On Not Swimming

First Lap The pools were all closed in the summer of 2020, because of the pandemic. I missed them more than you’d think, if you knew that I forgot to go swimming at all in the summer of 2019 and only swam a couple of times the summer before that. Yet it was July, and […]

Librarian, Read Thyself

“Why would you enter a dying field?” “You need a master’s degree to shelve books?” “Must be nice to sit and read all day.” Such commentary is a rite of passage for librarians, inflicted by everyone from family members to university administrators. Equally often, however, the remarks are effusive: “I LOVE librarians!” “Librarians are superheroes!” […]

Lady Credit and the 2008 Crisis Film

In 2020, with another financial crisis looming on the horizon, the US culture industry has appropriately mythologized the 2008 financial crisis—and the soundtrack slaps. Consider how two films that directly represent the financial crisis, The Big Short (2015) and Hustlers (2019), use their soundtracks to place the audience back in the mindset of 2008. In […]

Wind, Light

If a photograph is like a time capsule, a tribute that one pays in the present to the future, then before you is a capsule within a capsule. Standing, as if on the balcony of a first-floor apartment: a mother, her husband, and their two daughters, presiding over a small gathering. The woman’s eyes are […]

The Sentimental Media Event

…restrained from entering into more important concerns by political and civil oppression, sentiments become events, and reflection deepens what it should, and would have effaced, if the understanding had been allowed to take a wider range. ~ Mary Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Women (1792) “Sentiments become events.” These three words from Mary […]

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