved, I knew that there is no time I’d rather be alive. This is in a magnificent era of human history. I can fly to Paris in a matter of hours. If I want to sail down the Nile, it’s only a click of my credit card away. Never has living to your fullest potential been so possible. It’s all right to be yourself now. I say this as a middle class white man, so I know I’ve had it a lot easier than a lot of people, but I have seen how good the world is and I love it desperately. Pleasantville made me cry (aplenty) and made me think, and it will make me think a lot more. Rent or buy this film immediately, reader, and enjoy the masterful production, the special effects, the brilliant acting, and the simple yet pleasant story. I’m deeply moved by this picture.

XM Radio in the Car:

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I wasn’t all that turned up for my car when I bought it. I never really wanted one. It’s an added expense that I wasn’t planning for, but I have learned to love it. I like going wherever the eff I want whenever the eff I want. I received a note in the mail from XM Radio a while after I bought the vehicle, offering me a free trial. I was going to throw it in the recycling, but I thought to myself, “Well, why not?” So, I started the three month subscription, and loved it immediately. It took me a while to find the channels that I like, but now that I have, driving is a jam. My first love is the Studio 54 channel — basically a disco in my car, which I think is marvelous. I used to be really into disco. It all started with Michael Jackson’s “Off the Wall.” So, this is what I drive home to now. Other current favorites are Globalization  and the PITBULL channel. That one is particularly delightful because you get to yell, “Miami! Mr. Worldwide! DALE!” And it’s fun because I can understand Pitbull’s Spanish pretty well. I like this XM Radio, and I think I may subscribe to it when my trial is over. Music is delightful.

“Anti” by Rihanna:

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I can’t stop humming this album. I don’t sing it because I can’t understand what Rihanna is saying most of the time. Like in that “Work” song, it sounds like she is saying, “Ner nah nah nah work work someicy nana ananda work work work work work.” I’m sure that she is saying something. I just can’t tell you what. Still, the beat has got me hooked and I’m a bit obsessed with the album as a whole. I’m not huge on Rihanna. I love that “Pon de Replay” song, though. That was the shit when my family went to Florida like a decade ago. We didn’t know what she was talking about then, either. Still don’t. Anyway, bit of topic, but I can finally watch The Wendy Williams Show again, and I was intrigued by a comment that she made saying that Beyoncé was legendary and would probably have a Vegas residency someday, but Rihanna never would. I nodded, thinking that was a very clever thing to say. Still, I decided to get the album once it came out onto Apple Music. It took ages since there is that whole Tidal thing. Does anybody actually have Tidal? I don’t know anybody with it. I had the free subscription, but it was so poorly designed that it wasn’t worth it to me. So I stuck with Apple Music. The album is lit. (I think I’m using the youthful lingo correctly.) I didn’t really get it at first, if you can get music, but it has grown on me. “Desperado” is a jam, it has this strange chanting moaning at the beginning that I die for, and there is a piano ballad that will grip you. Yasss, Rihanna.

Oral B Pulsar 3D White Toothbrush:

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I don’t get the name, but I love this toothbrush. I’ve only used it once, but still, I think it changed me. Last night, I was exhausted at Walmart with $10 in my hand and the desire to treat myself. What would it be? I wanted a bottle of crème de menthe, but they were sold out. The cheese chiller did not inspire me. Nothing inspired me. I sauntered through the clearance aisle, but decided that I didn’t need any spark plugs or hair dye. Eventually I found myself in the aisles with toothpaste and brushes. I thought melancholically about the toothpaste I found in Monoprix in Nice. I’ll be so sad when it runs out. I love that toothpaste. I looked at floss and water picks, and my eye eventually landed on this electric toothbrush for $6. I’ve never had an electric toothbrush, and I wanted to upgrade my lifestyle. Me with my toothbrush in hand:tumblr_loofldVzJU1qd0zn6o1_500 tumblr_kx9o4pEe4J1qz4mspo1_500 11-upgrade-u-beyonce

Delighted by my decision, I bought it, excitedly thinking about the newfound whiteness of my teeth. I already felt that my smile was brighter, whiter, and more radiant because of my purchase. Like I said, I was exhausted. At home, I eagerly tore the packaging open, hit the power button, and dismay flooded through me. It vibrated, but it seemed weak. “How is this going to improve the condition and quality of my oral health?” I wept to my cat, Edwin, who was looking curiously at the buzzing brush. He didn’t have an answer for me. So, I brushed my teeth, and I was overcome by how impressed I was. I don’t really know if it did me any good, but I felt as if my entire mouth was being massaged. This is not an experience I knew I was missing from my life. Is my smile whiter? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ but, I am having a good time.

HATE:

“Ghost Gifts:”

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As a long-time member of Amazon Prime, I receive absolutely no additional benefits from the regular subscriber…but I’m not bitter… As subscribers, we get a free ebook every month, which I think is quite nice. So, for the past year, I have been picking one of the options and letting them pile up. I hate when people say that they don’t have time to read, but I legitimately don’t, which makes me feel dumb and hypocritical. I used to read all the time, but with my current schedule, I’m lucky to read a chapter a day. I finally started reading one of these books, Ghost Gifts, and I started understanding why it was free. It is terrible! (Also, no offense to the author if they find this page. I congratulate you on publication. I’m jealous of you.) One of my hobbies is reading awful books that have been traditionally published to see how bad bad writing can be (Holla at the Sunset Boulevard reference!) This one is extensively rotten. The prose is stilted, and the character development is profoundly silly. It doesn’t make any sense. In one chapter, the heroine is meek, the next she is a strong, independent young woman who is the wounded wife of a computer genius. She’s also a psychic… It’s bad. I’ve decided to finish it. The chapters only take a few minutes to read. Hopefully the story redeems itself, because there is opportunity aplenty for it to turn around. My fingers are crossed. (And my eyes are rolling.)

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