Since this post is a sequel to that one, I’m posting the lyric video again.
In “exile” from folklore, Taylor Swift and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver are singing to and about an ex-lover. For me, the song has taken on a totally different, personal meaning.
It’s held steady as my favorite song on folklore (with many others way, way up there, at this moment the next closest has to be “the lakes”) because the whole concept of exile seems to fit my life right now. Even if it’s (semi) self-imposed.
For me the you of the song isn’t an ex, isn’t a lover, isn’t a person at all.
It’s medical school. It’s medical training as a whole. It’s the medical education industrial complex.
It’s going to be light this month. It’s been a month of a lot of personal emotional turmoil and change, and somehow in that, I haven’t consumed as much pop culture as usual.
The only TV I watched was some Veronica Mars early this month with my good friend, and I haven’t watched any since he moved last week, and some Better Call Saul for recaps for the site.
I tried to watch the Bachelor GOAT episode for Ali’s season because it was one of my favorites (Kasey has to be one of the most memorable characters of all time on that show) but those GOAT episodes are just TOO LONG and I gave up and listened to podcasts about it instead.
Speaking of podcasts, oh podcasts, this month, I think due to sheer emotional exhaustion that’s been going on for months, I just couldn’t with much other than replaying old episodes of Bachelor-related podcasts from old seasons back in the day.
Most of my pop culture consumption this month was in the arenas of music and books. Some are repeats, and some are new.
This morning, I did a thing. It has to do with what is for now still unsayable but which came up a lot in this anguished post earlier this week. This thing I did is a huge step towards being able to talk openly about it, which I’m dying to do.
This song was playing at the crucial moment of doing the thing, and that’s where the title for the post comes from. Even though my situation is so different from what Taylor Swift and Bon Iver are singing about, everything feels like it fits. It’s my current favorite off of folklore, and I don’t think that’s an accident.
Lines that stick out for me at the moment, aside from the one used in my post title include:
“you’re not my homeland anymore”
“you were my town
now I’m in exile seeing you out”
“second third and hundredth chances
balancing on breaking branches”
and the one line I always want to scream along with the perfect bridge of this song
With these monthly posts, first introduced in this post, I’m in no way trying to be exhaustive or objective. I’m merely sharing some of the media I’ve consumed that month that I want to share, because I am such a big consumer of pop culture. I’m also going to put an ongoing 2020 book list at the end with what I’ve read this year and what I’m currently reading.
Health Media Literacy Episode of Sawbones
A med student friend of mine suggested the podcast Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine podcast to me when we both realized what big podcast listeners we are when chatting across a big conference table in the same room where we all once interviewed, while waiting for our OSCEs to start (our end of block exams where we “play doctor” with standardized patient actors). I don’t listen to a ton of medical-themed podcasts so I subscribed.
The recent episode “Health Media Literacy” looks at how to evaluate some of the covid literature that’s coming out, and specifically looks at some studies claiming that immunity from covid wanes quickly. Worth listening to regardless of familiarity with science, as it gives some good tips for appraising these types of stories. Health and science literacy is such a huge passion of mine, only made moreso by this pandemic, and so this episode is one of my favorite things I listened to this month.
Like so, so many people, I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night because of the release of TS8 – folklore. There is already so much I want to say after only one listen, and I want to put it down in writing before subsequent listens change things, as subsequent listens always do.
There are going to be a lot of posts on this site about this album. I’ve been wanting to post about Taylor for years, and that urge bubbled up strongly during the reputation era in 2017 (and I’m just going to put it out there, even though I know it’s Swiftie blasphemy and Taylor herself would disagree, I love reputation more than 1989, by a lot, and that’s not anything against 1989 just love for reputation).
I hadn’t thought about blogging in a long time but that album made me want to write blog posts about every song on the album, about my Taylor Swift origin story (that’s still on the docket to be posted eventually), about the infamous phone call drama (I think the only day since corona started that I forgot, for just a little bit, that we were in the middle of a global pandemic, was when the full phone call was released on Twitter), about some of her other albums and songs and lyrics, and so on.