Weeknotes #162

in weeknotes

  • I tidied up my final collection of loose paper! This isn’t a case of tidying up loose ends from the move: some of these papers were ones I’d collected in our previous place. Now it’s true that part of how I achieved this incredible feat was to simply decide I no longer needed to archive entire classes of documents (mostly utility bills) but I’m chalking it up as a victory for the ages regardless. Our bed is now usable as a bed again should we ever successfully get Rowan to sleep in his crib.

  • I blew up at the kids twice over the weekend for not following instructions from Eri and me and banned discretionary screen time until next month. That is, no streaming video, no iPad games and no Nintendo. I’ve also started making them watch the news in the evenings. Will this help at all? If I’m being honest, probably not.

  • There are a handful of apps I wished existed on iOS but that no one ever develops. At the top of the list is a good-looking, simple dictionary app. Something like this. It’s true that iOS itself has a decent dictionary built-in and probably that’s a major reason but you can’t search that dictionary.

  • Thomas Chatterton Williams’ piece in The Atlantic about the reaction in France to identity politics resonated strongly with me. As a father of three biracial children, I’m right in the sweet spot for the article but I’d recommend it to anyone interested in these issues. These quotes in particular leapt out at me:

    Wokeism’s perpetual, often performative outrage; its lack of nuance; its reflexive inclination to silence dissent—these are serious flaws for those who care about liberal democracy. And yet these same qualities have attracted good-faith attention to issues too long neglected in America, and often still unmentionable in Europe.


    I remain convinced that an authentically color-blind society—one that recognizes histories of difference but refuses to fetishize or reproduce them—is the destination we must aim for. Either we achieve genuine universalism or we destroy ourselves as a consequence of our mutual resentment and suspicion.

  • Speaking of great articles, perhaps you’ve seen this one by Sam Anderson about the recently opened Ghibli Park near Nagoya? Anderson is an acclaimed writer of feature articles (as well as Boom Town) and he is absolutely perfect for this. I almost never read things aloud to Eri but I did numerous times while reading this.

  • I finally watched some more episodes of Poker Face. It doesn’t really do it for me but then I was never a huge Columbo fan and that’s the show to which it’s most obviously indebted. If you were (are?) a fan, you should definitely track it down.

  • As I was watching this excellent video essay by Adam Neely about how video game music represents the next frontier for jazz, it got me thinking about the genre of late-90s ‘pop’. Like what genre is Britney Spears ‘…Baby One More Time’? Well, according to Wikipedia, it’s something called ‘dance-pop’. Wikipedia says it is ‘generally characterised by strong beats with easy, uncomplicated song structures’. I guess that checks out.

  • Speaking of musical genres that were big in the 90s, remember downtempo? Morcheeba’s ‘The Sea’ shuffled into my AirPods the other day and I was immediately reminded that it’s been far too long since I’d listened to the album it’s from: Big Calm (Apple Music).

Michael Camilleri @pyrmont