Would Recommend: November

Gigi Silla (she/her); 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 Electoral College, Maricopa County, different news outlets calling different states at different times), but here in the column we like to keep things positive. 

Music 

  • Apolonio by Omar Apollo: The album cover is purple! Not many album colors are purple! Points for purple! All the songs slap so hard. Like, all the songs. Except for “Dos Uno Nueve” because it reminds me how much Spanish I’ve forgotten since taking the AP in May! 9/10. 
  • “Superstar” by Tennis: Filing this one under “covers that are better than the original.” I love The Carpenters, but this bassline is fire and has nothing on the strings and horns in the original. 9/10.
  • Positions by Ariana Grande: I can’t say anything bad about this album otherwise Imprint won’t publish it so 10/10 I guess?? #censorship. 

Books 

  • The Technology of Orgasm by Rachel P. Maines: I’ve only read the preface of this book, and it was only because I had to for class, but holy crap! An incredible preface! I learned so much! Who knew vibrators have existed since at least 1906? And can you believe male readers of Maines’ work were so incredulous that an esteemed academic journal would publish research about virbatros that they accused Maines of not being a real person?! The most incredible part of the preface, however, is when Maines recalls how her male colleague responded to the question of whether or not a vintage virbator still worked: “We don’t know if it works,” he said. “We only know that it runs.” “ICONIC” is what I wrote in my margin notes. [EDIT: Upon a quick Wikipedia search of Maines I discovered that apparently much of her academic work has been widely discredited! So I cannot in good conscience actually recommend you read her book! But the preface? The preface is comedic gold.] 5/10. 

Television 

  • Alguien Tiene Que Morir (Someone Has To Die) on Netflix: I know it’s not ~technically~ spooky szn anymore, but who doesn’t need a little reminder of the horrors of facism and homophobia and shooting pigeons for sport once in a while? 7/10. 

Miscellaneous 

  • Firebringer: The origin of the “I don’t really wanna do the work today” meme, this musical brings you a ficiontalized tale with weirdly a feminist subtext of how humans harnessed the power of fire. In Firebriger, protagonist Zazzalil stages a socilaist revolution with capitalist motives, Neanderthals are polyamrous and pansexual, writers Meredith Stepien and Mark Swiderski plagiarize the opening measure of Hamilton and an alien being touches everyone’s foreheads and gives them eternal wisdom about the mysteries of the universe. If you ever want to kill two hours with some mediocre to good musical theater, Firebriger has you covered! Songs that go especially hard are “Climate Change” and “Chorn.” 10/10. 
  • Steve Kornacki: How did this man stay up for like, four days straight? Queer icon. 13,810,149,293,839/10.

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