SPIRITUAL SOAP: Weird & Güd - Olds Gems for the New Year
No, this isn't just a recycled posts post.
Before we were The Black Sheep, we were a newsletter named Spiritual Soap. Please enjoy this article from our history!
This is a special “best hits” version of the Weird & Güd series. I’ve gathered 3 of my favorite editions of the newsletter that hold some weird or güd idea that can best serve you going into the new year. I’m also sharing the most popular edition of the year.
Here’s to a slightly less weird, slightly more güd new year.
Weird & Güd - How to Live and Die in the New Year. January 1, 2020.
You’re probably not partying this New Year. Maybe you’re at home with family having one of the most boring and wholesome New Year’s Eve events since you were too young to drive. You’re not alone in this new world’s new year’s.
Well, maybe you are, but only physically.
Without flashing lights, criminally loud music, and shiny pieces of trash called confetti, new year’s seems like nothing but a fictional phrase we utter to mark an arbitrary amount of time passed. That’s not the kind of attitude we need in 2021 though and it’s also not entirely accurate.
The concept of reevaluating ourselves as we enter a new year isn’t new at all. Time has been passing for longer than humans have lived to witness it, so there are a few understandings for recognizing time passed beyond just a giant disco ball drop.
Your festive traditions may have been canceled this year (among everything and everyone else—see last section), but you can still celebrate new years in the spirit of a Mesopotamian emperor.
Weird & Güd - When Brought to Light. January 22, 2020.
Why is your professor using those offensive words while teaching about inherently offensive topics? Did your friend post that political hashtag or not? Does that celebrity know that book they shared was published by a company that has a conservative owner? What’s the deal with your nearly one-century-old grandma holding those outdated views? Does that online stranger understand why they’re an idiot?
In the age of instant exposure and constant coverage, we have never been more obsessed with each other.
No, we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the neighbor that seems to be expanding the sacrificial altar in his backyard that has fresh blood upon it every month, but that doesn’t mean we should keep our eyes on him at all times (granted, in the case of a bloody alter, hyper-vigilance probably makes sense).
We’ve never been more distracted by other people’s idiot-idiosyncrasy. Stupid posts, offensive phrases, bad ideas; it’s an endless stream of entertainme—I mean, Really Important Information to monitor. In this new endless scroll society, there’s always someone ready and willing to distract you from you.
In this newsletter edition, Jung explains why the world would be better off if we replaced our timeline with a mirror.
Weird & Güd - Control What? May 18, 2020.
Our world has never felt less within our control. Where we once believed our communities were stable, riots and fires showed us otherwise.
Where we once believed our political institutions were stable, unexpected and contested elections shake us.
Where we once believed our friendships were stable, the differences that have always existed reemerged as intolerable black spots to destabilize our personal lives.
Where we once thought the damn air was relatively safe (pollution and what not considered), COVID came along and slapped a mask on our faces.
If there’s one theme that 2020 has consistently held, it’s that control has always been a fantasy.
As usual, the Stoic philosophers are laughing in their graves at our silly society that stubbornly demands to learn every hard lesson for ourselves.
The Stoics were all about getting everyone to give up on that fairytale called control. The only thing you can truly control is yourself, and let’s be honest, how well does that usually go? Judging from my second pasta dinner in two nights, it’s going as well as 2020 has.
Weird & Güd - Get in Loser, We’re Going Cancelling. June 10th, 2020.
The most popular edition of the newsletter was also the most controversial—the power of shame. So-called cancel culture went from cheeky slang term to full-blown social movement. Or maybe “anti-movement” is a better description, being that the premise behind “canceling” is that some sins can never be atoned for.
With a snappy slang name like cancel culture, you might think this puritanical, pitchforks and torches kind of discourse was something new—it’s not.
While the cancel-able offenses are new (hence the shiny progressive gift-wrapping they come in), the effort to wield shame and social exclusion to force conformity is ancient.
Sure, cancel grandpa for not knowing what a preferred pronoun is, but know that grandpa could just as happily cancel you for that cute recreational coke habit.
Oh wait, that moral stance is expired now, right?
And now for the sappy part:
This newsletter has grown extensively since I started it a year ago after moving to LA, not knowing what the hell I was doing moving to LA, and still fooling myself into thinking I’d ever be able to hold a Real Job.
In just a year and with the inconsistent publishing schedule I so consistently offer, I’ve found people like you—people who I wasn’t sure existed anymore.
People who are passionate about free thought (the real kind, the kind that doesn’t crumble in the face of what it disagrees with), weird and uncomfortable ideas, and discussing weird and uncomfortable ideas with respect for each other’s individuality and autonomy.
I haven't even been canceled yet!
I will probably still be somewhat inconsistent, so don’t get your hopes up, but I will also still bring you weird and güd ideas with honesty and confidence because, just like me, you are not only capable but deserving of creators and a culture that believe in letting you think thoughts for yourself and design your life accordingly.
Here’s to another Weird & Güd year of enjoying the ultimate privilege: your individual life.
Happy new year weirdos,