Music: Special by Lizzo

I’m an avid follower of Saturday Night Live but I normally skip the music performancnes. However, I usually make it a point to watch the music when the host is also the musical performer because I think it’s amazing how they manage to de both. I hadn’t known much about Lizzo (I know she wrote that DNA test song) but I’m a fan after watching her skits and listening to her songs. I was touched by this song in particular. She puts so much love and passion into the song that I really felt like she was speaking to me. I know I’ve struggled with feeling special and loved at times and it’s great that Lizzo wrote a song about that.

Article: US Olympian Andrew Seliskar Announces Retirement

Following a theme of touching media content, I don’t know how I only found about Andrew’s retirement this week (it was almost two months ago) but this article was very bittersweet for me. I swam and trained with Andrew at NCAP Tysons and the McLean Marlins. He was definitely the aspirational paragon in my swimming career – in terms of his carnal drive to win and steadfast work ethic in and out of the pool, he’s a god amongst men. It was an absolute tragedy that he didn’t get to swim at finals at Tokyo. While I’m sad he won’t be striving for the Paris Olympics, I wish him the best in his next stage in life.

Book: Woke Racism by John McWhorter

There are a handful of books I read each year that change my way of thinking and this is one of them. In America, there’s a lot of dialogue about race, mostly by the political left. John McWhorter says most of these people have the wrong idea – what he calls “woke racism” is more of a cultish religion than a coherent ideology. On the surface, he might just sound like your typical anti-woke contrarian, I do think he presents some meaningful arguments against this wokeness – namely his arguments that antiracism is performative and doesn’t contribute to any meaningful change to improve the lives of black people and this way of thinking demeans black people. Regardless if you agree with the principles at the end of the book, I think it’s worth a read for everybody.

YouTube: Why China is Building Their Own Europe

I had vaguely heard of this phenomenon before watching this video, but I had no idea of its scope. To me, this is an result of the hollowed-out Chinese culture that came out of the Cultural Revolution. The Chinese people have found European architecture as an outlet for the vacuum where their deep cultural heritage used to be. But, without any of the culture or history that makes these cities noteworthy, this all just seems tacky.