Hilary's Hit List, Part I

by Hilary Crowe

Those who know me, or have at least some knowledge of my editorial musings, are well aware that I am not exactly the first person to look to for a pick-me-up. However, in light of the melancholy posts cast down from the Ivory Tower (see "Inside the Journalism Confessional," for instance), and general disaffection as winter melts into spring, I think we could all use some words of encouragement. Mass media are, in the very least, great distracters and detractors from the sometimes-tedium of reality. The following have helped me keep my cool, regain some motivation, and keep my eye on that light at the end of the tunnel.

Music: Radiohead, The Bends

For reasons unknown even to myself, I have been resisting Radiohead since the late ‘90s. It just took coed life to show me the light, or to make me dejected enough to appreciate the band. While The Bends is arguably the most traditionally melodic of Radiohead’s albums, it also has some of their best songwriting. With a few interpretive liberties, it is easily the soundtrack to my life right now, specifically the title track. “Black Star” is worth repeated listening also, drumming into one’s head the idea that sometimes life is left to forces beyond our control. Cheese, sap, and funk meld into one delicious sonic delivery from winter-spring transitional blues.

TV: The Gilmore Girls, Season 3 DVD

While the banter and the plot may be contrived, the drama is unparalleled – at least at such a wholesome level. Girls everywhere envy 17-year-old Rory’s bad boy (Jess) vs. good guy (Dean) dilemma, as well as her relationship with her 30-something mom Lorelai. We watch with bated breath as Rory applies to Harvard, as she navigates the treacherous waters of young love, and sigh as she flits from Dean to Jess, back to Dean again. I’ll admit it was difficult deciding whether to reveal this guilty pleasure, but I am willing to endure a few laughs at my expense if it means sharing this mindless, feel-good, dreamland dramedy with others in need. Admit it, sometimes we all like to hope that a place like sleepy little Stars Hollow, Connecticut really does exist: where the political turmoil consists of the local diner and grocery store owners having a blow out about whether to install a soda fountain in the center of town; where everyone gets into the Ivy League school of their dreams; and the best people to talk to are also the best looking.

(For Part II, scroll down or click here.)

(Photo of Radiohead performing in Copenhagen, Denmark from nsanch of Seattle, WA via Flickr using a Creative Commons license.)

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