Don’t forget to choose my hair color! Here’s some of what I’ve consumed this week.
Howdy [subscriber:firstname | default:there],
If you haven’t heard, I’m doing a donation drive for my birthday, which is coming up near the end of the month. I’m collecting donations for The Zebra Coalition and The Trevor Project, two organizations that serve LGBTQ+ youth. As a bonus, when you donate you enter for a chance to choose what color I dye my hair for the next few months! More details and the donation form can be found here.
In my quest to try out formats and see what this newsletter will become, I’m going to break from some of the things that I did in the previous newsletter, which was just focused on interesting articles. Instead I’m going to steal a page from one of my favorite creators, Mike Rugnetta. I’ll talk about some of the things that I’ve generally consumed lately and want to share.
I’m not sure when I’m going to return to analysis, but I do hope to do so soon. I have been dragging myself around lately too much and need to slow down.
We’ve been re-watching a few shows this week, mainly to avoid focusing too heavily, but also to prepare for final seasons. Mr. Robot S4 is out so we watched the end of S3 again to finally binge the final installments. The series is one of my favorites overall, with nuance, depth, and verisimilitude that you don’t often get.
One of the few shows to beat Mr. Robot for me in terms of all time favorites is Bojack Horseman. The final season is split into two halves, the first of which aired late last year, with the final eight episodes of the show coming at the end of January. This show hits me right in the feels, as the saying goes, and it’s been a regular re-watch for me.
On the YouTube front, a habit which I really need to reduce:
- The first episode of Pokémon: Twilight Wings
- The Film Theorists – Can Disney STEAL Spiderman? (Disney vs Sony Part 2)
- Some More News – The First Week of 2020
- Watcher – Life During The Black Death • Puppet History
I haven’t done much gaming at all for a while, and this week is no different. I did try out a few new game demos on itch.io this past week, but nothing of note.
Last night we went to a Fathom screening of ‘Weathering With You‘, the follow up to writer/director Makoto Shinkai’s smash-hit ‘Your Name.’
I think both films did a great job of telling a story that was at both expansive (two separate instances of city-wide destruction) and intimate, with a clear preference for focusing on the latter. Both are, in essence, stories of love, growth, and yearning. Both of these stories
- Dr. Manhattan is a Cop: “Watchmen” and Frantz Fanon by Aaron Brady – I enjoyed the latest expansion of the Watchmen universe a great deal. I admit, I spent so much time thinking about the racial overtones in Tulsa that I completely breezed past the mirroring that could have been but was missed in the colonialist story in Vietnam.
- We Can Be Heroes: How the Nerds Are Reinventing Pop Culture by Laurie Penny – If you are younger than me, you may not realize that nerd culture was not always the dominant force that it is today. It was downright social suicide to be interested in most subcultures that now make up billion dollar franchises. We can all rejoice in the fact that previously nerdy topics are now mainstream, while likewise learning from the past and hopefully being better. Hopefully is the key word here, as we have found ways to bully others just as we were bullied.
- Your Digital Detox May Be Toxic for Advertising by Tiffany Hsu – The tone of this article almost makes it sound like it’s a bad thing that digital advertisers aren’t getting as much detailed location data in the same way as in the past thanks to new phone features and user knowledge. Don’t worry, they assure us: they have other ways to target us just as heavily.
- The History of the Webby Awards by Jay Hoffmann – Jay’s excellent newsletter, The History of the Web, always has some interesting piece of information about stories that I thought that I previously knew. In this case, I pretty much only knew that the Webby’s were pay-to-play, and none of the rich history on why they were created and how.
Last week I finished ‘Permanent Record‘, Edward Snowden’s memoir detailing most of his life from the age of six or so until late 2019. If you regularly read interviews with Snowden there isn’t too much new information here, but it is laid out in a thoughtful, cogent way. One takeaway that is made even more clear than in the past: Snowden tried to go through “the proper channels” before leaking, which in this case meant a fatally broken chain of command system.
That’s it for this week. Enjoy your weekend, and share any good finds of your own with me!