Digest, 11/20/2021: Only the Red Line Lives On
the twenty-eighth digest post
I’m going through some stuff, and I’m annoyed at myself and my own work, which happens and is part of why I publish so much. (I’m fine.) So I’m not in the mood to do any recaps of the past week. That will return digest.
In lieu of that please read this convincing piece that argues that “we need to tear down capitalism to stop climate change” arguments are unhelpful. If you say that you need to end capitalism before we can do X, you’re pretty much guaranteeing that we won’t do X.
Also, my niece is rad.
From the Archives
Song of the Week
If this doesn’t make you want to travel, you’re dead inside.
Substack of the Week
While your humble servant here is a generalist, and while Substack has an unearned reputation as a back alley for those of us with disreputable politics, the reality is that most Substacks are about, say, bonsai, or scrimshaw, or yoga for pregnant women, or touring South America on a motorcycle. Substack is a bonanza for the diehard, the nerd, the stan, the specialist. There’s a tremendous amount of focused, single-issue newsletters here that speak to a very narrow audience of obsessives, and I dig that. That’s beautiful to me.
I don’t know that Peter Suderman’s cocktail newsletter is quite that narrow in its appeal, but it has that same quality of being fussed over and loved as the most niche newsletters. I think Peter has worked out the ratio of recipe to commentary just right. (If I were a cleverer man I would draw a connection between that and the fact that drink recipes are all ratios but oh well.) To be clear, he’s not using a Negroni recipe as a springboard for talking about Italy’s place in the contemporary European Union. But he does find ways to make the posts a little deeper than just a dash of this and a twist of that. I learn things from his newsletter despite the fact that I very rarely make cocktails myself. I will say that the cocktails featured here tend to be “spirit forward,” as they say, but there’s some daquiris and similar as well. A blog well made full of cocktails well made.
Also Peter’s a good guy and I like him. So if you’re into cocktails, check it out.
Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone,
Look. Is “Shadow and Bone” like a stereotype of a contemporary Young Adult fantasy title? Yes. Is the plot, about a young woman who discovers that she’s an immensely powerful magic user and finds herself caught in a love triangle between her childhood love and a dark sorceror who might be evil but is definitely hot also a cliché? Absolutely. Do I care? No. This is just my speed of cheesy fantasy lit, fun and fast and not too full of itself except for the parts where it is very full of itself, in just the right way. Also the whole Tsar-punk thing just works, I think. The Netflix show ain’t have bad either, although they really rush some aspects in an unfortunate way, likely because they weren’t sure if they would get a second season. But the basic drama is there. I don’t know man, a little mystical mumbo jumbo, a couple of soulful boys fighting for the love the same fair maiden - I’m in.
NFL Pick of the Week
The Buffalo Bills have the best point differential in the NFL, and it’s not particularly close. They lost a real headscratcher against the Jaguars, but could have won with a different bounce or two, and they were one questionable spot away from being in prime position to beat the Titans too. They’re better than a touchdown better than Indy, so I’ve got the Buffalo Bills -7 over the Indianapolis Colts.
I’ve been talking about the line in the Browns-Lions game all week - I don’t think the Browns should be giving 11.5 to any team in the NFL, Baker or no Baker, period, end of story. I said this on Facebook and everybody told me I was dumb and that the Lions are really that bad. Well, that may be so, but the Browns are not a good football team, so I’m banging the Detroit Lions +11.5 over the Cleveland Browns. I’d rather lose on principle than win without.
I’m not a big Eagles believer, but I’m even less of a Trevor Siemian believer, and I don’t know why Vegas thinks these two teams would be even on a neutral field. So give me the Philadelphia Eagles -3 over the New Orleans Saints.
Comment of the Week
I really empathize with this. As a fat woman, revelling in my relative strength has always helped to decrease the general feelings of worthless about my body. But I think I've also just never liked being seen as incapable. Self-reliance was very requisite for much of my life. I've gotten much better, over time, at accepting help of various kinds, when needed, but I don't know that it will ever feel natural for me.
That’s it for this week. Domani.
Your niece is lovely and smart and silly! Animal Crossing is one of my favorite games right now and I had been meaning to look up what inspired gyroids, so thanks for linking her video. That led me to her great video on BOTW’s blood moon with the adorable blooper reel at the end. I hope her channel grows!
Only started reading this year and a recent subscriber and I've been loving what you're doing so I'm grateful that you're fine. The introspective stuff especially has been remarkabble to read in a culture dominated by people who airbrush all of their output for appearances sake.
Without wanting to sound like a TV sitcom, I hope the 'stuff' and the 'annoyances' provide opportunity to course correct and do more of what you want to do without that, rather than any insurmountable barriers to creating what you want to achieve.