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  • kathleen.goodwin

monday memo 143: mountains, dante & airplanes

Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.

Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make August 28th, 2023, a bit better. With scorching temperatures, stay cool and avoid milk at all costs..


1. Artist of the Week: Taylor Manoles

Taylor Manoles is an Oregon-based artist and oil painter. She has been creating things as long as she can remember but didn’t start seriously painting until taking an art class in college. She finds inspiration for her iconic landscapes by spending as much time as she can outside.


2. What we're listening to: Unreal Unearth by Hozier

Our sweet Irish crooner is back with his third album, Unreal Unearth. The album is an allusion to Dante's Inferno, taking the listener through the nine levels of hell. As expected from Hozier, the album is emotional, poetic, haunting, and one heck of a listening experience. Our favorite tunes are "Francesca" and "Damage Gets Done."


3. What we're watching: Swamp Kings - Netflix

Swamp Kings is sadly not about swamp monsters...but it does follow the 2006-2009 Florida Gators football teams, which featured names like Tim Tebow, Aaron Hernandez, and Urban Meyer, who have all been in the media limelight for a variety of very different reasons over the last decade. The series captures that magic moment in sports where it seemed like the stars aligned for everyone involved...until they didn't.


4. Trend & Advertising Highlight: If you play with Fyre (again), you are going to get burned... Fyre Festival is back! Fyre Festival organizer and fraudster Billy McFarland announced a ticket drop last Monday for a sequel festival — yes, that Fyre Festival. The 2017 debacle was advertised as an ultra-luxurious “cultural experience of the decade.” Instead, customers paid between $1,200 to over $100,000 for disaster-relief tents and cheese sandwiches on the Bahamian island of Exuma. The very event that landed McFarland in federal prison for wire fraud. So why not do it again??? Seems like some people never learn. The reaction from the internet has been mixed, with most people laughing that McFarland has clearly not learned his lesson. Yet, the initial drop of tickets has already sold out. While we have no doubt people would jump at the experience of attending the cultural phenomenon that was Fyre Festival, we don't doubt that they may run into the same housing, hospitality, and human rights concerns from the first festival. We love a comeback, but we are not sure anyone can come back from the epic failure that was Fyre Festival. When you play with Fyre, you are going to get burned, but we guess McFarland has nothing left to lose. Anyway, we are going to sit this one out. To quote Taylor Swift, "I think I've seen this film before, and I didn't like the ending."


5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Illusion of Validity The illusion of validity is a cognitive bias that describes our tendency to be overconfident in the accuracy of our judgments, specifically in our interpretations and predictions regarding a given data set. Last month, the internet went ablaze when one woman dared to ask her boyfriend, "Could you land a plane in an emergency with no prior experience?" Overwhelmingly, most men said they would be able to and women said they could not. While this is clearly not a scientific data set, it tells us about our perception of ability versus reality. In order to cope with the unpredictability of the world in which we live, we construct narratives that provide a coherent explanation for random occurrences. We fill in the gaps as needed, inferring causes and consequences from the information we are given. The less information we have, the easier it is to put together a satisfying story, which can lead us to believe that we know more than we actually do. So, let's just hope the co-pilot has it covered for us.


The series, “Animals in Therapy,” uses comedy and connection to advocate for animal conservation. Because who hasn’t felt existential anxiety surrounding the planet? We’re all in this together: even the axolotls. 6. Good News of the Week:

  • Researchers created a plant-based filter that can remove 99.9% of microplastics from water (New Atlas)

  • A new comedy series is advocating for biodiversity and animal conservation by putting animals in therapy (GNN)

  • A breakthrough in the shipping industry, the first wind-powered cargo ship just set sail on its first voyage (Canary Media)

  • Around 4,000 beagles rescued from cages at a breeding and research facility are now thriving in their new homes (NYT)


Country music gets a lot of flack these days for stereotypically being about beer, trucks, and women. Lucky for us, over the past few years, there has been a movement back towards what many call "Johnny Cash Country," based more on folk and bluegrass elements, detailing the daily struggles of the working class. Artists like Tyler Childers and Zach Bryan have succeeded in this style, but a new voice is on the scene. Last week, Oliver Anthony posted his song "Rich Men North of Richmond" on YouTube, and went to the number one spot on the Billboard 100. Here's to a more perfect union.


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