Hi! I had a different essay cooking for last week, but then I decided to pivot and drop a hot take on some trending bullshit instead. I had fun! Sorry to the one person who unsubscribed after the email went out, though. Such is the risk of weighing in on a hot topic. (For an actually nuanced, more well-researched take, I recommend Mike Hobbes's timeline of events, as well as Courtney Milan's thread about why copyright litigation is hell no matter who is in the right.)
As a reminder, I'm currently unemployed and looking for freelance/contract copywriting work, so hit ya girl up if you have any leads! If not, you can still enjoy these recs anyway. They're for everyone, and I expect nothing in return.
Over The Garden Wall season
It's an annual tradition here at Friendmendations: the time when I insist that you watch Over The Garden Wall if you've never seen it (if you have seen it, I assume you've already scheduled your own fall rewatch) and share supplemental reading about Over The Garden Wall. This year's entry into the canon is "Young Goodman Wirt," a fantastic deep dive on the influences of the American Northeast on the series by Ethan Warren for Bright Wall/Dark Room. Gosh, I loved this sentence: "The overriding thread is one of sincere wonder and transformation, and for that, it stands out as one of the few great examples of the northeast folktale tradition we’ve gotten this century."
Nerdy podcast alert!
On the topic of supplemental materials, I must rave about a podcast I rabidly consumed in my month off. Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita might be my favorite book, a fact I feel the need to furiously defend (the prose is otherworldly! I memorized Annabel Lee in my spare time in middle school for fun, of course I'm gonna like this book!) The reason for my skittishness, of course, is that it's Lolita, and the cultural legacy of Lolita is controversy.
But, as Jamie Loftus's Lolita Podcast will tell you, that controversy has very little to do with what's actually on the pages of Nabokov's work. Over the course of ten episodes, Loftus examines the book, its author, and everything that has impacted the way that we currently think about it, from book jacket design to contemporary reviews to its infamous movie adaptations. Loftus's careful, deeply empathetic approach to the material analyzes shifting cultural attitudes since Lolita's 1955 publication while also giving voice to and advocating for survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Another show I'm late to
I know everyone is watching Squid Game or whatever, but I almost never watch shows when they're in the cultural conversation. It feels like too much pressure. So now that I'm caught up on Succession, I've moved onto another, much lighter show to binge: The Other Two, a comedy about two struggling siblings in New York whose little brother becomes a Bieber-like sensation overnight. It's packed with pop culture references and riffs and Ken Marino is in the supporting cast, so I'm obviously having a great time.
October is the perfect time to stream Astronaut Club's Halloween mix GHOSTED!, something I would promote even if I didn't play the role of "ghost who appears on the album art." My only complaint is that it's too short, so I've started a collaborative playlist called "Spooky Beats to Twerk To" with similar bops. Please feel free to share your suggestions.
Okay, that's that on that. I have to go pick up some free furniture from Facebook Marketplace and find a job, but I'll be back with some good essays later this week. I mean, I think they'll be good. Let's hope!