The joy of the THR newsletter graphics is their speed, the way in which they go from “here’s the headline” to completion in a matter of minutes. In many ways, it’s like subconscious design, which allows for both happy accidents and unexpected moments of, if not inspiration, then at least discovery that I find myself fond of afterwards. Here’s the latest batch, with perhaps the happiest accident yet.
Easily my favorite moment of miscommunication, the following graphic had to be reworked two different times after my editor initially mixed up Alexander Skarsgard and Peter Sarsgaard, and then, upon realizing his error, didn’t communicate it with me until the last minute so I had to change the image to make sure we weren’t showing the wrong actor. We’re all very professional, I promise.
Half a year in, and I’m unsure how I feel about 2020 Vision, the project to make a new image on here every weekday. (Technically every workday, I think it was originally intended to be, but I might be misremembering…? Of course, I took Thursday and Friday off last week, because I wasn’t working, so…)
Part of that comes from the fact that, to put it mildly, 2020 is far from the year I expected when I set the project out for myself in the first place. I’m not blaming myself for that, considering, you know, there’s a global pandemic that has dramatically rearranged life for everyone in the fucking world, hastening a financial disaster brought about by incompetence and malice that has resulted in a record-breaking number of Americans losing their jobs — something that’s not left me unaffected — while, I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, there are also daily protests against systemic racism and police violence in almost every major city in the US, which has been happening for more than a month now. With all that in mind, “2020 isn’t the year I expected” feels like an understatement.
On a practical level, this perhaps shouldn’t mean anything, but if wishes were horses, etc. My days have become more disordered in part because my thinking has become more disordered, and the daily image has started to suffer as a result. It’s become less of the playground it was intended as, and more of an obligation to fulfill, which feels like the very opposite of what any self-directed study should be. It was supposed to be fun, dammit, not a box to tick off on my to-do list.
This isn’t the only “I’ll do this for 2020!” plan that’s gone awry, I should make clear; I started the year off, filled with vim and vigor at the idea of keeping track of everything I’ve been reading, and that fell apart in the middle of February, thanks to the mystery illness that I still think was an early COVID outlier. My best intentions for this year have all collapsed, it seems.
I’m not sure what this means for the project as a whole, whether I’ll wrap it up, change the frequency, or keep going in the hopes of pulling out of the fog. I’m writing this days before it runs, uncertain of whether or not I’ll even make an image for “today.” But if I can’t use this site as a self-aware, self-conscious place to talk out loud, then what purpose does it serve…?