Friday Food for Thought: April 29, 2022

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 social media, 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, or offer suggestions via the comments. Let’s begin!

1) Magic Tea:

I begin nearly every day with a cup of hot tea. One of my favorite varieties lately is the English Tea Store‘s Focus Pocus. Despite the silly name, the tea is delicious and essentially caffeine free. The primary ingredients are peppermint, gingko, turmeric, along with a few other supporting flavors. I can’t claim that Focus Pocus has improved my memory, but it is definitely a mellow, comforting start to the day.

2) The Boy From Oz:

While rewatching the TV series Miami Vice (see last week’s post), it was poignant to see Peter Allen in a brief supporting role in the series’ second season premiere. You would be hard-pressed to find an artist who looked more exuberant about performing for an audience. The audio/video quality is not the best, but you can find a number of Allen’s performances on YouTube: watch him tap dance with the Rockettes to “Everything Old is New Again,” duet with Christopher Cross to “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do),” or give a hearfelt tribute to former mother-in-law Judy Garland with “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady on the Stage.” The musical The Boy from Oz was based on Allen’s life and starred Todd McKenney in its original Australian run and Hugh Jackman on Broadway.

3) Habitual Thinking:

Contemplating my own habits and the larger issue of forming and breaking habits for a future blog post, I read William James‘ 1890 essay Habit. James was quite the multi-disciplinary thinker and counted Theodore Roosevelt, W.E.B. Du Bois, Gertrude Stein, and Walter Lippman among his students at Harvard. His writing on habits incorporated the latest medical and psychological thinking of the day. While I don’t agree with all of James’ conclusions, the essay makes a fine introduction to the subject.

4) Badass Movies:

As a white viewer in 2022, I’m clearly not the audience 1970s blaxploitation films were made for. But reading Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World by Wil Haygood is giving me a better appreciation of the genre. This week I’m watching one of the early blaxploitation releases, Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971), starring, directed, produced, and written by Melvin Van Peebles. A lot about the film is over my head, and the movie’s attitude toward women is problematic, but the fact that Van Peebles completed this film and released it to the American public in 1971, without the support of a major studio, was something of a miracle. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassss Song and a whole collection of other 1970s action films, starring and created by Black artists, are currently streaming as part of the Criterion Channel‘s Beyond Blaxploitation collection.

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.

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