Culture near and far

My dad’s been visiting me these past few days, and with him comes the opportunity to disconnect from work and writing and just be a magpie again — we went to the De Young Museum for the Turner exhibit, went on a walk of SF themed around Victorian homes, went to The Long Now’s Interval bar/cafe, which is the hands down coolest place to hang in all of SF, walked all over the USS Hornet, and went out to see Rhonda Benin at the Sound Room in downtown Oakland.

And also watched Nightcrawler, Whiplash, and the Nina Simone documentary on Netflix, all of which were really good in very different ways. (I have additional thoughts about Whiplash, but they’re not cogent enough to share yet.) ((PS: my dad’s into jazz, if you’re sensing a theme.))

And then-then, I read this month’s The Wicked and The Divine. (Here come spoilers!)

I came into comic-books secondhand, thru my husband reading them, and since I’m not a true believer I’m oftentimes frustrated by the medium. The art’s nice n’ all, but where’s the meat? The stories oftentimes don’t feel as fleshed out as I’d like them to be. And just when things feel like they’re ramping up, they get cut off.

So the Wicked and the Divine is the only comic book I’m making an effort to keep up with, because I love the premise — that every generation a group of people are turned into the incarnations of literal gods, and they’ll all be dead within two years.

And this month’s Wicdiv blew me away. It was one of the most feminist things I’ve read recently. Because the people in the comic are actual gods, one of the characters deals with the madonna/whore dichotomy plus fame plus social media intimately. It was glorious. Especially when you realize later that the entire comic was essentially a suicide note and you realize what you’re seeing is what she was seeing on her screens, right before she chose to die.

It was fantastic, just really well done, the best visual of bullying and the internet for women that I have ever seen.  I would recommend it to anyone wholeheartedly.

Anyhow — I’m off in a bit to go to another jazz thing in Jack London Square with my dad and then take him to the airport — and then to recuperate and hopefully put the book I’m working on currently to bed.

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