14 Feb 5 Friyays: February 14
Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers! It’s Dr. Erin here – joining you from my home office in Pittsburgh. I’m jet-lagged, exhausted, and slightly confused. But – with all that stacked against me I was able to find some great items for my first Friyays back in America. Let’s crack on, shall we?
“We are the original storytellers.”
My first item this week is a celebration of New Zealand-born director Taika Waititi. Taika had quite a night at the Oscars this past Sunday. He started by making an Indigenous land acknowledgement while presenting – which is a very important symbolic act. When he won for Best Adapted Screenplay for the brilliant ‘Jo Jo Rabbit’ Taika (whose father is of the Te Whānau-ā-Apanui iwi) dedicated his win to “all the Indigenous kids in the world who want to do art and dance and write stories.” It was wonderful to see Taika share his space with fellow Indigenous storytellers and was by far one of the best moments of the night.
Walking the Walk for Women
Another interesting story from the Oscar ceremony was the slight controversy over Natalie Portman’s choice of dress. She wore a custom Haute Couture outfit, including a black cape with the last names of women directors not nominated for Best Director. For the 9th year in the last decade, the Academy did not nominate a female director, which we all know is, like, REAL bad. But the plot thickens, Portman was called out on social media for her acting career (in which she has worked with two women) and her production company (which has produced one female-led film, hers). Personally, I find Portman’s answer sufficient. The more I learn about the film industry, the more I learn how hard it is to get projects made. Though I remain skeptical, especially with the amazing example set by Ava DuVernay, that it’s impossible to get these films made. In short, we can all do better.
Women’s History is American History
I was delighted to see that last week the US House of Representatives overwhelming passed a bill to have a Women’s History Museum installed in Washington D.C. Women are historically ignored, minimized, or misrepresented in the telling of our country’s history. Any attempt to remedy that should be met with unequivocal support. It remains to be seen what the Senate and President will do with this bill – but you would think it would be hard to turn away legislation that passed 374-37.
More Prizes for the Derry Girls
This week, the short list for the Christopher Ewart-Briggs Literary Prize was announced in Dublin. The Good Doctors beloved Derry Girls made the list, which seeks to honor works that promote peace and reconciliation, or better understanding between British and Irish peoples. Our colleague at Queen’s University Belfast, Katy Hayward was also listed for her Twitter account and work on Brexit. Well done, all!
“We Prize Having Over Being”
This is a rather dark but important article to end with. A dear friend shared this critique of American society, and since I happen to agree with it, I thought I’d share. It’s hard not to identify with the picture Erik Rittenberry presents – especially considering our country’s relationship to buying and selling over conservation and restraint. He argues we have to simplify, and reconnect – with each other and with nature. I find a lot of this philosophy within my yoga practice. I encourage you to read this article, think about your life, and see whether you agree.
That’s all I’ve got for this week! I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s Day (if you celebrate) and a restful and restorative weekend. Dr. K is back next week – until then!