Stories from Ukraine.
Yeah, yeah. The rumors are true.
We’ve fallen back into a grizzly Game of Thrones bender. We’ve hit the point where the real world is a mere inconvenience to be dealt with on the road back to Westeros. We’ve all been there. But at least this time the content plunge we took was intentional. Logic follows. It is the rare self-quarantine measure that gives quarantine context while also serving its function. Watching Thrones while anxiously checking the news about COVID and comfort-snarfing pepper jack cheese reaffirmed something in our minds: Winter is here. Seriously. It’s time to pull a Winterfell and batten the hatches. It’s getting very, very bad again. Worse than before. Yet somehow it doesn’t feel quite real yet. Perhaps this is the psychological inverse of spring, when the virus epicentered on the coasts then rolled inward. Now, it’s spreading from the heartland, moving east and west, state by state, city by city. And it’ll be back on the coasts painfully soon. The good thing is: you already know what to do. Because we’ve gotten through this on darker terms before. We have a new president on the way and a 95%-successful vaccine on the horizon. Last spring, we didn’t know the difference between up, down, or sideways. If we can weather another long, hard bout with this virus, we’ll be back in the daylight. We’ll be able to do the things—personally, politically, societally—that have been put on hold. But we have to get there the hard way. The festive election vibes are fading. Something cold and inhuman and invisible is already on us. So bunker up and lock it down. Get your groceries. Pay your Internet bill. Order some new blankets. Make safe plans for the holiday. Pay attention to science. Pick up whatever you were working on in March and April then put down while the world went into half-life. We can’t be sneaking around to gatherings anymore. We shouldn’t be dining inside. We also shouldn’t ever get preachy, but this is important. This is a last stretch of darkness before the long-awaited dawn. We’ll see you in the morning light, CONVICTS
The Cure to a small reality.
Dear Good People, Well damn. It feels as though, after a strange four-year long IRL episode of Black Mirror, we finally managed to change the channel. The right hand was gripping for the remote, but the left hand got it. Boom. We’ve obviously felt a strange whirlwind of long-lost emotions this week like: sincere hope, pride in America, and a kind of subtle rebirth. And yes, there are still huge issues to be addressed, challenges to be faced, and venomous lame duck chaos to withstand. But we’re lit up on a kind of joie-de-vivre that hasn’t come through in a while. Even if it is Friday the 13th. So, in thinking about what purpose The Cure could function this week, we had to do some thinking. For the past year, it’s been a real pleasure to write this email because it forced your humble copywriter to look at and articulate the bright side of things in what felt like a vortex of darkness. So, thank you readers, for reading on and giving me a reason to seek out silver linings in every week of this rather fucked year. But now, the landscape is sunnier than it’s been in a while. It feels like a strong time to do some evolutionary work on The Cure. Starting sometime between now and later, we’ll be making some upgrades to this weekly beast. Mostly formatting. Our voice and perma-quest for silver linings isn’t going anywhere. Basically: bold new look, same great taste. Plus, the CONVICTS crew is dropping something juicy next week, so stay on the lookout for new, beautifully designed things. Self-plugs aside: As the farmer in a Taoist proverb says, everything brings “a little good, a little bad.” We’ve been mired in the bad for a very long time. We still are. Some things are looking down, but we’re used to that. The weird part is: other things are looking up. And now, after the past four years, we know that reality is stranger, wilder, and larger than we could’ve believed five years ago. We’ve finally got the space to find out how bueno this reality can be. See you in this future. CONVICTS
The Cure to what now?
Dear Good People of Convicts, It is with some trepidation that we write the following words: Joe Biden appears to be on track to win the Presidency of the United States. Trepidation because it’s 2020 and everything could catch fire. Trepidation like a little kid on Christmas Eve wondering whether he was good enough to get any presents. Trepidation because we’re all so close to the edge of various abysses that we’re sweating over jinxes, karma, bad magic, and general chicanery. Trepidation that a Biden victory is too good to be true. So, in the spirit of anxiety, let’s just say that Biden wins and Trump’s dirty tricks aren’t tricky enough. If Biden is installed after a reasonably peaceful transition of power, that would leave us with the last and largest trepidation-worthy question: What now? The legislature will still be Republican controlled. The country will not descend into civil war, because both sides like Netflix and delivery food too much to get off the couch and kill one another over social-media inflamed sentiments. We’ll likely remain in a psychologically and politically untenable stalemate, becoming more isolated and less able to accomplish anything meaningful. The unfortunate reality is that the Republicans will do everything to block everything Biden aims to achieve. And we know they’re damn good at playing goalie. And yet… Though this election is shaping up to be less silver bullet and more silver lining, we’re still due a modicum of psychological respite. Without the orange dipshit in charge, we can all hope for lives less defined by constant trolling from the highest levels. We’re poised to reclaim some psychological breathing room. Which is absolutely dope and necessary. Plus, Trump’s defeat is still a sign that there is some degree of decency, some moral fiber left in the country. That people—even those who voted for Republican Senators and Joe Biden, of whom there are literally hundreds of thousands—had enough of Trump’s vile shit. There is valid disagreement about what this means, but the reality of the situation is that the nation rejected that fool which speaks to the raw human potential needed to make a better world. Just not as loudly as we hoped. With Joe and Kamala in a competent White House, we will have the energy and cultural avenues to do the real work—to make sure progress doesn’t backslide into badness. Because without Trump looming over every little thing, it will, for the first time in four years, be up to us. We better be up to it. Good luck everybody, Convicts