October 26th – November 1st

Sorry about the missed newsletter last week! A packed weekend meant no time for Watching.

Until the election, we’ll match any donations you make to either the Swing Left funds or the Get Mitch or Die Trying slate. It’s the home stretch! Let’s make this a wave! Just email us a receipt and we’ll match!

We voted last weekend! Did you? You should vote as soon as possible! And while you’re at it, sign up for some phone-banking to make sure other people get out there and vote! https://joebiden.com/call/, it’s easy to get started and it’s massively appreciated. We need November 3rd to not just be a win, but a blowout big enough to be unquestionable.

Make a plan to vote! You can request a ballot and register easily in MA. Everyone in MA can get a mail-in/absentee/whatever you want to call it ballot AND if you’re nervous about how the USPS is getting fucked around with, you can drop it off early! You can find more information here: https://www.wgbh.org/news/politics/2020/07/30/13-questions-about-voting-by-mail-in-massachusetts-answered! Or just head to https://iwillvote.com/ for information about how to vote anywhere!

Talk to your friends and family! A lot of folks in Massachusetts think of themselves as being useless votes during a Presidential election year, but particularly this year there’s nothing useless about running up the popular vote to make it clear how overwhelming the opposition to this administration is. Plus, it makes it easier to argue for the National Popular Vote Compact, which is a sensible reform we really could have used prior to 2000.

Make a plan, vote early.

All this month you can participate in the Friends of Sunderland Public Library – Virtual Arts, Crafts, and Business Fair! It’s got a ton of excellent stuff, from works of art to baby hats!

Monday from 12PM – 1PM you can attend a book talk with John Grisham, author of A Time for Mercy on Zoom hosted by Odyssey Book Shop!

Monday from 8PM – 10PM you can join the Far Out Film Discussion via Zoom : Gozu!

Far Out Film Discussion will have a zoom meeting to talk about the 2003 horror/crime film Gozu by Japanese director Takashi Miike. The film can be found online at Tubi  – https://tubitv.com/movies/327417/gozu?start=true. To virtually attend this discussion, click the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87523942049

Tuesday from 4:30PM – 6:30PM you can attend an Artist Talk with Heather Agyepong. Registration is required! Use this link to sign up!

London-based artist Heather Agyepong has worked within photographic and performance arts since 2009 and is interested in mental health and well-being, activism, invisibility, the diaspora and the archive. She uses both lens-based practices and performance to create cathartic experiences for herself and her audiences. Agyepong’s works have been published, performed and exhibited extensively within the UK and internationally. A selection of her photographs is currently on view at the Mead Art Museum.

Tuesday from 7PM – 8:30PM you can the last event in the series “The Right to Vote: Past, Present, Future.”

The final event will focus on the voting age and other issues of concern to new and upcoming voters in their teens and early twenties. 

Our presenters are seven award-winning Easthampton High School seniors who will present arguments for and against lowering the voting age to 16, and other current topics chosen by the speakers. All seven students were members of the team that won We The People, an elite national competition on the U.S. Constitution held virtually last April by The Center for Civic Education. Their team mentor Kelley Brown is a government and history teacher at Easthampton High School where she teaches a course called We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution

Tuesday from 7:30PM – 9PM you can head to Book Moon to join co-hosts Alexandra Manglis & Yvette Ndlovu of the Strange Light Reading Series (originally planned to take place at Book Moon): featuring Cadwell Turnbull (The Lesson) & Julie C. Day (Uncommon Miracles, The Rampant, Weird Dream Society). Register here. You can also order their books here!

Wednesday from 6PM – 7:30PM you can join the discussion series “Frances Crowe Film Series: What Is Democracy?”

Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, just 5 days before the  presidential election, What Is Democracy? is a film for this time. To join in this experience, follow this two-step process: First watch film remotely (for free) from 10/20 through 10/28 (only). Link: https://vimeo.com/467415130  Password: Forbes10-21-28

You can join the Forbes Library Zine Club this Wednesday from 7PM – 9PM! The Zine Club meets on zoom! A virtual co-work time to make zines and other art! zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88448156224?pwd=eTkxUlM1YS91UCsxNi96cGVOd0lsdz09. password – 614664!

Or you can join the Jones Library Zine Club instead, also Wednesday from 7PM – 9PM! Join at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88448156224?pwd=eTkxUlM1YS91UCsxNi96cGVOd0lsdz09
password – 614664!

Wednesday from 7PM – 10PM you can head over to the Start Playing Online Discord here: https://discord.gg/fAM8yJw and join up with nice folks who like playing board games online! They primarily play on Board Game Arena (you’ll need a free account) and use discord to chat with each other!

Also Wednesday also starting at 7PM and going to 8PM, you can attend a lecture about “Understanding Northampton’s Landscape: A Sense of Place”! There’s a sliding scale $5 – $15 fee, and you can register here!

Why is Round Hill roundish?  When was part of Florence an island?  Where and why were many of the bricks that built Smith College made in Northampton?  Why is downtown Northampton “down” in elevation?

In this hour-long Zoom presentation, Laurie Sanders will answer these questions and more as she takes us on a tour of the City’s landscape history, providing a closer look at the geology and patterns that underlie and define Northampton’s neighborhoods, natural areas and open spaces.

Also Wednesday from 7PM – 8PM you can see a presentation at Westfield Athenaeum, WSU Professors Present: Franklin Roosevelt and Presidential Leadership. Contact ghohmeyer@westath.org to register!

Join Westfield State University Professor Dr. Michael Konig for a history presentation and chat/Q&A session about leadership in the time of President Franklin Roosevelt. 

From 6:30PM – 7:30PM this Thursday you can do Trivia Thursdays: Star Wars with the Westfield Athenaeum! Contact oeberli@westath.org to register!

Think you know all about the galaxies far, far away? Then come to Star Wars Trivia! Questions will be about the movies both new and old. Play with friends and family from comfort of your own home.  So gather your squadron and sign up now! This event will take place over Zoom and use Kahoot.   You will need an extra internet connected device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc).  You can also split the screen of a computer to play. For all ages!

This Thursday from 6:30PM – 8PM head to Book Moon for The Personal And the Political: Writing the Social Protest Novel. To register for the event click here!

The American social protest novel inhabits a unique place in the literary landscape, but can it thrive in today’s rapidly changing and often toxic political climate? Is the social protest novel dead, or more vital than ever? Can novels provoke change or simply reflect on it? Four authors of contemporary protest fiction read from their work and discuss how elements of craft and context can combine activist themes with a compelling character-driven narrative.

Thursday from 7PM – 8PM you can see a MULTIMEDIA PRESENTATION | Crack, Bam, Dot: Mah Jongg and Its Jewish-American Roots, with Melissa Martens Yaverbaum at the Yiddish Book Center! Sign up here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_frSRuaLFSoedrOJ6rrsL4Q!

Melissa Martens Yaverbaum, executive director of the Council of American Jewish Museums and curator of Project Mah Jongg, will share the surprising backstory of mah jongg—a game more widely known than understood. Mah jongg made a lasting impression on American audiences, including generations of Jewish women starting in the 1920s. Yaverbaum will reveal the mysteries and meanings behind this cultural touchstone.

Or! Thursday from 7PM – 9PM you can hang out at Prodigy Minigolf & Gameroom at their Scary VR Night with Pioneer VR! Make sure to wear a mask and stay distant from anyone else participating! It’s great that they’re sanitizing but that’s not really a factor if you’re getting breathed on.

VR Night is back! Pioneer VR is bringing their Oculus Quest for some scary game experiences as well as many other titles to try. Pioneer VR will be hosting this event from 7pm to 9pm and the experience is FREE with your admission price of only $10. Come on in early and get signed up. All gear will be sanitized fully after each use.

OR! Thursday from 7PM – 8PM join the folks at Odyssey on Zoom  for a reading with Anna Maria Hong, author of Fablesque in conversation with Andrea Lawlor from Mount Holyoke College. 

Also Thursday from 7:30PM – 9:30PM you can join the Virtual Poetry Discussion Group at Forbes Library! Open to anyone who’s interested, just join on Zoom, password 475928!

Friday from 1PM – 2PM you can join the Virtual Book Chat at Forbes, https://meet.jit.si/ForbesLibraryBookChat! Just hang out and chat about books!

Also on Friday you can join the folks at Odyssey at 5pm EDT on Youtube Live for a craft discussion panel with Kristina Forest, Margaret Owen, Katy Rose Pool, and Echo Brown, authors of amazing young adult literature titles. The event is free to attend and will take place via YouTube Live. Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdXDK_3mtS0&feature=youtu.be

Saturday from 2PM – 3PM you can join the Virtual Social Justice Book Group as they talk about “We Want to Do More than Survive”. You can join the meeting here, password 340325!

Videogames are a nice way to distract yourself from all-consuming anxiety, and we’ve been mostly swapping between Hades and FFXIV. Hades is spectacular, and if you’re not into action-fighty type games we’d still recommend giving it a shot with the easier God Mode turned on, since it’s also just a charming sorta dating game. It’s good, all games should have a dating game component. FFXIV is an MMO!

Of course since it’s the spooky season we’ve also been trying to find good horror. If you’re looking for a cool horror game we highly recommend Soma. Kind of a standard-issue hide-from-the-monster in terms of gameplay, but a wonderful setting and concept make it a classic. It’s very existentially terrifying, sticks with you after the credits in a way that ‘oh nooo a monster ate me’ rarely does.

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