THE NIGHTLY CHILL
By Steve Arviso
Precision American Social Engineering.
FIGHT THE DAWN!
As the sunlit sanity of the waking world burns the night to ash,
embrace the unbound madness of your wildest dreams,
laugh into the endless abyss of your darkest fantasies,
and rage against the coming dawn.
The Nightly Chill is an irregular, yet wholly absurd intimate experience with an idiot. Mon-Fri. Ish. Written and published by writer, publisher, and, on occasion, part-time lover, Steve Arviso (@AmoralCrackpot). Ish.
- OBTRUSIVE ADVERTISEMENT
- THE BIT AT THE BEGINNING
- A LETTERS’ PAGE
- A CHEAP PLUG
- SOME TRIVIAL BIT OF SILLINESS
- YET ANOTHER OBTRUSIVE ADVERTISEMENT
- A SATISFACTORY, WELL-WRITTEN BIT THAT SOMEHOW STILL FAILS TO LIVE UP TO SOME ARBITRARY STANDARD CREATED AND IMPOSED BY NOBODY
- LAST-MINUTE ATTEMPT AT ENGAGEMENT
- BLATANT, YET ALSO REDUNDANT SELF-PROMOTION
- THE END BITS NOBODY CARES MUCH FOR
VIRAL LOAD PODCAST
The “Viral Load Podcast” is, I’ve been assured, a podcast in the same way that audio uploaded to some temporary or long-term repository for the sake of publication and distribution across various outlets, inlets, and piglets accessible vis-à-vis the internet might, in some fashion, be considered a “podcast.” In it, comedian Andrew Pupa and co-host Brett Bayles, who may or may not be a comedian–but who am I to place such labels on anyone?–explore the weirder, more unsettling corners of diseases that plague us.
THE BIT AT THE BEGINNING
I learned a lot about myself over the last couple of weeks, namely that my lifelong anxiety and depression issues have had way more consequences than I knew. The short of it being that after some twenty years of suffering from this occasional, temporary, seemingly seasonal issue where my ears effectively swell shut, I finally understand that it isn’t some predisposition to easy ear infections as my parents and doctors thought. After reflecting back on past occurrences and the circumstances surrounding them, it always occurs during periods of extreme, prolonged stress. My anxiety can get so bad my entire body swells up like an allergic reaction, with my ears having the most obvious symptom–screwy hearing.
Once I realized and accepted that this was the case, my hearing has nearly returned to normal in a small fraction of the time that it usually does. More so, my whole body is decompressing at that. I feel looser, lighter. I had cracked my toe and unknowingly dislocated something in my foot months ago, and that didn’t set properly back into place until the other night after months of constant stress, anxiety, and tension through my whole body eased up. I feel that release and resetting of physical parts, that shifting in the pressure behind my eyes, around my spine, neck, and jaw realigning all these slightly out-of-whack bits and pieces. And this results in my release, more bits and pieces going back into proper place. I already feel so much better physically and psychologically. It’s like a morbid massage from the inside out.
But it took me twenty years to get to a point where I understand enough about this to do something about it. It took me realizing this and then talking openly with my wife about this realization that my anxiety is so bad, my apparent (type of) PTSD is so constantly present, that ambient noise triggers it. If I wear headphones, earbuds, or earplugs–anything to even slightly damper ambient noise–I feel almost instantly better, regardless if I’m indoors or out. If I’m out with my wife or our dog, I feel infinitely better than when I’m alone. If I wear these silly piss-tinted glasses while writing, I feel better. Changing the music I listen to regularly, the movies I watch, the video games I play, and all the things I do. The more I’ve managed my anxiety, knowingly or not, the better I’ve gotten. And now that I know what I’m doing, now that I’m actively doing what I should be doing, I feel that much better and that much sooner.
I’ve lost a lot of weight I’ve put back on over the past ten years or so, mostly due to a better diet and significant improvement in my environment. And like when I lost it the first time, I haven’t really seen much of a physical difference. Not just a slow burning of fat or psychological trick of the eye–I’ve clearly scaled down (my pants and belt prove that). But for whatever reason, I still look(ed) rather pudgy until I somehow reached this stress-relieving state of mind. My body was still swollen, with tension, fluid, pressure puffing me up. When I relaxed years ago, somehow, I finally lost that swelling and saw some results. And it’s happening again now.
I want what’s happening to my body, this decompression and resetting of dislocated pieces, to happen to my mind. The Nightly Chill has always been something aimed at doing just that, but I’ve always struggled to make it work in my favor rather than against me. I let myself stress out too much about it. Recent months saw me change that with the creation of this newsletter and housecleaning of the various websites, accounts, brands, projects, and all the other assorted nonsense I’ve been juggling nonstop all these years. It gave structure and direction to my work, even when it’s been so scatter shot. And that eases me mentally, physically. The more I let me be me, the healthier I become. The more I let my work be what it needs to be, the healthier I become. I’m a writer and entertainer. Movies, comics, silly shit help me survive and be better. Writing and producing these sorts of things makes me feel better. But doing it for other people, for an audience, lets me see and feel those results.
In the coming weeks, I’m planning on writing more, producing more, and sharing much, much more. But it’ll be at my own pace, in my own way. The Nightly Chill is my attempt every night to find the words and methods to better express myself, feel better, and maybe help others feel the same. Maybe it’ll be something brief and silly. Maybe it’ll be something more. And maybe some nights I’ll have nothing more than a tweet and an apology. The “nightly” part is a goal, not a reality. The more I accept that, the better I feel and the better my work becomes. I know I can hit 5-7 days a week if I had to, I’ve proven that enough to myself by now. But now it’s time to work towards “nightly” because I can and want to, because I simply have the overabundance of material, and not simply because I feel as if I have to.
But whether it’s an issue of a newsletter, a live performance, or even as little as a live chat room and gaming/writing session, The Nightly Chill will continue to be around. Because I need it and it makes me feel better. And because I hope it’ll do the same for others–if it does that for even one other person who comes across this silliness–then those are results I can live with.
BETWEEN THE CRACKS
(A LETTERS’ PAGE)
I’m a nice guy. Why won’t women love me?
— Pathetic in Placentia
You’ve never stopped to consider that, perhaps, you are a filthy, no-good liar, have you?
JASON IS UP LATE
(A CHEAP PLUG)
Be sure to listen to “Jason is Up Late,” a new podcast from Los Angeles comedian Jason King., who is not well-known for turning in early for the evening, but, to the contrary, is rather notorious for staying up well-past any decently dressed hour.
SOME TRIVIAL BIT OF SILLINESS
The other night, I was pondering aloud on Twitter about the potential future happenings of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And with Black Widow only a few months away and The Eternals at the end of the year, this is what I ultimately came up with:
- The MCU will largely treat Eternals and Deviants as the results of two groups of early man experimented on by the Celestials.
- The Eternals themselves will be revealed to be the notable godly pantheons of Earth–the Olympians, Egyptian…and the Asgardians.
- Eternals intermingling with baseline humanity will have resulted in existence of demigods and a genetic trait allowing (some of) humanity to obtain or unlock “superpowers.” (Steve Rogers, Red Skull, Bruce Banner, Peter Parker) under specific circumstances.
- Deviants will be very similar to Eternals with one key difference–they’re a mutation, a “deviation.” Fewer in number, but their abilities come with a higher/reward, resulting in greater degree and variety of abilities, but perhaps with things like monstrous appearances.
- Deviants will explain some gods and monsters. Their intermingling with baseline humans producing gods, demigods, and eventually …mutants.
- Deviants will look more freakish, their powers more potentially destructive. Mutants will be outcasts by appearance and the fear they could be a human timebomb waiting to go off.
- This tie to the Deviants will explain the public fear and perception of mutants when they finally do arrive.
- Mutants will be tied to Deviants…and thus to Thanos, a member of the Titan-based group of Eternals with the deviant gene. This deviant gene is why, in the comics, Thanos looks the way he does and why he’s so powerful.
- In essence, mutants will be a lingering reminder and threat to humanity in a Post-Blip, Post-Thanos world.
- Mutants will be few in number, same as those with “unlocked” or “obtained” abilities like Hulk or Steve Rogers.
- They’ll have been around for years, but few x-gene carriers will actually be active. Even fewer are aware of its existence.
- Various groups have been gathering for years without us knowing it (or perhaps with hints in the background), making moves and waiting.
Now mind you, we not only saw all of this to some degree with Thanos but also with Peter Quill. Quill is the son of Ego, a celestial. By carrying the “celestial gene” (as Ego put it), Quill unknowingly had access to various abilities like energy projection and manipulation (the blue ball of energy he and Ego use to play “catch” with), heightened endurance (he takes beatings even other human characters wouldn’t get up from) and possibly immortality (he didn’t die in the vacuum of space, unlike all those other Ravagers…).
(I wonder if this is that big Easter Egg James Gun left in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2…)
And with this in mind, it’d be fairly easy to slip in mutants by way of the Weapon Plus program, similar to Marvel’s Ultimate Comics (a continued reference point for the MCU). Have various groups and governments trying, succeeding, and “failing” at recreating their own Super Soldiers in a superhero arms race. Banner became the Hulk (and Blonksy the Abomination) as a result of an experiment to recreate the Super Soldier serum with gamma radiation. Black Widow and Red Guardian (among others) are likely tied to Russian attempts to do something similar. Weapon Plus could remain the same US-Canada joint operation that ultimately discovers the mutant gene and experiments on Mutant Zero, a man referred to only as Logan…or Weapon X.
Maybe that’ll be the point of Falcon and Winter Soldier, to intro things like Weapon Plus. The show is clearly about Caps legacy–not just the shield, but also the super soldier serum. Even a tease of the existence of the Weapons Plus program would be an immediate backdoor for Wolverine, Deadpool, X-Men, the Brotherhood, and every other mutant already out there.
Or maybe I’m just loony. Both are equally possible.
(YET ANOTHER OBTRUSIVE ADVERTISEMENT)
“PRECISION AMERICAN SOCIAL ENGINEERING”
(A SATISFACTORY, WELL-WRITTEN BIT THAT SOMEHOW FAILS TO LIVE UP TO SOME ARBITRARY STANDARD CREATED AND IMPOSED BY NOBODY)
The arrogance and faulty logic of the argument that “non-voters” gave the world President Trump falls in the assumption that said non-voters would have voted the way you want them to.
Trump was an inevitability rooted in deep-rooted, systemic issues in politics, societal norms, and our culture. From large groups down to individuals. He wasn’t a shock. He hardly even lost the popular vote. And even then, he still won the utterly stupid, outdated game known as the Electoral College.
People want to assume perfect systems and a hive-mind eager to appease arrogant twats who think the system isn’t already working as intended. Carlin said it best, “Garbage in, garbage out.” Everything is built and ran in a way that encourages assholes to redirect blame away from those literally responsible for everything to individuals who have little say in this country other than where they spend their dollar. And even that dollar and that choice is being taken away, day after day, year after year.
The lesser of two evils, is still evil. Compromising values is why progress is so fucking slow in this country. It results in token gestures and minimal to nonexistent improvements. Because if things were so fucking great and functional, why is everything so fucking awful for everyone but a lucky few?
Either the system is utterly broken and rigged, or Americans, on the whole, actually don’t give a fuck about you or anyone else. Either way, it results in the same thing. It’s not the ones abstaining, it’s the ones actively supporting and perpetuating the fucking problems.
Being an America is like being in an unending abusive relationship where you’re told you’re loved, that you matter, things are good, and opportunities are out there to just take. And then after a few beers Uncle Sam just starts fucking punching and beating you in front of your friends and family while telling you, “It’s your fault this is happening right now. You should have done more, but you’re too stupid to do anything!” And then afterward, everyone just kinda looks away in shame, says nothing of that night ever again except to talk shit or tell someone, even you, “I told you so.” Cuz it’s easier to pretend you’re a better person even though you’re passively supporting all this abuse by not actually doing anything. And yet, these twats who look on at this and keep coming to these fucking parties will still find a way to deflect their own guilt, even going so far as to blame everyone who refuses to even associate with those kinds of fucking psychopaths. “Well if you care so much, you should’ve been there to say or do something about it.”
I did say and do something about it, Fucker. I stayed the fuck home, far away from you lot.
And how do I know this? Because I saw and experienced this same exact shit first-hand growing up. Politics and government are a reflection of the people. And when the people are abusers and enablers, the abuse and trauma is the song that never fucking ends. The only way to stop it is to stop playing along.
LAST-MINUTE ATTEMPT AT ENGAGEMENT
Please, contact us however you can if you, or someone you know, engages in the following acts of debauchery:
- Animal Husbandry
- Audio plays
- Pulp and/or other genre fiction
- Shopping lists
- Absurd acts of defiance against a pleasantly cold, yet wholly uncaring universe
- Short films
The weirder, the better.
We are The Lost. And together, we’ll make sure the world sees and hears us.
(BLATANT, YET ALSO REDUNDANT SELF-PROMOTION)
Tonight, CHILL with “Grand Ghoulish,” an absurd twisted romance between a photographer, a housewife, and her husband–a surgeon who enjoys getting a little blood on his hands!
THE END BITS NOBODY CARES MUCH FOR
(READ: OBLIGATORY PLEA FOR MONEY)
Subscribe for that walk-of-shame feeling every morning after. And if you enjoy The Nightly Chill and would like to support such silliness, please consider supporting it via Patreon for as little as $1 a month.
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YOU ARE NOT ALONE
THE NIGHTLY CHILL