Sorry I didn’t show up Wednesday. I discovered something Tuesday night: Alan’s purchase of my new Apple Watch gives us a year of Apple TV free, so of course I had to sign up and start binging “Ted Lasso,” which I keep hearing will restore my faith in humanity.
So far, it’s just a pretty good show, enjoyable in a very sitcom-y-but-not way, and probably what I need to get through the rest of January, which is…almost over.
And now, a few weeks behind schedule, winter has settled in. Temperatures in the 20s during the day, teens at night, snow on the ground, more expected. But with the arrival of February on Monday also means that we’re only days away from The Changing of the Light, which is to say, the moment in winter when you can see the first glimmers of spring. Weeks of terrible weather are still ahead, but the light is coming from a slightly different angle, the days are noticeably longer, and you know eventually winter will be driven from its fortifications.
Also, Groundhog Day.
Back to “Ted Lasso.” It’s nice seeing Hannah Waddingham in it, who looked so deeply, deeply familiar but it took a few minutes to figure out why: She was the meanest nun in that one season of “Game of Thrones.” Nice to see her looking all statuesque and beautiful and her age, but a really great version of her age. Strange to see an actress whose face is expressive and lined from all the expressions she’s made in her life.
Let’s see, what else? Oh, right: Late in the last post, LAMary said:
I also had a bug appear in my kitchen once that was so big and ugly my huntress cat wouldn’t go near it. Jerusalem Cricket is what it was. Hideous looking thing. I’ve seen quite a few since then (I was a newbie to LA then) and I’ve also explained to quite a few newcomers what the hell that hideous thing is.
When Kate was interning in L.A. last fall — or the fall before last, I guess — she came across one of those while cleaning someone’s garage. She screamed, and then took a video for us. It was horrible.
Finally, one link for all: We live in a golden age of cringe. What is cringe?
Cringe is best understood as a cousin of camp, though cringe differs from camp in that camp can still be enjoyable on its own terms. When you encounter cringe, you know it because you feel it physically: your eyes squint to avoid the grandeur of the discomfort a work induces.
Cringe made its national debut shortly after election night in 2016. You didn’t have to be a Trump fan in 2016 — Lord knows I wasn’t — to watch with horror as Kate McKinnon, one of the funnier performers on “Saturday Night Live” over the last decade, debased herself and the program by putting on her Hillary Clinton pantsuit and performing mournful, earnest rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” It was a shocking moment, an abdication of comedic responsibility in favor of a decision to paint Clinton not as a politician but as a kind of conduit for grief the show assumed was universal, rather than partisan.
Trump fans embraced their own cringe artifacts; the cringiest was the work of painter Jon McNaughton. Consider “National Emergency,” in which Trump, hands clasped in prayer, asks for guidance while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-N.Y.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) lift the Mexican flag while trampling on America’s. Or “Teach a Man to Fish,” in which Trump, not exactly known as an angler, shows a young man carrying a book entitled “Socialism” how to improve his lot in life. The suggestion that Trump is a religious and self-made man clashes with everything we know about him, but it does speak to the ideals to which Trump’s supporters nominally hew.
An amusing read.
Now to wait for the snow. Have a good weekend, all.