Hi. Hello! How are you? After receiving such a positive response from the last time I wrote about my 2023 project, I’ve decided to continue chronicling the whole affair. I don’t know that I’ll roll these out on a monthly basis, but that seemed like a good way to discuss progress from January.

Fleabag (Season 2)

Before we begin, there will be light spoilers for season 2 of Fleabag. If you have any interest in seeing it yourself, please skip ahead to the next section.

Everything I loved about the first season of Fleabag remained true in the second. It’s still just as bleak, just as dry, and just as horny. It’s that same dry wit that really made the show so thoroughly enjoyable. I know it won’t be for everyone, but I still loved how inappropriate the bulk of the humour was. In season 2 the focus is shifted away from grief, and trauma to abusive relationships, and religion.

Image of Fleabag sitting in church, looking back at the camera.

It was also nice to see Fleabag’s character progression from season 1. She comes to terms with her loss, and is able to make changes to move on with her life. It makes the eventual conclusion of season 2 even more tragic, but there’s something hopeful about it. Things don’t always work out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep moving forward. It’s grounded in a way which little of the fiction I consume is, and I appreciated that.

I’m not actually interested in spoiling what happens because I really think you should give Fleabag a watch. #NotAnAd: you can check it out on Amazon Prime Video, or by sailing the high seas.

Just do it. Watch Fleabag. It’s great.

Hyperbole and a Half

Next up, the first book I’ve read in years: Hyperbole and a Half. It’s a published collection of blog posts from a blog by the same name, which was written by Allie Brosh. You’re probably already familiar with her, or her work even if neither her name, nor her blogs ring any dingers. I can say that with such confidence because of this meme:

Do all the things meme image.

Yes. She’s the person that created the do all the things meme. I mean – she’s created a lot more than just a meme, but this nothing else was immortalized in internet pop culture.

As for the book itself, Hyperbole and a Half takes you through a pretty well rounded journey of Brosh’s blog. You have silly stories from her childhood, posts about her goofy dogs, and a very long, winding path through her journey with depression, and identity crisis. There are times where it’ll make you laugh, and others where you’ll stare at the ceiling afterward as you delve into a little personal introspection. Hyperbole and a Half is a fantastic read, and I wish I had even a fraction of the same talent that Brosh uses while delivering her stories.

It might seem like a bit of a running trend with me, but I, once again, appreciated how reading this made me feel less alone. It’s hard to talk about mental health because no one wants to hear that shit. This presents the false impression that everyone is always happy. They’re not. Things like Hyperbole and a Half, and Fleabag are a good reminder there are others out there who share in similar struggles to your own. There’s something comforting in knowing that.

Don’t Look Up

By the way, have I ever mentioned how much I hate the Ontario Provincial Government? The most recent thing they’ve done to piss in my cheerios is allocate additional funds to private healthcare. I say recent, but this has been an ongoing trend throughout the current leader’s entire tenure. Doug Ford is making healthcare into a system of haves, and have nots. And he’s using OUR tax money to pay for it. That’s right – the rich are soliciting funding for their own special healthcare system from everyday normal people.

You want to know what the real rub is? It wouldn’t actually matter who was leading the province. Ford has been quite brazen with his approach, but I’m certain the opposition wouldn’t act any different.

There is a sickness in our government – all of the people involved are from wealth, for wealth.

Heck, our own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a perfect example of the problem. He was raised in a posh upper-class household for his entire life. I can say that with certainty because his father Pierre Elliot Trudeau was a former Prime Minister of Canada. Justin entering Canadian politics was an inevitability – he came from too much wealth, and political influence to not be destined for this life.

All of this terrible political nepotism is, in part, what Don’t Look Up is about. It’s an absolutely scathing critique of Western politics, and the ability of wealthy individuals to influence said politics.

The premise of Don’t Look Up is simple: a couple of astronomers find out a comet is on a collision course with Earth. It is large enough that it will wipe out all life on the planet. Humanity has approximately 6 months to deal with the imminent threat, or all life will perish.

What follows is, sadly, a very earnest reflection of what would likely happen in the real world. A bunch of people begin claiming it is a hoax, political bodies refuse to address the issue, and self-serving billionaires try to commodify the issue. Sound familiar?

Movie poster for Don't Look Up.

I’m sure there are people that will watch the entire film, and brush it aside as fear mongering fiction. I can’t. Not anymore. People were told to stay home, and wear masks during the recent Covid-19 pandemic, and they couldn’t even handle that. Never mind that Don’t Look Up draws numerous real world parallels to Global Climate Change, which has barely been addressed across my entirely lifetime, despite Exxon knowing about it as far back as the 70s.

No. It’s the same shit every time.

Those in government – those with influence, and affluence – they never have to deal with the fallout from this shit. It’s the rest of us. We’re left to clean up their fucking mess. Every. Fucking. Time.

Don’t look up isn’t a happy movie. It made me feel things. Lots of things. None of them were good.

That said, I think Don’t Look Up is fantastically put together. The performances from so much of the cast is just so good. Meryl Streep in particular does such an amazing job of portraying a Trump style figurehead, while Mark Rylance does an equally great job playing an Elon Musk style idiot Billionaire. They’re so convincing in their performance that I sometimes forgot I was watching a film, and felt a real burning hatred for their characters.

Despite the deep, burning hatred I felt while watching the film, I’d still recommend Don’t Look Up. Maybe don’t watch it if you’re already having a bad day though. And have some chocolate around for afterwards.

Well that’s a wrap. Those are the things I went through in the tail end of January as part of my 2023 Goal Posts project. Join me next time for…some very different pieces of media. Sorry – I’m just editing this at the end of February, and laughing to myself because this month I watched a musical, and a slice of life show. What I’m trying to say is the next Goal Post will hit differently. A lot differently.