Onward

It is often attributed to Lenin the saying that there are decades in which nothing happens, and then there are weeks in which decades do happen. Probably it is too soon to say decades did happen in the last few weeks. Maybe a coronavirus vaccine will come along, and people will pretend nothing happened, back to business. Or perhaps no vaccine comes, and many will still pretend nothing happens — a dark possibility already being played out in many corners of the earth.

I also find it too soon to express what I felt during this pandemic. In the past month, one foot already outside the door, one foot in, I have mostly appreciated how bizarre what we used to call a normal life actually was. Going into lockdown, I took notes and documented those early days. Three months later, my notes read like lousy sci-fi, except it is all true — a time outside of regular time. So maybe we should cancel the timeline altogether and reset the calendar at year 3020 or 20C0 or a number even weirder when we get to a point in which we can find ourselves in a society with a modicum of predictability in the future. If we ever.

Halfway throughout my confinement, I found the Warp Earth Catalog newsletter. The first playlist had this track by Can, Future Days. Listening to it made me feel optimistic about this massive opportunity for rethinking.

Maybe I will articulate what I am thinking in future weblog posts; perhaps I will not. I've become wary of how there are too many opinions already! I will be parsimonious as to be worth your attention (or at least point you to some great music). I decided it was time for a new site. I deleted nearly all old weblog posts, remnants of an uninteresting and too long a past, thoroughly 404'ed, keeping only some of my portfolios and curricula. I also dialed my social media presence way down. I want that brand-new notebook feeling, and I need focus.

Here we go.

A new decade

I remember how the 2010s started. I left a party at a friend's house in the early morning, about 6 or 7am. I turned the first corner to the metro station and heard a horn. I looked, and there was this silver Volkswagen waiting in the traffic lights. The window was down, and the anonymous driver thrust his middle finger at me. Just a fraction of a second, as he drove off, burning rubber.

That certainly set a theme. The sort of thing that kept on happening throughout the decade: austerity, precarity, fascism in politics, egotism in persons. Still, many good things also happened. And many of those good and bad things now seem like they happened a long time ago. Such is the nature of time when getting older, I guess.

Anyway. Taking stock of the whole year — the good things, the bad things, then the books, the music, the TV shows, the movies... I'm no longer having fun. I got tired of the idea before even considering it. Just because I happen to have this blog, I felt like I should write some kind of retrospective on the whole decade. And that's too much, and I won't do it. A guy like Jason Kottke still has that will and that discipline — besides having to meet the expectations of patrons —, and that's why he's successful: go read his best of the best of the best listicle post if that's what you came here for.

I will do something else. I am pronouncing this website as in maintenance, as I cannot be bothered by it. Whatever is automatic will be updated (Instagram photos and Pocket favorites routed to Twitter), whatever is not... Well, then it won't. And whenever I finish writing my Ph.D., hopefully over the next few months, then maybe I'll bring over a mop and some Sonasol and clean up this unwieldy mess of a website.

Have a great New Year!

I know: we can't even agree on whether the new decade starts 2020 or 2021. Yes, years are ordinals, so a 'mathematical decade' starts in 2021. But a far more practical 'linguistic decade' — the _twenties_ — should cover 2020. It would be absurd to leave out the year the decade is named after. So. There.