Hello Friends, welcome to Friday Food for Thought. Every Friday I’ll help start your weekend by sharing four people, thoughts, or things that are on my mind this week. These may be books or movies, podcast suggestions, interesting people I follow on Twitter, music, products, or, well, anything. You may find interesting creativity boosts here, some conversation starters, or just a small dose of entertainment. Click here for last week’s post. Feel free to share this with friends, offer suggestions via the comments, or connect with me on Twitter @bradbravard. Let’s begin!
1) Cut It Out:
During the height (I hope) of the Covid-19 pandemic, I went more than twelve months without a haircut. Since I’m half-bald anyway, that was not a significant loss. Still, I needed a haircut before I felt safe returning to hair salons. For me, a set of Wahl hair clippers did the trick. The fact that I have an incredibly simple haircut made the Wahl clippers feasible, and nearly a year later, they have more than paid for themselves with the money I’ve saved paying professionals. Depending on your hairstyle, home haircuts may not work for you, but if they do, it can be a big money saver. I recommend holding out for a set of clippers with ear tapering attachments, they’ll make your life easier.
2) Let Sleeping Dogs Live:
I love movies, but I have no patience for the kind of lazy writing that introduces an animal to a story for the sole purpose of killing it. More than once, I’ve stopped watching a movie over this. If you’re as troubled by this as I am – or if you’re looking to avoid specific types of graphic violence or other triggering events – you can find a lot of answers at the Does the Dog Die web site. It should be a given that the site contains spoilers, but Does the Dog Die currently tracks over 80 categories of triggering scenes in movies, including gun violence, car crashes, drug use, and domestic violence. The site is crowdsourced, so you can even join in and help warn others.
3) The Unluckiest Number:
I recently watched the movie White Sands (1992), directed by Roger Donaldson. Donaldson’s skillful direction and a brilliant cast couldn’t overcome a nonsensical script, but it inspired me to revisit Donaldson’s finest work, Thirteen Days (2000). I’ve enjoyed other films of Donaldson’s, including No Way Out (1987) and The World’s Fastest Indian (2005), but I consider Thirteen Days a classic. Partially adapted from the books Thirteen Days by Robert F. Kennedy and The Kennedy Tapes by Ernest R. May and Philip D. Zelikow, Thirteen Days is a gripping and generally accurate depiction of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October, 1962. While the film does take a few significant liberties to create a more intense experience (particularly in its portrayals of White House aide Kenneth O’Donnell and USAF Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay), no less than Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense during the Crisis, called Thirteen Days “a very constructive and responsible portrayal…” While I can’t currently find Thirteen Days streaming free anywhere, it can be rented at numerous streaming sites, and it is available on DVD.
4) The City So Nice:
I’m slowly making my way through Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 by historians Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace. The book runs well over 1,000 pages and is encyclopedic in its level of detail. Published in 1998, Gotham is a book I prefer to enjoy a few pages at a time to better appreciate the vast scope. Yet, it’s astonishing how often Burrows and Wallace take us to street level, a reminder that every city is the sum of its citizens’ actions. Sadly, Burrows passed away in 2018. Wallace published a second volume, Greater Gotham: A History of New York City From 1898 to 1919, and rumor has it a third volume will cover the years 1920 to 1945. Gotham may not report all of the city’s eight million stories, but it comes about as close any single volume can.
That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!
This post contains NO affiliate links. All suggestions are based on my own personal experience, your experience may vary. Nothing herein is intended to serve as medical, legal, financial, or any other advice for which you should consult professionals and not some random guy on the Internet.