You know, I might just declare Friday to be The Day from now on; I have more time to myself on a Friday and I’ve not been hitting a Thursday deadline for a while now. I entirely blame my day job for this inconvenience that’s been foisted upon you. But as they pay for my interests, predilections and addictions, and apparently somewhat value me, I ought to give them this sacrifice of this precious time. Our precious time.
These employers; just when you feel yourself slipping away from the whole crumbling edifice, they pull you right back in again. Damn you capitalism. And damn you, absence of a post-scarcity Utopia.
I bet Utopia isn’t all that anyway.
On My Screen
I’ll be honest, although I watched one episode when it came out, I had forgotten about the existence of the Picard TV show on Amazon. It’s only when buzz started building for the second season that I decided to bite the bullet and watch the show and honestly, I’m glad I did. It’s certainly not without its flaws, and the mighty forces of money and sentimentality clearly have forced some decisions that were narratively weaker. There is a timidity regarding sacrifice and consequences, leading to a bit too much hand-waving and convenient tying up of loose ends at the end of the season, but nothing so egregious that I’m not looking forward to watching the second season that’s starting now.
Disney‘s mission of reconquest continues apace; not long ago they pulled all their Marvel Defenders shows off Netflix, to howls of dismay. Netflix’s loss is, of course, Disney+’s gain, with the shows appearing there next week on the 16th. What remains to be seen is to what extent, if any, they are to be regarded by fans as canon as opposed to entertainment. For me, the first seasons of Daredevil and especially Jessica Jones remain a high-water mark of the genre on TV.
I’ve not yet seen The Batman, though I’m enjoying the acclaim it’s getting, and that some people are having to revisit their opinion of Robert Pattinson. So why is this in the TV segment? Because HBO Maxhas greenlit a spin-off limited series about The Penguin. Colin Farrell will return to the make-up that essentially makes him look like Richard Kind. Lauren LeFranc will serve as writer and showrunner on the series, who is best known for her previous work on Chuck and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
In My Ears
Yet again, nothing can come close to knocking Encanto’s We Don’t Talk About Bruno off No.1, with its best contender being… Surface Pressure, also from Encanto. All of which serves to keep Ed Sheeranfrom the top of the chart, but apparently it’s not even a close contest. It’s not news he relishes while also suffering a lawsuit for copyright breach.
I won’t go into whether I consider the lawsuit to have merits, but I do find it interesting how many of them there of late. Dua Lipa is also suffering a similar accusation over her song Levitating, for the second time. Last year Olivia Rodrigowas similarly accused, and I’m sure there are others I now have difficulty remembering. Elvis Costello was pretty sanguine about the whole thing, but aside from him the lawsuits seem to be reaching epidemic proportions.
In other music industry trends, the sale of back catalogues continues apace. Sting has now sold his back catalogue to Universal Music Publishing in a deal thought to be worth up to $300m. Maybe this newfound financial security is what prompted him to now promise that his days of private gigs for Russian billionaires ‘are over’ in the wake of the Ukraine invasion. His sacrifice will be remembered forever.
On to the new playlist, and I’m quite pleased with it! Together with NewDad, Twin Atlantic is who I’m playing on repeat most often.
But it’s not the only one I made this last week. It’s not always exciting voyages of discovery and pseudo-cleverness. Sometimes the inside of my brain is a jagged, anxiety-inducing wall of discordant noise, with nothing new to it. And that’s exactly the playlist I created. Don’t expect anything big, new or clever.
Engine Room Diaries
This fortnight I have been mostly: Holding it together.
Photo of the Fortnight
Would you believe it, my own photo as Photo of the Fortnight? I took this photo for the 52Frames photography challenge. Picture me crawling on the floor in the tunnels underneath Kings Cross station, to get low enough to get this shot through a glass ball the size of my fist. Even then, when editing it, the shot still didn’t work for me; not until I turned it upside down. Sometimes you just have to change your perspective to make the world fit to your vision.
Food of the Fortnight
The food of the fortnight was definitely: The humble bagel, which I have now learnt to bake. I also learnt to make New York-style soft pretzels, but you can’t undo 40 years of cultural conditioning, and so I will probably try to learn the German way of making them. The bagels though are easy to make, light and delicious. I think I’m going to give them a couple more goes, then level up to sourdough bagels.
And if I’m successful, I’ll even share the recipe.
On My Mind
I have never seen any single account wreak more havoc on branded social content than the Gender Pay Gap Bot on Twitter. Whenever a brand put up some #content for International Women’s Day, the bot would retweet it and include how large the gender pay gap was at the company. Social media plans were scrapped, tweets deleted, it was delightful mayhem. Well done that bot.
And finally, Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton‘s ship The Endurance has been found, 107 years after it sunk 3km deep in the Southern Ocean. It is amazingly in excellent condition; Endurance by name, and seemingly Endurance by nature.
For a little while I was worried that, having already slipped by a day when starting to write the intro to this newsletter, I wouldn’t finish it until deeper into the weekend.
But it seems, in a week when things seem to have nicely fallen in line for me, this has too.
So, I wish you a good weekend. May it contain many delicious bagels.