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WesRecs

Vol. #83 - July 02, 2021

Well hello. Thanks for checking out the latest edition of WesRecs! I hope the week has treated you well and that you're staying cool and feeling hopeful about the summer.

If you're a longtime reader I'll get right to it: after a year and a half of not missing a single weekly issue (except the 2 pre-planned pre-announced breaks during each Thanksgiving week) it has been nearly a month since you last heard from me. Sorry about that. It has always been my hope to never miss an issue, no matter how pressed I might be in a given week but I realized that that specific goal is ultimately maybe not that helpful to either me or the quality that I wish to deliver to you. The break was hardly restful on my side, but it was much needed and provided an opportunity to think over a lot of things. A significant amount of my time and energy in the last month has gone into exploring/studying a completely different subject than what I'm used to. I'm still such a novice in it that I won't presume to talk about it here just yet but if things continue like they have I would not be surprised if I find myself spinning up a new separate newsletter (or similar) devoted entirely to that topic (in addition to WesRecs of course). You'll be the first to know if/when that happens but in the meantime I'm happy to be back with another slate of recs and I do hope you enjoy them! Peace.
Yours truly taking a selfie to submit for background work in yet another NY based TV production and rocking the shortest haircut I've had in years. It was extraordinarily hot on this balcony but I manged to get a shot where I wasn't melting in sweat. I ended up booking it and will be portraying paparazzi photographer #3 in a project I've already forgotten the name of. Good times.
WesRecs is the weekly newsletter where I (comedian/storyteller/TV Host) Wes Hazard recommend a bunch of cool content (recs) to YOU (the person reading this). There's no particular reason for this other than the fact that I love curating stuff and I'm always excited to share items that I personally have found worthwhile, exciting, or necessary. If you like what you see please be sure to subscribe to get each week's edition delivered straight to your inbox and if you know someone else who might be into it definitely share with them. You can check out all past issues HERE.

WES Around the WEB

F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K F O L L O W on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W on T W I T T E R F O L L O W on T W I T T E R
F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M F O L L O W on I N S T A G R A M
VISIT my WEBSITE VISIT my WEBSITE
Random: Came across this description of the beautiful practice of the "errand hang" in this tweet (which discussed the total unfamiliarity with, and resistance to, the concept by very many Americans). We should be having more errand hangs.

America

What Are We Doing Here?

The Capitol Rioters Won - The Atlantic

Everyday I find it scary how much we've just let the events of 1/6 go. Or rather, how much we don't talk about it in every public arena at every opportunity. We certainly haven't "let it go" because it is going to come back to bite us in a very major way. When people say "the past is prologue" they usually mean the events of a generation or two ago, but it applies just as easily to 6 months ago too.
 
But Republicans are not blocking a bipartisan January 6 commission because they fear Trump, or because they want to “move on” from 2020. They are blocking a January 6 commission because they agree with the underlying ideological claim of the rioters, which is that Democratic electoral victories should not be recognized. Because they regard such victories as inherently illegitimate—the result of fraud, manipulation, or the votes of people who are not truly American—they believe that the law should be changed to ensure that elections more accurately reflect the will of Real Americans, who by definition vote Republican. They believe that there is nothing for them to investigate, because the actual problem is not the riot itself but the unjust usurpation of power that occurred when Democrats won. Absent that provocation, the rioters would have stayed home.

...

The same racial and religious polarization that is fueling the Republican turn against democracy has turned the Democratic Party into an institution that is potentially incapable of confronting the problem. The relative homogeneity of the GOP has left Republicans short of a national majority and reliant on minoritarian institutions to wield power. But conversely, because the Democrats remain a racially and ideologically diverse coalition, they lack their rivals’ unity of action. The mostly white party can be ruthless, but it does not represent a majority; the diverse party represents a majority, but coalition politics prevents it from being ruthless.
The Strange Elegance of Joe Manchin’s Voter-ID Deal - The Atlantic

So a few things to start:
  • F@#K Joe Manchin, no matter what.
  • I honestly believe that elements of the anti-Federal/evangelical/white supremacist right are openly and clandestinely working on a Handmaid's Tale style gambit for a violent autocratic takeover of several states (if not the entire nation) so part of this feels like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
  • I had totally seethed at the very idea of implementing new voter ID laws (for reasons detailed in this piece) until I sat down to read this piece.
  • I need to look into the specifics of this more, but I found myself rather swayed by this and if the terms outlined here (designating things like utility bills as acceptable ID, etc) held up I would actually back a compromise such as this.
  • [2 Weeks Later] Update: since I originally read this the GOP tanked this proposed compromise because they, reliably, never actually cared about actual election integrity, they just want to limit the number of Black & brown people that vote because they understand that, mathematically, if every eligible U.S. citizen voted the GOP would never win a presidential election ever again. Sigh.
 
Some of the ID requirements passed in recent years are ham-fisted in the way they target liberals and exempt conservatives. In Tennessee, for example, a voter with a gun permit can cast a ballot, while a voter with a University of Tennessee identification card cannot. These laws were created in bad faith. They were passed by authoritarians. They are designed to perpetuate racism—and keep large numbers of likely Democrats from accessing the polls.

...

Given the racist history and targeted nature of these laws, “You need an ID to buy alcohol or rent a car, so why shouldn’t you need an ID to vote?” is not an honest argument. But it’s a persuasive one.

That’s exactly why Manchin’s proposal is, as a matter of both policy and politics, quite elegant. The currently available evidence suggests that, as improbable as it may seem, expanding voter-ID requirements to all 50 states would do little to reduce turnout. But Manchin’s not just trying to require identification nationwide. He would also expand the types of government ID that can be used in elections, for example by allowing voters to cast ballots if they display a utility bill. This version of a voter-ID law would require voters to prove their identity without disenfranchising a large number of voters—in other words, it’s the exact type of voter-ID law most Americans already support.

And consider what Democrats, and democracy, will get in return for this concession. Automatic voter registration. An end to partisan gerrymandering. Mandatory early voting nationwide. Joe Manchin’s offer will leave some voters out. That’s bad. But the number of voters who will be enfranchised by this proposal outnumbers—by orders of magnitude—the number who will be left disenfranchised. That’s not just a step in the right direction. It is, potentially, the difference between preserving our democratic system of government and not.

 

Race & Policing

Towards The Reduction Of Harm

Simone Biles Made Gymnastics History. Now a Different Kind of History Is Repeating Itself. - The Ringer

Simone Biles is the best gymnast that has ever lived, period. She has proven this to be a basic fact time and time again. There are no rivals, no challengers, no "what if"s, no "well, it's hard to compare between the different eras", etc etc etc. She has shown herself to be superior (by many orders of magnitude) to everyone she's competing against now and everyone who has ever competed before.

STILL, Simone Biles is a Black athlete in a predominantly white sport that's had a white image of excellence for its entire history and that means that the people at the top are going to fight and howl and drag their feet at every turn in the face of her awesomeness instead of just calling her the obvious GOAT and letting her get on with her total domination. It's tired and predictable and sad...but in Biles' case it's also kind of funny because she's so amazing that no matter what they do she just undeniably dominates anyway and makes them look stupid for trying to stand in the way. It's a beautiful thing.
 
For as much as the maneuver itself sparked a frenzy, the optics of the judges’ decision ignited a storm. Biles—by virtually any measure the greatest gymnast in history, and a Black woman in a sport with the racial variance of a tall glass of milk—entered her first competition in more than 18 months, landed the most impressive and difficult move imaginable, and was given a score that not-so-subtly told her not to do it again.

...

The thing to remember about American beliefs is they’re never really new. There have been myths, for instance, as to whose claims to humanity are rightful and whose are not for as long as white people have been on this continent. John Lining, a colonial physician who lived in South Carolina, is cited by historians as an early peddler of the idea that there are innate physiological distinctions between people of different races. In Lining’s most famous text, which included his notes on Charleston’s 1748 yellow fever outbreak, he wrote, “There is something very singular in the constitution of the Negroes, which renders them not liable to this fever.” The implication in Lining’s message spread like wildfire.



Throughout the 1990s, this fear impacted Surya Bonaly, the only figure skater ever to successfully land a backflip on one leg in competition. Instead of being celebrated for her feats, the Black French national was demonized for her athleticism in the rink. Bonaly stuck out like a sore thumb in a sport dominated by white Americans and Europeans, and was branded a heretic. “Even though she was wonderful [and] spectacular and she did great performances, she didn’t look like the ‘ice princess,’” former U.S. Olympic coach Frank Carroll said. Facing an establishment that devalued physical skill in deference to a sectarian comportment, Bonaly was often forced to choose between assimilation and obscurity. “In the mind you stay the same. But you change the appearance. The outside,” she told Sports Illustrated of her response to the sport’s climate.
I’m A Woman Of Color. Why Do I Ignore That When It Comes To My Mental Health? - Buzzfeed News

I'm not in therapy but I get it, I appreciate it, I know a lot of people who do benefit from it, and I know even more who likely would. I think it's a very good thing that in my lifetime going to therapy has gone from something the average person would be extremely reluctant (if not ashamed) to admit to publicly to something that's openly discussed, encouraged, and memed about on a regular basis (not in all pockets of society of course, but in many).

But there's an obvious intimacy in the professional/medical relationship between a therapist and a client that is unlike anything else - and in a country like America where race is such a resoundingly important (if poorly understood) part of society it is really important that both people in that relationship share at least some ground when it comes to their racial understanding. To put it another way: if racism and all of the BS it brings is one of the major stressors in your life, then it will be of very little benefit to visit a therapist that doesn't attempt to understand (or, worse, denies) the reality of racism. And if you're a person of color in America it is damn near certain that racism is at least one of the stressors in your life...especially in the last year.

I thought this was a really great piece that discusses that, and on a personal note I was thrilled to see a former co-worker cited here.
 
According to the American Psychological Association, in 2015, 86% of psychologists were white, 5% were Asian, 5% were Latinx, 4% were Black, and 1% were from a different racial background. (As a point of comparison, the general population is only 62% white.)

This means it’s common for people of color to end up working with a white therapist who doesn’t understand the complexities of their identity and experiences. Alison Chou, who is pursuing a master’s degree in social work at Columbia University, had one such encounter. “She was an older woman from the UK,” Chou told me over a video call. “I'm a bilingual Spanish speaker, and she kept getting really hung up on that. She was like, ‘How do people react to you when you speak Spanish? Because you don't look American’ — she just blurted that out. She started to correct herself, and I was just like, ‘Because I don't look white American?’” Chou stopped working with that practitioner. “That really killed it for me because I learned two things about her worldview: She couldn't perceive a world where an Asian woman could speak Spanish. And, clearly, even if she didn't think it consciously, she was thinking, This person doesn't look American.”

...

I had thought of mental health and activism as separate, but Li talked about them like they are inextricably linked. “I call myself a mental health justice activist,” she told me. “If we dismantle these oppressive systems, people's mental health will improve. And their relational health will improve; the strength of communities will improve. They're very intrinsically tied.” This shouldn’t just be the responsibility of the individual or the community, either. Claudia Morales, a psychotherapist who runs @socialjusticehealing, told me that mental healthcare for people of color should be better funded by the government — for example, establishing a law enforcement alternative with multidisciplinary crisis response teams that include mental health professionals.



It must be said that communities of color have always taken care of themselves, even if their methods have only recently become mainstream in the US. “Our healing practices have been stigmatized — Oh, that is superstitious or Oh, that's not based in science — and oftentimes co-opted,” Li said. “White people take over and go, ‘Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, that is actually good for mental health. Now, let me sell that back to you.’” Even so, Li said, reclaiming traditional practices can be empowering for people of color.
I Visited A Former Plantation To Understand Why People Get Married There. All I Saw Was Pain. - Buzzfeed News

I know the sunsets and shrubbery are beautiful but please please please do not get married at a formeer forced labor camp that looks exactly like it did back when it was a forced labor camp except for the fact that there is absolutely no mentioned of the Black bodies that were born, tortured, worked like cattle, and doomed to die there. I assure you: you can find some nice azaleas for the backdrop to your vows on land that isn't stained by the blood of the enslaved.

 
An internet search for information about wedding venues in Louisiana leads me to a wedding website called Here Comes the Guide, which presents the reader with “7 Gorgeous Private Estate and Mansion Wedding Venues.” In their description of the options, they write: “Want your wedding to have some serious southern style? Tie the knot at one of Louisiana's sprawling estates or magnificent mansions! Just think: romance in spades, columned porticos, gorgeous gardens, and moss-covered oaks. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful backdrop!”

Each of the seven venues is a former plantation.

...

McCaskey’s is part of a small but growing group of businesses in the wedding ecosystem that are refusing to participate in weddings held on former plantation grounds even though that decision might come at a significant financial cost. Jordan Maney, a wedding planner based in San Antonio, Texas, also doesn’t serve clients who want to have weddings at plantations and thinks that while there are some people who simply don’t know and will change their minds if the history is brought to their attention, there are others who are resentful of it being brought up at all. “You also have people who don't want to reconcile, and don't want to empathize or even consider a different experience, because they just want what they want. ‘And why did you ruin this? Because all I wanted to do was get married at this place and now I can't unsee it,’” she said.

And while McCaskey has seen plantations that attempt to obscure their history, Maney said she has come across a number of places that were not plantations but attempt to aesthetically fashion themselves as such because they know how high the demand is for them. “It’s worse to me and even weirder,” she said.
Mauled: When Police Dogs Attack -  Reckon

Marshall Project Interactive "Mauled" Piece

From time to time a hiker is going to go missing or you're going to need to determine whether human remains have been in a certain location. So I get training and maintaining things like bloodhound tracking dogs or cadaver/bomb sniffing dogs. But the fact that we have police attack dogs in this century is absolutely barbaric. These animals are trained to rip human beings to shreds and they do do that quite a lot, and it's unquestioned and it needs to stop. This video was as infuriating as it was edifying.
 

🎵To The Left! To The Left!🎵

On That Commie Pinko Tip

As The Pandemic Recedes, Millions Of Workers Are Saying 'I Quit' - NPR.org

Meaningful work is awesome and an essential part of being human. Toiling your life away at a job that you hate because doing otherwise means you will starve on the street is hell. The pandemic was (and is) every kind of awful but if there are any potential upsides then millions of people realizing this basic truth and being put in the circumstances where they can potentially do something about it then this might be one of them.
 
"I think the pandemic has changed my mindset in a way, like I really value my time now," Caballero says.

As pandemic life recedes in the U.S., people are leaving their jobs in search of more money, more flexibility and more happiness. Many are rethinking what work means to them, how they are valued, and how they spend their time. It's leading to a dramatic increase in resignations — a record 4 million people quit their jobs in April alone, according to the Labor Department.

In normal times, people quitting jobs in large numbers signals a healthy economy with plentiful jobs. But these are not normal times. The pandemic led to the worst U.S. recession in history, and millions of people are still out of jobs. Yet employers are now complaining about acute labor shortages.

...

Last week, after 26 years in food service, he quit his job as general manager of a breakfast place in San Diego. The pandemic had a lot to do with it.

Work had gotten too stressful, marked by scant staffing and constant battles with unmasked customers. He contracted COVID-19 and brought it home to his wife and father-in-law.

When California went into lockdown for a second time in December, Golembiewski was given the choice of working six days a week or taking a furlough. He took the furlough. It was an easy decision.

In the months that followed, Golembiewski's life changed. He was spending time doing fun things like setting up a playroom in his garage for his two young children and cooking dinner for the family. At age 42, he got a glimpse of what life could be like if he didn't have to put in 50 to 60 hours a week at the restaurant and miss Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas morning with his family.

Things Read

Worthwhile Words

The Tyranny Of Time - Noema

We are slaves to the clock, but we made the clock, and the planet does not care what time we think it is. Grab a cup of coffee and sit with this one, a great read.
 
Contemporary society is obsessed with time — it is the most used noun in the English language. Since clocks with dials and hands first appeared on church towers and town halls, we have been bringing them closer towards us: into our workplaces and schools, our homes, onto our wrists and finally into the phone, laptop and television screens that we stare at for hours each day.



We usually eat our meals at appropriate clock times as opposed to whenever we are hungry, go to sleep at appropriate clock times as opposed to whenever we are tired and attribute more significance to the arresting tones of a clock alarm than the apparent rising of the sun at the center of our solar system. The fact that there is a strange shame in eating lunch before noon is a testament to the ways in which we have internalized the logic of the clock. We are “time binding” animals, as the American economist and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin put it in his 1987 book, “Time Wars.” “All of our perceptions of self and world are mediated by the way we imagine, explain, use and implement time.”

...

In the natural world, the movement of “hours” or “weeks” do not matter. Thus the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the sudden extinction of species that have lived on Earth for millions of years, the rapid spread of viruses, the pollution of our soil and water — the true impact of all of this is beyond our realm of understanding because of our devotion to a scale of time and activity relevant to nothing except humans.

...

One of the most affecting myths of clock time is that we all experience time at the same steady pace. We don’t. “The future is already here,” the science-fiction author William Gibson famously said in 2003, “it’s just not very evenly distributed.” And framing the climate crisis as a ticking clock with only a certain amount of time “to avoid disaster” ignores those for whom disaster has already arrived. The reality is that it’s a privilege to live by clock time alone and ignore nature’s urgent temporalities.
12 Shocking Things I Learned by Working as a Butler at the Plaza Hotel - Bloomberg

Butlers have been featured so heavily in literature/film/TV as signals of extreme wealth, grist for the comedic mill, and as tokens of historical accuracy that I think it's hard for a lot of people today to fully grasp that being a butler is actually a real job that actual people still do every day to pay their bills. There are fewer of them than back in the day of course, and a large number of them work as hotel/resort staff rather than the live-in house manager of some English manor, but they still exist and they have stories to tell.

 
Another common request for the butler team is to draw baths with a signature blend of salt, oil, and roses—especially during the colder months of the year. But the butler’s duties aren’t necessarily complete once the tub is full. Bal, the Plaza’s resident bath-time specialist, said that 95 percent of the time, he’s asked to remain within arm’s reach as bathers suds-up. Most of them, he said, want more hot water or scented oil, and are happy to keep him on hand while they relax in the nude. He is often left to pull the plug from the drain, elbow-deep in leftover water.



The Plaza’s guest relations team researches everyone staying at the hotel on an individual basis, using a variety of social media tools. (The favorite is LinkedIn.com.) Butlers, on the other hand, often use past trends to size people up on the spot. They send electric kettles to the rooms of arriving Asian guests, who often bring noodles from home to cook in their suite. They keep an eye on the minibar when tending to Americans in their thirties and forties—they’re considered the partiers of the hotel, likeliest to plow through the booze. Middle Eastern VIPs get what is called an “Arabic Amenity”—a tray of dates, dried fruit, and nuts; they tend to prefer these to chocolates, cakes, or other sweet desserts. And the butler staff knows to immediately ask Western businessmen if they have shirts or suits that needs servicing upon checking in; they’re always the ones who treble the quantity of laundry in the basement.

...

Another time, a woman called Emma hysterically crying “as though her husband died and she just discovered the body.” When Emma finally calmed her down, she comprehended the real reason for the guest’s tears: There was no more Kleenex in her suite, and her young daughter had been forced to blow her nose on toilet paper.



Hidden within the Plaza’s secret back-of-house corridors and tunnels is a cafeteria reserved for the staff. Open during lunch, dinner, and late-night hours for (surprisingly good!) hot meal service, the canteen offers bagels and drinks for the peckish throughout the entirety of the day. But the savviest snackers know to visit the cafeteria at exactly 5:30 p.m., because that’s when the leftovers from high tea at the Palm Court upstairs are put out for the staff. (They serve only the food that was prepped but not plated.) Emma said she practically lives off mini cucumber sandwiches. I liked the tiny blueberry cheesecakes.
Katt Williams Is Unimpressed With Comedians Who Complain About 'Cancel Culture' - Blavity

Katt Williams is a singular individual. He's had some major ups and downs and his career but he is eternally himself and the man said something right here.
 
"Some of these things are for the benefit of everything,” the comedian said. “Nobody likes the speed limit, but it’s necessary. Nobody likes the shoulder of the road, but it’s there for a reason. My point is, [people] weren’t all that extremely funny back when they could say whatever they wanted to say.”

The 49-year-old also took issue with the term, cancel culture, which has become a popular rally cry among conservative groups in particular who are frustrated with being forced to avoid racist, bigoted language and actions.

“At the end of the day, there’s no cancel culture. Cancellation doesn’t have its own culture,” Williams said, adding that in the past offensive jokes were often just attacks against marginalized people. "That was people without a voice being trashed by people just because they had a bigger name than them and more money than them and a better office than them, they could sweep them under the rug like they didn't matter."

...

“If these are the confines that keep you from doing the craft God put you to, then it probably ain’t for you,” he said.

Williams also reminded his colleagues that they will not be missed if they can't adapt.

“I don’t know what people got cancelled that we wish we had back. Who are they," he said. "It’s done for the reasons it’s done for and it helped who it helped.”

Things Seen

Watched Recently By Wes

Havre de Grace sells for $10,000,000 at Fasig-Tipton November Sale

This is one of the most thrilling things I have ever watched.

It is an auction for a horse. A purebred racing mare named Havre de Grace to be specific, and it is a paean to the beauty and utility of human language.

There are 3 basic sections here:

1. 0:00 - 1:12 What's essentially a trailer/highlight reel about the horse to hype her up to the people at the auction (both the bidders there in person and those watching and then bidding over the phone).

2. 1:13 - 2:26 - An auction official introducing the actual horse into the auction room and asking the crowd to keep the noise down so that she doesn't get spooked. He speaks in a very formal manner in an accent that I can't quite place and very much gives of an air of almost comical aristocracy (even though he manages to absolutely mangle a quote from Shakespeare's Twelfth Night).

3. 2:27 - onward - This is the money right here, the auctioneer to top all auctioneers. Back in WesRecs 76 I included a video about "What Livestock Auctioneers Are Actually Saying?". It was my first time actually taking a look at the world of ultra high speed auctioneers and their techniques and cadences and purpose. There I learned that the majority of the blazing fast stream of words pouring out of them are essentially meaningless and just used as linguistic props to aid in pacing and the creation of an intense rhythm that locks the audience in and gets them excited to spend ever greater sums of money. If you recorded them and slowed it down you'd find that what they're saying is a split between the increasing prices that they're bidding up and a few heavily repeated random words stuck in there to make it rhythmic. Some of these words are old standards in the field but some are just a matter of preference for for the individual auctioneer. That earlier video chronicled the efforts of novice auctioneers seeking to establish themselves in the field. What we have on display here is an absolute Jedi master in the field. Oh my God, can this dude talk! (Maybe "talking" isn't the right term...saying words ...maybe?). His cadence, authority, feel for the crowd, improvisation, all just blew me away. I can't express to you how *not* invested I am in horse racing or thoroughbred auctions but damn this dude had me riveted. A minute in and I was rocking back an forth to the vocal beat and making wild hand gestures in time with his speech, it felt like being at a concert. I have been walking around just randomly saying "she is a great great mare!" for like 2 weeks now.
This was just incredible. What a fascinating insight about the speed, precision, sacrifice, preparation, and...spirituality (kinda) that's part of an elite Olympic diver's path to competition.

While I def prefer the Summer Olympics to the Winter games I really don't watch much of them when they're on and of the major categories of events I tend to watch swimming the least, but when you hear a dude talking about spending thousands of hours over 4 years to mentally and physically prep for an event that lasts a few seconds and he describes the deafening sound of hitting the water, the urgent need to de-accelerate to avoid slamming into the bottom, and the instant awareness of whether you just hit a 10.0 or bungled your one moment it definitely gives me an elevated sense of appreciation (reverence?) for what's going on there. A brief, but dope reflection.
I saw Breakin' on cable when I was like 7 and I had no idea what I was watching but I distinctly remember this scene and have loved it since. Don't know why it was on my mind this week but it was. Do you ever really need an excuse for Chaka Khan?
The True Cost of Crypto - Investing Your Attention for Maximum Returns

Sometimes you find the purest human theater where you least expect it. I've dabbled in cryptocurrency (in an extremely minor way) for a few years. Recently, intrigued by a preponderance of headlines in the space I've been trying to educate myself about it more. In my travels I came across this video and boy woww was it fascinating for reasons beyond what the creator intended.

I had never watched anything by this guy before, and had never heard of him but his channel seems to be all about crypto and market analytics, etc. THIS video however is about the importance of not letting your interests (whether personal or business related) turn into obsessions in a way that might lead you to neglect more meaningful pursuits or, worse, to outright become negligent in your duties as a partner, father, friend, etc. Make no mistake, this is truly important advice and as someone who has seen countless temporary (but intense) interests take over my life for days or weeks I can definitely empathize. So yeah, what this guy is saying has merit and should be heeded.

But what makes this fascinating is the degree to which his recent personal crisis is written ALL OVER him. Basically this guy runs a channel about crypto, and has significant personal investments in crypto, and he got so invested into spending every waking minute doing market research and checking prices that he started to be a shitty husband and his wife got in his face about it in a MAJOR way and, I'd gather, threatetened to leave him if he didn't shape up and boy was he SHOOK by that. I mean, this dude reads like he just a a gun to his head a few days prior to this. He doesn't really get into the personal details about what happened but he doesn't need to because it's just emanating off of him in a deeply palpable and compelling way.

I dunno, maybe I'm reading too much into it and you may see this and think "what's the big deal??" but the entire time I was watching this I was just wishing I could've been a fly on the wall when the showdown happened because it looks like it was ugly. That said, he seems to believe it was needed and is taking the gutcheck seriously and trying to modify his behavior moving forward. Even if you don't see the same high drama that I did the advice is good: reign in your obsessions...or else.
Welcome to the Internet - Bo Burnham (from "Inside")

I have not taken in much of Bo Burnham's comedy but I am continually impressed by his work ethic and the continual challenges he takes on as an artists. I first read about him years and years ago in some internet profile of the 18 year old who'd foregone his acceptance into NYU to continue making viral parody songs on YouTube instead. Since then he's made considerably more viral parody songs, put out several acclaimed standup specials (incorporating music), directed a very well received feature film, and tried his hand as an actor. Kid (now man) can seemingly do it all.

The first full comedy project of Burnham's that I will be looking at is his pandemic inspired multi-genre special "Inside" which this clip is from. I can't wait and if the entire thing is even half as compelling/unique as this clip then I will be amazed. I'm fairly certain that I'm going to be amazed. I cannot wait to be amazed.
We've known that Uber is dirty and lowdown for years now. They underpay the people that drive for them while refusing to recognize them as employees, they use their vast treasury of venture capital funds to mobilize a global army of lawyers and PR reps to skirt the law and hide/rehab their horrible image, and their corporate culture is well documented as misogynistic and toxic.

But damn they are convenient. And absolutely no one has love for the taxi industry that they have so successfully disrupted so people all over the world (myself included) have used them and helped lead them to the ride-share dominance they enjoy today. However what we have *not* done is make them money. Uber is not profitable now and it never has been. They're kept afloat by investors with dollar signs in their eyes who look to a future when cabs don't exist, public transportation is tanked, and people are so desperate to put food on the table that they'll take any low-paying, no-benefit, replaceable position they can take just to survive. And when that happens, when its users have no alternative, Uber will raise its prices and they'll rake in those returns. At least that's the idea, as is very well detailed here.

Well done.
Random Viewing

Things Made

By My Own Hand

I'm sharing this while recognizing that the fact that of it being pay-walled behind a subscription service probably means no one reading this will check it it out, but eh, I researched Bruce Lee non-stop for 2 weeks so dammit, I'm putting it out there.

Himalaya is a subscription audio education platform specializing in topics like self-help, business, professional development, etc. It's sort of like Masterclass for your ears. I and several other writers/researchers/storytellers have been working with them on a biography/storytelling project that takes a notable historic/literary/pop cultural figure and in a mini commute-length episode explores a turning point or major lesson they learned in their lives. If you've ever wanted to hear me talk about Bruce Lee for 13 minutes here's your chance. I've also recorded an as-yet-unreleased ep for Pablo Neruda and I'm currently researching an Idris Elba piece. Life is weird.

Like I said, you likely don't have Himalaya but it's a cool service if you want to give a 7 day free trial a go and give this a listen.

Word of The Week

Up That Vocab Game

Cunctation, n
[ kuhngk - TEY - shun]

Meaning:   The action of delaying; delay, tardy action. Lateness.

Origin: Latin cunctātiōn-em, noun of action < cunctārī to delay.

Fun Facts

Trivia To Bend Your Brain

  • According to a Google Trends analysis, the most misspelled word during the pandemic has been "quarantine." The most common misspelling: "corn teen."
  • People have gotten steadily worse at guessing the correct price of items on "The Price Is Right": . In the 1970s, the typical guess was about 8% below the actual price. People underestimated the price by more than 20% in the 2010s.
  • A properly ripe cranberry should bounce when dropped onto a surface. This simple test is frequently used by harvesters to test their crop.
  • Commercially produced pink lemonade is just regular lemonade with grape juice added.
  • Cats are unable to taste sweetness. Their tongues lack the receptors for it.
Copyright © 2021 Wes Hazard -- Comic. Poet. Performer., All rights reserved.


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