Idea Soup is my weekly cultural round-up of my food for thought. These posts will highlight the books, articles, songs, essays, poems, films, and TV that I am consuming. Not meant to be an exhaustive list, but a best-of compilation for the week. Click on the embedded links for more information or to purchase any of the media listed.
This week’s ingredients in my Idea Soup:
A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women by Siri Hustvedt – “Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind.” The collection takes on such varied topics as entrenched sexism, neuroscience, psychiatry, writing, teaching writing, teaching writing to psychiatric patients, pornography, the economy/price structure of art, Robert Mapplethorpe, and gender roles in domesticity. Siri Hustvedt is one of my favorite writers and thinkers, and I enjoy the challenge of following her mind. Her structured arguments feel like elegant fractal somersaults.
Forever – An Amazon original series starring Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen. They play a married couple who seem to have a loving, stable relationship. When everything seems perfect, what could go wrong? The show plays with the ideas of perfection, security, the afterlife, existential angst, and how individuals who sacrifice themselves for a relationship don’t do the relationship any good. The opening sequence of the first episode rivals and pays homage to the opening love story in Up. This show kept me guessing, and I recommend it to people who like Maya Rudolph, existential questions, and The Good Place. 1 series, 8 episodes.
“Now or Never Now” – The fourth track on Metric’s newest album Art of Doubt. After a minute-plus instrumental introduction, the lyrics start with ideas of failure, weakness, and regret but progress to strength, self-confidence, and owning the self that you’ve become from experiencing defeat and artistic frostbite. I appreciate the duality of “now” or “never now”, which I interpret as playing with the idea of present time and the decision to unfreeze, move on, and own your experiences.