Monday Morning Commute: a more quiet summer
Living through a more quiet summer than usual. When given the opportunity to interview for a summer position I had held for ten years, I decided that my interview would consist of a polite “no thank you” and an existential middle finger or two. That’s life, baby. Which has led me to a sort of ponderous, mostly relaxing summer as a Full Time Minder for my wife, a role I attack with aplomb and competence.
At the same time, the summer has also been laced with strife and difficulty. My wife’s family on her Mom’s side seems to suffer one loss after another. I’m not saying their family farm was built on cursed colonized land (I mean, it was colonized, all of this is) but the two of us joke about that it was. To bare my soul is to admit that I’m at the perpetual intersection of trying to figure out how to console my wife, and also throwing a pity-party for myself. She grieves on a consistent level that can only be the byproduct of an indifferent Universe. However, at a certain point my selfish ass just wants quality time with my her. How does one reconcile the desire to stamp their feet petulantly with an equally meaningful desire to be a good spouse?
I’ll hang up and take the answer off the air.
Seriously though, I don’t know! But, I’ve finally got hooked up with a therapist and I’m eager to till my fucking emotional land.
But here I am.
I haven’t written much lately, as evidenced by the fucking four month silence here. I miss writing, expressing myself, and connecting with others. I’m held back by this ingrained idea in my head that frankly I don’t have much to say and even if I did no one really gives a fuck and even more dangerous is that I don’t blame them. Look at that fucking trifecta.
But here I am.
A more quiet summer, a more pensive CaffPow. Such is the state of things. Nonetheless, such a situation does not foreswear me from enjoying the various arts and farts. This is what I’m enjoying lately.
This is Monday Morning Commute.
I’ve been indulging in a lot of fucking quality BoobTube stimulation lately. However, nothing has gripped my trembling, melancholic testicles so sweetly as Patriot. The series ran for two seasons on Amazon, was barely marketed, and was marketed poorly when it was. That said, I’m almost done with the first season and every episode thus far has staggered my ass with its beautiful melancholy and absurdist humor. Imagine, if you will, if Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy was crafted by Peak Coen Brothers.
The show resonates because it’s a Series of Fuck-Ups by a Sad Man In A Suit who just wants to go play his guitar. In turning the typically excessive exploits of spycraft into a mundane exploratory of the melancholic, it both undercuts the genre and supersedes it. There is a penetrating sadness to the show, and yet it really seems beautiful in a way that’s hard to describe. Perhaps the melancholy is relatable, the tethers between the various characters both harming and seemingly caring for one another in contradiction. I don’t know. I’m not smart enough to figure it out. But when I say it’s maybe one of my favorite shows ever, already, I mean it.
Honorable Mentions: Both Severance and Stranger Things S4 are some of my favorite TV ever. Fucking ever.
Still working through Stephen King’s bibliography. I say this without a hint of sarcasm, there is a good chance I’m reading Stephen King until I die. His backlog is so fucking massive that even if I tackle a couple books a year, it’s going to take me a long time. Like, a long goddamn time, and I don’t plan on kicking this mortal coil anytime soon. This ain’t a problem, though. There is a comfort in knowing the universe-imposed march towards personal-entropy will at least be coated in a reliable balm. King’s books are certainly comfort food for my brain-mouth, but I think at his best he is churning out Pure Fire. At his worst? It’s still a tale from an author I love.
Currently I’m reading Pet Sematary, a book King himself describes as his most upsetting. Dude pulled a lot of the events for the book from obviously hyperbolically dramatized personal events (which seems to be his calling card, if not the calling card of all good authors), centered around the own potential loss of a child, and the lengths one imagines going through to have that loss Not Happen.
I’ve only read one comic book in the past, I don’t fucking know, ad infinitum years, but I absolutely fucking love it. The Department of Truth, bitches! This shit was designed in a lab to appeal to me. We got a whole host of famous fucking conspiracy theories tied around a central core conceit: what if the sheer Will of the People was enough to bring these bitches to life? What does that say about reality? Wouldn’t that be fucking wild? In the comic, there are agencies vying to sculpt the world to their own agency.
But, the central conceit is used to examine our own rotting, truth-denying reality of our own. What does it mean when there is no central truth? What does it mean when pure fucking insanity is believed by so many? In the comic, this manifests metaphysically. In our reality, it manifests in Insurrections, the Denial of Science, and perhaps even greater catastrophe than a Mothman flying through a suburb.
My movie diet is almost exclusively fucking slop lately. Fringe B-movie releases. Shitty horror. Crappy science-fiction. But you know what? A lot of the times the interesting shit happens at the fringe. I’m not saying these movies are good (in fact, I just said the opposite), but when there is almost no oversight from Big Studios, people can get fucking weird with it. Explore some odd ideas. Give me the weird science-fiction like Trancers exploring what it means to be human, or exist in a post-human body over Thor: Love and Thunder any day.
(If you perceive this to be a false binary, you may be fucking right! I’m merely making the comparison since the former seems to be far less accepted in our shit-stream pop culture braingeist than the latter.)
At the same time, I’ve been enjoying what I’d argue is some very, very dope horror. Quality shit upside your head. Cronenberg’s latest Crimes of the Future reads both as a movie about bodily autonomy and him exploring his own place in a horror world that’s seemingly left him behind.
If you’re looking for another quality horror flick from 2022, the Nordic flick The Innocents does coming-of-age King-esque horror better than most. It’s a subdued film that doesn’t hold your hand, but I think that makes it all the better.
(Nope drops next week and I’m very stoked.)
Whelp, this is the first 1,100+ words I’ve written in nearly four months. I’ll be here next week, I promise. If you’re out there, I salute you. If you’re not out there, I salute you.
This is Monday Morning Commute.