on not wanting to be queen of trash mountain (and other stories)

Reviving this blog was the byproduct of my breakup with Twitter – the digital equivalent of being in a toxic relationship and doing the whole “I just need to rip off the bandage” spiel for years (thirteen, in my case) and then being torn apart via force majeure, like someone having to bounce to study the great bats of Borneo in actual Borneo.

You probably already know this, but the most proliferous cringe poster on the internet put in a 44b$ offer for the platform, which is yet another example of extremely divorced man energy. It is also indicative of why billionaires shouldn’t exist. At the thought of turning an already notoriously problematic platform re: toxic speech into a gross online locker room where people can casually spam the n-word and be like NBD, my skin crawled. After news of the offer broke, Musk started to flood the timeline with billion-dollar-brain farts that once again, highlight the importance of going to therapy to deal with your ex-wife being railed by a trans activist instead of whatever this shit is.

(I love how Musk, the richest person in the world as we speak, claims Twitter should be politically neutral; I bet he acquired that title by being politically neutral himself. I aspire to be that type of oblivious at some point in my life.)

Twitter had its fair share of problems before all of this happened; it is a prime example of what Mike Monteiro calls ruined by design, a platform whose creators never implemented a solid code of ethics, either because they never figured why we need one in the first place, or simply put, because bad content is still engagement. Imagine birthing a child and being such an absent parent that by the time he’s 5, he’s calling everybody in the sandpit “asshole”, and you’re just sitting there, saying stuff like “but he’s just trying to connect!” “He’s socializing!” and, “He’s an advanced reader!”. No. You’re just a shitty parent, and now the sandpit is kinda ruined.

You cannot bring something into the world and absolve yourself of any responsibility. You cannot wash your hands of the things you build.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately; not wanting to be queen of trash mountain. I don’t want to facilitate the plans of a person who can obviously sway people en masse, be it basement dweller edgelords who mythologize his every move, or entire governments. (It’s not like we haven’t seen this happen before.) .

It’s not like my timeline was worth it, either; despite all my efforts to curate it more in the past couple of years, I still ended up with an embarrassing mish-mash of deranged “mask wearing is violating my rights!” takes from across the pond, a bunch of annoying lit bros subtweeting each other ad nauseam (it’s giving high school), and tons of content by people I do not follow, since Twitter’s algorithm decides to show you popular likes and retweets from random users, instead of, oh, I don’t know, maybe the ones you follow by choice? I muted words and dozens of accounts, resulting in practically unreadable threads, and I still got the casual conspiracy theory tweet at least twice per day, or even worse, some manic post about how charcuterie boards are classist. I felt on edge within three minutes of scrolling through the app; I was starting to resent the word “brand”. I grew tired of knowing literally everything about everyone, from where they lean politically and what they would do if they were president of Ukraine to whether pineapple belongs on pizza. People were being slutty with their online presence, and it was killing the mystique; I realized I was partly guilty of the above, too – meticulously concocting microcontent for the little dopamine hit whenever one of my silly jokes landed and little round avatars on the internet gave me fake internet hearts. That’s a sad ROI, especially considering how I am thirty-four, reasonably busy and have actual living, breathing friends I don’t secretly hate?, so realistically, leaving wasn’t all that difficult. If I must be at the fair, I’d rather stay on the ground minding my business, than on a crappy rollercoaster, vomiting with the gang feat. a bunch of strangers who pick multi-thread fights with the Kardashian clan.

Sometimes it’s okay to have unexpressed thoughts. Maybe we all need time and space to work out complex issues in our brains, or rediscover the lost art of keeping a diary and air our grievances there, or maybe sometimes those thoughts are shitty thoughts and I don’t mean to make you feel bad about having them, but nobody needs to be subjected to them, not me, not you, and certainly not the internet.

Let’s talk about fun stuff now.

Games

Elden Ring ruled my life for the better part of March. It really is a masterpiece, not without a few shortcomings, but the game experience makes up for any convoluted quest inconveniences. Storytelling-wise, I still have a bone to pick for what felt like rushed endings – and way too many extremely anatomically accurate depictions of disgusting golem feet. The memes that spawned from it were exquisite, too.

Music

I have been listening to the new Kurt Vile record nonstop; I think I’ve subconsciously tethered it to gardening, probably cause it exudes the same slow, calming energy like tending to the plants. It’s lo-fi, yet refined; it’s simple, and it’s honest. Plus this Springsteen cover makes my heart happy.

Series

I badgered V to watch And Just Like That with me, although I read all episode recaps as the show aired and already knew every plot point, not to mention I was well aware how it was unanimously described as a try-hard mess that bet all its chips on nostalgia – exactly what I aspired to evoke in convincing V to be subjected to ten episodes in one weekend. When we first started dating, we would watch reruns of Sex And The City late at night in his old apartment and I provided snarky commentary. It became sort of a tradition, and through the years we talked about the show with more nuance and wonder, as if it were some sort of a cultural relic from a time when smoking in bars was considered good form.

(#unpopularopinion from a non-smoker: we need to roll back the smoking in bars ban. Going out for a cigarette means there’s an abrupt end to whatever hot gossip or interesting conversation is brewing, your friend group is split at a frequency of fourth-period NBA timeouts, and good luck getting the momentum back.)

As mentioned above, I already knew what was going to happen, but that didn’t stop me from watching the first episode absolutely baked and consequently crying my eyeballs out when the… thing that tanked Peloton stocks happened to Big (this is as close to a non-spoiler as I can muster for a show that ended in February). I also fell into the nostalgia trap, constantly fighting the urge to point out an outfit nod or a set prop from the original series and launch into a five-minute tangent of ID’ing the designer and repeating the word iconic way too many times. All in all, we did have fun watching it, probably because despite all its faults, it’s not that often that you see people over the age of 50 doing slice-of-life things on TV, and that’s weirdly refreshing? Proceed at your own risk, is what I’m saying. And I miss Samantha, obviously.

Patriot.

Russian Doll, season 2.

Better Call Saul, final season.

I will make separate posts for each show at some point in the future; it would be emotionally slutty of me to reintroduce myself and then immediately bombard you with a diatribe on existential angst, depression, failure and acceptance, the sins of the father and other heavy themes all three series share. Or maybe you should go watch them, and then I won’t have to use big therapy words to explain why I liked them, and that way, everybody wins πŸ™‚

Anyway, it feels exciting to write something more longform and personal again, and although I was worried I’d completely lost all ability to sit down and produce something marginally entertaining and true that is not a 140-character shitpost, the process proved me wrong; this has been a significantly easier ride than expected.

A few months ago, I decided that being blonde was not my thing anymore. I fretted for a couple of weeks before I booked an appointment at the salon with the pleasantly silent hairdresser; “But I’ve been blonde all my life, what if I end up not looking like me?”, “What if I look weird?”, and the comically unhinged, “What if I have to throw out all my clothes and color coordinate an entirely different wardrobe with the new hair??”, a prime example of those aforementioned thoughts better left unspoken. But what if I don’t want to be a blonde anymore!, the other voice in my head said – the one that is directly tethered to my gut, you know the one. Sure, the blonde served me for a while, but what if it’s time for a change? What if I just want to be a brunette who wears fewer jackets and smiles more! And that’s who I am now.

7 comments

  1. Even more fun to read you here. Keep it up and keep it as short or long as you feel – the post-everything world is post-blog format for sure.

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