Some brief thoughts on Mastodon(not the band), the new Metallica song, and congress’s intervention in the rail strike.

First impressions on Mastodon

It’s a chronological feed of the people and groups you’re following. You know, like facebook and twitter and instagram used to be. It isn’t perfect, but I don’t need it to be. The point is, I don’t feel like I’m being nudged into “engagement” and I don’t feel like I’m trapped in a dopamine feedback loop. I’m just reading interesting stuff. I hope it stays that way. I deleted my twitter and instagram about a week ago. Twitter’s been bad for years and it’s just bad. Instagram.. I never really went on there much anyway. Facebook? I’m gonna stay on there for now. Even though it makes me feel like a sucker every time I go on there, the value of the thing is the people on it. Friends and family, and some people we don’t really know but enjoy the insightful things they have to say. Or the goofy things they have to say. Or their creativity. And so on.

And that’s the contradiction or paradox about these things. We know they’re bad, but because they’re on there, we’re on there and we stay on there. We know they’re in the business of exploiting weaknesses in our psychology to sell our attention to brands and people that pay for it. Some of y’all have seen the clip going around of of Bo Burnham (a likely pirated clip which is another paradoxical problem) talking about how it isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault, it’s just the imperative these companies have to grow no matter what. I agree with part of that assessment and disagree too. Real growth requires thinking about beyond the next quarter or two, and part of thinking about beyond the next quarter or two is thinking about the long term effects of what their products are doing to people’s brains. So, I think they’re doomed. Empires fall.

Mastodon, doesn’t have that constant growth imperative. I hope it stays that way.


on Metallica

I’m indifferent about the song. I neither like nor dislike it, however I’m not indifferent on them as human beings. As long as they’re enjoying what they’re doing, good for them! I’ve felt this way pretty much since the second time I saw the Some Kind Of Monster documentary. I’ve written about this elsewhere, but it’s my blog and I’ll rewrite things I’ve written elsewhere because… Because it’s mine and I’ll write whatever I damn well please here.

The first time I saw Some Kind Of Monster I hated it. I thought here are these bazillionaires whining about their problems. Ten or so years later, I gave it another chance and I loved it. I’m not talking about the merits of their music. That’s a different conversation and I’m not going to have that conversation with you. To each their own, let people enjoy the things they enjoy and who cares? If you like them, enjoy! If you don’t, there’s plenty of other stuff you can listen to and you shouldn’t waste another second thinking about them. I’m forty-five. Which means I simultaneously got into them and thought they fell off when the Black Album came out. Look! You couldn’t get away from that band if you wanted to from about 1990 to 1993 or so. It was a tossup between them and Guns N’ Roses as to which was the biggest rock and roll band in the world. Their impact on pop culture and metal subculture and metal subsubculture is undeniable. And the haters in metal subsubsubcultures don’t know what they’re talking about. There’s a little Metallica in what they’re doing whether they like it or not…

Enough with the tangent. So anyway, when I first saw that movie I hated it and ten years later I loved it. Those dudes are human beings who go through human things and feel things. It’s a one of a kind document of a one of a kind band and everyone should see it regardless of their feelings about their music. At the time, they were so far removed from being four dudes in a garage and I hated it for the same reasons that I now love it.

I just gave the new song another listen. It’s pretty good and my curiosity is satisfied but I wouldn’t go out of my way for it.


On Congress’s intervention in the rail strike… But really on Biden’s intervention.

I don’t know man. Look. I vote for, and will continue to vote for Democrats because I live on planet Earth and I am not a crazy person. And I understand President Biden in 2022 has different things to consider than Senator Biden did in 1992 when he voted against setting up arbitration to prevent a rail strike. I also think overall he’s a good president and for the most part, aside from this, his administration looks largely like what a Sanders administration would have looked like and I mean that as a compliment. As a rank and file labor union member myself I really don’t like it. I’ll reserve judgement for now, but the way this is playing out makes me fear that when I look back on this administration, I’ll think this was a bad episode that should have been sorted out months ago without government intervention.

So, this one was just kinda freewriting, and I am still finding my groove here and the only way to find that groove is to keep at it daily. What’s new? I got a hot date tonight with my wife. We’re going to the top of the Empire State Building and then fancy dinner and then we’re gonna look at the Macy’s holiday window displays because it’s fun to be a tourist in your own city. If you’re not doing that, you should do that sometimes. It’s fun! Have a great day everybody.