Hello! Happy November, world. I’ve been writing my millennial underground this story for #NaNoWriMo, and, in classic National Novel Writing Month form, I’m behind. But if you keep visiting amysuto.com/underground, you’ll find new chapters added. I don’t have an outline or anything, I’m just writing it every day and seeing what happens. You’ll find cameos of singer/songwriters out here as well as mixed media storytelling. It’s been super fun to write, and I hope you enjoy my caffeine-addled rough drafts.
But a huge part of the writing process is not just output, but input. What are you reading? Experiencing? Absorbing? I wanted to also capture that and share some of the interesting things I’m checking out in case you want to do the same.
So, this is my new series, Weekend Read, where I do a roundup of some of my favorite watches, reads, and memes so you know what to spend your weekend checking out.
This series is inspired by my time as an assistant where we all had to diligently watch and read things over the weekend and then present them to the company and/or our bosses. Except here on this blog, there are no rules and I can just say “I lIkEd ThIs BeCaUsE iT wAs GoOd OkAy???” and that holds up in the metaphorical court of my own opinion.
Blogging is great. Long live blogs.
Ronan Farrow’s Catch & Kill
I say this completely unironically: Ronan Farrow is my hero.
His reporting on Weinstein helped to not only take down a predator, but it also empowered a generation of women to stand up for ourselves in our lives and workplaces. He gave a platform to the brave survivors who put everything on the line to speak out. These stories also started a domino effect of the #MeToo movement, and is making workplaces safer for everyone.
What’s bonkers, though, is the incredible uphill battle Farrow went through to get this published. From Black Cube operatives that had been former Mossad, to being followed and his phone being tracked, to getting shut down by NBC because of what was going on within their walls — it’s a miracle this story came out at all. It’s also a testament to all the reporters who came before Farrow who helped to build the foundation he would draw from when putting this story together.
This book reads like a spy thriller, with page-turning twists, but has incredibly poignant moments of heart. A great piece of investigative reporting and also a look into what it’s like to chase that white whale of the story that sets off everything else.
A must-read, even if you think you knew everything about the Weinstein case. It’s also a reminder why we must continue to support women in the workplace.
Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime
I know I know I KNOW I’m way behind on reading Trevor Noah’s autobiography, Born a Crime. Don’t @ me. Or do, but do it on Twitter where all reasonable, scholarly discourse takes place.
As someone who ghostwrites memoirs, I love reading a good memoir. This was on my list for a long time and I finally got to it and it really is THAT GOOD.
First, you have to listen to the audiobook narrated by Noah himself. It’s really great.
His book follows what it was like to grow up in apartheid in South Africa, and examines issues like race, class, and family in ways that are deftly funny. His anecdotes are a joy to listen to and also will have you re-examining your own beliefs.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but this is both a thoughtful and feel-good read, so put it on when you’re stuck in traffic and need a reason to smile.
This article is a tough one to read, but it’s important: it tackles something I’ve been talking about with my peers lately.
When we come out here, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with our dreams and our thirst to learn and experience, we never think that failure is an option. We never think that we could lose it all.
This story dives into the sad truth of Los Angeles:
“[Christopher Dennis] had been the star of a 2007 documentary, “Confessions of a Superhero.” I just watched it again this week for the first time since it came out and felt the poignancy of the opening line, from Dennis: “Hollywood is a place where dreams are made and dreams are broken.”
For every story of a star that is born, there’s a story of a star that dies, stamped out by the rising rents, by a string of bad luck, by a lack of support — but not a lack of trying or even sometimes a lack of talent or kindness.
One of the ongoing discussions I’ve been having with friends is this concept of: how do we holistically foster talent in this city in a way that allows everyone to have a fair shot? Is this even possible? How can we make a more humane city?
We don’t know, but we’re asking these questions anyways.
If you don’t cry to Cold War Kid’s newest song “BEYOND THE PALE” I don’t think we can be friends.
Regardless of the way you express emotions, you should check out Cold War Kids’ new album, New Age Norms 1. It’s the first in a trilogy of albums, which is the only trilogy I will ever stand for here on my blog.
I’ve always been a fan of Cold War Kids and their ability to make music that can be driving and sexy and chaotic (So Tied Up, Dirt in My Eyes, Hang Me Up to Dry) while also being deeply tragic and messy (Beyond the Pale, Can We Hang On ?, Hospital Beds, We Used to Vacation).
My favorite stanza from Beyond the Pale:
In the dark
And you’re lighting me up
With a spark
And I said too many secrets
Now I’m lost
But I don’t wanna fall for you
‘Cause I’ve already got somebody
Other Things I Like on the Internet
TikTok is a beautiful and pure place sometimes that really makes use of the setup/punchline simplicity of jokes.
There is still good in the world and it’s on tiktok https://t.co/4bepDMUWxa— Amy Suto (@AmyMSuto) November 12, 2019
I’m dying twitter is doing great today ✌️ https://t.co/9O5c4R1Ebt— Amy Suto (@AmyMSuto) November 11, 2019
But also sometimes I just like things that really don’t make any sense or don’t have any explanation, like:
the whisper gets me every time lmfao pic.twitter.com/zxxfcdBoFQ— 🎄 (@mattwhitlockPM) November 7, 2019
I PROMISE YOU that you can’t guess what happens next in this one:
This is how McDonald’s makes their Sprite.— Leon Langford (@MasonLLL) November 15, 2019
Parting Words for the Weekend
“Trauma is not your fault, but healing is your responsibility.” -Thought Catalog, probably.
But on a more serious note, I’ve been thinking more about what it means to heal from past trauma or challenges, and how it’s our job to tend to our own mental health for the sake of those around us as well as for our own futures.
When things are hard, we need to talk about it. To friends, therapists, family — preferably not social media, but you do you. If the way you work through hardship is to string together elaborate memes or make the world’s most complex TikTok, go for it and be sure to tag me.
I’m lucky I have friends who remind me of this, and consider this blog post your reminder to go and call up someone if you’re going through something. If any of my friends are reading this, you know you can call me anytime if you ever need to talk at all ever (ok readers you’re ALL my friends but I’m addressing those specifically who have my phone number. Everybody else can use the People’s Phone Line, aka Twitter.)
Do what you need for your own sanity this week, okay? The only self-care that matters is the kind that allows you to heal.
Have a great weekend, everybody!