Welcome again to We Have Always Lived in the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this week’s posting schedule, but first, a little Seafood for Thought.
There are many emotions that English simply has no language for. Many of the old ones the French named–for instance, there’s really no better way to say deja vu or l’esprit de l’escalier. But in the Internet age, culture moves faster than ever, and new words are needed to express new feelings, like Ryan North coining protonostaliga to mean when you are nostalgic for a time period you’ve never actually lived through. But that’s only the beginning. Here are some new feelings pop culture has inspired recently:
analogged – the mix of annoyance and forced gratitude resulting when you receive physical media as a gift but you’ve already gone totally digital (“I didn’t want to say it in front of Mom, but I felt totally analogged when she gave me that Firefly DVD set for my birthday.”)
foredapting – the intense anxiety or foreboding one feels at the news that one of their favorite existing works is being loosely adapted into a movie (“I just can’t bring myself to watch Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell out of sheer, insurmountable foredapting.”)
German twin paradox – when something you thought was going to be stupid is surprisingly fun (named after Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters) (“Honestly I was 100% positive that a Tom Cruise The Mummy reboot was a dumb idea, but after being forced to watch it on a long flight, I have to admit it’s another German twin paradox.”)
metacape – the state of being exhausted by media or fan complaints about overcaping (“If I read one more Matt Zoller Seitz article about how people will be bored with superheros any day now I’ll be completely metacaped.”) (see overcape)
netflixture – the “flow” state brought on by spending significant amounts of time searching streaming sites for something to watch but never actually hitting play (“They spent all night in netflixture, entertaining themselves by mocking the cover images of bad sci-fi movies.”)
overcape – (1), the state of being excited to the point of exhaustion by superhero franchise hype or advertising; (2), the state of being exhausted to the point of frustration by superhero franchises in general (“I’m already overcaped and summer blockbusters have barely even started coming out.”) (see meta-cape)
queuemorse – a deep or nagging sense of guilt or regret that you haven’t gotten around to some entertaining you’ve been meaning to get to for a while; esp. if said media is only saved/marked because you feel vaguely that you “should” watch it in order to be a good person (“I know the plight of child soldiers is really bad, but I still haven’t seen Beasts of No Nation and the queuemorse is killing me.”)
reymoval – righteous, burning social justice fury over the inexplicable lack of toys based on lead female movie characters (“Standing in the store aisle, watching young girls look in vain for Ms. Marvel action figures, an immense wave of reymoval washed over her.”)
varnischadenfreude – the quiet satisfaction of watching a movie whose casting had been embroiled in white-washing controversy fail at the box office (“Part of him still worried that the Nina Simone biopic would go on to get Oscar noms, but for now seeing it make record low returns filled him with a welcome varnischadenfreude.”)
We hope this list has given you some new ways to express exactly how you feel in these complicated times.
From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this week.
Monday: The Life in the Kraken podcast is back! In Episode 004, “A Never-Ending Quantity of Awesome Things,” we extoll the virtues of Alex Hirsch’s Gravity Falls; recommend three excellent foreign films (Bela Tarr’s masterpiece The Werckmeister Harmonies, the animated Kizumonogatari, and the Oscar-nominated Turkish film Mustang); are intrigued by the brutal difficulty of the Shadowrun: Crossfire deckbuilding board game; and bring another trash-filled installment of our anime segment, “Nothing But Trash.”
Tuesday: Time is an illusion; Tuesday, doubly so. There is nothing new here, nor did you see any place for it to be. It is Wednesday now.
Thursday: No new content today, but our archives grow by the week. Already there are entire hollowed-0ut chambers in the Kraken’s bones filled with the haphazard stacks of our pop culture scribblings. Why not seek one out and while away the hours?
Friday: Today TV Roulette tackles “12 Seasons a Slave,” or as WGN is actually calling it, Underground. Is this period drama a cheap way for WGN to cash in on the extreme popularity of Underground Railroad dramas among today’s youth, or something even more nonsensical? David has the answer.
Saturday: Baturdays continues with the final story in Batman’s premiere issue, “The Joker Returns.” Faithful readers may remember that the Joker was here, like, three stories ago. And he’s back already. Whatever happened to “absence makes the heart grow fonder (of psychotic clowns)”?
Catch of the Week:
Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week.
David: Enjoying the introduction of the morally questionable The Punisher in the recently released second season of Daredevil? Well I have a different morally questionable New York-based vigilante to present to you: Moon Knight. In his latest comics run, successive authors Warren Ellis, Brian Wood, and Cullen Bunn have told stories about innovative new versions of the disciple of Khonshu. Check it out before a new series by Jeff Lemire starts in April.
Kyu: My blog recommendation month continues with something a little lighter this week: The Comics Curmudgeon by Josh Fruhlinger. As a curmudgeon named Josh myself, I might be biased, but this is the sort of thing the internet was made for. It tackles one very specific subject–in this case, newspaper comics like Dennis the Menace and Mary Worth–and pokes fun at them with an expert’s eye. I used to love newspaper comics as a kid, before I discovered “real” comics, and this blog fills that gap in my life by providing me with a daily dose of short humor about, well, these daily doses of short humor. Don’t let the meta bother you; just join in the fun of mocking Mark Trail‘s ridiculous “edutainment,” Beetle Bailey‘s world of sadness and sexual dysfunction, and Funky Winkerbean‘s “everybody gets cancer” mentality.
Keskel: I recommend the novella The Ballad of Black Tom. Victor LaValle’s story of “sorcery and skullduggery in Jazz Age New York” is one of the finest Lovecraft-inspired works I’ve ever read, directly engaging not only with Lovecraft’s ideas of cosmic horror but also H.P.’s racism.
That’s it for this week. We hope you continue to find the Kraken to your liking. For your own safety, please do not lick the snozzberries. You don’t know where they’ve been.