How could I be afraid of something I don’t know anything about?
women with synths are undefeated
In this 2017 painting Henry Taylor references a well-known photograph of Miles Davis and Cicely Tyson taken by Ron Galella in 1968 at the premiere of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. Tyson played Portia in the film.
I have always loved that almost every gesture and detail in the painting is true to the photograph especially the tender, confident hand placements, the cigarette hanging from Davis’ hand and the ever so slight translucency of his sunglasses. There are a few glaring differences: Tyson’s facial expression (the eyes!) and the color of Davis’ pocket square. Oh and the fact that Davis and Tyson never met the Obamas together. Davis was long dead, but in 2016, Tyson, aged 92, finally met the Obamas when she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Cicely Tyson died a few days ago and her memoir was released a few days before that. I am not woo woo or religious but I feel strongly that if someone is widely beloved and celebrated for pioneering their industry before dying of natural causes at age 96, it’s probably a good idea to listen to what they have to say. May her memory be a blessing.
Hank Aaron, baseball hero, kept the hate mail he received. Before he broke baseball’s home run record, Hank Aaron worried some racist would assassinate him. In 2014, he said race relations had a long way to go. “The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.” Thinking about this a lot because it’s a moving reminder that a step forward is still just that: one step. May his memory be a blessing.
The Emperor's New Groove is truly one of my favorite movies and I'm glad it's getting the oral history treatment it deserves. Sometimes the creative process just WORKS y’all.
“The love that you build a marriage on is lying at the back of every cave, amply dull, waiting for someone brave enough to make the journey and bring the right tools.” Interesting read on diamonds and marriage and meaning.
This tells you everything about how American political history gets made and maintained. Oh and why Hamilton, the man and the musical are scams.
"True believers speak of Satanism with the bored fluency of someone selling condos." This creepy but profound read makes the connection between the irrational beliefs that we are trained to accept in our regular religions, the unhealthy level of secrecy and disconnect from normal behavior in so much of our government, and the rise of Q.
"I often think, 'What’s the objective?' For me, it’s to capture this life, to leave something behind." A conversation between two painters and friends, Honor Titus and Henry Taylor
"Any scenario where three white men decide what is culturally relevant is a recipe for disaster." A deep dive into NYT's crossword puzzle, as long time editor Will Shortz has been slow to address cultural changes and diversify its constructors and editors.
"There's a lot of stress and anger''Congressional staffers are still struggling in the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol, whether they hid from the violent mob or watched in terror from home.
Dyatlov Pass Incident hive, rise up!
“The internet’s become too dark a place.” I mean…if Tim Cook is saying it…woof.
Some things on the internet are still delightful. This is not something to read but I have lost entire days to this snowflake generator so you’re welcome! Obsessed.
Sundance 2021 is online! I miss Park City and seeing my film pals but I have to be honest that it’s also very cozy to be watching from home. Festival passes are sold out but you can still buy individual tickets to movies and I can’t recommend it enough.
I kicked off the festival by watching the wonderful documentary Summer of Soul. Did you know that in 1969, the same year as Woodstock, 300 000 Black folks attended something called the Harlem Cultural Festival to watch Sly Stone, James Brown, Nina Simone, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and so many more legends perform? Because I didn’t know and now I’m loving it!
We lost a few more trailblazers this week.
Sophie transformed dance and pop music into something brazenly new and completely undeniable. May her memory be a blessing.
And before Sophie or I were born, Pauline Anna Strom made “beguiling homemade synthesizer recordings.” I play her in a loop on my most anxious days and her music helps to dream of possible futures. May her memory be a blessing.
Hang in there
Only a few weeks ago in an interview, Cicely Tyson had this to say about death.
Let’s name the things we’re not afraid of and let’s remember to cherish the pioneers. See you Wednesday.