Happy New Year to you all, my slowly growing little tribe of subscribers. Thank you kindly for your nice comments about previous editions of this sporadic missive. Today I am reminiscing about Flash and celebrating the purest and most wholesome pockets of the Internet today. I started writing this in mid December when discussion of advent calendars was actually relevant, but maybe if I can get it out by Twelfth Night, it will still be just about festive....
At Christmas I find myself susceptible to a level of twee that I wouldn't countenance at any other time of year. And so, in this uncynical mood, when the annual Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar arrives at the beginning of December it gives me genuine daily joy and even brings the occasional tear to my eye. For those unfamiliar with the work of Jacquie Lawson (JL from here on), she specialises in cutesy animated e-cards, often featuring animal escapades (particularly with her own labrador, Chudleigh). The illustration and animation style is distinctive, soft and gentle, and as far as I can tell, never changes.
The unironic wholesomeness feels quite out of place in much of the modern internet, which I like to believe Lawson is completely unaware of; ignoring social media, oblivious to the "discourse", just plugging away out there making festive cartoons about robins. This year's calendar made me want to go in search of the Wholesome Internet, of which, more in the next section.