I am sorry to be that tiresome dingus who constantly talks about the weather but it was in the mid-90s for the past few days in this city of reptilian vampires and people were Fer-eaking Out. I did my utmost to keep my glee to myself, and I have done well with that, but I will tell you, my close personal peeps, that it was glorious to me. As my dear Mary Berry would say on the Great British Baking Show, I am getting an even bake through and through and it’s quite delightful.
Aside from evenly baking, I have been having an attack of the nostalgias lately. There is something about hot weather that makes me think of childhood summers when I lived in less mild places, so maybe that is why. It also just so happens that I have watched, read, heard some nostalgic things as well. Such as what? Such as these.
Stranger Things: Has there ever been a piece of art that is so meticulously constructed to pluck a certain generation’s nostalgia bone than this? Methinks not. However, I have a confession to make, and it is this. I did not, even as a kid, like Stephen Spielberg movies. Not ET, not Goonies, not even Stand By Me. BEFORE YOU THROW YOUR TOM-AH-TOES: I am not saying I actively disliked them. I thought they were fine. As an adult I can look back and deconstruct that perhaps this was because Spielberg wasn’t really connecting with my arty POC girl heart, but that could be hindsight. All I know is that I was a little girl that was starved for representation, and when I say starved I mean I was WRINGING rep where there was none to be had. Like, I decided Jaclyn Smith was my favorite Charlie’s Angel because she was the most tan. Also, when I read the Anne of Green Gables books I was FIXATED on the fact that Diana had black hair. OMG BLACK HAIR IT SAYS SHE HAS BLACK HAIR I HAVE BLACK HAIR ALSO PLEASE KEEP TALKING ABOUT THE BLACK HAIR. There was not a brown person to be found hardly anywhere so I was grasping at straws. Most of the time, again due to lack of options, it was hair-related. I can name off for you all of the pop culture black-haired touchstones of my youth (Dear Veronica from Archie Comics: in the words of Whitney Houston IIIIIIIIIIII-eeeee-IIIIIIIIII will always love yoooooooooo). Anyway. My point is that although the nostalgia in Stranger Things definitely worked on me, it was a weird feeling. Like, I loved it because it reminded me of being a kid, but also I felt that same disconnect. The same one that I feel with John Hughes movies, by the way (DON’T THROW THOSE TOMATOES I SAID).
Don’t Think Twice: This is that one starring Mike Birbiglia and Keegan-Michael Key, et al and the first thing that I have to say about it is that I can NEVER REMEMBER the gee-dee name of this movie. I keep wanting to tell people to go see it but I’m like: Stop Thinking Now? Who’s Thinking Twice? Twice Thinking Tales? Stop Thinking Sense? Thinks and Thinksability? Ugh, my brain. So, a thing you may have forgotten about me because I am decripit and can barely remember my life before librarianship anymore so why should you remember it, is that there was a time, in my youth, where I was a bonafide theater person. I worked in the THEE-AH-TAH, like in a for reals way, and trod boards and was pretty good at it and comedy was my thing and I loved it with all of my heart. Maybe not as much as I loved the career I had before that as a tippy toe dancer, but pretty dang close. It was such a beautiful time in my life, I could cry if I think on it too much, which I kind of don’t. This movie is about people who love that stuff too, and how some of them succeed and some of them don’t and some of them just decide to quit. It’s the Some of Them Decide to Quit part that pretty much ripped my guts out. OH HI, MIDDLE AGED REGRETS MOVIE, WHAT, NO I AM JUST CUTTING ONIONS IN THE MOVIE THEATER, NEVER YOU MIND.
The Get Down: I put off watching this because honestly I wasn’t convinced that I needed to know what Baz Luhrmann wanted to say about hip hop. However, given the setting, the topic, the actors OF COURSE I was going to watch it. I am only two episodes in and it is a hot melodramatic mess, but sort of in a good way, I think? I guess I don’t care about the story that much. I do care that the 70s hip hop fashion is on POINT, and I do care that there are dance battles, and I do care that there is a sort of Kung Fu wielding graffiti superhero, I guess? These are things that will make me happy, despite how much scenery is being chewed every second of the dang thing. I am going to stick with it, at least through the first season. It makes me want to wear bell bottoms and halter tops, which in my parlance is an endorsement.
That’s a lot of nostalgia items, is it not? Let’s add one more. A jam from the turn of the 21st century, still on heavy rotation on my current playlists. Takes me back. So good.
Angie Stone, Wish I Didn’t Miss You