Link post to some of my obsessions of the moment
I’ve been highly anticipating the finale of WandaVision all week, so my thoughts have been dominated by being smitten with the show and its stars.
Not WandaVision related, somehow:
A fairly new YouTube channel makes getting pissed about the environment fun again
Well, that didn’t last very long. Earlier in the week, I was wondering whether it would be such a bad thing if I got an internal combustion engine car and just didn’t drive it very often. After discovering the Climate Town YouTube channel, I’m resolving to never buy gasoline ever again. Not necessarily because I believe I have a huge impact on the environment, but out of spite for the gas companies that I now hate so much.
I suspect the idea behind the channel is that the messaging around climate change has for so long been dry and boring, angry and alarmist, or guilt-tripping. Rollie Williams decided to make videos that were a call to action, but also kind of funny. It worked for me, at least: some of these were things I was vaguely aware of, but had either never put the pieces together, or I’d completely forgotten about them.
The “carbon footprint” is the one that really got me, because it reminded me of my history of being gullible and letting corporate marketing campaigns manipulate me. Back in high school, I would dutifully tear apart all of the plastic soda-can yokes before tossing them in the recycling, never once questioning why it wasn’t Coke’s responsibility to come up with something better than plastic soda-can yokes.
This week’s obsession is electronic music
This week I’ve been a little pre-occupied thinking about the Teenage Engineering OP-1. Actually, that’s not quite accurate: for the past five or six years, I’ve been a little pre-occupied thinking about the OP-1.
It’s something I’ve talked myself out of, dozens if not hundreds of times. But I keep being drawn to it, even as someone who’s by no means imaginable a musician, much less a professional one. The problem is that no rational counter-argument has worked for me because the draw is largely irrational: from the industrial design, to the UI, to the sounds coming out of it, to the advertising, it feels like an object made completely to inspire fun and creativity.
Previously, the argument that I always used to talk myself out of it — apart from the eye-wateringly, guilt-inducingly high price — is that I can just use GarageBand on my iPhone or iPad and immediately get better results, since I understand much better how the tools work. That’s still undeniably true, but it also misses the point. It’s not just that a well-designed device with tactile buttons and knobs and cows and gorillas on the display is more fun to use. The whole process of not knowing exactly what you want and how to get it immediately is the whole point of exploring and experimenting.
(To a point. Over the years, I’ve gotten several of the Pocket Operators. They’re super fun and appealing at first, but I’ve quickly gotten frustrated with them and tossed them into a bucket to sit while their batteries corrode).
Anyway, here’s some interesting stuff I’ve see this week!
My first weekly round-up happens to be a birthday celebration
I haven’t been consistently keeping up with the Tuesday Two-Fer and Semi-New Sunday posts, but I’ve been feeling bad about it, which is at least something. I think I do better with scheduled posts. So I’m going to borrow an idea from writer Jim C Hines and devote Fridays to a link round-up, including anything interesting I’ve found over the previous week.
(For the record, I tried typing “Friday’s Alright” to get it a little closer to the song, but it almost physically pains me to type “alright”).
Today’s is a special entry because it’s Jason’s birthday, and he’s the best. Join me in wishing him a great day!