3 July 2020

“Do good work.”

This Week

I have a brand-new project to share: my friend Jessi have started a new podcast called Quiet Little Horrors, in which we discuss psychological horror films. You can listen to the first full episode on The Witch now.

There’s also a brief introduction episode where we talk about our interest in these films and our plans for the podcast. You can subscribe at all the normal places (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher), follow the podcast on Twitter and Instagram, and email us at hello@quietlittlehorrors.com if you have suggestions or feedback. We have a long list of movies to tackle in future episodes, but we’re open to hearing film recommendations, especially if they’re newer or more obscure.

In some personal website housekeeping, I’ve added a Projects page to my website that collects the things I’ve been working on. I also updated my Writing page to recategorize the items there and prioritize externally published pieces (more coming soon!).

The June essay for paid subscribers is running fashionably late, but will ship very soon. In it, I cover the new season of the new Twilight Zone. If you’re into that sort of thing, you can sign up to get it.

Hoping you’re all able to find a little bit of summer ease.


“Some of the biggest events in 2020 have demanded more of our time, more direct action, and have been more emotionally taxing than we’re used to. The result feels like a mental DDoS attack that drags down our mental health, allows misinformation to thrive, and even makes the job of delivering news more difficult.” Our ability to process information is reaching a critical limit. One of the things I appreciate about the perspective outlined in the article is that it implies we can actually participate more effectively in the betterment of the world if we take enough rest. Otherwise, our actions don’t have the same comprehension or significance.

Related: doomscrolling is slowly eroding your mental health.

The threat of compassion fatigue in libraries.

Defund the pro-life movement.

“Rewinding the internet is not about nostalgia. The dominance of a few companies, and the ad-tech industry that supports them, has distorted the way we communicate—pulling public discourse into a gravity well of hate speech and misinformation—and upended basic norms of privacy. There are few places online beyond the reach of these tech giants, and few apps or services that thrive outside of their ecosystems.” A plan to redesign the internet could make apps that no one controls.

Queer kids, nerds and sword fights: the hot school play She Kills Monsters. I saw this a couple of years ago at a little Chicago black box theater and I found it entirely delightful, recommended if you can catch it.

A virtual tour of Japan’s Studio Ghibli Museum.

“Love has something to do with the notion of being seen — the opposite of invisibility. The invisible, the unwitnessed, the unacknowledged, the isolated, the lonely — these are the unloved. Loving attention illuminates the unseen, escorting them from the frontiers of lovelessness into the observed world.” Nick Cave.


  • Now that the third and final season is out, it’s time to talk about Dark (Netlix) again. If you haven’t seen this yet, well, it’s not my fault, because I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about it a lot. But it’s not a bad thing to be able to take the entire series in at once. The complexity of the show means it was slightly difficult to get back into season three after a gap. But it works for the same reason the entire show works: while the plot lines twist and knot and circle back on each other, the heart of Dark is its characters and the meanings of their lives. It’s an intricate science fiction machine that only functions because of its soul. And its ultimate point is that resolution comes only with humility and dismissal of ego. Which would seem to be everything a good humanistic speculative story should be.

  • It’s far from an ideal summer. But all the more reason to sit some place nice and chill.

Take a moment.




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This week’s quote is from Milton Glaser (RIP).