Now Playing, Part 1
Each month, we'll ask our contributors what's the last thing they played, watched, listened to, consumed. And in each of their responses, there's a story. The paths that might take, what they leave to the imagination -- well, that's up to each writer.
Dylan Brie Ducey - "The Dare"
Well, I stopped for coffee on my way to work, and "Isn't She Lovely" was playing in the café. Which, you know, made me wish I had "Songs In The Key Of Life" in my old car (which has a cd player). And I felt sad. BUT, when I got back in the car I listened to Feist ("Let It Die"), in particular "Secret Heart," "Inside and Out" (maybe the greatest cover EVER), and "Tout Doucement." I would have put on Leonard Cohen ("I'm Your Man" & "Everybody Knows"), but then I arrived at work, and, you know.
Liz Howard - "Oh, Be Careful"
Spoiler Alert: Lately I've been catching up on Empire. What has me particularly excited this season is the recent introduction of a character who is a domestic violence victim / survivor. As a victim / survivor myself, I'm really thrilled to see how Empire is handling this plot. I've grown used to seeing domestic violence victims portrayed on TV as these angelic, flawless beings (often women) who are typically also depicted as weak and fragile. This is obviously problematic because it perpetuates the (false, harmful) idea that victims are victims simply because they are too weak / naïve / unintelligent to "get out," but it's also problematic in that I think this kind of character often makes other victims / survivors feel isolated or illegitimate. For me personally, I can say that the image of the angelic victim made it much more difficult for me to recognize that I was a victim myself; I thought I wasn't "good" enough and therefore assumed what was happening was my own fault / deserved. On Empire, though, they do not shy away from a complex victim. She is harsh, cold, and even represented as one of the more "villainous" characters. What I love about this is that it does not change the fact that she is a domestic violence victim and she did not deserve what happened; even with her very human complexities, it is clear that the abuse is in no way her fault. I feel like this is such a rare, important representation for other victims / survivors to see, and I'm hopeful that they keep this going in future episodes!
Joshua Shaw - "Cure Light Wounds"
I wish that I had some cool, hip track to share. Alas, my seven year-old daughter keeps coming home from school singing a medley of songs from Andrew Lloyd Weber's musical, Cats. So, yeah, it's nothing but "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" and "Skimbleshanks, the Railway Cat" and "Memory" and "Magical Mr. Mistofelees" in our house.
I suppose I've been in a bit a Cat Stevens kick lately, too, thanks to "Father & Son" turning up in Guardians of the Galaxy. Cat Steven's "Father & Song." That's cool, right?