reality is weirder than you think

Tag: crippling youtube addiction (page 1 of 4)

NCT Dream grew up

But the dirty grotty basslines that characterize NCT title tracks will never die.

I’m definitely not complaining.

We all thought Mark was ‘graduating’ from Dream because he’s an adult now. I guess that was before SM rethought the entire concept of NCT.

And yet he’s back and rapping better than ever.

There’s a reason he’s my ultimate NCT bias.

Fun with Venn diagrams and k-pop

Twitter is a wonderland. Today’s bounty of wonder came in the form of a Venn diagram featuring the many incarnations of NCT.

The problem (“””problem”””) with this particular Venn diagram is that it’s entirely in Hangul, except for song titles which are deliberately in English.

This is not a problem–this is a puzzle! It’s a matter of cross-checking the members in each song with the other songs that they’re in, under which group. The name in the most-overlapping triangle, for instance, is Mark since he’s debuted with every group so far, and nearly every song. (He’s missing only from the NCT U vocal songs–Timeless and Without You–and the upcoming Tae/Ten release.

Then, I double-checked myself with the Hangul alphabet to make sure I had all of the names right, like in the case of Lucas and Jungwoo who both debuted with NCT U but haven’t yet done anything else, or the Dreamies.

Here’s a version in the Latin alphabet for us Westerners.

It’s a little messy but I didn’t want to completely obliterate the Hangul characters.

This is so much fun to look at. I’m excited for the rest of NCT 2018 and what different combinations they’ll come up with. Perhaps a Venn diagram will be impossible in the future–we’ll see.

Speaking of NCT 2018, we have been blessed with fancam of Taeyong and Ten’s Baby Don’t Stop which isn’t due to be released for a few more days.

300% better than Boss, tbh.

The styling is perfect. The choreo is dope and perfectly suited to this duo. The song is catchy as whoa. Sign me up.


Spotted: Aristotle vs Plato

I like the meme that the script for 2018 has already jumped the shark, even if I don’t believe in the idea that someone is scripting our days. I do, however, believe in #NOCOINCIDENCES even when they are less important and more amusing.

This one falls mostly under amusing–but that might depend on how you view Ben Shapiro.

Given that:

A. Vox Day and Ben Shapiro have a history. (Hint: they don’t like each other.)


B. Vox recently posted this observation:

At its core, the left-right divide all comes down to the most basic principles.

Left = Plato. Anti-Christian. Anti-family. Imperialist.
Right = Aristotle. Christian. Pro-family. Nationalist.


I find it incredibly amusing that Shapiro himself brings up the fact that he plays Plato to Jordan B Peterson’s Aristotle on the Rubin Report.

“What’s fascinating about this is Jordan may be closer to Aristotle than I am to Plato, but we almost have a Platonic versus Aristotelian argument going on here.”

Since we seem to be still in the process of choosing teams, now that the battle lines have been drawn, I figured that this would be worth pointing out.

Appreciation post

Lately I’ve noticed some sour thoughts sprout up in my mind.

“I hate people.”

“Why do I do this? It’s absurd.”

“Coffee tables are stupid and ugly.”

It’s easy to get caught up in a spiral of negativity. I’ve noticed myself doing so more and more.

This is not the life I want to live.

So to counteract, I’m going to appreciate some things:



How can you forget how delicious steak is? Apparently I can. I made myself steak tonight for the first time in many months. It was delicious. I’m partial to NY Strips, because I like the fat/lean ratio.

(Don’t ask me about my cast iron pan, though. They come with a learning curve that I haven’t quite mastered.)


Jordan B Peterson

Our favorite Canadian professor absolutely owned his recent interview with Channel 4 News.

Talk about the IQ/communication gap in action. Obviously she’s not dumb, but she paddles around in the shallow pool of word-thinking while Peterson is plying her with logical arguments and abstract reasoning.

Even if you know Peterson’s arguments front and back, it’s worth watching his delivery. Unflappable, friendly, on the offense. Beautiful. I aspire to this level of mastery.



My recent foray into the needle arts has reminded me about the crack-level addiction that comes with embroidery floss colors. You go to the fabric store, and stand before an entire wall of pure, unadulterated color. And usually it’s in gradients, gradually morphing in hue and shade. I want them all.


The Donald Trump chia head that is sprouting in my dining nook

One of the delightful parts of moving is finding all sorts of things, packing them, and then finding them again when you unpack. I had totally forgotten about the Donald Trump chia head that I bought sometime in 2016 but had never sprouted.

Our God Emperor deserves the best of chia hair. I’ll post a photo when it’s sprouted.

The Russian Bots have arrived

For the past few days, the main referrer of traffic to this blog has been some sort of Russian Youtube situation.

I don’t know who. I don’t know why. I don’t know what they’re after.

But at this point in history, I feel like it means something when the Russian bots show up.



Image of the Week: “you can do it” edition

Originally, I was going to post that photo of Nikki Haley in the UN. It sufficiently summed up the week in politics. But it doesn’t jive with my personal experience for the week, so I’m not posting it.

This week has been long.

I’m growing tired of so much change in my life, and yet this week just piled on more: new boundaries to my conception of time thanks to the writing of Elliott Jaques, more layers to my understanding of the globalist cabal, the death by suicide of Kim Jong-Hyun of SM Entertainment (also YouTube’s algorithm keeps recommending me SHINee videos and it’s killing me) and changes at my workplace that will render me effectively isolated. I haven’t slept well. I’m tired.

But there’s good news. Reading between the lines of WordPress’ inflated pageview stats, a few real people have checked out Batfort this week. (Hi, people!)

Though I’m tired, I’m motivated.

So with that in mind, this is a photo of Jeff Bezos’ office when he was just starting out, in 1999.

I’m no Jeff Bezos, but we all have to start somewhere.

To the world, this is JOY

Normally I dislike modernized arrangements of traditional Christmas songs, but this one is so full of charm that I can’t say no. This song makes me stupid happy.

The video is merely tepid, but who cares about the video when you can put this sonic explosion of Christmas and joy on repeat all day every day?

Weaponized fashion styling

Clothes are just as much about communication as they are about preventing one from walking down the street naked.

Clothes can say everything from “I’m not that kind of girl” to “I’m the next President of the United States of America.”

I love how this scene from My Father is Strange illustrates how important clothes can be when preparing oneself for battle.

“Fur trumps everything,” says the status-oriented mother (nevermind that fur is a ridiculous choice in the summer months).

Meanwhile, the practicality-oriented mother shows up looking far better than the other team ever would have thought.

The clothes do just as much talking as the people.

This is why you should have your personal equivalent of a “power suit” in your wardrobe. There are times when you (and I) need to perform our best–that is the time to pull out your best garment.

“Best” is subjective in this case.

But this garment should make you feel badass. Invincible. Completely protected. Confident to the point of aggressive.

It can be difficult to find these magic garments (LOL MORMON JOKE) but it’s worth it.

Especially if you have to go up against a Tiger Mother who also happens to be your landlord.

Carnivore guy on Joe Rogan

More like podcast roulette. I’m posting this before I listen to it.

You know why?

Because Shawn Baker MD is one of the reasons I’m a carnivore, and is a tireless advocate of eating meat and how it’s better for you and me and you.

(The comments on the YouTube video area already trash, but what’s new? Angry vegans sure are a sight to behold.)

Anyway, Joe Rogan can be a good host sometimes, and I appreciate that’s he’s open-minded enough to have all sorts of different guests on his show. Sometimes I wish he would learn a little bit more from them, but that’s not up to me.

Shawn is stepping out into a pro-carnivore messaging campaign, and the JRE audience would be a decent place to start.

If you’re curious about becoming a strict carnivore (or “zero carb” as some prefer), it’s pretty great. If you happen to be anything like me, it’ll be way less stressful on your body than being in ketosis, and it’s way easier to follow. You just eat meat until you’re full. (And then maybe eat some more, if you’re in the early stages.)

Switching to a diet made up of animal products only has been the best decision I’ve made in the last 5 years; I’m so glad I did it.

And I’m glad people like Shawn are talking about it, because otherwise my autoimmune disease would be running my life.

Always A/B Testing

One of the things I admire most about SM Entertainment is that they are constantly iterating and A/B testing the groups, songs, and concepts that they produce.

If you pay attention to how they operate as an entity, rather than focusing exclusively on one of their groups, you can see a real-time example of why they’re one of the biggest entertainment groups in k-pop.

They’ve created entire “entertainment properties” to showcase this A/B testing.

SM Rookies

Before NCT debuted as its various subgroups, SM conducted rigorous testing through the online series SM Rookies. They tried out various different configurations of trainee groups. Sometimes this is really rough, as with the “SR15B dance practice” video, or music-video quality in the case of “Bassbot” and “Super Moon.”

“Super Moon” is interesting because of the three members–Taeyong, Johnny, and Hansol–featured in it, Hansol did not debut with any NCT units. In fact, he’s no longer under contract with SM Entertainment.

I suspect this is because Hansol has an almost identical “look” as Yuta, who did debut with NCT 127.

[Warning: unknown quantities of confirmation bias ahead.]

With male groups, SM tends to assemble a variety of different types. For example, if you compare a photo of EXO with a photo of BTS, you can see what I mean. EXO members each have their own charm, while–with the exception of Rap Monster–BTS members have a similar vibe. NCT is no exception to this, as you can label each member as “The ______ One” even if you know nothing about their personalities.

If you compare Hansol and Yuta in other footage from SM Rookies, Yuta is hungrier. Despite being Japanese, Yuta has been described as “more Korean than the Koreans.” You can literally watch Yuta work solidify his status as “the sexy one” as NCT 127 has practiced, promoted, and performed “Cherry Bomb” this year. (I have the YouTube receipts for this–let me know in the comments if you want me to post them.)

From my completely outsider perspective, it makes sense that if you have two trainees who look almost identical but have different work ethics, you’ll pick the one who is going to work harder.

SM Station

One of SM’s staples on YouTube is SM Station, which features single songs that are collaborations, off-brand concepts for an existing group, or other “random” things. There are a lot of fun songs under this umbrella. (Don’t mind me plugging my boy Chen again.)

Right now, I suspect that they’re testing a subgroup or solo venture featuring Wendy from Red Velvet. In the past months, she’s been featured in two different SM Station releases.

One is a jazz version of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” which prominently features the fact that she’s an English speaker and a strong vocalist.

The other is a collaboration with singers Baek a Yeon and Jaehyun (from NCT). Another seasonal song, called “The Little Match Girl,” but it’s in Korean and puts Wendy’s voice in a different context than Red Velvet.

SM is also simultaneously running a test between Jaehyun and Doyoung as soloists from NCT 127. Jaehyun has gotten two SM Station songs so far versus Doyoung’s one (although Doyoung has been featured in some live stages), so we’ll have to wait and see what comes of this.

The one downside that I can see is that all of the tests attract at least some fans, so you still have a small contingent of NCT stans who wonder about Hansol. I could see this building up into ill will if SM made the wrong decision, but clearly NCT is succeeding reasonably well without Hansol so I doubt it will become a huge problem. I could see this negative feedback being another metric to check your decisions against.

I don’t really know what SM’s intentions are with SM Station, or what the outcome will be.If I can figure out a way to reverse-engineer YouTube views I’ll see if I can put together a predictive post.

In the meantime, I’m determined to learn from SM how to A/B test in real time while also producing quality product that people enjoy. The sheer volume of content that they produce is staggering, and I don’t doubt that it has a direct correlation with why they are so successful.

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