The Weeknd’s music video saga of “After Hours” is one of the best things I have discovered.

Preface

The Weeknd is a soul/hip-hop artist from Toronto, Canada. He originally got his start by uploading music to YouTube and getting discovered by the very successful rapper “Drake”. After The Weeknd started to become successful, he decided to move to LA.

For the last few albums, The Weekend has been doing a character progression, where with each album, he transforms into a new character, taking place of his previous character – sometimes violently (2 albums ago, he metaphorically kills his other self so that he can move on into his new image).

These videos touch on themes of melancholy, fame, soullessness of people in LA, drugs and alcohol, murder, corruption, and obsessions with plastic surgery. I can’t begin to describe the depth of thought and effort that went into these videos, The Weeknd’s character, and the music he produced and sang.

Each main canonical video has a lot of references to popular or “cult” films, such as:

“Heartless” and “Blinding Lights”
* Casino
* Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

“In Your Eyes”
* The Terminator
* Psycho
* Leatherface

“Save Your Tears”
* Joker/The King of Comedy
* The Dark Knight
* Eyes Wide Shut

“Too Late”
* Frankenstein
* American Psycho

Below I will list the title and description of each video. There are a few videos that are more of an aside (even though they’re canonical) and don’t really flesh out The Weeknd’s main After Hours character, but I still like them.

Note: I highly recommend listening with earbuds. The music is great and there are sounds from the videos that can’t often be heard on laptop speakers. 


Snowchild (animated)

This is what I would call the “prequel” or interlude to his story. This is about The Weeknd growing up in Toronto, facing hardships, finding success, and ultimately telling himself (and the people in his life) that he’s leaving for California. At the end of the video, his former self arrives at a casino in LA and sees what would be the character we transition into the next video (the man in the red jacket with sunglasses and a mustache).

I’d recommend skipping this video and maybe coming back to it, if you like. I really like the song, so I’ve watched this video about 5 times now.


Heartless

At first I wasn’t really into the style of the music on this song, but the choreography and style of the video had me hooked instantly. I was drawn into this character and couldn’t get enough of the style of the video. 


Blinding Lights

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this song. When “After Hours” was released early in 2020, this song was on the top of the charts for a really long time. Very 80s synth pop. Well produced (much like a lot of his songs).


Until I Bleed Out (aside)

You can skip this video. The Weeknd’s character is “coming down” from his all-night bender from the previous 2 videos. He’s in a ballroom having a bad trip. There’s not really much going on, story-wise, but I did appreciate it.


Blinding Lights (Live on Jimmy Kimmel)

The Weeknd performs “Blinding Lights” on Jimmy Kimmel. The production on the set is amazing. The entire video is done in one take, I think. The end of this video goes straight into the next video, which is a short film called “After Hours”


After Hours (short film)

This video begins where the “Live on Jimmy Kimmel” video left off, where The Weeknd leaves the set of the show. The music in the background is the titular song of the album. Near the end of the video, when the people get into the elevator, I’d recommend turning up the volume, as there are subtle sounds in the background.


In Your Eyes

Now we’re getting into some really fun stuff. My kind of stuff. This video has a lot of references to “thriller/killer” movies, like Psycho, Terminator, and Leatherface. There’s only a teeny tiny bit of gore. You’ll probably not even notice it.


Too Late

This video continues our character’s saga (even though I didn’t think could’ve been done given what happened in “In Your Eyes”) by being picked up by a couple of “hot chicks” in Hollywood. This might be the darkest of the video set, as there is a bit of gore, but it’s not on screen for very long, and there are some very dark themes.


American Music Association 2020 Performance: “In Your Eyes” / “Save Your Tears”

This is a live performance done in one take that spans almost the entire length of a bridge in Los Angeles, choreographed with timed fireworks. The Weeknd’s face has now been altered by the women in the last video. It’s a very fun performance and even though it’s an aside, I highly recommend watching this one.


Save Your Tears

The final video in the series. He metaphorically pisses on the Grammy awards and the rich elite and mocks people who chase fame and the culture of wanting to be accepted and to do whatever it takes to feel accepted and wanted. Enjoy!

Dear Apple: Quicklook support

Hold onto your turtlenecks and jeans, I’ve got a doozy of a complaint and I’m about to employ the most hardened and air-tight argument in the history of the modern technological era:

It’s fucking 2021. Where is .webm and .gif support?

I get it. In the 90s and early 00s GIFs (pronounced “gif”, btw) had comparatively bloated file sizes. In the 10s, iPhones and OS X were increasing their market share. But come on, guys. Why do I need to open a web browser just to view a WebM or GIF that I’ve downloaded?

I just want to watch this loop I have, of a guy defend an attack from a political terrorist, rear his fist, and absolutely clean his clock. Like, I could watch this almost all day.

Funny bit: I can’t upload the webm I talked about to this blog software (WordPress). Maybe I need to change the title to “Dear Apple/Wordpress”?

Dear Firefox: Clickable Recommended Plugins

Dear Firefox,

After reading this article (TheHackerNews.com) about over a dozen Firefox and Google Chrome plugins that have been sending data about their users, I decided to make sure I didn’t have any of these plugins installed on my browser.

At the bottom of the plugins page, your browser had recommended a few plugins to me. I didn’t want to add them right away, so I thought I’d click on each plugin to see what the reviews said and to learn more without adding them to my browser.

But I can’t click on them.

What kind of campaign is this, to only give me the option to install these plugins first before being able to learn more about them?

I can’t click the title or the icon. But I can click the author? Sure, that means instead of one step, I might have to take 2 to 4 steps to find the intended plugin page. But seriously? In this era of UI design, no one chimed up and said “Hey, why don’t we make the titles and icons linked to the plugins?” Did that person get run over by a train that day? Because corralling users to add plugins without verifying them is another cherry on top of your recent scandal.

Putting down the sword

I’m finding myself typing out a comment, either long-winded or succinct, in my long fight against people being wrong on the internet, then thinking to myself “What the hell am I doing?”

So then I highlight my comment, delete everything, and close the tab.

I was last on nextdoor.com commenting on some user’s needless update about a grocery store layout change and how they posted it in the “Safety” category, which spams my email box. The use of categorizing every non-issue on “Safety” happens a lot, and I was about to deliver a tongue lashing to my village idiot.

But then I realized that, after about 5-6 years of arguing with people who have caverns for brains, I’m just so tired of dealing with this shit.

I’ve gone as far as deleting all of my social media apps on my phone. All they do is make me feel empty. I fill up on dopamine and when it comes time to do the shit I really want to do, my brain pokes me and says “c’mon Zan. Let’s go back to YouTube or check Instagram again. I bet there’s something new on Twitter! Hey, maybe someone is wrong on Facebook and you can type out a 4 paragraph comment, pointing out just how wrong they are! I mean, they won’t change their minds and you won’t feel better, but you showed them how wrong they are!”

Ugh.

I’ve decided to invest more of my time with shit that matters. I’m going to code a lot of shit. I’m going to take pictures. I’m going to play with my dogs. And at the end of the day, I don’t care who knows. When I go out, I won’t be taking a picture for the “likes”. I won’t think about who might comment on what. Because it doesn’t matter. These fellow dopamine drones don’t give a flying fuck about me – and that’s fine. I don’t care about a lot of them either. We’re all in a basket, clamoring for a little bit of attention (give me some of that fucking dopamine, yo), all while we’re slaves to the master algorithm.

I suppose that because my profile has a bunch of false information, the algorithm doesn’t know exactly what to serve me.

“Maybe some chicks from Nebraska? Uh, Bernie Sanders stuff? How about some custom hoodies? CLICK ME! INTERACT WITH THIS STAR WARS PAGE, YOU FUCK!” – Facebook, probably.

Good ideas are able to rise up when bad ideas are able to be shot down.

I was thinking about, how lately in the US, the idea of policing speech has been on the rise. Many political activists have taken action to bully and silence other groups – all in the name of “justice” or “good will”.

However, the perceived benevolence of these activists are merely a mask over a body of fascism. These so-called arbiters of “acceptable speech” fail, again and again, to realize that the essence of good, progress, and freedom, thrive in an open market. To close the gates and govern what people can say, only serves to harm progress and has a higher rate of breeding contempt among those with perceived inherently bad ideas.

For instance, I want to preserve the freedom to debate a racist, a flat-earther, an anti-vaxer – in an open forum – in order to show them how and why they are wrong and detrimental to society. If I punish and silence those, who’s beliefs I find otherwise detestable, they will only choose to seek refuge. The bacterium which consists of their hateful or ignorant views will continue to thrive in the dark and moist abscesses of society, rather than out in the open, where those ideas can be combated and ideally defeated.

A good example of defeating bad ideas is the case of Daryl Davis, a Black man who intentionally attended KKK rallies to try and befriend KKK members in order to dispel the racist and hateful notions by many or most KKK members. In this instance, if the government were to punish and silence KKK members from speaking, this man would not have an opportunity to change people’s minds and reverse the detrimental effects of such types of hateful beliefs, such as racism – and these KKK members would seek further refuge from being visible, and thus from the ability to having their opinions challenged.

So, to those who seek to silence ideas you disagree with: instead summon your own inner bravery and defeat their ideas in an open forum. Debate them honestly, strongly, and with integrity.

Obliterated Drunk at 4:30 PM

I heard two men shouting just up the street near my home. I was walking the dogs just South of my place about 100 feet away. I noticed they were crossing the intersection, heading toward my front yard.

I bent down to attend to some dog duties when I heard one of them shout. I looked up and one of them stumbled and fell into my fence. His friend stammered and tried to help him along. The two seemed to be discussing something when only one of the men proceeded to keep walking.

As I approached the intersection, I started to gain a better line-of-sight, as to what was going on. An older man was standing, partially hunched over, faced away from me near my gate. He’s partially obstructed by the corner of my fence.

He clearly didn’t look like any of my neighbors. Was he a delivery guy? No. He’s sort of, just standing there? Odd.

I make it across the street to clear the edge of the fence and can now see him entirely: He’s pissing on my front lawn. Great. So I decide to call out to him in a friendly, yet authoritative manner.

“Excuse me. Can I help you?”

Seconds seem like they crawl by before the man registers someone is behind him. His hands burst into a clumsy ballet to put himself away, as I can see his elbows dance along with his pants shifting back and forth. He gingerly skips a few steps, stops and then slowly, calmly, and coldly stares at me to barely utter these words:

“Forgive me.”

His eyes looked lost, floating away in a sea of forgotten sobriety. A part of me felt bad. Another part of me wanted to tell him off for being so brazen and disgusting, with us being right up the street from a grade school.

I stood there and stared him down. It seemed like 10 whole seconds. He finally turned and started walking up the street towards his friend, who I could now see was embarrassed to be seen among my waning ridicule. As he took a few more steps I started to make my way inside my front yard only to stop and look again to make sure he was going to keep walking.

He stopped a final time and turned to me one more time, with a little more anger in his face and voice, to say “I got piss all over my pants!” as if to say “It’s your fault this happened to me!”

Sorry, dude. That’s a small price to pay.

The Bystander Effect

It would’ve been my dad’s 71st birthday.

His old best friend Paul reached out to me today to tell me (for the 100th time) “He was my best friend. I loved him very much” but he never asks how me or my brothers are doing. What the fuck?

I wanted to reply “Yeah, I’m glad you ‘hope we’re doing well’, but how about, I dunno, write all of his sons and maybe try to be a part of our lives? If my dad was so fucking important to you, don’t you think you might want to keep the people, that were the closest biological ties to your friend, in your fucking life?”

It’s odd to me, how this guy, who supposedly can’t take a sip of water without mentioning his love for my poor father, can go over 1,000 days and not think to ask my father’s sons how the fuck they’re doing.

Well, I’m kind of having a fucking shit day, Paul. Where the fuck were you when my dad was abusing alcohol and not talking to his kids? I don’t recall you ever saying “I’m so sorry your dad treated his body like shit. I tried to help him turn that shit around.”

Nah. You just sat there and watched. Then, when he was dying on that hospital bed, you and your other god damn friends came down, saw him for a few minutes, went out and got shit-faced, and then fucked off back to California. Then you just sat by while his sons grieved and suffered. You fucking idiot.

My last breath.

Today I was thinking about my lastlast on Earth. I was walking around my condo saying things like:

Someday, you will have your last cup of coffee. Someday, you will wake up and make your last plans for the day. Someday, you will say your last word to someone. What will it be? Will it be a good word? Memorable?

I went into a whole existential rabbit hole of thoughts on how, on a long enough timeline, my entire existence will be forgotten, just as countless other people’s entire history is forgotten every minute of every day. I wondered how long it would take for my history to be erased from existence.

These are the types of things I think about when I’m trying to motivate myself to do the little things in life; to be productive.

So I started work on organizing my office/studio better. I’ve always been somewhat dissatisfied with the layout. But I think I’m getting closer to a better place. I hope it will be more relaxing when I’m done with it. Currently, when I try to write music, all I can think about is all the things I ought to be doing, instead of just doing.

So I did.

Why does Apple’s LaunchPad still suck?

Apple, it’s been what, almost 8 years since you implemented LaunchPad on OS X Lion. Almost 8 years and you still haven’t fixed it’s core usability in how a user is supposed to organize their applications. See the video below:

As you can see, any folder stack on the right-most column will not let me drop an application onto it because LaunchPad is assuming that I want the folder stack to move out of the way. It’s like this on the latest version of iOS, and one of the reasons I left Apple’s iPhone for Razer’s Razer Phone (seriously, it’s awesome and I’m probably never going back).

Another problem I’ve seen with LaunchPad is that it takes ages to organize applications in the first place, especially if you are starting out with a lot of apps. You have to spend so much time dragging apps back and forth between “pages” of virtual space, wherein LaunchPad correctly recognizes what you’re trying to do about 60% of the time – such as dragging an ap to the edge of the window.

What about readability on a brand new iMac with a gigantic screen? The folders are small and the text is tiny. Where is my customization? Why can’t I arrange folder stacks exactly however I want? Why can’t I resize them? Why can’t Dashboard widgets live right next to the folder stacks? (probably because of a software patent, I know)

All in all, LaunchPad is an alright application that can help with productivity – that is, if you’re often looking to launch different applications like I do. I bounce from Photoshop, to Coda (web development), to Motion (motion graphics), Final Cut Pro (video editing), to Logic Pro (music production). But if you’re like most Mac users, who use maybe Safari, Messages, Mail, and iTunes; then chances are you will never use LaunchPad or you will get quickly frustrated by it.

Agree? Disagree? Please leave a comment below.

Blackhawks Game Review: Nov 9th, 2017 vs Flyers

Chair near fireplace

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a poor passing game!

The Blackhawks had some good looks but some of their shooters need to stop thinking so much. By that, I mean the milliseconds of over-thinking are costing goals. Passing is in the absolute shitter right now. A lot of these guys resemble Solo 3s in Rocket League, chasing the puck and not thinking about their teammates or rotating in the D zone.

  • Kane looks like a body on the ice who’s without his spirit animal (Panarin). There was even a time where Toews and Kane entered in the zone (2 on 2 I think) and Kane was wide open, tapping his stick, ready to fire, and Toews shot at the goal instead. Now, it’s possible that the Flyers defensemen were in the way of a pass, but they certainly were in front of Toews’ shot.
  • Toews seems like he’s really frustrated that things just aren’t falling together like they should. He’s out there, trying to make sure his positioning is picture-perfect, and passes aren’t connecting, a stick is always in his way, or he doesn’t win a battle. And even if he does win, it looks like nothing is done with the puck so it must be very mentally draining to try to win every battle only to have your team not step up and do something with the puck.
  • I’m back to the point where, whenever the opposing team takes a penalty, 2 free minutes just got subtracted from the game for the opponent. It’s so hard to watch a team with so much talent have such a hard time getting goals.

The last handful of games I’ve watched, where we lost, it looks like those teams just have us figured out. They don’t even seem afraid when we have scoring chances. “What’s that? Patrick Sharp has a breakaway on our goalie? Eh, we’ll get to him in a minute. I want to ask for this girl’s phone number first.” (Sharp didn’t score on his last breakaway in case you were wondering)

Sure, on one hand it’s just the start of the season. The team is figuring things out and our schedule isn’t helping us at all. Games are too unevenly spaced where it seems like our guys are having a tough time playing enough to develop consistency in the first place. It seems like either we’re doing very well, either outright winning or shutting out the opponent, or we’re starving for any offensive chances and our passing is abysmal.

 

Proposed solution:

Passing plays for 3 days. No exceptions. Q, quit fucking with the lines. Can’t get consistent chemistry if you keep stirring the bowl.

Rant: Political xenophobia on the bus

This morning I got a dose of “assholism” on the bus, on my way to work. After I sat down, I noticed a much older man talking to a woman who was across from him toward the front of the bus. He is White, she is Black. He was saying something along the lines of “I am an [unintelligible] and I’m from America” and the woman responding, in a very, very thick accent said “I am from America too!”

He went on a mini-rant talking about America and “Obama” but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. She was yelling back at him to leave her alone. He then tried to point out that she had dropped something on the floor. I think at that point all she expected was more harassment because her responses were “Stop talking to me. Leave me alone!” but then she realized when he said “Shut the fuck up, god dammit. You dropped your [unintelligible] on the fucking floor!”. She picked up the item and didn’t say anything to him.

He then cocked his head back, eyes widened, and said something along the context of her not appreciating his “kindness”. She responded and said “You are drunk! You are not well!” while she got up to exit the bus. He started slapping himself and said “Hit me again. HIT ME AGAIN!” and then started mumbling to himself.

A moment before this point, I was teetering on my chair about to stand up and tell him to shut up. Initially I thought this guy was harassing her for being Black, but I couldn’t tell exactly what he was saying to say with 100% certainty. But my gut says he was being xenophobic. He was 100% an asshole, for sure. When the next stop came up, she got off the bus. Then he departed a few stops later, but not before rambling to the people around him. He looked like he was searching for some kind of approval, like “You see? These foreigners have no appreciation for people like me! You get me, right?”

No, man. I don’t get you.

After he got off the bus, I let out a big audible sigh and said out loud “Boy, what an asshole!” No one looked up. No one said anything. The passengers were just as still as they were when the man and woman were arguing. I almost wondered why no one closer to the couple said anything. Maybe the same thought that was going through my head was going through theirs: “Don’t escalate the situation. Sure, this guy is being a prick, but what will confronting him solve if he’s drunk or deranged?”

I certainly didn’t want to escalate the situation. When things like this happen I always try to remember an old police story in which the lesson is similar to “the best situations, the ones you can walk away from, are the ones you can deescalate”. I felt like any outside stimulation would agitate this man, and as long as he wasn’t touching anyone or acting threatening, then it wasn’t my place to intervene.

Still though, fuck him for being a prick to that lady.