Weekap: Halloween 2016

The Weekap is a weekly recap column that is neither weekly nor always related to recapping the week in question. It is a loose #content structure in which Brock waxes prosaic on various topics under the guise of relatedness. 

Happy Halloween, all! The ‘gram was truly popping with all of your wonderful costumes this weekend, just in time for the actual day of Halloween that – in a situation that should be illegal or at least fineable – lands on Monday. For the purposes of this series, Monday is also the beginning of the week despite Sunday’s cultural stranglehold on the position. I, for one, welcome our new weekly overlord. Sunday’s existence in what I consider the “weekend” precludes it from starting the week, so Monday will always be the first day of my week, and thus the home of the Weekap.

This weekend I flew home from school to watch and celebrate the Cubs’ World Series games with friends and family, including a pilgrimage to Wrigleyville on Saturday. Though the 1-2 record was less than ideal, it was a blast to experience the city’s connected joy, and the boys in blue are still alive. Since so much emotion is pent up in these final games of the series, unlike the first edition of the Weekap, this will be a brief, two-topic piece, but I hope for it to return soon. Until then: Cubs in 7.

Fall Sixteen

We’re in the thick of things now. The fall equinox was on September 22, so it’s technically over a month into fall, but due to warmth and the enduring optimism of the summer mindset, it never quite feels like all-caps FALL until you look down and find yourself knee-deep in dead tree bits, suddenly aware that your breath is visible – vulnerable – and that the looming ghost of winter has begun its descent, dragging with it the mercury levels in that thermometer that you should throw out because the internet, and because mercury is bad. Oh yeah, “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers.” Our country’s chief boon to both capitalism and alternative humor is now pumpkin spice lattes for the foreseeable future. Yes, pumpkin spice lattes, the overplayed meme you love and hate and love to hate or hate to love but above all else must have an external opinion on regardless of your disposition. (Mine: sticking with regular coffee, no sugar). Autumn – and this is the part in which I switch to the word “autumn” in an appeal to higher standards of word choice – has its perks, but it has fatalistic merit to being the worst season:

The wages of fall is death. Its beauty is predicated on mortality. The forces that push us towards comfort and industry in this season are, despite Fall People’s absolute love of them, just ways of pulling out of that undertow, which drags us and drags us—draws that incandescent honey light across the city like a bow across strings, at a frequency whose lowest register is inaudible unease.

In fairness, I quite like Autumn, and I like it more than the casual, refreshing change from the norm before it sets in and gets old, in that “It’s snowing right now, I wish it was summer / But when the summer rolls around, I wish I was freezing” sort of way. Playoff baseball, the returns of basketball and hockey, Halloween, Thanksgiving, the menagerie of natural colors, sweater weather; these are Good™. Most of my qualms with Autumn come from its perception, fetishization, and commercialization in #society as a whole. And also vests. I don’t get vests. Anderson .Paak is a big thing for some reason I can’t figure out. I get that more than I get vests.

Vests have a long, arduous history that…I don’t care about, but I have to believe that they were dubbed as shorthand for “vestigial” because they are reminiscent of a greater whole that has since lost meaning or worth. Whoever had the idea of taking a perfectly good shirt and ripping the sleeves off, to use the technical term here, sucks. Not once have I thought “Man, my arms are super warm but my chest is really cold.” If your chest needs extra warmth, chances are your arms need it even more. Don’t come at me about a vest unless it’s bulletproof, construction, or under a suit.

These Are My Confessions: Dilbert

The guy who created the Dilbert comic strip, Scott Adams, has been in the feed lately because he’s been saying some ridiculous things about the election and generally making a fool of himself online. His first mistake was breaking Twitter’s Golden Rule, but further than that, he claimed doctors “engineered” Hillary Clinton’s debate performance, accused Twitter of “shadowbanning” and paying trolls to attack him, and tweeted a shirtless picture of himself at someone mocking him online (note: he did not look quite as good as Usher in the above video), among other wackjobberies. All of this matters, of course, because he writes a business comic strip. This is similar to the Curt Schilling Phenomenon, in which a disgraced ex-sports commenter and complete trash emoji of a person’s terrible opinions and dumb words are important because he threw a ball whilst bleeding from the foot in a big game.

Luckily, I have never enjoyed anything made or done by a bad person, so I am in the clear. Except that I used to like Dilbert as a kid for some reason. I was a big Dilbert fan. Looking back at it, I’m unsure if I actually found stuff like this incredibly funny, or if it was just part of a nascent brand I was trying to cultivate: “Look, I’m grown-up! I enjoy disaffected comics about the business world!” Regardless, for about a year, my mom would save the comic section of the newspaper so I could read Dilbert, because my mom is the best.

My mom supports anything I care about, whether it be misguided or not, which means she’s helped with my history of lame Halloween costumes. Like Winston’s pranks in New Girl, my costumes are almost always too much or too little. If I couldn’t think of anything else, I’d usually be an athlete (Sammy Sosa, Michael Phelps), but I’d also go to great lengths to pick unique, but bad, costumes. For example, I wore my Boy Scouts uniform and draped a friend’s stuffed stingray around my neck less than two months after Steve Irwin died because I was an awful little 11-year-old. “Too soon” was a common refrain that night. Another bad costume? I was Dilbert one year. Yep. My mom helped me fashion a tie that pointed upward using pipe cleaners. “Who?” was a common refrain that night. So as you reminisce over your last-minute Halloween costume this year, take solace in the fact that it won’t be as bad as the year I dressed up as Dilbert.

Lastly, I couldn’t find a way to naturally fit these fake Dilbert strips into the narrative but here they are lol.

Tweet of the Week: 2016 Sucks

This tweet is from last week, but this Weekap Will Be Five Days Longer Than Expected.

 

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