PLUS... introducing the Fall Out Boy Music Club!
Hello again, everyone. This remains a very weird time to have a newsletter, at least one that tends to be lighthearted. I suppose if I had one called, like “This Week In Oh No,” I would be thriving.
I hope that my West Coast readers are safe and have access to the resources that they need. The Cut has a list of places to donate here, although their list includes the Red Cross and I’ve been pretty wary of them since their terrible mismanagement of funds after the Haiti earthquake. If there’s an organization that you can vouch for and would like me to share in the newsletter, please let me know!
In very tonally different news, I’m starting a new series of bonus posts: the Fall Out Boy Music Club. Each post will look at a Fall Out Boy album with the level of in-depth analysis (and light-hearted mockery) of my earlier dissertation, “Katy Perry: lyricist, for some reason.” If you’d like to join the Fall Out Boy Music Club, sign up to be a paying subscriber here. It’s $5/month or $50/year (a $10 discount! rad!!). Alternatively, the Superstar Genius Friend level lets you enter how much you want to pay if you really love me and want to pay more than $50 annually. Just click on that tier and enter how much you’d like to pay. All paying subscribers get access to the full archive of previous bonus posts in addition to the new posts that come out every other week.
I hope to see you there! It will be a great time! Probably even more than you bargained for! Onto recs!
If you need small nice things
This mosaic installation project in Brussels is so lovely. It’s been going on since 2009, and existing mosaics are compiled on this Instagram account. My favorite is this little robot.
Another lovely little distraction this week was Danny Lavery’s delightful piece, “Things Italian Men Of A Certain Age Have Said To Me About My Dog.” Bon Bon is a star!
If you’re having trouble sleeping, for SOME reason
Everything is stressful!! Let me tell you about my new favorite sleep podcast! I’d been listening to another one for about a year, but this summer the host decided to start including information about racial injustice in each episode, an admirable use of a platform everywhere except the thing I use to calm my anxiety before bed. I’ve tried a few other options before landing on “Send Me To Sleep,” which is truly perfectly produced. The host’s voice is soothing, the content is perfectly boring, and the ambient music in the background is the cherry on top. When I want just ambient music, I put Spotify’s “Floating Through Space” playlist on shuffle with a sleep timer on.
If you want to donate to an extremely worthy cause
I have never smashed that motherfucking donate button faster than when I saw this tweet because voter suppression is in my top 2 biggest worries. (#1 is climate change, see above reference to apocalyptic fires.) I was thrilled when ex-felons had their voting rights restored in Florida, but I should have known that more chicanery would try to stop them from actually exercising that right. As of this writing, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition has only raised 37% of the funds they need to pay off all fines and fees that will allow these citizens to vote again. PLEASE donate if you’re able to — it’s tax-deductible, which helps you, and Florida is a swing state, SO IT HELPS EVERYONE. (And if you can’t donate, share the link to your social media! Get the word out!)
If you can tolerate an in-depth look at conspiracy theorists
Obviously one’s tolerance for dread might be very low right now, but Folding Ideas’ latest video is so beautifully made, so important, and just so good all around.
(Not what you’re into right now? Every video I’ve ever recommended can be found here at RECOMMENDATIONS by Friendmendations. Find a more soothing YouTube binge, if you’d prefer.)
If you just want absolute nonsense
This is certainly my weirdest recommendation ever, but I simply cannot help how obsessed I am with “Mr. Boop,” a daily comic by Alec Robbins about his fantasy life with famed babe Betty Boop. Robbins has worked on shows like Comedy Bang! Bang!, I Think You Should Leave, and The Eric Andre Show, if that gives you a sense of his surreal comedic style. When asked about the comic’s viral success on the “Boys’ Bible Study” podcast, Robbins said, “It makes sense — this is so deeply rooted in the undercurrents of the internet subconscious. It’s this weird mix of DeviantArt, sex fetishes, wife guy stuff, and self-insert fanfiction.” It’s all that and more! The world of “Mr. Boop” is perfectly bizarre, intentionally cringey, and definitely not for everybody. It’s maybe my favorite thing to happen this year.
Okay, that’s it for this week. I’ll see you all on Wednesday and then I’ll see some of you behind the paywall on Friday for the first-ever installment of the Fall Out Boy Music Club!! I leave you with these Vine reference tarot cards. They are all so good!
This week last year…
“Friendmendations 9.16.19” — a 1970 photo essay on travelers backpacking around Europe, a Kroll Show sketch I quote constantly, the bizarre product recommendations of Amy Sedaris, Paul F. Tompkins improvising a bunch of songs based on custom vanity plates, and a very good cover of a pretty embarrassing song
“Ways Instagram has tried to sell me underwear” — a list of very real examples
“Pictures I have on my phone, for some reason” — probably the strangest bonus post I’ve ever bonus posted