Extra Evil – The Federal Attention Deficit

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Today’s Fortune: Artificial flavor solves real stress.


The police are your friend. Specifically, the one that swings at you every weekend.

It’s time to play budget chicken again.

George Santos is leaving his committees, unless someone would lie about that.

We’re getting the biopunk weight-loss drugs before cool mutants.

Iran launched a gritty Footloose reboot.

TikTok’s CEO is set to reuse and watermark Zuckerberg’s testimony.

Today’s Mood

War Journal

In the market for a hobby? Try history. Any history. Civil War, medieval, financial, alternative, any niche works.

All of it makes me feel better about life today. We break fewer people on the wheel these days.

I couldn’t watch anything for a while.

That’s not a statement on the media. Plenty of good material came out, and I had half of it on a list. But something was fried in my head for months.

Reading and gaming were fine. I could still grade papers and play X-Com (two activities I definitely did separately and not at the same time). But getting through Steamboat Willie in one sitting was out.

I suspect film’s more annoying purists share this problem. “It can’t be my fault my attention span is vapor. Every director alive must be a failure.”

Dirty secret: I didn’t finish off Cyberpunk: Edgerunners  until Sunday. The last two episodes were good. Action-stuffed, coherently plotted, and full of fun Trigger animation notes. But something undiagnosed had hacked my head. If it wasn’t interactive, it didn’t exist.

It must have been ego. A phase where I had to be involved in my entertainment. I think that’s the purest form of divadom.

Are you familiar with the whole Open Game License mess? If not, I’ll get back to hammer curls and kickflips next week. Let’s talk Dungeons & Dragons.

Wizards of the Coast, the generous overlords of my childhood, have had a good half-decade. Podcasts, fan games, two years of isolation, and the coattails of the board game explosion brought D&D to people that dated in high school. A nice turn for the game, and even the company. All they had to do was rip off a different fantasy setting every four months or so.

We’re in the new age of pirate greed, so you can guess where that went.

If you’re doing well, shareholders are a curse. You can’t come back to them with the same pile of diamonds. You have to explain your plan for a second pile. And may Adam Smith preserve you if you can’t find it.

Wizards tried to change the agreement that let other people advertise their game for them. Which I kind of get. It’d be the heist of the century, finding a way to rob people twice. But it requires a subtle hand, something the publisher of Oriental Adventures doesn’t have.

It’s not a new story. It happens with everything from music to eggs. It still hits me every time.

Writing flamewars are doomed to go in circles, because decent creative advice is rarely universal.

For example, I pal around with a writer we’ll call Tanya. We went to the same debt factory, and now stand in the corner of the same events. She’s better at all this, but for today’s argument  let’s pretend we’re even.

I tend to rush through everything, and Tanya tends to drag it out. The best writing advice I ever got was simply to slow down, and Tanya got the opposite. If you traded my lesson with Tanya’s, we’d both be screwed.


The Present

My monthly 1-900-HOTDOG column is about the finest cosmic horror: British reality television.

In case you missed it and/or wisely filtered the word “supplement” in your email, I wrote a little fitness community parody.

Me? And Brendan McGinley? OnSecretly Incredibly Fascinating?  You should already be halfway through.

How do I explain this? I wrote about a rap video by Chinese state media on  1-900-HOTDOG. The song and article are both inimitable.

It’s time to try Everything Abridged .  Do it for America.

The Past

This is when I’m less good/funny/deranged, but writing this piece reminded me that I could do more than commercial jingles.

The Future

I hear Gutfeld! is hiring writers. Time to sell out?

Still patting myself on the back for solving that plot problem.

Submitted a proposal for something amusing. But it’s a long shot.

One Sentence Reviews

Metallica – St. Anger: I like to find these things out for myself. (1.5/5)

Puss in Boots – The Sequel to a Shrek Spinoff: This being great goes against nature. (4/5)

Mia Jackson – I Got Electrocuted Trying to Eat Some Hot Dogs: The first great Civil Rights Movement joke I heard this week. (3.5/5)

Roy Wood Jr. – Father Figure: The second great Civil Rights Movement joke I heard this week. (4/5)

Dulcé Sloan – I Was Forced to Move to New York Because of Success: Peaks at the title. (2/5)

Yamaneika Saunders – Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents: An EKG machine of interest. (2.5/5)

This Book is Full of Spiders: I read at my own pace, okay? (5/5)

Open Question

Which one of these *isn’t* an old nickname of mine?

Signing off

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