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This started as a text file of randomness I encountered or stumbled into throughout the month, slathered with old ideas I would rather die but don’t and honed like a butter knife usually in the last day of the month to be delivered to you. Sorry.

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I’ve written basically nothing except for Top10-May202, but you know its…

But there is something I wrote ages ago Bandcamp for Books which due to the magic of the Internet, some guy in Berlin found and wanted to talk to me about. I tried to kill this idea by writing about it, and the Internet just won’t let things die. So it’s like I wrote something else this month because someone actually read something I wrote. Sort of.

Eurovision graced the right side of the Atlantic again this year. Like every year, the camp, misplaced and arbitrary nationalism spiked with petty frustration filled the household. All you need to know about it is that Italy was robbed, only getting I think seventh with the super catchy, apparently cumbia-inspired (queue rabbit hole on Columbian genre) absolute banger “La Noia.” Greece should have taken second with another non-English (trend I fully back) track which was a very respectable melange of what could be a reggaeton beat smashed into some heavy eastern Med Greco-Turco-Arabesque melody and even hands up Balkan dance style. If you have no idea what Eurovision is, there is no proper explanation because Europe is like every other place, absurd in its own special way, and decided a continent-wide music contest could replace the battlefield with the stage. But politics is always present from Israel being booed and protested to the UK getting no points.

In other, more important, European news, the German Left Party has proposed a cap on kebab prices.

Hıdırellez, you know the spring tradition of Turkey sorts of related places, came and went and I forgot to write a wish on a note and tie it to a flower or tree or something, which may or may not spell doom. I’m not sure. But if tradition gives you the option to jump over fire instead of the flower thing, it just seems like you shouldn’t bother.

I took my kid to a Pokémon tournament which was one of the weirder moments of my life.

Quote of the month

“I think I’ve started viewing the world via your newsletter”

London, You’ve Been Warned

I will be in the Old Smoke the third week of June. Pints? Pints! Come one, come all.


Place as Revenge

What the Suburb Haters Don’t Understand and what everyone from anywhere termed “flyover” will hopefully not try to be ironic about.

My soft spot for Olive Garden’s huge portions of mediocre fettuccine alfredo is just the vessel for the things I actually value: the feeling of belonging to a place and its people, the comforts of accumulated memories that adhere to spaces.

If you’re really into this nebulous idea of place and meaning, which for me means a failed start at a PhD, then you’re also a huge fan of spite houses, or what I like to categorise more broadly as Fuck You Placemaking. Some people create houses of worship to withstand centuries to be filled with joy and the betterment of the human soul, and other people see place as yet another opportunity to be a prick, but can do so in hilarious ways like these people:

In July of last year, the City of Seaside sent a letter to Etienne Constable, a resident, giving him notice that the boat parked in the side lot of his house was in violation of city code. It had been there for years without complaints, but since the city ramped up its code enforcement over the past few years, it suddenly became a problem for him.
So Constable turned it into an opportunity—he built a 6-foot fence to comply, and came up with the idea to paint over the newly built fence in front of his boat that would look exactly like the boat and surrounding plants.

But public space is a thing that our tech overlords are all too willing to sacrifice like Isaac on the altar to Milton Friedman, their misreading of Adam Smith and just plain lack of foresight paired with greed. So benches. They’re there and we don’t sit on them enough, sure as hell not without looking at our damn phones. In any case, this is the best damn thing you’ll read about benches today for sure.

Things never work and yet we muddle on

There was snow somehow this beginning of may here on the sunny side of the Alps. More snow than in March even, because you know, things are messed. But you can no longer count on snow coming, or coming when it’s supposed to, and as someone who ostensibly half comes from an alpine culture and has been doing sports in snow since they could walk, it’s more than disheartening. Sure there is the hopelessness and desperate techno-solutions which you can read about in this missive subtitled “Pointless elitism, or an urgent dress rehearsal for the climate crisis?” Sure, there is even a socialist case for skiing, but it’s just sort of shrugging and slumping into the end of snow and not a whole lot of actual solutions and more and more white lines snaking down brown hills.

If there’s one thing that’s totally trending, it’s Tenochtitlan, now known as Mexico City and the former capital of the Mexica, AKA the Aztecs. They didn’t have doors I read. There was allegedly no reason to steal (which wasn’t elaborated on) but more importantly, they could build the biggest city on earth at the time, but couldn’t make hinges (fact check this someone, I couldn’t find anything). Well makes sense in that they didn’t use metal tools really. What does this have to do with the modern Mexican appreciation, some write obsession with death, religious syncretism and Interpol’s music besides the singer living half his life there? I don’t know. But they didn’t have hinges. WTF.

This reminds me of the latest, and quite good actually, output of the Star Wars universe/franchise, The Mandalorian which I finally saw. Baby Yoda! Otherwise, the technology makes no sense, which I love. They have things all over the place that levitate somehow, but still have to ride animals. Half of everything is old and broken, but then they can warp drive through galaxies, yet their user interfaces were 80’s video games.

But you know tech won’t save us and we won’t save us either probably. It takes a lot of hubris to think that whatever technology we’re developing right now is the thing that will change the world for all time. With that in mind, shall we revisit Alex Balk’s Three Laws of the internet:

  1. Everything you hate about the internet is actually everything you hate about people.
  2. The worst thing is knowing what everyone thinks about anything.
  3. If you think the internet is terrible now, just wait a while.

Apropos of nothing

There are many socially useful and very cruel skills we learn without knowing it. We learn to pretend to not see that one guy you used to hang out with but is so past due getting in contact with that you can’t bear the thought. We learn to mumble appreciation whilst eating someone else’s grisly cooking. We nod every now and again in the same direction at the speaker we would rather was a wizard that would cast a spell to transport everyone to the future and right to the pub. But one of the best skills I think is the skill of yawning without opening your mouth.

Otherwise, I should have been a historian I think

Look at these fun, local, ancient transcriptions of the now long dead Noric language.

The Ptuj inscription, discovered in 1894, is written right to left in a northern Italic alphabet and reads:



This is interpreted as two personal names: Artebudz [son] of Brogduos. The name Artebudz may mean “bear penis” (compare Welsh arth “bear” and Irish bod “penis”), while Brogduos may contain the element brog-, mrog- “country” (compare Welsh bro “region, country”). Alternatively, the inscription may be interpreted as Artebudz [made this] for Brogdos, with the second name in the dative case.

When Do We Stop Finding New Music you ask?

This study identifies 33 as the tipping point for sonic stagnation, an age where artistic taste calcifies, increasingly deviating from contemporary works. But wait, there’s more. Spotify data indicates that parents stray from the mainstream at an accelerated rate compared to empty nesters—a sort of “parent tax” on one’s cultural relevancy.


There is not much else I can give you of any value, save for what we can glean from the wisdom of Iron Maiden. So abandon ye your bullshit middle class faux stoicism and turn back instead to the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and the sage words of Adrian Smith (and not that Leaver malcontent Bruce Dickinson).

So understand

Don’t waste your time always searching for those wasted years

Face up, make your stand

Realize you’re living in the golden years

So that’s it. I tried. So should you. Ride. Shoot straight. Speak the truth. See you next month.