Saturday. Wasted my morning. These bloody hayfever tablets are still ruining my days. I’ve been taking them for two weeks straight, during which time my eyes have gradually got better, I’ve been having some amazing sleeps – the kind where you’re out for seven hours and wake up in exactly the same position as you went to sleep – but I simply cannot wake up. I mean I sit here trying to think and I’m dozing off. It’s driving me crazy.
So, more of a rambling update today and hope by the end of it I might feel a bit brighter…
Last night I found myself distracted by the new Netflix documentary, Fear City, about the Mob in 1970s New York. I thought it fantastic though the reviews have been mixed. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it helps if you’re a fan of anything related to 1970s New York in order to really appreciate it.
I sat through all three episodes of the limited series before I got back to work and was up late scribbling away into the early hours. Book 3 of the next collection is up to 30 new cartoons. And I mean all these cartoons are new. It’s a slow crawl – maybe 2 to 3 new cartoons a day – and probably not worth it. However, I’m determined to finish this mini project before I abandon my cartoons forever… Or that’s what I keep telling myself. I’m increasingly unsure about everything these days.
I’m baffled by the things that become popular and the things that don’t. I can’t, for example, understand the popularity of Sarah Cooper, the comedian who lip-syncs Trump’s speeches. People say she’s a genius but, if she is, it’s the kind of genius that blows over my head with an embarrassing sound of gusting emptiness. I saw thirty seconds of one video before I thought the joke had worn thin. We’re now a year or so into these videos and she’s still going strong.
The same is true of so much internet humour, though it might just be my jealousy rearing its ugly green hat. Perhaps it’s just a prejudice: people seeking anything that affirms their own world view; the opposite of the cancel culture. We live in a world where we either elevate or we destroy. You’re either in the wolfpack or your destined to live alone out in the wilds.
That’s right, David. Convince yourself that your spirit animal is the wolf, Gina Linetti style (Brooklyn 99 injoke)…
I also notice that Boris Johnson finally did something sensible yesterday and admitted that the government got some things wrong. It was a small gesture but the first that smacked of responsibility. If he wanted people to trust him, he needs to be straight with us. This year has seen far too much spin and media control. He then, of course, called anti-vaxxers “nutters”, which I can’t decide if it’s good or bad. We live in such sensitive times that I often pause before I use a word like “insane”, though I usually push on and use it. “Nutters”, however, feels like it’s deliberately probing our insecurities around discussing mental health. That said, it’s also the language of the street and perhaps there’s something to be said about the Prime Minister trying to seed the ground with the unfashionable opinion that opposition to vaccines is irrational. I don’t know… One I’ll have to ponder further.
Speaking of vaccines, I think we’re now quite clearly seeing the divisions in the nation now that masks are compulsory. I don’t, myself, see the problem of wearing one, so long as it’s not too tight to be uncomfortable. Any chance to cover my ugly mug would make me feel more confident, if anything. However, the idea that face masks alone will hamper the high street recovery seems misguided. It’s confusing a symptom for the cause. The reason people aren’t going out on the high street is that people are still weighing their need to do in-store shopping against the chance of catching the virus. They’re reasonable thinking that most business can be done online and, hence, Jeff Bezos saw his value grow by some quite staggering amounts this week.
And speaking of Amazon: I keep getting emails about keyboards and it’s another thing driving me to distraction. I’m a bit like the character of Amy Santiago on Brooklyn 99 – yes, I’m still obsessing over the show as I wait for the new season. She gets really excited about stationary, binders, library index catalogues, and, of course, books. One of my own obsessions is keyboards and especially anything that’s particularly tactile. I’m currently using a Microsoft Natural keyboard, which has the keys in a weird split pattern that makes them fall under your fingers if, like me, you touch type. Well, I say I “touch type” but I just have a unique style from decades of coding and writing. I’m self-taught and extremely fast (though I tend to make more errors that is acceptable). I’m sure I’m not “classically” correct. I never use my little fingers or the thumb on my left hand. I’m probably a six finger, one thumb typist. I also tend to hammer keys and love the sound of a keyboard when I’m in full flow.
Which brings me back to the Microsoft Natural: it’s too quiet and what sound it makes isn’t particularly pleasant. I’ve regretted buying it since I got it last year in an emergency (I had a deadline to hit and a dead keyboard). I wish I’d waited and gone with a keyboard that has mechanical switches. They make a lovely “crack” as you hit them. I think there’s something psychological about that, as if these dull keyboards don’t engender sharp thinking. I might need a louder keyboard to wake me up in the morning…