September 17, 2021

Amor Alien, Laura Molina

Hello there friends. Here’s a few things I read in the last week+ (Week+, the premium, approximately 10-day week that I’m operating on right now):

  1. Octavio Medellin: Maya Toltec Temples and Carvings, 1938, Google Arts & Culture. This month (9/15-10/15) is Hispanic Heritage Month, and Google Arts & Culture has some seriously cool exhibits of Latinx and Hispanic art! This one caught my eye, a Mexican-American sculptor who studied Mayan ruins. “In 1938, [sculptor and artist] Octavio Medellin spent six months studying the Mayan ruins at Chichén Itzá and Uxmal, located on the Yucatán in Mexico, and documented his travels with 181 black and white photographs that he compiled into a scrapbook entitled Maya – Toltec, Temples and Carvings, 1938.  The following images are selections from this scrapbook.” It’s cool to flip through and see how the photographs influenced his later art.
  2. Ted Lasso’s fantasy, Dirt. If you haven’t watched Ted Lasso, and you don’t mind HBO-rated jokes alongside the ~wholesomeness~, I would highly recommend the show. “I consider The Andy Griffith Show and Ted Lasso both part of a broad category I’d call “moral television”: that is, television that is intended to be morally instructive. The defining sitcom of the following decade, M*A*S*H, was moral television of a different kind– morality through pessimism.” Thought this placement of Ted Lasso in the genealogy of Andy Griffith and MASH was interesting! “The show’s good-guy protagonist, Alan Alda’s Hawkeye Pierce, is in many ways a moral television hero in the tradition of Griffith. He is unerringly decent and kind, with an infallible sense of right and wrong, righteously striking down racism and jingoism at every turn. He delivers sermons on the evils of war that drive home the moral lesson for viewers.” And this sums up part of why I like Ted Lasso: “The show is successful because the premise is twofold: “what if all people were good at the core,” and “what if you could bring that goodness out of them just by being nice.” 
  3. Borderbus, Juan Felipe Herrera. “We are nothing and we come from nothing / but that nothing is everything, if you feed it with love / that is why we will triumph // We are everything hermana / Because we come from everything” This poem is a dialogue between two immigrant sisters, and I’m moved by how the dialogue puts you in the bus with them. As Naomi Shihab Nye says in a similar poem, immigrants “are the bravest people on earth right now, / don’t dare look down on them. Each mind a universe / swirling as many details as yours.”
  4. What If People Don’t Want ‘A Career?’, Charlie Warzel. “The author framed her employee’s decision to put boundaries between his work and personal life as a fundamental weakness. She’s not alone. Many in positions of power misinterpret those who strive for a better relationship to work as weak or selfish. I’d argue that what they really want is obedience — or for one worker to do the work of one and half workers without more pay.” WHEW boy reading the recap of that article, I felt heat crawling across my skin. This is well-said: “When you talk to people who reject the modern notion of a career, many of them say the same thing: They crave more balance, less precarity, and better pay. They also, crucially, want to work. But they want to work for places that see them as three-dimensional human beings and that actually invest in them and their futures without expecting workers to sacrifice everything. They want to be a part of organizations that recognize that meaningful and collaborative work can bring dignity and create value but that work is by no means the only way to cultivate satisfaction and self-worth.”
  5. Drone Photo Awards, 2021. This is, in my opinion, what drones were made for: to give us new perspective and stun us with color. Which photo is your favorite? I love the footprints in this wedding photo, called First Meet, I would hang this piece called No Stress in my home, and I couldn’t stop staring at the details in Bank of Buriganga.

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