Daily Archives: April 18, 2021

Podcast Reviews: People of the Pod and Fever Dreams

Though podcasts are a relatively new form of media, they have as much power and influence as their predecessors.

The new podcast from The Daily Beast is called Fever Dreams. Hosted by reporters Asawin Suebsaeng and Will Sommer, they delve into political right’s various plans to take over the government. Examining the different aspects within the movement, each episode talks about how each subgroup is using different methods to reshape the United States into their own image.

The People of the Pod is a podcast that made its debut in the summer of 2019. Created by the American Jewish Committee, hosts Seffi Kogen and Manya Brachear Pashman talk to different guests about what is going on in the world, how these events can be looked at via Jewish eyes, and the connection to American Jews, Jews across the world, and Israel.

I enjoy both podcasts. The perspective that each takes is an open, honest, and sometimes difficult approach to talking about what are essentially important subjects.

Do I recommend them both? Yes.

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Filed under History, International News, National News, Podcast, Podcast Review, Politics, World News

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Movie Review

There is a reason why we keep adapting the works of William Shakespeare again and again. His work is timeless. His stories and characters represent the best and worst of humanity.

The 2017 film, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is a modern California based, adaptation on the Shakespeare play of the same name. The narrative follows through different groups of characters whose tales ultimately converge.

Hermia (Rachael Leigh Cook) is unhappily betrothed to Demetrius (Finn Witrock). She would rather be with Lysander (Hamish Linklater). Helena (Lily Rabe) is in love with Demetrius, but he has constantly rejected her for Hermia. When Lysander and Hermia formulate a plan to run off and get married, Helena and Demetrius follow them.

Bottom (Fran Kranz) is a wannabe comic and a member of a unknown theater troupe. Literally turned into a walking, talking butt by Puck (Avan Jogia), he is pulled into the romantic brouhaha between Oberon, King of the Fairies (Saul Williams) and Titania, Queen of the Fairies (Mia Doi Todd).

This movie is really good. I was thoroughly charmed and entertained. The thing about adaptations of any classic work (specifically when it is not set in the period that it was written in) is the balance between staying true to the original text while giving a contemporary audience an emotional inroad to hold onto. This film is able to do both, keeping both fans of the Bard and a viewer who is looking for a good laugh engaged.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Much Ado About Nothing is available for streaming on the Roku Channel.

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Filed under Movie Review, Movies, William Shakespeare

Tips to Schedule a Covid-19 Vaccine Appointment

Getting an appointment for a Covid vaccine these days is akin winning the lottery these days. I was lucky enough to be able to schedule my first appointment last week. For those who are still struggling to get the shot, hopefully these tips will help you to finally get the jab.

  1. Check your state/and or local websites: I know that it is time consuming and not exactly efficient, but it is a good first step. Those living in New York City can look for appointments on the NYC Covid-19 Vaccine Finder website.
  2. Be flexible on location and time: It goes without saying that it is ideal to get the jab in your neighborhood and on your preferred schedule. But that may not be possible. I don’t know about anyone else, but if I need to re-arrange my calendar and get in the car or take public transportation, I will.
  3. Look beyond the chain drugstores: The chain drugstores are nice, but my experience was that it was impossible to find an open slot. I can’t speak about the listings on other websites, the NYC site also contains information for independent locations that are also providing the vaccine.
  4. Think outside the box: I eventually was able to get the jab at a local pharmacy that had a sign outside their door. It may take some work, but you may want to walk around your neighborhood, join a Facebook group in your community, or google a list of pharmacies in your area. And if nothing else, word of mouth is never a bad route to take.
  5. Don’t get stuck on just getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: Of course, we would all love to get the one shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine (that is, when it comes back on the market). I would rather take what I can get and move on with my day.

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Filed under National News, New York City

WTF is Happening to this Country? Adam Toledo and the Indianapolis Shooting

There is a Chinese curse which says, “May he live in interesting times.” Interesting times is one way to explain what is happening in the United States.

Last week, a 13 year old boy was shot and killed by police in Chicago. His name was Adam Toledo. He was murdered because the officers believed that he had a gun. Adding salt to the wound was the reference by Fox News host and all around asshole Sean Hannity that this child was a fully grown man. I see two issues with this story.

  1. The blood of this young man is not just on the hands of the police officers who killed him. It is on everyone who played their part to get this supposed weapon into young Mr. Toledo’s hands.
  2. Our local and national law enforcement department must be able to do their jobs. But they have to get it into their heads and their training materials that they are not avenging angels. The police are just one link in the chain of the justice system.

May the memory of this boy be a blessing and finally get us off our asses to stop police brutality against Americans of color.

On Friday morning, a former employee of a FedEx facility in Indianapolis killed eight people. According to his mother, the man who was responsible for the murders had mental health issues.

In response to the umpteenth mass shooting in the United States since March, President Biden referred to this new wave as a national embarrassment. I can’t think of a better description of this unnecessary slaughter of innocent civilians. We can fix this problem, it doesn’t take a genius to put together a national law to prevent future events of this nature. The problem is that some Republican lawmakers are blind to the idea that any national gun control legislation does not infringe on the rights of gun owners who are of sound mind and followed the laws. It is a measure that desperately needed (and has been needed for more than two decades) to save lives.

I don’t know what it will take to wake this country up, but something has to be done.

Happy Sunday.

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Filed under Mental Health, National News, Politics