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Jerome Sala
New York City
I've got two blogs: "espresso bongo" is on poetry and pop culture. "Jerome and Brooke Storytellers," co-written with Brooke Lighton, offers content marketing ideas from our ad agency.
Interests: music, film, advertising, politics, poetry, literary criticism, cultural theory, Direct Response advertising, Direct Marketing.
Recent Activity
Come celebrate the launch of 5 new books by 5 exciting poets at the Jefferson Market Library, June 4th, at 3PM Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at espresso bongo
It’s a wonderful feeling when your faith in an idea long dormant is restored. I recently experienced such a restoration after watching the Polish horror film Hellhole on Netflix. There is a segment in this film that shamelessly borrows a visual motif from The Witch, Robert Eggers' arthouse masterpiece of 2015. But the self-conscious way it uses such elements reinforced the usefulness of a concept I had personally consigned to my mental trash bin: postmodernism. In fact, comparing The Witch and Hellhole is a good way to differentiate modern from postmodern style. Doing so, you (re)discover what was (is) great... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2023 at espresso bongo
Awesome poem — wild and euphoric!
Awesome poem! Going vegan has never been more erotic!
How do you find meaning in a life that seems absurd? This is the question the film Everything Everywhere All at Once keeps asking. Such a query, of course, is one that has haunted modernity since at least the days of existentialism. But the way the film goes about answering it is distinctly contemporary: it presents us with a blizzard of spectacular imagery from which to draw our conclusions. The film’s basic plot is reminiscent of classic visionary narratives of the past, such as Alice in Wonderland, Through the Looking Glass and especially The Wizard of Oz, except that it... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2022 at espresso bongo
Poetry, Music, Art, Performance — a major blast! Info here: Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2021 at espresso bongo
Jim, thanks for reading/commenting. As I mentioned, I thought it was unusual for such class issues to appear in popular entertainment. Question: there's a theory of literary production that argues that even in popular media contradictions can appear that break with the conventional ideology. Do you remember who writes about this? Is it Macherey? Someone else? Let me know if this rings a bell.
Hey Sarah, Thanks for reading this and taking the time to comment. It's true: because we never see the article in question, the scene can be read two ways: Nicole is either being overly sensitive or refreshingly honest. This is another reason why the episode intrigued me. (I guess I sided with Rachel because the scene reminded me of work situations I've experienced.) On reputation: the William Davies piece referred to argues that worry about reputation has always been part of social life, but has been amped up (and commodified) in the age of social media. Fascinating stuff. Hope to see you around the poetry scene in the near future!
There is a scene in the 2nd episode of HBO’s The White Lotus that struck me as both jarring and familiar. It occurs at lunch time at the Hawaiian vacation resort that is the setting for the mini-series. Rachel Patton (Alexandra Daddario) a freelance journalist on her honeymoon, stops by the table of Nicole Mossbacher (Connie Britton), the CFO of a popular search engine, there on vacation with her family. Rachel is worried. She has just gotten hitched to a real estate mogul who urges her to give up her career (it’s just “disposable garbage…clickbait” he tells her) and enjoy... Continue reading
Posted Sep 15, 2021 at espresso bongo
Haven’t been able to locate the source. I know a number of people are asking the same question.
You’ve seen it spreading rapidly through Facebook. Perhaps you’ve been infected yourself. I’m not referring to Covid-19, but another kind of virus: the “Poetry Marathon” that travels with the mysterious hashtag of #PeetMeNotLeave”—promising participants eventual publication in something called “The Russian Almanac.” What's asked of poets who join in is that they share eight of their poems over eight days on Facebook and ask eight others to do the same. Such chains appear frequently on FB, collecting everything from photos to favorite books. One reason the current iteration of the form has been greeted with such enthusiasm is because people... Continue reading
Posted Oct 4, 2020 at espresso bongo
Thanks, Michael. Loved — and agreed with — your take on the last debate!
Once upon a time, there was a poetry of consumerism. I’m thinking here of how buying stuff was celebrated through the ironic creativity of mid 20th century urbanites. Rather than grousing about the vulgarity of their city, these souls were inspired by its arty and tacky qualities. Informed by a nearly utopian cornucopia of consumer goods, they created witty fables of abundance. Think of the pop artists and their love of such consumables as canned soup, comic books and hamburgers. Or of Frank O’Hara, writing poems about strolling through Manhattan, shopping for a carton of Gauloises, an edition of Verlaine,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2019 at espresso bongo
Our culture runs on stories. But not all narratives treat their characters well. Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2019 at espresso bongo
Interesting: sounds like your dreams now are breaking into waking life, like Benjamin wrote about! On China: once a signifier of old-style revolution, now for global capital: things turn into their opposites like the dialectical thinkers of yesteryear used to write. Maybe they had something there...
To your point about commodification: lately in commercials for video games I've noticed a lot of the characters look like robots. No doubt this is feeding off popular movies (which themselves feed of the games, to create a kind of repetitive loop). But I can't help but think they look like robots because they're influenced by AI (the algorithms of marketing research).
Yeah, I think you're right — any non-monetized time is looked upon with derision (or at least suspicion). In the 24/7 book, the author mentions a science fiction film where people are awake for weeks on end. They begin to hallucinate; their dreams appear in waking time. Today, fantasy films are incredibly popular. I wonder if they're a form of dreaming while awake (the difference being someone can make money off these "dreams").
Hey Michael, In those transformations you mention (backyard becoming China), it reminds me how even the most domestic space gets transformed into a "global economy" nowadays! I know, also, there's the philosopher Gaston Bachelard (who worked as a mailman by day), who writes extensively about the way we perceive the idea of "home" (in The Poetics of Space). But I wonder, as a movie buff, any film dream sequences you love?
Dreams aren’t what they used to be. Once upon a time, they had the power to invade daylight. Here’s Walter Benjamin, from the beginning of One-Way Street, published in 1929: “A popular tradition warns against recounting dreams the next morning on an empty stomach. In this state, though awake, one remains under the spell of the dream.” Benjamin goes on to caution that unless there is a definite break between the dream state and waking life “the grey penumbra of the dream persists”, and the daytime and nocturnal worlds get mixed, leading to confused states of mind. My experience of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2019 at espresso bongo
In our last exciting episode, we covered 3 relatively new, but tiresome words that are drummed into our heads every business day: “millennial,” “innovation,” and “content.” Now we’re going to take on four more candidates — words that make you … GAG! And the nominees are … 4. Disruption It... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2018 at Jerome and Brooke Storytellers
How often does this occur to you when sitting in a business meeting? “If I hear that word one more time, I’m going to strangle somebody.” Why is it that we speak in normal parlance in everyday conversation, but in our work lives turn into robots — spitting out clichés... Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2018 at Jerome and Brooke Storytellers
You’ve felt the pain… You come in for a client meeting to review copy and find yourself in a conference room with 20 eager junior “team members.” Each wants to make his or her mark — on your content. You’ve written the perfect headline that comes back “tweaked” and now... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2018 at Jerome and Brooke Storytellers
Wasn't aware of this reference. Will check it out. Thanks!
Here’s a pet peeve many have with television commercials and marketing in general. Often when aiming to be creative, marketers overwork an idea to the point where consumers want to throw a missile at the screen every time the spot airs. How many times can you watch the Dominos commercial,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2018 at Jerome and Brooke Storytellers
Thanks, Michael. Glad you found it interesting!