Back in London and to a more natural pace of life for the time being and my consumption of content has become a bit more rightsided again. This week has been filled with a good combo of work and school articles (yes, remember, I am a student again — doing a Certificate in Cyberpsychology at the IADT in Ireland) and some movie watching and podcast listening.
Let’s start with the Watching bits. I think we’re coming to the end of our Paul Newman/ Joanne Woodward tribute watching period as we’ve gone through some of their better movies and I am not 100% keen to watch their less exciting ones. We have watched “The Long, Hot Summer” (based loosely on 3 novellas/short stories by Faulkner) and enjoyed it despite the very melodramatic acting and score. It generated a bunch of interesting conversations at home about post war America, the myth of the nouveau riche and similarities with another gem starring Paul Newman, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. I also found it quite interesting that both stories seem to resolve positively, which is so American of them. No such thing in nouveau riche stories set in Russia :)
I’ve also started The Peripheral on Amazon Prime; this is based on a Gibson novel which I had previously read. It’s harder to enjoy something when you know what’s actually going on but I did think it was well made and was quite transfixed during the pilot episode despite its unexpected length (1:15 min). I am definitely going to continue with it.
I am missing Yellowstone. I originally bought the first 3 episodes in S1 thinking I was not going to like it but I did, and now am pondering whether it’s a sound use of my money to keep buying them on Prime. If you’ve loved Succession, it’s likely you’ll like Yellowstone.
Lastly, I’ve been obsessed by this BBC documentary about Russia. Of course, it turned out to be an Adam Curtis which explained the style: only original footage from the 1990, edited together in deceptively random fashion and no voice over, only text on screen, all in caps. If you can access it I can highly recommend it. If you happen to be Easter European, it will be an experience of nostalgia tinged with dread.
Onto reading. I’ve really just been reading the Guardian and my Cyberpsychology recommended texts. That’s because UK politics right now is insane and all one can do is refresh the first page of newspapers thinking “oh, god, what now?” (like the podcast). I’ve been trying to make sense of the economics part by reading various pieces in The New European by Paul Mason (only in the physical edition, I’m afraid, can’t seem to find them online) and the LRB (like this one).
My Cyberpsychology class is giving me no end of fun reading, in the form of studies about online communication. I’m currently reading about hyperpersonalisation and self-presentation in CMC (computer mediated communication) which to me seem like a fancy way of saying that people tend to use the apparent lack of social and emotional cues of online environments to make themselves appear more interesting than they are. The next two classes are on identity online so expect some fun factoids :)
I’ve also been listening to various things about the economy trying to make sense of whether we’re likely to come out of this hole any time soon. Based on what a multitude of podcasts are saying, it’s unlikely. My partner has been listening to this guy trying to explain what’s been happening. And I’ve gone back to The Bunker, with an episode on the economist behind Trussonomics — Patrick Minford, and, as always, Rory and Alastair on “The Rest is Politics”.
Finally, this week I have consumed a limited amount of Takis, which is this incredible corn snack from the US, flavored with chilli and lime. If you find them, grab them immediately.