First, your musical interlude, which is Leon Redbone’s cover of Seduced:
It’s been longer than I planned since my previous QP post, mainly because I sat down for another binge watch of Stranger Things. I’d been joking about it on social media, but I find the show soothing and I have a prescription for watching endless hours of TV to ease my anxiety. No really, I have the prescription around here somewhere it was right on that table I swear.
Then I came across this Vox mini-documentary about the origins of the 80’s aesthetic that shows tries to replicate. Maybe 75% of this video looks like one of the outfits Millie Bobby Brown wore after her character visited the mall.
But the interesting thing about this is that a person (or group of people, in this case) can be so influential yet remain unrecognized. Until now, obviously.
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.
Siri, show me a fever hallucination with a mellow beat behind it.
If you’re a casual(ish) fan of Star Trek, you might enjoy this Filmjoy dive into the history of the original series, plus a second part about the show’s revival at the movies. I’m not really a fan at all (although I’ve watched most of what falls under the ST umbrella) and I thought these were interesting and fun. This is about the same length as their three-part Harry Potter film study, and I’m sure I’ll be re-watching this, too.
Author Mindy Klasky has been writing Coronavirus Diversion posts, highlighting interesting stuff on the internet for people stuck at home who need a pleasant diversion. I think that’s a brilliant idea, and I recommend everyone go ahead and click that link above to check out what she’s sharing.
I don’t want to copy what she’s doing, but I thought I’d try something similar-ish. A little music. A little cooking. Comics or shows or something. Who knows? Something mellow and casual. I can’t promise to post every day, but I’ll try not to let this space go fallow.
To start, today’s song.
My Twitter timeline is full of people talking about baking, and the grocery stores are sold out of flour, so it seems like a lot of folks have stocked up for baking. If that’s you, check out this episode of What’s Eating Dan:
Having made this recipe myself, I can say the results really are amazing. They’re so fluffy and light that they almost feel like they’ve been made by a machine or something. Maybe that doesn’t sound appealing, but it really is.
And now I’m thinking you must be wondering how a tangzhong works in a pizza crust recipe. Not well, it turns out, because of course I tried it. Tangzhong makes a soft interior rather than a chewy one, and that’s okay of the bones at the edge of your pizza are very small, but feels insubstantial if they’re large. I’d only use it (again) if I was planning to make a stuffed crust pizza.
Take care. Keep washing those hands. Don’t forget to check out Mindy Klasky’s posts linked above.