Issue 1: The Loneliest Number
Words Under the Title
1. Confirmed Positive
After two years of running from reality, it has finally happened for my family. I have tested positive for SARS Coronavirus-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. For this honor, I would like to thank our society’s collective tiring of virus mitigation. It truly takes a village. —BH
This week we are celebrating family birthdays and child graduations (Barry will probably be missing his eldest’s graduation party 😭). Life has taken over and said, hey, maybe don’t plan on getting too much done this week. Shawn is working on the next issue of his zine, Neophyte, while Barry has been working on his personal website to a concerningly addictive degree. We also wrote this newsletter, which has quickly become our favorite tool for procrastination!
We both watched the new Marvel movie, each having less-than-amazed reactions. It led to these deeply-considered texts:
“It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad, multiverse.”
“You went to see a movie? Which one? The sloppy one or the good one that everyone’s talking about?”
“I saw the one that seemed like a TV show for much of it, but had some interesting parts.”
“Ah, I think that’s the one I saw too. You mean the one where the guy from ███ ██████ showed up in a Halloween suit?”
“The one where we all waited till the credits were over just to see a gag joke with ████ ███ ███ ██████?”
“Well, that one actually made sense.”
“What is sense in a multiverse?”
3. Daddy Issues
In the same week, Mr. Duckworth also released a jaw-dropping, mesmerizing music video for a new single titled The Heart Part 5. While looking through the credits I noticed the names of Matt Stone and Trey Parker––creators of South Park and actors of the sports comedy film, BASEketball which I have not seen and don’t plan to see [I went to see it in the theatre, bro. —BH].
Apparently Stone & Parker created a “deepfake studio” named Deep Voodoo. Why would they do such a thing? In an interview with The New York Times, Matt Stone said, “Before the big scary thing of coronavirus showed up, everyone was so afraid of deepfakes. We just wanted to make fun of it because it makes it less scary.”
I don’t know. Seeing Kendrick morph into OJ kind of freaked me out. —SL
4. Losing It Didn’t Mean Winning
This is the best essay I’ve read this year, and I’ve read it three times and it gets better each time. In my latest read, I highlighted this sentence:
And the only thing on my mind was merging, body and soul, with the first cheeseburger that passed by.
That’s the first time I’ve heard of anyone trying to merge, body and soul, with a food item, and it delighted me so much I wanted to lick that sentence. —SL
5. The Comeback Kids
As a teen in the 90s I loved all the off-beat comedy stuff. I found my tribe gathering around Monty Python and SCTV. Episodes and movies could be found on old VHS tapes (my best friend’s mom had a particularly good Python collection). Some could be found via reruns on late-night television. With that background, it was the perfect time for me to catch bits and pieces of The Kids in the Hall right as it was coming out.
My family didn’t have cable TV at my house, and we certainly didn’t have Home Box Office, but I was still able to catch some episodes while hanging out with friends. In the 2000s I think I watched most of the series on borrowed DVDs or streaming services. It really is great!
Imagine my surprise when I heard that The Kids were coming back for a new season. I mean at this point who is surprised by a comeback? Maybe I wasn’t surprised, but at the very least I was bemused. I’m two episodes in to the new bemusement. The first episode was okay, but the second episode really hit all the notes. Well, it hit all the notes if your notes are sketches like “The Last Gloryhole” and a sketch about the little known obstetrician “drop average” stats. —BH
6. We Believe
The Golden State Warriors have made it to the NBA Conference Finals. One of us is very happy. The other is just so excited for former Timberwolf Andrew Wiggins to get one step closer to a title. Most basketball “experts” are picking the Mavs to win this series and whoever comes out of the East (Celtics, they predict) to win the NBA Championship. We shall see. —SL
7. See You NeXT Time
This NeXT Computer was used by Sir Tim Berners-Lee at CERN. It became the world's first Web server.
Little known fact: My dorm-room computer during sophomore year of college was a NeXT workstation with a black & white monitor. It used a modem for the internet connection. I borrowed it from my brother, who owned a couple of the computers. It was a wonderful machine and certainly looked less used than TBL’s above.
I gave it back to my brother at some point and he gave it back to me at some point. Neither of us could get up the courage to simply recycle the thing. So it sat in my basement for ten years, even surviving a couple mild floods. A few years ago I brought it out of the depths and turned it on. I was greeted with a login prompt and a non-functional ‘e’ key, making “bjhess” a challenge. A few weeks later I brought the whole works to Best Buy for recycling. My stomach still churns when typing that. —BH