Webtacular World Issue # 359, February 28, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! I’m not sure I have much to say this week – although plenty of things keep happening, whether its the Senate parliamentarian (once again, I am constantly befuddled by the amount I don’t know about how the government works – why hasn’t this position been important for literally anything else the Senate has / has not done in the past number of years?) deciding that a $15.00 minimum wage can’t be part of the COVID Relief Plan, journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents on behalf of Saudi royalty, and Conservatives brought literal “Golden Calves” to CPAC in the form of a gold be-shorted Trump. At the same time, none of this seems as urgent as news over the past four years did (or past four weeks, for that matter [HEY! The insurgency in Congress happened less than two months ago! Man, that was CRAZY! At least everything totally is OK!]), because all of this is within the realm of normalcy, regardless of those things not being particularly great.  On to the news, as “normal” as it may be.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Time To Pay
Why: Because the Manhattan district attorney finally got access to Trump’s tax records.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: The Push For $15
Why: Because America’s failure to maintain a livable minimum wage across the country is one of the major factors explaining how the U.S. has reached levels of economic inequality at a rapidly growing rate.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Net Neutrality Is Back On The Table
Why: Because net neutrality is one of the most important cornerstones of a truly open internet.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Bye Bye Fry’s
Why: Because Fry’s was one of those stores that gave tangibility and access to being able to purchase and build your own tech. Ordering online for these sorts of things is fine if you already know what you are doing, but the closure of larger hobbyist shops like this may make it harder to tinker with electronics.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: [Insert Tiger Woods Driver Joke Here, Even Though It’s Tasteless And Not Funny]
Why: Because Tiger Woods was seriously hurt in a car crash this past week. Fox Business takes the very useful and necessary question as to whether this was a good or bad thing for the makers of the car he was driving.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Golden Globes, I Guess
Why: Because good movies won, but the controversies surrounding the event won’t (and shouldn’t) go away.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Goodbye, Daft Punk
Why: Because in the Summer of 2001, I spent a month in Salamanca, Spain. More importantly, Daft Punk’s album Discovery came out earlier that spring. That meant instead of doing Spanish Homework, I got to spend almost every night as a teenager in Europe living essentially on my own for the first time in my life closing down clubs to the song “One More Time.” I don’t know if I ever have felt as Alive as I have dancing with a group of young, drunk Spanish people scream-singing “music’s got me feeling so free” during the song’s breakdown at 2 AM. To this day, it remains one of my favorite songs ever.  To say that this duo influenced my musical taste would be a massive understatement. I guess they helped me feel Human After All. Thanks for the (Random Access) Memories.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: More Books To Read
Why: Because people seem to keep writing the damned things.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Time To Go A-Vikinging!
Why: Because most survival games get boring quickly due to a lack of real purpose. Valheim fixes that by giving you an actual quest to fulfill.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Epilogue; The Daft Punk ExperienceInterstella 5555; Electroma
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Time Machine Solely For The Purpose Of Seeing The Alive Tour At The Greek Theater.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 358, February 21, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. The United States is about to reach 500,000 COVID deaths. Almost a year ago, Dr. Fauci and the CDC were estimating 100,000 to 240,000 people could die – a number we reached in November. As of today, more people are dying daily than did during the summer peak. COVID is still far from over. Please get the vaccine if you can. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Texas Freezes Over
Why: Because Texas’ “go it alone” strategy failed its citizens completely. After a week of freezing temperatures and limited electricity, the state now has to fix its water supply. However, since Texas continues to vote people like Ted Cruz (who remains one of the worst humans alive – in the last two months, he helped instigate an attempted over throw of the United States, and then fled across the boarder to Mexico to avoid dealing with his state’s massive infrastructure problem) into office, things will not change.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Avoided Costs
Why: Because Texas had ample warnings and time to ensure its infrastructure could survive intact. Americans apparently hate planning for foreseeable events.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: No News Is Some News
Why: Because Australia implemented a law that would force tech companies to pay for Australian news content (read Rupert Murdoch owned companies). Facebook decided not to pay, and removed Australians’ ability to post links. Maybe Facebook should implement this over here?

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: TO THE MOON MARS!
Why: Because NASA successfully landed a rover on Mars to search for signs of life. [Takes massive bong rip] WHAT IF WE’RE ACTUALLY THE ALIENS????

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Changing Of The Guard
Why: Because Naomi Osaka won the Australian Open. She blew past Serena Williams, who herself had blown past her competition. Both of these highlights are well worth watching. It is amazing how much better at tennis Naomi was than everyone else.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. watch)
What: MOOOORTAL KOOOMBAAAAT
Why: Because video game movies are BACK, BABY! This is the silliest looking thing ever. It is perfect.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK ()
What: The Evolving Landscape Of Rights
Why: Because Taylor Swift is re-recording her entire catalogue, De La Soul went on a cartoon to widen their cause in their decades long fight with their original record label, and Metallica’s BlizzConline Twitch stream had to replace live performance music with nonsense to make sure streamers wouldn’t get strikes against their accounts.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: MARS!
Why: Because Mars is cool.

SPEECH THING OF THE WEEK (long watch)
What: Look At All Those Regional Accents!
Why: Because American English is all over the place.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Diablicious
Why: Because Blizzard is re-making Diablo II, the purest form of “click on the pixels until they die” that has ever been made.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: All Your Base Are 20, And You Are Old; Masterclasses All The Way Down; Day In The Life Of Boat
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: More Gritty
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 357, February 15, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. I’m not going to spend any more time than Trump’s defense team did discussing America’s failure to punish a terrorist for leading an attack against a branch of the US government. America is broken, because most Republican officials are also traitors, and continuously put their no-platform party above country. Also important to note, there has been a drastic uptick in racist attacks against people of Asian descent in the United States, which would in no way have anything to do with idiots referring COVID as the completely inappropriate term “Kung Flu” for a year. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Trump Acquitted In Senate
Why: Because Republican Senators couldn’t or wouldn’t do their jobs. The attorneys representing Trump barely did theirs.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Now We’re Cookin’ With Gas, But Why?
Why: Because gas stoves are probably awful for humanity.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Britney’s Back (For Some Reason)
Why: Because Britney Spears is back in the news for trying to free herself from her conservatorship. Britney doesn’t want to be so overprotected.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: The Effects Of Climate Change
Why: Because for a state that was floating the idea of secession a few weeks ago, Texas sure is going to need a lot of federal socialism to help with this. And yes, this is entirely related to global warming even though snow is cold. “Weather” and “Climate” are two very different things

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: STICK TO SPORTS
Why: Because the NBA failed to just let people play some net ball and instead have to mandate the very important reminder that some of the games take place in the United States of America. Just let them ball

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Non-Americans Also Go To Space
Why: Because the prevalence of space stories are full of mostly white people who speak English (except for the non-humans) becomes more and more ridiculous the more you think about it.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (short reads)
What: Remembering Some Innovators
Why: Because Johnny Pacheco, who was largely responsible for introducing the US to people like Celia Cruz and Cuban salsa, and Chick Corea, a pioneer of Jazz Fusion, both passed away this week. Even if you don’t know their names or recognize their music, their influence touched many people you have heard of.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: Some Photographers
Why: Because since everyone has a camera in their pocket now, it is harder than ever to be recognized for actual photography talent. Here are some people to follow.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Revisiting Some Books
Why: Because the NY Times has been reviewing books for a long time, so they looked at some of their best reviews written by some of America’s best writers.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: Grab A Friend!
Why: Because couch co-op is still a fun thing to do, even if it’s harder than ever to do that. Also, the newest-old Mario game just came out on the Switch. It is very good, as Mario games tend to be.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Am I Cat Or Am I Lawyer?; Am I Link Or Am I Bevis?; Am I COVID Or Am I Death Star?
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: More Blue Senators
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World # 356, February 7, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! Well, that was underwhelming. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: One Month
Why: Because that’s how long it has been since our previous President lead an insurrection against the government. At this point, Trump’s failure has already put the US in terrible shape to address other countries’ democracy issues (See Myanmar and Haiti) with any sort of authority.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Bye Bezos
Why: Because the wealthiest / second wealthiest man in the world is stepping back from leading Amazon.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (10 min. read)
What: The Defense States Its Case
Why: Because President Trump must be held accountable for his actions against the United States.

MAP THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Election
Why: Because the NY Times breaks down exactly how most parts of the US voted in the 2020 election. Zooming in to see how an 8 square block in San Francisco has the same number of votes as a few hundred square mile section of Wyoming is something that really brings the whole idea of what it means to be American into focus.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: YAWN
Why: Because the Rom Bradowskis and a rapist beat the KC Chiefs in the COVID Bowl a lot to a little.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: CAGE/OFF
Why: Because Nic Cage seems to have stopped aging in the late Nineties, and also has become further out there with his career choices.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: 25 Years Of Foo
Why: Because Dave Grohl and Co. have cranked out their 10th album that was supposed to support a worldwide van tour and a celebration of their 25th year as a band. For obvious reasons, that didn’t happen. As you may have noticed, Webtacular has a soft spot for this band that started when I found the “Color and The Shape” while digging through a college music store bin in 1999. They have a consistency and drive that is unparalleled in modern music – and produce some of the most fun rock shows that I have ever seen over multiple decades. I, for one, am stoked for the day that I can see them perform live again.

Also, since this album is the furthest thing from music discovery that I probably have ever shared, give The Weather Station’s “Ignorance” a listen. It’s good stuff.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (short look)
What: Great Job, America
Why: Because we are just awful at stopping COVID.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Black Kids
Why: Because I got to listen to the author speak about this book last week, and one of the things that struck me (rightfully) is that one of the reasons she wrote this story is to fight against the prejudice that many people have (EVEN WELL MEANING PEOPLE WHO WOULD NEVER DESCRIBE THEMSELVES AS RACIST!) when thinking of “Black” stories as only ones involving poverty. Read it.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Google Shutters Stadia’s Dev Team
Why: Because Stadia was striving to be an Xbox or PS5 competitor, in that it would develop its own games for its “system.” However, while it still remains a very good way to play games cheaply *IF YOU HAVE GOOD INTERNET*, it’s use case just got smaller.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: GoldenEye As You’ve Never Seen It Before; The Princess Bride As You’ve Never Seen It Before; Big Bird As You’ve Never Seen It Before
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: Better Super Bowl Commercials
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 355, January 31, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! Apparently, I have access to a space laser that I helped a company I regulate set fire to the state I live in. How are people this dumb and cruel in Congress? On to the news

STORY OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: Meet The New Team
Why: Because there are a bunch of familiar names with decades of experience heading Biden’s cabinet. It’s nice to have the U.S. Executive Branch back in the hands of qualified professionals.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: GameStop Is Breaking The Stock Market
Why: Because hopefully you took my suggestion last week – and hopefully don’t stay in too long unless you’re doing it solely for the LOLZ.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Giuliani Gets Sued By Everyone
Why: Because it’s really hard to lose a defamation suit, but Giuliani is dumb enough to do it. Also, Trump no longer has any representation for his defense at his impeachment trial, because all of his lawyers quit.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Union-bet
Why: Because after the story broke that Google’s employees launched an international union, this follow up piece appeared that potentially hamper US employees’ efforts to have representation.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. watch)
What: How?
Why: Because Danny MacAskill continues to do things on a bike that I just do not understand.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (8 min. read)
What: Dance In The Sun
Why: Because the Sundance Film Festival moved online – here are some things worth watching.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read / listen)
What: RIP SOPHIE
Why: Because I was mostly unfamiliar with SOPHIE’s work before hearing about their passing – however, it is clear that SOPHIE was incredibly influential in their short life. Think a futuristic, clubby, queer version of Passion Pit if Passion Pit kept making music like Sleepyhead.
Also, Weezer somehow released yet another album, but not the one people were expecting. (For those of you counting [because who ISN’T?], this is their 6th album since 2014, with another already completed, but delayed due to COVID. For comparison, Weezer released seven albums from 1994 – 2009.)

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (short look)
What: Normal Spouses
Why: Because I’m not sure I ever saw the last first couple show each other any real public or private affection.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (quick buy)
What: That’s A Long Dog
Why: Because my friend Avery who’s work has appeared in this blog regularly due to a seemingly unlimited well of creativity wrote a new children’s book about, well, a long dog.

FOOD THING OF THE WEEK (15 min prep – 6-8 hour cook)
What: Glo-BOWL-ization
Why: Because if you throw oil, diced onion, garlic, mushrooms, and tomato paste in in a pan on medium heat for a few minutes, stir in a dash of salt, pepper, and essentially whatever spices you have in pantry (I used, in no particular order: cumin, ginger, curry powder, Mexican chili powder, herbs de Provence, poultry seasoning, mustard, hot Hungarian paprika, Italian seasoning, and turmeric [YOU DO YOU]), and then throw that mess and some type of stock (I used chicken), some sort of cream (I used Greek yoghurt and half and half), choice of meat (again, I used chicken), some sort of acid (I used lime juice) and some mushrooms into a crock pot for 6-8 hours, you will get something absolutely delicious. CRAZY. If you want to be “healthy,” throw in some extra veg (I used bell peppers and kale) an hour before time is up so you don’t overcook it. Serve over rice, in a bowl, so the name makes sense. I didn’t include measurements because I didn’t use any – I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to mess this up. Go nuts. Of course, if you do happen to make something awful, please let me know. (Other people’s) cooking disasters are one of  my favorite things to hear about.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: How Not To Talk About Video Games
Why: Because the NY Times hosted an Op-ed that completely misidentified just how fucked up a year this has been, and how video games are one of the few ways kids (and adults!) have gotten to stay in touch with their friends. You can worry about too much screen time once people stop getting killed by COVID.
Also, the new Hitman is very good.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: It’s Jurassic Park But Pee-Wee Instead Of Dinos; STONKS!; Maybe Internet Food Delivery Companies Don’t Need So Much Money After All
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: A Time Machine So I Can Invest My Life’s Savings Into A Dying Video Game Store This Past Summer.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World # 354, January 24, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! So – this is what a week without the worst person in the world screaming at you constantly feels like. “Traitor Ted” is losing a Twitter fight to noted pot head and potter Seth Rogen, Bernie Memes have taken over the world, and I already forgot who all the decent people Joe Biden hired as his staff, such as Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a consummate professional, because they aren’t screeching demon hell-spawn like this or this or this (HAHAHA SHE NEVER GAVE A PRESS CONFERENCE!) or this. It feels… normal. Let’s see how long this levity lasts – I hope a while, because it feels fucking fantastic not waking up to a self-inflicted crisis every single morning. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 hour watch)
What: The Biden Experience
Why: Because this whole proceeding felt as hopeful as possible given that we’re still in the middle of the pandemic, and the traitors still in power are trying their damnedest to pretend that they didn’t try to overthrow the government a few weeks ago.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: WSB Vs. The World
Why: Because the most interesting fight between a whole bunch of small time traders vs. institutional powers is coming to ahead when the Reddit subgroup jumped on the Gamestop stock bandwagon and essentially called a bluff on a massive short-sale on a failing company. If you invested last Wednesday or Thursday (or especially a year ago) because you decided to YOLO and go to the moon, please think of me when you make your millions.

HEALTH THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: A Comprehensive Plan
Why: Because unlike the previous administration, Biden has a comprehensive plan to do something with the vast power afforded to the Federal government.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Time To Go Electric
Why: Because the value of electric cars, especially when including their carbon cost, are a better buy than their gas-powered counterparts.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: RIP To The Greatest
Why: Because the Hammer was the best. Also, go climb a mountain, because fuck the COVID Bowl. And double fuck Tom Brady.

OTHER REST IN… SOMETHING OF THE WEEK (reads)
What: Larry King And Phil Spector
Why: Because a man who was spectacularly unprepared for his job and a murderer who was famous for creating a wall of sound seem to have been given multiple second and third chances that people now would never be afforded, assuming you aren’t a politician who tried to overthrow your government earlier this month.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: In And Of Itself
Why: Because this one man monologue / magic show / ode to human identity is extremely worth watching. Or, if you’d rather turn your brain off, which, hey, I get it, watch the new Godzilla vs. Kong trailer.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3  min. read)
What: Weeeey Heeey Blow The Man Down!
Why: Because sea shanties are back, baby! What a time to be alive.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (quick / long look)
What: I Mean…
Why: Because we have a Black, South Asian, WOMAN as a VP. The historic nature of this multiple-glass-ceiling-shattering fact still hasn’t been lauded and praised enough.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: If Only We’re Brave Enough To Be It
Why: Because you really should read the words Amanda Gorman spoke to us at Biden’s inauguration.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: The Most Presidential Presidents
Why: Because video game presidents are something else. Also, if you’re still wondering what the best games of last year are, Giant Bomb currently has it’s guest top 10 lists up for your reading pleasure. The thing about these lists that make them special is essentially that the site somehow has enough connections to the industry that many of gaming’s top creators, personalities, and assorted voices come together in one place to talk about their favorite games of the previous year. It’s basically the equivalent if there was a movie website that somehow got James Cameron, Brad Pitt, and Hanz Zimmer and their peers to talk about their favorite movies of the year. There is also just some excellent, cathartic writing reflecting on a particularly difficult year – I suggest reading Scott Benson’s, Alex Navarro’s, and Mary Kish’s – but all provide some context to a year when video games helped a hell of a lot of people cope with being inside.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: The Wellerman; More Memes; The Muppets Are Coming Back
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: More Low Key News Weeks! OH MY GOD I FEEL SO LIGHT!
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 353, January 18, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators. Welcome to the new year.

First, a few words by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., written from his cell in Birmingham, Alabama.

I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I created Webtacular World to bring some semblance of “slow news” to the increasing news cycle. I could not, in good conscience, write about what I bore witness to the first week of January due to the spiraling uncertainty of the events that occurred.  It was too raw, and I was too overwhelmed with the fact that supposed “patriots” marched through our government’s hallowed halls bearing symbols of the Confederacy and the Nazis in celebration of their failed leader. I am still furious, but at least I have some additional perspective on the vast failure of American institutions that lead to what I hope will be Trump’s dying crescendo.

On January 6, 2021,  MAGA seditionists, guided by words of the Donald Trump, stormed the Capitol and attempted to overthrow Congress as they were performing their Constitutional duty of affirming the count of the Electoral College votes for the 2020 election of Joseph R. Biden as President-Elect.  

To those of you who were surprised that this could have happened, you really shouldn’t have been –  the undercurrent of American fascism, bellied by American white supremacy, have been apparent throughout America’s history. THIS IS WHO WE ARE.

A short review:

In 1619, before the formation of the United States, white privateers aboard the White Lion and the Treasurer attacked and robbed the San Juan Bautista of its cargo, and brought it to Point Comfort, Virginia. That cargo consisted of 20 or so Black slaves, and were the first slaves traded on present day American soil.

In 1778, the Constitution of the United States was ratified with the following language in Article 1, Section 2 –

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

This clause enshrined the existence of Black slavery within the formation of the United States.

On April 12, 1861, Confederate soldiers fired on Fort Sumter, starting the American Civil War. The war fought by the secessionist South to protect their states’ ability for white people to own Black people.

For a decade following the Civil War, the United States entered a period known as Reconstruction, which attempted to allow newly freed Black Americans the same civic life as their white counterparts.  Reconstruction ended in failure with the Compromise of 1877, where presidential candidate Hayes assured that all Federal troops would be withdrawn from the former Confederacy in exchange for granting him the electoral votes for him to win the presidency.  Without federal support, terror against Black Americans continued.

Following the end of Reconstruction, former Confederate states enacted multiple “Jim Crow Laws,” the colloquial name for a swath of rules and regulations enacted by Southern states for the sole purpose of disenfranchising Black Americans through the use  poll taxes, literacy and comprehension tests, and residency and record keeping requirements.  White people were generally exempt through these requirements through the creation of “grandfather clauses,” which allowed people to vote if their grandparents could.  Through these rules, many Southern states removed Black American participation in the Federal and State electoral process. 

Segregation remained the de-facto policy in the United States from this point until 1964 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the 1965 passage of the Voting Rights Act – 100 years after the conclusion of the Civil War. Interracial marriage was not legal until 1967. Extra-legal, racist-based laws and practices exist to this day (gerrymandering; racist police practices; restriction of voting rights; education; COVID mortality rates; access to loans and debt… really I could go on, but I think [hope] you get the point).

On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.

White, right-wing Americans continued to terrorize Americans of all backgrounds from this period onward.  Between 1994 and the present, right wing terrorism is responsible for a majority of terrorist acts and deaths within the United States, without counting the singular act of religious-based terrorism on 9/11.  This includes incidents at Wacco, the Oklahoma City Bombing, and the vast increase in mass shootings. This especially includes the continued growth in violence perpetrated against Black Americans, and those calling for the end to that violence, by law enforcement.

Jump forward. On January 17, 2017, Trump gave his Inaugural Address. Here are the some of the words I wrote immediately upon reading the content of his depraved words:

DT- “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.”
A political system built around total allegiance to country is fascism, not democracy. Also, patriotism by definition includes a prejudice against people who are not of citizens of a particular country, or, in practice, people who are not perceived to be belonging to a particular country.

DT- “It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.”
I really have no idea what point he is trying to make here. It doesn’t fit within the context of any of the other sentences around it, and, by itself, seems more like a vague threat than anything else.

Overall, this speech once again demonstrates Trump’s complete lack of understanding of the position of the Presidency. I hope that we can continue to keep America great, but this, as with most of the thoughts and actions Trump has taken so far, continues to leave me underwhelmed and uncertain that he is capable of achieving this goal.

On January 13, 2021, Donald Trump was impeached for the second time in his Presidency.

Trump’s idea of patriotism always was the same idea of patriotism that enabled slavery in the United States. Trump will be remembered as the worst President in history for is continuous, abject failures.  Trump’s supporters will go down in history as the same sort of traitors as the Southern seditionists in the Civil War. The law enforcement that was supposed to prevent this from happening are no better than the slave catchers or men who turned hoses on protestors. This is not hyperbole, exaggeration, or euphemism.  The people who enabled Trump all looked at what he had to offer, weighed the options, and decided a fascist, racist man who was responsible for the death of 400,000 Americans and counting due to his mishandling of COVID was the best choice.  They had four years of worthless policies, befriending dictatorships, purposefully splitting up families, destruction of the middle class, selling out the United States all so they could enact tax cuts that the majority of people will never see and place extremist judges who will continue to destroy the fragile fabric of law that the United States is based on to enrich those who already have too much.  Their selfishness and inability to reason brought us to destruction’s doorstep, and it is still to soon to know whether or not they will succeed.

Republicans, and some Democrats, are hellbent on “putting this behind us” or “joining together in unity to heal.” I have no interest in joining with Nazis and Confederates who would destroy the few decent tenants of our country so that they may flourish. They must face justice. There cannot be peace without justice. Americans must not make the same mistake as a nation that were made during Reconstruction. The rot that has always existed in the United States must be excised. Only then can we prove that we have changed as Americans, and can move forward to a better future. This is a start.

On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: January 6, 2021
Why: Because this will hopefully be the end. The use of the BBC article here is purposeful – this is the same nonchalance that American media give to the havoc that occurs half a world away. Here it is as it happened.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: A Real Recovery
Why: Because it is absolutely infuriating to see how much power the current administration refused to use to help people, and how easy it would have been for them to do so.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Supreme Court Of Killers
Why: Because the self identifying Christians on the Supreme Court were complicit in the deaths of thirteen prisoners on death row over the last six months. During this time, the Trump administration executed three times the number of federal prisoners as had been executed in the previous sixty years, and the first federal execution in seventeen years. To say that this is a miscarriage of justice and goes against the plain text meaning of “cruel and unusual” punishment is an understatement.

TECH THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Too Little Too Late
Why: Because although social media companies ultimately made the right decision, there must be a reckoning for what they allowed to happen. Trump was banned from Twitter, and then FacebookParler was “hacked,” and Parler was taken offline

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Fuck Sports, And Fuck Fascists
Why: Because leagues continue to pretend like anyone cares while throwing manbaby tantrums to get traded while exposing people to COVID or being destroyed for our entertainment or using the funds gained from said entertainment to provide funding to House Representative insurrectionists, so we might as well enjoy looking at a house we cannot afford while understanding why it is appropriate to call the January 6 rioters “terrorists.”

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK ( a few hours or something)
What: Choose A Bad Movie And Watch It
Why: Because I spent the weekend doing that, and it helped me ignore the awful in the world for a bit.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: More Concerts From Home
Why: Because I am working from home until September, at least.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (long look)
What: The Attack
Why: Because one of the few benefits of modernity is that we can all see what actually happened.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Fuck Hawley
Why: Because he is a piece of shit human who should be thrown in a hole and forgotten. 

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Foreverever
Why: Because although there are probably bigger stories from last week, sometimes its good to know that some companies are making simple games Like EVERSPACE 2 where you’re just a clone in a spaceship that shoots other spaceships in space.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: State Of Georgia; Fleeing The Death Star; Make Killing Nazis Fun Again
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK
What: 2 More Days.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 352, January 3, 2021

Greetings Webtaculators! We made it to the new year! 2021! The Roarin’ 20s! The 2000s are of legal drinking age! Everything’s going to be great! I mean, even Twitter found and destroyed Bean Dad, a random dude who has some less than stellar parenting advice! Yup – everything’s back to normal. I’ve got a good feeling about this one! On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (long reads / listens)
What: BAD 2021!
Why: Because 2021 went and pulled an even bigger 2020. After a bunch of chucklefucks in Congress decided that maybe states’ electoral votes shouldn’t be counted, Trump went ahead and got caught on tape being all Seditious with a capital “S” by threatening Georgia’s Secretary of State to change the results of Georgia’s election. To top it off, Trump awarded a guy who most likely covered up sexual assault at Ohio State and another guy most famous for losing lawsuits to a fictional cow the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The end to this cannot come soon enough.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Shoulda Bought Bitcoin…
Why: Because a single bitcoin is now worth $33,000.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: 18 U.S. Code § 2384 – Seditious Conspiracy
Why: Because

If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

Also relevant – the term “by force” means using power, violence, or pressure directed against a person or thing. Force is a compulsion by physical means or by legal requirement. Force can be be either actual or implied.

“Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue [Trump’s] false claims” to “find 11,780 votes.” It quacks like a duck.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Strong Breeze Grows To Gale Force
Why: Because the SolarWinds hack (remember that?) is likely even bigger than previously reported.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (not worth reading)
What: Punt The Ball
Why: Because college football continues to be one of the worst things ever created. The Rose Bowl, named for Rose Bowl Stadium, home of the UCLA Bruins, located in Pasadena, California, was played in Texas(?) between a shit Notre Dame team who helped get the game moved and the state school of the least educated state in the nation. Speaking of Texas, that school just hired multi-time failure and drunk Steve Sarkisian as head coach, which is costing the school $25 million just to fire their current coaching staff.

Oh right. More positivity. Let’s see… Steph Curry scored 62 points in a basketball game! Hooray!

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Thunderous Silence
Why: Because Riz Ahmed’s performance in “Sound Of Metal” is by far the best thing about the movie, followed closely by the sound design.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: RIP DOOM
Why: Because MF Doom, the masked rapper who you might not have heard of, but your favorite rapper definitely did, passed away.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. look)
What: A Sad Celebration
Why: Because I spent New Years’ Eve texting with friends as idiots blew up fireworks around my house, coming very close to knocking out the power. Hooray…

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Year In Review
Why: Because COVID changed publishing as much as any business.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (long read)
What: To The Future
Why: Because these are some of the games you’ll be hearing more about as the year goes on.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Meet Our Dancing Robot Overlords – PS I had no idea how fucking terrifying jumping robots were, but now my dreams will be sufficiently haunted forever; Maybe Pexachu Can Save Us; TikTok Might Not Be Terrible?
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN OF THE WEEK BRIAN’S NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
What: My one resolution for this year is more dancing. I think that will fix most things / mean most things are fixed. See you all on the dance floor of the future. Except for the robots. They are not invited to dance with us.
Why: Because Brian deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 351, December 27, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators. I am glad this year is coming to an end. However, there were some things that helped me, which are noted below. Maybe they can help you a bit, too. On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: B.O.N (Bombs Over Nashville)
Why: Because on Christmas day, a massive bomb was purposefully detonated in downtown Nashville, causing zero deaths, but massive damage to the surrounding area and Tennessee’s telecommunications infrastructure. The lack of national comment on this event is insane. Regardless of the bombers’ motives, which at this point are unknown, there has been no presidential statement, no explanation for why a damage to a single building can take down the communications capabilities of an entire state, or any real care by anyone that a major city was bombed on one of the biggest holidays of the year. I do not understand this country.

ALSO – in order to just have on the record what a truly awful human Trump is, here is the growing list of people Trump has pardoned as he continues to fail at his job. This list includes child killers, traitors, embezzlers, and thieves. Fuck him forever.

STORY OF THE YEAR (long looks)
What: COVID / Biden Wins Presidency
Why: Because COVID has shown just how fragile our country is – hopefully Biden can be sworn in before Trump tears the whole thing down.

HELPFUL STORY OF THE YEAR (5 min. read)
What: Marches In Support Of Black Lives
Why: Because millions of Americans throughout cities around the country and the world announced to the world that Black Lives Matter. While it remains to be seen what the outcome of this will be, it is good to know that there is at least some good out there.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Stimulus And Funding
Why: Because after rattling the loudest, flimsiest sabre, Trump finally signed a $900 billion stimulus bill, and the Senate funding bill for the trillions of dollars necessary to keep our country running. Trump gained nothing by delaying, proving yet again he is one of the worst actual dealmakers in history.

In another awful deal, A Brexit Deal was reached by Britain and the EU, but no one seems to have a good understanding of how any of this will play out. Terrific.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE YEAR (long read)
What: Crash
Why: Because we went through the largest financial crash in American history. The outcome destroyed jobs, and made the rich way wealthier. It will be a while before the fallout from COVID can be fully known, but my best guess is that the gap between the haves and the have-nots will continue to widen even further unless drastic changes occur.

HELPFUL ECONOMIC THING OF THE YEAR (0 min. read)
What: I… Uhhh… Got Nothing For You.
Why: Because I spent a decent amount of time trying to find something that would fit here, but came up empty. Sorry. I guess congrats to everyone who has Tesla stock? And enjoy your $600, if you qualify.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Bitch Better Have My Money!
Why: Because Trump sycophants in Texas said they would pay a bounty to anyone who found evidence of voter fraud. John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor and person who looks like he crushes rocks with his forehead for fun, found someone who used his dead mom to vote for Trump. Naturally, he is asking for the bounty.

LAW THING OF THE YEAR (3 min. read)
What: The Remaking Of The Supreme Court
Why: Because Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death allowed a Republican lead Congress fill a seat by a religious zealot during the middle of an election cycle, even though that same Congress had previously said they could not do something like that. Again, unless something drastically changes under Biden, this ensures a very conservative court that mostly follows an extremist interpretation of legal theory that will no doubt impact America for decades if not centuries.

HELPFUL LAW THING OF THE YEAR (3 min. read)
What: Protection Against Sex Discrimination
Why: Because there are still some laws standing to protect those who require it.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (2 min. read)
What: Fusion For The Future
Why: Because scientists basically created a sun on Earth for 20 seconds. Neat.

SCIENCE THING OF THE YEAR (3 min. read)
What: The Vaccine
Why: Because multiple multinational companies, with help from governments around the world, managed to create relatively stable and effective vaccines against COVID in a truly herculean effort. Hopefully there will be continued success in their delivery throughout the world.

HELPFUL SCIENCE THING OF THE YEAR (5 min. read)
What: Pivot To Masks
Why: Because this was the single thing that felt like America actually acted like it how it pretends to be – businesses using their innovation and resources to solve a problem that needs solving, and pitch in to help the greater good.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: The Continued Nonsense Of This Year
Why: Because meaningless records continue to happen, in a year when sports should not be played. The absolute nadir of “lists of accomplishments” I saw was during the Saints / Vikings game, where not only Alvin Kamara scored 6(!) touchdowns, but also the announcers noted that this was the first year in NFL history where a game was played on every day of the week, without mentioning that only happened because one team continuously had to reschedule their Thanksgiving day game to the following Wednesday because half the team had COVID. Great job.

SPORTS THING OF THE YEAR (6 min. read)
What: Sports Cancelled
Why: Because this was the only rational thing sports did, but it didn’t last long.

HELPFUL SPORTS THING OF THE YEAR (4 min. read)
What: Bucks Walk Off
Why: Because the Bucks decision to not play following the shooting of Jacob Blake helped set the tone for just how much needs to change.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (4 hour watch)
What: I Watched 2(!) New Movies Today
Why: Because this was probably the fewest amount of new movies I have watched in a year. Soul made my best of the year list, and Sound of Metal, while good, did not.

MOVIE THING OF THE YEAR (7 min. read)
What: Someone Else’s List
Why: Because I didn’t get a chance to watch all the movies (somehow), but some of those are probably worth watching.

HELPFUL MOVIE THING OF THE YEAR (short read)
What and Why: My List Of Things I Liked Because They Were Kind, In No Particular Order (OK, fine, it’s reverse chronological)
Soul – Up there with Pixar’s bests. The “purpose of life” scene gets me.
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – Somehow Rudy upstaged sticking his hands down his pants in front of a what he thought was a reporter a few weeks later. The fact that even Borat can’t upstage the insanity of Trump and his circle shows just how insane the last four years have been.
Palm Springs – Finding how to live the same day over and over again felt somehow relatable.
Da 5 Bloods – Because making an American Vietnam movie now is something only Spike Lee could do.
Onwards – Because I basically forgot this was released this year, and represents the false belief that I probably shared with most people that everything would get back to normal at some point. How wrong I was.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (1 min. watch)
What: 2020 Must Die
Why: Because 2020 was the worst.

TELEVISION THING OF THE YEAR (6 min. read)
What: Someone Else’s List
Why: Because I didn’t get a chance to watch all the shows (somehow), but some of those are probably worth watching.

HELPFUL TELEVISION THING OF THE YEAR (short read)
What and Why: My List Of Things I Liked Because They Were Kind, In No Particular Order. Also – unlike movies, this is by far the most amount of television I have ever watched in my life. I was not allowed to watch TV during the week growing up, so I never really developed a strong habit of watching shows in the background of doing other things, or get in the habit of following series, in general. Thanks to COVID and streaming, that is no longer the case. Give me more, please.
The Mandalorian – What the prequels and sequels should have been.
The Good Place – Late to the show, glad I caught up.
Ted Lasso – I still don’t get how Jason Sudeikis created a believable nice soccer née American football coach, but he did.
Bojack Horseman – See above re: being late.
How To With John Wilson – The documentary for our times.
Pen15 – Middle school never felt so real.
Better Call Saul – See above re: being late.
The Umbrella Academy – Because family is important, even if they are all adopted mutants trying to stop the world from ending.
The Chef Show – Because Jon Favreau can do no wrong, especially when it involves learning how to cook.
Schitt’s Creek – See above re: being late.
Letterkenny – because 9 seasons of inside jokes with nice Canadian hicks feels like home.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: New Macca
Why: Because Paul McCartney just won’t stop.

MUSIC THING OF THE YEAR (long read)
What: Someone Else’s List
Why: Because I didn’t get a chance to listen, yadda yadda yadda.

HELPFUL MUSIC THING OF THE YEAR (short read)
What and Why: Playing Music. Because I kept playing guitar, learned how to play the drums and am re-teaching myself piano, and it is a soul saving outlet to combine rhythm, tones, and pitch to create something that sounds beautiful, even if it’s only for me.
My List Of Things I Liked Because They Were Kind, In No Particular Order. Also, I am a 20-year-old girl, and that’s OK with me.
Taylor Swift – folklore – This is probably the most played album of the year. Since I am an Apple Music subscriber and do not use Spotify, I didn’t get a “most listened to” thing. If I did, this would undoubtedly be at the top. “Exile” is exactly how sad I need to feel. More National + T-Swift, please.
Phoebe Bridgers – Punisher – I wish I could write as well as she does. “I Know The End” is a journey to a necessary and deserved primal scream.
The Avelanches – We Will Always Love You – This gets back to more of how I first remember them, well aside from their song Frontier Psychiatrist. “The Devine Chord
Fleet Foxes – Shore – because Robin Pecknold’s voice can fill a room, even if its all by itself. “Can I Believe You
HAIM – Women In Music Pt. III –  The sisters’ albums keep getting stronger, and I could not get the b-side “Summer Girl” out of my head, mostly because I am of an age where I associate a certain bass line with A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It” rather than Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side.” I swear that last sentence makes sense.
Run The Jewels – RTJ4 – So I’m not entirely a 20 year old girl. “JU$T
The 1975 – Notes On A Conditional Form – Yes I am. “Me & You Together Song
Soccer Mommy – color theory – “Circle The Drain” is the most 2020 song of 2020 even though COVID wasn’t a thing yet.

ADDITIONALLY, since concerts weren’t a real thing, I spent actual dollars to watch artists perform “live” from my TV. The best of these were Fleet Foxes’ A Very Lonely Solstice; Foo Fighters’ Sweet Relief; Taylor Swift’s folklore Session; and Pheobe Bridgers’ Red Rocks and Tiny Desk.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK / YEAR (long look)
What: 2020, A Review
Why: Because 2020 showed just how many problems the world still has.

LITERATURE THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: New Year, New Books
Why: Because the books must be read

LITERATURE THING OF THE YEAR (4 min. read)
What: The Books Of Disaster
Why: Because there have been way too many books surrounding the Trump presidency that are too important, but also that I have no interest in, since I don’t know how much additional evidence is necessary to describe just how awful he has been.

HOPEFUL LITURATURE THING OF THE YEAR (4 min. read)
What: A Promise
Why: Because Obama’s memoir should provide a blueprint for the quality of person we should demand for all future presidents.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (4 min. read)
What: Still Broken, Still Good
Why: Because Cyberpunk 2077 is a great representation for all the the things great and awful about video games as a medium.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE YEAR (7 min. watch)
What: Someone Else’s List
Why: YADA

HELPFUL VIDEO GAME THING OF THE YEAR (short read)
What and Why: My List Of Things I Liked Because They Were Kind, In No Particular Order. Holy shit did I play way too many hours of video games this year. Unlike Apple, Nintendo was kind enough to send me a detailed breakdown of the total number of hours I played. In the interest of not totally embarrassing myself, I will not share this number with you, since it represents just a fraction of the total amount of games I played across multiple systems. HOWEVER! I was not responsible for most of them – that would go to my wife’s just-shy-of 150 hours spent on Animal Crossing, which coincided with her time off due pregnancy. Video games provided a much needed escape from everything else going on, and let me stay connected to friends and the zeitgeist while we all at home.
Black Mesa – revisiting a rebuilt Half-Life showed just how great the original game was.
Half Life: Alyx – One of the best VR games out there.
Desperados III – Being a group of assassin cowboys is fun.
Ghosts of Tsushima – Being a ninja assassin is fun.
FUSER – Aspiring mashup DJ, at your service.
Wasteland 3 – A worthy successor to isometric RPGs like Fallout.
Microsoft Flight Simulator – Flying around the world is fun.
Cyberpunk 2077 – broken fun.
Hades – A roguelike with a purpose.
The Remakes – Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, Resident Evil 3, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Demon’s Souls, Super Mario 3-D All Stars – each of these, whether getting a new coat of paint or entirely reimagined, were excellent.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: There has been enough Internet for a lifetime this year.
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET EVERYONE OF THE WEEK
What: A Happy New Year
Why: Because everyone deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™

Webtacular World Issue # 350, December 21, 2020

Greetings Webtaculators – sorry for the delay. Yesterday was my 36th birthday, or as I like to call it, my double 18th, so I was too busy spending the day cooking delicious food for myself to pay attention to the goings on in the world. I have some extra revelations to share now that I have complete my second set of eighteen years around the sun.

Eighteen years seems like a good marker for a human life. The average human gets just over four of them. Eighteen years represent enough time where a lot can change, but also not enough so that you can’t easily identify the similarities between those timeframes. It’s not too long, like, let’s say, thirty years, where differences may make someone unrecognizable. If you were to put a me from my 18th birthday to next to me now, there would be a clear line of understandable development, whereas if you stick newborn me next to current me, you’d probably say something like “what travesty happened to that adorable baby?”

Eighteen years signifies the start of adulthood in modern American culture – you can vote, buy porn, get tattoos, sign loans, get drafted into the army, get thrown in real jail… you know, all the adult things. But it’s also sort of a limbo time – you can’t be President, rent a car, legally smoke or drink, and you can still be declared dependent for tax and health care purposes. You also aren’t really expected to be an adult by societal standards at that point either – many people are still in school. You are not expected to be married or have children. You still have some leeway to make mistakes without fully upending your life.

Double eighteen is a different story. I am expected to have my shit generally together – and, on paper, I seem to. I have a wife and a child, a career, mortgage, and a car loan, grey in my beard and a receding hairline, a collection of hobbies, and a terrible coffee habit supported by a way too expensive coffee grinder. I am much more “adult” than I was when I first became one. I also no longer have the same amount of “infinite possibilities” that I did after the first eighteen. I have made a series of decisions, both on purpose and not, that have led to who I am at this point. The questions that once unknown answers (where I lived, what I was going to do, who I was going to be with) have now been answered. I am more or less on my path, and and I get to spend the next part of my life seeing where that ends up.

At the same time, I still have a strong connection to that eighteen-year-old version of myself. I can directly trace the beginning of many of my convictions, the emergence of a more social self, and a full embrace of a lacking patience for doing things conventionally, especially if those conventions were self determined to be a waste of time (sorry to anyone who has had to deal with this). In other words, I still feel identifiably “me,” although I don’t know for how much longer. My convictions probably won’t change, but I know my social meter gets drained much faster than it used to, and I also find it utterly exhausting to push back against systems that I may or may not disagree with. I imagine some of that self identification will change by the time my third 18th rolls around, but I don’t really know what that entails. Hopefully, I can let you all know when I get there.

On to the news.

STORY OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Some Relief
Why: Because Congress is finally giving people something – $600 dollars to be exact. Yes, the specifics mean some people will be getting more help, but a $600 one time payout is basically an insult. $600 is not enough money to come close to the amount of economic harm that has been caused by the US’ specific inability to treat COVID like a real thing. McConnell and the rest of the Republicans have purposefully done as little as possible to help people. America remains broken.

ECONOMIC THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Less Than A Trickle
Why: Because the one of the dumbest economic theories that continues to be put into practice (see above) is proven not to work. Giving wealthy people more money is not the answer.

LAW THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. read)
What: Bye Barr
Why: Because the worst AG in history decided he wants to try to flee the sinking ship again. The amount of damage he has accumulatively caused to the rule of law in the United States cannot be overstated.

SCIENCE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Cosmic Harmony
Why: Because Saturn and Jupiter will be crossing the same visual plane tonight. This only happens every 20 years, and this time around they will look especially close together. Space is neat.

SPORTS THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. reads)
What: Necessary Changes
Why: Because the Cleveland Baseball Team is also getting rid of its racist name. Also, the MLB is finally recognizing the Negro Leagues as major league baseball.

MOVIE THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. reads)
What: Fun At Home
Why: Because Wonder Woman and Soul are two capital M MOVIES that will be coming straight to your nearest streaming services.

TELEVISION THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. read)
What: Redemption
Why: Because The Mandalorian is the best Star Wars made in my lifetime. I highly suggest watching Gallery, which demonstrates just how much care and thought the creators put into this show.

MUSIC THING OF THE WEEK (5 min. watch)
What: As You’ve Never Seen Them
Why: Because Peter Jackson is teasing footage from his newest Beatles movie.

PHOTOGRAPHY THING OF THE WEEK (3 min. look)
What: SPAAAACE
Why: Because planets.

POST OFFICE THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Letters To Santa
Why: Because the sports blog that refuses to write about sports has one of the most soul crushing reads about how this year has impacted people as told from their letters to the North Pole.

VIDEO GAME THING OF THE WEEK (6 min. read)
What: Playing With Kindness
Why: Because Shigeru Miyomoto, creator of things like Mario, Zelda, and Donkey Kong, has only wants one thing from games – a nicer world.

INTERNET THINGS OF THE WEEK (∞)
What: Hanukkah With Haim; Blobpera; COVID From The Future, Part 4
Why: Because Internet.

THING YOU SHOULD GET BRIAN AMERICA OF THE WEEK
What: $600 is not enough. Americans should not be punished for their leaders’ failure to act. Although I have been financially impacted due to furloughs and pay cuts this year, my family and I are still OK. That is why I will be donating whatever stimulus funds I end up getting back to Americans actually in need. I highly suggest you do the same, if you can afford to. If you need help, please reach out. The only way we can get through this is by helping each other.
Why: Because Brian Americans deserves it.

Webtacularly yours,
Brian
Managing Editor, Webtacular World
The Internet You Didn’t Know You Needed™