Cloister Commentary, Day 246: Lazing

The day was grey, cold, and rainy, so we did what most smart people would: lazed around, listened to music, and read. We occasionally had to shift around so our cats could realize full comfort.

It was also my parents’ 62nd anniversary, my mom’s first without Dad; we’d have liked to have been there with her, but there was a more urgent reason, unfortunately, for us to stay put. We’d also, too, have liked to celebrate the 3rd (seems like it should be the 4th, Rex) anniversary of the convening of our gaggle of friends known as The Flying Saucer Landing Pad Support Group, but, as we’ve learned to say, we may have to Zoom.

We finished binge-watching Netflix’s Ratched, which you may recall Nicole and I were quite enthusiastic about. Alas, the show could not sustain its subversive excellence for an entire run, ending in a messy, not particularly subtle (or particularly intelligent) manner. At least the performances were worthwhile.

Streaming for Strivers:

All my brain and body needs.

Cloister Commentary, Day 243: Hope There Is Not a Hell

You may have noticed that, per my mild case of Anglophilia, I tend to keep a stiff upper lip. This year has tested that. I’ve lost one of my fondest friends, my dad, a terrific hound, and a rescue cat, all suddenly. Nicole lost her grandma, and was (really) forced back into in-person work in the middle of a pandemic. And we’ve had zero federal or state leadership in the midst of this young century’s biggest challenge. And I’ve seen friends and family act as if it’s all a figment of my imagination; fortunately, my mind’s too strong to even entertain a feeble gaslighting effort, but, on the other hand, I’ve mostly been silent about the outrage I daily feel.

Yesterday was one of those days I just wasn’t able to “buck up.” I’m so tired of this wholly bereft human, unaccountably in a position of power, thrashing around destructively and sowing BS, I’m so disconsolate at formerly reasonable (relatively reasonable?) humans buying into this (bad) medicine show, that I sometimes just wanna step off the planet. I came home from work, chatted with my girl, took a nap, woke up feeling better, ate some of Bangkok Gardens’ delicious food, and basked in the brillliantly executed absurdity and horror of Ratched. Also, martinis helped. But–dammit!–this is no picnic, and I see quite clearly who (individual and group) is responsible. Keep heaping shame upon yourselves, so often while mealy-mouthing your Christian badges. At least I don’t have to twist and try to justify such a position myself. Hope there is not a hell.

Streaming for Strivers after Equity:

Sublime music from a master who believed in community and compassion.

Cloister Commentary, Day 241: A Wilde Series

I just realized that if I converted this to book form it, the book would be 200-plus pages. Unfortunately, number of pages do not correlate with literary excellence.

Yesterday, I completed my participation in a “Best of the Net” longform writing contest. All told, I read almost 40 pieces; most memorable of them were an in-action memoir by a non-binary New York stripper and a “lit-installation” involving a map taped to a Boulder, Colorado street. We simply voted “yes” or “no” for each piece, and I only read seven “yes” essays (or thereabouts). I’d do it again.

Oscar Wilde once opined that when critics are divided about a work of art, the artist has succeeded. That’s flashier than it is true, but Netflix’s Ratched seems to support the great man’s dictum. Nicole and I love its style, audacity, and humor (especially), but we clearly recognized it ain’t for everyone, and after watching an episode last night, I scanned the series’ reviews, which were all over the map. Should you watch it? If a mind-meld of Douglas Sirk, Alfred Hitchcock, and Herschell Gordon Lewis sounds attractive, you should dig in. We’ve only seen the first three episodes, so we aren’t sure if it sustains that vibe.

Streaming for Strivers:

Country-soul voice from Alabama. Many of his 45s graced John and Yoko’s Dakota Hotel jukebox.