34 Comments
Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

that mouse/rat gif make it stop

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i originally put it as my first one but then was like no no way too hardcore

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Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

A NIC CAGE QUOTE

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he's a good guy

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Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

i love the internet archive so much

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Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

also omg speaking of hair I found my first patch of grey hairs on my birthday!!!!

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Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

this means I can officially go to bed at 7:45 pm now

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legally you HAVE to yea

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Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

JOE ROGAINE that is a great joke

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tysm

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Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

okay alex for real I have thought about reviving my public writing again but also i am worried about the time commitment. I was thinking I should write a bunch of articles to bank, but then I was thinking I should just start it. gah! maybe I will call it True Are Both

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just start it who cares live life follow your bliss! or bank some and then do it? But i think delaying doing the hard part will only make it harder .

Love the name True Are Both

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here is a secret link for BAT/TAB readers only of my old wordpress blog which I have not updated in 2 years xoxoxox https://madelinelouisefriend.wordpress.com/

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Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I definitely don't feel like all my posts need to be "bangers," but I do feel that they need to be posts that *I* would want to read. Otherwise, I'm wasting everyone's time (including my own).

Also--when it comes to teaching, I've had my best classes when I feel totally unprepared because I just go with the energy in the room. When I'm super prepared, class can either be really good or really bad. I haven't quite figured out what it is that tips the balance.

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that's a great litmus test!

also wait you teach? what do you teach? how do I enroll?

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Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Yep! I'm an English professor at Bronx Community College. Not as glamorous as the life of an actor, but it's pretty fun.

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haha trust me it's more glamerous than sitting around not acting! do you teach classes on badass notes of cool people through history?

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Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Haha, no! I teach my students to be badass writers so historians will study their notes some day!

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Nov 11, 2022·edited Nov 11, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I love it when you ask questions of your readers. It makes me feel loved and important and that’s what I NEED from reading an essay. So here are my answers to your questions. I know how important that is to you. I n fact since I know you are anxiously awaiting my response and the responses of all of your readers I will get right to that. Now what were questions again? Oh yeah 1. No 2.n/a, no 3. I’m happy it’s my natural disposition 4. I can’t think of anything else. Again thanks for making me an important part of your process. ❤️ Tbh I am completely puzzled by the hullabaloo surrounding Musk and Twitter. I thought he was a popular rich guy. I thought Bezos was Dr Evil. Wonder what I missed? Maybe not giving a s**t is as good as reason as any for happiness.

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the less you know about musk the better. he's a weirdo sadboi who needs love, just like me. ok so wait are you being SERIOUS or SARCASTIC about loving when I ask questions of readers?

You are 100% correct that i am anxiously awaiting responses you know me all too well

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My latest answer to your last question is, wait for it..."Both Are True" or more simply, YES.

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Dec 4, 2022Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

As a no0b to newsletters....still waiting for the listicle😢

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Ok I will actually do this. Do u have specific questions u want to know about? That will help

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Yesterday, I woke up to a lot of new subscribers. I thought I had written a banger from Bali, but I couldn’t quite figure out why it was a banger, since it didn’t have the banger ingredients. It was a personal, silly, sort serious post about traveling in Bali. But for a moment, I thought, Michael, you need more monkey content and more commentary on what the Balinese man on the street wants to know about America -- THIS is what the internet gods want, THIS is banger material, THIS is the stuff of viral nectar. But then the internet went out, I went for a swim, then I went into town and talked to some Balinese people about crispy duck, and ate the crispy duck, and forgot all about bangers. THEN I read your post and saw your lovely shout out (thank you, Alex!), and I realized that there were no bangers involved in the subscriber uptick, that what happened was that another writer told his readers about me and some of those readers came by for a look, and a handful of those readers, maybe because they like silly, personal sorta serious stories about monkeys and shipwrecks, decided to stay for a while. I think that’s how Substack works, and I know that is better than the twitter-banger-virus-machine.

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hahahaha Banger From Bali is ur next book title.

Also, this is simply the shoutout to banger pipeline working just as it should.

also i for some reason only saw this now which is why i'm responding now

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“It was a genuine poison rotting my brain from the inside, turning my every thought into a tweet, bad sad and mad.” <--Amen brother! That’s why I left FB, Twitsville, and the Damn ‘gram! MONSTER Substacky hugs! MM

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hahaha couldn't agree more. Hugs right back to ya

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love as always!

specific beloved things:

-- the Guns And Their Roses

-- Funny is an emergent property of all sorts of other things - truth, vulnerability, honest reactions, making yourself look dumb, slippin on banana peels, etc. (PLUS TIME, DON'T FORGET)

-- I was writing about not looking for bangers on Substack AS PART OF AN ESSAY I WAS ANTICIPATING TO BE A BANGER.

-- I wonder if anyone has ever called him Joe Rogaine I mean it’s too easy for someone not to have done it

-- a new age term for getting

-- the universal living inside the personal etc. (LOVE THAT "ETC")

AND MORE!

love!

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Thanks for this essay. like your rule of thumb! "If the main reason for writing something is to benefit your standing in the marketplace, prolly don't do it, cuz it ain't it."

This could apply to the workplace too. Anytime I have caught myself saying, "Oh this will be a funny email/ Slack message" it is usually not, lol. Far better to be natural, and laughs and human interaction will just flow that way instead of needing to "plan" it whether it's tweets or something else.

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You no longer use a kettle?

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my twitter account is very old but i never use(d) it that much. i was however a diehard livejournal user (and previously deadjournal!) for ages, and then tumblr, and then instagram. i only post food on IG and absolutely agonize over which photo to post and what to write in the caption and which hashtags to use. it wasn't even because i wanted the most likes or comments or more followers or the possibility of viral...ness? it was like just totally...my own brain? the way i am? ew. weak.

in general i will be ALL IN on a social media platform, interact a lot, make friends, and then disappear. because it always starts off fun and rewarding (or talking into the void which is kind of boring but also safe) and then it marches straight into overwhelming territory. because i can't just like...use it sometimes. i have this compulsive need to read everything. as much as i hate The Algorithm it's kind of good because back when shit was chronological i would literally have to see every post and my brain was not satisfied until i got to the end, even if i didn't give a single shit about any of it. (because also i had self imposed guilt if i didn't follow someone back who interacted with me even if i had no interest in what they posted.) or like, i destroy my own experience because i feel compelled to follow - for example - indie brands i shop with, or Nice People Just Trying To Catch A Break on twitch, and so on. they asked me to follow! they said it would really help them and mean a lot! it's free and easy for me to do! they deserve support! and BLOOP now i'm sifting through trash and i no longer have the will to participate. (actually about a year ago i went on my laptop and just bookmarked the instagrams i want to look at and now i just periodically manually go to those pages on the web like i'm old or whatever and honestly i love it.)

and that's before you get to the rampant toxicity these days which makes it so if i leave a comment anywhere i immediately get anxiety and racing thoughts and my brain starts invention possible scenarios that aren't likely to happen because you can hardly post "lol this was so funny" before you've inadvertently gotten into a flamewar with someone anymore. i once explained the symbolism on a tshirt of a brand i followed to someone in the comments who was asking (like a shirt had symbols on it and i literally just named what they were) and they turned out to be this wild conspiracy theorist and my notifications LIT UP dude and it was Not Good and i still (obviously) think about it to this day?? i'm a highly sensitive person (or maybe autistic? or maybe just trauma-induced extreme empathy?) so it's just not possible for my brain to post or read or comment and then just close the app or computer or whatever and never think of it again if things don't go as planned. my partner roasts and trolls people on twitter all the time and it's like...satisfying for him and then he goes and does something else and sleeps like a baby. he finds conversations with random people stimulating in the moment, gets his dopamine or whatever and goes on about his day. i'm like cool i will think of this every night before bed for five years minimum.

substack is cool as heck tho, it gives me the warm fuzzy livejournal vibes from days of yore, and it's a community that people choose to be in. you get to read stuff you actually want to read...CHOSE to read, and the commenters seem chill and relatable and respectful because they also chose to be here. (although one time we found the substack of someone we had crossed paths with [seen all the time in the bar/club but never really hung out with type of thing] who was full on ranting about his divorce and it turned out he was absolutely batshit crazy and thought he was being recorded for reality tv and so he started [in his mind] social engineering his world and i really almost reported him to the police but i just closed the tab instead.)

so...am i happy? i don't know. i guess i think more in terms of privilege? like i think about when we could barely make rent and had a miserable roommate situation and A Lot of Stuff going on and now we're chilling in our own little apartment and if an emergency comes up we're equipped to deal with it, we have food in the fridge, we have hobbies we get to enjoy...and that makes me happy. having a fulfilling relationship, being absolutely obsessed with my nephew, sleeping in my own bed with my precious weighted blanket on me every night, that makes me happy. there are people who, if they had to live my life, would be miserable i think. but it's all relative, yanno?

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First of all, love the GIFs! I might build a whole game around them.

To add to your point, I think making art is like dating. A good dating strategy is to be open to love and casually date, but not to try too hard, because it can turns potential partners off. Same with art, I think. Ideally, you’re creating stuff and having fun with it, and not trying too hard to GO VIRAL or MAKE IT BIG, because the desperation seeps through.

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