Chestnuts roasting over an open memory

I don’t have a lot of rituals. I have a few patterns, like my morning routine, but they aren’t filled with any meaning. They are functional patterns, designed to take me from initial State A to End State B with an efficient number of steps, established through many years of practice and slow, gradual, mostly subconscious modification.

But tonight I picked up chestnuts. Honest-to-God, 100% edible, roastable-just-like-the-song chestnuts. And I will roast them, probably Thursday night, and I will eat them. And it will be ritual, a welcoming sign of the Christmas season approaching. Continue reading

Happy Amateur Professional Christmas!

One of the best developments of the web over the last several years has been the rise of the amateur professional. These people have always been around: the creative types with too much time on their hands and access (one way or another) to a lot of fancy gear.

What makes it different now is the convergence of (relatively) inexpensive gear and the incredible publishing opportunities that the Internet brings. From podcasts to movies to books to music and more, the amateur is bringing an essential quality that mass-produced media has been lacking for a while: passion.

Don’t get me wrong: there are some fantastic books and tv shows and music being produced right now. But the many-to-many nature of mass distribution means that the most acknowledged are really the most general, that the ones you hear about from centralized news sources and reviews are the ones which appeal to the broadest audience.

The specialized nature and decentralized nature of the Internet allows anyone to produce something highly specialized and get their audience who absolutely love it. The common context that was once shared because everyone had the same 4 channels on television and thus likely all watched mostly the same shows is gone, replaced by a common context that is shared more likely with pockets of people around the world rather than your neighbour. Your community is not where you live, your community is where you love, or something mooshy like that.

This outburst of bloggy goodness was all inspired by stumbling across Clay’s latest video with Stanley. Stanley started out as an entrant into the contest for the Evil League of Evil, but seems to be gaining more traction as a general actor (so to speak). Coincidentally, the Christmas special from MyboyfriendCat (and Tabz) has just been released as well.

So, some alternative holiday greetings from people I’m both in awe of and am proud to call my friends.

Stanley’s Holiday Hunger Hymn

MyBoyfriend’s Video Podcast #2: Merry Christmas