Bo Burnham reminds me that there’s more

As a reminder, I’m going to be gone next week and am not going to be sending out a newsletter. Enjoy your week!

I’ve been watching Bo Burnham videos since he was a teenager in his bedroom making up non-PC songs on YouTube, before it became the dominant video platform and one of the largest social media networks on the planet.

His newest special came to Netflix last week, titled ‘Inside’. The premise is straightforward: Burnham spent a full year in quarantine filming a comedy special in a studio apartment/shed. He does all of the (fairly creative) lighting, filming, writing, and of course the performance. Seriously, the lighting work and framing of each shot is enough reason to watch this and treat it like a serious cinematic experience.

Warning for those who haven’t seen it yet: it can be extremely depressing. And also extremely funny!

Burnham spends the year in isolation, coming up with new songs that are all related in some way to the malaise that a lot of us have felt for years (or in a certain writer’s case, their whole life), and which the rest of the world has caught up to in a way due to the pandemic.

Two of the things that I thought of while watching:
1 – I feel guilty for buying a new phone this week as I definitely don’t need it, it’s contributing to environmental waste, the money could be better spent, and as Bo points out, social media is kinda really terrible.
2 – I want to create art.

As with many topics that I talk about here, I have a lot of thoughts that I want to work out in conversation with others. I can choose one path to write toward, but there are so many branching possibilities of discussion with something as hard-hitting as this.

So if you watched this special and want to talk, hit reply to this email.


Because Change Was the Ocean and We Lived By Her Mercy – Charlie Jane Anders, Lightspeed Magazine

A short sci-fi story about a commune of queers trying to reclaim the island of San Francisco like queers of the past had done.

The House of Lost Souls – Patrick Glendon McCullough, Truly Adventurous

Another story, this one more true. The story of one of the first haunted houses open to the public for paid tours, and how it unmade its occupants.

It Turns Out, All Those ‘Woke’ White Allies Were Lying – Michael Harriot, The Root

Doing the work means continuing to do the work. It means doing keeping promises made, both financial and political promises.

Maintaining Eye Contact While Talking Overwhelms the Brain – Sarah Sloat, Inverse

Every neurodivergent person ever while reading this: “oh really, you think?”


Why the US government murdered Fred Hampton

(it’s because racism and maintaining the status quo of power structures)

TENACIOUS | Documentary Trailer | The Tenacious Unicorn Ranch (2021) – Trans Documentary

A documentary from a trans filmmaker (creator of ‘The Fandom‘ and ‘Hero‘ which I’d previously linked, among others) about a trans ranch.

Sci-Fi Short Film: “Dominant Species” | DUST

Not a very subtle trans sci-fi story, but cool that aliens think that toxic masculinity is the path to domination ๐Ÿ˜‚


UIT Vlog Episode 12 – Underrepresented in Tech

Allie and Michelle discuss performative support and virtue signalling, just in time for Pride month and Juneteenth. While you’re checking it out, they’re looking for sponsors for episodes!

Making Sense of Quantum Mechanics with Carlo Rovelli – Factually! with Adam Conover

I just like these deeper chats on topics that are not totally current events topical with someone who thinks very hard and deep about whatever thing that they study.

Is There Actually Any Benefit To Being Yourself Online? – The Content Mines

Honestly I’m thinking that there’s not as much anymore. See the whole Bo Burnham thing up top.

Wanna share the stuff that you liked this week? See yall next week and stay safe! ๐Ÿ’