Pop Culture Update

Yet another perk of summer vacation is the freedom to read and watch pretty much anything I want. I have really been enjoying my time at home this week, reading, watching various shows/films, listening to NPR and music, and clicking around the net. My recommendations:

I highly recommend one of Jon Krakauer's older books, Into Thin Air. It tells the true story of a young college graduate who abandons his affluent lifestyle to wander the country with little but the clothes on his back. He eventually makes his way to Alaska, where he starves to death in the wilderness (that ain't no spoiler, it's on the front cover of the book). Krakauer juxtaposes this story with stories of others disillusioned by the structure of conventional society seeking refuge in the wilderness and poses the question of were these people mentally disturbed, or just sick of it all? Quick read, too.

I'm current still struggling through The Dialectic of Freedom by Maxine Greene, but that shit is blowing my mind. Here's the central idea: our concept of "freedom" is false; we are only truly free if we acknowledge, then take action to change, that which oppresses us within our community. It is more than political freedom--it's beyond that. In other words, we aren't free if we can't identify the bars on the cages (I think that's how Daniel Quinn put it in Ishmael). We don't care about freedom of speech if we don't really have anything to say. I will get into it more in depth but I'm still trying to wrap my head around it before I go to Minneapolis next week.

Other than that, I also read Ann Patchett's The Patron Saint of Liars, which was great, re-read Bill Bryson's A Walk In The Woods, and A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki. All worth reading.

We recently bought a few CD's for the trip back from the AT. Of course, Ryan Adams' latest, Easy Tiger was one of the select. I am not ashamed of my love for Adams. His new CD, on first listen, sounds like a hodgepodge of Jacksonville City Nights, 29, and Cold Roses, but it has grown on me (which is what usually happens with his CDs). Also digging the newest Rufus Wainwright
and some Grace Potter and the Nocturnals.

Yes, we saw Sicko. Other awesomeness of note , on DVD, includes C.S.A: The Confederate States of America, which is a mockumentary of the history of the "former" U.S. had the Confederacy won the Civil War. We also saw Hannibal Rising , which was okay, and are currently working our way through the third and final season of HBO's Deadwood. If you are looking to find a new DVD addiction, I cannot express how much I loved watching the entire series of Six Feet Under. I've never been so affected by a television show, never grown so attached to a group of characters, and never seen a more satisfying series finale.

1 comment:

Susan said...

So they finished filming "Into Thin Air" here in Copper Center last year and Sean Penn (director) went to the Ahtna Community Meeting, introduced himself and then offered to buy everyone a beer (That's nice Sean. Enter a community with a huge drinking problem and buy them beer.) So of course the whole town goes over to the local bar and then Sean never shows up. FYI- The Indians here hate Steven Segal. He filmed a movie in Valdez and imported Japanese to play Alaskan Natives.