Movie Brain – March 18th, 2022

In recent weeks, news reports have been circulating about a study that estimates 50% of the U.S. population has experienced some level of cognitive decline due to lead exposure. This could be through lead paint or lead pipes, even leaded gasoline fumes. Now, just because the news media have picked up a press release about a scientific study doesn’t mean we should accept this as gospel truth until it has been properly peer-reviewed. However, this is not the first time I’ve come across the lead theory. Over the last few years, I’ve seen this pitched in online discussions and brought up in articles, so I think there is something worth exploring here.

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Movie Brain – March 5th, 2022

What a time to be alive, eh? Not only is there a pandemic killing waves of people daily, now there’s a fucking war in Europe? Involving a nuclear power? Over the last week or more, it has been quite eye-opening to watch the Western war propaganda machine whirr into action so effortlessly. But, of course, I have to state before I go any further that Vladimir Putin is a horrible man. The way discourse works in Western circles is that everything exists in binaries: this or that. So, if I levy a critique against the United States or ask why NATO exists in a post-Soviet world, I will immediately be condemned as supporting Putin. It could never be that we’re watching the horrible results of capitalism and imperialism play out and that the only people we should stand in solidarity with are, you know, people, not governments.

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Movie Brain – February 18th, 2022

In 2021, I started getting back into writing fiction again, but I wouldn’t say I produced much. I thought a lot; I revisited LiveJournal and found some ideas I’d shared for stories and never done anything with. The problem with trying to revive my writing was that I was doing it in a vacuum, and so without feedback of any kind, I didn’t have the fuel to keep me going. So in 2022, Ariana and I have made a solid attempt to carve out an hour-a-day minimum to just sit quietly and write. At the end of each month, we’ll pick three things we wrote during that period and share them with each other for critique and workshopping. I think it’s pretty essential to have an audience of some kind when you write. For some people, themselves are good enough, but I just need an external source to give me notes.

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Movie Brain – February 11th, 2022

Since coming to the Netherlands, I’ve been grateful to have about half a dozen experiences with “magic truffles.” These are sclerotia (kind of like the “fruit”) of Psilocybin mushrooms, so you get the same effects as when consuming shrooms. These are legal, but regular Psilocybin mushrooms are not because of an American tourist who didn’t regulate their intake well and ended up drowning in a canal in Amsterdam. That’s one American stereotype I don’t feel I adhere to, but I can’t argue with Dutch people about it. Americans are so repressed that they gorge themselves when they have access to something considered a vice. Look at food, alcohol, sex, the list goes on. My experience with magic truffles has been really positive because I like to read a lot before taking a drug and understand the best practices to have an optimal experience.

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Movie Brain – January 21st, 2022

In December, I got an email notification related to my old Livejournal. If you are too young to know what that is, Livejournal was a blogging platform that was super popular in the 2000s and saw a decline in the 2010s. It was bought out by a Russian company, and if you were to visit it now, that is highly apparent. From around 2003 to 2008, I had three different accounts. Through this email notification, I was reminded of one of them and was able to get access to them again. It was quite a trip down memory lane back to college and post-grad days, an insight into what was going on in my head at the time.

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Movie Brain – January 14th, 2022

There’s much talk about schools in America right now as the core infrastructure that keeps that country running collapses around its working citizens. As someone who spent over a decade working in American schools, I find it hilarious to read what non-school employees think happens in the building, both when COVID isn’t an issue and now when it is the most pressing one. There are big sweeping gestures to blame teachers’ unions and the teachers themselves. Nothing about the whole conflict shows any sense of hope that when/if the society comes out of this plague, education will be improved in any manner. At best, this reveals the dirty truth: public education serves mainly as warehousing for children so wealthy people can extract their parents’ labor. In turn, the children are indoctrinated with conditioning that will make them good workers when they reach adulthood, given meaningless tasks to perform, and constantly told they must conform with what the authorities demand.

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Movie Brain – January 7th, 2022

In 2021, I would post semi-weekly under the banner of Weekly Wonderings. These were just some thoughts on current events or things going on with me at the time. Once we got to the Netherlands, I slacked on that and eventually stopped altogether. I wasn’t sure what to talk about and focused more on movie reviews and other blog content. In 2022, I want to do something like Weekly Wonderings again but a little more focused on a single topic for a post. The posts will also relate to how the media (film, television, etc.) has shaped my own perception of things and how I’m expanding my understanding to break out of these societal structures. With things being what they are in the United States and globally, I wanted to talk a little about what we think of when discussing the apocalypse and what it may actually be.

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