Intro for August 18, 2017

Lainey Posted by Lainey at August 18, 2017 13:38:32 August 18, 2017 13:38:32

Dear Gossips,

Yesterday on The Social we talked about story that was published at the NY Post this week, Millennials Don’t Really Care About Classic Movies. One millennial member of our team admitted at the morning meeting that he only knows the “Carrie Underwood version” of The Sound Of Music. Is it a problem that millennials aren’t interested in classic movies though? I haven’t seen certain movies that millennials consider classics themselves. Like Hocus Pocus. When I mentioned this last year in a post on this site, Emily, our site manager, texted me all-caps, “HOW HAVE YOU NOT SEEN HOCUS POCUS?!”

Who gets to say what’s a classic though? One of my favourite “classics”, as I’ve mentioned before, is Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday. But also? Friday. And Heathers. But everyone has their own lists. And my point here is not to offer you a list. I really just want to talk about My Own Private Idaho. Because when the NY Post is talking about classic movies, and implying that millennials might be missing out by not giving a sh-t about classic movies, I wonder if they include My Own Private Idaho along with Citizen Kane. In these time especially, some argue that Citizen Kane is more relevant than ever. I just read a book that argues that, over 25 years later, My Own Private Idaho shaped a generation that has influenced culture and technology, the environment, and politics – and is also now more relevant than ever.

Gentlemen Of The Shade: My Own Private Idaho by Jen Sookfong Lee revisits the film’s impact on the youth of 90s and how that impact informed the decisions of the adults they would become. Even the fact that it doesn’t seem, for some, to be as radical as it was considered back then is worth discussing. Because in 1991, a story about two gay hustlers that worked as a meditation on class, sex, self-expression, loneliness, and masculinity became the unlikely inspiration for many to embrace their otherness. And it’s an excuse to spend a couple of hours back in the 90s, while balancing that nostalgia with critical analysis about why the film was so provocative and, perhaps more importantly, what it was trying to provoke.  

The first book I read by Jen Sookfong Lee was The End Of East, the story of a Chinese family in Vancouver, where she is based, and about how immigration shaped the city. I read it a few years after I moved to Vancouver from Toronto where I was born and raised. I am back in Toronto now but, having spent 15 years in Vancouver, perhaps the most important 15 years of my life, as corny as this sounds, I love Vancouver in my blood. Which is why I’m so upset about what might be happening in Vancouver this weekend. There’s a rally planned, a rally apparently motivated by Charlottesville. It breaks my heart that the city that produced the words and the voice of someone like Jen Sookfong Lee could also produce the opposite. This is a stupid and naïve thing to say. Because Vancouver certainly wouldn’t be the first or the only and maybe that’s the problem, that we only wake up when it’s on our doorstep – and it would have been too late, if not for people like Jen who have been doing the work, who will be continuing the work this weekend to make sure that the best of Vancouver is louder than the worst. She is one of the very best.

Click here to learn more about Gentlemen Of The Shade: My Own Private Idaho. And click here to learn more about Jen Sookfong Lee.

Have a great weekend!

Yours in gossip,


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