Praise the gods of entertainment
24,192 words

Day 100 - Work the Streak

Streaks are good. Keeps you dedicated. But maintaining a stall can become the mission reason for doing the thing, not the thing itself. Streaks are good as starting points for discipline. Because sometimes we just don’t want to do the work. Fighters talk about this, how there are times when they don’t want to do the thing they’re obsessed with, the thing they eat, live, and breathe. Streaks are good for that. They can be tedious, but that’s half the point.

But streaks can be worthless if you don’t focus on the task. Don’t just do the streak to tick a box. Work the streak.

And, as always

Praise the gods of entertainment 

Day 99 - Super 8

Mildly fun and the special effects were cool. And that’s about all you can say about most popular movies. They’re spectacle. Some human drama thrown in, along with the usual banalities: people have feelings and they fight and make up. And all superhero tv shoes are soap operas. The fighting and suspense serve the emotional arcs. All good. But that’s what these things are. Marvel movies are not much different. Better storylines, but they got that from the fucking comic book writers. Easy money, jesus. 

Day 98 - New Strokes album

Same as always. Track for track:

Decent start. Could finally be  consistently good album.

Meh

Meh

Crisp and clean. Great riffs.

Meh

Meh

Meh

Oh this is brilliant. This is the song I was waiting for. Maybe the rest of the album will be great.

Nope. Meh

Meh

Meh

Meh

Still like them.

Won’t listen to the album ever again, except for those two songs.

Day 97 - Bjork/Post

Post is a brilliant album proving that asset does not progress in a linear fashion. It could have been reused today and it would sound like a masterpiece. The same with Surfer Rosa by The Pixies. There’s a flavor to the 80s and 90s, but as soon as you venture outside of the pop mainstream, you stumble upon timeless wonders. 

Day 96 - You can't always have the nicest version

Life can be an asshole. Time can be very limited. So you can't always get the nicest version of something you want or need. You might need to eat faster than you would like to, or eat something other than your top choice. You might even have to feel hungry. We need to know when to think about other people's situations and be thankful for what we have. Be agile and be ready at all times to use that understanding as a tool. Getting upset and complaining is an absurdity, a capitulation to our own fragilities. It's inconsiderate nonsense and we need to recognize it when it arises. Otherwise we're victims. Of our own minds and the tightness in our chest and hearts. Now is a good time to practice this. Start by listening to the words of David Goggins. Listen to what he says and especially how he says it. And be patient with your loved ones. They are fucking lunatics. 

Day 95 - News Websites

Whatever the differences are between Google News and Apple News, they are problematic in the same way: They offer too much fragmented information directed by headlines. While scanning the app for a story, your eyes pass over dozens of headlines. When you select a story, yet again your eyes scan through additional headlines, ads, opportunities to subscribe, images intended to entice. And on and on it goes, making it extremely difficult to settle on one piece of content. This is the reader's responsibility (to sustain focus), but how much control can the reader have? These apps are designed by juggernauts who know how to seize our attention and drag us down rabbit hole within rabbit hole within rabbit hole. It's not their "fault" necessarily. They are both the cause and the symptom of our bias, our drive, toward fragmentation of information. They're also an extension of a very powerful habit that has been growing and evolving since the earliest days of the Internet: refusing to pay for anything. Enter Google, pirating, and any other monster we choose to blame for the current state of digital media. There is an alternative: Pay for what you read. Pay for a subscription, read the stories thoroughly. Spend your reading time in this way instead of scanning through a news app that offers free stories. At least use the app as a secondary source. A supplement or a starting point for a strong publication. Find a publication that meets your interests. Maybe something you enjoyed as a child (e.g., animals, history, technology). Do some investigation to determine whether the publication prioritizes objectivity over sensationalism. Read that publication, primarily, for a few months or a year. And don't worry. You're not missing out on anything by putting down that goddam news app. Fear of missing out is how these things thrive. It's unhealthy. Pay for a good, well-intentioned, objective publication. Make it your go-to source of information for a while. Take a deep breath and enjoy reading instead of gorging on information. The gods of entertainment will thank you.  

Day 94 - Ulysses app

Another goddam beautiful app that makes you sad that you're brain is wired to such choas as Microsoft Word. Dear sweet jesus, Ulysses is just stunning. MS Word is powerful as it gets, meaning that it be used to create just about any document. But for people who want to write, it's a nightmare. It's clunky and slow, a lot of the time, without the pay-off. In other words, MS Word is weighed down by functions that most people don't need. So, for basic writing, it's just gross. Ulysses, on the other hand, is a beautiful and smooth creature. Now, Google docs is great too. It's somewhere between MS Word and Ulysses (closer to MS Word, but much faster and synced with a much smoother ecosystem...OneDrive is also gross). Ulysses is basically what you get when you pay for an app made by a company with a clear and narrow focus. It's lovely. Just lovely. On an altar in a church dedicated to the gods of entertainment, Ulysses is a shiny goblet. 

Day 93 - Rats

National Geographic reports (April 3): Urban lockdowns have caused a reduction in trash, so rats are coming "out of hiding" to search for food. These poor little bastards. Another "rat problem". Another monster to defeat. It's like a video game. We're problem-solving through levels, working our way to another boss. Repeat until the game is over. One of the bosses is a swarm of bees: Social media. The goal: don't let the buzzing drive you insane. Turn off until your brain is cleansed. 


National Geographic also reports that carbon emissions have been dropping due to coronavirus. Prediction: There will be a rise in discourse about how terrible humans are, as evidenced by the benefits of our absence from the outside world. Some will make salient points. Others will have brains paralyzed by cynicism (as they always are, even in the best of times). Every time something important happens, we see every possible opinion on every possible matter. Twitter. Another boss.  


Drink lots of water. Follow a healthy diet. Be nice to your brain. 

Day 92 - Red wine

Red wine is a delightful liquid that demands your respect. Unlike beer, that sloppy whore. The great thing about red wine is that it paces you. To enjoy it in the slightest, you have to take your time. Swirl it around and all that ritualistic loveliness. And with food, dear god it’s amazing. During these hard times, if you can afford to do so, purchase a nice bottle of wine and enjoy it with a loved one. It’s a precious joy. 

Day 91 - How did the French become baking masters?

It probably started with royalty. Some smelly animal got a taste for pastries and cakes and threw all kinds of money at the venture. Set up trade to ensure a surplus of flower, sugar, and eggs. Enough for an infinite number of trials and errors.


Perhaps there was a preexisting surplus with added support from a wealthy class, including overseas traders and other Kings and Queens. 


The French might also have a taste for perfection. Something in the water. In any case, the French have stumbled upon a magical craft. We should try to work pastries and cakes into our diets. 

Day 90 - Kraftwerk Autobahn

Kraftwerk's Autobahn is an unbelievable effort for 1974. The album stands the test of time; passed it with ease. It's jolly at times, dark at others, overall a well-balanced frivolous little reflection on urban life and keeping pace with new speeds. Not even a reflection. Just an expression by a couple of folks embracing new technology and applying it to artistic efforts. Optimism. We could use a bit more of that today. Most of the discourse around technology has a frantic tone to it. Major concerns are privacy, security, the evils of amoral hackers (attacking people trying to work from home...jesus christ), and the latest and greatest ("will Apple be able to release the iPhone 9 in time?"). It's a lot of rabbit-hole mind-fuckery that keeps a lot of writers employed. And that is just fine and dandy. The gods of entertainment have all sorts of minions and soldiers and we should be proud to be among their ranks.    

Day 89 - The Covid Times

When we finally get a handle on this monster, what's going to fill the vacuum in the media? The usual array of information? New patterns of information? Perhaps a rise in virus news ("Could this be the new covid-19?"). The conspiracy theories are going to be (already are) magical. Will the news make as much time for celebrities? Yes, those adept enough to construct the appropriate attention-getting strategies will do well. Gal Gadot and friends did not do well. Microsoft is doing well because everyone is trapped with Windows computers. More viruses. Overall, not much will change, but the media landscape should have a different flavor. Those formerly in their hay-day of attention-getting will clamor to regain some social status. Some will succeed. This covid mess is a real tragedy, an amoral monster. But when the tragedy fades, media will return to normal, for better and worse. Internet marketing will continue to be a mirror. Oh god. Late night talk shows. What are they doing? Anything? How will they bounce back? That will be the place to look: Archaic formats in the media. How are they going to adapt? Hopefully, they will not. 

Day 88 - Meditation Script #7

Take your seat. Close your eyes. Think about the last thing that you ate. Think about the last thing that you drank. Think about the last thing you thought right before going to bed seventeen nights ago. And now just relax. Think about the face of your favorite animal. It's a gorilla. It has an iPad. It can't decide whether it was a wise purchase or whether a Chromebook would have been a better option. Gorilla is angry at its thoughts. And now open your eyes. Focus on an object. Stare into the object and pretend you invented it. Where's the patent money? Is it already in your bank account? You doubt this but remember that it's important to stay positive. Now close your eyes again. Think about another invention. One that could make you millions. Have you already forgotten about the gorilla? Shame one you. Take your guilt and sit with it for the rest of the day. 

Day 87 - Medium

Medium is a blogging platform. It's much like social media, but focuses on long-form writing in the form of blog posts. It's a nice idea. It gives people an outlet for writing, it provides access to massive amounts of content (some from skilled writers and experts), and the UI is excellent. The main problem with Medium is the feed. If you subscribe to a certain topic, it's difficult to filter out....Oh who gives a fuck. Medium is fine and people should use it if they like. Same goes for every other product. Pick something, use it to its full potential, and let go of it if/when you outgrow it. Use something like Ulysses to write a novel. Use Google Docs if it tickles your fancy. Is there too much product comparison? Yes, if you consider the question through the lens of another whiny question: Do we consume too much and become socially distant and...? No, if you consider the question through a funner lense: All these comparisons amount to people creating their own jobs as writers, editors, content whatevers, and so on. They make money. They buy things. Some of those things catch on fire and burn down buildings, and now firemen have jobs. It's all part of a beautiful cycle of creation and consumption. Also, why not say "lazy" consumption instead of "over" consumption. Is it too much if everything you consume is just a superb product? Don't consume garbage. Demand quality, make sure tech reviewers are good writers and talkers, and think about how these normal people created their own jobs doing what they appear to love doing. Figure it out. Stop being a cranky little wank stain. Also, Medium is fine. 

Day 86 - Never trust a show or movie with time travel

In a television show or a movie, time travel provides a quick and easy back door whenever producers/writers/directors need an escape from structure, trajectory, and clean construction of a storyline. Take Umbrella Academy...again. Nothing matters in this show. No event or outcome carries any weight, as time travel changes everything in the last second. Is this a device for the writers and directors? Do they need to go back in time because they can't figure out how to finish the story? Is the original source material just as bad? Why does this show exist? The aesthetics are nice. The acting is very good. Each episode is watchable, in itself. But taken as an entire season...jesus christ. It's just poison. The same applies to X-Men Days of Future Past. Why. Why does this nonsense exist? Time travel is just a device used to abandon a storyline. Why commit such a crime? To recycle and recharge the audience's feeling of suspense. Instead of a single climax, time travel automatically creates ten or twenty. Stories delivered in smaller and more intense doses, with lots of physical action and intellectual wanking; two sides of the same coin. Time travel, presented literally, is an abomination. Non-linear storytelling (time travel figuratively...See Pulp Fiction) is a difficult means of telling a story, maintaining multiple trajectories that travel parallel but along intersecting paths. But time travel. Actual time travel? Outside of schlocky kitschy shows like Dr. Who and Star Trek, time travel is an awful awful plot device. Shame. SHaaaaaaame.