What About Pillowfort?

Pillowfort was conceived, whatever else they say, as a tumblr knockoff that was supposed to be distinguished by having effective blocking to prevent people from having to catch nazi URLs on their dash every day.  They finally opened the gates – you don’t need an invite to get a Pillowfort account now.

But who’s using this?  Let alone the thing which it was meant to replace.  Tumblr has withered on the vine.  It’s still my only social media because sweet hell FB and Twitter are you kidding?  But there’s literally one tenth the traffic on my dash that there used to be.  Everyone is off to Instagram or Pinterest or who knows.

I tried to find something to follow on Pillowfort and it’s been a total waste of time so far.  Good for the tumblr sex worker accounts to have a new platform I guess, but that’s not what I’m on social media for.  Where are people hanging out now?  What’s happenin’ with the kids these days?

Quickie Thoughts on Recent CW

I have a few thoughts on recent happenings on the CW, like, CBS/Warner Television, not Content Warning, though usually my reviews include some of those.  I just don’t have the time to do it up like I used to in Media Reviews, so this is going to be real brief.

Legends of Tomorrow:  Has been renewed, will have its new season sometime this year.  I feel like it should have ended in 2020.  Of the CW slate getting crippled by COVID, they did the best job of having a satisfying season.  In fact,  I feel it was their best season ever, and ended with a cliffhanger one could easily write off without ever seeing the conclusion to (something out of a Big Lebowski daydream).  I have a lot more specific thoughts about Legends if anyone’s curious in the comments, but I’ll leave it off with this for the post: It’s nice the remaining cast members have a job, but artistically speaking last season should have been the end of it.  I’ll be very impressed if the show proves me wrong.

Black Lightning and Supergirl are cancelled:  But they have one more season left, here in 2021.  Black Lightning in 2020 had the second best season of the CW shows I watched, and had far and away the best “Crisis on Infinite Earths” tie-in episode.  Actually, if you take superheroes seriously, it was far better than Legends.  I don’t, so I preferred the lighthearted show.  But the drama and intrigue of superhumans on Black Lightning?  Better than anything on the CW slate.  Plus whoever did fashion design for the show should get more gigs in a hurry – they’re great.  2021 will see an episode of BL serving as a “soft pilot” for a Painkiller spinoff series.  I doubt it will get picked up, but the guy playing Khalil is a very worthy action hero.  He’s hella built, has sick moves, and is a good actor.  I hope he gets movies.  Everyone else is great too, honestly, from “ABC After-school Special” Mom to “Jean Grey with Self Esteem” daughter.  Good luck in your careers.

Meanwhile Supergirl was one of the shows hard hit by COVID (Flash and Arrow were the worst).  Did they finish their plot arc last season?  I don’t even remember by now.  The X-Files’s Mitch “Sexy Bald Daddy Type” Pileggi and Cara “Appears in IMDb on a Movie with Yours Truly Great American Satan” Buono were going to exterminate humanity or something?  Jesse Rath, who plays Brainiac on the show, has done some great work there.  Again, I hope he gets some good jobs after the show is gone.

As for the rest of the show, really, everybody did as good a job as they could, given how cutthroat and difficult TV is, and I’m sorry to see them shitcanned.  In the awkward lurching foolery of the show you could sense behind-the-scenes problems were on display.  It’s especially a shame that Superman is coming to the CW exactly as Supergirl is cancelled, sending the message that “nobody wants woman-centered entertainment, men sell.”  C’est lavie.

The show was ridiculous, but they tried.  Katie McGrath was Queen of the World as Lena Luthor, but in movies she’s just a babysitter that gets triple-murdered by dinosaurs.  It’s a fuckin’ shame.  Supergirl’s human sister played by Chyler Leigh was a fun character for me.  She drinks embarrassing quantities of wine and lesbian processes like a big dog.

Goodbye, ladies.  It really was nice knowing you.

Spoiler Warning  for Something that aired a Year Ago, who cares?

Stephen Amell’s sendoff in Arrow was fucking hilarious.  He was fighting a bunch of 1-HP ghosts until they “got him” somehow, leaving him with barbecue sauce on his face and just enough life to say goodbye to all his homies.  Then he was undead for a minute and went to heaven with his wife.  The end.  He did a good job on that show, but TV is a mess.  As show creators, unless you know for a fact you have a set limited run, you’re just incredibly unlikely to make a satisfying story arc for a series.  Meanwhile Flash just literally could not finish their season at all.  Big mess.

There’s artistic intentions in these shows, but they are quickly lost in the business of making them happen.  But effort is made, and I do enjoy watching the little successes and failures of individual episodes and seasons.  I feel this is a case of “no ethical consumption under late capitalism” because you know these actors are paid shit and thrown away at a moment’s notice, and 99% of people on the other side of the camera are even more disposable and exploited.  All entertainment industries are rotten as hell.

The good news:  You want content that centers indigenous people?  You miss Cleverman?  I don’t know if it’s being aired on CW or just on their streaming service, but there’s a Canadian show called Trickster that’s looking pretty good two episodes in.  (Actually the whole first season is probably available from the Canadian source in some way.)  My fave character is the MC’s mom played by Crystle Lightning.  She’s an adorable fucked up badass.  I also like the show’s treatment of alcoholism and drug use as just part of everyday life, sad but inevitable.  It doesn’t waste time with all the usual shit and feels more like real life, if maybe a bit fantastic in some ways.  I don’t know how y’all feel about shows playing with the line between being schizophrenic and being a shaman, so tread carefully if that’s a problem for you.

Also, BATWOMAN.  If you’re up on superhero TV, this is probably the one you were wondering about.  The premiere season was OK, had some plus and minus.  The constrained cast and generally depauperate universe gave the impression of a very limited budget, the show has the same fashy ideas about crime control that Arrow had, but…  The actress playing Batwoman literally quit!  The villains and side characters and story were all tied to her, they’d have to recast or cancel, right?  Maybe make some excuse why her face is different, like surgery from getting blown up?

No!  They decided to let the character get mysteriously disappeared and have a new lady take up the batmantle.  The decision seems absurd and you’ve probably seen people hating on it, but one episode in, I can say – it’s looking good!  She’s good.  Particularly if you feel the sting of Black Lightning’s black lesbian superhero being lost to cancellation, pick this one up.  I have no doubt she’s going to do this well.  She jokes, she brawls, she has her dramatic feels.  I’ll be interested to see how she does when she has a chance to do romance.

That’s about all for now.  Not as brief as I expected, but far from a comprehensive look at the shows themselves or my full thoughts on them.  Discuss in the comments, if you like or have questions.

Paymon – Gotta Catch ’em All

The famous Paymon, who recently had their day in the movie Hereditary.  There is an abbreviation in this I cannot fathom.  I might have a clue for you culled from the same part of the description of the same demon in another source, but first the Geomanticarum:

Notandum est quod si memoratus Paymon si solus venerit ut vocatus fuerit (wtf?) libanum seu sacrificium : ut si coactus fuerit : semper cum eo duo magni reges veniunt scilicet Belial, et Basaam, et reges alii magni atque potentes : 25. legiones semper cum eo incircuiti eius sunt : quam spiritus qui ex eis erunt non semper cum illo pergunt, nisi virtute divina cogantur :-

Anyway, same part of the same demon’s description in Johann Weyer’s Pseudomonarchia Daemonum:

Notandum adhæc, si Paymon solus fuerit citatus per aliquam libationem aut sacrificium, duo reges magni comitantur, scilicet Bebal & Abalam, & alii potentes. In hujus exercitu sunt vigintiquinque legiones: Quia spiritus his subjecti, non semper ipsis adsunt, nisi ut appareant, divina virtute compellantur.

Which esotericarchives.com also includes an English translation of:

Note that if Paimon be cited alone by an offering or sacrifice, two kings followe him; to wit, Beball & Abalam, & other potentates: in his host are twentie five legions, bicause the spirits subject to them are not alwaies with them, except they be compelled to appeere by divine vertue.

I’m going to just disappeere nowe, and sleepe forevere alwaies.  It’s just a sad sleepy kind of weekend.

A Love Life – Emotional Bookkeeping

Randomly meeting people from your past, people that you had some kind of big feelings about, there’s a tendency to see that as significant, a chance to rekindle something or make up for whatever.  That is a mistake.  It means nothing.  I’ve randomly come across people I loved several times in my life.  In a region with millions of people, up to a hundred miles afield of where you met them, it feels unlikely.

But how unlikely is it?  I only knew those people in the first place because we have lives that are similar in some way or another.  The same forces that sent me down certain paths would send them down similar.  For example, I have always been a poor child of neglect, so I never could afford a car and never learned to drive one when I was young.  A boy I knew had those things in common with me, we’ve randomly crossed paths at bus stations.  I always romanticized gothy weirdos, I ended up dating one again, and while out on those dates at some obscure gothy movies, I randomly ran into the first goth girl I crushed on.

Not all that unexpected, but it felt shocking or significant to me anyways.  And years after those moments happened, I find myself thinking about them in the middle of the night when I should be going to sleep.

These things hang in the mind – loves lost.  Romance says love is big and important, that it should never be forgotten, and programmed with that shit, I will never forget these people.  But not being able to let a love die out completely, that leads people to all sorts of terrible crimes.  It’s a failing of our sometimes hard-earned emotional maturity.  Every relationship I’ve had was bad on some level, but they taught me lessons that made the ones that follow better, until I got with my current guy fifteen years ago.  We’re good – our travails aren’t because of flaws in our relationship, just global misfortune.  So I’d like to be able to kick the others out of my heart.

I’m just going to put some thoughts into writing and see if it helps exorcise them from my head.  I’ve heard PTSD is associated with sense memory, and that turning traumatic experiences into verbal memory weakens their power.  Then again, repetition of a verbal idea can turn it into a mantra, give it a type of reality that is hard to shake.  What’s the best way to go about this?  Exorcism feels right.  I continue.

The first person I ever confessed my love to was a boy.  I was deep in the thrall of homophobia at that time, and so I assumed that my surprising uncontrolled outburst was platonic in nature.  Looking back, nuh, I’m a fucking jackass.  I recall telling that boy he was good looking more than once as well.  I’m not sure how I missed myself on that whole situation.  What’s worse is that as time went by I had two more random encounters and a phone call from him that would have been good opportunities to find out if we could be lovers.  During the first random encounter there were pretty heavy hints he was into dudes but I was still waxing homophobic.  Some time after that, the phone call was a confession of love from him, and I was feeling so remote from our childhood at that time, chasing ladies like Don Quixote, and said some bullshit about how time faded my feelings.

No, of course time didn’t fade my feelings, or I wouldn’t be writing this.  It might have felt true while I was on the phone, but from where I sit now I can’t help but think my life could have been profoundly different if I’d had my shit right in that moment.  He joined the navy after that.  The more recent time I met him, he was in functional alcoholic mode working toward cirrhosis and there were no pictures of cocks on his wall.  I can’t help but wonder if I sent him that direction.  A morbid form of self-aggrandizement, or self-awareness?  I just think about my relationship with him and it haunts me like a motherfucker.  Did I fuck up somebody’s life?  He was always a very dark person emotionally – too dark for me, we probably would have been a bad match.  But again, could I have done something about that?  It’s disturbing.

I objectified women.  On one level, there’s the obvious aspect of that – sexual commodification.  I felt like they were something to be chosen from, something to be had.  Their inner lives as humans had no emotional reality for me.  What made that hard to see was that on a rational, conscious level, I didn’t feel like that at all.  I was well aware that they are real humans with their own rights and prerogatives and such.  But in my heart I didn’t feel it, and I didn’t notice that about myself.

So there was this that goth girl I used to love.  I spent a lot of hours of my life courting her, talking to her, going in circles around her.  I heard about her interests but I didn’t partake of them, didn’t come to understand them.  Why not?  Years later while courting another goth I finally, very belatedly, got into Twin Peaks and The Cure and such.  Then it clicked.  When I was lavishing attention on that young lady, she thought I was paying real attention to her.  I thought I was too, but it was utterly superficial.

What that looks like:  I can see that she likes Twin Peaks and The Cure and Crispin Glover’s weird art shit, I can see that she has razor blades in her purse for art reasons, but this is all just details of her appearance – like her velvet coat or her patent leather shoes.  If I’d wanted to genuinely understand her mind, I’d have bothered to look into that art, see what it is she likes about it.  I thought I wanted her body and soul, but I was utterly blind to the reality of women’s souls.  Fucking bizarre, in retrospect.

So she thought I could be a close friend, when I had a huge barrier to ever achieving that, and I wanted quite badly for her to be my lover.  She couldn’t love me physically and I couldn’t *genuinely* love her mentally, so we wasted each other’s time for years.  And that was mostly my fault, my pursuit.

Much later, I saw her in movie theaters, Jan Svankmajer and Kiyoshi Kurosawa movies.  I came in with my date in a timely fashion, she had a seat saved for her by a friend and came in at the last minute.  Both times, she ended up one row in front of me and a few seats to the right.  Weird coincidence, that.  But it means nothing.  Any excuses my rational mind comes up with for reaching out to her are just sublimated vestiges of that romance that never dies, some ludicrous fantasy that there could be a relationship there, where there was never anything but bullshit in the first place.

I don’t want that.  I don’t want relationships with either of these people.  Even if I tried to be friends with them, my past would fuck that up.  I want them to be well and I want their lives to go well.  And I want myself to be well and my life to go well – and my best relationship ever to continue for the rest of my life, as it likely will.  But Romance.  You’re not allowed to forget, just like you’re not allowed to forget any given moment of embarrassment from ages three to thirty.

Thank Fuck the Rich are Cowards

See Marcus’s post about Caesar for an example of what courage looks like.  Courage is a virtue, in the sense that “virtue” originally meant manly qualities, and while it can sometimes be good, it can also be decidedly evil.  From the time those American nazis entered the Capitol Building, all it would take to snuff out the already miserable vestiges of US democracy would be a rich person exercising evil courage.

I say a rich person rather than a politician because they’re the ones with all the levers.  If a Koch grew a pair and took a risk, they could grab Trump’s ear, tell him all the right things to say, grease the right palms, pull the right levers.  Trump has very little control over his messaging because he’s an impulsive dipshit with a paper-thin concept of reality.  But if the right rich person sidled up like the serpent and told him what he had to gain from following a script?  He could be far more dangerous than he is now.  He could actually be effective, instead of just being a half-assed stochastic terrorist.

But late capitalism is all about playing it safe.  Don’t take risks, even the bare minimum ones necessary to maintain control.  Just keep ratfucking everyone in sight and hide when you get spotted.  Cowardice.  They know they own Biden, that he’s the safety, the security, so while they’ll boost the Trumpism that lets them run riot over the natural resources and slaughter-me sheep of red states, they won’t help keep Trump himself in power.

Nothing good will come of today, but the worst case scenario will not either, and for that I’d like to thank our country’s rich for being more Antoinette than Machiavelli.  Stay down, cowards.