NTWON: Take Your Pills

For May's edition of Nothing to Watch on Netflix, Mick watched a documentary called Take Your Pills.

Take Your Pills shines a spotlight on an often unnoticed and forgotten epidemic sweeping America: the widespread use and abuse of prescription ADD/ADHD medications, with a specific focus on Adderall.

This documentary is chilling because it brings to light the fact that a massive swath of the population is using amphetamine, the chemical branded as Adderall. A large, diverse cast of individuals using Adderall are the focus of this documentary in order to show just how far this epidemic reaches. Of course, there are a slew of college/high school students in addition to a software engineer, a talent agent, and a stock broker. 

To balance out this portrait of everyday people who use this drug, there are also a variety of doctors, experts, and talking heads that throw in their two cents on the Adderall epidemic as well, while also going into detail about what amphetamine is and how it affects our bodies. Spoiler alert: it's not good.

In addition to all of the extremely valuable and interesting information that is overflowing from this film, it is also beautifully shot and the director, Alison Klayman, injects a healthy dose of surrealism to communicate the anxiety and discomfort that being on an ridiculous amount of amphetamine can cause. 

The thing that's particularly complicated is that this film shows viewers that there are two types of Adderall users: the ones who legitimately need it and the ones who use it to get an edge in our hyper competitive civilization. In all, it's a deeply thoughtful meditation on the utility and cost of this medication. 

Check it out! 

The Old Man's War

Recently, Mick had the pleasure of reading the 2005 sci-fi novel The Old Man's War.

Like all good science fiction, the premise of The Old Man's War is simple. Humanity has started colonizing space and the Colonial Defence Force is tasked with protecting the human colonies from all manner of hostile alien life. The twist on this tried and true formula is that CDF soldiers are not allowed to enlist until they are 75 years old. The plot centers on a new recruit named John Perry as he adjusts to CDF life and experiences life off Earth.

The thing that makes The Old Man's War such an instant classic is that it not only follows in the tradition of science fiction giants like Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, and Orson Scott Card but it reads like it's an active part of that tradition, except without all of the misogynistic baggage that usually comes along with it. Rather, The Old Man's War is about one man's jaunt through space blasting intelligent alien life forms before they devour entire human colonies and his ethical struggle with the horror and inhumanity of war. Another wrinkle in this plot (without spoiling too much) deals with the very nature of what it means to be human as CDF soldiers experience genetic modification in order to assist them in combat across the stars. 

Being that it's a sci-fi novel, the writing isn't particularly splendid. It's certainly not a garbled unreadable nightmare, but you won't be reading Nabokov either. The language is stripped down and simple due in part to the fact that John is the first person narrator and he's not a particularly verbose guy. And let's be honest, nobody reads sci-fi for mind-blowing prose anyways.  

In short, this is a quick and easy book to tear through on a rainy weekend or a cross-country flight. It's fun and translates fantastically to the screen (Netflix is looking to adapt it). The Old Man's War is a must read for anyone who is a fan of the sci-fi genre. 

NTWON: Game Over Man

This month's Netflix spotlight is the action-comedy brofest Game Over, Man! 

Now that Workaholics has finally ended, many people are itching to see more from everyone's three favorite stoner fuck-ups. Luckily, Adam Devine, Blake Anderson, Ander Holm, and director Kyle Newacheck anticipated this and put together a hilarious new movie for everyone exclusive to the 'Flix. 

Game Over Man! carries on the spirit of Workaholics in that it's full of drugs, dick jokes, and Adam Devine screaming. However, there are refreshing shake-ups that make the viewing experience novel. For one thing, the boys are actually playing characters as opposed to accentuated versions of themselves. Blake Anderson's character is particularly interesting simply because it's nice to see him play someone radically different from his character on Workaholics.

As made clear by the trailer, this movie is also full of cameos. Shaggy's is, of course, a hilarious highlight but there's a slew of other celebrities getting caught in the crossfire throughout the mayhem.  

Game Over, Man! was slaughtered by critics, but nobody putting this movie on should be expecting The Godfather in the first place. It's a dumb but enjoyable romp with some familiar funny faces.

Check it out! 

My Favorite Day

Mick reads a poem about his favorite day.

My Favorite Day

by Mick Theebs


Pollen floats through the air
turning a verdant resting place into
a hellscape full of pitchfork wielding
bumble bees and stuffed sinuses.
Life stirs in the womb
of the earth.
Those short cold days of
quickening long behind them,
as the sun decides to show
its face around these parts again
unashamed, though prodigal for
having abandoned us to face
the frigid slings and arrows of
the season alone.
This is the season of
our content,
the triumphant return
against all odds as
the very planet itself
turns the other cheek toward
better days and warmer nights
chasing away Winter’s wraiths
with piercing bolts of
pure sunlight.
The wheel turns without cease,
as steady as the tide,
the cycle restarts, again complete,
that unending march of time.
 

Factory Daze

Mick and Taylor took another urban exploration adventure to an abandoned factory complex in southern Connecticut. 

Taylor

Mick

Active Contemplations - Katie Jurkiewicz

ALSO THAT is pleased to share the colorful and impassioned work of New Haven painter Katie Jurkiewicz. 

Click here to visit Katie's website.

Click here to read Katie's comic.

My landscape paintings are active contemplations of natural forms. Circles, triangles, squiggles all become a language I use to describe the landscape.  I am interested in presenting a (mostly) optimistic vision of the future, one where renewable energy sources – solar, nuclear, wind, hydropower – have become an accepted presence in the rural landscape. 

I paint on unstretched canvas, its appearance suits my style and it allows me to paint on a large imposing scale. One of the main benefits of presenting this work is its flexibility. The nature of unstretched work
— KJ

NTWON: Love Season 3

This month's Netflix spotlight is the third and final season of the Apatow produced comedy Love, starring Gillian Jacobs and man/bird hybrid Paul Rust.

After a dark and complicated season 2, season three picks up more or less where Mickey and Gus left off. However, things seem different this time around. Yes, Gus sports a new haircut that makes him look less like a 13-year-old hatchling and more like a fully grown adult bird person and Judd Apatow's daughter is rapidly aging to the point where it's nearly impossible to suspend disbelief that she's actually a 14 year old, but it seems like something else is going on here.

It may be that the overall tone of the series has shifted somewhat. Season 2 paints of picture of two deeply flawed individuals that probably should not be together. Season 3, on the other hand, offers a more nuanced view of these people as they learn from their past mistakes and make active efforts to become more self-aware and self-controlled. It makes the viewer want to root for them and genuinely sells the idea that these two people might actually work together.

This season, in particular, focuses on the many skeletons in Gus's closet, ranging from past career blunders to past romances. This serves to humanize him and give viewers a better idea of who he is beyond a whiney little people pleaser. Toward the end of the season, there's a short arc where Gus and Mickey go to his home state of South Dakota and meet Gus's family, which serves both the plot and character development in addition to providing an excruciatingly realistic portrayal of how family ties can put a strain on a relationship.

In addition to the main couple, there's also a strong B-plot that centers on Bertie and Randy's relationship. In a nice mirror to Gus and Mickey's increasing confidence and stability, Bertie and Randy descend into chaos and strife. 

The series ends on a definite up-note, which seems almost out of place considering the dark and troubling path that the show was following. There are many loose ends and questions that never get answered, but this show was meant to serve as a foil to the typical Rom-Com formula. It was meant to be something closer to reality, something that gives audiences an honest look at love. The final season of Love hits the mark and leaves us with something sweet to chew on.

Check it out!  

Poetry Lives - Z.M. Wise

ZM Wise.jpg

Z.M. Wise is a champion of poetry. A poet, an essayist, and editor, Z.M. has made poetry his life's work. Today, he shares some of his writing with ALSO THAT. To see more of Z.M.'s work, click one of the links below:

Click here to visit Z.M. Wise's Tumblr.

Click here to follow Z.M. Wise on Twitter.

Click here to watch Z.M.'s interview with Mick Theebs

(Flyer Poem) #72

Published in Harbinger Asylum

Love the rain by our slumbering heads and
love the thunder by our bare, cuddling bodies.
Love the intimacy that makes the day seem like a breath away.
Love the jump-start touch of your hand and
love the fusion aura kiss.
Love the carefree times that make life worth living.
Love the intensity of ravenous lovemaking and
love the mutual eye contact post reciprocal climaxes.
Love the sound of your name that makes the human population repeat it incessantly.
Love you only.
Love:
just a word until the days of You.

 

I Have Lost Your Memory

Published in The Painted Brain

I walked down yourcomplex.
I distinctly recalled yourlaugh.
I smelled your scent.
I lived your life.
I wrote your poems.
I wrote your lyrics.
I sang your songs.
I loved your muse.
I dreamt your dreams.
But, I am not you.
 

The streets are still destitute.
The quips are just as humorous.
Your aroma is ever so thick.
The life you live baffles us all.
The poetry has become meaningless.
The lyrical words do not belong to you.
Your songs have destroyed the name of music.
The muse, untamed, is forever promiscuous.
The dreams are of a visionary, none manifested otherwise.
But, I am not you.
 

Sweep the streets for your white gold random acts of kindness.
Forever laughing, no other medicine needed but that grin.
What a scent, for it attracts the magnet-headed beings.
A life that is full makes for digestive death.
Poetry lives, but you shan’t last years next to words.
These lyrical drafts accompany a masterful melody.
A swan song, your legacy, pines for companionship.
Promiscuous as it is, the muse is for everyone.
Dreams belong to the dreamer, but the dreamer touched my hand.
 

No future plans, no past regrets.
I have lost your memory.
Whose piece have I been writing?
But, I am not you.

 

Ouroboros

Published in The Legendary

…and the Dragon
spins round and round,
balancing revolution.
 

War on Life as we know it
hurdles through the cosmos,
breaks through the
adolescent barrier, and
lands before our eyes and
willful fingertips.
We are what we are
motivated to slaughter and incinerate.
 

…and the Dragon
spins round and round,
balancing our allotted amount of air.
 

Craving of flesh as we picture it
eats away as an
internal parasite would.
Dilate the pupils and fight back.
The Greek world began in Chaos,
but ours will end in a
complete convulsion.
The lovers giveth and the lovers taketh away.
 

…and the Dragon
spins round and round,
balancing head and body counts.
 

Let the search unfurl!
Red flag,
white towel,
blue in the mouth,
yellow like the interior amphibian.
Sexual charades on a wooden floor
underneath Neil’s mirror ball, or
tribal dance around a
campfire of nativity?
They read the digital news today…oh, boy!
 

…and the Dragon
spins round and round,
balancing royals in heat.
 

When the wyvern bites the tail,
all is well in the electric current.
When the wyvern watches the skies,
aware of seven billion well beings,
all is glistening, just North of
mystical embodiments of life masks.
Sigh of disbelief…
You still have us for a thumb-sucking undertow.
 

…and the Dragon
spins round and round,
balancing a closet rebellion.

 

Laugh

Published in Sick Lit Magazine

Laugh. Laugh. Snicker.
Got humor?
Have jokes will travel.

Humor: my greatest ally.
I make love to you every day,
burying my voice in your
euphoric environment.

Echoing in barbaric ‘ha-ha’ tones,
a lullaby of chuckles,
sent to my loved one.

She deserves this after
a life time of killing tears,
lusting after anger suppression,
staring at the cobblestone floor.

In this one humane body,
a laugh attack is necessary.

Bittersweet and demented,
a quip that is corny.
Who cares about the rule of thumb,
the total number of guffaws?

Losing it alongside you!
It feels like I have
ingested a carton full of
uppers with kicks of caffeine.

We are two hyenas without
obligatory cares in this world,
two saplings who evolve
into a serene, elated green.

Until death’s alarm clock rang,
we collected certain seconds.
When her celebratory funeral
occurred on a blackened evening,
we laughed.

The New Decalogue

Mick reads a poem by Ambrose Bierce 

Have but one God: thy knees were sore
If bent in prayer to three or four.

Adore no images save those
The coinage of thy country shows.

Take not the Name in vain. Direct
Thy swearing unto some effect.

Thy hand from Sunday work be held—
Work not at all unless compelled.

Honor thy parents, and perchance
Their wills thy fortunes may advance.

Kill not—death liberates thy foe
From persecution’s constant woe.

Kiss not thy neighbor’s wife. Of course
There’s no objection to divorce.

To steal were folly, for ’tis plain
In cheating there is greater gain.

Bear not false witness. Shake your head
And say that you have “heard it said.”

Who stays to covet ne’er will catch
An opportunity to snatch.

NTWON: The End of the Fucking World

This month's Netflix spotlight is all about the ministries based on a graphic novel, The End of the Fucking World. 

The End of the Fucking World is about a boy named James and a girl named Alyssa.  Alyssa is a mean and rebellious girl who doesn't really care about much of anything and decides that James would make a decent boyfriend. James considers himself a psychopath and decides that Alyssa would make a good first victim. From there begins a bloody and weirdly romantic tale.

The End of the Fucking World is very tightly written. The writers made sure to include a balance of foreshadowing and red herrings in order to keep viewers guessing until the very end. More impressively, the writers also worked hard to completely characterize both James and Alyssa as they adventure through the English countryside. As things fly further off the rails, James and Alyssa adapt accordingly in realistic and sometimes touching ways. 

Visually, this show takes risks. One of the most interesting decisions was the inclusion of quick cuts to future scenes with little context to create a certain implication. However, when the audience finally sees this scene unfold in context, we realize that it's something very different from what we initially understood it to be. These stunning, often bloody, visuals are routinely paired with upbeat throwbacks to increase the tension and absurdity of what audiences see in addition to reminding them that yes, this is a love story.

Overall, The End of the Fucking World is a phenomenal weekend binge that rewards multiple viewings. Check it out! 

 

I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You

Mick reads a poem by Pablo Neruda.

I do not love you except because I love you; 
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love; 
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood. 

Glitch City III

The gang went back to the well of Remington Arms to explore another building in the third edition of Glitch City. Take a look at their photos below. If you want to see the photos from their previous city, click here to go to Glitch City 2.

Taylor

Mick

Keith

NTWON: Disjointed

For January's Nothing to Watch on Netflix, we spotlight the workplace sitcom: Disjointed. 

Naturally, Disjointed is a little different from other workplace comedies like The Office or Parks and Rec because it takes place in a marijuana dispensary, which employs a slightly... different kind of person.

The show centers around Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, who is the owner of Ruth's Alternative Caring in California. There is a colorful cast of supporting cast members to bolster Kathy Bates' lead that all subvert and embody different stereotypes and tropes of stoner culture.

Disjointed's connection to stoner culture is what sets it apart from the thousands of other sitcoms, especially the ones that the series creator usually churns out like Two and Half Man or the Big Bang Theory. While it still retains the laugh track, the show breaks out of the usually formulaic genre format to bring something new. One thing that's noticeable right off the bat is how much cursing there is. Because it's a Netflix show, there are no rules when it comes to swearing and that in turn makes the stoner culture within the show seem much more authentic as people who smoke weed aren't usually so uptight about language. Another thing that the writers and directors do is break up the typical sitcom A plot/B plot format with trippy animated interludes and in-universe YouTube videos made by the characters. 

Disjointed is a well-made show that will provide a lot of laughs without doing much to challenge you as a viewer. You don't have to be stoned to have fun watching, but like pretty much everything else in life it doesn't hurt. There are two seasons currently available right now. Check it out!