Culture Break: 08/18

The fourth installment in an ongoing series on the cultural things that break through the noise and touch the soul.

In the Dark
PODCAST — For true crime and podcast lovers, these two series from American Public Media are a gut punch. Whenever I watch or listen to something like this I always end up thinking just don’t ever, ever, ever get caught up in the American justice system because you never know! There’s too much room for error and too many players who operate without checks and balances. Sheriff, District Attorney, investigators, whomever.

The Wilderness
PODCAST — For several reasons, I’m a Democrat. I’m way more progressive than the typical Democrat. Some might say I’m a socialist, and I’m more than okay with that. I’d like to see the party go left in the upcoming years because I think that’s the best way for the country to move forward. But before we can move forward, where exactly are we? How did we get here? And where are the places we could go? If you’re curious, listen up.

Sharp Objects
TV SHOW — A murder mystery of the finest order. Moody, glitchy, confusing. Set against the backdrop of an unhealthy small town in southern Missouri, a reporter tries her best to tell the story she sees and help solve the crime. Amy Adams is a force. And the soundtrack is stellar. 

How to Understand the Obvious
ARTICLE — On the quest for truth, how do we understand our blind spots? This article on pre- and post-understanding and what happens when a truth shakes you to your core is a great read. How do we not only find truth but wisdom? 

TV SHOW — We’re bad at stopping to really ask the basic questions.  This show helps. A wonderfully executed punchy delivery of very important topics. The Racial Wealth Gap, Cryptocurrency, The Stock Market, and Weed. And things I didn’t really think I’d be all that into, like K-Pop and Cricket. You have 18ish minutes right? Then go watch one.  

APP — Find happiness by contemplating your mortality. Daily. If you think about your death five times a day, according to a Bhutanese folk saying, you will be a happy person. Give this app a try, see what happens.

Michelle Wolf, Nice Lady
COMEDY — It cuts through BS niceties. That’s for sure. And for the record, I don’t understand scrotums either. The ending has quite possibly the best text exchange I’ve ever heard.

Maha Music Festival
CONCERT — The best way to end the summer. From the harmonies of TV on the Radio to the resistance music of Hurray for the Riff Raff on day 1, the catchy pop songs of a ferocious Weezer set to the warm glow of Father John Misty and hypnotic melodies of US Girls on day 2, the Maha Music Festival is Omaha at its best. Lots of friendly faces, amazing live sets under blue sky, and a night air cool breeze, these are the reasons I keep coming back. You should come next year. It’ll be awesome.

FILM — Damn. This film, so good. Really into it. The story is really compelling and the Spike Lee touches are quite powerful. The real world bookends of racism and fear help frame in this very specific tale. Yes, this account and its characters make for quite the storyline, but it doesn’t exist in isolation. And the juxtaposition of how the black student union arrives at a unified chant of “Black Power” alongside the KKK’s assertion of “White Power” brings the similar exclamations together close enough to understand, on a gut level, what makes them so different.