Products, Reading

Dept. of Endorsements #2

Why do we have blood types? More than a hundred years after the discovery of blood types we still don’t really know why they exist.   – Pacific Standard 
Dr. Cornel West  on Obama’s false progressivism:  “He posed as a progressive and turned out to be counterfeit. We ended up with a Wall Street presidency, a drone presidency, a national security presidency. The torturers go free. The Wall Street executives go free. The war crimes in the Middle East, especially now in Gaza, the war criminals go free. And yet, you know, he acted as if he was both a progressive and as if he was concerned about the issues of serious injustice and inequality and it turned out that he’s just another neoliberal centrist with a smile and with a nice rhetorical flair.”    – Salon 
Avoiding the breast cancer “warrior” trap, or why we should stop talking about kicking cancer’s butt. – New York Magazine
“Short Term 12” –  I barely heard about Short Term 12 when it came out, and I cannot believe I missed it.  It’s genuinely one of my favorite movies I’ve seen in the last few years. Brie Larson plays Grace, a young woman who works at a shelter for kids and teens who are caught somewhere between a dangerous home and foster care. Everybody is waiting on paperwork, on a trial, on a foster placement.  Grace does everything she can for the kids, all while dealing with (or not dealing with) her own past. Short Term 12 goes to some really dark places but manages to be filled with hope and humanity–while sidestepping anything remotely trite. It’s both sadder and funnier than I’m managing to convey. (Now streaming on Netflix.)

“A Most Wanted Man” – Next time we have a rainy weekend afternoon, go see this. It’s a slow, intense spy flick. It’s about old fashioned spy craft and even older fashioned betrayal; nary a car chase or even a firearm for most of the film. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is terrific, as usual, and all the more devastating because we’ll never see his “as usual” again. Fair warning, if you’re not feeling great about America in general lately (see also: my first longread pick), this movie is not gonna cheer you up, fictional as it may be. My only complaint is my usual pet peeve, that all the German characters speak to each other in English with a German accent.  (Like, just speak normally, your character wouldn’t really be speaking English anyway!)  Hoffman makes it work, Rachel McAdams occasionally sounds like Daenerys Targaryen. 
I have been having horrible foot issues for a few weeks–stabbing pain in my arch that at one point was so bad I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk on the way to brunch and cried real tears for a sec–and it got bad enough that I bought the first pair of Birkenstocks I have owned since freshman year of college. And oh baby was it money well spent. I got these; they make my feet look stunningly gigantic but I don’t care because my feet are so happy. So far I have not purchased any Eileen Fisher palazzo pants to go with them but will report back. 

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