Quarantine Post 3: Stuck Inside and Driving Each Other Over the Bend

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Sometimes, an artist steps out of their usual role to work for someone else, and their own creative impulses bounce against exterior constraints to create some of their most interesting work.

Graham Coxon, formerly of the band Blur, was tasked with creating a song for the Netflix series I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS. This is the song he wrote and recorded. Then he just kept making music, putting together a whole album for what should have been a fictional band. Check out also Vanilla Skin and Bloody Witch, and the whole rest of the album, too.

One of the problems people are having with the quarantine guidelines is that they’re going stir crazy with the people they’re quarantined with. Over at The Social Distancing Project, people vent their stories of stress, heartbreak, revived romances, and petty grievances for you to… enjoy, I guess? Some are sad. Some aggravating. Many are funny.

It’s a bit like a COVID-19 edition of reddit’s relationships group.

Being cooped up with my wife and son has added very little stress to my life, to be honest. My wife is a kind person and always has been. She’s considerate as a reflex, and is mellow when I’m upset or need space.

I make an effort to be a kind person because I fell for her, and I realized that my old habits–basically, that I wanted to make people laugh and would do anything to get that laugh, even say cruel shit–were poison to her, our relationship, and to me, too. When I realized how much she hated humor based on shock and cutting remarks, I also realized how toxic it was to me.

It’s hard to talk about how much importance I used to put on making people laugh. It felt like a connection, but one where I was both the one in power and the one who was doing a kindness. It was a sort of competition with the world to see who could get the most laughs with cruelty, but without crossing over the line where the laughs stopped coming. And the only way to continue in that wholly made up competition was to pretend I couldn’t see the way peoples’ faces looked when I hurt them. And when I couldn’t pretend anymore, those hurt feelings became part of the game.

Anyway, I’m glad I stopped doing that, even if I miss making people laugh.

Randomness for 12/8

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1. Domestic abuse: Killers ‘follow eight-stage pattern’, study says.

2. The real reason hearing your own voice can make you cringe.

3. Water isn’t the most hydrating beverage according to new scientific study

4. Twenty Years Later and the Women of ANGEL Deserve More.

5. The Trajectory of Fear – or How to Use Horror Tropes Effectively in your [TTRPG]

6. What happens when you eat like the Queen of England for a week?

7. People Are Confused About the Usefulness of Buying Fancy Things

Randomness for 8/16

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1. The Low-Frills Genre Fiction of 1981. What amazing covers

2. What It’s Like To Own an Electric Car.

3. Almost Every Bob Ross Painting in Existence Lives in a Virginia Office Park.

4. Brewery unveils six-pack ring that will feed sea turtles instead of killing them.

5) My son followed this recipe for making NY style pizza at home, and whaddayano? Video

6) Shipping firm automatically dispatches truck to haul freight, successfully pricing, tendering, booking, then picking up and delivering the shipment without any human interaction at all.

7) Trying to rebuild civilization? This dude is trying to open-source the blueprints for 50 essential machines.

 

13 hours left to back this:

Randomness for 6/10

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  1. Why Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse has the most inventive visuals you’ll see this year.
  2. Europe’s first underwater restaurant.
  3. How to actually, truly focus on what you’re doing.
  4. The Kentucky Derby as Told by the Horses.
  5. Grocer Designed Embarrassing Plastic Bags to Shame Customers into Bringing Their Own.
  6. The Queens of Sicily: 1061 to 1266. 18 biographies about 18 powerful women.
  7. Stun Gun Myths Rewatching VERONICA MARS got me wondering how likely (initial hypothesis: not very) it was that you could render someone unconscious by zapping them. Of course, my hypothesis was [spoiler]. 

Randomness for 1/14

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1) The Chinese government’s extensive “social credit” surveillance system rewards loyal citizens and punishes whistle blowers.

2) Relationships vs Algorithm at Netflix.

3) For the First Time in More Than 20 Years, Copyrighted Works Will Enter the Public Domain.

4) The Fall and Rise of M. Night Shyamalan

5) Forgery Experts Explain 5 Ways To Spot A Fake. Video.

6) Dating while in therapy? The advice column answer to this question is both kind and its not interested in the way we bullshit ourselves. Excellent.

7) How to take awesome food photos by Helen Rosner. (This is a terrific primer on visual composition)

Randomness for 10/10

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1) Honest Kathleen Turner is best Kathleen Turner.

2) A Songwriting Mystery Solved: Math Proves John Lennon Wrote ‘In My Life’. Mathematical analysis applied to musical authorship, which I find damned interesting.

3) Political Moderates Are Lying: How group social dynamics push moderate voters to extremes. (Not a perfect article, but interesting.

4) Meet the Facebook Detective, a Citizen Sleuth Who’s Helping Solve Murders With Social Media.

5) A reliable credit-card skimmer detector: a card that detects multiple read heads.

6) “The first time the bears steal human food, they are relocated 30 miles away. The second time, it’s 60 miles, and the third time it’s 100. After that, they become consumer product consultants.”

7) This obituary is wild.

Randomness for 7/31

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1) The Legend of John Arthur, the Toughest Man in America.

2) Don’t Feed The Trolls and Other Hideous Lies.

3) What the Data Says About Producing Low-Budget Horror Movies.

4) Raising the barre: how science is saving ballet dancers.

5) What Happened When I Tried To Talk To My Twitter Abusers.

6) Ten Changes Made in the Lord of the Rings Novelization.

7) A ‘beer sommelier’ explains how pouring a beer the wrong way can give you a stomach ache. Video