6 March 2020

“Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.”

This Week

Hey! It’s a newsletter! Look at that.

If you’re just now joining us, I spent a little over a month on a newsletter and Twitter break. I’ve been trying to figure out a healthier relationship with internet stuff for a while now. I’m still figuring it out. In fact, I wrote about figuring it out. On the internet. Which might seen counterproductive, but the truth of the matter is I really like the internet and I want to figure out how to use it without it making me a monster. Sometimes that means taking breaks. I’m working on it.

Anyway, I’m ready for some more internet now. I also rediscovered some other outlets while I was away: I restarted my Tumblr and I started posting the odd review on Letterboxd. If any of that is your sort of thing.

In other news, I had a piece of micro fiction published in a “Final Girl”-themed issue of detritus called “The First One.” If you are partial to offbeat, horror-fan poetry and micro fiction, give it all a read.

As I try to gently steer my way back into the internet rushing rapids, it’s clear that of course it’s not just the internet. There’s a lot going on now. I feel like the lesson that keeps bringing itself to the forefront, especially in the last couple of years, is that sustainability is in focus on your own sphere of control. You shouldn’t be dismissive or deliberately ignorant of the larger sphere. But there are neighborhoods, cities, states. There are families, communities, selves. Pick what you can make better and focus on that. It might change from day to day. Or hour to hour. It’s okay. Do what you can.


Links

Wikipedia is the last best place on the internet.

The women taking back their lives from Ted Bundy.

When Dorothy Parker got fired from Vanity Fair.

Why legendary filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein loved Walt Disney.

Salute to Katherine Johnson, dead at age 101.

How Instagram is making jigsaw puzzles cool again. Knitting is my preferred way to avoid double screens (by which I mean using a laptop or phone while watching evening television), but I’m starting to do more puzzles as well. I will probably post them on Instagram, if I ever manage to finish them.

The 27-song playlist that Lou Reed made just before he died.

How female bartenders became legal in Chicago 50 years ago.

I’m charmed by the story of the woman who lovingly tended a fake succulent for two years.


Reading/Watching/Listening

  • There’s a lot to cover here, friends. Let’s start with the fact I had a blast with Birds of Prey. It felt like all those years of being a girl who read comic books paid off finally.

  • I loved Portrait of a Lady on Fire. I wrote bit about why on Letterboxd. I also saw this screened with the director in attendance, who was straightforward and delightful and I believe slightly tipsy. Five stars all around.

  • I also wrote a bit about Gretel & Hansel, a dark, stylish fairy tale that I think is going underseen. If you liked the director’s earlier The Blackcoat’s Daughter (streaming on Netflix, by the way), this is going to be in your lane.

  • If you’re not watching HBO’s McMillions documentary about the 90’s McDonald’s Monopoly scam, fix that. The story itself is wild, but the real-life players in it are even wilder. I know there’s a fiction film in the works about this, but I don’t see how they could improve on the reality.


Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Love,

Jen


Connections

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This week’s quote is from Honoré de Balzac.