Just a list of recs again. I’m a little wary (and weary) of email and posted last week’s rather than send it out. Good reads there, too.
I had a dream last night that started with searching for engagement rings in a hardware store, then morphed into hooking up with a colleague I don’t find attractive as a political hero of mine looked on, and ended with a personal message from Dante, who considered himself a servant to the Italian language:
“Actors are servants to their characters. Writers are servants to their scripts. Admins, directors, producers are servants to all.”
He told me to make that my email signature, but I’ll settle for sharing it here.
When this lockdown is over, know your worth and take no shit. We all need each other at our most powerful.
“Death of a Revolutionary,” by Susan Faludi. Published in 2013, a brilliant posthumous portrait of artist, feminist and all-around visionary Shulamith Firestone, as well as a cautionary tale about the left’s penchant for internecine trashing (70s lingo for objectifying, canceling, shit-posting. See this, too, from the same year.) Time to trade in egoic blame games for the harder work of economic revolution.
“Coronavirus: Why some racial groups are more vulnerable,” by Christine Ro. An important look from the BBC at some of the discriminatory practices and material injustices that create unacceptable health outcomes for people of color. British context aside, this report provides a foothold into an overwhelming and urgent matrix of issues.
“Essential Now, Deportable Later,” by Felipe De La Hoz. On the precarity and exploitation of undocumented farmworkers, and the glaring hypocrisies of US immigration policy.
(I’m a fan of The Baffler; consider starting with their free newsletter. The acerbic polemical writing might annoy you at first, but overall it’s a unique, powerhouse publication and a taste worth acquiring.)
“Nearly Two Thirds of Artists in the United States Have Lost Their Livelihoods as a Result of the Coronavirus, a New Survey Says,” by Taylor Dafoe. A brief but cogent articulation of artists’ economic precarity in the US, and a clear call for “longer-term recovery that is not about artists, but about labor rights.”
All arts institutions that claim to care about artists, diversity and new work must absolutely align themselves with this end. Otherwise, the arts remain a playground for the rich and lucky.
Consider keeping an eye out for this kind of economic research and sharing it with everyone you can, including the big personalities and pocketbooks at the top. What do you have to lose besides the respect of people who—if they should brush you off—don’t deserve your attention?
Rachel Lin’s Upstage Left: my favorite arts podcast, hosted by one of the best and sharpest actor-writers I know.
Hope you and the folks close to your heart are doing well. I just learned Dolly Parton wrote “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” on the same day.