Various and Sundry

– As mentioned, I suffer from some pretty bad insomnia, to the point where I often can’t sleep even with sleep aids (they just make me more tired). I also have mild to moderate depression. The two do not mix well. Most nights I get to spend hours lying there, exhausted but unable to sleep and with nothing to distract me from the lovely thoughts of failure, incompetence, and regret chasing each other round and round my brain.

My post on beauty rather blew up: four-thousand views and over three thousand shares in twenty-four hours. Yet only twenty likes; I think I touched a nerve or two with that one.

-Some of the responses have, predictably, taken the form of the offense fallacy: if you don’t like what someone says, construe it as an insult, either to yourself or someone else. Most people will rush to assure you they meant no harm and not even notice the fact that not liking the implications of an idea isn’t an argument for its truth or falsehood. And since just about everything can be taken as an insult if you try hard enough, it’s a very handy little trick.

-It occurs to me that the mere fact that disenfranchised populations have been able to win themselves the vote rather tells against the necessity of granting them voting rights. The mere fact that they were able to successfully agitate to have the franchise extended to them shows that they were capable of affecting public policy without the right to vote. True, it was much harder and could only be done with great effort, requiring it to be reserved for matters considered of grave importance…which is another point against extending the franchise (since every change brings unexpected consequences, the harder it is to make serious changes the better). You know, more and more I find I’m theoretically against the idea of universal suffrage.

Friday Flotsum

  1. So, my plans to blog more often have been flogging a little. See, I actually have some stress / emotional problems that I’m working through, so my resolutions don’t always translate to reality. I think I’m getting better, though; slowly but surely.
  2. One of those problems? Insomnia. Which is why I’m writing this at 8 AM after going to bed at midnight and mostly just dozing.
  3. As far as the Noblesnake video reviews go, I delayed the Zulu review because I wasn’t very satisfied with how Land Before Time turned out and wanted to rethink my approach. I’m making the videos shorter, more condensed (i.e. I don’t talk about everything; just the main points), and I talk a lot faster. I’m already much happier with Zulu, and that should be released sometime this weekend once I finish editing.
  4. Working on a few spec essays: one idea I’m working on drawing out is that the modern world is not fundamentally different from the past. That is, socially and structurally it’s different, but the basic elements aren’t. Computers, for instance, are, at the end of the day, nothing more than complicated printing presses with extra features. The only difference between sending someone a letter and sending them a message on Twitter is how long it takes. I think understanding this is fundamental for escaping the pitfalls of modern life.
  5. Last week’s episode of My Little Pony was really good. We’ve had a streak of mostly very strong episodes lately, but this one was extra specially charming. The stories they tell were great (Rarity’s was my favorite), it had a good lesson about making the best of adversity, and Rainbow Dash in particular was in top form throughout.  Rainbow_Dash_tenderly_picks_up_Scootaloo_S7E16.png
  6. After the cuteness, let’s have some beauty to close us out:
    The Empty Chair

    “The Empty Chair” by Sir Samuel Luke Fildes


Saturday Sundry

  • Publishing of my new book, The Wisdom of Walt Disney is planned for sometime next week. I originally planned to publish it this week, but needed more time for editing and such.
  • I’ve had a notion that I’ve been trying to make into a suitable essay: this increasing insanity we see in public discourse is partly a manifestation of the style of thinking that we’ve been taught in our school system. You see, our schools, by and large, don’t teach us to actually think or reason logically. Instead, we’re told (in essence), “this is the right answer. This is the wrong answer. Good people pick the right answer, bad people pick the wrong one.” Tell me that the vast majority of issues presented to the public aren’t presented in this kind of ‘right-answer-wrong-answer” pattern: Global Warming, same-sex marriage, ‘Transgender’ rights, racism, ‘Islamophobia,’ and on and on.
  • Planning to do the videos about every two weeks. Hopefully the next one will go a little easier, since Land Before Time was a lot of work. And I’ve discovered that years as a bitter recluse have left my voice a little…off. Maybe it’s just me, but recording’s kinda difficult, and I think I sound strange. Anyway, I’ll announce what the next film to be reviewed will be early this week.
  • I finished reading The Count of Monte Cristo this week. It was about mid-way through that I realized “Wait a second: this a book where the hero is a Bond villain!” Think about it; he’s got his secret island lair, unfathomable riches, a beautiful mistress/henchwoman, exotic henchmen, untraceable poisons, and he’s an urbane, sophisticated man enacting an elaborate scheme of vengeance. Absolute Bond villain!
  • And a little beauty to finish up:

-Polittico Baroncelli, by Giotto

Friday Flotsam


  1. Been hard at work on the Project, so this week’s Flotsam is going be all about updating on that.
  2. The plan, at the moment, is that the video series Noble Snake Reviews will launch a week from today (that will be Friday, August 11). I’ll announce the film to be reviewed beforehand, but suffice to say, it’s one I have a special bond with.
  3. The idea for the videos is to have a semi-animated serpentine avatar to serve as my ‘face,’ while I narrate my thoughts, with footage from the film projected into a theater screen behind him. So, there will be a visual component to the reviews as well as a vocal one, allowing me to incorporate some visual humor. Keeping with the ‘Noble’ part of the title, there will be no swearing or crude language, though I’m trying to include a lot of deadpan humor. Here’s a preview of what it’ll look like: Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 8.45.04 PM.png
  4. Meanwhile, I’m tentatively planning to launch the book, The Wisdom of Walt Disney, a week later on August 18.
  5. Status update on the book: thus far, I’m more or less satisfied with the essays on Pinocchio, Fantasia, Song of the South, Treasure Island, Cinderella, and 20,000 Leagues Under the SeaSnow White, Bambi, Old Yeller, and Sleeping Beauty still need work, and Swiss Family Robinson and Mary Poppins I haven’t started. This was not just an excuse to list the films that will be discussed in the book.
  6. By the way, the ending of Old Yeller? Yeah, it still made me choke up. I know exactly what’s going to happen, but it’s so well done that it still gets me, dang it! I was even choking up writing about it.
  7. So, the logo question is almost settled; right now I’m deciding between these two, possibly with some slight modifications.

    That’s all for now; keep an eye for further updates as we get closer to launch!

7 Quick Takes Friday: Preparing for Launch


  1. First and foremost, I guess I should announce that I’m taking my blog and my work in a new direction, with the intention of turning writing into a full-time profession.


  1. As part of this goal, I’m planning on blogging a lot more. This will probably result in sloppier and shorter pieces and a lot more filler but such is life (It’s also probably going to involve more My Little Pony at least for the time being, so heads up on that).


  1. It also means I’m going to be revamping the blog to fit better with my business plan. So don’t be alarmed by any sudden and explained changes you may find here.


  1. My business plan is, briefly put, this: there are a million-and-one film reviewers out there. The market is saturated by them. So, my approach will be to focus on the themes, ideas, philosophy, and morals of various works of fiction. I’ll talk about what I think is good or bad as well, but mostly I’ll be drawing out what I think the film is saying through essays, e-books, and videos.


  1. I’m currently working on my first e-book for this endeavor, which will be addressing the films of Walt Disney. That is, the films that he himself worked on and were produced during his lifetime. I take twelve of his best and most important films and explore the ideas and ethics conveyed by each one. More on that as we get closer to launch.


  1. I will also, of course, continue to write fiction of my own, but when and how that will be released is more uncertain. One thing at a time.


  1. Finally, if anyone reading actually cares about any of this, I’d like to solicit your help. My plan is to call my business “Noble Snake Productions” and use something like this as my logo:

Logo 3

When I ran it by my family, though, it didn’t meet with a good response. They pointed out that most people don’t like snakes and will consider it a sign of untrustworthiness.

Me, I think it’s cool, unique, and perfectly encapsulates everything I hope my work will be: the exotic and eccentric combined with the venerable and traditional. Then again, I’m eccentric and don’t think like most people do, so maybe I’m completely off on this.

What do you say? Off-putting or charmingly eccentric?

Stay tuned for more content and more announcements as we get closer to launch date! Including the announcement of what the launch date will actually be.