This Is the Good Stuff Vol. 3

Friends, we made it to Friday. I wasn't sure if we could, but here we are.

Since it's Friday, I have published another entry in my This Is the Good Stuff series. You are reading it right now!

Here's what I can recommend this week:

Get Into This Good Stuff

Watchmen on HBO

Recently (in this blog post) I mentioned how Annie and I have been rewatching LOST. That show was co-created by a gentleman named Damon Lindelof, who also served as its head writer and co-showrunner. I will follow Damon Lindelof wherever he goes with his creativity. So far, this journey has led to the severely underappreciated Prometheusas well as the transcendent three-season gem The Leftovers. Lindelof's latest creative outing is his "remix" of Watchmen.

The original Watchmen is a 12-issue comic series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Back in the day, I heard that it was a big influence on LOST, so I checked it out. I mean I literally checked out the collected graphic novel edition of Watchmen from the library. I read it in a single sitting. Eventually, I watched Zack Snyder's 2009 film version, which is not great but is not as awful as its reputation might suggest.

A couple of years ago, I heard that Lindelof would be taking a swing at this particularly knotty piece of intellectual property. In two days from today, the season finale of his version of Watchmen will air. Friends, it has been amazing. I can't stop thinking about the show and how it has managed to stay true to the Watchmen universe (and attendant canon) while offering insightful and incisive commentary about the world you and I live in today. It's just fucking great and I can't wait to rewatch it.

Lindelof has said that there will be just one season of the show. I hope that isn't the case. Nevertheless, I am grateful for this season of television and I will continue to follow Mr. Lindelof's career. The fact is that the stories he tells are not separate; they are all the same story. Like a great novelist or painter, Lindelof is exploring the big themes and finding new perspectives with every creative outing. We are lucky to live in a world of his creations, and we are fortunate that he is such a generous, inclusive and willing collaborator.

By the way, we finished watching LOST. The finale is an absolute masterpiece and I will fight you about it. I cried so, so hard. I am glad I had a chance to revisit the series separated from all the hype and expectations that surrounded it back when it aired on ABC and I was obsessed.

At Least Getting the Name of the Person or People Who Created the Thing You Consumed and-or Enjoyed

You know what annoys me? Someone will mention that they saw a musical performance while they were out at a bar or restaurant or wherever and it was really good. Then I ask them, "what was the performer's name?" Invariably, they have no idea. They dug the music, but apparently not enough to get the person's name. Sure, there are performers who need to do a better job of promoting themselves and letting people know who they are. But in my experience, it rarely occurs to people to learn the name of the person who did the thing they liked.

So when you are entertained by someone or you appreciate a thing someone created, I think it's a good idea to, at the very least, learn the person's name. So you can tell me about them and avoid annoying me.

I wasn't always very good at this myself. I read lots of stuff on the internet. I used to never pay attention to the byline, though. Then I became a writer. So I started paying attention to the people who wrote the stuff I read. Through this process, I was able to identify writers I enjoyed. Now I follow them and look for their stuff, which allows me to be entertained and enlightened more consistently.

So yeah, I really just recommend paying attention to the people who direct the movies you like and the people who write the books you enjoy and stuff like that. People create this stuff! It doesn't just appear! It is not because of the largesse of corporations that we have the things we enjoy in life – it is because of human beings like you and me! So give them credit, won't you?

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New Socks and Underwear

You just don't know how amazing new socks and underwear are until you open your drawer to find them glistening among the old, ragged warriors who have fought bravely in the, uh, trenches for years. Go get some new undergarments, okay? It's going to be great.

Hotel Luna Mystica

Annie and I did not have a traditional Thanksgiving this year. Instead, we traveled up to lovely Taos, New Mexico to chill out in our pajamas and watch the snow fall. We decided to stay at the Hotel Luna Mystica, which is situated on the mesa just west of town, not far from the Rio Grande Gorge. it's right across the road from the Taos Mesa Brewery "Mothership," too. So it's a wonderful location.

The deal with Hotel Luna Mystica is that the accommodations are restored vintage trailers from the 50s and 60s. We stayed in a 1961 Yellowstone called "Yogi," and gosh, it was super sweet. Tight, cozy quarters with all the amenities. Great mountain views. A groovy vibe, overall.

If you find yourself in Taos and you're looking for a place to stay, Hotel Luna Mystica is pretty rad. I can't wait to go back!

Fantastic Fungi

This film, which is directed by Louie Schwartzberg, is a love letter to the Kingdom of Mycelia. It features gorgeous time-lapse photography and interviews with some notable mushroom-based folks, Paul Stamets being the film's "main character."

Annie and I went to see it at the Guild Cinema in Albuquerque. By the time you read this, it will no longer by playing in Albuquerque, but it may be available in a theater in your city. Eventually, I am sure it will be available on one of the popular streaming platforms.

Anyway, I thought the movie was great. Visually quite lovely. A neat soundtrack, too. And Brie Larson narrates it. Naturally, the film features a lot of Michael Pollan, who is someone I have some trouble with as a member of the psychedelic community. The guy has tripped, like, six times. He's a novice. Yes, he's a smart dude and probably really nice and absolutely a great writer. How to Change Your Mind was a nice book. But he is also a proponent of maintaining prohibition. And I can't get down with that. But I digress; Pollan was just one of many talking heads in this film. And ultimately, the film did not take a prohibitionist stance, so it's all good.

It should be noted that the film is about fungi in general. "Magic" mushrooms (and the experiences they induce) are covered in pretty great detail, but that's not what this film is about.

Stay Safe Out There, Friends!

Shit's crazy these days. Don't go out unless you have to. Okay?

I'll see you next week with another edition of This Is the Good Stuff. In the meantime, I invite you to poke around my website and stuff. I've tried to make it nice for you. So let me know what you think, all right? Just leave a comment or send an email to matt@mattkollock.com.

Later!

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