Climbing up that hill
Yes, this title is obviously a reference to Kate Bush’s song and to Stranger Things. I watched episode 4 of season 4 last night and I believe that this episode is the reason why the song is all over the internet at the moment.
Incidentally, this song was one of my very favorite songs circa 1986, and 36 years later, and having listened to it probably a few million times, I still find it as mesmerizing as the first time. Actually, I didn’t listen to it that often. I didn’t really listen to it that much from the late 90s until a couple of years ago. However, for the past few months, almost every time I listen to Youtube Music “smart mix” or whatever it’s called (and that is almost every day when I’m in my office), it’s been playing. So yeah, after not really listening to it for a few years, I listened to it a couple of times a week for the past few months, and now… It’s a hit again!
I’m not complaining.
And if you’re a youngling and are not sure what song I’m talking about, here it is.
Actually, that’s one of the things I love about Stranger Things, in addition to just being a great show overall. It does the 80s nostalgia mostly right. At least with the music.
And it’s funny how there’s been an 80s nostalgia among Millennials for quite a while now (it started more than 15 years ago, my last years spent in the US, when Millenials were becoming adults. But personally, as a Gen Xer, I have a different feeling about them. I get the nostalgia from Millenials. They were kids. Their memories of the decade are quite fuzzy. A bit like my fuzzy memories of the 70s, a decade I do cherish, mostly because that’s where my earliest memories are from. So, yes, I get that Millenials “love” the 80s, but I’m telling you, being a teenager then sucked big time.
So, yes, Stranger Things is doing a decent job at reconciling me with the 80s. An as decent job as a Millenial can do. The Duffer Brothers are eleven years younger than me, almost to the day. Yes, I’m one or two years younger than the main characters. One thing the show does perfectly in terms of 80s nostalgia is definitely the soundtrack. I don’t know if I’ll ever manage to love the 80s, but the show did bring back a certain nostalgia, not of my everyday life that much (I was in France back then), but with the image that I had of the US through its pop culture. In a sense, it’s 80s American pop culture that forged a lot of who I am today (I’m not sure I would even have gone to the US if it wasn’t for 80s pop culture).
This brings us to our second topic of the day. Still a TV show, still in the 80s. A few days ago, I watched Oussekine. It’s a French miniseries (only four episodes). it’s on Disney+ or Hulu depending on your country. And it also takes place in the late 1980s. One major difference though. While it’s a “fiction” it depicts with an amazing accuracy one of the darkest moments of France’s contemporary history. In December 1986, in the middle of some major student protests, a young man was walking home returning from a concert, and he was chased and beaten to death by the police. Why? Because he was an Arab.
It’s difficult to explain the impact that atrocity had on the country then, especially because the police and the right-wing government tried to cover up the murder and blame the victim, but to give you an idea, I still regularly think about it.
It was a wake-up call to many French people that France was still a deeply racist country, and unfortunately, things haven’t gone much better since. The police has committed many more racist crimes since, it has almost always gotten away with it. No later than last week, a similar incident happened.
Well, just watch the show, it’s a very important lesson in French history (the accuracy of the show is eerie at times).
After that, it’s a bit difficult to do some self-promotion, but here are some.
It’s been so long since my last newsletter, so I kinda forgot where I’ve left you in terms of my blog posts, but here are some of the recent stuff I’ve written.
The Spring session of the Setouchi Triennale is over, and the preparations for the summer session are underway.
Here are a few things about it:
The Way to the Moon (part one): I’ve already posted glimpses of it, but here is a longer post with a video of an amazing piece of art.
The Way to the Moon (part two): I’ve written two posts about it. It’s that amazing.
Dancing in the Seto. Kawashima-sensei is 92 years old. He still makes art. However, this artwork is one of his old ones. He made it back when he lived in New York and was a regular guest of MOMA. Now, it’s on a small Japanese island.
Two more things about Japan.
The kids did something to the house the other day (aka parenting is difficult and sometimes driving me nuts but at other times, it’s a lot of fun).
Alright, I think that’s all for now. I hope this post is not too full of mistakes and strange sentences (no more than usual), I don’t have the energy to closely proofread it. See, energy, or lack thereof, has been a major issue lately, and I’m not really sure why. Maybe, I just need to sleep more (going to do that after I click the “send” button). Maybe, it’s just the overall toll of two years of pandemic and its consequences, added to the general feeling of impending doom coming from the climate crisis and the fact that the powers that be would rather burn our kids’ future for a few more bucks than do the right thing. I don’t know.
Also, I may or may not have teased some fiction from me a while ago. I hope it’ll come soon. Some stuff is almost ready (I just need my “editor” to give me feedback, but he’s also low on energy and high on stress at the moment), and some other stuff will arrive when it arrives.
Seriously, I really want to focus on writing fiction at the moment, but at the same time, I kinda don’t want to give up on my blogs, and it has proven difficult (read “impossible”) to do both in a satisfying way. Hmmm…
Ok, time to go to bed.
Take care and stay safe.
All the best,