Today marks my second day of a long vacation. I hope you are also getting a bit of a break from 2020 right here at the end of the year. The Bay Area is shut down which hopefully will help with our spiraling virus situation, but we are still apparently incapable of paying people and businesses to stay home and stay closed.
A bit of a downer interlude if you want to skip this: I’ll be honest, I was hoping that our utter failure at dealing with the pandemic in a safe or intelligent way would lead us to learn lessons from cities and countries doing a much better job like Taiwan, Australia, Iceland, etc. I still hope that we do learn a lesson, but I should’ve guess we’d miss it since we haven’t even shown our selves capable of joining the rest of the world in having socialized healthcare. A great reminder: don’t go indoors with anyone!
Ok, you can rejoin now. Happy Solstice
Are you reading anything amazing? I’m reading this right now. How about watching cool stuff? I watched Tenet twice this week, basically back-to-back, and thoroughly enjoyed it as a not super smart action film pretending to be very clever. I also loved Interstellar in this way, and frankly most action-ish movies I’ve found are best enjoyed with a bit of your brain on hold. I have quite a few more action movies and and tv shows lined-up as I finish out some lists of fun 2020 stuff I missed.
Let’s have some holiday links!
Queue up the music
- As an avowed fan of sci-fi, I often wonder how we can think of a positive future, even if it isn’t a utopian one. In some books the whole world seems to go to shit before things get worked-out, and in others, we first must travel to far-away planets, but I think it’s interesting to imagine a future that might be a bit less shit than our present.
- This essay from a friend’s partner reminded me to open my windows and breathe in some fresh air, even during the pandemic. Figuring out a nice cross-breeze can be tricky, and for a lot of friends in the fall and winter, it’s a bit too chilly. Luckily, I live in the Bay Area, and it’s never really that cold here, so I don’t even use a heater.
- God, I love a good grift! I listen to and support the podcast Election Profit Makers, which is nominally about betting on the election, but ends-up being a very charming show where three friends support each other through this year. Because of this show, I was well-aware before this article of the phenomenon of far right folks getting all het-up about the inevitable victory of their clown king. Fortunately, they lost, and they also lost their shirts. HA!
- Time-management, that old scourge! So many folks spend all their time looking for a perfect system of productivity, when in fact rarely the system that’s the problem. Whether it’s executive function, or just oppressive capitalism (spoiler: it’s usually capitalism), we just keep digging in deeper. I like this lesson that Merlin Mann learned:
“Email is not a technical problem. It’s a people problem. And you can’t fix people.”
- Facebook is the absolute worst, and as of this month, everyone is suing them. Folks are also suing Google, which you know, we’ll see how this all shakes-out. Perhaps adverts should be less-intrusive, with more competition? Or maybe we can go back to the sort of advertising that is just folks like me saying, “hey, this towel is nice.”
- Maybe we can all learn a lot from this person’s experience working for a suicide hotline about how to listen and converse. I’m trying to apply a lot of this to my new world of managing other people. Perhaps it can help your relationships too.
My plan for today is to make some headway in my December/January issue of Monocle, listen to some albums that were great this year like this:
There’s something amazing about a good wool blanket and some candles. Maybe it’s mys or hygge or just American coziness, but I intent to fully embrace this sensation with Snorri in my lap. Enjoy your solstice, and know that just as the days are getting longer, things really are looking up as long as we keep loving each other and keep on fighting for a better world. Take care of yourselves and each other, space cowgirls~