And so we continue with another round of effervescent microblogs, which are too big to be tweets, too small to be blogs, so they’re mostly just here, a meal of content appetizers.
There’s a We Bare Bears movie and you need to watch it. I know, I know. You’re like, “But Chuck, why begin your post with something so controversial, so important?” And yet, you joke, but it kinda is? We Bare Bears has always been a wonderful cartoon, but as I understand it, Daniel Chong intended for the series all along to be a goofy bear-shaped analog to his experience as an Asian-American, touching on (if not explicitly and not exclusively) a non-white and immigrant angle for the bears. Well, the movie definitely puts that into sharp focus — without giving too much away, it (in its adorable way) looks at family separation, border camps, border crossings, bigotry, and the like. And yet, it’s still fun and cute and weird and I’m sad the show is now over. Because it’s really great.
If you also need something that feels both very escapist and very now? Then look no further than Palm Springs, the Andy Samberg / Cristin Milioti time-loop movie. Do not accept any spoilers going in — just turn it on and watch it. It’s like an acid-trip hangover version of Groundhog Day.
The greatest trick as an artist right now is making something I think that is both escapist and topical. That’s a gift if you can pull it off. You certainly aren’t required to — I don’t mean it as a mandate. I only mean, both talking about The Now while also having fiction that feels like The Way Out is a masterful slalom. It’s the narrative epitome of “spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.” I think some of the best fiction, particularly in genre, does exactly this.
No, I haven’t seen The Old Guard yet. But I’m excited to?
Paul Tremblay is still a monster. I did however finish Survivor Song and boy howdy that Paul Tremblay continues to know how to make you breathlessly descend into his monstrous playground where you excitedly run up to him and he stabs you in the heart with a knife made from the bones of one of your pets. He’s a bad person made all the more evil by the fact he’s so damn good at this. One of the best horror writers around. Also, rabies even without super-sizing it, is fucking scary. Imagine what he does with it. You’re not imagining hard enough.
The election is now single-digits away. It’s 98 days, I think. I said this to my wife this morning and her response was, “It’s like when the Super Mario Brothers music gets faster and faster and everything gets more and more dangerous.” Which uhhh. Y’know. Yeah.
It’s hard to know what the fascist federal troops thing is all about. I mean, it’s obviously about a lot of things — bigotry, control, fascism under the guise of patriotism, and most likely, just people getting paid. I just don’t know the endgame of it. I have a hard time believing it’s popular for anyone other than the most reduced turdsauce that is Trump’s Base. Though maybe I underestimate Americans in general? It just seems, during an already-botched coronavirus response, it’s amazing to see someone continue to try to divide the country before a major election. Unless he thinks this is his ticket to not having to have that election. No matter how you shake it, it’s fucked up. But I’d also argue it’s not working. I hope that it’s dinosaurs squawking at a meteor. But it could also be the meteor.
Speaking of that old coronavirus… haha, what a goddamn fuckshow. I mean, it just amazes me at this point that there are people living full, unfrightened lives in this bullshit. It makes me feel like I’m on crazy pills. I mean, we’re still pretty locked down? Loosened up a little bit, where able, but generally we don’t go many places, no restaurants, no gatherings, no vacations. Masked up all the time if we do go out, social distanced, too. But there are people who just gotta do the dumb shit they gotta do. They gotta have XYZ vacation, they gotta go to this restaurant, they gotta put their kids in sports, and it’s all — like, couldja just cool it? A not-unreasomable percentage of new cases in our county (rising once again) are from Pennsylvanians who just had to go to Myrtle Beach, because if they didn’t go there, they’d just die. Meanwhile, we maybe had a shot to control this. We locked down already. And it was all for… nothing, really. Not for shit. Because we’re a nation with oppositional defiant disorder.
Of course, the real breakdown isn’t just in selfish Americans. I mean, it is in the sense that at the individual level, there are people who are like LOL BUT I NEED BASEBALL AND BARBECUES P.S. THE VIRUS IS FAKE, but the real failure is in leadership. We’re all getting salty at governors and school admins for either not opening up enough or offering too limited options, and people are concerned about working from home or not working from home and what their kids will do — but all this is because we have a gormless narcissist fuckwit at the helm, one surrounded by a gaggle of vampiric bleach-white Skeksis happy to urge him to deeper and deeper lows. There’s no safety net to catch anybody, so instead all they do is keep throwing people into the wood chipper. Your kids aren’t going back to school because of education and their need for it, no matter how much they claim it is — they’re going back to school to feed the economy. Of course, throw enough of them in there, and that machine will break down anyway, and the economic damage won’t simply be a slower machine. It’ll just break. And when it breaks, that’s when it crashes.
Think of it like running on a busted leg. You pull a hamstring or something, you just have to take it easy. You can walk, but you can’t run, much as you want to. But if you try to run, you won’t just keep the injury — you’ll aggravate it. Make it worse. Maybe make it permanent.
I’ve said all this before, haven’t I? Person, woman, man, camera, TV. There are four lights.
Summer Camp Island is nice. So is Infinity Train. Cartoons are good. Anybody who tells you they’re not hasn’t watched Avatar: The Last Airbender. Did I mention we got HBO Max?
HBO To The Max, Dude. It’s both a really great service and a shitty one. Can’t get it on Roku, which sucks. It has a variety of shows, but sometimes only a season of that show? Like with so many streaming services, what it offers is often frustratingly incomplete. And it’s not 4k yet, either, I don’t think? Oh! But I’m enjoying Perry Mason, though jesus fuck it’s dark.
Game on. The newest Superhot is pretty bad-ass. The Oculus Quest is fun, and even more immersive now that the hand-and-finger tracking works. (Meaning, no controllers necessary.) What’s a comfort video game for you? One you return to again and again? I’m thinking of jumping back into the Bioshock games. Or maybe Fire Emblem? Mmm. Fire Emblem.
Are you writing? Anything? How’s it going? Sound off. Check in. How goes the wordsmithing, cohort penmonkeys? Harder now? Easier? Getting any words down or is it just a lot of screaming into various jars and yard holes?