Steve Messer

The Renovation

Weeknotes S07E07–8

Reducing the amount of time I spend thinking about work outside of work is having its benefits, so I’m only gonna chat about ‘personal things’. My mental health is improving by working on it.

  • Parasite is a bit good, eh? The way Bong Joon Ho seamlessly stitched together different genres and moods throughout the story was masterful. After chatting to a friend who lived in South Korea for a while, I learned that it’s a fairly common storytelling technique in their culture: extraordinary stories in common settings. I think that’s why it worked so well. (I preferred the NY Times review to the Guardian’s.)
  • Went to see 1917 the following week too, which is emotive and gut-wrenching and shocking all in one. People who’ve played Call of Duty will get it immediately. Maybe avoid it if you’re stressed out though, it’ll have your veins pumped full of cortisol in no time.
  • The only other single-track film I’ve seen is Victoria, which I caught a trailer for a few years ago and saw on a whim. It turned out to be one of the best films I’ve ever seen, possibly knocking Pusher off the top spot.
  • If you’re a GDS person, watch this documentary about Spitalfields’ decaying Georgian houses and the 1980s effort to restore them.
  • Bass, Mids, Tops continues to deliver on providing me with new sounds to listen to. I’ve been enjoying Adrian Sherwood’s repertoire and his On-U Sound label. Dubby, playful with music tech, celebratory of soundsystem culture. The Doctor Pablo stuff is cracking.
  • As a result, there’s a few dub tracks in my February playlist, alongside new British jazz supremo Moses Boyd, a new Legowelt, Ashley Henry and a fuzzy, blues number.
  • I’ve been re-reading Lean UX to give me a boost at work, and that’s been really helpful.
  • Started the designing strategy course from IDEO last week, it’s so good. Not too dissimilar to Lean methods, to be honest, but I slightly different framework to suit any business context, not just digital products. Loving it so far.
  • Ordered KRKs, which I’ve been meaning to do for like 12 years. Can’t wait to hear tunes through those speakers!
  • Thinking about the below quote from Andrew Weatherall, maybe weeknotes are good for sharing but not for active thinking.

We live in a world where every minute is documented, so there’s not so much room to mythologise anything.1

  • Despite that, and in response to the quote below, I am going to say that the resurgence of rave culture is more about fashion than an actual backlash against the times we live in.

After years of fragmentation and polarisation, the joyful militancy of early rave feels poignant; the kind of unified response to political strife that this era is yet to produce.2

  • I’m going to redesign this website soon: get rid of the Javascript, make it accessible, learn Sass so that I can actually tweak the frontend. I’m using Barber as the theme currently but feel like making my own.
  • Since we’re on the cusp of an epidemic and I’ve got a bad cold, I’m isolating myself at home. Prevents other people catching it, but also tension and paranoia abounds on public transport. The slightest sniffle and people are alarmed.

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