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totally top three: june 2020

It’s July! 2020! Holy shit! Hi! Please donate to mutual aid funds if you’re able! Wash your hands! Wear a mask! Stay safe! Stay sane! I love you!


I held off on watching The Half of It for a bit because I’d seen a thread on Twitter from writer-director Alice Wu talking about how it was based vaguely on a friendship from her youth and how it had ultimately ended badly and I was just not prepared for the chance that the movie might end similarly — I’m a big proponent of writing from your own history, but I also don’t know why anyone wouldn’t write themselves a better ending. What’s the point of fiction otherwise? — but I was wildly pleased to see that was exactly what she’d done and it was such a joy to watch. I laughed a lot, I cried a little, I felt immense satisfaction. Ellie, Paul, and Aster are all great and I loved Ellie’s dad very much too.

Based on what I saw in my Spotify friend activity bar, pretty much the only thing anyone was listening to was Run the Jewels’ new one and that was pretty much my MO for June too. Every song on this one is great, but I’m particular to “out of sight,” “holy calamafuck,” “walking in the snow,” “JU$T,” “never look back,” and “the ground below,” which, to be fair, is uh, most of the album. Run the Jewels always hit me really well musically — for reasons I don’t know enough about music to articulate, but I think it’s a combination of bass lines and tempo? maybe? — but this feels as lyrically pertinent as ever.

My review of Avon Gale’s Breakaway covers pretty much everything I loved about it, but as I was reading through my Kindle highlights right now, I ended up laughing and being wildly charmed all over again. Lane is one of the most fun narrators I’ve spent time with in a long while and I’m so glad I tried to reset my horrible attention span with this one. There’s not a single character I don’t like! The dialogue and sex are fun! There’s emotionally satisfying resolutions of parental relationships! People like each other! Professional athletes are chill about having a queer teammate! This was a great time and I’m excited to read more from Gale.


And three to look forward to…

dream wife, so when you gonna   jennifer honeybourne, the do-over   fontaines d.c., a hero's death

stuff i consumed: june 2020

Here’s some stuff I consumed in the last month. Keep taking care of yourselves. ♥

Alice Speri, Alleen Brown, Mara Hvistendahl, The George Floyd Killing in Minneapolis Exposes the Failures of Police Reform

Cameron Awkward-Rich, Cento Between the Ending and the End

Erik Gudbranson, We Need to Be Loud, We Need to Be Unflinching

Ruth Gebreyesus, Eating at Black-Owned Restaurants Isn’t Going to Save Us

Melena Ryzik, Overlooked No More: Debra Hill, Producer Who Parlayed ‘Halloween’ Into a Cult Classic

Mark Fraser, Silence Is Violence

Ed Yong, COVID-19 Can Last for Several Months

Rebecca Carroll, You Should Be Feeling Miserable

Cynthia Franks, A White Woman, Racism and a Poodle

Angel Jennings, South L.A. is largely untouched by unrest. That is by design

Miles Klee, White People Sound Like Brands When They Post About Racism

Anne Helen Petersen, Why The Small Protests In Small Towns Across America Matter

Holly Anderson, The Dog Who Was Not There, And Also Was Not A Dog

untweeted

Here’s some stuff I refrained from posting on the internet until now!

my anxiety is so bad that every time some white person gets called out for some racist shit i end up aggressively interrogating myself like, am i SURE i didn’t do blackface and somehow forget? did i make a confederate flag cake even tho i don’t know anyone who moved to the south nor have i ever voluntarily baked?

ooooh daddy likes to be horizontal

why is writing actually writing one sentence and then doing fucking ANYTHING else for an hour before maybe writing another sentence and then saying you’re done for the night

one time i got to watch a squirrel going fuckin HAM on a small pumpkin on someone’s porch amongst a littering of fall
leaves and it was AMAZING

today i learned that in greek myth centaurs were just like… wild horses with human torsos and this is… upsetting… just feral horse bodies with human faces, just wild, furious REGULAR HORSES, stomping their violent horse hooves, and gnashing their horrifying human teeth

god bless our puritanical american society if only because i don’t have to put headache medicine up my own asshole

as a burgeoning baby gay linda hamilton in t2 was extremely formative and important and now, as a 35yo well-established gay, linda hamilton in terminator: whateverthefuck 2019 could keep me as a fucking pet

i did a five minute sofa monologue about eating ass today and at the end my wife looked at me and said, “you should try that one out at work”

until like, a week ago, i thought the “wouldst thou like to live deliciously” thing was like… a joke meme about taco bell? like, maybe somehow related to dave navarro’s live mas thing that everyone lost their mind about for a while… i don’t understand the connections in my brain. like, i had seen someone GET IT TATTOOED and was just like, wow commitment

i could have been born anything but at least i wasn’t born a foot guy

I’m still out here using Twitter at incomprehensible intervals — @ashrocketship — so you know… Don’t miss out on that either.

tunesday: june 2020

a square image of pink and blue clouds that reads june twenty-twenty

listen on spotify

totally top three: may 2020

Black lives matter. If you think that statement needs a qualifier or a rebuttal, I am begging you to interrogate why you think that. Start learning and start helping. Amplify, donate, do good.

I thought about skipping this post entirely because it’s hard to talk about trivial things when massive, important things are happening in the world, but these posts are important to me and I hope, sometimes valuable to you, if you’re looking for stuff to get into. People need escapism and that escapism is always inherently easier for me because I’m white. Black people rarely have that luxury.

I try to do better by reading, watching, and listening to more things produced by people of color. I am going to work even harder at that now. Reading theory is extremely important even when it’s hard, but engaging with pleasurable content about and most importantly by people of color is incredibly powerful too. Fiction teaches us empathy and diverse fiction teaches us to empathize cross-culturally.

That said, all three of my faves were pretty fucking white this month. You can’t do better without acknowledging where you haven’t done great, right?


Sarah Henstra’s We Contain Multitudes really fucked me up in a way that I needed. I already wrote a sizeable review, so here I just want to say that I am a big crier in general. I cry at happy things and sad things and frustration and anger and pretty much constantly. I’m easily moved and I have a lot of emotions and emotional problems. But pretty much the second isolation started, I dried up. I wanted to cry; I needed to cry, but I just couldn’t, no matter what, and it was starting to make me feel awful. I needed some catharsis, you know? This book was the first thing to unlock me in 70+ days and god, was it satisfying.

Crystal’s been trying to get me to watch Field of Dreams for most of the course of our relationship so that I could be adequately horny about Ray Liotta’s version of Shoeless Joe Jackson with her, but I finally gave in because a friend and MFA classmate said I needed to watch it because it’s a weird as hell premise that everyone just accepts, which is one of my favorite things in the world and I wasn’t disappointed! It genuinely moved me — We watched it after I’d been unstoppered by We Contain Multitudes and I teared up! It felt amazing! — and it is another piece of evidence in how hideously backwards we’ve gone in the last thirty years. The protagonists stand up against book banning! And it’s presented as an absolute truth instead of an opinion. Also, it really is a weird as hell premise and everyone just accepts it and rolls with it. Refreshing.

Orville Peck’s “No Glory in the West” has also made me cry a whole bunch since it came out both because I identify with and am deeply moved by the isolation in the music video, but also because his beautiful, warbling voice reaches the dark, sad places inside of me and opens them up to the light. There are lots of talented queer people (and people of color and women!) making contemporary country music even if it’s sometimes hard to find, but Peck’s hits me in a way I couldn’t have expected, the parts of me that are married to the prairie where I live go deeper than I knew, I think, and I am grateful for the way his music makes me feel seen.


And three to look forward to…

bethany c. morrow, a song below water   run the jewels 4   miss juneteenth