I’ve struggled with what to say/think in the wake of yet another horrific mass shooting, referring, of course, to the events that unfolded Sunday night in Las Vegas. I’m sure I’m not alone in my growing frustration with the vacuous choruses of “thoughts and prayers” that seem to ripple through social media. While it’s useful on some level to participate in the collective mourning, “thoughts and prayers” really only beget more “thoughts and prayers,” or maybe worse just a crying/angry emoticon. Fortunately I am not the only one to experience this burgeoning awareness; as I was sitting here pecking this out, my phone burped a news alert at me from Slate with the headline “Guns vs. Thoughts and Prayers.”
Okay, I don’t know if it was a race thing or a lady thing, but I’m mad as hell.
(Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan in the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters)
Well, Patty, I don’t either, though I’d probably say I’m more disappointed than mad after watching the female studded remake of Ghostbusters. I didn’t have high expectations, aside from enjoying a silly remake of one of my favorite childhood movies, though I suppose I thought I’d laugh at the comedic talents of Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig, as I am prone to do. While I can’t say they weren’t funny, as there were some really good laughable moments in the beginning of the movie, I’d probably have to say they were working really hard with a sub par script that seemed to want to keep the four main characters on the flighty side of comedy. At the end of the movie I said something along the lines of “Well, that was kind of stupid and I’m not even really sure what happened.”
This is a true story, and I’m outing myself for the greater good. Facebook heard me fart.
I have long suspected that Facebook’s advertising was intrusive, going beyond the usual Internet goings-on of search histories, and products perused. I mean, I’ve long acquiesced to the idea of cookies and re-targeting, but lately I’d started to notice that ads were popping up on my phone for things I had only talked about. I chalked it up to coincidence. Maybe it was just a fluke that I had talked about sore muscles after a run and seen an ad for a foam roller. My Facebook page likes alone would have outed me as a running crazy long ago. But then the ads seemed to get a little too targeted for comfort, until finally the writing was literally on my wall.
Last weekend, Mr. Brain and I went to see The King Lear Project, a “new” world premiere of King Lear presented in its original pronunciation. I managed to make it through reading the first three acts of the play before making it to the performance, vowing to go into it with some basic understanding of its plot just in case the language made it more difficult to follow. As it turns out, the original pronunciation wasn’t so strange sounding. Mostly I felt like I was listening to an Irish production, with a little more oomph than you might want conversationally; I noticed genuine spit sprays coming from actors’ mouths and was happy to be safely nested a few rows back.
This morning, I was treated to the above image on Twitter, which sparked equal amounts of laughter, curiosity, and social criticism. Edith-Anne, you are now officially my patron saint.
I started pondering courtship, historically, as in this showcase of marriageable skill, and my own experiences and confusions about courtship, romantic love, and marriage. This has proven to be quite a lot of heavy lifting for me on this rainy, cold Monday morning, though I suppose this is ideal weather for sitting and pondering.