Welcome back to another edition of the SS8. Here’s what’s on my mind.
ONE: It’s the start of Spring, finally, but it’s come with a price – a lot of tornadic activity. While I love a good storm, tornadoes are best experienced from afar and once or twice a year. There’s never anything impressive about a storm or tornado that destroys property and takes lives, but if you’re like me and in awe of nature’s power, living in the midwest provides an occasional humbling from these storms that puts us in perspective. It’s equal parts scary and stressful to accept how powerless we are when the circumstances come together to form a funnel cloud that may or may not casually destroy your home and/or endanger your families, friends, and pets. I was working on campus and my office is ideally located – a windowless, centralized basement in an old building composed almost entirely of brick, cement, and steel (and probably asbestos). While sure, I was safe as hell (the building is a designated storm shelter), I felt paralyzed to read about how there was a funnel cloud spotted generally near my home with my wife and dogs. Nothing happened, mercifully, but with these storms sometimes all we can do is hunker down and hope for the best. And that fear made me hug my wife and my dogs all the tighter when I got home later that day.
TWO: This next part is more to do with Star Wars, which I’m almost verbatim copying from a text exchange with one of my best friends, who is a Star Wars junkie and was celebrating a new trailer for the Ahsoka series, which looks cool, as most Star Wars trailers tend to do. I don’t think I have the love for Star Wars anymore, which makes me incredibly bummed. There have been several moments in recent media —Rogue One, a latter scene in The Last Jedi, and the season two finale of The Mandelorian, namely — where characters from the original trilogy are “back” in some respects. Often they are digitally de-aged or recreated whole-cloth. It’s cemented for me that I really don’t care for Star Wars anymore, not in a contrarian way, but in a “this isn’t for me” way. The original trilogy and my discovery/love for it as a child has been milked and revamped and recycled a thousand fold, each time degrading the mystique and wonder it inspired in the me of the early 90s. I’m delighted for all the Star Wars fans that are celebrating so much of the new media that Disney is producing that is clearly right in their alley, but as for me? The thrill is gone.
THREE: I spent the better part of a year trying out Mastodon, which is an open source federated sibling of Twitter. I was on several servers (or instances), including my own, and, for the most part, found it enjoyable enough. There’s definitely a renewed sense of community in some respects, but like Twitter, after awhile the luster wears off and posting new content is simply more pointless shouting into the void. I left and have no intentions to return, finding myself happier with less clutter from internet stranger nonsense. I don’t know if there is any hope for microblog-style social media to have integrity, so enjoy the shitshow while it lasts. With Musk in control of Twitter, particularly, it’s a dystopian e-wasteland held together by scotch tape and chewed gum.
FOUR: I’ve been playing one of my all-time favorite games again lately in Stardew Valley. It really is my comfort game, my happy place.
FIVE: The Reese’s Big Cup is, per my research, delightful yet inferior to the standard Reese’s cup. The Reese’s easter egg and pumpkin, however, are equal in quality to the primary peanut butter cup.
SIX: Between ousting Democratic reps of color from the Tennessee House for joining gun violence protests after the year’s 141st mass shooting (that’s the actual number, folks), banning books, naming the children and family of political opponents or judges associated with Trump’s trial(s), banning abortions, threatening doctors’ careers and freedoms for providing women with healthcare, etc. etc., the decay of the Republican party into a full on authoritarian movement that’s been swirled together with Southern Strategy to restore the Confederacy with a healthy dollop of neo-Nazism mixed in. Why the hell would anyone want to have to children to inherit this broken nation?
SEVEN: The first mow of the season occurred the other day, which is fine, but I just got a new leaf blower that should help manage the clippings. The next mow will be quite the event, at least for me.
EIGHT: It is far too late in life that I have discovered the superior majesty that is the breakfast country-fried steak. Pair it with some cheap coffee, a set of over-medium eggs, and good crispy hashbrowns for the ideal morning.
That’s all for now. Happy Easter.