The other day the candidates finished up the last of three presidential debates after a year and a half of serious campaigning, and the only thing left on the calendar is Election Day itself. Now the final hours of the election are unfolding like the extended director’s cut of Return of the King: we’re ready for it to be over any time now, but there’s still much more than you need or want ahead.
So the 2016 Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner just happened, and because there are pageviews to get and 24 hours of cable to fill and politics are consumed and pored over by laymen like Westerosi genealogies, it wasn’t just another private white-tie fundraiser for New York Catholics and other elite figures to mingle and lightly roast one another; it was a public occasion open to anyone with cable or YouTube and another subject to fill conversation for the chattering classes we can now all count ourselves among thanks to the steady march of progress and the Internet.
Donald Trump gave his speech; Hillary Clinton gave hers. They each apparently gave two versions of their talks because that’s how people reacted to it. Ideology is a prism for splitting the light from any event into your preferred spectrum, and we’re lucky enough to have plenty of sources available to better crystalize our thoughts, whatever the ideology.
Continue reading Donald Trump isn’t president yet, but he’s already started bombing
The other day, I went to one of the nearby recreational marijuana shops and got a few things for the house. None of us smoke regularly, but we do host people a lot, and a guest’s recent description of me as ‘quite the homemaker’ is sadly accurate.
When a friend came over later, I remembered he didn’t enjoy smoking, so I said that if he’d like to try it again some time, one of the strains I’d gotten was 0% THC, high percentage CBD and would be physically relaxing without being psychoactive. I told him how such an edible had helped me when I pinched a nerve and needed an affordable muscle-relaxer.
He declined then mentioned how he’s noticed that weed seems to be the only drug that people will continue to push on a person after they’ve heard you don’t want to do it.
After thinking on it, I think I figured out why.
Continue reading You can’t ‘Just Say No’ to weed because pot smokers are like cat owners
Jack Black is why we have William S. Burroughs.
Burroughs read ‘You Can’t Win‘ as a young teenager. It hit him at the right time and possessed sufficient quality to be one of the transformative creative works of Burroughs’ life, and heavily influenced Burroughs’ semi-autobiographical book Junky.
After reading both of them, you can see it. For Black, his opiate addiction is an ancillary fact of his (criminal) life. As an outside observer, the effect of his taste for ‘hop’ probably motivated him more in his immediate actions than he tended to admit in print, and Burroughs certainly corrected that when he wrote his own book about addiction and the struggle to get free of it.
But Burroughs was a man born into a wealthy family, and he always had that to fall back on.
Continue reading ‘You Can’t Win’: A Journal of (Not) Murder
The other day, I replied to a forum thread about The Matrix series, and gave a longish response tangentially related to the topic.
But! it captured an idea I’ve often thought about without expressing in writing before: Continue reading By 2016, we realize the machines don’t need a war or Matrix to enslave us
While nostalgia is generally not a good or advisable force to have influencing your opinion of the actual past, its relationship with creative works is more complicated.
The other day, I re-watched the pilot episode of ThunderCats with someone who had never seen it before. Being with an adult watching the show for the first time, the flaws in it were more obvious than I’d anticipated and much of the re-watch involved incredulous exclamations at each new plot progression.
Continue reading It’s easy to overthink the toy commercials of your childhood
The other day, I convinced some of my friends to watch one of my favorite movies.
‘We’re going to watch The Prestige in honor of David Bowie. You want to join us?’
‘Did you know he was a racist and a pedophile?’ they replied.
That was an interaction that actually took place in real life, but an approximation of it has been filling my social media feed over the past few days.
Continue reading The corrective to hagiography is not reductionism