A List of Lists

Writing clickbait is something I can never bring myself to do. In the age of attention, we should only devote precious online energy to those who have taken the time to pique and hold our interest. These come in the form of YouTube channels, well-written blogs (not this one), news outlets who’re still fighting the good fight, podcasts and dedicated personalities.

Something that shouldn’t grab our attention, are headlines such as:

8 WAYS TO GET BOYS TO LIKE YOU, NUMBER SIX WILL MAKE YOU CRY TEARS OF LIQUID DIAMONDS

You see, why display one number numerically and the other as a word? Why promote a topic that prays on the anxieties of being a teenager? And why promise tears made of liquid diamonds when we all know that emeralds are the most precious stone one can squeeze from tear ducts?

These list articles are usually the digital equivalent of woman-hating, women’s magazines. The sort that say you’re hideous just because Chris Hemsworth wouldn’t date you, and so you should buy these specific beauty products in order to bag yourself a Marvel superhero.

They’re exactly the same because adverts relating to the topic they’re talking about are often strewed around the page, or even hidden in plain sight within the article itself.

These lists are the most basic-form of CONSUME-based advertising, and don’t deserve our attention. They make young people hate themselves, even more than they already do, and peddle cheaply made products as a solution to all of your problems. A more honest clickbait headline on these websites would be — 8 Things You Should Buy or Our Shareholders Will Throw Sacks of Diamonds at Our Heads Until Death

Why are they always going on about diamonds in these list titles?

TOP 50 STAR WARS MOVIES, RANKED!!! YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHAT WE HAVE AT NUMBER ONE!

It’s Empire Strikes Back. It’s always Empire Strikes Back. These lists would genuinely be more interesting if they went with something like The Phantom Menace or Dexter Jettster: The Animated Adventures.

Media is subjective, one person’s Fantastic Four is another person’s Thor: Ragnarok. Nothing is gained by one individual ranking 25+ media products in a list, with a single sentence following each entry.

Opinions of reviewers and critics do matter, as they can help judge if we should spend time/money/energy on something.

However, if you’re deciding whether or not to watch something based off of one line in a list of RANKED media texts, then you should just consumer all of them. You don’t care about how good something is, clearly, so you should guzzle them all down like a greedy little media goblin.

That sounds mean, maybe I deserve some backlash for that comment. Like 10 Times Matt Went Too Far With His Words: RANKED, or something — A real sick burn.

I’m only being mean because you deserve better. Find a reviewer you like, or even better, find several. Find someone who will at least analyse the film in a 10+ minute YouTube video, or have the decency to write a 1,000 word review.

Sure, it takes time, but far less time than you’ll spend endlessly scrolling through a timeline that’s 50% advertisements and 50% Becky complaining that her fourth engagement has been called off. Maybe it’s not them Becky, maybe it’s not them.

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NINE TIPS FOR GETTING MORE LIKES ON YOUR INSTAGRAM: HOW TO BE RELEVANT IN 9 EASY STEPS

These are the preaching to the choir advice lists. The blind leading the blind in a race to the bottom of the attention tree.

While there’s nothing wrong with a blog being about blogging tips and advice, you should always be adding something new to the conversation, and not just the same regurgitated methods that are second-nature at this point. 

Follow people, like things, engage, interact, make yourself famous by sheer distant connection kid, and you’ll go far in this digital playground.

So many blogs I see are about blogging, and made entirely of lists about how to blog and use social media. Surely they’re just a network of people who’re following and liking each other’s content, even though it’s virtually identical.

If you want genuine advice, you should find successful blogs and see what it is you like about them, what it is they do well and what can be improved on. It’s the whole “do as I do, not as I say” thing.

Very few people will give you decent blogging advice, because it’s all been said before. You should check out popular, focused bloggers, as they’ll be leading by example.

This is not a popular or focused blog.

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FOUR THINGS EVERY SELF-RESPECTING INTERNET USER SHOULD HATE

Finally there’s the hate-filled, holier-than-thou lists. The people who think they’re so smart because they’ve figured out the structure of a successful format and yet fail to fully capitalise on the medium. They tell themselves it’s because they’re principled, when in reality they know very little about pop culture, and so can’t write a list worthy enough of attention.

I’m talking about the people who will write lists about lists because they think they’re being “meta” or “edgy” by pointing out what everyone already knows anyway — The facts of the internet that people choose to ignore so they don’t go completely crazy with modern, digital living.

He’s probably sat somewhere right now, typing out another one of these so-called “lists”. I bet he’s getting pretty close to the end as well, and is trying to think of a big finish that strikes a balance between humerous and poignant.

He’s probably worrying if Chris Hemsworth was a good example of a popular attractive male, because he doesn’t have a clue what people like or want.

He’s now thinking that he can’t finish with something like that, because a simple call-back doesn’t cut it anymore and every single reader has already figured out that he’s talking about himself, so the twist has been and gone.

I suppose I could just end it by saying that writing clickbait is hard, and even though there are far better ways to spend our time, the people who write it are probably just like you, only without the plague of neurosis.

Yeah, that’ll do.


Today is Monday, November 19th and don’t you dare give that yellow-haired, ex-wrestler the time of day.

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Predicting Trump

At a rally in Montana last night, Trump praised congressman Greg Gianforte for his body-slamming of a reporter in 2017. Given the current climate of state-sponsored assassinations of journalists, maybe a joke about violence towards the free press wasn’t the best call.

I’ve decided not to write about that specifically this morning, as I’m sick of writing about the latest demented thing Trump has said. So instead I want to predict some of the insane things that Trump will say (either in interviews or at rallies) in the next couple of years. Then, in 2020 (or 2024), when this weird blip in the American timeline is over, we can look back on this list to see how many I got right. You can all buy me a drink or something, I really don’t mind.

They won’t be anything obvious, like an impeachment reaction — Just little things that will get him in trouble with 60% of America and the rest of the world, but have the 40% double-down on him for some reason. Roll clickbait title…

Four Things Trump Will Say in the Next Two Years, But Also He Might Not Because This Isn’t Science

1. Proud “Cradle Robber”

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The current frontrunners to win the Democratic primaries are Joe Biden (75) and Bernie Sanders (77). With Donald Trump (72) being the spring-chicken of the bunch, age will likely be a topic in 2019 and 2020.

The Democratic party needs a prominent young voice, and they have several potential future candidates waiting in the wings, but none will have enough experience by 2020. So maybe the Democrats learn their lesson and nominate Sanders, but it’ll be one election too late, as Bernie would be knocking-on eighty by the time of his inauguration.

Trump will mention this during the primaries, despite his poorer mental and physical health. During a campaign rally speech he’ll brag about how much younger he is than Sanders, commenting that he still plays golf on a regular basis and spends a lot of time with Kanye West. However, he will also let slip that he currently sleeps with young women, forgetting to use the past-tense in his verbiage.

Prediction: Trump will say “I even have sex with beautiful young women” and the media will take that to mean currently, Trump will be referring to the porn-stars he paid off in the past, and the White House will have to spin it as — “He meant Melania… and also not plural.”

2. The Saudi Arabian Accent

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This one won’t sound as bad as it’s intended, as we know that Trump can’t do accents or impressions. Every time he attempts to impersonate someone, they just sound like Donald Trump. I won’t overanalyse that one.

The West is in a difficult situation with Saudi Arabia at the moment. SA are like that terrible partner you had — the one who says they’re going to be better, do less terrible things and try to spend more time with your friends — but they haven’t shown signs of improvement, and occasionally do something worse than ever before. The problem is, you can’t leave them, because of their lucrative billion-dollar business-deals and oil supplies. I sort of killed the relationship analogy there, but it’s fine, we’re here now.

Trump will eventually have to take a hard public stance on SA, even if he continues to deal with them in the dark (everyone else will be, this isn’t a Trump specific thing). And so I think he’ll use a mocking tone when repeating the words of a Saudi Prince or official.

Prediction: Trump will do an offensive accent, but we’ll only know it was intended as such because he does a weird thing with his face/arms/body — The voice will sound 90% like Donald Trump.

3. House of Representatives? House of Shmepreshmentatives.

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Democrats taking the senate seems like a big stretch, although it would send a message to America that would also slowly save the morality of the Republican party. However, most are predicting that the Democrats will take the house. This is an absolute must for America. The Presidency, the house, the senate and the supreme court would make for a violent and terrifying two years. If we thought white supremacists marching in public and children in cages were bad, wait until you see what the Good Old Boys do with a stacked deck.

If Trump’s Republican army loses the House, he will try to claim that it doesn’t really matter anyway. After touting that every seat is important in recent rallies, he’ll brush it all under the rug and focus on the senate and supreme court victories.

This would be Trump’s first real defeat since taking office, and he has a track record of not responding well to failure. The last couple of times he bankrupted himself, went millions of dollars into debt and released Trump Steaks.

Prediction: Trump will act like the midterms were no big deal. He’ll start talking about his success with Kavanaugh and that he beat Hillary in 2016 immediately after the mid-term results.

4. The Kushner Rant

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Trump is very family-oriented when it comes to his own blood. As the Mueller investigation gets closer to Trump’s family, in the form on Don Jr and his meetings with Russian diplomats, the President will deny all allegations towards his son to the bitter-end. However, we also know that Trump is a yuge fan of divorce, and so I think he’ll throw Jared Kushner under the bus to protect his “baby-girl” Ivanka (36, not even his youngest daughter).

I listened to a podcast series recently about the Nixon Presidency — Watergate, the tapes, the trials and impeachments. That all took several years to come about, and Mueller is using a similar, careful process as he works from the outer-circle, inwards. The evidence is increasingly alarming, albeit slow. Kushner, his international dealings and his tax-evasions, will all be big topics in 2019 (I think).

And so, to distance himself from his greasy son-in-law, Donald will go on a rather extended rant about “cheating” Jared Kushner. He’ll start bringing-up things that reporters don’t even know about, in order to besmirch Kushner’s character. I’m talking dinner-table stories and personal details. “Ivanka told me he can’t even get it up sometimes, I have no problems there honey, let me tell ya.”

Prediction: Trump will turn on, and subsequently rant about, Jared Kushner when he’s brought down for tax evasion and possibly treason. All to take the focus away from himself.


Today is Friday, October 19th and it’s all just a bit of fun really, isn’t it?

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Five Directors For Bond 25

Now that Danny Boyle has dropped out of Bond 25 due to “creative differences”, the 25th adventure for the suit-wearing, car destroying, pussy galore-ing spy, needs a new director at the helm.

Boyle — director of Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, among other things — would’ve been enough to drag me to the cinema to see a Bond film, for the first time since Casino Royale. I don’t particularly enjoy Bond, but I do enjoy Boyle’s films.

I thought he was an odd choice back in March, when he was announced for the project, but was happy to go along with it, as it would mean that I’d see a modern Bond film at the same time as everyone else — allowing me to participate in a culturally relevant conversation for once.

Alas, Boyle and Bond have parted ways. He probably wanted to load 007 up on opium before his first mission, or recast Ewan McGregor as the chauvinist spy in a bid to “Make Bond Scottish Again”.

Now, a new director is needed, and given the odd, mildly stylistic choice of Danny Boyle, let’s pointlessly pitch for five other directors to take on the task.

1. Christopher Nolan

“Can you keep a secret? I bet you could — because you’re a spy and you have to — that’s the rule.”

chrisnolan

Given Nolan’s style of “men in suits walking around cities doing things”, it’s surprising that he hasn’t yet directed a Bond movie. Bond 25 could now be his opportunity.

Under Nolan, Bond will be recast — with Tom Hardy replacing Daniel Craig, in order to give Craig the sweet escape he’s been longing for, for the last twelve years. Tom Hardy will also play the villain, the henchman, M, Q, P, T, S, D and, of course, Moneypenny.

The film will take place in London, and then New York City — but will it really be either of these places? Bond’s past will literally catch up with him, as he’s chased down by a sharp-dressed Cillian Murphy and beaten over the head with the concept of time.

Several people will claim to understand the exact ending of Nolan’s Bond 25, where Bond mysteriously vanishes into a 6×2 black hole. But given that it’s open to a variety of interpretations and that’s the point, they’re probably just trying to use basic film analysis to sleep with you.

2. Greta Gerwig

“For my entire life, I’ve wanted to be something other than a spy — I just don’t think that’s attainable for me right now.”

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In this version of Bond 25 we go back to the days of James fresh out of the academy, where he’s played by Alex Lawther. He takes undercover work in Brooklyn, where he must infiltrate a group of socialite hipsters who all have dreams of becoming “content creators for old new-media”. James develops his podcast, but his status as a spy is revealed when he nervously fumbles his way through an episode on the history of the secret service.

A dreamy but well-rounded love interest comes into play (Dakota Fanning) and helps to hide his secret from the rest of the group. However, it turns out that she’s working for the Kremlin to spread misinformation throughout NYC. James must put his feelings aside and detain his American love, all as he tries to make it as a twenty-something in the city.

This is the first Bond movie to not feature James driving a vehicle, as it would be ridiculous to own a car in New York. However, the sound recording equipment should satisfy those who watch Bond flicks for the tech.

3. David Lynch

“The name is *eternal screams from the void*, James *eternal screams from the void*”

davidlynch

Why not? Isn’t the true definition of counter-culture and high-art to take the most popular forms and turn them on their head? It’s not? Well I’d still like to see this.

In this version of Bond 25 we open somewhere in the middle of the Nevada desert, where we hold on a shot of insects devouring a rotting cactus, for about twenty minutes. It represents the parasitic nature of the secret service, of course.

Bond, played by Kyle Maclachlan, is getting on a bit and is looking to retire, but he’s been called out for one last job — which will take place in a dream-dimension that’s only visible to those who have a J in their name.

007 must collect the souls of 001-006 in order to push beyond this realm and visit the source of the inter-dimensional crimes. Bond then confronts a talking lamppost, who is trying to smuggle all the evils of man into a washing machine in Berlin. They play a game of chess to decide the fate of the universe, but Bond loses and then wakes up in the body of an actress in 1950s Los Angeles.

4. Woody Allen

“Oh gee, I guess I’m going to have to put my gun into your holster — if you catch my drift.”

woodyallen

This one’s easy for Allen, who’ll be writing, directing, producing and starring. It’s exactly like a Bond movie — he sleeps with girls half his age, people of colour are almost non-existent and he focuses on a lot of things that are no longer culturally relevant. Next.

Nothing like Casino Royale (1967) — this one’s a drama.

5. Wes Anderson

“Keep your hands off my guns! I shall be taking this up with the hotel manager, you can bank on that, buster.”

wesanderson

This would be such an aesthetically pleasing Bond. A clear palette will be chosen by Anderson, probably lots of chrome colours. Edward Norton will tackle the role of Bond, in an international epic that takes place all across the globe.

Anderson’s Bond 25 will be praised for its soundtrack, with a robotically revived Lou Reed scoring the theme for the title sequence — It’s Such a Perfect Day to Die — which will pick up the academy award for best original song in 2021.

Bill Murray will play the villain, a deadpan businessman who doesn’t take himself too seriously, but who also wants to kill everyone on Earth who’s never seen The Exterminating Angel.

Oh, and Bond fans can also expect car-chase sequences to be entirely stop-motion animated, as well as being set to a soundtrack of a Dutch-language singer covering songs by Bob Dylan.


Today is Monday, August 27th and yesterday we met a couple who had a Twin Peaks themed wedding.

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If you like what I write and can spare a dollar, then it’d be a greatly appreciated act of kindness! If you like what I write and can’t spare a dollar then I greatly appreciate you! If you hate what I write and also can’t spare a dollar, then why are you still reading this?

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