It feels as if 2020 has been a year where both far too much and not enough has happened. Who remembers May? Before the US erupted in protests for justice, before an election in the world's oldest constitutional democracy appeared less and less likely to be fair and open. The brute reality of living contrasts sharply with what feel like huge and portent shifts in the social tectonic—the centre cannot hold, but maybe there never was a center.
- «The Dead World of Blippi» Current Affairs, Nathan J. Robinson
A terrifying hollow amalgamation of YouTube content algorithm, vacuous infotainment and a casual hatred of children all rolled into a garish caricature of an entertainer. It actually would appear that Blippi is still in the Whulge region, based on the name of the police vehicles that he "explores." Shoutout to Olympia, WA.
- «Empire of Same» Current Affairs, Samuel Miller McDonald
Stability or stagnation? I don't want to think that the two are inseperable. A world that never changes is by definition stable, but stability does not mean the closure of new arrangements of living, new possibilities.
- Russia Declassified Tsar Bomba Footage BoingBoing
It's not every day that we get new footage of the largest weapons if idiocy ever made by humans. How can anyone not question the sanity of a system whose leaders are capable of making an argument for this sort of apocalyptic weaponry? I say we make them mud wrestle instead of blasting the earth's crust into space.
- «Habitual User» The Baffler, Lauren Oyler
Lauren Oyler has written some of my favorite articles, including a piece linked here earlier in The Times Literary Supplement on feminisms, Jia Tolentino, and our reality selves.
Writing about social media, on the most passé of all social media—a blog— is too many layers of irony and meta for me to want to engage in. I was never very into facebook, and while I do lose too much timelife to Reddit, do not consider myself a very present person online. That said, I am someone who is "extremely online" in the phraseology of danah boyd, who also coined the phrase "context collapse."