Son Of And Yet More Absolutely Useless Thoughts

1. I’m going to run out of things to call this series of posts or I can push it beyond the limits of good taste and logic and then keep going. I choose to keep going. Not because it is easy. But because it is hard.

2. I’m going to say something nice about journalism (next point). But before I do, here’s something that is obvious: journalists missed the Trump phenomenon because they don’t inhabit the same media bubbles that the people who supported him inhabit. I’ve written about bubbles before. And about how the internet facilitates, encourages and enhances our bubble lives. The idea of getting out of your bubble is easier said than done but one look at the world, and how incomprehensible some people are to others, should encourage you to get out a little. Easier said than done, I know. I just don’t believe that a world of bubbles is a good place. Because eventually bubbles pop.


3. Now, having just pissed on journalists, let’s all admit that we need journalism. With the rise of fake news, and with it, the reality that someone out there thinks almost anything is plausible, we need good journalism more than ever. And we need to pay for it. Because good journalism is tiring and expensive and requires many talented people to come together to unearth the stories we need to hear. Because without it, we don’t get stories like this and this, both heartbreaking stories about the abuse of young athletes who just wanted to become the best at their respective sports, who trusted their coaches and supervisors to do right by them, and who were victimized not just by those adults but by the entire system(s), the value we all place on winning, the way some will look away when things get icky and uncomfortable. Every time an adult says “how am I supposed to do explain this to a child?” I want to look at them and say “You’re the adult.” And make them watch this Louis CK bit (especially the end, starting around 1:04)

4. In the future we will all eat bugs. We won’t have a choice. And we will learn to love them just like we have learned to love almost every other thing we eat (have you ever seriously looked closely at a chicken?). Plus, there are a lot of bugs. Like, really, this is their planet and we’re the interlopers. But we eat things and eventually we will join the small groups of people who already eat bugs. Because they are everywhere. The good news? Someone has already invented the cutlery. And it’s pretty fucking gorgeous. And good packaging is the first rung on the ladder of acceptance.

5. It’s breath suckingly cold here today. There is snow on the ground. How to shovel it efficiently and quickly? How about using a Hoverboard? Sure, they blow up, but that’s only because they overheat. But the cold weather solves that problem. This kid is a genius, in other words. Keep an eye out for him. He’s going places.

6. Social media. What a crock. Right? But should your posts land you in jail? Just for being a woman? Maybe. If you live in Iran or Saudi Arabia.

7. The internet of things. What a crock. Right? Especially when it’s spying on your kids. Or better yet: Imagine if everything we owned came embedded with a microphone? Stop imagining it because it’s happening.

8. George Saunders who is great and can elevate anything into something way more elevated than you imagined it could be, writes about why he finally wrote a novel. (This comes from Austin Kleon’s great newsletter, which you should definitely subscribe to because it, too, is great).

9. The Obama Presidency is coming to a close and Ta-Nehisi Coates writes an amazingly personal piece about what this singular presidency has meant to him. And to African Americans in general. You read this and you miss Obama already. A lot. When my kid was much younger we used to joke that he suffered from “instant nostalgia.” Maybe it wasn’t a joke.

10. Booze. What can’t it do? If you switch your poison, it can help extend your life. And it can also help settle national debts. Don’t you wish that you had lent Cuba some cash now?

11. RIP Alan Thicke, who was an amazingly prolific and successful writer of jingles and theme songs. His music will outlive Dr. Jason Seaver. Probably.

12. I turned 50 this past week. This is very very hard for me to believe. These things also turned 50 this year. I’m in good company. Mostly. Now, kids, get off my astroturf!

13. These are the heroes we all deserve. (Though I could use without the condescending use of “feisty” to describe these ladies – though I have to admit they seem pretty feisty in the video and the would-be robber seems like a loser perfectly susceptible to that brand of feistiness.)


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