Consumables #80

You know what is irritating? People scolding each other on the social media Tweetbook or whatever when there is a joke made about tv, or movies, or Miley Cyrus, and the scold is along the lines of “Stop talking about Breaking Bad and start paying attention to the war on SYRIA, DUMBFACE.” Listen, I get that many people are not as politically engaged as they should be. I am not going to argue that. But let me just say something on behalf of one segment of the Dumbface demographic, and that is this: I can know about Syria while also making a joke about Duck Dynasty, ok? It is possible to do both of those, by one human body. And maybe I want to do one of those on the Tweetbook and not the other. My tweetbooks are not representative of all the thoughts I am capable of having. Ok? Ok. So just stop that. Signed, Dumbface.

I shall now proceed with talking about the pop cultures and the books. Don’t freak out.

Breaking Bad
I don’t know what I could possibly add to the discussion about Breaking Bad that hasn’t already been said by someone else, but I think it should be stated that Vince Gilligan is trying to kill us all with that show. I mean, good god. The anxiety! Also, I just have to say that for as gangster/evil as Walt has gotten, I love that they still have him run like a doofy dad. Every time he runs, all flat-footed, it is awesome.

Parks and Rec
Fall tv is around the corner! While we wait, I would like to live inside the Parks and Rec gag reels. Actually, not just while we wait. For all times.

Quick Draw
One of those millions of Hulu original shows. This old west comedy is all improvised and there are some good laughs in it. I’ve watched a few and I shall keep going. The main character has an old school comedy silliness that I love- it’s like an updated Bob Denver quality or something.

Sister Wives
I don’t know why I started watching this but now I can’t stop. Please send help. You know the thing about reality shows, whether it was Osbournes or Kardashians or Sister Wives or Jon and Kate Plus 8 or Jersey Shore or Real Housewives Duck Dynasty or whatever? NOTHING HAPPENS EVER. Like, there will be a whole episode where a Real Housewife will go to dinner. That is it. I watched an episode of Sister Wives last night where a lot of the episode was the whole clan cleaning their yard. I am watching YARD WORK ON TV, you guys. So it’s polygamist yard work, but still. Really?

I am behind the curve on this one- I just watched the very first two episodes. So far (I know I am not saying anything new about the Sorkin) there is way too much BITCHEZ BE CRAYZEE for me to hands down love it. Like, do the ladies have to be quite so hysterical? Just tone it down a wee skosh, would be good. I do like it enough to keep watching though (says the lady who binge watches Sister Wives. QUALITY STANDARDS).

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This one was so delightful, in so many ways. The main character, Ifemelu, grows up in Nigeria, immigrates to the US as an adult, and then returns to Nigeria again. Thematically, it delves deeply into being an outsider as an immigrant, becoming less and less so, and then the experience of being somewhat of an outsider in one’s home country as a result. I think the reviews I have seen of this talk a good deal about the gender/class/race issues, for good reason, but not enough about how overall, this is a love story. Ifemelu falls in love with a boy in her school growing up, then has to leave him behind when she immigrates, and the question of whether they will find each other again when she returns is a lovely story.

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, by Ellen Forney
I am a fan of Forney’s illustration style and her voice overall, and this one doesn’t disappoint in those ways. Her depiction of her own depression and its effect on her personal life and her ability to make art (and her fears about not being able to make art) were so honest.

A Dog Called Homeless, by Sarah Lean
A kid’s novel about a girl who has lost her mom. A sensitive, comforting story, but I didn’t care for it overall. I have discovered that I am one of those people that finds no comfort at all in themes where the message is “your loved one isn’t all the way dead because they live on in your heart.” Because I am a crusty adult person. I would recommend it for kids though.

Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
Such a light, charming graphic novel about middle school drama geeks. There is friendship drama and romance drama, but all in a very harmless happy way, where everything works out and things never get too bad to begin with. I would have loved this in 6th grade.

A Land More Kind Than Home, by Wiley Cash
Engrossing setting, fascinating characters. Story about what happens when a charismatic preacher’s secretive practices run amok, and people start dying because of it. The only thing I would have liked more of is more development on what made the characters tick. The bad guy was so horrible- but there wasn’t much background about why. And what was it about him that was so charismatic, exactly? But maybe the ambiguity was sort of the point. Could be.

Tell the Wolves I’m Home, by Carol Rifka Brunt
It’s weird to think about it now, but there was a small era of time when I was little that I hated my brother. Like, I HATED him. But I also loved him so much, I wanted to be around him all the time and followed him everywhere. Except I hated him. But loved him. Both. This story is such a good take on the complicated love/hate that can go on between siblings, both young and older, as well as the sad historical moment that was the early days of AIDS. The characters were the kind that stay with you for a while after reading, and there is a character called Toby that just broke my heart all up. He’s the saddest character I have come across in a while.

My Friend Dahmer, by Derf Backderf
Although I thought the drawings were good and it definitely held my interest, I am not sure what to really take away from this. In a sense hearing any anecdotes from someone who knew Dahmer in high school are interesting just because it’s hard to think of him as a person with a childhood, but I couldn’t help but think that the author was placing significance to their encounters in a way that seems dubious to me. I mean, if Dahmer was strange in high school, wouldn’t everything seem creepy or significant in hindsight, knowing what we know now? So, not sure what to make of this account. Plus, they weren’t really friends, so that was kind of a stretch, but I guess “My Acquaintance Dahmer” doesn’t sound as good.

That’s all I have time for today. Never enough time to catch you up on everything!

I don’t want to leave on that icky last book. How about a song that I have been listening to lately?

Song for Zula, Phosphorescent

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