Why you should care
The Weekender is a special collaboration between OZY Tribe members near and far to provide delicious recommendations for your valuable weekend time.
WHAT TO WATCH
The Dawn Wall — Not for the Acrophobic. This new documentary — out this week in theaters — follows climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson as they become the first ever to successfully scale the Dawn Wall, a rock face on Yosemite’s El Capitan that’s believed to be the hardest climb in the world. The climbing scenes are enough to give you vertigo, but the film knows not to overly rely on them. Instead, it takes you back through the formative experiences that pushed Caldwell and Jorgeson toward this insanely lofty goal, including Caldwell’s experience of being held captive while climbing in Kyrgyzstan. (Recommended by Michelle Bruton, Sports Nerd)
ER — Throwback Binge Watch. Go on, don’t be ashamed. Hulu has all 15 seasons of the OG medical drama, so you can enjoy the ‘90s again without having to buy a fanny pack. The show takes on then-controversial topics like HIV and homosexuality were incredibly bold for their time, but decades later they ring a little antiquated (as does the medical technology). ER strikes the perfect binge-watching balance of exciting and engaging. And it’s betrayal-free viewing: You or your partner can enjoy an episode without one another, and it won’t lead to a “How could you?” fight. (Recommended by Daniel Malloy, Tar Heel for LIfe)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society — L’Ile de Resistance. If you’re going to watch one film involving actress Lily James and a windswept island, it should probably be Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. But if you’re up for watching two, try this one, available on Netflix, for its portrayal of an unusual WWII battleground: The tiny British island of Guernsey, occupied by Nazis from 1940-1945. James plays a writer investigating the island’s tiny but fierce resistance against the Nazis, which played out across the Channel Islands. She thinks she’s already found her life partner … and then she steps foot on the island. (Also check out OZY’s write-up of surrealist anti-Nazi actions on Jersey). (Recommended by Charu Sudan Kasturi, Tearjerker Connoisseur)
WHAT TO PLAY
Liyla and the Shadows of War — Puzzling Through a War Zone. This free mobile game — which the Apple app store initially rejected from the “games” category in 2016, owing to its political content — lets you play a Palestinian father who has to help his wife and daughter, Liyla, escape from Gaza’s 2014 war zone via a series of platforming puzzles. With minimalistic, darkly beautiful graphics inspired by real-life bombings in Gaza, this unabashedly political game forces you to dodge bombs and drones, confronting the human cost of war while employing traditional gameplay mechanics. The message: In some situations, there’s no real way to win; there’s only incremental survival. If this sounds preachy or frivolous, it isn’t — but it is heartbreaking, even in games as short as 15 minutes. (Recommended by Ned Colin, Jolly Good Fellow)
Mysterium — Clue, But Cooperative. Obviously, there are people who play board games just to beat their friends, but we suspect those people secretly hate their friends. If you’re not one of them, try a game where you work together. Try Mysterium, a board game in which one person plays a silent ghost who has to offer clues to the other players — via a deck of cards decorated with surrealist paintings — on the location, method and perpetrator of its own murder. The person playing the ghost does more of the work, but there’s always one person in any group who’s really into games. Make them be the ghost, while everyone else works together to find the culprit. Bonus: As in Clue, each person has a character, which they can inhabit with whatever amount of gusto makes them comfortable. (Recommended by Fiona Zublin, Ghost Hunter)
WHAT TO LISTEN TO
The Thread — Connecting the Dots for You. The exception to the phrase “Don’t toot your own horn” is when the horn is really, really, really good. Here’s the concept behind OZY’s hit podcast, The Thread: See history from a unique point of view with host Sean Braswell, who links the incidents and personalities of the past together, showing how current issues are often the result of a very long and fascinating thread (get it?). Season 3 began this week, delving into the nonviolent protests of Martin Luther King Jr., and it’ll continue with episodes on the use of peaceful protest throughout history and into the modern era.
Archival footage puts you in the heart of the drama, while drumbeats and extraordinary music (who knew there were so many songs about Tolstoy and Gandhi?) transport you somewhere else. And the interviews are stellar: from Gandhi’s own grandson speaking frankly about his grandfather — a man from a vegetarian family who ate meat, smoked cigarettes and lied to his parents — to an academic who diagnoses conditions that bind many of these iconic figures more closely than you’d think.
Sure, releasing one episode a week means no bingeing, but it gives you reason to check back next week. And the next. Besides, you can always go back to last season, which traced the #MeToo movement back through the 20th century, exploring sexism and harassment in the lives of Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Steinem and Hugh Hefner, and how their experiences shaped the conversation we’re currently having about equal rights. (Recommended by Fay Schlesinger, She Who Must Be Obeyed)
And whatever you do, don’t do this …
Pull the fire alarm unnecessarily. An anonymous Washington, D.C., rat entered history this week after an NBC affiliate aired footage of the rodent pulling a fire alarm. It’s not clear what the rat’s plan was, or if it achieved its aim, but after rats have taken over society, this will likely be seen as the turning point. (DCist)
SLIDE INTO OUR DMS
Do you have a killer potato salad recipe that you’d like to share? Think you discovered the next great jam band? Share your suggestions with us here at OZY! Email us: Weekender@ozy.com.