Wednesday 29 August 2018

The Media Club: August '18

Think of this as a kind of book club, but for all media. Inspired by the opening section of The High Low podcast (more on that later), where Dolly and Pandora share what they've been reading, watching, listening, or generally consuming that week, I want to share the media bits which I've been thinking about recently. Although I plan on doing this once a month, this isn't so much of a monthly favourites post - it's more of a way for me to share different forms of media which I find interesting! Sometimes it'll be things I enjoyed, sometimes it'll be something that made me think, or sometimes something that I'd like more people to pay attention to. From books to blog posts, films to articles, this will be a place to share anything that is on my mind. Here's the first one...

It seems remiss to not mention the podcast which prompted this whole idea! The High Low is probably my new favourite podcast, and I binged 60 episodes in a month to now be up to date. Each episode features a mixture of current affairs, pop culture, a chat about what media Dolly and Pandora have consumed that week, and then a focus on a particular topic. I find myself hearing about writers I would never have heard about otherwise, and my mind opened to new perspectives. What's more, Dolly and Pandora are incredibly intelligent, lovely, and hilarious hosts. I love a podcast that has a bit of structure, but ultimately has a chatty nature, and it's one of those ones that I don't tire of listening to.

I managed to get a few books read so far this summer, but the stand-out is definitely The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson. It's one I've been meaning to read for a while, along with Jon's other books, and I'm so glad I finally did it. It's an incredibly in-depth look at how society views "in-between" mental health issues, and discusses why we are so intent on labelling people. Jon's writing is filled with humour but at no point does it feel like he is making fun of psychopathy, instead his humour makes the topic really accessible. I found myself intermittently stopping and saying, "I need to tell you this!" to my family, as some of the stories and facts are so mind-blowing. I highly recommend this read, and I'll even give a shout-out to another of his texts - So You've Been Publicly Shamed was equally as captivating, and actually relates closely to a blog post I wrote recently on call-out culture online. I must add more Jon Ronson books to my list!

My Netflix recommendation this month is Dark Tourist. It's a documentary series that takes journalist David Farrier around the world as he explores the shocking or dark locations and experiences that tourists may seek out. From nuclear radiation tours in Japan, to Jeffrey Dahmer tours in Milwalkee, to meeting vampires in New Orleans, it really is such an interesting watch. The tourist spots can be quite macabre, and there are a few instances of animal slaughtering, so be warned if that's not your thing. Despite a few oh my god moments on my part, I found it so fascinating seeing the things that people will pay to do, and how far they will let their morbid interests take them. I really hope they make a second season, because I flew through the 8 episodes!

Lastly, I'd like to share Chloe Plumstead's article on fake tan. I recently had a big catch up read of Chloe's blog as it's one of my absolute favourites, and this article really resonated with me. It's a bit of a cop-out to just tell you to read it because it sums up my thoughts exactly, but you should read it because it sums up my thoughts exactly. I'd say roughly 80% of the time I have a layer of fake tan on but not many people actually know, because I really do just apply the bare minimum to look like I have a bit of a ~healthy glow~ going on. But as Chloe points out - is that sinister? Does a tan really make me look healthier? Is it great that I've found a way to feel confident? Or is it masking my insecurities and making me rely on a bottle? It's a really interesting read, and one I'm going to keep thinking about!
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