SECTIONAL HEALING: 11/3
This newsletter asks you to not leave so soon...
When I realized it was November this week, I was all like, “NOVEMBER, let’s goooo!!”
But then I remembered, the passage of time doesn’t mean anything anymore.
For example, are we closer to Thanksgiving? YES.
Is that good? NOT SURE.
What about Christmas? I dunno, I mean it IS Christmas.
But what if our consumerism is stuck in the shipping containers from The Wire Season 2?1
Then how do we do Christmas? With our words? With homemade gifts? Like the pioneers did it? GROSS. Unsubscribe etc etc.
Forget all that though because the question I wanted to bring to you today is this: Why does the current movie landscape hate us?
I just watched a trailer for Jared Leto’s new off-brand Dracula-meets-Techno Gatsby-meets-uninspired Batman movie that reason dictates I should link to here BUT I AM NOT GOING TO DO THAT, because I respect all of you too much. Google and watch it only if you hate yourself or just need a gateway to some light masochistic behavior.
Suffice it to say the summation of the movie is this:
(Insert Movie trailer voice)“Jared Leto is a SEXY. But he is also a SICKLY. Medical hi-jinx ensue when he transforms into a vampy boi who also kind of has Grinch / Cat In The Hat Face but with mendacious teeth. COMING SOON.”
Here’s one of the write-ups I found about the trailer:
Omg did you just say THREE different Marvel continuities?? Like, as in the mathematical concept of the number 3? (fans self) I didn’t know press releases could be EROTIC, but yet here we are watching this trailer and reading this write up and all of our cinematic libidos are on FIRE because of our horniness for comic book continuities. Am I pregnant now??
The submergence of Western Civilization is already under way, but artistic evolutions like these are contributors to the process because it’s the mad libs-ification of mediums that ideally exist to challenge us.
However, we’re watching in real time as the movie industry devolves into a hollow calculus:
Provocative actor + unmined IP x cutting edge CGI / corporate synergy = PROFITS. And as shareholder prices rise, we contrast this with the subtle erosion of movie-goer tastes and their capacity for challenging artistic expectations.
The endgame here is that in 2032, Muddy Puddles: The GRITTY Origins of Peppa Pig starring Saoirse Ronan (Peppa) and the hologram of Philip Seymour Hoffman (Daddy Pig) will sweep the Oscars. BUT AT WHAT COST?
Why are we stuck in this hellscaped culture oeuvre that prioritizes the cyclical regurgitation of mediocre content? The same reason why I rewatch multiple Sportscenters or why I hate-watched the first 20 minutes of Live! With Kelly and Ryan!2 recently.
(Sidebar: I honestly don’t know who hated it more: me, Kelly Ripa, or the sparse audience populated only by paid employees of the show. The one thing I do know is that Live! With!! Kelly!!! and Ryan!!!!!! HAS to do well with the serial killer demographic because every morning you get to see the light go out in Kelly’s eyes.)
It’s because we prefer the entrenched devil3 we know over anything new. New content, contexts, premises, ideas, hosts…it’s too much. And it’s not actually too much, but our capacity to process new things has been devastated so to tap into that dwindling reserve of ability to endure the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual maelstrom of reconsideration and upheaval is just a bridge too far for most of us.
It’s why we still tolerate aspects of the SBC even though they are wholly apathetic towards victims of sexual assault, we tolerate the Catholic church even though they’ve molested generations of our children, we tolerate the politicization of every aspect of our lives, we tolerate social media and cable news radicalizing and polarizing us, we tolerate the hating of people who don’t look like us / think like us/ love like us and we tolerate Marvel making a retread Batman-meets-Dracula Zaddy movie that contains not one, not two, but (almost achieves tantric nirvana) THREE continuities.
Because it’s just easier that way. And because of this, we will get the future we deserve, probably STARRING Jared Leto.
This read, The Afterlife of Rachel Held Evans, is a mandatory read if you’ve ever intersected with her writing. I came to RHE late and she was weighted blanket of sorts for people who have faith but also questions. I can’t wait to read her posthumous memoir.
I enjoyed this profile of Will Ferrell because it seemed like a guy who is pretty chill, pretty simple, and doesn’t want to do stuff just because he can or should.
This map revealing, in detail, the most cancer causing industrial air pollution in the US is both horrifying and breath-taking. Worth a look to see if you or someone you love are in the exposure hot spots.
This read about a guy who figured out how to only spend $150 a year on food by eating only at Six Flags is at once hilarious, depressing, and a metaphor.
Hold onto your butts because you are not going to BELIEVE this one: as it turns out, Liberty University, a place that was founded by a man who campaigned against Civil Rights, Martin Luther King Jr. AND desegregation AND THEN LATER, while being presided over by the son of its racist founder, we found out said offspring, when he wasn’t tweeting racist images, was encouraging his wife to practice a very laissez faire version of sexual monogamy with a 21-year old pool boy…IN A PLOT TWIST THAT WE ALL SAW COMING, evidently Liberty hasn’t traditionally been very interested in the sexual assaulting of its own students. Weird right?
As you saw in read #3, BIG MAP GUY, yaboi here. This one about the highest paid profession in each state was endlessly fascinating. Didn’t see any states with podcasting though. YET.
GOOD DOG SECTION
Does anyone get this joke?
I don’t know where all the exclamation points go in the official name, but I know there are a few and I just don’t care enough to look tbh
pun intended KIND OF