Happy New Year!

My last post was a…well, a wee bit acerbic might be polite. But hey, let’s get 2023 off to a good start with some well wishes! I noted on Post.news (which I really like) that the last few years have set a low bar, but 2023 is going to be good on a new level. It’s time to kick butt and not let any bullshit get in your way. Be positive and do the right thing. Be kind to people, both your loved ones and strangers. Work on those things you’ve been putting off, get the toxic people out of your life, and make sure the people you love know that you love them.

We’ve had so much doom and gloom and bad news and malicious asshattery from bad actors. Seemingly every day. I’m done with letting that get to me, though. It’s time to rise above the nonsense and be the best human being you can be. Create, build, and make. Be awesome.

To help inspire you, here’s some amazing Xmas wrapping paper my big sis bought just for me. I mean those clowns are up to no good, and they are not going to mess around. It’s perfect for a festive gift!

Christmas wrapping paper with assorted demented clowns.

Festive gift wrap, fun for the whole family!

May You Live in Interesting Times

May you live in interesting times

Firstly, according to Wikipedia, the titular phrase of this post has never been traced back to a Chinese source, but it’s apt nonetheless. We live in interesting times. And it sucks. So yay us!

In no particular order, it turns out that Elon Musk is really, really weird. And a massive hypocrite. I mean, I’ve long thought he was a hypocrite when it came to business, but said hypocrisy is also showing when it comes to philosophy intersecting with business. The free speech absolutist has been banning left-leaning accounts while letting the fascists, racists, and homophobes run loose. He’s been banning journalists who cover him and college kid who posted publicly available data on where his jet is or has been. And as of this weekend, he has forbidden a lot of links to competing sites.

His commitment to free speech is astounding.

Trump’s grifts continue full speed, while election deniers get loonier by the day. DeSantis is going full-blown anti-vax, and the QAnon world has been digging deep to find ever-lower levels of rational thought. While I’m here, fuck FIFA, fuck Putin, fuck white nationalists, fuck christian fascists, and fuck that whackadoodle judge in Texas for his bullshit rulings.

The Context Machine and Other Updates

Looks like a couple of things have happened since my last post. There was the ongoing pandemic. An insurrection. A massive spike in homophobia and transphobia. Book banning (which always works out well). Putin’s bullshit. I moved back to the possibly haunted townhome. My point is that it’s been a while since I posted, and I wanted to make note of a couple of things.

You might have caught that Dave Hamilton and I sold The Mac Observer. It’s still weird, but also still wonderful to see our baby in good hands.

In a related note, Jeff Gamet is once again my partner at The Context Machine podcast, which we did indeed rename to The Context Machine. It now lives at its own little home that we’re working hard to pretty up. And by “we,” I mean Jeff has done all the work. Thanks Jeff, and yay me!

I’ve essentially stopped tweeting from @TMOBryan, and yeah, fine, I wasn’t very active there anyway, but @GeekTells is my official Twitter handle these days. That brings my Instagram, blogging, and Twitter handle together under a matching umbrella. Speaking of umbrellas, I really fancy this one from il Marchesato. I might get it for a trip to England my family is working on for October. Assuming the world doesn’t end, and all.

 

People

I love people. I mean, sure, “people” can be trying, exasperating, infuriating…but screw that. I love people. People are lovely, funny, delightful, inspiring, amazing, talented, surprising, and sometimes even awesome.

I’m not just talking about my family, friends, and loved ones. I’m talking about people everywhere. From those little, tiny acts of kindness strangers pay to one another to amazing art painted on the side of a building.

Then There Was the Mayoral Candidate Who Listed Being “White” as a Qualification

I can’t even…I mean…fuck me running, I so want to go low on this one. I so want to heap ad hominem attacks on this creature like an elephant keeper piling up poop at the end of a circus parade. A long circus parade. But I won’t. I’m going to take Michelle Obama’s guidance, and I’m going to go high. Or at least a midway-point on the height chart.

So instead, let’s deconstruct this racist bullshit like adults.

I’m talking about one Kimberley Paige Barnette, would-be mayoral candidate for the truly lovely city of Charlotte, NC. Ms. Barnette recently posted the following to Facebook to promote her campaign—and remember, please, I’m not making this up:

VOTE FOR ME!
REPUBLICAN & SMART, WHITE, TRADITIONAL.

Mason Truman Is on Twitter, and So Is GeekTells

Check this out. Mason Truman is on Twitter. @MasonTrumanPI. Yeah, I know. He’s the   main character of my first novel, and sure, he was born…err…will be born in 2087, but there he is tweeting up a steady diet of algae-strained coffee, eagles, and life in the Dawdle.

It’s Time for Rich Flat Earthers Like Shaq to Prove the Earth Isn’t a Globe

Flat Earthers. This is somehow a thing. Today. It’s a fucking thing. There are people who fucking think the goddamned fucking Earth is fucking flat. In 2017.

And while this exemplary expression of Idiocracy no doubt wallows broadly in the intellectual wasteland of climate change denial, creationism, and other anti-science, anti-elite ignorance, it has some relatively high profile adherents. Specifically, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving and retired NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. Adherents can also claim Tila Tequila and B.o.B.

Flat Earth

Mr. Irving infamously said a few years ago, “This is not even a conspiracy theory…The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat.”

More recently, Shaq said, “So, listen. I drive from coast to coast and this shit is flat to me. I’m just saying.”

And Then I Fell Into a Cauldron of Sealing Wax

When I was a kid, my Big Sis™ had a sealing wax kit. It was this Hallmark affair with one color of wax—red—one handle, and 40 or so stamps. It had one for each letter, one each for the Zodiac symbols, and maybe numbers, too. I don’t remember for sure.

I coveted it. In fact—and don’t tell my sister—I plotted how to convert it from “her sealing wax kit” to “my sealing wax kit.” The joke was on me, however, because I’m fairly certain it was sacrificed in one of mom’s periodic purges-of-everyone-else’s-stuff.

I went looking for an example for this article, but only found individual letters like the letter H below.

Hallmark Letter H Wax Seal Stamp on Ebay

Hallmark Letter H Wax Seal Stamp on Ebay

Past is Prologue

The Black Angels Announce New Album, Here’s the First Single and Video

The Black Angels have a new album coming out! Titled Death Song, the album drops on April 21st. You can preorder it on iTunes or at The Black Angels’ site.

The band released the first single off the album, a tune called “Currency,” which I included below. It harkens back to the sounds of 2006’s Passover, falling somewhere between The Velvet Underground and Jefferson Airplane. The music is more distant, the vocals less present. It has a more primitive feel, for lack of a better term, and I’ve already seen fans celebrating a return to the band’s roots.

I love it. Haunting, beautiful, drony…it’s a gorgeous song, and I can’t wait for the full album. As much as I loved the more modern sound of Indigo Meadow, “Currency” definitely pushes me to sit back and blow bubbles of contentment and delight.

The Black Angels’ Death Song

Speaking of The Velvets, the album name—Death Song—brings the The Black Angels’ own name full circle. It was taken from The Velvet Underground’s “The Black Angel’s Death Song,” a jaunty little ditty if ever there was one. One way or another, I do hope it’s not a figurative hint at this being a last album, or anything.