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I could have kept making this video for days...but I think the biggest, most interesting thing I left out is that having certainty about what is valuable and awesome and cool is really great. Knowing without question that every moment I sunk into loving that band was /worth it/ was really meant I didn't have to fret about whether I was wasting in my time.

These days, we really REALLY value being able to make our own individual minds up about every single thing, but I kinda miss the days when I could just deeply and suddenly believe that whatever John thought was cool was cool. It was less effort, but also less stressful. I think the way we're living right now is definitely the weird way, and it results in a whole lot of stress and anxiety and maybe sometimes even depression.

I'm not saying we should go back to living in a world where whatever the leader of the tribe said was the thing to do was THE THING TO DO OR YOU DIED. But maybe a little bit more faith in other people's tastes would be a little more relaxing.

OK! Thanks for reading!

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Good morning, John. Wow, that's what my voice sounds like.

(In movie trailer voice) In a world, where a guy has to make a video vlog even though he was up quite late and then his baby was up quite early... (normal voice) he makes a video blog.

Earlier this week, Lauren Lapkus tweeted the following, "Older siblings are the original influencers. When I was little my brother said sausage pizza was gross and I didn't eat it again for 20 years," which was apparently hashtag relatable for a lot of people including me. I quote tweeted this and I said, "My older brother thought that it was a good idea to make video blogs..." and, like, I want to emphasize that that's not an exaggeration.

There's this thing about older siblings, and I don't know if this is always the case, but it seems Lauren's tweet and my experience combined, like, there's something about this relationship that creates this absolute clarity and confidence in the correctness of, like, the taste making ability of a, this, child and it's kind of a remarkable responsibility for a child to have. I don't expect children to live up to this responsibility.

Of course, sometimes your older sibling is into super weird or dumb stuff, like smoking cigarettes and reading Ulysses for fun. John, for the most part, and especially when it comes to music which I find this weird 'cause you're not (laughs) particularly musical, that's okay to say I think, you have extremely good taste in music. Like, all of the bands you have gotten me into over the years have been way better then, like, what would be sort of the random selection.

I can literally remember the first time that you and Matt Brown brought Flood, the They Might Be Giants album, into the house and put it in dad's, like, gigan-to CD player, but, like, if that have been a Chumbawamba CD, I probably would have learned every word to every song on the album, and I would have, like, plumb the depths of Chumbawumba's backlog of stuff, I don't know if that exists, I don't know anything... maybe Chumbawamba is great, I apologize to Chumbawamba fans and also to Chumbawamba, but my sense is that I would probably wouldn't have been able to cultivate, like, a decades-long love affair with Chumbawamba, if that's what you brought into my life.

I'm in Portland, Oregon, right now, where I have traveled with my wife and child to go see, probably, the twelfth They Might Be Giants show of my life.  For those who don't know, They Might Be Giants is a weird artsy nerdy rock band, with generally opaque, but, like, still meaningful lyrics. And the musical style that is somehow extremely cohesive, without hardly ever sounding like itself.

So part of me thinks that I'm super into They Might Be Giants, because it's what nerdy guys my age are supposed to be into, like, it's just sort of the thing that happens to people like me. But I honestly more interested in listening to my gut here, and my gut tells me that there's something good about this band, and the more and deeper I listen to any song or album, I just keep finding layers of interesting-ness there. It gives me the sense that they make the music with the goal of, like, creating something simple to enjoy that has lot of complexity within it. And they are still releasing new, very good albums. 

They are in their late fifties, and I'm sure financially stable, but they're still learning new instruments and creating new ways of doing that the thing that they do, still touring, still making people happy, there's something in it that lack pretension that leans into enthusiasm and effort that's kind of, maybe, infected my entire life, and that infection started with something that you brought into our house. I think the self-awareness and the honesty of this music and the persona of this band is what gives it such longevity. 

It was never trying to be anything but what it was. But it was always trying to be interesting and good, which has allowed it to be a lifelong gift for me to enjoy, and also to be inspired by. I know that you didn't know that you are giving me that, but thank you anyway. I wish everyone was so lucky to have such good and nerdy taste-makers in their lives when they are growing up.

John, I'll see you on Tuesday.

(From AV Club Undercover) Crowd: (Chorus from Chumbawamba's Tubthumping) I get knocked down, but I get up again, they'll never gotta keep me down. I get knocked down...
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