Because Tinyletter is mostly for mail, it’s nearly impossible to find old newsletters. So I’m posting all my old newsletters here so they can be searched, indexed, all that. You’re still better off just subscribing.
Saddam Hussein died December 30, 2006, at the age of 69.
December 30, 2017.
One of the many, many ways my wife has improved my life is encouraging my use of postage. I love sending things through the mail, whether it’s a thank you note, a letter of appreciation of one’s work or just a holiday card. The amount of goodwill you garner for taking the time to send an actual physical note far exceeds the amount of time it requires to produce. Communication has been so cheapened by this point that I’m delighted when someone send an email rather than simply farts out a Tweet. The act of typing in my email address, a smattering of words (usually calling me a snowflake or, infamously, to “stop sucking Hillary’s dick”) and the pressing of “Send” actually counts as clearing an effort hurdle anymore. Mailing a simple note is like knitting someone a sweater. It feels like an act of defiance.
This has filtered down to our holiday cards, which I’ll confess I spend a good part of my year trying to come with the perfect joke for. We started sending them the year after we got married and have done them ever year since then, which the exception of 2011. (Our oldest son William was born in November, so we didn’t send one that year, considering we could barely find our pants.) Now we take a little too much pride in them. I’m always honored when anyone sends us a holiday card, even if I haven’t spoken with them for years, even if they probably don’t even remember that they sent me one. I don’t use Facebook, so I actually need to correspond with old friends and distant family to find out what’s going on with them. In a busy year, sometimes holiday cards are the best any of us can do.
So we try to do ours right. In case you are not one of the lucky few on our holiday mailing list — or if, like happened with a small batch this year, you received an empty envelope on accident; 2017 really has been a looong year — here are our last five holiday cards. Also, we usually put “Merry Christmas” on our cards, not because there are many more designs that have Merry Christmas and it’s just simpler, but because we love owning those libs.
Married people are such dorks.
We could only find the original proof on this one, hence the strange names at the bottom. I wonder how my life would be different if my name were “Blake.”
When in doubt, always use a picture of your child weeping and neglected.
Our design limited the amount of space we had for a joke on the front of the card itself, so the back said “We sewed them together. Easier to keep track of them that way.” Which is probably not quite good enough of a joke to bother.
Two years later, in this particular moment in human history, this joke might not play as well, one must grant.
This was as political as I was allowed to be a mere month after Election Day 2016. I’ll admit, I wanted the cards to scream “MY GOD WHAT DID YOU PEOPLE DO?” Alexa was probably wise to talk me out of that one.
Sadly, we did not have space to fit in the joke I wanted, which was “Not the heroes we need right now ... but maybe the ones we deserve.”
Here is a numerical breakdown of all the things I wrote this week, in order of what I believe to be their quality. (This is an attempt to have an objective look at the value of my work in a way that I suspect will be difficult to sustain.)
1. We’ve Forgotten How To Fear, Deadspin. My annual Deadspin cameo, the big huge swing I take every year. I am sorry this is so depressing. As I said: Been that kind of year. (A lot of you are new subscribers from this piece. Welcome! The newsletter is not always pictures of my children, I promise.)
2. Review: “Phantom Thread,” Paste Magazine. This movie is very good! Paul Thomas Anderson is single-handedly keeping Generation X relevant, and I thank him for that.
3. The 10 Biggest MLB Stories of 2017, Sports On Earth. I’m a sucker for a big year-end wrapup list. You probably know this about me.
4. My Fake Hall of Fame Ballot, Sports On Earth. I do not have a vote and do not want one, as the piece explains.
5. SyFy Debate Club: The “Dark Knight” Movies vs. the “Bourne” Movies, SYFY Wire. I love both of these trilogies.
6. SyFy Debate Club: “28 Days Later” vs. “Shaun of the Dead,” SYFY Wire. These movies are both fantastic too.
7. Meryl Streep Movies, Ranked, Vulture. Updated with The Post.
8. The Breakout MLB Players of 2017, Sports On Earth. Includes Tommy Pham paragraph!
9. Confidence Pool, Week Seventeen, Sports On Earth. The NFL seasons both fly by and are also endless.
10. Dive Dive Dive, Sports On Earth. Dive Dive Dive.
As I say every week: If you are the sort to subscribe to a weekly newsletter, I would have to think it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to subscribe to one of the three podcasts I do. You don’t even have to listen to them! Just download them. Here they are:
Grierson & Leitch, it’s the BIG BIG BIG Dorkfest 2017, featuring our top 10 movies of 2017. If you listen to one show all year, it’s this one.
The Will Leitch Experience, my annual chat with the great Tommy Craggs. Lots of interesting thoughts about Deadspin, our old friend A.J. Daulerio and media in general in here. Craggs is such a smart downer.
Waitin’ Since Last Saturday, the massive Rose Bowl preview. I’ll be watching this at an Athens bar and cannot wait.
This has been a rough year. But we made it. We can do it. I know that we can.
Everybody get as much rest you can this week. You’re going to need it.
Be safe out there. Happy 2018.