Hagan Blount

PlaceInvaders TableTalk Newsletter // June 14, 2019

Hagan Blount
PlaceInvaders TableTalk Newsletter // June 14, 2019

 Nutcracker Royalty

Bacardi 151, Southern Comfort, Amaretto, pineapple juice, grenadine, and Rose’s Sour Lime. In proportions that are anyone’s guess, save or add an ingredient or two and you have the Nutcracker. If you haven’t been approached by a proprietor of this incredible beverage and you still call yourself a New Yorker, we encourage you to get out more. We are all about people selling stuff without a license and making money, ethically serving the needs of a community without regard to the law, and we love the true stories of the American Dream, when people move here and make it big. This story has it all: hero police turning a blind eye to the innocuous business, elected officials protecting big money by cracking down on culture, deli containers, an endorsement from Pitbull. We think the title is a bit misleading, though, because the “king” in the article who capitalized first is a woman.

The Media’s Role in When They See Us

Felicity Huffman and Vera Farmiga star as two of the villains of Ava DuVernay’s excellent mini-series When They See Us, but the media at large comes across as pretty terrible and responsible for the shameful turn of events, as well. From coining the term “Central Park Five” and sharing the names and personal details of the group of children on trial, to proliferating the term “wilding” to spread fear-mongering, and enabling one future president’s to publish awful, racist death penalty ads, it’s not a proud industry moment. The Atlantic looks at how this behavior and subsequent articles published to build momentum around fear of young black and brown men resulted in more children being tried as adults in the years that followed the trial. How do we make it up to the many, many members of demographics that society has let continues to let down?

Be The Golden Girls in Your Golden Years

Loneliness among aging people is shown to be a bigger threat to health than a lot of physical health issues. Make friends with the older folks in your neighborhood! Call your grandparents! The Times is on the increasing trend of members of older generations co-habitating with peers and with younger people and how it can improve their lives and lifespans. One of our moms has had a longtime plan with some of her sisters to move into a “sister-house” for future communal living, and we think it’s a great one and plan to visit regularly (hey mom & aunts, don’t forget to include a guest tiny house!). For further reading, don’t miss Atul Gawande’s excellent Being Mortal, a well-written and very useful reminder that we can all definitely improve on our attitudes toward and treatment of older folks.

If God is dead, your time is everything

We're having a difficult time reconciling all the shitty things that have been done in the name of religion and Chinese policies on religion. You've seen something like the phrasing, "sure, you have a right to an opinion, but that doesn't mean you have the right not to be treated differently for having that opinion," in response to some kind of hate-speech or anti-science. Let's be honest, belief in an "afterlife" is anti-science. Beliefs that not eating pork, not coveting your neighbor's wife, or setting off a bus bomb move you up a few rungs in the netherstrata are all the same, misguided canon resulting in billions of monkeys (or dust and ribs, whatever you prefer) on this planet punching each other for no reason. We have our time here, and that's all that's guaranteed. Dad asked us yesterday asked if we ever regretted being nice, and we couldn't think of a time. But here's the question: how did the universe begin? Either it was put there by an omniscient entity or it always existed. So we've got a situation where it's 50% chaos, and the other 50% is believing that some passage in a book translated via a 3,000 year game of telephone by ____ knows who had any insight into what that entity was thinking when they transcribed/translated/inserted new opinions into it. The latter should be enough to get someone off on an insanity plea. 

Job Description Copywriters are Bananas

We like our jobs very much, mostly because our bosses are the best (hint: they’re us), but it’s still interesting to check out what kind of hiring people are doing out there or to hear about friends’ job searches. Some of the standard interview processes are insanity. Extremely wealthy corporation to unemployed person: “write an entire multi-tiered launch plan for a product that will never exist to meet goals we will never share with you.” Job listings have become similarly outrageous. Why must the only proper candidate for such a wide range of jobs be a human triple shot of espresso? Why does every skill need the word “ninja” tacked onto it? What about folks who just want to responsibly do a nice job, go home to their life at the end of the day and afford vacations and their kids’ education, are they now unemployable? Isn’t a little intense to have a whole office full of wildly passionate employees who prioritize their, for example, role selling people paper, above their families, friends, and access to oxygen?