(July 23 – July 29)
On my mind this week is a post I recently read over at Wil Wheaton’s blog. I have a lot of admiration for Wil Wheaton: he’s had a lot of crap to deal with, and he’s very open and honest about all of that as well as his efforts to improve himself and his life. However, since he’s on the internet, and is generally compassionate and wants everyone in society to be treated fairly and equally, he typically cops a lot of abuse. In this latest post he’s outlined how the internet, and particularly Twitter, has changed over the last several years and why he’s not going to sharing his life so openly across social media anymore.
I can’t blame him, and it’s prompted me to think about why I do these posts. Obviously I’m not even remotely in the same boat as Wheaton; for one thing most of my stuff barely gets noticed, which is a safety net in itself. I do, nevertheless, exercise certain precautions. For example, I avoid naming my children. It a near certainty that anyone who actually reads this blog already knows their names, but that doesn’t mean I want to broadcast my family to all and sundry. I also generally avoid naming other people that I mention: this is because their right to privacy belongs to them, not to me, and it’s not my place to breach that on my blog.
None of that, of course, answers the question of why I do these posts. My conclusion for a long time has been that I do them for myself. I’m happy for other people to read them, and there is something about sharing all of this that appeals to me (perhaps it’s my latent egomania, or some deep-buried extrovertism). However, after a year and a half of doing this there are two reasons that are fairly clear to me:
One is that journaling is good therapy: I find it useful to reflect on my life. If nothing else it helps me realise that I have things fairly good, and it’s certainly helped when things weren’t quite so good last year.
Secondly it’s just a good excuse to write. I get up most mornings to write stories. Sometimes the writing’s easy, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes the writing is in my own voice, sometimes I have to find someone else’s voice to write with. When it comes to these diary post I can basically write whatever I want as flippantly or as seriously as I want to.
And if any of you end up reading it; well, that’s a bonus 🙂
This week I started watching a French series called The Forest on Netflix. I was hoping it would be more like another Dark, and less like another Requiem. In the end it was more of a Broadchurch type affair. It was perfectly good, but not really different enough to keep me watching beyond the third episode.
Friday’s horror film was our third entry in the Final Destination series, colloquially known as “Final Destination 3: you know, the one with the roller coaster”. It was possibly the goriest instalment so far, and the first to be almost exclusively populated by characters whose deaths I was genuinely happy to be witnessing. That said, it was still good fun. The writers didn’t take quite as much relish playing with audience expectations and crafting elaborate death scenes as the writers of Final Destination 2 managed, but there was still a decent level of morbid creativity on display.
For our Saturday family movie, we finally caught up with Coco. It was good—very, very good, albeit not quite at Moana or Inside Out levels of greatness. The Elderbeast seemed to connect with it, however: he spent a lot of Sunday listening to the songs on Spotify, and then picked up the novelisation to read.
My final item of viewing for this week was Extinction (another Netflix special) on Sunday night. As regular readers of this blog (*tumbleweeds*) will know, Sunday night is ‘hidden gems’ night, where I’ll endeavour to watch something new and interesting—ideally something a little thought-provoking, often in the sci-fi genre—that might have otherwise escaped my attention. Extinction doesn’t really fit the ‘hidden gem’ bill, given that Netflix is promoting the kahooey out of it, but it’s definitely got the sci-fi part going on. I can’t give too much away, suffice to say that there’s a great twist about halfway through, but it’s definitely not the failure some reviewers would have you believe (although you can clearly see how it ended up in the Netflix movie graveyard).
This week I’ve continued to listen to Redshirts, and have continued to enjoy the experience very much. I’m also still making my way through From A Certain Point Of View (the book of short stories set around the periphery of A New Hope). After what felt like an eternity on Tatooine, we’ve now made it to the Death Star—with a couple of brief Alderaan related interludes.
Standouts this week included a story by Wil Wheaton (yay, Wil!) with a twist that will rip your heart out and grind it into jam on the sidewalk while you sit there sobbing feebly to yourself.
My favourite, was a story that follows the mouse droid (you know, that tiny beeping box on wheels that Chewbacca roars at in one scene) around the Death Star. We get to know his owner, intrude on what might (hilariously) be a passionate and secret love affair between himself and Tarkin. Then, things take a tragic turn. Suffice to say that the droid’s owner is not one of the characters who ends up on the right side of Han Solo’s blaster. Meanwhile the mouse droid, traumatised by its encounter with Chewbacca, does not make it off the Death Star before the story’s fiery climax.