26 June 2020

“And summer isn't a time. It's a place as well. Summer is a moving creature and likes to go south for the winter.”

This Week

I’ve been feeling hazy and unfocused lately. Maybe it’s summer, maybe it’s mental overload from the state of the world, maybe it’s the continued lack of external schedule. Probably it’s all three. I suppose we’re allowed some times when we float with the current instead of swim.

On the bright side, the lakefront has reopened in Chicago. When I moved last year, one of my criteria for a new home was easy access to the lake, but that’s been shut down for the past couple of months. It’s amazing what a few minutes with an expanse of nature can do for one’s outlook.

Because I feel like we all need a break wherever we can get it, I opened up last month’s essay for everyone, for the weekend. So if you would like to read it, you can read it. It’s about going to the movies and not being able to go to the movies. June’s essay for paid subscribers will go out early next week, by the way.

Another note: I dropped the hint that I’m currently working on a new podcast project with a friend. I’ll be able to share more about that very soon, but, in the meantime, we’re looking for someone to help us out with a logo design (paid gig!). If you’re interested, let me know. It would be cool if you’re also into psychological horror films, but, obviously, not necessary.

I hope you’re all asking for the help you need, providing support where you can and otherwise doing as doing well as you can be.


How a traumatized nation can cope: advice from professionals.

For disabled and other marginalized fans, online events aren’t a compromise—they’re a lifeline.

Chicago’s gay grandaddy of tattooing: a detailed profile of tattoo legend Cliff Raven.

Jennifer’s Body at 10: a violent feminist tale ahead of its time.

“So I don’t say read Tolstoy and nothing else. Read everything. See everything. The poet must not avert his eyes.” Werner Herzog.

“And it took me a long time to realize that personal license is to real freedom what masturbation is to sex. It’s not bad, but it’s not the real thing. … And so that’s kind of where my politics really began to develop, out of concern for my own moral, spiritual, emotional health, and that of my neighbors.” Bruce Springsteen’s playlist for our times.

“I believe that we as a whole world are going through a transition. These so-called bleak times are necessary to go through in order to get to a much, much better place. The old way is giving way to a new way. More and more things, horror stories, have come to life and people have been dealing with these things for decades. More things will come out. These wrongs are going to start getting righted. On the other side of this transition, I think, we will find really great times. An end to suffering and negativity. This is what I believe and hope for.” David Lynch.


The new incarnation of The Twilight Zone just launched its second season, which I began watching yesterday (on CBS All Access, for the record). In the first season, I thought the new version was hit or miss but overall worth watching, and so far that impression is continuing. It’s also worth noting that the original series is available on most streaming services and is always worth watching.

- I read the novella The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle, slim, powerful revision of the Lovecraft mythos centered on a young musician/grifter from 1920s Harlem. I had this on my to-read list for a while now and I should have picked it up sooner. Such a clever way to reclaim problematic elements of speculative fiction.

- To continue my theme of summer songs, here’s my favorite version of “Summertime,” by Miss Sarah Vaughan.

It’ll be time to go again soon enough. Relax a moment.




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Today’s quote is from Terry Pratchett.