November 2022 media

  • The Dawn of Everything: When a work breathlessly insists it’s “challenging our most fundamental assumptions” or the like, I’m usually already rolling my eyes before I’ve finished reading the blurb. The Dawn of Everything is the rare book that actually makes good on that claim. It might have the highest rate of preconceptions overturned per minute of anything I’ve ever read, and I bet it would be even higher if I had a background in anthropology!

  • Pokémon Violet: The two types of reviews for the new Pokémon are “It’s broken” and “It’s broken, but…” I’m in the latter camp. The performance is a nightmare, the production quality is abysmal, and despite everything I’m having a great time. This design, while not that different from the usual formula, feels like the template for what the future of the series ought to be like. Maybe I’ll finally finish one of these games for the first time in something like seven years…

  • Frank Bowling’s Americas: This is one of my favorite contemporary exhibitions I’ve seen at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, even as someone whose taste in paintings doesn’t tend towards abstraction. The map paintings, where the outlines of continents form part of the composition, are especially great, but even the ones that are “fully” abstract work for me. It’s not one of those special exhibitions that requires a separate ticket or timed entry, so I recommend it if you’re in the area.