#Adulting: Where Will We Be?

There are two types of people in the world right now–Those who couldn’t care less about Avengers: Infinity War and those who feel personally attacked by Infinity War.

(Photo Credit; Yes This is Actually From the Directors of Infinity War)

Fortunately, no matter which camp you fall in, this post will not have spoilers (Thanos did demand silence, remember?). Instead, I use this movie analogy as a way to work through how I interpret the world. As the end of my fellowship draws closer, I’m thinking a lot more about how I see the world and what paths would help me see the world even clearer whilst maintaining some semblance of peace.  But, of course, to figure out an ending, we’ve got to go back to the beginning.

 

It’s no secret that I’m drawn to superheroes in all forms of media (movie, television, web comics, paper comics, pulp, cartoons, etc.) because the stories and characters are the ways we keep history alive by applying the same myths and figures in new bodies and names, by coping with disastrous events (ex. mutants after the nuclear war, the numerous Godzilla works after the massive atom bombs in Japan, etc.), and prediction of events if we continue on the paths we’re currently on. The superhero genre has a way of meeting their audience where they are, in terms of comprehension. And although there are points where can do better and seem to be taking steps in that direction (“see” audio documentary here), we’re getting there.

The same can be said for audio. Radio journalism is not what initially drew me to audio. It was podcasts, i.e. the flexibility to listen whenever, the freedom from the broadcast clock, the wide range of topics, but most importantly, the conversational style. The most successful podcasts are NOT monotone; they are NOT full of elevated, superfluous language; they are NOT high-brow. Why? Because they meet people where are, in terms of their understanding, and therefore, can convey how these complex topics–about the environment, about the economy, about education–aren’t actually complex if someone explains them and iterates that it affects everyone, no matter you’re socioeconomic status, racial or ethnic identity, gender identity and sexual orientation. Like the superhero genre, there are strides the audio industry can take to reach more people  and include more people who are constantly left behind.

Being intentional (which takes massive preparation and extensive input outside of your immediate knowledge) about how to use the medium to reach the audience is only part of the game; being successful in execution is equally important. You probably think I’m gonna list some canonical literary examples or Academy Award-winning movies? Nope.

Animation,

(My film professors would’ve loved the subtle commentary on movie theaters in the age of technology in We Bare Bears “Shush Ninjas”)

by far,

(The Amazing World of Gumball does a ton of economical commentary and engages in media theory through the different materials they use for minor characters)

is best example of representation and

Steven Universe is but one example of how animation explains a concept that adults struggle to explain)

and understanding,

(The original Teen Titans  animation series (not to be confused with Teen Titans Go!) tackled complex topics that kids and adults are even afraid to admit to themselves, let alone talk about, like manipulation and self-esteem)

I’ve ever seen.

To be fair, not all animation does this, nor should it. Like all media, some sources should be purely to educate, some purely to escape, but the most memorable do a little of both. And it was this balance and utilization of how medium affects a narrative that pulled me to study English (this was my concentration BTW). One source I go back to frequently is Avatar: The Last Airbender.

How can one show successfully explain a military coup,  explore the dynamics of war invasions, retreats, and strategy, introduce and maintain a blind character as part of the ensemble, gently handle the implications of child abuse and necessity of forgiveness, and still have all the makings of a kid’s show, including but not limited to: bathroom jokes, the (multiple) picking of boogers, sibling antics, unrequited crushes, and an eccentric uncle?

For these reasons (and more), I watch ATLA when I need to escape but always understand more about my life once I finish my binging.

So now, as I consider more about what paths I want to take and how to reconcile who I want to be into the view of the world I have now, I think about to this scene from Book 2:

This is a process, but my favorite part of ATLA is that it’s okay not to know. It’s okay to say “I don’t know.” And maybe right now, that’s my answer. I don’t know…yet.

 

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(Photo Credit: Gimlet Media)

What I’m Listening To: Gimlet’s The Habitat.  The true story of when six volunteers agreed to live in a mock-Mars environment, for scientific purposes. I’m really excited about this series because I remember when the experiment was first being reported, which wasn’t that long ago. (I just started so don’t @ me)

What I’m Reading: Getting caught up on my comics! G. Willow Wilson’s Ms. Marvel (If you enjoy the MCU and looking to get into the comics, I highly recommend the new Hawkeye (trust me), Ms. Marvel, or the most recent Captain Marvel comics; the more serious types? See Captain America, Civil War, or Jessica Jones; also, you can’t go wrong with any of the iterations of Spider-Man, whether that means high-school Peter Parker, adult Peter Parker, or even Miles Morales because, of course, they crossover from time to time)

What I’m Watching: Isn’t it obvious? Avengers: Infinity War (2018) (yes, more than once) and that’s all I’ll say about that. Also, I’m finally caught up on the Blackish-spinoff, Freeform show Grownish  and consider this quite a feat since Yara Shahidi is fantastic and literally #hairgoals.

(Photo Credit: Freeform Grownish)

 

 

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#Adulting: Black History Month

February’s been a whirlwind of activities for me (including the second episode of my podcast miniseries–Killing the Industry: Dinner Dates). The most important? Celebrating Black History.

I’ve been a bit passive in the past when celebrating Black History Month, because school has always been a great reminder of projects and events. This year, however, I’ve had to be more proactive about enriching my melanin education. Here’s how I’ve attempted to do so:

  1. Checking Out Social Media Posts- ex. Naturally Political on Facebook. For those who know me, I’m not a huge fan of Facebook, but the Naturally Political Page has been posting a new site of African American history everyday this month, including but not limited to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History to smaller-known (but still as important) sites in Arkansas. (Full disclosure: I know one of the moderators and therefore, privy to amount of careful research she puts into each posting.)
  2. 2. Checking Out Events IRL- ex. An Evening with Ruth E. Carter. This outing was like killing two birds with one stone since a) the event was a Q&A with Marvel’s Black Panther (2018) costume designer Ruth E. Carter, and b) the event was held in the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. In addition to pumping me up for such a highly-anticipated superhero movie by hearing of Carter’s creative influences (from specific Ethiopian tribes to Japanese designers such as Issey Miyake to afro-futurism and royalty elements transmuted through the uses of black and purple), I also had the chance to view parts of museum’s artwork at night.

 

3.Checking Out Interests with a Twist- ex. Marvel’s Black Panther opening-day screening. During Carter’s talk (and perhaps you already knew this), she mentioned that Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther had been added to Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War (2016) sort of last minute, but the character made a big impact.When tickets first went on sale for Black Panther, they nearly sold out. Prior to the screening, I’d felt mildly prepared–I’d attended the talk with the Carter, read a few of the recent Black Panther comics, etc. But after the movie…

 

(If you haven’t seen it yet, you really, really should.)

Even though February is winding down, I appreciate its placement as the second month of the year. Because it feels like it’s not the only month to celebrate Black History, but more like a great introduction to celebrate it the rest of year.

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What I’m Listening To: “Finesse Remix” Featuring Cardi B. by Bruno Mars. In addition to Cardi B’s spin on the song, I’m in love with this music video. It’s a tribute to the 90’s comedy-sketch show, In Living Color, where comedic greats like Tommy Davidson, David Alan Grier, T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh (remember her? she played Raven’s mom on That’s So Raven), and Jim Carrey got started. Also, the song is just catchy, right?

What I’m Reading: Marvel’s Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Books Two and Three by Ta-nehisi Coates.

What I’m Watching: Marvel’s Black Panther (2018) (of course), but PBS has some spectacular documentaries playing this month, like Stanley Nelson’s documentary on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tell Them We Are Rising.

Also, I know I’m super late, but I finally saw Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017). Those Oscar and Golden Globe nominations are well-deserved.

 

 

#Adulting: Killing the Industry (A New Podcast Miniseries)

If you read any millennial’s blog, most of our activities and/or preoccupations fall in the realm of:

a) finding or keeping a well-paying job

b) spending quality time with friends/family

c) finding new movies/foods/books/music/shows to enjoy

d) finishing school or paying off  student loan debt

e) becoming healthier (or at least, staying healthy-ish)

Ruining the department store industry and chain restaurants like Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, or even killing the housing market, is not on most (if any) millennials’ to-do list and yet…

During the later half of 2017, I researched a select few industries millennials are accused of killing or ruining, interviewed actual millennials and other individuals in different age groups affected by the shift in that particular industry, and, finally, along with a co-host, put together a podcast miniseries to answer the question of a) if this industry is actually dead and b) if it is dead, who killed it?

The podcast miniseries is titled, “Killing the Industry.” The trailer actually airs today (which you can listen to here or on the podcast’s blog), but the first episode premieres Friday, February 2nd. I hope you’ll give it a listen, especially if you’re dying to know if millennials are actually to blame for killing, well, everything.

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What I’m Listening To: (See below)

What I’m Reading: Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham on audiobook; even though she’s technically not a comedian, I’m still lumping Graham into the category because she’s a funny person who doesn’t take herself too seriously, and so far the book does not disappoint.

What I’m Watching: Netflix’s remake of One Day At a Time is back! Out of all the original series Netflix pushes on its customers, I actually don’t mind this one because this beautiful, hilarious Cuban-American family still faces real issues affecting veterans with PTS, LGBT teens, non-traditional matriculation, Latinx culture, and so much more without being corny. So excited for season two!

 

#Adulting: A Glimpse of the Possible

In my last post, I paid homage to Millennialthe Radiotopia/PRX podcast that gave me the post-grad motivation to intern, work part-time, but mostly, figure out what I really wanted to do and make no apologies for it.

Well, update: I met the creator of Millennial. (!)

But first, let me back up a bit.

For the past few months, I’ve been learning more and more about the public radio landscape. Since the Corporation for Public Broadcasting helps fund America’s public radio stations, it’s important to know how they work, right?

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Sunday Night Motivation

How do you do a job application?

One step at a time.

At this moment, it’s Sunday night and I’m staring at the computer screen, desperately trying to motivate myself to start the fellowship application I’ve put off for weeks.

It’s due tomorrow.

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