Welcome to the Monday Memo — your pop culture snapshot from Manifesto.
Hey friends, Mondays can be tough. Here are 7 things to make January 15th, 2024, a bit better.
Oscar nominations come out tomorrow. We award "Best Actor" to our Managing Director, Matt Stoll. We aren’t sure if he is acting, or if he is just in that good of a mood all the time…
1. Artist of the Week: Anna Fusco
Anna Fusco, known on Instagram as @lordcowboy, is an artist, illustrator, and writer. She is widely known for her unique style, combining vintage stationery with vulnerable, hand-written messages of self-love and exploration. It feels timeless while incredibly timely, as if it was picked out a drawer to tell us exactly what we needed to hear. Yeehaw!
For us, music is more than just ambient sound in the background, it makes us who we are. So, in honor of this belief, we are launching a series called, "My Perfect Album" where Manifesto staff and Monday Memo subscribers can recommend what they see as a start-to-finish musical masterpiece, spanning any genre or era.
First up, our Copywriter KG:
"Amy Winehouse passed away when I was 15, and at the time all I knew about her was her hit 'Rehab' and the public (and less than sensitive) coverage of her addiction. During college, I studied abroad in London and lived in Camden, her old neighborhood. Wanting to learn more about this local legend, I listened to Back to Black for the first time—and honestly, I've never been the same. The album combines vulnerable, self-aware lyricism with a timeless voice, creating a stunning portrait of a woman trying to keep it together as life continues to deliver its blows. For me, her legacy is this album. It's the magnum opus of the musical art form."
3. What we're watching: Society of the Snow - Netflix
Based on an incredible true story, Society of the Snow follows the tragic airplane crash of a Uryaguan rugby team in the Andes Mountains. Facing hostile temperatures, hunger, and the death of their teammates, this is a story of brotherhood, resilience, and what it takes to survive.
Spotify launched its daylist feature last September, a unique selection of music based on your listening patterns at that time of day. However, the feature began to gain popularity when users began sharing the names of their daylist on Instagram with the prompt: "Don't tell me your astrology sign; I want you to go into your Spotify, search for your daylist, and post the title it gave you." This isn't the first time Spotify has flooded social media. Spotify Wrapped, an annual report on yearly listening habits, is basically a national holiday. While other brands tip-toe around data mining, Spotify packages consumer data in a well-designed, intuitive, beneficial, and sharable format. By leaning more into the chaos and fun, Spotify comes across less as "Big Brother" and more like your actual big brother who makes you a playlist based on what he knows you like. Brands like Chili's have jumped in on the trend with their humorous take on the daylist, consisting only of the song "Welcome to Chilis" by Yung Gravy. All in all, Spotify is leading the conversation on a new way to leverage user data. At the time of this Memo's creation, our Daylist is "upset lyricism wednesday afternoon." Sounds like we need to meditate more...
5. Cognitive Bias of the Week: Why is January so...blah?
While a New Year offers new challenges and potential, we can't help but feel like everyone around us is dragging a bit. In 2004, psychologist Cliff Arnold proposed a formula to calculate why the third Monday in January, "Blue Monday," is the worst day of the year. Lucky for us, that was last week, and even luckier, it all turned out to be pseudoscience for a PR stunt. Much like Friday the 13th, it's unfair to cast a universal damnation on an entire day. But while the math may be fake, the variables still tell us why January is the worst. Across the United States, January typically delivers the coldest weather. Those sub-zero temperatures combined with lack of daylight, Christmas recovery, and the pressure of New Year's resolutions can leave us feeling anything but refreshed. Do your best to stick to routines, prioritize rest, and be kind to yourself. We have a whole year ahead of us!
The loose ends project releases grief through community and creativity.
6. Good News of the Week:
7. Bonus: Sweethearts Situationships
For those afraid to DTR (define the relationship), we have the perfect Valentine's treat for your (sort of) sweetheart. There is nothing more synonymous with Valentine's Day than classic candy hearts, with messages like "Hug Me," "Miss You," and "Be Mine." And while this holiday icon hasn't changed, the way we approach relationships continues to evolve. This spin on the classic candy heart has "messages as blurry as your relationship" poking fun at the looser commitment standards of younger generations.