9 April 2021

“Home is not where you are born; home is where all your attempts to escape cease.”

This Week

And we’re back.

Thanks for sticking with me during the break. I just needed some time away from my usual internet intake and am ready to pick up the weekly newsletter again. With, however, a change on the immediate horizon, which is that soon I’m moving the newsletter off of Substack.

Lately I’ve been increasingly uncomfortable about Substack’s quest to be a platform rather than a tool, but I realized that moving to another service subject to the same issue, or other issues, wasn’t going to solve the fundamental problem. So I set up some self-hosted newsletter software and therefore will be beholden no longer to any newsletter platform overlord whatsoever. This also means I will never move newsletter hosting ever again, to our collective relief.

The big switch will happen over the next week. I will import all current subscribers automatically to the new platform, so you will not need to sign up again. You’ll receive next week’s edition as usual.

It also means that I’m ending the paid subscription tier. I greatly appreciate everyone who used that way to support my work, but maintaining different tiers was not working out very well for me. I’ll direct any long-form writing I have in me to my website, or smaller bits in the regular old newsletter. If you do want to support me in my creatively-inclined endeavors, I will be soon revitalizing my Patreon, which has gone sadly neglected for a long time. This is mostly my fault but also the fault of whatever cursed Patreon settings didn’t send me email notifications about important things. (If you reached out over there in the past several months, I just recently discovered your messages/pledge upgrades and will be responding very soon!)

Thank you also to those of you who reached out via email. I am still catching up on correspondence, but I greatly appreciated your messages. ❤️

So, what else happened while the newsletter was quiet? I listened to a lot of podcasts, mostly about cults (highlights in the Reading/Watching/Listening section). I went to the aquarium. I started playing Pokemon Go again. (My trainer code is 5668 4923 0667 if anyone wants to be friends. I have lots of stickers.) I applied to college for the third time in my life. My first college attempt ended in my early twenties without a degree. I transferred in my mid-thirties to finish that degree, but that attempt fizzled out because, as I realized later, I didn’t really want that particular degree. Now I’ve decided to study precisely what I always wanted to and was discouraged from because it wasn’t practical (English). Anyway, I was accepted to start in June, so that’s neat.

We released two new episodes of Quiet Little Horrors centered on cinematic Gothic horrors: a mini on the Roger Corman/Vincent Price Poe romp House of Usher and a full-length episode about the florid love letter to Gothic horror that is Crimson Peak.

Spring is coming and I’m feeling much more optimistic about the year than I was a couple of months ago. I hope things are similarly brightening for you.


Links

What will it take to stop Woody Allen’s career?

“For some people, fiction is a chance to take on new identities, to see worlds though others’ eyes and return from those experiences changed.” What happens in your brain when you lose yourself in fiction.

Christina Newland considers reality vs. fiction when it comes to the women of the Mafia.

Farewell to Superstore, stealthily one of the most progressive sitcoms ever, full of diverse characters who look like real people and live largely realistic working-class lives.

Lolita isn’t a love story—it’s a gothic horror novel.

Three decades of female friendship caught on film.

The history of web development.

Jessica Walter showed what can happen when Hollywood lets women thrive no matter their age.

While I am leaving Substack, Patti Smith is joining.

I really liked this opinion piece on if we can ever redeem the redemption arc.

You can help make more MST3K, which is always a worthy aim.

“We enter and leave this world alone, but spend the time in between seeking connection. It’s the human experience. But when we’ve strayed too far from the pack, when we’re at our most ashamed, our most lost, our most … too high, Yahoo Answers was there to lead us back home.” Justin McElroy eulogizes the end of Yahoo Answers.


Reading/Watching/Listening

  • Over at the Criterion Channel, I caught Dick Bogarde film Cast a Dark Shadow and it’s a gem of British noir.

  • The Criterion Channel is also streaming Elaine May’s debut A New Leaf, a darkly comic latter-day screwball comedy romance that I hadn’t seen before and enjoyed hugely.

  • Lucky, a new psychological horror film with a relevant gut punch of a message, is worth your time.

  • If you feel you’re in a solid emotional place, you might be prepared to check out The Swerve, a pitch-black character study of a woman coming apart at the seems. I think it’s a great film, but it is not an easy watch.

  • I read Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for the first time. It’s great. And I found this lovely reprint of a 1930s “Detective Club” publication, which has a killer design and extra content.

  • I’m sure there are plenty of Stephen King fans who do not like The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, but I liked it quite a bit.

  • If you’re looking for a friendly, encouraging how-to guide to beginning a podcast, you could do worse than reading the McElroys’ Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You): A How-to Guide from the First Family of Podcasting.

  • If you’re into podcasts about cults/scams/svengalis, might I highly recommend: The Opportunist, The Gateway: Teal Swan and Chameleon: Hollywood Con Queen.

  • New Lana on rotation, obviously.


Thanks for hanging around here.

Love,

Jen


Connections

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Email: hello@jenmyers.net

Post: P.O. Box 13114 Chicago, IL 60613

This week’s quote is from Naquib Mahfouz.