Friday Reads: Religion and Royals and Other Stuff

I think this is now a weekly roundup! I hope you enjoy these as much as I did and aren’t bothered by the fact that like half of them are from the New York Times. (I wasn’t reading super diversely this week.)

Vintage Contemporaries (Talking Covers): Talking about those old Vintage Contemporaries covers. (I actually read this one last week but I think it’s still good.)

Why I Love Mormonism (New York Times): Some/a lot of thoughts on the Mormon idea of God and Mormonism’s place on the spectrum of contemporary Judeo-Christian religion or something.

A Literal Epidemic of Crutch Words (The Atlantic Wire): Basically a follow up to the original discussion of crutch words we use today.

Salman Rushdie on Salman Rushdie (The New Yorker): An account of the days and months after he was sentenced to death by Ayatollah Khomeini.

David Carr on Neil Young (New York Times Magazine): I think I love anything written about Neil Young and this was no exception.

Prince Harry, Millenial Royal (The Awl): From Emma Garman’s wonderful series on British celebrities.

An Interview with Jessica Valenti (The Hairpin): Nicole Cliffe interviews Jessica Valenti about her book Why Have Kids?

John Jeremiah Sullivan on Cuba (New York Times Magazine): OK, I haven’t read this yet but I know it’s going to be good because John Jeremiah Sullivan is always good. (Did you read his thing on the Williams sisters a couple of weeks ago?)

And in case you’re interested, here’s what I’m reading in books this week:

– Still working on this.

– Just started The Night of the Gun by David Carr (lots of David Carr this week) and I feel, um, not great about it so far. But I’m only 10 pages in!

– Also picked up In Cold Blood, which I have never read even though I really like true crime books? And duh, it’s really good.

TV Hangover

Unless I have something planned, it’s hard for me not to watch shitty TV on weekend mornings when I’m hung over because it’s hard to do anything at all that involves thought. And once I start watching TV, it’s hard for me to stop. What follows is a true account of everything I watched on Sunday – good, bad and ugly.

10:30 AM. I can’t find anything on the movie channels so I press the On Demand button and do my usual scan through all of the free TV shows. I try to watch last week’s episode of Copper – which I know will be horrible – but it’s not available. So I do what any good American would do and check to see if Here Comes Honey Boo Boois On Demand.

Chloe, my favorite toddler, freezing up during competition.

It’s not. (I still haven’t seen a single episode.) So I turn on Toddlers and Tiaras.

I’m able to get through two episodes of that show with a break for coffee somewhere in the middle. I’m totally, totally into it for the whole two episodes but I can only watch so many mothers – who are all either black-hearted or extremely naive and all (looks-wise) on a scale between 1990s Rural Gas Station Attendant/Troll and Plastic Surgeried to Resemble E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – dress their kids up like a-holes and volunteer them to be judged mostly on how sincerely they can fake their smile for a panel of deeply strange adults.

12 PM. I start the first of two episodes of Eat Street – a Diners, Drive-Ins and Divestype show about food trucks on the Cooking Channel. It desperately needs fewer people talking about just how local and fresh their food is that they serve out of a truck and more Guy Fieri.

1 PM. I discover the answer to my prayers, a marathon of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. I get in a just OK episode about Maine and half of an episode about different food obsessions before I venture out again for a long walk.

4:30 PM. At this point, I can say that I’m not really hung over anymore so I make a nice late lunch/early dinner and read The New Yorker while my roommate watches a few episodes of Bleak House (BBC, 2005), which I have already seen four times. (All eight, ninety-minute episodes). She stops watching with two episodes left to go.

Sometime after that, we watch an episode of Foyle’s War because we live in a quaint English nursing home. This episode – Season 2, Episode 3 – failed simply because it wasn’t the previous episode we had watched, which involved a gay war hero who murders his pregnant-by-another-man girlfriend (who is involved in an elaborate petrol-siphoning scheme because she is also a petrol truck driver).

9 PM. Boardwalk Empire season premiere. As we all know, this show is good but probably never blew anyone’s mind. That being said, I really liked this episode. (Even though I miss Jimmy’s face and haircut). At the end, I felt like I couldn’t wait to watch the next episode but also that I’d come a long way from the Toddlers and Tiaras of that morning.