Link Party: 4/18-4/22

A photo from last night's Arcs concert. It was one of the best shows I've ever been to.
A photo from last night’s Arcs concert — one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. 

Here’s what I read this week:

1. Earning the “woke” badge.

2. The social media cabals that run the Internet.

3. The Coachella way of life.

4. How rich was Shakespeare?

5. Finding “lost” civilizations.

And a bonus: Starting at 3:28, Prince’s incredible guitar solo in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at the 2004 tribute to George Harrison. Also, this tweet.

Link Party: 10/5-10/9

I keep finding little spray-painted phrases and pictures around Santa Monica. Love the concept. Here's one featuring my feet and a stick.
I keep finding little spray-painted phrases and pictures around Santa Monica. Love the concept. Here’s one featuring my feet and a stick.

Here’s what I read this week:

1. The secret to great driving songs.

2. This story about a New England magazine that has managed to stay in business for 80 years makes me believe in the future of journalism.

3. After reading about it and how it’ll stream Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest movie, I think I’m going to have to take a closer look at MUBI.

4. In light of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s decision to modernize the plays, here’s the history of changing Shakespeare’s language.

5. After reading about Sloane Crosley’s “The Clasp,” I’m excited to get my hands on it.

And two bonuses: Two monks invent religious iconography. Mallory Ortberg is a national treasure. This week I’ve also been listening to You Must Remember This, a podcast about the forgotten or secret stories of Hollywood. Specifically, I’ve been listening to the 12-part series about Charles Manson’s Hollywood. It is incredible.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Link Party: 3/23-3/27

This beach, you guys. This beach.
This beach, you guys. This beach.

Here’s what I read this week:

1. This really interesting comparison between evil soliloquies in Shakespeare and Robert Durst’s hot mic.

2. If you’ve ever been curious about how shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart get specific sound bites from news broadcasts and stuff like that, this is how they do it.

3. Ephemera on Instagram. (For the record, I love this kind of Instagram account.)

4. This guy tried to use a 56k modem for a week and found it to be nearly impossible.

5. I want to be a Pollock restorer.

And a bonus: Someone took a new Kendrick Lamar song and layered it over the Seinfeld theme song and it is perfect and you should listen.

Have a great weekend!

Monday Musings: Julius Caesar

Every summer, the festival picks a different play to perform. It's pretty rad.
Every summer, the festival picks a different play to perform. It’s pretty rad.

I caught the second-to-last performance of Southern California Shakespeare Festival‘s Julius Caesar on Saturday. This production was not my favorite of all time, but the casting and the acting were fantastic. It was completely modernized —  a woman (my former film professor, actually) played Caesar, and it took the David Fincher-esque thriller route over the toga and Greco-Roman architecture one. There were a few bizarre moments in the play, like Caesar dying three times and narration from the soothsayer that isn’t in the text, but overall I really enjoyed the performance.

I’ve taken four classes with a really great literature professor whose speciality is Shakespeare. In the second class of my undergraduate career, he asked me and the rest of my composition class a very simple, but important question that has consequentially shaped how I think about the world. If X is a thing — and you can fill X in with just about anything — what does X do?

Taking a step back, thinking about the function of something, and being able to cultivate a better understanding of how that thing shapes our perception is a powerful learning experience.

All I could think about through the entire production was the “What does X do?” question.  I’ve read Julius Caesar twice, so I’m fairly familiar with the text. With every syllable and movement, I was analyzing performance choices and spatial relationships and figuring out how those two concepts were affecting my view of the play. It’s one thing to read Shakespeare, but to experience it while it’s being performed in front of you with this mindset is incredibly special.

While musing about my weekend this morning, I decided that my new bucket list entry is to see as many Shakespearian plays as possible. I’ve already seen Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the ShrewThe Tempest, and now Julius Caesar, so I’m already off to a great start.

Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, more or less.
Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, more or less.

Did you muse about anything today? Let me know in the comments.