Memories, and That Time I was in the Local News Holding a Big Pink Pro-Abortion Sign

There isn’t much I like about Facebook. It’s ugly to look at, clunky to use, its leadership team displays an almost superhuman contempt for user data privacy, and it’s proven to be a very effective tool for fostering far-right radicalization. What’s not to like?

But — this piece isn’t about that.

Complaining about Facebook has become très chiant. No one wants to read about it. I certainly don’t want to write about it. Especially since, despite the aforementioned complaints, so many of us still use it or its adopted sibling Instagram, or both — myself included.

So yes, yes — Facebook is objectively the worst. That makes it all the more ironic, then, that it possesses one of my favorite features: Facebook Memories. The function where it shows you stuff you posted or were tagged in on that day in the past. It’s not a feature I would have thought to ask for in a social media site, but one I would greatly miss if it went away. So many of my Memories make me smile. They remind me of specific moments from past events, show me pictures of myself and my many comrades from over the years, make me laugh again at a funny (or funny) joke.

It’s also sometimes a double-edged sword. Not every Memory is one on which I look back fondly. For instance: I know for most of the month of March, when I crack open the ol’ Facebook app in the mornings, while I’m waiting for the coffee to brew so that I can frankenstein back to life, and I am presented with a series of Memories that let me relive painfully specific moments in the saga of a sick, dying, then dead dog, I will not be filled with the warm and fuzzies. But that’s how’s how life is. We remember, both the bad and the good. Come March, I know I’ll think about Molly more than usual anyways, regardless of if it’s in my Memories or not.

Also, LOL at the phrase “my Memories” because, as I’ve shared before, my actual memory is shit. I need tools like social media, this blog, my journal, and the 20,000 photos on my phone to help me remember my life. Which is why I’m grateful when Facebook occasionally shows me a thing I’d almost completely forgotten about.

Like when, six years ago, a picture of me, holding a large pink sign that said HER BODY, HER CHOICE at a rally for Planned Parenthood, showed up in the local news.

When people started sending me screenshots of this article, I remember my first reaction was relief — relief that I’d taken the time to make sure my sign’s kerning was decent.

And hey — better to show up in the local newspaper this way than in, say, the police blotter.

The downside of this Memory is that it serves as a depressing reminder of how abortion rights are somehow worse off than they were in 2017.

Here’s what I’ve been up to this week.

Reading:

Still working my way through THE DAUGHTER OF DOCTOR MOREAU.

I was staring at the coffee maker this morning, and the pinball machine that is my brain started thinking about a Twitter thread from a few years back where someone imagined what an ALADDIN movie starring Jason Statham would be like. This was right after Disney had announced that the live-action ALADDIN movie would be directed by Guy Ritchie, a guy who is primarily known for making violent and funny British gangster movies. If you like that first bit, the writer tweeted a few more bits that didn’t get picked up by the threadreader bot. They’re just as funny.

Watching:

Jess was out of town for some of last week, so Kirby and I held our own little film festival. Some of the entries were movies I’d seen before; others I hadn’t. We watched: BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER, SPY, THE FUGITIVE, UNFORGIVEN, PRESUMED INNOCENT, THE EQUALIZER 2, MR. RIGHT, and ABSOLUTE POWER. Here are some quick thoughts.

  • UNFORGIVEN — I love a well-executed piece of genre deconstruction, and Clint Eastwood did that with marvelously with this film and Westerns. A pretty perfect movie all-around.
  • WAKANDA FOREVER — This was… a mess. I had a whole thing written, but it was very “old man yells at cloud”-ing and I bored myself. Instead, I’ll just say: Namor chose his name because it means “No Love” in Spanish? That’s the decision the filmmakers went with. They sat in a room and said, “yes let’s do this aren’t we clever.” Okay.
  • ABSOLUTE POWER — So dumb. Poorly written, poorly acted. At least in this film, the much younger Laura Linney is Clint Eastwood’s daughter, and not his girlfriend.
  • THE EQUALIZER 2 — Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington could make ten more of these and I would be in line at the movie theater for every one of them. So glad a third film finally comes out later this year.
  • THE FUGITIVE — I have probably seen this movie 20 times and I never get tired of it. This article from THE ATLANTIC a few years back is spot on.
  • PRESUMED INNOCENT — Another film where Harrison Ford is accused of murdering someone, this time a mistress. As legal thrillers go, it’s dumb but entertaining. Bonnie Bedelia is electrifying as Ford’s wife.

Wanting:

Another one filed under the Wanted-and-Acquired category: these reusable travel toiletry bottles with custom labels.

Listening:

This cover of Eve6’s “Inside Out” — AKA the heart in a blender song — done in the style of the B-52s, by the band the B-69s.

And Kirby:

Who do you think was happier to see the other after nearly a week apart?

Well, Jess, of course. Kirby don’t got no eyes. But Kirby definitely was the happiest to smell and hear his mom.

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