I got my Cyberpunk 2077 refund on Monday. It’s nice to have the £50 back, and even nicer that I can now safely erase the whole sordid affair from my memory, like a cyborg would, probably.
Community: Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television. I finished! The finale was much better than I was expecting: heartfelt and funny, with real emotional stakes and meaningful character moments. They also finally said “fuck” which I found cathartic after six whole seasons of nobody talking like a real person.
If the last episode had been disappointing then maybe my standard Community advice would’ve been “watch the first three seasons and then stop”, but it was good enough that I’m going to switch to “stick with it, it sags in the middle but pays off in the end”.
The setup of the finale was, fittingly, very meta.
Earlier in the week I watched an episode of Matthewmatosis which made an interesting point about “going meta”:
“Here’s a dirty secret about creativity: meta is easy. Meta might just be the easiest thing you can do. Actors spend their whole careers resisting the urge to look at the camera; going meta just means giving in to those natural temptations.
Meta might seem clever, as deep as an endlessly recursive hole, but I think it’s more like an infinity mirror: surprisingly easy to set up, and gives the illusion of depth by just reflecting back on itself. That perceived cleverness makes meta a highly prized gimmick, which means if you want to min-max the effort-to-payoff ratio there’s no better way than meta.”
That’s probably true, isn’t it? There’s nothing easier than stopping all the careful work necessary to maintain a convincing fourth wall.
I was surprised to discover that it’s been ten years since the first episode of Hypercritical, an influential podcast which concluded with a critical evaluation of itself.
Now I have to find something else to keep me entertained while I exercise. One thing I realised during Community is that I really haven’t watched any new sitcoms for a long time. Obviously I’ve seen all of, er, Seinfeld and Friends, but after that I got distracted by Prestige Television and missed out on 30 Rock, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Parks and Recreation, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and so on.
I don’t know how good any of those are but I’d like to find out. If nothing else I’m happy that I now know what’s going on when Chang looks at a tiny piece of paper or Troy returns with pizza, so maybe one day I can also understand why Steve Buscemi is carrying a skateboard.
A couple of friends independently suggested Arrested Development so I’m going to give that a try next. I hope it’s good. Narrator: it wasn’t good. (I don’t know if I’m doing this right yet. How do you do, fellow kids?)
At the end of last year I said I wanted to improve my flexibility, because sitting at a desk all day (and, I expect, giving up my daily bike commute) has configured my skeleton to support only “sitting” and “sleeping” poses. I tried to follow through by watching a single yoga video but it opened with “start by touching your toes” and that was the end of that.
Instead I’ve been trying these stretches every day to see if I can make any progress towards the unimaginable goal of being flexible enough to touch my toes. It initially seemed completely impossible because I could only just touch my kneecaps with my fingertips, but as of today I can reach halfway down my shins so perhaps it can be done.
It’s not only my meat robot that’s deteriorating in lockdown. My TV, which I bought in 2018, has developed a misshapen green blob in the middle of its screen. A quick Google found plenty of other people with the same TV and problem, so I’m going to see if I can get it replaced on the basis that it has a manufacturing defect.
I realise this isn’t interesting information but I imagine I’ll be either relieved or annoyed about the outcome in a future weeknote so I’m just trying to tee that up properly.