Reading List: Yes, You'll Most Certainly Have This One Theme Song Stuck In Your Head For Eternity.
Happy Friday, dearests! I hope your morning so far has been filled with coffee, coziness, and the soul-affirming schadenfreude of hearing that this BBC focus group-concocted cartoon villain just got arrested after being indicted by the mighty Mueller.
I swear, those rounded glasses and bowler hat will feature prominently in some kid’s nightmares tonight. Fun fact: the FBI agents that arrested him probably did it for free, because of the shutdown! I wonder if Trump had assumed indictments and arrests couldn’t happen if agents and lawyers weren’t getting paid. Because if so, LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL sigh.
And if you need to feel good about an elected official, as that feeling seems to be in short supply as of late, check out Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) go off on Senator Ted Cruz (R-Wherever an off-brand melted Wolverine knock-off hails from) for his “crocodile tears” over said shutdown. Bennet rips him a new one over the impact of the 2013 shutdown that Cruz tantrumed his way into on his home state, and how this whole current shutdown is over a stupid promise a president couldn’t keep.
ANYHOO. There’s so much to read! Let’s get to it.
Felipe Torres Medina, I'm Marie Fcking Kondo and You Can Keep All Your Fcking Books, You Ingrates (Points in Case) - I needed a laugh this morning, and this delivered. Also, since I’ve been informed that the cursing in this here morning newsletter may be drawing the ire of your work’s firewalls / internal IT narcs, I’m doing my best to make my swearing as cute as hecking possible. But the language in that link is totes NSFW.
Darryn King, The Story of the DuckTales Theme, History’s Catchiest Single Minute of Music (Vanity Fair) - Submitted by Friend of the Missive Schuyler after I sent him the greatest video in the history of the internet, this piece is not only super informative in giving credit and narrative to the Hollywood musicians we hardly ever hear about, it’s also written like Truman hecking Capote was getting to the bottom of this insanely catchy theme song business. It’s that well-written. And now I’m learning the chords for Darren Criss’s 2007 cover of the song because life is short, and we all need more WOO-OOO in our lives.
Tyler Coates, Rent Moved American Culture Forward. Rent: Live Is Proof of That. (Esquire) - I remember the first time I saw Rent on Broadway: it was 2002, I was a freshman in college, and I bawled my eyes out for the entire second act, then proceeded to incorporate “Take Me or Leave Me” into my musical audition repertoire. I was years behind seeing the original Broadway cast, as most young theater nerds in Calgary were before YouTube, but the musical had a huge impact on me. And now, while the show is a bit blasé and a bit cliché and a bit problematic in its own right, Coates reminds us just how culturally impactful the show was, and remains.
Alex French and Maximillian Potter, ‘Nobody Is Going to Believe You’ (The Atlantic) - This harrowing story is the result of a 12 months-long investigation into the alleged sexual crimes of an immensely successful Hollywood director whose film he was fired from—Bohemian Rhapsody, which I loved—is now making the Oscar rounds. And like so much in the age of #MeToo, it not only asks us to confront our love of art made by (alleged) assailants, it reminds us that young men are also victims of predatory men in positions of power. Also, this story had originally been cultivated at Esquire (both authors are editors-at-large there,) so there’s an added layer of intrigue over the fact the piece was (allegedly) killed by Hearst executives, even after passing the editing and legal gauntlets of that magazine.
And finally, are you watching Brooklyn Nine Nine? You should. And you should start from the beginning, but skip the first five episodes because it takes some time to find its groove. It’s my favorite show on television, and what I return to when I’m stressed or need a reminder that there can be humor that doesn’t rely on the debasement of others.
I really really really really really really like you. Be kind to each other, and yourselves.