One of our staff members recently learned that Squanto visited Europe before the Pilgrims ever arrived in America. As he enthusiastically explained, Squanto was able to work so effectively as their guide because he already spoke fluent English, having completed not one but four voyages across the Atlantic.
Why, we responded, was our esteemed colleague so late to learn these highly important facts? Did he snooze through his history lessons? Was he recently hatched from an egg? Really, by 2022, everyone ought to know the story of the multilingual, cosmopolitan Native American responsible for the first Thanksgiving. Ruth Vitale, our CEO, knew it long before we did. She was raised in Squantum, Massachusetts, named after Squanto!
As we wonder how our coworker failed to profit from past educational opportunities – and as we continue failing to behave amicably with certain family members over turkey and cranberry sauce – we’re remembering what we’ve been grateful for this year. Ruth insists that she’s most thankful for the adorable videos of raccoons that keep coming up in her Instagram feed – hence the little guy up above there. But there are plenty of other things deserving of our gratitude. Per tradition, we’ve selected a few creative works, but we’re also delighted to report numerous improvements to our lives and situations.
First, our new three-story office building is NOT at risk of toppling over during an earthquake. At least we don’t think it is.
The new office also has a green garden with not too many mosquitoes. The elevator doors open almost every time, and the building shakes just a little when cars enter the underground garage. Instead of county-mandated masking, we have obligatory twenty-minute nap times every day at 3:30. And, not least importantly, for health and safety, our conference room chairs FINALLY have proper backside ventilation.
After those heart-warming, seasonally appropriate disclosures, we know you will be ready for A Few of the Creative Works We’re Thankful for in 2022. We’ll start with a quite serious item but then move on to selections that range from fun to utterly delightful and even – dare we say – “scrummy.”
Creation: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Creatives: Laura Poitras, Nan Goldin
Why We’re Thankful: Documentary film had a moment in 2022, when the Golden Lion at Venice’s film festival went to All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, directed by Laura Poitras. It tells the life story of photographer Nan Goldin, who overcame opioid addiction and then organized museum protests to expose the Sackler family, known for their art philanthropy, as drivers of a nationwide drug crisis. We’re grateful for Nan Goldin’s “courageous badassery” – as well as for Laura Poitras’ “searing,” “overwhelming,” “incendiary” storytelling. We’re also grateful for recent television series that take similarly unflinching looks at the origins of real catastrophes, including Dopesick and The Looming Tower.
Creation: God of War: Ragnarok
Creative: Santa Monica Studio, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Why We’re Thankful: Since God of War: Ragnarok was released on November 9, we’re not very far into the gameplay. Well, maybe we’ve logged more hours than we care to admit. But the point is that we can already say that this sequel from an amazing franchise continues the story of warrior Kratos and his son Atreus in a fresh and exciting way.
The game is chock-full of monster hunting, cliff jumping, axe throwing, riddle solving, shield bashing, dimension crossing, god slaying, rune chasing, dog sledding… In fact, the only exciting element from Viking myth that the game might lack is a flyting – you know, a verbal competition of boasts and insults, which become more outrageous with each exchange. Kind of like an average Monday morning staff meeting at CreativeFuture.
If God of War eventually does challenge us to a flyting, we can guarantee we’ll be absolutely ready to mash the circle button.
Creation: Top Gun: Maverick
Creatives: Joseph Kosinski, Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, Paramount Pictures
Why We’re Thankful: So much has been said about the exhilarating movie experience of summer 2022. It truly has everything: intense dogfights, interesting characters, six pack abs, a killer soundtrack, awesome visual effects, six pack abs, engrossing story, and an overwhelmingly impressive collection of six pack abs.
Who are we kidding? We all know that the iconic beach football scene had us glued to the screen like kids watching Saturday morning cartoons. But after a company outing to see the movie back in May, everyone at CreativeFuture was thankful to have Maverick back in our lives for one more glorious romp across the open skies.
Creation: Improv Comedy
Creatives: The Groundlings
Why We’re Thankful: The Groundlings Theater is a legendary improv comedy club in Hollywood that has been entertaining audiences for nearly 50 years. After closing like so many other performing arts centers were forced to do through COVID, Groundlings reopened in 2021 and continued showcasing some of Los Angeles’s funniest performers in 2022 – this year, we were thankful to be members of the theater’s belly-laughing audience.
Since its inception in the 1970s, Groundlings has introduced the world to people like Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon, Tyra Banks, Dax Shepard, Kaitlin Olsen, and countless more. We can only wonder which current Groundlings performer will be the next big thing!
Creation: Hyperion Cantos
Creative: Dan Simmons
Why We’re Thankful: Suddenly in 2022, readers all around us were converging on The Fall of Hyperion, the first book in a four-part series by Dan Simmons. Why the sudden interest in this sci-fi novel from 1989? Was it because of the currency of its topic, the parasitic exploitation of humans by AIs? Was there a nefarious conspiracy between Meta and Alphabet to assail our social networks with microtargeted ads? Was Bradley Cooper making a movie?
Whatever the cause, we, too, dove into the sci-fi epic. It transported us to a vast cosmos, where futuristic technology enabled instantaneous travel throughout an empire spanning galaxies. Meanwhile, a backwards yet oddly prescient cult demanded regular pilgrimages – and human sacrifices – to the fearsome and mysterious Shrike. The strange mix of science and superstition didn’t just immerse us in other worlds; ultimately, it made us look askance at ours – with a newly aggravated eye twitch. We’re grateful to Simmons for delighting our imaginations while stoking our (highly warranted) paranoia.
Creation: The Great British Bake Off
Creatives: Love Productions, BBC
Why We’re Thankful: We probably don’t have to explain why we adore this reality competition show, now in its thirteenth season. Just in case you haven’t encountered this gem from across the pond, we’re here to recommend that you make it an integral part of the holiday season.
In an American era defined by fiery language and intense division, it can be a true pleasure to take a break from Gordon Ramsay screaming about a deflated tart or an undercooked ham and revel in the calm and easy spirit of Bake Off. That’s why, in 2022, we found ourselves taking breaks from throwing eggs at Facebook’s headquarters to judge the outcome of various cakes.
Creation: On with Kara Swisher
Creatives: Kara Swisher, New York Magazine
Why We’re Thankful: When our very favorite podcast, Kara Swisher’s Sway, concluded this summer, we feared we had been deprived of controversial takes to bring to the Thanksgiving dinner table. For a while, we put hope in another podcast, The Daily, which covers the news in 20 minutes each weekday. It’s admirably concise and informative, but it’s not long enough for our LA commutes – let alone a good Thanksgiving row. Happily, Kara Swisher’s incisive voice returned in a new series this fall, so we now have plenty of fodder to continue our tradition of baiting Uncle Pat. The holiday is saved!
That’s our Thanksgiving roundup! We hope you’ll enjoy some of our viewing, reading, and listening suggestions – but we certainly can’t recommend following our holiday behavior.
Until next time, find some creativity wherever you can. Stay safe – and be well!