Welcome to Issue 31.4 of Digestable, your daily mouthful of real things happening in the world, minus alarmist pandemic news.
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Today’s news, fermented:
Hello friends! I’m going to keep it short today, and direct you to some other morning content.
After many months of process, Corporate Accountability, where I spend my other 8 hours of daily screen time, is releasing a podcast! It’s called Subvert, and is about uprooting corporate power, as told by people building the world we need amid the world that we have.
I wrote and co-produced our first episode, which is out today, and am plotting big things for the rest of our first season. In this time of distance and accompanying isolation, it’s more pressing than ever to share stories about what the work of taking down our corporate overlords looks like. Hopefully, this new platform will spur new organizing and collaboration.
Here’s a bird that, like the sound waves that bring things from all over the world to your ears, flew from Alaska to New Zealand in a record-breaking flight.
Brought to you by the superb Latifah Azlan.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my cousins and shuffling back and forth between my grandparents' houses. My parents were often busy with their residencies, so it wasn't usual for me to spend weeks away from them. My paternal grandparents lived in a more rural part of the country whereas my maternal grandparents lived in the city so I would split my month, two weeks at time, in these different locales, which meant that I was exposed to different types of activities as well. In the village I went on trishaw rides around the city square in the mornings, fed chickens in the evenings, and watched black-and-white classic movies (Malay, Chinese, American, all of them) and soap operas at night. In the city, my cousins and I visited zoos and museums, practiced choreography to Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC music videos, and watched Western drama series while we ate dinner in the living room together.
I had a lot more cousins on my mother's side than I did my father's, and the eldest ones were several years older than I was so of course, they got to choose the shows we watched and it was almost always either Dawson's Creek or Charmed. Of the two, I greatly enjoyed the latter much more than the former -- witches and magic over teen melodrama? There was no competition and I remember heated discussions over the integrity of the show when there were some cast changes in the middle of the show's run.
I think Charmed was quite a hit with a lot of people and it ran for several years before it ended. Apparently, the CW announced in 2018 that they were going to reboot the show with a "diverse" cast and make the show "more feminist" in nature -- an announcement I probably missed because I didn't know there is a Charmed reboot on air right now. And I guess the news and evidently, the execution didn't thrill the original Charmed sisters (portrayed by Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Doherty, and then Rose McGowan) either who have all been kind ofcageyaboutenthusiastically supportingthe reboot. Until this past weekend when Holly Marie Combs and Rose McGowan got together and somehow started talking about the reboot, trashing and insulting it all the way.
I suppose this video was the tipping point for Sarah Jeffery, one of the stars of the Charmed reboot, after years of tepid support and criticisms -- because homegirl FLIPPED OUT.
And in many ways, Sarah isn't wrong. It is kind of sad that Holly Marie and Rose are this upset about the reboot and going as far as saying that it "sucks" despite not having watched a single episode before. Stories are rebooted and retold all the time so I don't really understand why the two of them (because Alyssa and Shannen aren't still talking about this reboot in 2020) are so hung up over this one. I also kind of agree with the earlier criticisms that the original cast members had of the marketing of the reboot. Calling it "feminist, fierce, and funny" implies that the original Charmed series was none of those things. I see how that can be hurtful to hear. But it's been literal years and at this point, trashing the reboot is somewhat purely personal, right? It has to be, especially if the original cast members are still getting royalties off reruns or whatever.
That being said, the reboot is awful. CW shows in general are kind of cringy but I made it through three seasons of Riverdale so that should tell you something about my cringe tolerance. And this Charmed reboot? I could not tolerate it. Sarah still had every right to defend herself and her work, of course, but it's not for me. I really do think that all of the dramatics happening is a lot of emotion for something as inconsequential as Charmed and everyone should have just lived their lives care-free. But it was either writing about this feud or more details on Dominic West's affair -- so of course, I chose witches and magic over mid-life melodrama like I would when I was younger. Do you like how I brought the column back full circle to its beginning? I've been told I'm a good writer, you know.