AS A SELF-PROCLAIMED night owl, I’m rarely surprised when I lift my eyes from Instagram and see that it’s well past when I intended to go to sleep. Here’s how I explain it to myself: I’ve always stayed up late, and now the only time I get to myself is when my husband and daughter are asleep. Here’s what’s actually going on: I’m procrastinating.
That’s probably because Wilson’s face has yet to appear on his own show. Viewers merely hear his narration — voice nasal, tone deadly dry — and catch glimpses of him in mirrors as he wanders around New York City with a camera, interacting with everyday people. Episodes like How to Put Up Scaffolding, How to Cover Your Furniture, and How to Make the Perfect Risotto begin with Wilson attempting to learn something practical. But each time the effort spirals into hilarious, sometimes poignant, and impossible-to-predict chaos, taking him everywhere from the home of a nude foreskin enthusiast to a beach resort in Cancun packed with college students on spring break.
Before it became known as Mount Rushmore, the Lakota called this granite formation Tunkasila Sakpe Paha, or Six Grandfathers Mountain. It was a place for prayer and devotion for the Native people of the Great Plains, explains Donovin Sprague, head of the history department at Sheridan College in Wyoming and a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. The mountain’s location in the Black Hills was also significant. “It’s the center of the universe of our people,” Sprague says. For Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho communities, the region was not only spiritually important, it was also where tribes gathered food and plants they used in building and medicine.
Unemployment is particularly high for performing artists, of whom 27.4 percent report being unemployed, roughly twice the fraction of non-performing artists (14.5 percent) and higher even than those working in retail (18 percent). By contrast, at 11.4 percent, the unemployment rate for architects, librarians, and archivists is about the same as for the rest of the economy. The difference is likely due, at least in part, to the fact that performing artists are much more likely to be self-employed. But it also may be that performing artists have more trouble earning money by working from home, whereas designers, writers, and even visual artists may be able to continue working, publishing, or selling their art remotely.
Most radically, there was the show’s obsessive circling around its accumulated past, whose visual summary might be the whiteboards in one of the final episodes (“Sunk Cost and All That”) on which BoJack, together with Todd, Diane, and Princess Carolyn, tries to list all his many crimes and misdemeanors. That kind of unruly frame-breaking isn’t necessarily something you might associate with poignancy or sincerity. But it was this continued backtracking attention to its own making that finally allowed BoJack Horseman to end up showing that cartoon might be the most truthful model of our landscape. A person, you might conclude, is also an outline infested by other selves, a vehicle for mournful self-criticism and recomposition. We’re all fantastical now, it seemed to argue, in the multicolored digital light.
I once asked the great historian Richard Southern whether he would like to have met any of the medieval saints and churchmen about whom he wrote so eloquently. He gave a cautious reply: ‘I think they probably had very bad breath.’ He may have been right about that, but it would be wrong to infer that this was something which didn’t bother them. The men and women of the Middle Ages may have had a greater aversion to unpleasant body odours than their descendants do now. If so, this was bad luck, for they were much more likely to encounter them than we are in our deodorised world
Liberal guilt has become a shorthand for describing those who feel keenly a lack of social, political and economic justice, but are not the ones who suffer the brunt of it. According to the cultural critic Julie Ellison, it first took hold in the US in the 1990s, on the back of a post-cold-war fragmentation of the left, and a loss of faith in the utopian politics of collective action that had characterised an earlier generation of radicals. The liberal who feels guilty has given up on the collective and recognises herself to be acting out of self-interest. Her guilt is thus a sign of the gap between what she feels for the other’s suffering and what she will do actively to alleviate it – which is not, it turns out, a great deal.
According to psychologist, psychotherapist and hypnotherapist Dr Jonathan Pointer, the appeal in returning to treasured TV, films, music, books, video games, sporting moments, and even food, lies in the connection between emotion and memory. “Emotions and memories are linked; emotions reactivate memories, and memories reactivate emotions. So nostalgic reminiscence, when we create an emotional response through reminiscing on past events, is an easy way to re-experience an emotion attached to a particular memory. This can be aided by retrieval cues, such as smells, sights, sounds, from our past,” he says.
That connection, along with Nissen’s ceaseless promotional activities, propelled trampolining into the American consciousness during the post-war years and throughout the space era. Nissen jumped at the chance to awaken the world to its exercise benefits, which include cardio, strength, balance and range of motion, and he came up with plenty of photo ops for his invention, including jumping on one on the flattened top of a pyramid in Egypt and bouncing with a kangaroo in Central Park.
“The kangaroo was nasty,” Dian says. “It kept trying to kick my father. He would get close to it for the photos but then jump away quickly so he wouldn’t get hurt.”
After the war, his reputation as a groper became a running joke among science fiction fans. The writer and editor Judith Merril recalled that Asimov was known in the 1940s as “the man with a hundred hands,” and that he “apparently felt obliged to leer, ogle, pat, and proposition as an act of sociability.” Asimov, in turn, described Merril as “the kind of girl who, when her rear end was patted by a man, patted the rear end of the patter,” although she remembered the episode rather differently: “The third or fourth time his hand patted my rear end, I reached out to clutch his crotch.”