Show of the Month
Writing - Empathy


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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (2019)

Platform: Netflix

Many people expected this movie to be macabre (aka incredibly gory), however, it isn’t moral to appropriate events that cost people their lives in real life. The true terror is Zac Efron as Ted Bundy – the entire story absolutely compelling. I watched this at three in the morning and was unable to fall asleep afterwards.

Rating: 4/5

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Aladdin (2019)

Platform: Movie theaters

I don’t think Disney could’ve depicted Aladdin any better. The casting, animations, and storyline were utterly spectacular and top-of-the-line! I was a little worried about their conversion from cartoon to realistic cinema, but you have nothing to fear – the tone was impeccably captured.

Rating 5/5

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The Girl Next Door (2004)

Platform: HBOGO

This was a random pick early in the morning (2am) and ended up being wildly hilarious with an original storyline – I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it before!

Rating: 4/5


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“It’s a show you experience, rather than watch.” 

Very intricate and true to the time period. Incredible acting, definitely one of the best shows ever made.”

“Mad Men is a masterpiece of modern television. It is one of the darkest and most disturbing shows I have ever seen.”

“I could sit here and sing its praises because it deserves them, but I’ll also say what most people who love the show won’t tell you.

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This isn’t a TV show like most others that capture people’s attention these days. This isn’t Game of Thrones with twists and turns and crazy plot devices and over-the-top characters, this isn’t a show that oozes out references to things from the 60s to really really sell you an over the top version of the time period, and this isn’t that show that keeps you coming back every single episode because every single episode has something happen in it that makes you say “wow, who will so and so react to this and what’s going to happen to everyone now?”

Mad Men is like a snapshot of real life within that time period. That means when real life can be boring, so can Mad Men. It means that the show can be slow moving, but some crazy stuff can go down once in a while too. It means that there are some brilliant people who can also be total assholes, and there are some boring people who can be totally heartfelt. The show is a mood ring and not a diamond ring. It’s smooth jazz and not rock or rap. It doesn’t ooze references to the time period, but hot damn if it isn’t true to the it in the way people talk, dress, the way things look, their outlooks on life, etc.

The whole show is a tone, and not really a SHOW, if that makes sense. I have friends who thought it was boring as hell, and friends who thought it was amazing. I have to be honest in that there were times I felt both ends of the spectrum while watching the show, but in the end the whole thing was amazing. It’s an investment.

Should you watch it? Fuck yes.”


right before bed when I can't sleep


in the clouds, late night car rides, laying in the 
grass, the shower right after a great workout
  1. Two Mothers / Christopher Gordon – laughing in the sun, childlike; blue cloudless skies on an island in the middle of no where 
  2. Sycamore Girls / Rex Orange County
  3. Them Changes / Thundercat
  4. Grazing in the Grass / Hugh Masekela
  5. Some Place Else / MorMor
  6. If You Wait / London Grammar
  7. This Life / Vampire Weekend
  8. You Only Live Twice / Nancy Sinatra
  9. Believe / Cher
  10. Going Out of My Head by Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 – freaking out about being in love, classically singing to myself on the wooden floors of my bedroom like I am performing a scene in a musical
  11. Last Time / Kero Uno, Kloii
  12. EARFQUAKE / Tyler, The Creator – self-explanatory 
  13. Old Town Road – Remix / Lil Nas X, Billy Ray Cyrus – also…self-explanatory (side note: this song broke many boundaries – I’m a stan forever) 
  14. Timebomb / Post Precious
  15. La Romana  / Bad Bunny, El Alfa
  16. I’m Probably Gonna Rock Your World / Logic
  17. With You in My Head (feat. The Black Angels) / UNKLE


“As you are well aware,” the man continued, his voice soft but penetrating, “in the course of life we experience many kinds of pain. Pains of the body and pains of the heart. I know I have experienced pain in many different forms in my life, and I’m sure you have too. In most cases, though, I’m sure you’ve found it very difficult to convey the truth of that pain to another person: to explain it in words. People say that only they themselves can understand the pain they are feeling. But is this true? I for one do not believe that it is. If, before our eyes, we see someone who is truly suffering, we do sometimes feel his suffering and pain as our own. This is the power of empathy. Am I making myself clear?”

He broke off and looked around the room once again.

“The reason that people sing songs for other people is because they want to have the power to arouse empathy, to break free of the narrow shell of the self and share their pain and joy with others. This is not an easy thing to do, of course. And so tonight, as a kind of experiment, I want you to experience a simpler, more physical kind of empathy.”

Everyone in the place was hushed now, all eyes fixed on the stage. Amid the silence, the man stared off into space, as if to insert a pause or to reach a state of mental concentration. Then, without a word, he held his left hand over the lighted candle. Little by little, he brought the palm closer and closer to the flame. Someone in the audience made a sound like a sigh or a moan. You could see the tip of the flame burning the man’s palm. You could almost hear the sizzle of the flesh. A woman released a hard little scream. Everyone else just watched in frozen horror. The man endured the pain, his face distorted in agony. What the hell was this? Why did he have to do such a stupid, senseless thing? I felt my mouth going dry. After five or six seconds of this, he slowly removed his hand from the flame and set the dish with the candle in it on the floor. Then he clasped his hands together, the right and left palms pressed against each other.”

“As you have seen tonight, ladies and gentlemen, pain can actually burn a person’s flesh,” said the man. His voice sounded exactly as it had earlier: quiet, steady, cool. No trace of suffering remained on his face. Indeed, it had been replaced by a faint smile. “And the pain that must have been there, you have been able to feel as if it were your own. That is the power of empathy.”

The man slowly parted his clasped hands. From between them he produced a thin red scarf, which he opened for all to see. Then he stretched his palms out toward the audience. There were no burns at all. moment of silence followed, and then people expressed their relief in wild applause. The lights came up, and the chatter of voices replaced the tension that had filled the room.

As if the whole thing had never happened, the man put his guitar into the case, stepped down from the age, and disappeared.

Excerpt From: Haruki Murakami. “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.” iBooks.