Hello from Baltimore, dear readers. You may notice that this week’s issue is up on a weird day and time, and honestly, it’s because I couldn’t wrap it up as early as I had hoped.
This was a long weekend for me, with a “Summer Friday” off on Friday, and the Labor Day holiday here in the States, and I was looking forward to some quality time with the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater reboot — which I did get to have, which underlined to me how much my skills at that game have atrophied into adulthood — but then Sunday I found myself with an absolutely horrible stomach bug.
I suppose I can take solace in the fact that in the era of the pandemic, the worst thing I’ve had was that, a stomach bug, but the one-two punch of a stomach bug and the dehydration which comes with it is enough to take out the average person, but it really threw me for a loop this week.
Anyway, after sleeping through most of Monday and today, I’m feeling more like myself, and I’m happy to be sitting here with my thoughts and writing them out for you, dear friends.
Now, onto the things…
This article sort of tore my nerdy circles of the web apart when it was published late last week, but when you take the time to read it, it’s a heck of a thing - a sit-down interview with John Boyega, a hell of a young actor who first came on my radar with the amazing Attack the Block, but you probably know best as Finn from the most recent Star Wars Trilogy.
Since the release of The Rise of Skywalker, he’s become known both for being outspoken politically in the Black Lives Matter movement, and against his former employers, in terms of Disney and Lucasfilm, and it’s hard not to understand his perspective, especially given the mixed bag that trilogy of films ended up being, regardless of your thoughts on each one individually.
Jimi Famurewa from * British GQ * writes:
For Boyega, 2017 was a year thick with opportunity. If capturing the role of Finn in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens represented the professional equivalent of an enormous poker win, then this was the period when he effectively staggered to the cashier window with an armful of chips. Having already wrapped Rian Johnson’s sequel, The Last Jedi, he also made Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, founded his own company, Upper Room, in order to produce and star in Pacific Rim: Uprising, and, by spring, he was headlining a revival of bruising German tragedy Woyzeck at The Old Vic in London.
This era looked, from the outside, like a career apex; the sort of deft mix of enviable professional projects assembled specifically to torment other young British actors. And so it is a surprise to learn that Boyega looks back on it the way an addict may look back on the days that preceded their arrival at an ocean-side rehab facility.
Twitter is kind of a cesspool, I’m not going to deny it. But it wasn’t always that way. And it isn’t always that way either.
In fact, Twitter can be one of the best sources of surreal humor online — if the number of meme accounts on Instagram which just re-post tweets are any indication — and The Atlantic decided to allow one of the most prolific and funniest posters on the site, Pixelated Boat (yep, that’s their name) put together a list of their pick of the ten funniest things the site has ever delivered.
One of the absolute funniest things I’ve seen on the internet isn’t on this list. I was going to include a classic video of a crab waving a knife around. But sadly in researching this article I learned that the crab was not in fact some cool crustacean rebel without a cause who doesn’t take shit from anyone. The crab had been manipulated into holding the knife and the video was actually cruel.
There’s a similar dark truth behind most viral animal videos. You see a clip of a dog driving a car and you think “Ha ha! That hilarious!”, but then you find out that driving cars is a fear response and dogs only do it when they’re distressed, and the video is ruined. Ah well. I hope you enjoy this list anyway despite its paucity of knife crabs.
The list kicks-off with one of my all time favorite things I saw because of Twitter, and just gets better from there. Enjoy.
In case you haven’t figured out the sweet spot for things I love to feature on here, it’s some mixture of (Movie Related Content x Oral Histories / Technology Content) + Old Computing Ephemera.
This is the latter.
For years, a favorite activity of mine in my late-teens and early twenties was to hop on the web, load up Winamp with hundreds of ill-gotten MP3s and just browse to the ends of the Internet. Truthfully, it hasn’t changed much, though the computers are smaller, and the music library is through a program which I pay monthly to have those songs legally.
That said, Winamp was my loyal companion for years, and part of why it was so great was because of how customizable it was, with skins — the good, the bad, and the ugly — for every taste.
Now someone has done the important work of archiving 65,000 of those Winamp Skins into a museum of sorts. It’s an incredible time capsule of tastes and of a moment in time of the web I long to return again. Enjoy the flashback.
Summer is done. Fall is upon us. The great pumpkining and hoodie season are to follow. We’ve almost made it through this hell year. Let’s knock it out right.
Don’t be a jerk. Wear a mask. Register to vote.