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A very happy new year to each and everyone of you! Let's jump right in.
TLDR
  • Housekeeping.
  • The last decade, reviewed.
  •  The new decade, previewed.
  • The launch of my audio drama.

Housekeeping

As you might have realized by now, I'm greeting you from a different newsletter engine, titled Mailchimp. This has multiple reasons, but to put it simple: Mailchimp has a wonderful Wordpress integration, which is awesome because my new website - https://unrealimages.space runs on Wordpress. More on the website down below. If this change is not to your liking, you can simply unsubscribe down below. With this cat out of the bag, let's get going. 

The last decade, reviewed

The 2010s were wild. For me, for you, for everyone else. I graduated from high school, entered university not once, but thrice. I held several jobs, from teaching children the basics of Shakespeare and English grammar to being a Quality Assurance programmer in a hundred people strong internet company. I went from thinking I was uncreative as hell to having a weekly newsletter and a monthly podcast (fingers crossed). I traveled the world, and spent time in and outside of Europe. Eventually, this all leads me to ponder about the nature of time. I sometimes think that as I get older, times moves more quickly than before. But then I catch myself thinking about what had happened between the years and how much has changed, in good and bad.

Thinking in global terms just enhanced this increasingly existential dread. Did you know that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, the nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima, both Prince William's and Prince Harry's weddings, the Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter and Friday's For Future movements, Obama's re-election and Trump's election, countless wars in the Middle East, the rise and fall of ISIS, all took place in the last decade. And this was just politics (I know, I know, categorization is a dangerous game, everything is political. But you get the idea).
Entertainment-wise, the decade has seen decisive moments that changed the course of gaming, video-streaming and overall media consumption in numerous ways. If you want to indulge yourself in the best write-ups of this topic, head over to Polygon and this series. Regarding books, I think it's safe to assume that you can trust The Literary Hub and their Best-ofs.
Contrary to my belief, the 2010s didn't see the end of the Weird Web, something that not just makes me very happy. There are countless links with the best Best-of lists out there, but in my books, href.cool has the best one, with a close second from A.V. Club. But it wasn't just the weird web that dominated my mind the entire decade, it was also Memes! Soooooo many great memes did we see, and who else to have a write-up of the very best than Buzzfeed. And I could go on and on about all this, but I could also give you the List of Lists and let you get wild with it. But be warned, it is not easy going down this rabbit hole.

The new decade, previewed

Through all of this, I remain hopeful. There is a lot more for the internet, the world of politics and culture, and you and me in store than anyone can imagine. The Intelligencer wrote a great piece about Life in the 2029s, based on our life now and I want to quote a passage.

Today the world has the uncanny shimmer of future weirdness, its every week stuffed with new events that seem to open up strange new realities only to be forgotten as the next wave of strangeness hits. But as the decade pulls to a close, we’re unpacking the last year of it in a timeline of crucial 2019 dates that played like premonitions of where we’ll be ten years from now. The future is present in these moments — epic, like the battle for Hong Kong; eerie, like virtual makeup; and personal, like contemplating gender-confirmation surgery.

The piece is just this, news from last year, interpreted with a view on the future, done by journalists and laymen alike. It's full of surprises and beautiful pictures. Go read it already!

The BBC put out a piece about the last decade in reading, which for me read like a prediction for the future. From the beginning: "The fact that we spend more and more time online may mean that we are increasingly distracted from reading… but it can also mean that readers have more avenues to find the stories they want and need". It's a difficult predicament to navigate, but once again, I think that society and technology will find ways to surprise us all with a way out, or even through this changing times. Just look at Instapoetry and the success of Rupi Kaur, which you cannot deny, regardless of how you judge her poetry. The New Republic even went so far as to crown her the Writer of the Decade: "Kaur’s achievement as an artist is the extent to which her work embodies, formally, the technology that defines contemporary life: smartphones and the internet." I, for one, am very interested to see where technology and writing is going next, but "Knausgaard, Cusk, and Lerner [and even] the intimate multivolume epics of Elena Ferrante (..) are a matter of the past. I don’t know if we’ll be reading Rupi Kaur a decade or two hence, but I suspect we’ll be reading as she taught us to." I couldn't agree more. And hey, if the visual experience of reading novels might be dead in the late 2020s, I so very here for the overtaking of the auditory media (*eyes at Podcasts*). 

One last thing, very quickly. Had minimalistic and geometric sans serif fonts like San Francisco and Helvetica Neue dominated the 2010s, so will this typography dominate the coming decade. At least, that is if you want to believe the folks over at The Outline. So, sans serif no more, serif it is.

The launch of my fiction podcast

Truly, I cannot really grasp it either - but here it is: I launched my fiction podcast on the 31st of December. Here is the elevator pitch: the podcast tells story of someone who runs towards the stars to find answers. About life, death, history, and most importantly, about himselfThe podcast will feature monthly updates and will span stories that run through the depths of unknown space and time. And remember, even if we sometimes get lost, we will always find or fight our way back to well-known shores. If you want to listen to it, just search for Heaps of Unreal Images on Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. I will write about the whole process of writing, recording and editing the story in due time. 

My very improvised vocal booth. The whole episode took three hours in total to write, four to edit and countless hours to plan and conceptualize. Maybe I will someday find a workflow that works.

Post Note

As usually, I am a few days behind, but please forgive me, I was busy making this podcast episode and celebrating all these events that all so suddenly await us all at the end of a year. I will try to plan the releases more in advance, and maybe I'll even find a few people to help with this. For now, I want you all to know how proud I am of you that you survived the hellish 2010s. And now be the best you can be in this promising new decade. You are all magnificent!

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