006. Remember Cedric Diggory

As we reach the end of this first week of the “media diet”, and following several days of scarcity, yesterday I finally found some content I wanted to discuss. But first a quick note on productivity since the inception of this idea.

Since beginning this project last Thursday I have been the most productive I have been since February where #the1001project is concerned. Finishing one book, one movie and a tv season doesn’t seem like much, but I’ve been overcommitting to life outside my house for a while now, and it’s time I took it easy and went back to the project I enjoy most of all. That said, I have also been branching out with podcasts and music this week too, an endeavour that provides me with insight and entertainment respectively. I’ve also been enjoying the NHL playoffs, though I’m yet to see my first catfishing.

But without further ado, here’s what I listened to and read yesterday:

June 7, 2017

PODCAST: Gilmore Guys: Lauren Graham

Gilmore Guys is finally over. I remember listening to my first episodes while entering data about botanical specimens at Maia and being instantly impressed and inspired. For the past two years this has been my answer when anyone asks how I can type long strings of letters and numbers so efficiently and enjoyably, and to have passed the end of the series is a little surreal. Through their genuine humour, backdoor knowledge of improvisation, film, television and theatre, and their demonstrable work ethic in a notoriously difficult and inauspicious industry, Kevin and Demi have taught me not only technical concepts, optimism and perseverance, but also that entertainment can be made from… pretty much anything.

In this final episode of Gilmore Guys, the boys “gab” with Lauren Graham who is also an exceptional inspiration. While the final episode would have been great as a return to roots farewell to the series, it feels as though full circle has been achieved. It wasn’t classic Gilmore Guys, but Graham’s harmonies for “Where You Lead” were on point.

BOOK: Complete Fables, by Aesop

I’m nearly finished with this, I swear.

TV SERIES: Parenthood

Parenthood, S01E01

After listening to the final episode of Gilmore Guys, I was left wanting more Lauren Graham, and since Mae Whitman and Dax Shepard are also in that show, and I had heard great things – not to mention, it’s helpfully a #the1001project show – I decided to watch Parenthood. I have only watched the pilot at this point, but my thoughts are thus:

  • This is a sweet show and I like Lauren Graham’s character even though I can foresee future frustration with that branch of the family.
  • I’m interested to see these variations on the nuclear family – kind of like Modern Family but with a more serious base.
  • I just know I’m going to spend a lot of time in tears because of this show.

So I’m looking forward to continuing! Although I’ve also picked up The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as my dinner show because I’ve decided that I need to focus on new media to a greater extent or this cycle of missing out will just continue forever.

PODCAST: Harry Potter and the Sacred Text – Being a Stranger: Diagon Alley (Book 1, Chapter 5)

This podcast episode, more than anything else I’ve read or watched or listened to, has been the most influential media I’ve exposed myself to over the past week.

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text is a podcast created by Vanessa Zoltan, Casper ter Kuile & Ariana Nedelman with the intention of reading the Harry Potter series as though it were a sacred text, reading the books “not just as novels, but as instructive and inspirational texts that will teach us about our own lives”.

I initially encountered Harry Potter and the Sacred Text several months ago when one of my best “internet” friends Kelly suggested it to our “Old HP Pals” Facebook group. I listened to the first few episodes available at the time and while vaguely interested, I never remembered to catch up when further episodes were released. Now, one year after it began, the podcast is almost finished with book three but I decided to pick up where I left off and listen to episode five where Vanessa and Casper read “Diagon Alley” through the lens of “being a stranger”.

In the opening minutes of this episode, Casper reveals that they had recorded the audio just days before the attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Following this, he explains that while many would turn to prayer in times like these, for many listeners that may not be an option. Instead Vanessa repeats Dumbledore’s speech from the end of Goblet of Fire as a call to reflection and an alternative for those who felt more comfortable with a different option.

Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by JK Rowling

While I have seen internet jokes in the past about Harry Potter as religion, or gospel and even particular reference to the series as a sacred text for certain people, I have always considered that too far a line to cross for even my most adored stories. But as someone who has always considered herself to be, if not spiritual herself, then at least empathetic to any belief in which all are equal and deserving of kindness, there are of course lessons within Harry Potter that speak to that part of me.

While I don’t consider Harry Potter to be a spiritual text, the literary analysis and religious critique, as well as the general lessons of kindness, blessing and thoughtfulness that Vanessa and Casper share through this podcast have been refining the way I understand religion and spirituality, something I had dismissed long ago as not for me.

While I’m not saying Harry Potter is my bible – I feel like that’s a strange precedent – I do appreciate the intent to see positive instruction in obscure places, and encourage anyone to listen to this podcast for an alternative take on structured religion.

x Casey

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001. Casey Causley Media Diet

raiders_of_the_lost_ark-_65

Indiana Jones: I don’t know, I’m making this up as I go along.

– Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Each year Steven Soderbergh, producer of movies such as the Oceans series and Magic Mike, publishes a list in January of all the media he consumed in the last 365 days, a concept that has become referred to as his “media diet”. As someone who enjoys not only consuming but creating content, I’ve become interested in knowing what my media diet would be. In addition to that I’m also interested in keeping track for reasons of productivity tracking, mood insight and particularly having a record of #the1001project media, particularly during times when it becomes difficult to create comprehensive reviews of all 4000+ items, and that doesn’t even include the non-related content.

So I present to you from now on, daily posts about the books, movies, television, podcast and live performances I experience.


June 2nd, 2017

Podcast: Gilmore Guys Present Bunhead Bros 116 ft. Jason Mantzoukas

This is where the inspiration for the Causley media diet came from as I liked the idea of a stimulus for daily creative/reflective writing for a year. It also has the benefit of being a written history of the productivity of #the1001project over time as well as the opportunity to highlight certain experiences and their connection to media – for example, as I’m going through an emotionally turbulent period at the moment, I end up watching more The Big Bang Theory than normal.

In terms of this podcast, it’s my go-to work podcast, particularly the Gilmore Guys era as the content is based on a show I’ve experienced so often that I can follow the discussion. The entertainment value, including the report between Kevin, Demi and their guests has in the past has been a source of inspiration considering their particular involvement in a side of media and performance that I really enjoy. The only podcast I’ve found to be more stimulating has been, of course, Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show.

Side Note: This media diet project is also probably the most efficient way for me to keep track of quotes I want to collect too. My Twitter bio doesn’t claim me as the “Queen of Reference Humour” for nothing.

Movie: Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark

Raiders of the Lost Ark – the original Hannah Montana.

After growing up without exposure to most movies, including Star Wars and Indiana Jones, catching up on Harrison Ford as an adult is a magical experience I do not underestimate, and Raiders is the perfect escapist movie after a taxing week. Adventure, humour, and that perfect venn diagram of “adventurous” but “nerd” that’s like some kind of me kryptonite.

Speaking seriously though, Raiders is among the genre of movies I have trouble critically analyzing for blog posts such as these. It’s fun, funny and the Nazi’s lose. Add to that Harrison Ford’s haircut and Indy’s badass attitude and you have a crowd pleaser. To match with my emotional state this week, it was the ideal escape from stress and anxiety and I gave it a five out of five on RT. It’s not exactly thought provoking apart from the “girl wears inappropriate clothes while defeating bad guys, but not actually defeating them, just making an effort to defeat them while Indiana Jones is really the one who saves the day” trope. Early 1980’s special effects were on point too, and now I really want an Indy inspired costume to lurk at zoos in. A e s t h e t i c.

Side note: Doctor Jones, Jones, calling Doctor Jones.

x Casey