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w/e 2020-10-18

“Sunday, Sunday here again…”


§ The best music and video I’ve heard and seen this week, or maybe any week this year, is this, Library Takeout by MicrOpaqu3 for Duke University Libraries:

Very splendid. That’s via Ryan Broderick’s Garbage Day newsletter which continues to be very excellent. If you’ve ever thought, “The internet’s so boring these days and not as weird as it used to be,” then subscribe! The internet is still very weird, just in ever different ways.


§ After trying for a while, I caught this part of the view from my home office window in a good evening light, so I now have a new cover photo / banner to use for various services’ profile pages. I have now had my vast social media staff roll out this new branding to Bandcamp, Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Mastodon, Reddit, Twitter and YouTube.

Abbey Dore cover photo 2, on Flickr

§ Matt Webb blogged about finding books on his shelves and included a list of the categories into which he’s sorted his books. Having only just finished re-shelving my books I could not resist making my own list, which is here, in order of shelf space, most to least:

  1. American fiction
  2. Science Fiction
  3. Magazines
  4. Other fiction
  5. Essays, lit crit, society, etc.
  6. Comics
  7. Art and design
  8. History
  9. Play and film scripts
  10. Music
  11. Cities, urbanism, planning
  12. Samuel Pepys’ diary
  13. Acting
  14. Movies and movie-making
  15. Games and hobbies
  16. Future studies
  17. Maps
  18. Technology
  19. HardWired
  20. Languages
  21. Poetry

Plus a handful of things that don’t fit elsewhere.

I think the “Essays, lit crit, society, etc.” is my favourite kind of section, and one I will search for in any second hand bookshop. Unless the shop is specialised and/or highbrow enough to have specific sections for literary criticism, essays, and suchlike, there’ll be one or more places where these kinds of hard-to-classify but often interesting books live together.


§ When I wrote that Blogroll Keepers #6 post this week I was slightly disappointed to realise it included four email newsletters but only two blogs. That ratio makes me slightly sad for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on.

I don’t think it’s that blogs are “old school” and newsletters feel like a newish fad, having grown in popularity over the past couple of years. Because, while I may sometimes be too fixated with old internet things, I enjoyed email newsletters back in the 1990s before blogs.

Maybe I (ridiculously) find newsletters slightly unseemly, as if authors choose them as a medium because they love the numbers and details they get about subscribers that they don’t get from blogs, even with web analytics. I don’t know.

I definitely feel some kind of (probably illogical and unappealing) reverse snobbery in me, as if I’m thinking, “Oh, you think you’re too good to post your thoughts on a blog do you? You have to publish a newsletter because your thoughts are so profound? Really? Why don’t you go the whole hog and start a podcast if you think you’re that great?” I don’t know where that comes from.

I can definitely see the appeal of having a newsletter. I imagine that sending out an edition feels more like “publishing” in the sense of creating a final version that’s distributed around the world, like printing a newspaper or magazine. Exciting!

On the other hand publishing a blog post can feel more like sticking up a piece of paper somewhere and hoping people happen to pass by and notice it. Especially if you’re a curmudgeonly arse (hi!) and do next to nothing to tell people about it.

I’m probably just envious.


§ This week we watched the two-part Empire Falls from 2005, knowing nothing about it. We both independently assumed it had been adapted from a stage play because the dialogue felt really artificial, in that way that plays can. Every person’s first entrance felt like they were walking onto stage, having to announce their arrival and establish their character with a few choice lines and dramatic gestures. Turns out it was adapted from a novel by the author, Richard Russo. Anyway, it was fine, although I’m not sure we’d have stuck with it if it had been much more than two episodes.

After last week watching the movie mid90s, about a new entrant to a group of young male skateboarders in Los Angeles in the 1990s, this week we watched a movie that was entirely the opposite: Skate Kitchen, about a new entrant to a group of young female skateboards in New York in the present day. As you can see, it’s impossible to imagine a more different film. I’m so funny. Anyway, it was really good and I enjoyed it a lot.


§ “Oh that Sunday sleep”


1 comment

  1. I stumbled across your site, I don't recall exactly how, and I just wanted to say that I too am a fan of old-school blogs. Of course I speak as someone who once published a paper fanzine.