new year’s day

1) It’s New Year’s Day! Yay! Seemed like 2020 went on for about five years.

2) I’ve had this blog since August 21, 2005. I’ve published 910 blog posts, plus some pages (which are different than posts), plus everything over here and here. Damn.

3) Well, I’ve always admired persistence.

4) How to get revved up for the new year? Tangerine Dream, of course.

5) If that doesn’t get you revved up, there’s always “Cherub Rock” (definitely not Tangerine Dream).

6) I had a whole theory worked out as to why Taylor Swift’s “no body, no crime” (from her second 2020 album, evermore) wasn’t that good a song. So, why does it keep running through my head?

Well, it’s a murder mystery, which is kind of my thing, and, the more I study it, it’s a very well-constructed one. Very good use of pronouns. Also, there’s the fun of the nameless narrator starting with “Este’s a friend of mine” and then the later appearance of Este’s sister providing an important alibi (“She was with me, dude”), with background vocals provided by Swift’s friend Este (Haim) and her sister Danielle, from the band Haim.

7) Last year, the shows I watched the most were Game of Thrones and Legends of Tomorrow. I think the contrast appeals to me because Game of Thrones is (was — I’m way behind the curve on this one, or whatever the modern cliche is) very well made and complex and depressing and cynical. Most of the characters are bad, or worse, or really a lot worse, or dead. Near the end, most of them, better or worse, are dead. Many of the conflicts, if not most, are between people who are both bad, but maybe in slightly different ways, or someone who is already established to be bad and someone whose badness hasn’t fully come out yet.

And, as is pointed out occasionally in the show, in passing, most of the main characters are people of some power and influence, and, because of how terrible most of them are, the common people are generally living miserable lives (or just dying). Other than the occasional mention, though, the common people don’t get much screen time or attention.

Plus, as has been generally reported, the entire show went off the rails at the end anyway. But it’s got some good writing, some great acting, some huge big-budget battle scenes, and a lot of good characters (not morally good, in most cases, but you know what I mean).

On the other hand, Legends is about a group of misfit superheroes who have been entrusted (mostly by themselves) with protecting the timeline from both temporal accidents and malicious time travelers. They are hampered by their inconsistent understanding of the effects of time travel, their tendency to make stupid mistakes, their waffling between fixing time by trying to put it back the way it was and trying to make it better (which never works), and their giddy overconfidence (sometimes it seems that every episode features a scene where Sara, their leader, assures somebody “Relax, we’ve got this!” while her team is about to screw everything up even worse than it was already).

Even the fact that the team is called the “Legends” is pretty much a joke, but everybody calls them that anyway, because the name has stuck.

Unlike GoT, it’s optimistic, funny, and often goofy. In one episode, they scare George Lucas away from a film career and then they need to get him back to directing so they get their superpowers back, and in another their time ship stops working because they accidentally stopped Hedy Lamarr from inventing frequency-hopping spread spectrum, the technology which is part of how WiFi, Bluetooth, cell phones, and, apparently, time ships work.

8) “Dave Barry’s Year in Review 2020” has some good jokes, including one very long, almost Joycean sentence (904 words) about the early days of COVID-19.

Oh, and this made me laugh:

A much bigger international story concerns Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, who announce via Instagram that they are sick and tired of being part of the British royal family and want to just be regular normal everyday hard-working folks making millions of dollars solely because one of them was born into, and the other one married into, the British royal family. This plunges Great Britain into a crisis the likes of which it has not been plunged into since “Brexit.” The crisis finally ends when, after a royal summit with Queen Elizabeth II described by participants as “frank and heartfelt,” Harry and Meghan are beheaded.

9) Okay, this is pretty special: “exile

Happy New Year, all.

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