Dreck’s not an adjective

It’s been a week since my last Visual Reflux post. Soft renovating the garage to make it a cat paradise takes up a lot of time, even if it doesn’t take up a lot of mental space. I also sort of forgot where I was going with VR after my last post; I went from a post about all the blogathons I’ve been participating in the last couple years to finishing the blogathon index on The Stop Button, which has no deadline. Whatever was I going to do on VR and why hadn’t I given myself a deadline. It’s entirely possible I’ll have a “triage journaling” post one of these… weeks, but it’s a little less likely than a post about the new Bastille album, which at one point seemed certain.

Just like at one point doing a watch-through of “Penny Dreadful” was going to happen.

And now a watch-through, in some fashion, of “Mr. Rogers” seems more likely.

I’m not really big on sticking to my plans for my blogs. They don’t pay anything. And they’re a hobby, not an interest.

I’m not sure how many times I’ve made that “hobby, not an interest” Carlin reference since I started blogging—fifteen years ago—but I’d guess at least six.

It’s how I think of blogging. It costs money. It doesn’t make money. But I’ve got it cost-effective at least. Especially now Visual Reflux has moved off self-hosted because why in 2019.

Anyway, if I’m sticking to the schedule I set up… this post is actually going to be Stop Button’s new programming. See, when I started Stop Button I was still trying to watch something like a movie a day. At least one every two days. Something extreme and difficult. For a long while I was doing at least three features a week; shorts came in to supplement. But it was a lot. It’s not a lot anymore. When I watch a movie on a work night, it’s a lot to keep rattling around my head. I’d almost prefer bad movies. Of course the trick of hits on a bad movie post is the bad movie has to be popular enough someone once saw it and almost liked it or used to like it and then came to reason. Because why else write about bad movies if not for the hits. Bad movies of course being different than terrible movies. Or godawful ones. Hang on. Let me find a good adjective.

Dreck. But dreck’s not an adjective. I don’t discuss movies in relation to one another in posts if I can help it. It’s kind of… the goal, actually. The purpose. Other than occasionally making witty quips or finding a good sentence to shit on a terrible movie like Guardians of the Galaxy 2.

The point is it’s hard to come up with a watch list. It’s hard to program. Life doesn’t lend itself to marathoning Jerome Bonnell because life sucks.

So starting in September, I’m starting to think of Stop Button in programming “seasons.” Because everything is fucking seasonal now—I was on the bleeding edge of comics having seasons, for distribution, I have witnesses—so why not my movie blog. It’ll be two probably unrelated features a month, plus whatever else incidentals (features, shorts, whatever)—I’m going to be loose with that scheduling at the start—then two probably unrelated features the next month, then a return to the most popular (either with me or with hits) categories the third month. Because if I don’t systemize this shit… I’m never going to get around to watching Desert of the Tartars again and I’ve wanted to watch that movie again since I finished watching it the first time. Azumi 1 too. I really want to return to that post-undergrad pre-MFA era. But I also want to really get to some Catherine Corsini. Or Moonlight. Or Beale Street. There are almost 2,000 movies on my watch list and I’ve only been working on it for three and a half weeks.

I’ve got to get moving on this shit.

And I’ll also be posting the short capsule reviews en masse here once a month. A Visual Reflux special.

Speaking of VR specials—I’m going to assemble all my latest Punisher MAX posts over here in the next couple days; just not sure how.

And there, another post. Easy-peasy.

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Actual Newsletter Reading

I started using the new NetNewsWire this week. I knew about it being back, but I hadn’t investigated it because… Feedly. Also in the post-Google Reader world, my RSS reading has failed. But I got curious about NNW again. It’s got Feedbin support and I love Feedbin. Feedly I don’t love, but find it useful. Feedbin I love but always found limited.

Probably should’ve tried making folders in Feedbin, but whatever. It took NNW until I discovered them.

While I was playing on Feedbin’s web interface, I discovered you can send your newsletters to your Feedbin. I like newsletters. I even tried doing a special newsletter thing in addition to blogging a few years ago. That didn’t work out.

I was subscribed to a few TinyLetter accounts back when it flashed in the pan, even if they were just blog posts. And thanks to Feedbin, they could even have a blog post UI. At least an RSS-y blog post UI.

I subscribe to a lot of newsletters because Gmail and endless storage. I’m really bad at my personal email inbox maintenance (currently at 577). And going through and changing the mailing address on all the newsletters seems like a pain. Then I realized Gmail and filters so now I’m just marking the email read, archiving it, forwarding it to Feedbin. It’s going to take a while to get all of them over there no doubt, but they’ve started showing up there and not the inbox so it works.

Maybe it’ll lead to more actual newsletter reading, which is behind even the blog reading.

If only snobbery rhymed with quality

I can’t take Apple seriously with movie sales or rentals. I’m having a hard time imagining I’ll take Apple TV+ seriously either. All of Apple’s web material for movies stinks. You’re supposed to go into iTunes to rent it, not look at it on the website. But iTunes is absolutely terrible for browsing. It’s terrible for browsing your content, it’s terrible for browsing their content. If people are out there sitting and spending a couple hours in iTunes looking around, window-shopping, whatever… they’re really, really, really quiet about it. There aren’t “Why You’re Wrong About iTunes” posts out there. At least, not popular ones.

So now Apple’s making Baby Bells out of iTunes but is their approach to their web-based catalog going to change? No. Because no one’s out there attacking the web-based catalog. People—not tech-savvy people but people know they can stream to a device finally—don’t search iTunes or Movies. They Google. And when you Google, you get the web catalog and the web catalog is bad.

Apple does a lot to keep up with the Joneses of Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and, what, Wal-Mart (Vudu)? But they’re decidedly not invested in their position as a digital Best Buy. At least with the music it seemed like Apple cared. Less now, of course. The walled garden approach to music doesn’t work. You see social media links to Apple Music about as often as you see… well, not often.

Apple really needs to do better with the web catalogs. Even if they don’t care about competing in that space, they could at least pretend for their customers’ sake. Why does Apple mean snobbery and quality everywhere but on their website.