The Checkout Counter #17
March 2024
BlackBerry, 2023
Several People Are Typing, Calvin Kasulke
Short Peace, 2013
  • BlackBerry, 2023i didn't expect a 2023 movie about A Product to be this ruthless to its characters! i guess it's easier to lean away from the tired story of a genius product-maker when the product itself has completely vanished from public life. watching capitalism eat away at people's souls has never been so fun!

    this movie has also added "he's from waterloo, where the vampires hang out" to my daily vocabulary, which is a shame since there's absolutely no scenario in which i can say this out loud

    Drama, comedy. The rise and fall of the BlackBerry phone.
  • Short Peace (ショート・ピース), 2013
    Animated anthology. Four short films spanning across time, from firefighters in the Edo period to a robot-infested Tokyo in the far future.
  • American Housewife, Helen Ellis
    Short fiction. A collection of stories that center the unhinged domestic lives of American women.
  • Several People Are Typing, Calvin Kasulkesuch a fun and quick read, since it's formatted exactly like a slack chat. it's a refreshing take on workplace satire/horror, where a lot of the drama comes from fellow coworkers and not the mysterious and unknowable higher-ups.
    Contemporary. A man who works at a PR firm gets trapped in his company's Slack. His coworkers think it's a bit.
  • The Unreal and the Real: Selected Stories (Volume Two: Outer Space, Inner Lands), Ursula K. Le Guin
    Short fiction. The best of the author's sci-fi and fantasy stories.
Articles & essays
  • Review of Past Lives, Mia Lee Vicinoi didn't enjoy past lives at all, but this review still rules!
  • If It Makes You Cry, It Must Be Good, Caitlin Quinlan
  • On Making Trauma Legible: How Interactive Fiction Identifies Trauma, Kastel"Her presence and absence are clearly felt through the passage of time and the glimpses the story has provided. And yet, it can only be felt, not written. To write something down is to limit interpretations to one way and leave a solid trail. Grief cannot be described by prose but by absence, by what might have been. It has to be opened up by the players who are willing to engage and participate in processing the loss together."
  • Hating it Lush: On Tel Aviv, Kaleem Hawa"Silly or not, my preliminary thesis was to think of Tel Aviv as a sort of Los Angeles of the eastern Mediterranean. Both cities are trashy, though one is in denial about it. Both have a sort of melancholic hedonism baked into their equations: in Los Angeles the party ends when the cash runs out. In Tel Aviv, too, but the currency here is Zionism. On offer are a language myth, a folk history, a cuisine, a pat and comforting story for the Jewish visitor to sit down and remember as if it were just yesterday. (It was. My grandmother is older than the State of Israel.)

    In a sense, both cities sell the promise of forgetting. Los Angeles coordinates the global circulation of a provincial cinema, a phantasmagoric blanket over the city’s racial crises and the depredations of U.S. imperialism. In Tel Aviv, you forget the Palestinian."