Ah, good day all you beautiful readers. Welcome to this month’s edition of Literary Cuisine. Sorry that it’s a bit late (actually very late), I will do better next month. Let’s see what is on our plate this month!
1: The NerdWriter (YouTube)
The NerdWriter is a YouTuber who makes weekly video essays that “put ideas to work.” What does that mean? Well, the simple answer is to watch his videos. I know you are thinking that is the complicated answer; I am making you watch his content and do work instead of handing you an explanation. But here is the thing, isn’t that the best kind of content? The kind that doesn’t give you answers but leads you to more questions? The NerdWriter tries to put into words why we feel certain ways about the entertainment and media we consume. His videos span from dissecting Batman v Superman and figuring out the film’s fatal flaw to Brexit and how it snuck up on the world. What makes Writer’s videos stand apart from the overload of content on the internet is his keen eye for observation and his unique ability to provide words for the things we find it hard to express. Why does watching the Office make us feel uncomfortable but laugh at the same time? What is the formula behind Trump’s empty yet seemingly packed with content answers to important questions? Why is the third Harry Potter film the best? All of these questions and more are given the high-quality YouTube treatment. Each of Writer’s videos is visually interesting besides just well thought out. It is obvious that he puts a lot of time into making his content of the highest quality out there and he is certainly being recognized for it by places such as Laughing Squid, Culture Pop, Filmmaker Magazine, and even on this blog. Well, okay technically I didn’t talk about this channel but I did talk about the man himself, Evan Puschak. He wrote a really cool book and I recommended it on the March 12th edition of Literary Cuisine. Anyway, do not wait another minute. Go check out his videos today by clicking this link!
2: Relient K – Air for Free (Music)
I want to start off this recommendation by saying that the band Relient K gets way too much grief for growing as a band. I acknowledge that there are a ton of people and bands out there that have sold out to fit into the modern interpretation of what is good media. However, if a band can remain consistent in their themes and show maturity and make something good with a new sound, what is the harm? Unfortunately, lots of people let nostalgia run their lives. Enter lots of Relient K fans who have insulted the band for not only this record, but their previous one titled Collapsible Lung. I am here to say that while Relient K sure doesn’t sound like the pop punk (and tongue in cheek) band they started as, Air for Free is no less Relient K. In fact, it is a step up in what Relient K has produced in the past. As a fan since 2005 (I was 15), I have stuck with Relient K and watched them grow and mature. Their music, while always changing, always manages to address the nitty-gritty aspects of life and find something beautiful out of it. The lyrics have a lot of depth, the score is catching, and each album has its own wonderful feel. Air for Free is no exception. Some of my favorite tracks include Man, Local Construction, and Empty House. Be sure to buy the album today wherever albums are sold!
3: Melancholia (Film)
There are some films that exist in the universe that are so creative, so thought provoking, and so well made in all regards that you can’t help but want to share them with everyone. Melancholia is one of those movies. The film centers around two sisters in the eminent event of earth colliding with a rogue planet named Melancholia. Part one focuses on one of the sisters, Justine, on her wedding night as she sinks into a deep depression. Part two focuses on the other sister, Claire, who is trying to hold herself together as it becomes apparent that this colliding with Melancholia talk is truly going to happen. I could go on and on about how well the film was shot, how it depicts depression perfectly, how the contrast between the two sisters is perfect tension mixed with the tension of the planet looming closer, how the music choice is haunting and perfectly fits the atmosphere, and…ugh, so much more. But to keep it short and sweet, just see the movie. Seriously, it is on Netflix. Nothing is stopping you…unless, of course, you don’t have a Netflix account. I haven’t been so deeply affected by a movie in years. At one point in the film, no spoilers here, Melancholia is passing by earth and pulls from the atmosphere which causes Claire to have trouble breathing and she starts taking several deep breaths to calm herself. It was at this point, as I lay in bed, that I too was taking deep breaths and my heart was racing for the imminent destruction of our planet. I can’t praise this film enough. It was brilliant. And hey, NerdWriter made a video about it!
4: Creative Mornings (Podcast)
For the past few months, my coworkers and I have been searching for free things to do in the city and surrounding areas for our company newsletter. One of the things we found was Creative Mornings, “a breakfast lecture series for the creative community.” Creative Mornings holds events where various speakers will come and discuss creativity and hopefully fuel creativity throughout the audience. I would love to one day attend one of these events but seeing as this won’t be happening anytime soon, I will just have to do with the podcast of the same name. The podcast consists of various talks from Creative Mornings on a variety of topics and even includes extras such as Q&A sessions. My love for this podcast has two branches. One stems from my love for creativity. This podcast always gets me thinking in new ways and introduces me to new things. The other stems from Creative Morning’s obvious love for the community. The show has a love and respect of art and is clearly trying to bring more awareness of art to the community. Whether it be at a live event or in audio podcast form, this is a great show and I highly recommend you check it out. Simply search “CreativeMornings” on iTunes!
5: SoulPancake (Organization)
My first introduction to SoulPancake was a YouTube video with Rainn Wilson who I knew as Dwight from the Office, a show I did not care for at the time, in the back of a van interviewing someone. Believing it to be a stupid ploy for attention, I didn’t watch the video for that long and from then on believed SoulPancake to be one of those “weird” YouTube channels. I guess it was Kid President who may have turned me on to the channel again. I was at a different place in my life and clearly more open to what the channel had to offer. What I found intrigued me. It wasn’t silly in the way I believed it to be. The channel was asking big questions about spirituality and science and happiness. And it was all hailed by Rainn Wilson, a guy I had never imagined to be into these types of subjects. So I bought his book of the same title which sits on my shelf to this day as one of the best books I have ever encountered. The book has no narrative; it is a look at a variety of topics using art, photography, prose, poetry, and more! The best thing I can say about SoulPancake is that it has fun asking big questions. The outlook on life is that it is good and that humans are amazing creatures doing amazing things that we should know about and thus be inspired! Go check out their YouTube channel and buy the book. We all need more SoulPancake in our lives!
Tune in next month for another installment of Literary Cuisine. If you liked this post, please like and and share! What are you recommends from July? Tell me in the comments section!