Utopia in a manufactured world

a week in content consumption

david Wolfpaw Pride Icon

Howdy [subscriber:firstname | default:yall],

This is the Wolfpaw Weekly. Don’t remember signing up or don’t want this anymore? It’s easy to unsubscribe.

I’m doing a 366 Day Challenge, and am 143 days in! You can follow along on my PixelFed account.

This week has been ups and downs, but what else is new? I’ve been continuing that journey of trimming out some inessentials to have less stress.

One thing that I dropped: reading through “The Longing for Less: Living with Minimalism” by Kyle Chaka. I’m sure that it’s good for a certain kind of reader, but it wasn’t sparking joy, so out it’s gone to be replaced with some sillier fare like Animorphs and books about the melding of religion and technology. You know, silly stuff.

If you’re new here, I devote most of the newsletter to some things that I’ve listened to, read, and watched this past week that I want to share. Mainly to cover up for the fact that I don’t write much of my own worth sharing these days ๐Ÿ˜…


I’ve been listening to After Hours a lot this week, the new album by The Weeknd. I like all of it except for the single, “Heartless”, which I really detest and almost made me skip the album.

I’ve also been listening to the Infinity Train score for season one, which introduced me to the composer, Chrome Canyon. Check out a video for the song Running Away.


I previously mentioned that Robin Sloan is working on a video game and documenting the process in a weekly newsletter, which has been highly illuminating. I won’t quote the whole section on the core idea of the game, but the gist seems to be that you will end with human connection, not with slaying the beast:

“You are on a quest, and there will be monsters and dungeons in this game—but they won’t ever be what ends it.

These, therefore, are the true perils of the overworld: the good people in it, and the possibility, everywhere you go, of making a real connection.”

I was chatting with a friend about D&D (something that I have never played but have always wanted to do with a good DM) and he brought up this article that had serendipitously been published right before we spoke: Utopian D&D. Why do we assign the same capitalist structures to fantasy games that we are in now as if they are inevitable?

The Conspiracy Museum, A speculative address  – Robin Sloan, The Atlantic

More from Robin Sloan. An introduction to the latest museum to join the Smithsonian Institute, celebrating the American art of Conspiracy.

By the way, his latest novel, Sourdough, has the ebook version on sale this week. About more than just the bread that everyone is suddenly making in quarantine, the book is a human and humane look at Bay Area tech and alternatives when sucked up into that self-aggrandizing and dehumanizing space.

 Animal Crossing and Queer Agency – Jeremy Signor, Unwinnable

I admit, I’ve not been playing ACNH nearly as much as my husband, who has claimed the island for himself. I do enjoy the fact that it can be played at any pace, even if socially there is a feeling that you have to rush through to get bigger and better things at a breakneck pace.

The author of that piece has written a lot about queer identity in gaming, and I’ve started reading a backlog of some of his work. I like this piece on Stardew Valley, in the same vein as the story above.

Screenshot 2020-05-22 11.01.08

Even If You’re Trying To Avoid Grubhub By Calling Your Favorite Restaurant Directly, Grubhub Could Still Be Charging It A Fee – Venessa Wong, Buzzfeed

I don’t use food delivery services that are not from the restaurants themselves, and this is part of it. I want to give money directly to people providing things for me, as best as I can approximate it. Middleman services by definition are exploitative.


Speaking of Infinity Train from before, each miniseries is ten episodes of 12 minutes each, so the whole series so far is about four hours. Which, let’s be honest, we’ve all done binges of things for longer. It’s really good!

Ghost Hunters Adventure Club Chapter 1 – read by Dr. Cecil HH Mills

I love Game Grumps stuff, and from what I’ve heard of this novel by Arin’s uncle, I am interested in the rest. The complete saga of Arin’s conversations with his uncle have been collected on their YouTube page. The book is now available as a pay what you want on BandCamp.

Also, while pitching BandCamp, which I’ve used to assemble a pretty good offline library of music for myself for when the internet goes down (with increasing regularity here), buy music there to support artists directly! But do so on the first Friday of each month when BandCamp has been waiving fees during the pandemic, since my understanding is that their fees can be excessive.

That’s it for this week. Everyone stay safe and healthy out there ๐Ÿ’

Unsubscribe | Manage your subscription