5 Quick Things: January 2019

Welcome to 5 Quick Things that I saw since last month that I thought were interesting enough to share with you. None of them are particularly timely so feel free to just enjoy 🙂

>Number One<

Friends with Secrets

So this is a weird one to start off with but you have to start somewhere I suppose. Friends with Secrets is basically just the (mildly edited) logs of three real life people in online therapy.

If you decide to read through these logs I want you to draw your own conclusions about therapy, about people, about online modes of communication, but I just found the entire thing so fascinating.

While I think there’s also a voyeuristic aspect to these sorts of pieces and postings, the intent here seemed to be to create realistic dialogues around what we feel and present to others in the context of a new mode of therapy (online therapy has become really popular around the internet lately).

There’s positives and negatives to all modes of everything but this made me sit back and consider my relationship with people, with the internet as a medium, with therapy, and with my own mental health. And that reflection is probably a net positive.

>Number Two<

History of Scantalation

Back in 2002-2010 I spent quite a bit of time doing scantalation. In my case it means taking comics that were originally in Japanese, translating them to English, scanning the pages and then editing them until they are overlayed with English. This is a long process, a semi-legal process, and an unpaid labor of love.

This site simply contains one of the most extensive histories of these practices I have ever seen and it’s both a wonderful cabinet of memories for people like me, and likely a source of fascination and explanation for people who haven’t had the experience of these communities or practices.

>Number Three<

The Treachery of Language

This was one of the last YouTube videos I watched in 2018 and amazingly, one of the best.

Grace Lee’s YouTube channel What’s So Great About That? is a treasure trove of insightful, thoughtful, and downright beautiful essays about all manners of movie, literature, and art topics (though she has a soft spot for horror films). I love her videos so much that for the first time in my life I went straight to Patreon and gave her my money.

In a world saturated with think pieces and video essays about all things David Lynch, this one still connected with me from the depths of nowhere. It references not only Lynch’s films but also his installation pieces, pictures, and recent art. It asks us to consider how language can obfuscate and confuse a pure image or how it warps an image to give it a duality or even sometimes, a contradictory meaning. To consider that to use language to name or describe an image is a translation, and a loose one at best. It is a really beautiful and thoughtful piece and I suggest watching everything else on the channel as well 🙂

>Number Four<

Apocalyptic Humanity

What happens when the world ends.

In a media landscape filled with apocalyptic imagery that shows us humans fighting and warring with each other, the truth is that we live in a time where the world is, to some degree, ending. And more than ever we have to deal with the fallout of it.

We are looking at a world with more tragic, wide scale weather events that will only continue to ramp up in intensity over time. This article takes a pause and considers what actually happens when (a small part of) the world ends.

(And this is a reminder to watch the TV show Jericho).

>Number Five<

Yeah it’s that Buzzfeed article you didn’t really read all the way through

I get it. You’re a busy person and you have a lot to do.

And you’re a millennial already, or you know all about millennials already so why bother reading THIS millennial article? It’ll just say all those same things. Maybe you saw it on your timeline, maybe you clicked on it, and maybe you even skimmed a few paragraphs or shared it because the title seemed to “spark joy” as all the cool kids are saying these days.

I’m going to guess you didn’t actually read it.

I have spent the last 6 years figuring out that people don’t even take time to read through a 3 minute article before sharing it or liking it (hell I’ll be lucky if you read this far down!) and that leaves me with the gut feeling that most people who shared this article did not sit down and read it. Didn’t read each and every word. And they sure as hell didn’t sit with it for hours, running it over in their heads, processing it.

It’s not even that I agree 100% with this article or anything but I saw it get shared again. And again. And again. And I thought to myself about all the times I shared an article only 2000, only 1500, only 700 words and had people tell me they were too busy, too tired, too whatever to read it (or they silently accepted the link never to speak of it again).

And that’s how it happens. I saw it in myself, I saw it in my friends, and I saw the sad slope of people walking around in a prosperous major city in the richest country on Earth: all dead inside. All overworked, under-served, and fragile. And none of them thinking anything but that it was their fault.

You deserve to take 30 minutes and read something. Even if it’s not this article, even if it’s just a throw away fanfic or a beloved book or a few poems. You deserve to give something your undivided 30 minutes of attention and have it linger inside of you. Have it mean something to you.

You deserve the time to sit and think about how you got where you are and decide if you want to stay there or not. And that’s all this article is. A starting point.

Just think about it.

That’s all for now, see you next month!

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