Grushenka's onion, scary ideas, sorcery, in the bleak midwinter, boundless books, and more
Seven links to worthwhile thin(g/k)s
Hello dear reader,
Happy weekend to you! I am heading to Santa Barbara soon for a change of scenery and am taking along with me an audiobook (Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows) and an e-book (recommendations welcome). Follow along on Instagram Stories; better yet, take this as a reminder to explore your surroundings and nature if at all possible this weekend. Hope you get to supplement the weekend with interesting reads and musings.
And now, here are seven links to bits of the world I have been exploring this week, shared with the hope that you will find them to be an inspiring springboard for deeper thinking.
If you’d like to hear my voice in the realm of podcasting, here I am in launch-mode for Boundless Books. If you’d prefer to use Spotify and subscribe to my Podcast series, click here. I’ve launched this podcast as a (slightly less daunting) stepping stone to YouTube and as a vocal hello to you — friend or stranger — in case you are in need of a friendly voice and would like to explore with me books, the human condition, and the world within us and around us. If time allows, please drop a comment letting me know what you think!
Grushenka’s onion from Brothers Karamazov
A small roundup of newsletters I’ve found soothing and uplifting in their ardor for the human spirit:
Jeffrey Puukka’s substack, Thought Bubbles, musings of a daydreaming acting teacher, theatre director, and dear friend.
Tanner Greer’s Scholar’s Stage
Vashik Armenikus’s newsletter, Artidote, on timeless ideas
*If you have any newsletters you’d like to suggest, please do so in the Comments box or by emailing me.
Listening: Can we talk about scary ideas? A new episode from Sam Harris discussing the ethics of dangerous ideas with guests Peter Singer (professor of bioethics at Princeton University), Francesca Minerva (research fellow at the University of Milan), and Jeff McMahan (professor of Moral Philosophy at Oxford University). A companion to this podcast episode might be the exploration of the Journal of Controversial Ideas, a “first open access, peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal specifically created [by Minerva, McMahan, and Singer] to promote free inquiry on controversial topics.”
Magic, explanations, and evil: the origins and design of witches and sorcerers
In the bleak midwinter: Rest in peace, Helen McCrory. Just yesterday, I was watching Helen’s powerful performance in Peaky Blinders, specifically the scene where she rips apart her portrait, and I recall catching myself in awe of her talented, underrated and overall charismatic acting.
So long, ArcLight: It was announced this week that ArcLight and Pacific Theaters were permanently shutting their doors and sinking due to the pandemic. Some note it may be a negotiation tactic, and that there’ll be a reopening. Even so, it now serves as an emblem of a bygone time. The ArcLight was a special place to me. It’s where I cultivated my love for films, and one of my earliest childhood memories of watching a film on the big screens was when I third-wheeled my parents’ movie date at the ArcLight in Sherman Oaks. They were showing Count of Monte Cristo, and when the kissing scene by the beach popped up, my goodness, I dug into ArcLight’s seats out of embarrassment. It’s also where I spent hours marveling at the grandiose imaginative nature of film, and its simultaneous real-world relatability. It’s where I watched and fell in love with Chris Nolan films for the first time, as I now hazily recall the striking feeling of stepping out into the open fresh-air of the galleria having just finished watching a film, and still carrying with me the sensation that I was immersed in the film’s world, not mine. Here’s James Flynn, on the ArcLight’s significance:
The ArcLight and the Cinerama Dome were a centralized location in a decentralized city. There was a bar and restaurant, a large lobby, and a plaza outside where so many pre- and post-show conversations occurred. The theater acted as a meeting place, as well as a setting that naturally fostered chance encounters with friends, co-workers and acquaintances.
This was a shared space that helped create memories for many people and those they loved. Because the ArcLight and the Dome treated movies, the great modern art form, with the reverence they deserved, and did it in the heart of Hollywood, where movies still matter.
And now it's gone.
Until next week, lovelies!