If you’re in America, did you know the CDC says you should be masking again?
Broad rejection of masking, to me, feels like I am living in an entire country of people who don’t wanna wear a condom because “it feels better bare, baby” and “I’m clean, I don’t got nothing, look at me.” As if you cannot spread many, many STIs without visible symptoms and as if feeling good during this social interaction is more important than avoiding life-threatening illness.
When I’m plowing your wife, I use a dental dam and gloves, and when you go out to visit family this winter, wear masks. Don’t spread gross stuff. That’s a public health message from your friendly neighborhood dirtbag.
It feels “right” to be cutting myself off of caffeine over the course of the longest nights of the year. I’m so much slower and less productive. Taking this week to curtail myself really highlights how much of 2023 has been a flurry of creativity mostly because I’ve been abusing caffeine. I’m bummed to go a week without barfing out drawings and crochet, but I need this. Everyone needs breaks.
I used to drink caffeine heavily to be productive, but I’m talking about “before I had kids.” I had to quit while pregnant both times (which was awful) and I didn’t love the caffeine in my milk when I was breastfeeding. Plus I’m really sensitive to it anyway; usually after a few days of slamming too much caffeine, I don’t sleep *at all* and I’m not productive anymore.
This year I cracked the fact that if I’m not sleeping on caffeine, it’s because I’m deficient elsewhere (iron, the B-complex of vitamins, magnesium) so I’ve been abusing the heck out of it, to beautiful results.
But everything doesn’t grow all the time. The echeveria in my windowsill has been drooping because her florets always face the line of the sun, and the sun has been sweeping just over the horizon. So her florets are basically sitting on the shelf. She drops the leaves that she can’t support with winter sunlight. Even my winter cacti have kinda said “fuck it” to flowering right now.
Everyone’s asleep. I should sleep too. Humans aren’t meant to be “on” and growing all the time.
Yesterday YouTube recommended this delightful song to me. It’s self-identified as Indian folk metal, and the screamed chorus of “de dana dan” is so catchy. It means “bring the beatdown.” It’s pronounced like “die, danadan DIE, danadan DIE” in the song, which means it sounds about right for the message in English too. The whole song is about kicking the crap out of abusers, which I think is a beautiful, wholesome message that clearly transcends language barriers, although the multilingual performance is excellent.
It’s fun seeing how the diet industry has about-faced to insist upon the medicalization of fatness. This article from NPR about Oprah and Weight Watchers is full of the exact same diet industry nonsense I’ve seen my entire life. We’ve always seized upon the HOT NEW THING and claimed that someone can sell us the solution to the problem.
Here we are claiming that it was wrong to blame everyone’s willpower (okay) but now it’s right to treat it just like a disease and use medication (um). WW is saying, “omg we were so bad and naughty about our old diet industry bullshit but we know better now and won’t do it again uwu <3” while…doing the diet industry thing.
At this point, after a life of eating disorders, decades of unfortunately studying dietetics for ways to punish myself and rationalize that punishment, and maintaining a personality that is 50/50 fatphobic and fatloving (based on how mentally healthy I am at the moment), the actual problem seems obvious to me: Society is a fucking mess, we drive a lot and don’t move a ton, it’s easy to eat calorically dense foods, and stressed-out people are gonna eat more. Society keeps us perpetually stressed without relief.
Of course WW wants to sell a solution to something it literally cannot solve. So I guess nothing has changed here. I shrug and wait for the diet industry to change again. Fat, carbs, salt, semaglutide, shaking your butt with an old timey machine wearing high heels, god only knows. A healthy human is a happy human and our society isn’t happy.
Threats of a Tarantino Trek movie have been haunting the community for a while. Variety describes a pitch for a violent, bloody movie with swear words.
Tarantino is one of those directors I think is *so interesting* that I was actually kinda vibing on the idea. You never know who’s a proper trek nerd! But this description sounds bad frankly. I’m sad we didn’t get it. lmao. I love interestingly bad things!
My ethos with adaptations/additions/sequels to things I loved is that nothing can ruin the original. They can fuck around all they want, and I can just hide in the wholesome comforts of Star Trek IV if I don’t like it.
On Twitter, Master Replicas announced a coming Moopsy plush. AhhhhHHHHH!
Once border battles hurt the rich white people, the rich white people thrash on the ground and whine. “What about US?” (The New Yorker)
Meanwhile AJE reports that Sri Lankan tourism is improving after a crisis. I have super mixed feelings about tourism as an industry since realizing how destructive/predatory tourism tends to be, but it’s also the main income for a lotta places at this point. So I guess I’m just watching and scratching my head for now.
I’m a little behind on news I wanted to share. China’s had a really awful earthquake. This is an older update from AJE (like a day or so ago), but I don’t have a more recent article to link offhand.
Psyche always has good reads. This one is relevant to the season: “At what point does the Santa myth become a harmful deception?”
I was wounded enough learning my parents were messing with me that I originally planned to keep no secrets from my kids. We weren’t gonna do the Santa thing. Then I had little kids. I realized babies don’t care, and toddlers/preschoolers have no differentiation between reality and fantasy. Santa’s like Batman to them.
So we just chugged along doing Santa until Moonlight said “I know Santa isn’t real” and now Sunshine knows, and has told me he knows, but also has such a loose relationship with reality that he doesn’t seem to care. God, what a vibe.
Tor shares the trailer for Daniel Kaluuya’s directorial debut. I didn’t know he was interested in stuff behind the camera! You’ll often see this with TV show actors whose contracts restrict them from acting in competing projects. They take up the directorial lens to expand their skills and further their career. I don’t think I see it in movies as much, but good for Kaluuya! I’m excited to see what his eye is like.
BookRiot reports on legislative action to fight the sweep of book bans.
The Jiggly Wiggly Space Tiggly has an amazing look at Uranus. No pun intended, but always accepted. (Engadget)
(I don’t like James Webb so I don’t call the telescope by his name.)
Here’s an awesome article from Ars Technica about worm-murdering fungi.
When it senses a live worm, it will trap its victim and consume it alive—pure nightmare fuel. …Led by molecular biologist Hung-Che Lin, the research team discovered that the fungus synthesizes a sort of worm adhesive and additional trapping proteins to get ahold of its meal. It then produces enzymes that break down the worm so it can start feasting.
Recently I also learned that fungi can foment ice formation, so I’m just kinda more in love with the mycelial world than ever.
Variety is happy to share the news that actor Kate Micucci is cancer-free.
Amazon has acquired the rights to WH40k movies and TV, and I am so used to seeing it stylized as 40k that it took me a minute to figure out what the title was saying. 40,000 what now?
Henry Cavill is known to be a nerd. Reddit apocrypha says he cared a lot more about The Witcher’s canon than the show’s team, which is where that schism came from, allegedly. He is signed on to executive produce WH40k.
WH40k in itself is such a criticism of massive systems like, say, corporate feudalists like Amazon, that I guess I’m just hoping for a pleasingly aesthetic interpretation more than a biting one. I’m sure they’ll just revel in the juicy violence.
(The 40k in WH40k comes from sacrificing 40,000 people every day to an empire’s machine. Certain types of fans miss the nuances of this metaphor a lot.)
Oof I really haven’t posted in a couple days. Did I even celebrate Chile rejecting a conservative constitution? (AJE)
I have hundreds of articles to catch up on, so I’ll probably be back again soon. Happy Wednesday! I hope you’re unproductive!