Juniper Disco | The Mini No. 4
Yard Snacks, Our Cacophonous Summer, and The Karens in the Woke Olympics
After Ferguson, when a Black Lives Matter protest came to Boston and blocked I-93 during rush hour, I responded to a friend’s post stating something like, “I am all for this. Except when it endangers others.” And let’s be honest, I really meant “inconveniences.” That friend, who was way beyond me in his understanding of anti-racism and white privilege, told me he was disappointed in me. Oof.
I’ve been watching and listening these past weeks, taking it all in, and privately, painfully unpacking my own complicity over here. The bravery (and the anger and desperation and exhaustion that fuels it) of every one of those protesters knocks the wind out of me every morning.
Meanwhile … the Karens of Facebook and the always enthusiastic(!) millennials on Instagram are taking up extra space competing in the Woke Olympics. There’s the gold medal competition category, Bought the Most Anti-Racist Books (and Posted a Stack of Unread Books to Prove It), and the participation ribbon category, Posted a Black Square.
Showing solidarity without making it about yourself means figuring out when to speak up and who to speak up to, when to stay in our lane, and when to get the fuck out of the way and let other people talk. It’s a challenge to unlearn.
We can only start from where we are (hi! white privileged yes, but-er that I was), and in the recent words of that same friend, “Catch the eff up already.” Listen, listen, listen. Be careful not to crowd out the real voices with braggy checklists. Amplify BIPOC voices. Check yourself.
*To all my friends actually named Karen: you are all lovely people and I’m sorry your name has been usurped for this purpose. Kisses!
It looks like this summer is going to be smothered by a cacophony of confusing directives around this pandemic. Ultimately, we’ll all have to make our own choices around boundaries.
I walked down Commercial Street on Saturday — the first weekend with shops open to in-store browsing and restaurants open to outdoor dining — and learned it is impossible to stay six feet away from other people at all times. And that people not wearing masks make me feel rage-y. Luckily, I have experience dodging the summer hordes and have decided to use my avoidance tactics of traveling back streets, jumping fences, and parking in secret spots to dash in strategically to town so I can safely participate in Ptown Summer.
Some of you — who love Provincetown and the Cape so very deeply (gurl, I get it) — will decide not to visit this year. On Instagram, I’ve been capturing all my super-choreographed trips up Cape to pick up plants for what I envision will be our summer sanctuary, my visits to out of the way spots, and our weird AF pandemic life in this resort town. Follow me over there for a good dose of Ptown this summer.
Also a little housekeeping: my web hosting service closed up shop so I hauled all (well, most) of my Juniper Disco stuff over to a new site. Check it out! Still at juniperdisco.com.
A note to all of you in case you haven’t yet encountered this, looking at yourself sideways in the mirror right now is not good self care.
We’re continuing to do This While We Wait for That. We’ve moved from Motown to Bossa Nova and Hitchcock to James Bond. I’m doing my own pedicures and signing up for virtual events that I never end up attending. But mostly I am fussing with my plants, orchestrating socially distanced Yard Snack gatherings for the Moms and our closest friends, and mapping out my routes Harriet The Spy-style for my summer quest to procure socially distanced frozen drinks.
Also, here’s some stuff:
Adobe’s 99U Conference is online and free this year! And it’s tomorrow. “This year's theme addresses what it means to be a creative through techniques on how to unpack creative identities, establish a purpose, nurture inner talent and define success.”
Idlewild Social Studies Book Club. The focus of this book club is “an attempt at understanding the real lives of denizens in places, whose stories might not be making headlines.” You had me at “Anthony Bourdain.”
“L to the OG” got an official release. The earworm is back.
Kettle’s Yard Pebble Challenge. Kettle’s Yard is the University of Cambridge’s modern and contemporary art gallery. I am obsessed with it, even though I have never been there. Of all the at home activities out there, this one is really unique. “Explore artworks, objects and ideas from the Kettle’s Yard collection to create your own art. Each pebble marks an activity to make and do at home, using the things you find around your house.”
“Chan Chan.” Musicians from around the world sing that Buena Vista Social Club song.
Paradise in Quarantine: Quintana Roo from the Air. Once again, I am going to remind you that we were supposed to go to Mexico the week before the lockdown and my bitterness continues to grow — especially after seeing these gorgeous photos!
The #PaperPrawn Challenge. Lisa Lloyd, a paper artist, has provided instructions for making your own paper prawns at home.
Questlove’s Playlist Redux. “These are songs I really got great reactions to," he says. "I almost feel like summer is going to be our view of outside from windows, and really our imaginations. For me, that's what these songs represent. It puts you in a near-synesthesia experience of relaxation, which I feel is the most important thing. This should calm people.” “Calypso” by Herbie Hancock is a revelation.
The Spring Issue: At Home | Pop-Up Magazine. “In Pop-Up Magazine, writers, filmmakers, radio producers, comedians, and photographers perform true, never-before-told stories alongside original music and art. Laugh, cry, and think your way through an hour filled with awkward parties, office comedy, terrifying bus rides, high school dreams, young doctors, houseplant confessions, and more!”
That Val Kilmer story on The Daily podcast: The Iceman in Winter. “He was an upwardly mobile conventional movie star; he was equally a fringe weirdo who would soon disappear.” Just trust me on this one.
The Big Flower Fight (Netflix.) The father-son duo, Jim and Ralph, deserve all the best things in this life! Also, my dog’s full name is now Stephen Patrick Morrissey Jameson Vanderyacht Mooney.
Dublin Murders (STARZ). Dead and missing people in the woods is my Summer 2020 viewing theme. Based on Tana French’s super popular books. // The Woods (Netflix). Like I said, dead and missing people in the woods is my Summer 2020 viewing theme. Another Harlen Coben adaptation — made in Poland, but dubbed over in English. // Never Have I Ever (Netflix) It will fill up your worried, angry little 2020 heart. // The second season of Sweetbitter (STARZ). Juicy in every way. And Interpol is in episode seven.
Minju Kim at Home. There are so many free coloring pages out there right now and I have scooped them all up! Love these from the South Korean designer.
Maybe the best reggae song of all time: Skylarking by Horace Andy. Perfect for lazing about in your backyard this summer while sipping on a light cocktail. Simmer down. I said “maybe.”
“Tom of Finland at 100.” “When Tom’s work first appeared in the 1950s, it defied the dominant image of gay men as sissies, fairies and pansies.” // “It’s Time to Take California Back from Joan Didion.” “Amado Vazquez, a Mexican botanist, named an orchid after Joan Didion. While that was a chic gesture, I don’t think of her as an orchid. I think of her as an onion. She’s very white, very crisp, and she makes people cry.” // “My Unhealthy Obsession with My Dead Middle School Crush.” “I tracked down dozens of middle school classmates, piecing their scattered memories together into a more complete picture of a boy none of us really knew.”
“Jericho Brown Reads from his Pulitzer Prize-winning Poems.” Read also, “The Sound and the Fury of Jericho Brown.” “Jericho Brown doesn’t read his poems, he delivers them — a master of both page and stage.”
Christine and the Queens’ cover of Neil Young’s “Heart of Gold.” A stirring mashup of College Me meets Current Me.
More bits of Provincetown and the Cape from afar for you:
I Am a Town. Mischa Richter made a documentary about Ptown that was supposed to be shown at this year’s now cancelled film festival. It debuted at MoMa in February. On Sunday, 6/21, Sebastian Junger interviews him on FB Live at 7:00 pm.
The 1,000 Mile Walk with Peter Hocking. “The Coronavirus makes it unsafe for a lot of people to visit Cape Cod this summer, so I want to bring Cape Cod to you! Starting Memorial Day and continuing through the summer, I'm walking 1,000 miles to explore the landscape, history, and culture of Cape Cod. It's all in support of Provincetown Commons! Want to join me? You can sponsor me by the mile!”
One Provincetown One Fund Live. “Nineteen non-profits from the Outer Cape are producing and participating in a joint livestreaming fundraiser, One Provincetown, One Fund – LIVE! on Thursday, June 25th, 2020. This 3-hour Outer Cape collaboration will broadcast live on Facebook and Provincetown Community Television starting at 5:00 pm.”
Provincetown Gallery Stroll. We have gallery strolls every Friday night in town from spring through the fall. Now you can do it virtually from your couch!
And if you plan to visit, stuff yourselves silly at our local restaurants, do not go home empty-handed (the more shopping bags you collect, the better!), and PLEASE follow the guidelines. For you beachgoers, here are the Cape Cod National Seashore guidelines. In our town, masks are REQUIRED on Commercial Street from Bangs Street to Pleasant Street from 9am to 9pm. But seriously, just freaking wear one! Otherwise, we’ll bitch about you on our community pages.