Because what else are we supposed to do while we're here.
Then I found out someone already made one.
I just searched "what is happening in politics" and found this site, and although I had already read the first few articles. It's still startling to view them all in one place.
The US is on the brink of a fascist coup. This is not an alarm bell, or an exaggeration. This will happen, if not stopped by their current legal systems.
As stated by the heading: "Read in moderation."
Drag Me to Hell
The Loved Ones
Donnie Darko (maybe not horror, but hey if Die Hard is considered a Christmas movie)
I might be missing some, I don't know.
"They have blighted cinema, and also blighted culture to a degree". - Alan Moore on Superhero films
I don't completely disagree with this statement. I think an overemphasized trend in any direction can have a negative effect on culture. And superhero movies have had such a catch-all mass popularity effect on culture. Sometimes I miss watching a movie and being surprised, it is so rare now to see auteurs that stand out. Everyone is looking to be a cog in the MCU or Star Wars Universe. And many of these films are great rides. But to actually be confronted or challenged about how we process the extreme situations we currently live in has become more and more rare, especially in film. That challenge now seems to be left mostly to the comedians, Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, Tom Segura, Eric Andre, Michael Che and others. They are the only ones achieving this with an artistic method, and by that I mean to the point where they dare you to see things from their perspective. Comedians are the only ones confronting dangerous topics without fear and convincing you to look deeper at situations you may have already casted judgement on. Popular film and television no longer attempt this.
When it’s time to sell a broken world.
Safety and happiness of your child.
Although I’m only a casual hip-hop listener, here’s my top 5 in no order:
To be something.
Watching High Score on Netflix, realizing how long it took for character choice to be implemented into video games in a main-stream way, here are a few of my characters of choice:
Street Fighter II: I started out with Chun-Li, moved to Guile, then it's been Ryu ever since.
Mortal Kombat: Began with Sub-Zero and eventually moved to Scorpion.
Mario Kart: I started with Toad, and eventually landed on Yoshi.
I am going to release a new song every six-weeks.
The reasoning behind this:
1. I wait too long to put stuff out and then regret not releasing earlier.
2. How much better is a recording if sat on for many many years? How much better was that tenth mix? So many of the best records were put together in a short period of time. London Calling was recorded in two weeks (apparently). And some of the most mediocre records took way too long, see Chinese Democracy.
3. It will force me to be less precious.
4. It will force me to try new things. Experimentation and tinkering is the way to propel ourselves and society forward, see NN Taleb or Seth Godin for more my inspiration on this.
5. The six weeks timeline I got from that Basecamp dude who hates meetings, in his opinion one month is too short for small but substantial projects and multiple months is too long. Six weeks seems to be the sweet spot. It makes sense musically too. No time to wait for inspiration, before getting into the studio. Get into the studio and then be inspired. It also allows enough time to schedule with other players if needed and allows for ample time to play with mixes if song structure and recording is done within a month.
6. Announcing it here will hold me accountable and just as this blog has helped me write and expose my ideas to others often, this will hopefully help me do the same.
7. Making music is the best.
8. Wish me luck.
9. Stay tuned. blankcinema.com
The one movie and book that had the biggest impact on my life was Fight Club. It not only shaped many of my beliefs about society, but even had an impact on some of my friendships as I was growing up, for better or worse.
It did not introduce me to a lot of concepts or ideas that I had never considered, but more that it presented those concepts as a game to be played and as real life with consequences simultaneously. Because of this it was incredibly dark/sad as well as funny/inspiring. It was fun to make-believe that you were going to start a revolution to overturn consumerist culture and globalist apathy, and it was also scary the more you pushed those concepts.
Over 20 years later, it feels incredibly relevant now.
"Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all that claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think every thing you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told to want? Get out of your apartment. Meet a member of the opposite sex. Stop the excessive shopping and masturbation. Quit your job. Start a fight. Prove you're alive. If you don't claim your humanity you will become a statistic. You have been warned."
"Only after disaster can we be resurrected. It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. Nothing is static, everything is evolving, everything is falling apart."
Do shows like the X-Files still exist and I’m just not paying attention? Or was that a one-time awesome concept that no one has been able to recreate. I guess Stranger Things is pretty close, never mind.
Hey, Springfield! Are you suffering from the heartbreak of monster-itis? Then take a tip from Mr. Paul Anka!
To stop those monsters, one-two-three
Here's a fresh new way that's trouble-free
It's got Paul Anka's guarantee
Guarantee void in Tennessee
Paul Anka and Lisa:
Just don't look! Just don't look! (x2)
“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” - Tony Robbins.
I'm thinking of this quote and how it relates to change not on a personal level, but on mass scale, revolutions. The pain of what is and the pain of what was is no longer acceptable. It's messy to change and it's only going to get messier, but hopefully change is seen through until the end, until the current status quo becomes alien. A paradigm shift.
World: Let us get back to you on that.
My son is failing incredibly lately while talking and it's making me happy. Not because he's falling back on his development, he's not. But because he's extending himself much farther. No longer is he putting two or three words together simply and succinctly to get his wants across. He's aiming for full sentences with descriptive words, and colloquial additions, he's telling a story and he's just bulldozing through all of it while picking up a few extra syllables here and there and dropping a few others on the way, and half the time I have no idea what he's saying.
I have nothing to talk about because I’ve been inside working and discussing TV shows and social media all day. I have to replenish the well. Time to go see a concert or go to an art gallery. Haha. We’re all going to die.
There’s a great JG Ballard short story where two volunteers have decided to participate in an experiment to remove their ability to sleep. They start noticing that the room is becoming smaller and smaller until, in their minds, the room and then are squashed into a singularity and the one supervising the experiment watches them suddenly become vegetables.
That’s how I’m starting to feel right now...I’m too pretty for jail-time.
There is an idea that says if you work really hard and focus on your goals, good things will happen for you.
I'd like to rephrase this. Chill the eff out and do what interests you, share it with others, don't take any of it too seriously, chances are, no one's listening, no one cares, and we're all going to die soon anyways... Amen.
A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the widespread insistence they were obvious in hindsight. - Jim Chappelow - Investopedia
Black Swan and Anti-Fragile were two of my favourite books consumed last year. These are 2 of 5 books in Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Incerto series. I enjoyed Skin in the Game as well, but these two drove the message home for me. Now is a good a time as any to read them. You won't be going out much.
Maybe I can say that a little more clevererer and a little more adage-y.
If you compare yourself to giants you’ll always lose. If you appreciate their company, they might let you stand on their shoulders.
Yeah...that was a good.
The nightly news is poisonous to your mental health. Panic is induced instantly, when you hear about some viral outbreak, as your child coughs in the next room. It's not an outbreak, it's just being sick, it's not markets in free-fall, it's a good deal on stocks if you're smart enough to take advantage of it, he's not the next president, just some asshole with a few gaudy hotels. When we hyperbolize everything, we separate ourselves from reality, frame by frame, creating gods, demons, martyrs and sensation.
These crave ads are slowly wearing me down. If everyone shares their crave account and everyone shares their Netflix account and everyone shares their Spotify account and everyone shares their Prime account. I think we can get infinite content down to the price of water.
Some random one-liner brain garbage. I thought these were hilarious when I thought of them. Now ... meh. Also highlights the issue I have with Will Smith which no one else seems to comprehend, my horror when someone eats pizza with a knife and fork and how much I love the word twee, and dislike 'the future is...'
The world needs more will Smith. Wait....that doesn’t sound right.
Crime is always at the top of the crime chart in America.
If you are eating pizza with a fork, it’s either not very good pizza or you are bad at eating.
Plant based sausage party.
The future is twee.
Iain M Banks, you spell your name wrong.
Don’t try to surf, don’t do it. The less you do, the more you do. Let’s see you popup. Popup! That’s not it at all, do less, get down. Let’s see you do it again. Popup. No. Too slow. Do less. Popup. Popup. You’re doing too much get down. Popup. No. Remember don’t do anything. Get down. Popup. No, we’ll you gotta do more than that.
A roast only works if the person enjoys being roasted. If you aren't enjoying it, what are you doing? Also, it just makes the roaster look mean, and they're not, they're doing you a favour, providing you with a gift. Take it gracefully. Laugh at yourself, it takes a lot of courage to brutally mock someone to their face, respect it.
In the past I would try to not overwork, now I think it's a good thing, if you want to. If you want to overwork for a week, what's wrong with it? Just take it easy next week. I think sometimes we can pay too much attention to the clock. We don't have to work 9-5 everyday, every week. Let's work 9-9 for 6 days this week and then 10-2 1 day next week. Go with the flow dude.
I have a new philosophical theory on art:
When a style/motif/mode is being craved by society, its initial appearances do not have to be great, perfect, polished, or of the highest quality, in fact this may be detrimental to its acceptance. Examples of this are the earliest forms or protozoa of different genres. Examples in movies: Some of the first horror film types in their respective genres; 'Night of the Living Dead', 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre', 'The Blair Witch Project'. Examples in music: the earliest of any genre or the earliest of different movements; 'Bob Dylan', 'The Velvet Underground', 'The Stooges', 'The Pixies', even early revivalists or 2nd waves of genres, 'The White Stripes', 'The Strokes'. The works here stand out by what they don't contain and what they solely focus on or omit. They didn't have to be good. They just gave the world what it was craving. I came up with this theory while listening to the title track on 'Is This It?' and thought "This didn't need to be good, it was just needed".
This also could be utter nonsense. I'm not sure.
The highest rating on Rotten Tomatoes is not given to the best movies, it is given to the movies with the least amount of flaws. Controversy won't get you over 90% which makes sense, the rating should be read as 90% of people enjoy this. One reviewer didn't rate it at 90%, 90% of reviewers rated it positively. I am coming to terms with this. I'm starting to think the best films are rated between 70% and 85%. Not too many obvious flaws, but an enough character to be divisive.
I wonder if when engineers, architects, or scientists win awards they use it as a platform for veganism or voting or abortion rights or climate change. It seems odd that this soapbox is only appropriate when you pretend for a living. I don't disagree with the causes, or the speeches. And fully support the sentiment. It just seems strange to me. Maybe it's because all causes need an icon to promote them, a path-dependence to side with. Those with fame now have to be political, the times demand it. Hollywood is now woke...on awards night anyway.
I don't like to talk politics too much. It generally doesn't make me happy to do so, because of this I try and avoid discussions. I think if anything the past few years of American politics has shown us what a farce the show truly is. Take it seriously and it will be bad for your health.
This moment was made for you, by you.
Take a moment to enjoy it, always accept it, then ask yourself
"what am I trying to tell myself?"
I think the battle of generations is primarily fought between 20-30 and 50-60. Maybe this is where the distance in the understanding of the world is concretely realized.
Maybe I never full joined the battle because familial generation party-line was divided across a few lines. My older brothers being born in the 70s myself being born in the 80s and having a niece born at the tail end of what is considered millennials on the cusp of Gen Z being raised in our home at the same time I was becoming a teenager.
A generational divide never made too much sense to me then, and it doesn't now.
The way we are currently judging what defines these generations is through how they most commonly consume media. If you can separate yourself from that, then you are free from those divides.
If you think the previous generation handed you a raw deal, and you live in the western world, you're probably wrong.
If you think kids have it easy these days, you're probably wrong too.
Give up the fight, every struggle is relative and individual, and most of them are not that different. The struggle to be heard, understood and to make a difference.
Everything is communication.
Friday, it hit me with clarity that my current role was to make sure two machines were communicating with each other properly, that they understood each other. At first this made feel a bit inhuman, soulless. Then I realized that the purpose of these two machines talking to one another was that so a few people had the ability to communicate with many, many, more people. It was a chain, a person on one end, a string of machines, then another person on the other end. That is all we are doing, sending messages. The value of the message is everything.
Sweet report Kylo Ren.
Hey buddy, whaddaya say we get a couple beers, smoke some acid and rewrite a little history.
How long does it take to kill Al Pacino.
I don’t know, this is a war movie, it’ll probably win. Cuz not enough war movies have won Oscars.
Taxi Driver....but with a clown.
Wasn’t this nominated 20 years ago? Did it win then? It won’t now.
Sweet divorce Kylo Ren.
Scarlett Johansson is in every movie now?
This seems like a Soderbergh film... is it?
This reminds me of that movie from the 90s with Michael J Fox ... Greedy, only good. This looks awesome actually, I really want to see it. Subtitles though.
Are we entering a new era of game shows?
Every night there's a new game show on TV. Are cable networks just throwing whatever they can at the wall to see what sticks? Live entertainment is now on your phone, on demand quality content is on Netflix, Crave and Prime, but where do you find the game shows? Cable. They're cheap, they're weekly. The last ditch effort of a dying medium.
The Masked Singer is awesome though.
Watching The Basketball Diaries...DiCaprio was a great actor from the beginning. How many people are that good from the start? Again, maybe acting isn't that difficult. It doesn't matter, DiCaprio is amazing in this at 20, 21? Jim Carroll was a junkie, a poet, an author, and was in a band. So New York.
I'm not too interested in reading books like this anymore, after you've read some Burroughs, Welsh and Bukowski, you're like, okay, it's hard being effed up all the time, I get it. You feel like an insect...got it.
That being said I think Naked Lunch is a masterpiece and almost totally incoherent. One of those rare reads where not just the plot, not just the tone, not just the content, but the format in which it is presented is so unique that it stands alone. American Psycho is in this category too. Completely unique.
I watched Joker the other night and I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I think it was a good movie. Maybe. It had all the collective parts of a good movie, but something felt missing.
I could feel the influences coming at me almost every other shot Taxi Driver, King of Comedy, American Psycho. Maybe a little Requiem for a Dream here and there. There were many scenes that I thought were incredible. But I didn't quite get what this movie added to the Batman story or even to the culture as a whole.
The Joker's origin story has always been a bit hazy, mysterious, perhaps deliberately so. Maybe the problem I had was that it tried to nail that story down so clearly. Here is why the Joker is unstable, here is why the Joker is a villain, he is actually a sympathetic character with mental illness, who went off of his medication. Okay...I guess that makes sense. But part of what is likeable about the Joker, the most iconic villain of all time, is that he seems like he's having a good time doing terrible things, we only really start to feel that near the very end and by then, the tragedies that he has endured are still fresh in our minds. Jaoquin's performance was fantastic, most of the cinematography was great, I liked the music as well. I'm just not sure I liked the movie. Maybe I'm not supposed to.
The tone was soooo dark. But is that the end goal of a superhero movie, just more darkness to legitimize the content. Did it need to take place in the DC universe at all? The parts involving the Wayne family seemed tacked on. Did we need to see Bruce's parents get killed? Couldn't this just have been Taxi Driver: The Clown Version? Or a stand alone Joker origin story. I'm still wrestling with this. On technical points alone it's Certified Fresh, but on gut reaction, I'm not so sure. And I think gut has more weight on this scale.
I wanted to keep it pure, everything pure. And yet nothing can be. Erosion is pure, rust is pure, decay is pure.
I was having a discussion about great mixes with a friend of mine and a point that he made was that to an extent, mixing really doesn't matter, as long as its decent enough sounding, it's not as important as people make it out to be.
We both went on to cite examples of great new and classic records with terrible mixes. I would extend this to almost everything. A great editor doesn't write the book, special effects don't make the movie. And now more than ever I also think consistency, and/or reliable output can be weighted above all else. Not just the artistry or intention of a work, but a continuous striving to achieve more, reach higher, and to stop polishing last nights work, it's already stale.
I'm starting to come around, I think Chet Hanks is my favourite Hanks...besides Tom.
It must be difficult living in the shadow of someone accomplished like that. Take Jakob Dylan for instance, he wrote some fantastic songs and put out a great record, but how can it possible hold a candle, your crotchety old man wrote "All Along the Watchtower", you may as well have been a magician. If Jakob were anyone else's son he would have his own identity, and notable music career, but nope, not even close.
What if Chet Hanks turns out to be the next Eminem, will he be take seriously? I will answer that for you, he will not. Maybe it's the last great hurdle for rappers. Kanye made rappers with Polo shirts from the suburbs cool. Drake made former actors on Degrassi TNG cool. Maybe that's Chet Hanks' barrier to break down.
I'm going to start celebrating the black sheep. Why is Colin Hanks a great Hanks? I mean, I loved Orange County, but basically we're getting a mini Tom at a discount rate. Chet... we don't what we're getting, I'll buy that ticket every time. Big ups.
Social media has never felt legitimate to me. Maybe because it was conceived at the end of my high school life, with the dawn of friendster and myspace, it still feels like high school. I don’t get the jokes, I don’t get the lingo, (oh is that how we say something is cool now…oh okay). It always feels forced to me and I’m always wondering about who this new cool kid is that commented on some other cool kids post. It’s my own insecurity I guess because I can’t just pretend to get it, it feels fun and funny sometimes, but through gritted teeth and a grimace. This turns me into a passive viewer, unwilling to participate even when I feel inclined to do so.
I’m just not there any more, I used to care about being cool, everyone does, to deny that is simply virtue signalling a different kind of cool. I don’t think it needs to be brought down or that its ruining society or anything like that, it’s just not for me right now. Maybe it will be one day.
Another way to look at social media is different kinds of cliques or clubs, if you analyze the language used for each platform it is very distinct it has distinct tone and a distinct sound. When you are among a group of friends that you’ve known your whole life you fall into that pattern of talking, a rhythm a cadence, you use certain words more than others, this is natural.
On social media, it is not natural, but it still exists, Reddit has a different tone than twitter, facebook has a different tone than instagram and so on, 4chan, this is partly due to the users that dominate each platform, as well as the platforms inherent functionality.
Engage in reddit long enough and you’ll probably feel like a know it all, engage in twitter long enough and you’ll think you are quick witted, enough IG and you’ll think the whole world is living a better life than you. It’s all a show, none of its real.
I suppose this isn’t real either, just another show, and more virtue signalling, "the anti-marketing angle, that's a good angle," maybe I'm only comfortable because I can't tell if people are reading it, maybe I'll install analytics to get that endorphin rush, but it feels like it’s more on my terms. No likes.
‘It doesn’t matter what you get in algebra at all, unless you’re going to be an algebratrician.’ - Chris D’Elia
I've been reading a lot of Seth Godin lately, along with other people who aren't crazy about our current educational system (Peter Thiel). It makes me question how I'll approach educational choices for my son. I generally trust that he'll learn what he needs to learn through experience, and will be inspired by the fields that interest him. But should I take actions to change the trajectory? Home school, private school, Waldorf, Montessori. Will it make a difference? Should he have a bit of everything? Or will he find the path to a life of curiosity and perpetual learning through his own will, regardless of the structural template he's placed in for a few hours a day?
Rap music is all about attitude and nothing else, Kanye’s lyrics are mostly idiotic, but when he yells ‘heeuuuuuh’ it’s hard not to get into it.
I would extend this to all types of music but rap more than any other. I think this is why rappers can make great actors, they’ve already honed an attitude and a character. Another question would be why is it easier for musicians to become actors but not the other way around.
See Scarlett Johansson, and Keanu Reeves. Exceptions to this rule Drake and Childish Gambino. Maybe rapping and acting is interchangeable, but not rock and acting.
Maybe Jeremy Renner will dismantle this theory.
For the previous post “thanks again”, I don’t know Apple's predictive implementation is some how a reflection of what I usually type on my phone, machine learning that has custom tailored the next plausible word for me to use, or a default generic English speaking businessaterian.
The feedback loop is always in production always beta testing offering different reflections of me to myself and checking for accuracy. With this in mind, is there a threshold where technology will know me so well as to gratify all wishes and desires the second or even slightly before they come to the surface of my mind?
Thanks again to all of the guys that work on this week and to be sure we can get together for sure thanks again thanks so you can be sure you can get them done and get it out of your way and then you get a chance thanks again thanks.
This message was brought to you buy Apple’s word prediction. Thanks again.
If a day is not going well, sometimes it’s best to cut your losses and start fresh. Not everyone wants your lemonade. Yesterday it felt like road blocks were magically appearing for me, I took my cue and ran away, the benefits of being a contract remote employee.
People hate job interviews, but I’m starting to think they are the best part of any job. If you get the job then it’s just a job, if you don’t then you need to find another job. The interview is the only point where you can see the potential and the value of yourself in a certain role without actually working there, also, if interviewed correctly, illustrates what you will learn from that job.
I think it’s important to give yourself as much space to let your mind wander as possible. If you stare at the walls to long, they start to close in.
I’m getting paid more now than I’ve ever been paid in my life, now that I'm being paid more the less important money is to me. Importance can then be seen as an indication of lack. If your health is important it’s because there is a threat of weakness. Or if this job is important there is a fear that this job will be taken away from you. When you realize that money is not important, it comes when it comes, this job is not important, the next one will come, nothing is important, then you hold all the cards, you are willing to take risks, hold out and do what you want.
I'm compiling a list of all the books I've read or listened to this past year.
Zero to One, The Startup Way, Black Swan, Anti-Fragile, Skin in the Game, White, So You've Been Publicly Shamed, Bitcoin Billionaires, The Big Short, ReWork, The $100 Startup.
Last year I probably read only one book, maybe 2 at most, the year before that, nothing. I've fallen in love with reading again. You can tell where my interests are leaning by the content.
"All science is physics or stamp collecting." - Ernest Rutherford
There are variations on this sentiment regarding physics as the father of all science, or the only real science, because all understanding in other scientific fields is derived from the understanding that the laws of physics provide.
In the realm of self-improvement I would extend this same quality to meditation, if you start with this, all other improvements will eventually follow. Committing to a daily practice of meditation for only a few minutes every day has changed my life over the last two years, in all areas of my life. But it started with meditation, everything else is stamp collecting.
Punk rock is capitalist, DIY and aggressively self-centred.
The revolutionary rock of the 60's is socialist, communal, free and inclusive.
New Wave basks lazily in its conservative wealth.
Grunge is introspective.
I've always been attracted to Punk Rock.