Thoroughly Thursday - the "No News is Good News" Edition

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Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the Father's Day Edition. A couple of times in the last few years, I have tried to scale back my weekly news absorption. I used to be proud of my knowledge of obscure, current events, like the current difficulties of eradicating polio in Pakistan, because villagers think inoculations are a form of witchcraft (apparently some Americans do too). For months, I'd continuously refresh my feed so I could be "caught up" on whatever was happening in the world. However, the current era of internet (and real life) trolls made the constant barrage of news feel like gulping down expired diet shakes every day, in that it just made me feel sick to my stomach and gassy much of the time. So a few weeks ago, I decided to go cold-turkey from the news. I deleted my news apps, stopped playing political podcasts, and have avoided chatting about current events on social media. After two weeks, I can honestly say it's been amazing. Instead of feeling like I'm witnessing the most prolonged elementary school playground stand-off in the history of the world, I'm chatting with my neighbors, playing board games, and walking my dog (who is pretty cool when he isn't chasing skunks). I’m beginning to think the Amish might be onto something. Guder Daag!

What I'm Reading - The Coolest Antisocial Cyborg with TV Addiction You'll Ever Meet
Last week, TT-friend Harmon suggested I check out the novella All Systems Red by Martha Wells. I've been taking a bit of a hiatus from sci-fi books in recent months (mostly because it would be the only thing I read if I didn't), but this one was great. In a distant future, a nameless cyborg wiles away the hours watching telenovelas when not protecting the humans with whom it is forced to cohabitate. When a rival group attempts to kill its charges, the cyborg has to decide if "following orders" is worth it. A blisteringly funny satire on slavery and free will, it won multiple awards in the last year, including the Hugo and Nebula, and has spawned a series of sequels. I read it in about two hours, and four days later I'm already on Book 3.

What I Have Been Watching - The Hilarious Tale of the End of Days
This last week, I've been watching Amazon's Good Omens, a miniseries based on the book of the same name written by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett. What if Armageddon was imminent, the Antichrist was a pretty likable kid, and the only two people who wanted to save humanity were an angel and a demon who have been friends since the Garden of Eden. Filled with a whose-who of British and American actors (including Frances McDormand as God) the story rests comfortably on the shoulders of the two leads, David Tennant and Michael Sheen (who is brilliant as the stuffy, fastidious Aziraphale). I had read the book years ago (of course I had) and worried that they wouldn't be able to do it justice in a different medium. I'm happy to say that I was wrong, and the warmth, wit, and cleverness shine through without a hitch.

What I'm Thinking About - Also Works When You Substitute "Read About," "Listen to," and "Discuss Constantly on Social Media"
Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes. - originally Notorious d.e.b., then attributed to William Gibson and Sigmund Freud

All the best, and remember, tomorrow is Friday. :)

Scott Moe
scottdavidmoe.com

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