All posts filed under: Culture

Watch Abha Dawesar’s TED Talk: “Life in the ‘Digital Now'”

I don’t often watch or listen to TED Talks, but when I happen across one while endlessly scrolling online or listening to NPR – like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “We Should All Be Feminists” – they always seem to emerge at the perfect time in my life. And I love novelist Abha Dawesar’s “Life in the ‘Digital Now,’” not only because she’s brilliant and speaks to so much about our digital lives that I’ve been trying to grasp, but her talk came into my life at the exact moment I needed it. I’m currently taking an entertainment business class at USC about digital technology and the entertainment industry. For the most part I thoroughly enjoy the course, but I wasn’t prepared for all of the focus on futurism and our likely destinies as tech-obsessed individuals and societies. Taking this class has made me realize that talk of a hyper-technological reality is personally anxiety inducing. And visions of a world filled with AR, VR, and AI are absolutely terrifying. I may be typing this blog post using WordPress on my laptop, and I …

Fun with Vinyl

My boyfriend and I, after years of wanting one, finally invested in a record player. Call us hipsters if you want, but I reject the characterization. Records are fun and beautiful. Rummaging is an adventure. Listening is an experience. Not only do vinyl records produce a spectacular sound, but they require an active listener. The Spotify experience, for example, is wildly different. I can just put on an artist, algorithmically driven radio station, or expertly curated playlist and listen passively for hours. But with records you’re constantly flipping sides, changing speeds, and pulling the disks out of their sleeves and slipping them back in again. You’re picking dust off the stylus, or wiping smudges from the vinyl grooves. This interaction with the physicality of the record itself is also something I appreciate about vinyl: that it’s tangible. I can hold an album in my hands and examine its cover or the dips that circle its surface. I have to move each record from one spot to another with delicate precision. I clean them often. To actually hold onto the medium from which my music …

Positive Change as an Individual

In these socially and politically tumultuous times, I think it’s important to reflect on what we can do as individuals to contribute to the greater good. While significant change is enacted by policy-making, progress within one’s lifestyle and personal relationship to society as a whole is also essential in creating change. Below is a work-in-progress list of ways I think an individual can create positive change. While I’m sharing this on Catch-all, it’s also a personal reminder of the many ways I can use my individual power for good. This list will always be evolving, so please comment below with any suggestions you may have. Ask more questions! Think critically, engage with new ideas, listen to your peers, confront your own problematic assumptions, and always look beyond the surface level Cultivate a community of friends and family who hold you accountable for your actions and words Support businesses owned by immigrants, women, people of color, members of the LGBT community, etc. Support the work of diverse journalists, artists, authors, and filmmakers, etc. Question the status-quo Avoid fast fashion and …

Resistance Podcasts

Here’s a list of some of the resistance-related podcasts I’ve come across in recent weeks. My favorite so far is BloomCast, by civil rights attorney (and fellow vegan) Lisa Bloom. Please be sure to share any relevant political podcasts that you’ve been listening to in the comment section. BloomCast: The Voice of the Resistance by Lisa Bloom Pod Save America by Crooked Media Trumpcast by Slate The FourFiftyOne by Summer Brennan Can He Do That? by The Washington Post Indivisible by WNYC And for additional resources check out this post, which I’m continuing to update. Keep resisting! ❤

On Nostalgia & the Home in “Fuller House”

Nostalgia-TV has had a recognizable presence in the American televisual landscape for the last decade – from Hawaii Five-O (1968 – 1980, 2010 – present) to Dallas (1978- 1991, 2012 – 2014), and beyond – but in recent years, producers and networks have turned to reboots and revivals more than ever before, as the film industry follows suit. This trend towards remakes and spin-offs seems to reflect an economic model – one that depends on a preexisting audience as an example of profit potential – but nostalgia’s marketability extends beyond those parameters. As a result of revisiting an idealized past, nostalgia-TV relies on capturing the attention of viewers for whom the past is romanticized and may represent a more stable time. In particular, the recent rebooting of popular family and child-oriented 90’s series seems to tap into a specific audience with newfound political and economic power. Netflix’s Fuller House (2016 – present), a reboot of Full House (ABC, 1987 – 1995), offers an example of a series intended to rely on a passive and non-critical …

Watch “Hate Rising” With Jorge Ramos

I first heard about Univision anchor Jorge Ramos’ documentary, Hate Rising, from an interview on NPR that aired in the fall (listen to Jorge Ramos in Hate, Politics, and the Trump Effect, and To Make ‘Hate Rising,’ Jorge Ramos Spent Time with Hate Groups), but didn’t watch the film until after the election. Surely, seeing this documentary following November 8th had a different impact than it would have had if I had watched it earlier, and post-inauguration viewing will again produce a new meaning. In the film, Ramos explores the concerning rise in hate in the U.S., speaking with members of the KKK and the “Alt-Right” (a young, tech savvy version of the KKK), as well as those effected by their deplorable ideologies and actions. While Hate Rising is a particularly difficult documentary to watch, I believe it’s necessary in this current political climate to know exactly what we’re up against. And due to the administration’s recent executive orders on the border wall and immigration ban targeting Muslims, this film is more relevant now than ever. Please watch Hate Rising and share it …

Freedom & Indulgence on the Vegas Strip

Ah, the Las Vegas Strip. You’d think I hate Las Vegas based on my aversion to greed, mass consumption, and gaudiness – but on the contrary, I sort of love it. While the Strip is built on gambling addictions, cheesy simulacrum, and mass amounts of waste (from water fountains to water bottles), there’s a freeness in the four mile stretch of indulgence and exhibitionism that I appreciate and almost relish in. American culture is so go-go-go, earn-earn-earn, that sometimes we collectively lose sight of ourselves. What I believe to be inherently American is this guilt I feel whenever I have the chance to relax. I may have been over worked and exhausted for weeks, but the moment I get to take a break I think of my desire for rest or fun as a flaw. But everyone else is constantly working hard, so why am I tired? Why do I deserve to go do this cool thing? What’s my issue?  Two weeks ago (just one week before the inauguration) I spent two nights in Las Vegas with my boyfriend, celebrating …

PHOTOS: Women’s March Los Angeles

The Women’s March on Washington went global y’all (see: Pictures From Women’s Marches on Every Continent). And the Los Angeles sister march drew over 750,000 protestors – more than 10 times the number expected! Taking to the streets with a diverse community of progressive feminists (from all ages and walks of life) was an experience that meant so much to me. In spite of a dreadful Friday, and past year, the Women’s March served as a beam of light. There I saw hope in the form of thousands and thousands of people who are prepared to resist our frightening and repressive administration. We are the resistance. We will fight oppression and injustice together. In the words of Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan, we’re stronger together. Oh, and love trumps hate! Here are some photos from the LA women’s march. Though they don’t capture the scope of the march or the shared sense of urgency permeating the air, I thought they were worth sharing:

UPDATED: Resistance Resources

With one day left until the inauguration, I wanted to share relevant resources for taking part in resisting this administration and regressive policy development in general. Below are a few online sources that I’ve found useful; please share any additional resources you know of in the comment section below. Michael Skolnik’s MOVEMENT TO OPPOSE TRUMP email newsletter The Indivisible Guide Downloadable action planner from Esther Loopstra Peace & nonviolence resources from Stand Together Against Trump The consumer app Boycott Trump Stay Woke’s Resistance Manual Hillary campaigners Zerlina Maxwell and Jess McIntosh’s newsletter, Signal Boost Feminist community action group Solidarity Sundays DAILY ACTION texts from Laura Moser *ADDITIONAL RESOURCE UPDATE* Women’s March 10 Actions 100 Days Civil Rights lawyer Lisa Bloom’s podcast, BloomCast: The Voice of the Resistance The Resistance Calendar

Resistance Reading List

Ready to resist the new administration and the damage and cultural effects this campaign and election have had, and will continue to have, on the U.S. and our world? Here are a few books I’m planning on reading or re-reading in order to become the most prepared and well educated resistor I can be. Please be sure to share any additional recommendations in the comment section below. A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X and Alex Haley 1984 by George Orwell A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism by Phyllis Goldstein We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie No One Is Illegal: Fighting Racism and State Violence on the U.S. – Mexico Border by Justin Akers Chacón and Mike Davis The United States of Fear by Tom Engelhardt One World Now: The Ethics of Globalization by Peter Singer The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead Subterranean Fire: A History of Working Class Radicalism in the United States by Sharon Smith Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian …