Would Recommend: August

Gigi Silla; Washington, DC—

Welcome to “Would Recommend,” the new and improved version of “Gigi’s Corner: A Column,” the column in which I write about things that spark joy in my life and then rate them on a 10 point scale. Sort of like if Marie Kondo wrote Yelp reviews. There are plenty of things in my life that don’t spark joy (the third season of Dark on Netflix, cleaning my bathroom, the ridiculously complicated ordeal of returning Amazon packages), but here in the column we like to keep things positive. 

Music

  • “HEAD OVER HEELS” by LoveLeo: I’m not generally one for songs whose titles are written in all caps (why does the song feel the need to YELL at me? Indoor voices, please), but this song is an exception to the rule. I want to dance whenever I hear it! In other words, I am head over heels for “HEAD OVER HEELS.” (See? It’s aggressive. I don’t make the capitalization rules. ) 8/10. 
  • Folklore by Taylor Swift: On the opposite end of the capitalization spectrum, Tay Tay is back to wearing lacy dresses and Keds and is most certainly not “Out of the Woods” as she claimed to be back in 1989. An album made for all your cottagecore needs, Folklore has everything you loved about Taylor on Fearless and Speak Now minus everything you hated about her on Reputation. She’s let go of her petty Kanye feud (a move that could be easily misconstrued as an endorsement for Kanye’s presidency?) and, instead, has returned to key changes and naming the people in her songs, adding Betty and James and Rebekah to the ranks of Drew and John and Abigail. The song “last great american dynasty” proves that T. Swizzle has a pretty warped sense of American history (I would argue that there have been, uh, no great American dynasties, let alone a last great one?), but “august” and “invisible string” prove that she’s still just as good of a lyricist as she was on “All Too Well,” “Story of Us” and “Dear John.” Also, this woman sure knows how to f**k me up with a damn good bridge. (See “mirrorball” and “exile”.) 11/10. 
  • I’m Allergic To Dogs! by Remi Wolf: The title is relatable content and so are Remi’s lyrics. I do indeed like my cherries when they’re maraschino and my movies when they’re Tarantino. I’m a disco man with a lot of fiscal plans and a side hoe for whom I alter my diet and make eggplant parmesan. 10/10. 

Podcasts 

  • The Ezra Klein Show: Sometimes I trick myself into thinking I’m smart because I took AP Calc. But then I listen to The Ezra Klein Show, and I realize that there are far more intelligent folks out there, and they all know way cooler things than how to take an integral. A calculator can take an integral. But could a calculator explain the principles of restorative justice and nonviolence to you? I think not. 10/10. 
  • Nice White Parents from Serial: This year, everything seems to be upside down, so it only makes sense that the podcast that brought you true crime and a gruesome high school murder in 2014 now brings you  a deep dive into the de facto segregation of Brooklyn schools and the complicated dynamics of PTAs. 10/10. 

Movies

  • But I’m A Cheerleader (free on YouTube): Who knew conversion therapy could be so… funny? Natasha Lyonne plays a convincing Christian and RuPaul an unconvincing “straight” man in this 2000s precursor to lesbian TikTok. 10/10. 
  • 20th Century Women (on Netflix): Three women try to raise one boy in 1979 in Santa Barbara. Their weapons of choice include one copy of Our Bodies Ourselves, one antiquated pregnancy test, one camera and thirty thousand cigarettes. 9/10.

Miscellaneous  

  • @ziwef on Instagram: Ziwe Fumudoh interviews and subsequently drags problematic white women weekly on Instagram Live. (Problematic White Women Weekly shall be the name of my forthcoming trashy tabloid magazine which you can buy at the Hudson News in Penn Station for fifteen cents along with your Snickers—like it’s 1942.) Recent guests include: Alison Roman (who has four to five Black friends and defines friend as “anyone with a car”), Rose McGowan (who lives in Berlin, resides in the German capital, is actually oppressed because her given name is Rosa and oh, did I mention, she lives in Berlin?), and a couple of other white women whose names I can’t remember because they are so very irrelevant to my life. 11/10. 
  • Twitter: I joined Twitter per a friend’s recommendation for an article I wrote for Imprint but didn’t publish for reasons that are way too complicated to explain now. (I’m a woman of mystery and intrigue, and don’t you forget it, baby!) The other day I saw consecutively on my timeline a mediocre Taylor Swift meme, an ad for cheese that supposedly melts on broccoli and an infuriating conspiracy that Pete Buttigeig was going to be the VP pick (he’s not, obviously), and that is both why I didn’t join Twitter sooner and why I probably will never leave. 4/10. 

Photo courtesy of Gigi Silla

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