New Year = Print a Calendar and Steel Myself for What’s to Come

On January first of every year I print out a calendar. I don’t buy them. Thankfully Jenny Mustard produces a minimalist version that doesn’t use a tacky font for the month, offers maximum space for printing, and doesn’t charge a cent.

I don’t know her and have no affiliation with her. But I came across this a few years ago and now, if I don’t have the new one on January 1st, I started to get irritated. How else can I chart the failures that are to come in the year ahead?

I don’t know much about art but I like it when it looks nice.

I grew up on an island and at times it feels like salt of the ocean is in my blood. Then I remember that I am terrified of the water and while sailing was something I did on occasion, it was more cling-to-the-rigging than lean-out-with-your-fingers-in-the-white-caps.

So when I look at these images I am able to hold both sensations in my mind at once. Which, I think, is what great art should do: disturb and please in equal measure, throw us off-kilter, make us question our minds. It should not provide answers, only legitimate questions.

Writerly Movie Takedown (or Puff-up) You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger

Like most writers, I have a sick fascination with movies about writers and the publishing industry. Such films don’t exactly abound, but usually a few hit the market each year. Most of them suck; most get everything wrong about the mindset of a writer, not to mention the time-frame, process, and industry. Worse, the books within the movie are most often breathtakingly bad and almost without fail they are as pretentious as their authors.

You Will Meet a Tall, Dark Stranger is an exception. It’s directed by a shitty dude who knows his way around art, film, literature, and film, so he got all the little things right, from self-sabotage to boundless wells of envy to the sickening grind of the publishing establishment. It’s cynical, ironic, and funny. Too bad it comes from the hands of such a perv who needs to be caught up in the red tide of #metoo.

In this particular treatment, Josh Brolin is the writer. He steals his comatose friend’s manuscript and passes it off on his own. Hijinks ensue. It’s a good run, but like all Allen tragedies, yarn binds up in the wheels of karma and all good things come to a halt.

It’s way too short a film, and it’s an unsatisfying one, but for writer’s it’s a guilty indulgence.

7/10 ink blots.