Life Choices: 5 things to check out this week
This week, watch a documentary on the historic years of the Chicago Bulls, listen to a soothing new single from a world-spanning OPM artist, catch up on a criminally underrated Netflix series, munch on some excellent cookies, and, if the news isn’t enough for you, read a thrilling new book on an epidemic that’s prescient as it is eerie.
“The Last Dance”
First, “The Last Dance” was an object of curiosity for me. The only time I’ve played basketball (awfully) was during gym class in college. But the influence of the Chicago Bulls during the ‘90s was undeniable as it was inescapable. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and their team were in every T.V. screen or product that they could endorse. You name it: energy drinks, shoes, basketball cards, even Madonna wasn’t immune to the power of the Bulls so call that my homosexual connection to that world of basketball if you will. Netflix and ESPN’s “The Last Dance” provides a riveting chronicle of this tumultuous time in the history of sports and pop culture. Jordan and the Bulls were juggernauts that dominated and shaped our era. Only a few sports icons come close to wielding the same power like Jordan have and “The Last Dance” is a testament to that while examining the dire circumstances that led to the end of their reign as kings. It doesn’t matter if you’re a basketball fan or not, “The Last Dance” is one of the most riveting documentaries you’ll watch this year.
Watch it on Netflix. — Don Jaucian
“Two Worlds” by Armi MIllare
Armi Millare wrote her lush new single “Two Worlds” in November 2019 during her last trip to Oslo, Norway. The song is another product from her collaboration with D’Sound producer Magnus Martinsen and drummer Kim Ofstad. Thematically though, it sounds like something that’s borne out of the new/old world dichotomy of the pandemic era. “Two Worlds” is a rallying cry to “Leave those palms up / Turn on your green light and come home;” to take charge of our own destinies — now that we can afford to do so. “Two Worlds” further Millare’s horizons in terms of musicality, dripping with the echoes of her first single “Lykkelig” and the introspection that usually run in her songs such as “Kapit” and “Somewhere in Between.” “Two Worlds” is a balm in this tempest; an anthem that we can carry in our hearts once we emerge out of the ruins of the old world.
“The End of October” by Lawrence Wright
There’s always talk of ‘prescient’ novels or films during the pandemic era but nothing gets as more prescient as Lawrence Wright’s “The End of October.” Wright’s latest novel came out April this year, well into the world’s fight against COVID-19. The parallels are eerie: In the novel, the virus emerges in Asia (at an internment camp in Indonesia where 47 people are dead), the president of the United States is a “divisive figure with a tanning bed in the White House;” and the pandemic proceeds to dismantle pretty much every established institution in the world. Wright, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his book “The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” crafts a devious, world-spanning thriller that can be anxiety inducing given the times that we’re reading it now. “It was meant to be a warning cry, when we weren’t buffeted by all this dire news. Whenever I open the paper it feels like I’m reading my own book. It’s weird,” he told The Guardian. At least in Wright’s world, a semblance of structure still continues.
“Dead to Me” Season 2
If you plan to binge any series this month, let it be “Dead to Me.” To say that this Netflix Original series started off strong would be an understatement: it received several accolades after just eight episodes, including Best Actress nominations from the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards for Christina Applegate’s performance.
“Dead to Me” follows the newly widowed Jen Harding (Applegate) who, after struggling to open up again, finds a friend in the carefree Judy Hale (Linda Cardellini), only to later discover that Judy had something to do with the death of her husband. “Dead to Me” intersperses comedic storytelling with a complex, sometimes macabre, plot, revealing the unfortunately many ways that women can be victims of domestic abuse even without the physical scars. Come season two, the ladies are left with yet again another death to come to grips with and a crazy misadventure to live.
Satiate your sweet tooth and give back to the community by ordering gourmet cookies from Overdoughs, a local brand who employs deaf individuals as support to one of the most vulnerable sectors in our society. The team also crafted The Good Cookie Project, a program that lets Overdoughs donate a portion of their sales to scholars of St. Benilde’s School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies.
Overdoughs has just recently reopened their commissary in Makati to cater to patrons during the quarantine period. Same-day delivery services are available for nearby areas, so better place your orders as early as you can.