4 min read

You Should Read - July 14

You Should Read - July 14

Just One Thing

Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader duel to the death.

What We Fight About When We Fight About Star Wars

Star Wars is a mirror: its core function is not to impart but to reflect. What’s it about? Only what we take with us.

This essay may be one of the best assessments of Star Wars writ large I've ever read, putting into words so many thoughts I've had. (Though, as my wife likes to say, "you only think its smart because you agree with it.") Why the saga should have ended with Return of the Jedi. Why Thrawn and most of the old non-canon "Expanded Universe" stories are second rate. Why I'm drawn to Saw Gerrera (and Barriss Offee). Why Star Wars is culturally superior to Star Trek. Why Star Wars doesn't necessarily need lightsabers and pew-pew to be Star Wars. Why Andor is awesome and The Book of Boba Fett and most other Star Wars streaming is asbsoutely drek. And why the current slate of planned movies fails to excite.

With the building blocks of its metaphorical reality, Star Wars can be about anything—so long as it’s about something. The counterpart of this versatility is that content that’s not advancing some kind of argument, some compelling theme, ends up feeling utterly hollow. Star Wars is a rampaging green monster of pure id; without a point of view to aim it, to imbue it with meaning, it yields nothing but exquisite noise.

Collected Ephemera

Metropolis Rereading Victor Papanek’s Design for the Real World: Why does Victor Papanek’s scathing, 41-year-old critique of the profession still read as if it were written today?
Earlier this week, my wife shared something about Papanek that sent me on a web scavenger hunt. "Right livelihood" in a capitalist society is a big issue I'm wrestling with and Design for the Real World should probably go on the to-read stack.

Fraenkel Gallery Richard Misrach: New Old Pictures, New New Pictures
I've mostly let my interest in art photography fade away, but I love Richard Misrach's work so I'll try to make time to trek into SF for this new gallery exhibition. When I lived in NYC, regular gallery visits was a big factor in motivating me to make pictures. Maybe this will rekindle something in me.

Collider Tony Gilroy on ‘Andor’s Emmy Nominations and the Labor Problems in Hollywood: “It’s really hard to make a show that’s about community and about solidarity [...] and not support it.”

What does [Kino Loy] say? "If we can fight as hard as we work, we're gonna win."

Because Andor is mostly shot in the UK, I'm not sure if it's possible, but I've been secretly hoping for SAG to strike and thus shut down Andor Season 2 production until the WGA contract can be resolved.

Daily Beast GOP Lawmaker Banned From Wikipedia After Self-Editing Spree: Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY), one of the House GOP’s most vulnerable members, may have been a little too eager to polish his online resume.
Do. Not. Edit. Your. Own. Wikipedia. Page.

Mongabay New Tree Tech: AI, Drones, Satellites and Sensors Give Reforestation a Boost

Bonnie Abbott How a Self-Initiated Project Can Change Your Career: Personal projects give designers the chance to display their skills to the fullest, where client work may not. I reflect on how my first self-funded book impacted my working life.
Designing digital trading cards for Neonmob was a self-initiated project that gave me the opportunity to practice design and learn necessary tools.

Our Present Dystopia

World Economic Forum This Is Why ‘Polycrisis’ Is a Useful Way of Looking at the World Right Now

The Guardian Disney Ramps Up Spending in California Amid War With Ron DeSantis in Florida: Company goes all in on growth program in Anaheim, California, after cancelling $1bn project and pulling plug on Star Wars hotel

Counterpunch The Reddit Revolt – A “Strike” by Unpaid Workers

Ars Technica Bungie Wins $489K From Player for Racist Harassment of Employee: Ruling sets legal precedent for companies to recover costs from harassment campaigns.

Eugene Wei How to Blow Up a Timeline

Culture Study The Thread Vibes Are Off
Setting aside any commentary on Threads, this nicely encapsulates the reasons people use each of the major (Western) social networks.

ProPublica Close to 100,000 Voter Registrations Were Challenged in Georgia — Almost All by Just Six Right-Wing Activists: The recent transformation of the state’s election laws explicitly enabled citizens to file unlimited challenges to other voters’ registrations. Experts warn that election officials’ handling of some of those challenges may clash with federal law.
This is kinda incredible, similar to the tiny handful of people in Florida who have driven almost every single book ban. You may think you'd have to be delusional to think an individual can have an impact on this huge, complicated world. But, you obviously and most definitely can.

The Wabbit Hole

social model of disability | Jōdo Shinshū | Victor Papanek | Old Guard (France) | Midnight Cowboy | But I'm a Cheerleader | List of French monarchs | Special Operations Executive | pāramitā | animal spirits (Keynes)