2020 media diet

what a shitty year. i/we wasted time with the following.


  • Borat Subsequent Movie Film…
  • Da 5 Bloods
  • MidSommar
  • Emma
  • The Invisible Man
  • Downhill
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  • First Reformed
  • tenet
  • the midnight sky
  • uncut gems
  • eurovision
  • miss americana
  • the lovebirds
  • enola holmes
  • plenty more, few memorable. this may just be a function of 2020.


so much tv. i am not proud of this.

  • Ozark
  • Space Force
  • Long Way Up
  • Avenue 5
  • Tiger King
  • Evil
  • Killing Eve
  • Glow
  • What We Do in the Shadows
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Dark
  • Fargo
  • The Plot Against America
  • Man in the High Castle
  • Big Mouth, Norsemen
  • The Old Guard
  • Good Girls
  • Dead to Me
  • Perry Mason
  • Atlanta
  • Murder on Middle Beach
  • Dave Chappelle’s stand-up
  • The Queen’s Gambit
  • The Undoing
  • The Outsider
  • The Vow
  • LoveCraft Country
  • Normal People
  • I May Destroy You
  • Ted Lasso
  • The Crown
  • Better Call Saul
  • Mythic Quest Raven’s Banquet
  • american murder the family next door
  • the third day


2020 sucked for reading books. some compelling reads i managed to sit down for that are worth noting.

  • the ministry for the future (kim stanley robinson)
  • agency (william gibson) - fwiw, i’m pretty sure we’re actually living in the jackpot.
  • the coddling of the american mind … (jonathon haidt) - interesting reading in the age of cancel culture. i’m not too sure i’d put too much credence into it.


  • run the jewels: rtj4 - this is just brilliant
  • keith jarret: the koln concert - apparently, i’ve been living under a jazz rock.
  • blackbear - this was a surprisingly amusing find
  • streaming, so much streaming … this has warped my notions of what i listened to over the past year. extraction of this from spotify/apple music seems like an interesting task for 2021.


when you can crank up the playback speed to nearly 2x, shorten silences and actively process voices for listening you can listen to a lot of stuff when you’re working out. the recurring lineup this year … lots of politics.

  • the daily (nytimes) - first thing up in the AM when it’s time to do the workout in the basement. catch-up on it on cardio days.
  • the argument (nytimes) - shrill and amusing. the most interesting episodes were when they had the ardent trumpists on and you got some insights into some decidedly fucked up logic.
  • arms control wonk - as if the pandemic wasn’t bad enough, remember, there are still weapons of mass destruction out there and the technology for deploying them is getting cheaper and cheaper…
  • dolly parton’s america - this was a surprise gem
  • nice white parents - unintended consequences galore.
  • over the road - an insight into trucker culture. totally worth the read.
  • broken record - some real gems in here over the past year.
  • rabbit hole - damn you algorithms. you’re radicalizing the lost souls.
  • revisionist history - solid, if not always interesting. malcolm gladwell delivers.

side note: i’ve been forced to re-evaluate my take on gladwell, and just sit back and enjoy his stories for whatever they are at the time.

  • slow burn - the david duke story. in a year when the phrase anti-fascist is being tossed around by some as a pejorative, it’s instructive to learn/remember that there’s a lot of folks who are downright comfortable with being nazi or nazi-adjacent.
  • sounds like hate - SPLC sucked me in here. the audio from the calls is difficult to parse at times or grating to parse, but the reporting is eye opening.
  • tiny desk concerts - this was the year for tiny concerts.
  • broken record
  • 99% invisible
  • social distance
  • the ezra klein show
  • the joe rogan experience - i started the year giving him a shot. i softened on it for a bit - he had a few great guests on and ended the year dumping him. drivel.
    • i think his interview with michael osterholm at the beginning of the pandemic might have actually got a lot of folks who wouldn’t have taken it seriously to listen. that was productive. i was a little embarrassed for JR when he started talking supplements to osterholm. we parted ways for good well into the summer.

notable long reads

2020 was consumed with various long reads, but not books.