Earlier this year when I launched Visual Reflux as the new everything but The Stop Button blog, I thought I was going to get interested in the technical aspects of blogging again. I was wrong. The technical aspects of blogging are a chore now. At least the first time around, it wasn’t like people just knew this stuff. I need help files written for people who stopped futzing with self-hosting in 2011. I’m probably reading help files meant for boomers. And getting confused. It’s also not exactly frustrating because I know I’m trying to take the shortcut instead of actually learning what I’m trying to do. I’m assuming I can take a short cut and make it successful. Though successful in this case is literally not getting an email notification the site is down. Otherwise, The Stop Button is set. The content’s here. The point’s the content. The content’s here.
Only that success—despite like sixty notifications of old posts (at least) and various crashes and errors and re-imports, but it’s been a success. Much easier than expected. And now I’m not super-interested in curating the old content anymore. It’s, you know, here. I did the move. And I was not expecting this feeling of finality with the old posts. I never treated blogging as at all serious writing and the times I hobbied with collecting it in print was because I like messing around with print. You can make a zine look like an issue of “Harper’s” in 2019. Hell, 2014 probably. It’s fun to futz. But, again, I was only ever a print dilettante. I assumed technology would let me take short cuts and make whatever I needed work.
And I’m basically right.
I was also right about TV on DVD and, to a lesser extent, MOD. I’m not sure I knew a white guy in the mid-aughts who didn’t secretly fancy himself a futurist. Though my sample is overrepresented with comic book readers and futurism was a big Marvel thing in the mid-aughts, when the old young creators were doing new things instead of new young creators doing old things.
Anyway. I’m not really enjoying going back and editing old posts. It might just be “Superstore” is proving exactly the situation I want to cut my teeth on as far as sitcom responses go. With the third episode, which I accidentally watched second, it became obvious I needed to get the wife in on the show. And it’s just gotten better, leaps and bounds off an incredibly solid start. So there’s a lot to look at and talk about. It doesn’t hurt the show agreed with all my early observations and so in how it improves, it’s basically giving me an endorphin rush as it confirms my prescriptions. Or whatever. Also, you should still see August because I was right about Josh Hartnett. I don’t know about the Christian movies and “Penny Dreadful,” but I was still right about early career Josh Hartnett. O. August. See those two.
Old time blogging indeed. This 750 target word count on Summing Up posts is kind of intense. I’m doing 300 for TV, 350 for comics (though trades are going to be something different, probably 750), and movies range from 250 (for a short) to 850 (for something superlative). So 750 is a lot. And I’ve even started taking notes on the 750s; I started a critical epistemology post the other night—didn’t finish because bed time—because I was so pissed off about The Last Jedi response. A friend finally saw it, leading to a terrifying chat simulation of welcomed mansplaining re: Rose Tico (who’s the best thing about the new trilogy, which isn’t the greatest bar but Kelly Marie Tran is a true find), but then the “Mandalorian” sucked, and I heard some older Gen-Xers (forty-five and fifty-ish) talking about how Rogue One is the only good new Star Wars and grumble grumble about the Last Jedi so obviously they can’t be sexist because there’s the woman in Rogue One but obviously Favreau gets it because the “Mandalorian” is so perfect.
It’s playing with your toys. The ones you have stories about for after the movie ends. When you were six or seven. Then you kept playing and it kept getting weirder. Would fandom be so toxic if men had just felt comfortable playing with all their old toys in the nineties? Actually, if you turned that idea into a show produced by Seth Rogen I’ll bet it would work. An alternate history show where men got to play with their action figures into adulthood without fear of shame at wanting the Jedi model Millennium Falcon because the chairs were so much cooler.
Growing up in the early eighties has turned out to be a lot weirder than expected. It really didn’t seem so weird at the time, not compared to other eras. But, yeah… it was weird. And not great. I was in fifth grade when “Native American” all of a sudden was the word. I’m also old enough to remember when it was still “Afro-“ American. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. She talks about it. How you didn’t realize “The Cosby Show” wasn’t just not real, it wasn’t even possible until it was way too late.
Holy shit, her new book’s called Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America. It’s going to be amazing. She’s so great.
And y’all almost got a whole paragraph about the spectrum of potential targeting per demographic but instead I’m just going to get this posted so I can get ready for work and get those cat pictures together. I’m not sure the opening quote thing is happening this post. Actually probably just a “Buy the new Ijeoma Oluo book.”
And here’s Gregory, stoned on sunlight.