The things I (probably) believe about this newsletter
PLUS A BIG MESSAGE FROM ALEX'S TWIN BROTHER BRAD C. ONVERSION at the bottom!!!!
First off a big ‘hello and how the heck are ya?!’ to all the new readers subscribing to BAT after My Parents, my child, and me: what could go wrong? on was featured in last week’s Substack Reads! You can tell that the grandpa in the stock photo they used below is definitely an American - he is much too comfortable blowing bubbles, in a public park no less; there’s no way an immigrant grandpa ever be capable of such an unabashed expression of joy.
Since we’ve got a whole lotta new people here, I figured this would be a great time to share some of the ideas and values I think I am trying to believe regarding Both Are True, so here they are below.
(Huge shoutout to my Substack accountability buddies from whom this idea to write out what we each believe originated: Anne from the always hilarious Cafe Anne and Jane from the poignant and deep Beyond - two writers whose newsletters you REALLY NEED TO SUBSCRIBE TO LOL NO JOKE THO)
The Values Or Whatever
I believe life is an absurd comedy. Being absurd, it has no inherent meaning, thus we can create meaning however we choose.
My meaning, aka the moments in life that make my brain and heart go ‘whoa’, is guided by feelings and expressed through stories. Both Are True is the home for those stories, those feelings, and all the weird dumb fun stuff in between.
Both Are True seeks to answer a question I’ve wondered about since I was young - can art be simultaneously vulnerable + honest AND absurd + weird? Generally speaking I know the answer is yes, but can I pull it off? Sure hope so lol.
Often this will mean trying new things, doin dumb bits, playing with format/tone and creating video sketches which is something I used to do a whole lot more of on Twitter and with my sketch duo Thanks Laura.
NOTE: Because many people have already been asking, my twin brother Brad. C. Onversion is NOT a sketch or bit - he is real. He looks exactly like me - how could I possibly fake that? He has been staying at my house since his divorce and really wants to make Both Are True profitable. If you hear from him, I am sorry.
Numbers aren’t real. They were made up by shifty salesmen in the 1950s to trick people into buying more stuff. As such, I will not obsess over the numbers of this newsletter - subscriber count, view count, comments, etc. This is bad for my weak little heart and also for my work. I will try to not do it and also not get too mad at myself when I inevitably end up doing it because, as my doctor recently told me, I am human.
Though I may not believe in myself, I do believe in this newsletter. I think writing helps both me and the audience feel less alone, and to help people not feel crazy, or at least to realize that everyone else is crazy just like you - that’s a valuable thing to do and I believe that I can do a great job at it.
I used to be obsessed with Twitter. Like, all day every day I was on there, checking the ‘numbers’ (which are not real, see #4). Though I made a lot of great friends on there, my self esteem somehow went even deeper down the toilet like into the toilet’s toilet or something as I defined my value by the results of ‘how well’ my posts did. It is absurd and yet, friends, it is true.
Substack is different. Here I feel like we are creating a community. The pace is slower, the vibes are better, and I feel better about myself and the world by being on here. That community, this space - it is super important and something I want to nurture as if I was an emperor penguin dad who sits on top of his offspring’s egg AND takes care of the baby penguin once it hatches while the mama penguin travels the whole winter to bring back food for the baby. also the dad penguin doesn’t eat all winter what a wild lil guy!
I believe that an artist can make a living through the patronage of her or his fans. As such I will not be shy / ashamed to let readers know they can support Both Are True via paid subscriptions WHILE also keeping the vast majority of the newsletter free for all.
As someone who myself has paid for several newsletters because of certain perks that I get, I will begin offering certain special access things for paid subscribers as well, but I’ll never make the heart of the anything but free. If I do, or if I fuck up in general, you must all tell me.
K so wow this is such a crazy coincidence but omg, if you wanna subscribe, here just happens to be a button that magically landed here for you to do so.
I will dance if I want to, I will NOT leave my friends behind. This is a false binary. You can dance AND have friends who do not dance: BOTH ARE TRUE.
Ok, that’s it. For now. These will change, especially once my legal team takes a look. But for now, let’s enjoy these, here as we are.
Couple quick things to note and then we’ll be off:
I absolutely loved fellow Soaring Twenties Social Club member Oleg’s fly on the wall descriptions of the people he saw on the bus every day, so I asked if I could record an audio version of it and he said YES! (we r also married now). You can check out his piece - Commuters - and my audio recording of it here.
HEY WHATS UP EVERYONE ALEX WENT TO DO A POOP AND SO I’M TAKING OVER ITS YOUR MAIN MAN BRAD C. ONVERSION!!!!
It’s Brad Time
I couldn’t make it through even half of the wah wah cry cry feelings bullshit Alex wrote above, I mean what is this, the made for TV Lifetime movie Death of a Cheerleader?! (great film btw, I consulted on it - came up with the title. They wanted to call it “High School” and I said no, what happens in the movie is the Death of a Cheerleader, so thats what you gotta calls it!!! Plus it was a subtle nod to my good friend Artie Miller’s Death of a Salesman, also a title I came up with but I DISGRESS .
A LOT OF YOU REACHED OUT WITH QUESTIONS THAT YOU WANTED TO ASK ME AFTER MY INTRO POST LAST WEEK.
As a reminder, ONLY PAID subscribers can ask me questions that’s the rules that’s the capital of this united states: capitalism!
So to all the PAID subscribers who sent in quuestions last week THANK YOU. Here’s just a LITTLE SNEAK PEAK of ME answering them! If you want to see the whole thing AND if you want to ask me some questions yourselves, you can do so here:
WANT TO SEE THE WHOLE VIDEO?? AND ASK QUEStiONS FOR NEXT MAILBAG? It’s all here in the BAT Subscriber Lounge.
Shit Alex is coming back pretend like you never saw this I’ll write something below to make it look like Alex again ahha
ITS ME ALEX AGAIN
HI everyone I’m sad and emotional and my feelings are too big for my tummy
Everything Everywhere All At Once being the latest amazing example. Note to self: make a list of art that fits this description. Will be fun.