It feels like every other newsletter introduction is some form of cry for help; a handwringing as to whether I'll be able to pull anything out of the bag, whether my engines are running on empty, whether a combination of poor sleep and stress have left me in any state to do anything other than just get through the day.
Survival mode is no fun, it generally coincides with a eye-poppingly unhealthy heart rate which robs me of sleep and patience. The lost sleep makes the day-to-day more difficult, which adds to stress. And this is without the addition of any of the extra-curricular activities that tend to occupy my mind and vie for attention. The loss of patience makes me more difficult, more difficult to deal with, more irascible, a worse partner, father, human.
You know what apropos phrase I loathe? It's usually paraphrased to mention Beyoncé, but H. Jackson Brown Jr. wrote:
You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”
Absolute tripe, triply so if Beyoncé is used as an example, and one of the many trite 'inspiration' snippets of cod philosophy that make me irrationally angry.
Now, some could, and have, suggested that I do... less. Just focus solely on my day job and general day-to-day parental and domestic activities. Do I need to outline that script? Write a newsletter? Work on any of the myriad brands, ideas, schemes, side-hustles, or pursuits? Giving them up should be the easiest thing.
Well... no. Not only can I not bring myself to do that, doing so would also make me feel less like me.
Even now, as I type this, I can start to feel my heart rate begin to slow. I can feel myself enlivening and the synapses start to fire.
Truth is, I need you more than you need me.
I don't have a lot of music news this week. I know Lee 'Scratch' Perry died, but he wasn't a big influence on me. He is heavily mourned in the industry though. If you're interested in dealing into his impact, I'd recommend these three articles.
Abba fans are of course abuzz about Abba Voyage. At time of writing the announcement hasn't been made yet, that will occur on their Youtube channel at 17:45 UK time today, the 2nd of September.
With no information, speculation is rife: Will it be a tour, either in person or even via hologram? New music? Re-released or re-discovered older music? A residency? Anybody who knows isn't telling, this is one tightly wrapped project.
This week's playlist contains neither tracks by Lee 'Scratch' Perry nor Abba, but it does contain the new song by new band Carpark who I've been enjoying. It turns out they're quite lovely to chat to as well, so I'm going to keep my eyes out for their live performances.
I have not finished a single show that I'm watching.
I've put Marvel's What if... ? on hold because, while it's fine, I'm finding it a bit boring.
'Boring' is not a term anyone could use to describe Brand New Cherry Flavour, which I'm still watching and enjoying, despite (because?) it's getting stranger and stranger with every episode.
I've still not got around to the reputedly excellent Ted Lasso, and my Apple TV+ subscription lapses in 6 days. This also means I likely won't get to finish The Morning Show.
I've started the poorly received Nine Perfect Strangers, which hasn't bothered me yet, though I find Melissa McCarthy difficult to take seriously in non-comedic roles, ironically.
It's interesting that 4/5 of the shows I'm currently interested in are weekly drops rather than fire-and-forget binge-fests. Netflix pioneered the latter, and people love having everything available on release day, but then it's just... done. There's no conversation about it, social media is full of spoilers for it, there's just no buzz or speculation. Maybe it's just a question of available time to dedicate to it, as it's more likely I'll be able to find a couple of hours to catch up on a few shows than the six hours plus a whole season would require. But personally, I'm glad that the weekly show is en vogue once more, even if it is primarily because these newer streamers are just padding their otherwise empty release schedules.
What's been on my mind these last weeks? Well, quite a lot really. Too much. So I'm afraid it's just going to have to be bullet points.
Twitter's automatic photo cropping algorithm has in the past been accused of being racist and sexist, so they offered a bug bounty for anyone who could prove it. I'm not sure whether they expected to have pay it out, but pay out they have.
The saga of OnlyFans' fraught relationship with the sex workers that have formed the backbone of their income, and their banking providers, has been interesting. The matter is now largely resolved, but for a while it really did bring to the forefront what people's opinions of online sex work were.
The Texan law effectively banning abortions and circumventing Roe vs Wade has been causing consternation worldwide. It's what American women were worried about since the election of 2016, a fear that grew with every one of the last president's appointments of a federal judge.
Here we are again, at the end of another glorious few minutes together. Well, maybe not glorious. Satisfying? Intriguing? Amusing? None of those?
Here we are again, at the end of another few minutes together.
I, for one, enjoy this time where I get to sit in your brain, and take up a little space. And when it comes to you guys, I'm a little like Rick Astley.
Until next week!