Pop Culture Roundup, Week 4

My friends AJ (who is one-third of the wildly popular “Teachers Talking TV Podcast”) and Marya have been pestering me to watch “The Good Place,” a sitcom about a woman mistakenly sent to heaven upon her death. I’m five episodes in and loving it. Not surprising, though: it’s run by the same people who put together Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99.

Do you have Amazon Prime? Yes? Two things to bring to your attention:

One, “The Man in the High Castle.” This is a dark imagining of what America would look like if the Axis powers had won World War II. I can only watch one episode a day, because once I watched two, and I had horrible nightmares.

And two, Amazon music playlists. They have a playlist for pretty much everything, and while their music library included with Prime isn’t as expansive as Apple Music or Spotify, it’s still ample enough to enjoy. Here’s one I listened to last week.

Finally, even though some might argue that poetry is not popular culture, but I see parts of poems pop up on tshirts and tote bags on Etsy all the time. I’ve been ruminating much of this stanza from Mary Oliver’s poem “Sometime”:

“Instructions for living a life:
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.”

I’m not sure what Oliver intended by her use of the word “astonished,” but I’m taking it two ways, in hopes I will find balance to my off-kilter state of mind. I can be astonished at the injustices I see, and tell about those. I can be astonished at the simplicity and beauty of life, and tell about that.

What did I miss? What must I absolutely be watching or listening to?

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