Hello. I would ask “how is everyone doing?” but the answer to that is pretty obvious! It’s hard to have a conversation these days, because no one has any news and if they do it’s not good.
I’m re-watching all of New Girl — it is insane how long you have to wait for “Cooler,” it’s episode 15 of the second season! The sexual tension is off the charts!! — and listening to every podcast known to man. Nick Kroll and John Mulaney’s new “Oh, Hello: the P’dcast” is predictably excellent. Also, I’m working on things such as this newsletter. Here it is!
A very enjoyable deep dive!
If you’re interested in pop music at all, you’ll enjoy this Billboard feature naming the greatest pop stars of each year from 1981 to 2019. Each writeup is informative and interesting and really helps you understand what was happening in pop culture at the time. (I do think it falls off a bit towards the end, but so has pop music’s dominance! It makes sense that it’s gotten harder to pick one reigning cultural figure now that radio listening is essentially extinct.)
Take better food pics!
A lot of us are cooking and baking a lot now. You want to brag on social media about it, right? Well, Helen Rosner has some tips on the basics of food photography, so now is a great time to improve your game.
Let’s ENGAGE with it
A surprising amount of people clicked the one (1) pandemic-related link last week, so I’m taking that to mean that we can have a mix of distractions and stuff that acknowledges our present nightmare. (Readers can have a little acknowledgement of our hell-world, as the opposite of a treat.)
Slate’s piece from March 14, “America is a Sham,” keeps coming to mind for me; the Outline’s “America Doesn’t Have a Healthcare System” inspires similar righteous fury. If you can handle it, Jon Schwarz’s piece for the Intercept on which party will harness the post-pandemic rage effectively is grim but makes a very important point.
YouTubers are here for us
I discovered Best Dressed’s channel when her very long video detailing her full apartment makeover came up as a suggestion after I’d binged about a million Architectural Digest celebrity home tours when I needed soothing distractions. But I found her tips for working from home very motivating since I’ve been a bit of a mess without a routine! It’s a very accessible guide, whereas I’ve seen ones online that are like “start your day with a run around the neighborhood” and I’m like “I’ll literally never do that.”
I’ve also been enjoying her outfit styling videos, a soothing reminder of a time when we had a society. If you want more nice distractions, Lindsay Ellis’s new video “Why Is Cats?” is a beautiful look at a subject close to my heart. The Todd in the Shadows video on a terrible Beach Boys album was fascinating. And if you want to engage meaningfully with the pain of the present moment, the Folding Ideas video “I Can’t Stop Watching Contagion” is extremely thoughtful and moving.
And some good songs, a whole assortment
We’re getting new Fiona Apple music soon!!! One good thing in this stupid year!
This song sounds like it has always been around and is a beloved classic. Also the line “Every day I wake up and I make money for myself” inspires me to do that, even though I’m actually unemployed and useless right now.
I was so very into this song my senior year of college, because it’s a very dramatic breakup song and I felt very dramatic about a breakup at that time. I miss Gotye! He’s doing other weird projects now and is probably happy about that, but I’m not! He had so many production tricks up his sleeve and his music was so interesting.
I’m so, so saddened by the loss of Adam Schlesinger. I was FULLY OBSESSED with the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack in middle school and always followed his career with fascination. This song is on my spring playlist and I was just starting to listen to it again.
Okay, that’s it. I know it’s really scary out there, and I know that quarantining inside is depressing and hard. Hang in there and take care of yourself in every way possible. I’ll leave you with this comic, which is very good.