Birthday post, 10 minutes of writing.

I’m listening to that song The Man by The Killers. The one in the Vice trailer, which is probably my favourite video of the year for its sheer rewatchability. These days, I’ve been watching an irrational amount of South Park episodes. One thing about my watching habits is that, when I’m by myself, I treat my television like an audio-visual bathtub: I run familiar water at a temperature I know I will like and I soak. In spite of the many new things I can start watching, I choose familiar super comfort.

I just made a song, or songish type thing, on my live instagram story feed - the “normal” one, @mikemeehangram. It’s pretty dope.

Alright, now it’s time to hang with family. If you’re reading this right now, I like that we’ve made this connection. My from the past, you in your present.

26 minutes until I board

“Something something something maybe something important you can pick it up in Denver.”

Well, now it’s 24 minutes until I board.

34 minutes, really. I’m actively trying to be better at time management.

My rich uncle has this saying: “if you’re 5 minutes early, you’re ten minutes late.”

Which is a roundabout way of saying “be 15 minutes early.”

So here I am, typing some words, hoping I create some magic from myself to you.

15 minutes now.

I spent the last 19 minutes concocting an instagram post about narcissism and self-love, but if I had to be real I would say I was using those two as entry points for me to sound thoughtful but in the end my mission is to get a few yuks from you.

Though, to my credit, I want the yuks that I elicit to be more on the thoughtful side.

I don’t want to make you laugh because I’m putting down something. I want to make you laugh because I want us all to take a look at the world around us and say “holy shit, we’re all living in this insane thing, it’s terrifying so let’s laugh instead.”

Now I’m thinking of a cool ex-girlfriend of mine who would laugh at this kind of absurdity with me.

I digress.

12 minutes, and my phone’s at 50%. It’s a short flight, but I’d prefer it if my phone were at a kickass 65.

11 minutes.

My Favourite Thing of 2017

"I guess I just like liking things."

- Abed, Community

I wanted to share my favourite entertainment thing of 2017 with all y'all: a 1 minute and 24 second fragment of the How Did This Get Made podcast where the hosts listen to and love a fan-submitted song for their show. https://soundcloud.com/rockandrollcoolbeans3100/i-second-that-opinion-from-how-did-this-get-made-by-jake-moore

Context:

- "How Did This Get Made" is a podcast starring the very funny Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and personal favourite Jason Mantzoukas (who enters every live show like a wrestling villain and lovingly greets his booing fans with a "what's up, jerks!")

- The podcast looks at bewilderingly bizarre / awful movies and has the hosts dissect them

- Every episode has a section called "Second Opinions", where Paul reads out 5 star reviews of the movies from Amazon.com

- Fans can share their own "Second Opinions" opening music themes, which are played on each episode

Reasons for this being my number one entertainment thing of the year (beating out Get Out, Call Me By Your Name, Rick and Morty, Master of None, Review with Forrest MacNeil, Dear White People, Masseduction by St. Vincent, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Good Place, Thor: Ragnarok, Logan, The Disaster Artist, The Big Sick, The Last Jedi, Lady Bird, American Dream by LCD Soundsystem, Melodrama by Lorde, DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar, Drunk by Thundercat, Episode 2 of S-Town, and Episode 500 of Comedy Bang Bang):

- Some things are so perfectly appropriate for their context that it makes you think "oh, obviously that had to be created, how could it not?" and so HDTGM fan Jake Moore made the perfect theme song, a hilarious and beautifully sung parody of "I Second that Emotion" called "I Second That Opinion"

- You hear the hosts (especially Jason) loving every second of it. A chuckle of appreciation can be heard in the opening seconds as one of them realizes that it’s a parody of the Smokey Robinson song (which, let’s face it, is the best Motown song period)

- The ending is a cacophony of bliss and praise

I love it so much because it is refreshingly antithetical to some of my least favourite things of the year, namely all the bullying, abuse, bigotry, entitlement, and across-the-board glib/smug condescension found in every corner of the Internet. Instead of people trying to one-up and put down one another, here we have a moment from a show where the hosts (people that, by my count, haven't been exposed to be anything other than decent people in addition to being funny entertainers) are showing their love for something that a fan of theirs made. It's a cycle of silly joyful people appreciating one another's work.

(Fittingly, this "Second Opinions" section of the podcast is devoted to taking a break from making fun of something to focus on appreciation. Albeit, the section is often devoted to making fun of the appreciators, and the irony is not lost on me.)

It's so much fun to like things and to create things. This dumb, silly, perfect little podcast fragment is a celebration of liking and creating, two things the world needs a lot more of in 2018. That's what's up, jerks.

* HNYFM *

YES / AND

Hi, I'm Mike the camera / other things person.

I'll use this area as a place to say things.

I'll start off with a manifesto of sorts (even though that word is really over the top) that has my mission statement found therein.

This is taken from an email that I sent a friend of mine:

~

YES

||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||

Those are all the things that have happened in your life so far.

They are all the same, in their elemental form. Things that have happened.

Some things are bigger than others. Thicker. More noticeable.

These are important, pivotal things that stay with us. Memories of friends and family and life-changing events.

These stay with us, but these live in the past.

These live in the past.

Which means they are dead in the present.

We are alive in the present.

We say YES, all of those things have happened.

AND.

And is being at peace with your past and using all of the YES as foundation for the rest of your life. What’s stronger than things that have actually happened? Build upwards from truth.

~

Here is the wrong way to look back.

\/\/\/\////\/\/\/\///\/\/\/\/\\/\/\/\/\\/\\\\/\/\/\//\\\\/\/\/\\/\\\/\\/\\\/\\/\\/\

We give certain memories greater, more substantial shape than others. Then, when we look back, this is all we can see.

Since this is all we can see, it carries tremendous influence on the present.

This shouldn’t be. No memories should produce an inappropriate level of impact. It no longer lives. You do.

Since they live in the past, they shouldn’t dictate and operate in the future because they don’t exist right now.

Only we do. We have agency and can make a tangible impact. We can invent right now. I am a generally happy and delighted person because I see that in any moment, I can invent and create something. I can think, I can learn, I can assess, and I can choose what to do next.

~

Your past is a pool of water.

Tidal waves are created based on our emotional mood shifts.

Waves are powerful and scary and they can swoop in and take us away. Sometimes we wholly submit to the physical force of the wave. A wave of sadness comes in and it controls our navigation. A wave of happiness blinds us from the reality of the situation. A wave of fear or anger causes us to be untrustworthy, antagonistic, and on the constant defense. We deflect and we avoid.

We need to temper the past and understand it for what it is now.

Yes, the past affects us, because right now is a product of everything has happened in the past.

Which is why the past NEEDS to be respected. But the past does not guide the ship.

We move forward with what we’ve learned from the past and act as we feel is the best way towards continued positive living.

We, in the present, are the navigators and captains. We've encountered all kinds of waters before, and we are wiser and better captains for it.

ConsBEERacy Theories Conspiracy Podcast. Listen to it, you.

Far and away, my favourite beer-fuelled conspiracy themed podcast is the ConsBEERacy Theories Conspiracy Podcast, hosted by my good mates Eric Bourque, Dave Proctor, Matthew Winkler, Will Prosper, and features good mates such as Callum McPhee and Jason Parker Quinton. Also me.

 CTCP Hosts Eric, Dave, Matt, and frequent collaborator Callum

CTCP Hosts Eric, Dave, Matt, and frequent collaborator Callum

Click on this and subscribe: http://consbeeracytheories.podbean.com/

The two episodes I've been on:

http://consbeeracytheories.podbean.com/e/shakespeare/

(Where I discover a lost chapter in Romeo and Juliet where Shakespeare blatantly reveals "his" true identity)

http://consbeeracytheories.podbean.com/e/episode-003-big-faxe-10-big-foot/

(Where I discover a lost chapter in Moby Dick and find the true origin of Bigfoot. I discover a lot of lost chapters of things. Not to brag or anything.)