Welcome to Night Vale

I’ve started listening to podcasts, and have been telling friends about this one in particular. Mrs. Hatboy, who bravely preceded me into the world of podcasts, somehow stumbled upon it and recommended it to me.

Welcome to Night Vale is a … well, I can say it no better than the website itself: a twice-monthly podcast in the style of community updates for the small desert town of Night Vale, featuring local weather, news, announcements from the Sheriff’s Secret Police, mysterious lights in the night sky, dark hooded figures with unknowable powers, and cultural events.

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It’s Lovecraftian and weird and beautifully written and endlessly imaginative. Every new episode adds bizarre complexity and unfolds the whole scary picture a little bit more. They feature some pretty cool original music each episode in their “weather” segment, and they have books and merchandise and a freaking live show travelling the US and Europe over the next year. Just … wow, these magnificent people. Bless them.

I may have to buy some of these NRA stickers for my car. Also I want an Intern pin for my pin collection.

Yeah, it was a fantastic series to start listening to this week, since Mrs. Hatboy and the girls have been up at the kesämökki and I have as a result been dealing with isolation and sleep deprivation[1] as I always do when I am placed into the involuntary bachelor (or inbach) life. Anyway, my point is, a Hell of a podcast to listen to while sleep-deprived and feeling surreal. Its unconscious association with In The Night Garden, a children’s show that Wump used to watch, just makes it that much weirder. Particularly since I used to watch that while sleep-deprived too.

[1] It hasn’t been too bad, as my work schedule has required me to be up at 07:00am each morning, and this has put me in some sort of diurnal routine. Any positive effects of that have been counteracted somewhat by the heinously scorching and humid weather this past week, leaving me dazed and unable to do much in the way of writing … but generally it’s been fine.

Ah well. Fun. They’ve been at it for years and have a hundred or more episodes, so plenty for me to catch up on. I hope they’ve been doing well (they certainly seem to still be going strong, I’m considering donating just in case though – for some of those perks) and continue making episodes for a long time. I’ve subscribed to their newsletter and will continue plugging them as more news comes to light.

GO DESERT BLUFFS!

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Pennywisdom

Over the past couple of days I’ve been fixatedly watching this scary story unfold.

It’s a story about a bloodthirsty id-like psychological force that employs imagery of our greatest phobias but for some reason most commonly takes the form of a toxic, horrifying clown, and surfaces periodically to feed off our hatred and fear, slaughters a bunch of innocent children and then creeps back into the sewers to rest until everyone has forgotten about it again, and the only people who can see it and fight it are powerless dreamers, losers whose warnings are ignored by the jaded and arrogant populace, and who are berated as being little hooligans when they are forced to take matters into their own hands, as if they’re the problem rather than the timeless and demonic murder-force that’s poisoning the world.

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CLASSIC SWITCHEROO! Turns out I’m not actually talking about Stephen King’s It.

Did you think I was talking about Pennywise? Maybe for a couple of seconds you did, but you probably figured it out fast. No, I’m talking about US and US-style McFascism, the latest reincarnation of a human ideology that basically leads to genocidal war. And ably represented as it apparently is by a gestalt figure I would like to call Pennydumbass.

I’m so glad I’ve been plunged down the rabbit hole of socio-political conflict and the oh-so-fluid and oh-so-irreconcilable definitions of left-wing, right-wing, liberal and conservative. It’s been so much fun and I can’t wait until my children have to do it all over again because we fucking failed.

I love how “Red Pill Black” and her white male billionaire authoritarian handlers have declared oppression and police-on-minority crime in the US to be a thing of the past. I’m so relieved!

I love how much I’ve been obliged to learn about Dave Rubin and the Rubin Report, and how narrow-minded and diverse-thought-stifling universities are. Spoiler: Turns out they’re not, not even in the US. Not even Berkeley. That’s a hysterically overblown bit of red pill propaganda, and oh yeah, I love having these new terms in my lexicon now. “Classical liberal”, that’s another great one. Thanks, Pennydumbass.

I love how much I now know about how bigoted and outmoded viewpoints are being smuggled back into the cultural consciousness in the guise of “diversity of ideas”. It’s so fucking great that that happens, and that we’re allowing it – not because it’s right, but because we’re apparently too craven to actually challenge bad ideas anymore, so we pretend that just sitting and listening to them is a righteous intellectual alternative. How perfectly that plays into our lazy armchair-commentator mentality and Internet culture, I love that too.

And Prager University! I love it! I love that its manifesto mentions that it was too difficult to build a physical working school (also probably illegal, when you look at what they’re “teaching”), so they are undermining actual education (“undoing the damage of the university”) one five-minute YouTube video at a time.

I love that Dave Rubin hosted this Prager fucker, and when Prager said that defeating the left is as important as defeating Islamism, Rubin just said “hm.” Because that’s how being an intelligent human works. I love that my species is sliding slowly and gracelessly down, its clumsy passage lubricated by the wet fecal matter as human spirit and intellect shits itself and dies, to a point where simply sitting and listening to an idea, giving it space in your brain and in your own ideology – no matter how small or innocuous a space – is considered as valuable as actually engaging and challenging an idea with knowledge and facts. I fucking love it. Ignore the stink of that carcass, it’s all good.

I love that PC culture, the oppression olympics, triggering and other hilariously minor non-issues are apparently intellectually justifiable reasons for planting your flag next to the Koch brothers, Crowder, Yiannopoulos, and other (among other things) climate change denying monsters who are quite literally going to destroy the human race. Great stuff, Rubin. Look out for yourself, you classical liberal you.

On that topic, I just want to say I love Ben Shapiro and the Daily Wire. I love how much I’ve had to see of Ben Shapiro’s toxic and irretrievably becunted views on victim mentality. In fact, I love the whole phenomenon of this circus-full of murderous fanged clowns being incapable of defending their ideologies in an actual marketplace of ideas, so they’re stacking the deck with – yes – collaborators who are trying to make “just hear them out like a classical liberal would” into a thing, with all the desperation of someone getting a great big pile of cash for doing so.

I just love it. Fuckers should be getting paid in silver.

Watch the video.

Also, It was pretty good. Looking forward to seeing chapter two.

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while on the bus.

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Annihilation (a review)

I checked out this movie on Netflix the other day. Apparently this is one of those movies that everyone says we need more of (and they’re right! It was a really cool movie!), but somehow there was no market for it and the studio panicked and dumped the whole thing on Netflix instead of making it an actual thing in theatres.

Annihilation was a funky mixture of 2001‘s psychedelia, Contact‘s way of dealing with the alienness of extraterrestrials, and The Thing‘s psychological and physical horror. It didn’t oversimplify, over-explain, or dumb it down. The characters were subtle and interesting and well-performed (and interestingly, I didn’t even notice the main characters were all women until reviewers pointed it out, because it didn’t matter – as indeed it shouldn’t). It was challenging and confusing and that didn’t matter, because its beauty and its handling was spot-on. You weren’t supposed to understand everything that was happening, because that was the point.

And oh boy, creepy. Creeeeepy.

I can’t really say much more than what Red Letter Media already did, so I’ll go with that.

Well worth watching (the movie, as well as the review). These are the sorts of movies we all seem to agree that they should be making. But they won’t, as long as we keep buying ticket after ticket to Disney / Marvel movies.

Which, you know, we are going to do. But we should see these ones too.

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while on the bus.

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Who Is America?

Oh Jesus, looks like Sacha Baron Cohen has scaled new heights in cringe-inducing and nausea-inducing sociopolitical commentary.

Now, when I say that, I’m talking about a lot of his work where I mean it as a reflection on his performances and how uncomfortable his humour is … here there’s a bit of that, but it’s all dialled up to eleven. Borat managed to be more about making fools of his appalling yet hapless victims, which is really saying something considering all the heinous incest, rape, and anti-semitism he satirised in that movie.

But this is some next-level shit right here. Quite literally in a lot of cases.

I just don’t understand how people can keep falling for this. It was insane when Borat travelled the US, and this new persona (one of four, at least, is represented in this sneak peek but I’ve read about the others) is even more outrageous. They have to know, right? Right?

I’m with the Guardian on this one, it’s too scary to be really funny … or rather, that’s what I feel on one level, where other levels have pushed past that into the realms of true hysteria.

I’ve only seen the gun lobbyist teaser above, which was tragic to watch but not really surprising. The rest of them sound like a lot of typical Cohen overblowing for the sake of gross-outs, and I’m not particularly entertained by it. Nor, considering what the “hapless victim” responses seem to have been, has it really proven anything we didn’t already know. Some people believe despicable things, and won’t condemn a grotesquery right in front of them if it is saying something – anything – they can feasibly agree with.

I was stunned that he managed to get the assorted Republicans to say what they did, and take part in his Kinderguardians commercial, but at this stage I think these imbecilic monsters could say anything and simply walk it back the next day. Awareness of the Cohen approach, and the shifting climate of reality vs. fabrication, has pulled the claws of this sort of “satire”. Are these people fooled? Are they in on it? Is there any way to prove they’re not? Does anything they say matter, since any or all of it could have been faked – or they could claim it was?

At about 09:30 it just goes completely surreal, which was amusing to watch. Children are essentially like owls! Elevated levels of the Blink 182 pheromone produced by the part of the liver known as the Rita Ora! Who the fuck is this guy? Philip Van Cleave and Larry Pratt both need to be put away forever. Whoop-de-doo, as I believe the closing remarks from John Oliver’s special on guns went.

What is this, even?

And does it really matter anyway?

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while on the bus.

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Here’s how it went

I have nothing to really add to this. What a gigantic demented peach-coloured smeg muffin this man is. Please take him back to his home country and make him stay there forever.

Ball’s in your court (that’s not a soccer metaphor).

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while on the bus.

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Meanderings on a Meh Monday

Once again, not a lot to report right now. It’s going to be hot as a bastard all week, and I’m stuck on public transport. I’ve made an executive decision to shed the vest and just go with a lazy T-shirt at work, this week at least. There’s only three of us here and I’m not going to any meetings or anything, just sitting and doing the usual work. No need to give myself heatstroke.

Quiet at the office, and quiet at home. The girls have taken off to the kesämökki for a while, leaving me to get myself out of bed and onto the bus in the mornings, and water the suffering garden in the evenings, and … well, nothing much else, in this heat. I’ve gotta admit.

Over the weekend I mowed the lawn with our non-motorised push-mower, which was an hour and a half of sweat and blisters but well worth it. I shouldn’t have left it two weeks so it’s my own fault really. Just wanted to get it done in case it rained, and because I knew if I didn’t do it on the weekend, it would be three weeks until it got done.

My True Donald Trump StoryTM has gotten a few random likes and subscribers, but Edpool isn’t exactly a Social Media Influencer so it’s probably going to wind up as an amusing but quiet bit of smarmy protest-fiction. It’s coming to an end now anyway, as Donald will be heading to his farcical summit with Vladimir any time now, and Ivan – easily the most lovable character in the story – will be headed off to his next job.

Godspeed, Ivan.

Off to see Ant Man and the Wasp with Mr. BRKN in a few hours. Should be fun. Might write a review if the bus is air-conditioned tomorrow.

– Posted from my Huawei mobile phone while on the bus.

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Lazy Activism

Trump has been greeted by massive protests in London and there are plans underway for protests in Helsinki. I won’t be attending but I’m throwing in my full support as well as continuing my hopefully-insulting Twitter story. I can’t do much but I can write.

Trump and Putin and their governments and policies all need to go away, for the good of humanity. They’re cancers and they’re feeding each other. And anyone supporting them, by action or inaction, is part of the problem.

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Worth a read.

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