Gabbling Into The Void 6: Billy Peltzer’s Mogwai Problem

Welcome once again to the Pandora’s Box of Little Baby Blog Posts, where I again prove my inability to focus on a single blog post and instead loose unto the world a flock of little half-ass blog posts. Fly, my pretties, fly.

Gremlin problems abound. All of our issues — I don’t mean personal issues, I mean our national and to a different degree global ones — feed off each other. They’re gremlins, getting wet, eating after midnight, and whatever the third thing was. Don’t let them watch YouTube? Don’t let them read Jonathan Franzen? Whatever. Our problems are chained together, and suffer force multipliers when chained this way, like an inescapable Mortal Kombat combo. Take the school problem. The problem is being framed as, well, kids either need to go back to school or kids can’t go back to school. Going back to school means maybe they get sick, but it also means that if they don’t go, parents may not be able to work. And it’s being framed as the one thing versus the other, but it ignores the fact there’s an unholy host of other problems that lead to this false dichotomy crisis: we don’t have a robust social safety net, we don’t have health care, we don’t take care of teachers, we make teachers buy their own school supplies (like, say, boxes of tissues), and we have an utter failure of leadership at the top that has let this pandemic run roughshod over us like a brushfire. Everything is a spark and the GOP is the Johnny Appleseed of kindling. If we had a robust pandemic response federally, if we had a social safety net that helped people through these chaotic times, if we had health care, if we took care of teachers, we might have this problem better shored up. But now, it isn’t. And now we’re all staring down the barrel of a soon-to-start school year in the midst of a pandemic whose effects on everyone (teachers, kids, relatives, admin, literally goddamn everyone) remain only faintly seen.

Okay, probably also our personal issues. I mean, I’m not sayin, but I’m just sayin.

Speaking of problems, I’m having computer problems. Weeks ago, I was having heavy slowdown issues — slow booting, slow opening programs, everything. I updated my Mac to the newest OS, Catalina, and poof, problems gone. Now, they’re back. It’s not as sluggish, but it seems to have to do with rendering graphics — sometimes I get flashy, strobing panels on animated menus, sometimes a graphic takes a while to resolve (whether on web or in Photos), things just seem to take a while to spin up. Not sure if I’m having memory issues or GPU problems. But it’s fucking annoying. The system is useable (evidenced by me typing this now). Didn’t find viruses or malware. Didn’t find any HD issues. Sometimes I’m getting high activity on kernel_task via the activity monitor? And it’s still slow(er) to boot, too, suggesting something beyond just GPU. I dunno. Shit. Once again, I blame gremlins. Real gremlins this time, not metaphorical ones.

Two books are out this week that I’m hungry to read. And maybe you are too. S.A. Cosby’s Blacktop Wasteland is out, as is Stephen Graham Jones’ The Only Good Indians. I’ve not read Cosby before, but Jones is amazing (I submit Mongrels as evidence, yer honor.) Note, those two links are affiliate links at Bookshop.org. Anyway. I’ve heard amazing things from trusted folks about both, and so I’m eager to get my fangs into them. Almost done Survivor Song by Noted Monster Paul Tremblay, and unsurprisingly, that book cuts deeeeep. Because, as noted, Paul Tremblay is a monster.

Billy Butcher is in a bad situation. Finished The Boys S1, with S2 premiering in fall. That’s a cracking show. I really thought I’d hate it. But I loved it a whole lot — I mean, it’s gross and dark as fuck. It’s a nasty, menacing show, but there’s a good heart in there somewhere, underneath a lot of spilled viscera. Seriously, it’s a gory show. Lotta ew going on there. But good ew! If you like ew.

I did not know Grant Imahara. I saw him in passing at a couple cons, but I know a lot of people who knew him, were close to him, and by every report he was a genuine spirit, and a lovely person. And I know just from watching him on TV, he had a light and a love of learning and exploration and engineering that was catchy, and the loss of him is brutal. And then there’s Naya Rivera and Kelly Preston. It’s just, 2020 needs to get into the sea. This year. This fucking year.

I mean, I try to have perspective. If this year happened 20 years ago, or 100, it would’ve been considerably worse in a lot of ways. It’s not good now, but the circumstances could’ve been considerably harder earlier on. I don’t know how helpful that is, or even how true, but I try to have some tiny mote of optimism in the dark, like one lone lightning bug over a nighttime field, looking for a friend. One little light. One little flickering light.

Speaking of perspective? Go play Superliminal. Just do it. Go. Go!

I’ve been baking again. Send help. You can see the results at IG.

And now, a photo. This is of a cranky little old man baby bird. Just as human babies sometimes look like old man, so do fledglings. This one flew out of our hazelnut tree.