So, you may have noticed that Looking Closer has been suffering some technical difficulties. (See details below.)

As others who know more about WordPress than I do are striving to repair this site, I am spending my time constructively: Leveling up!

The ship of has become a little unwieldy over the years and thus vulnerable to attacks. It’s time for me to launch some adjoining endeavors that will help carry my work forward on rough seas.

Step #1: I’ve launched a new Substack, where I can write more frequently and more spontaneously!

You can subscribe for free and get most of the goodness that I plan to post there for the foreseeable future.

You can also opt for a paid subscription where you will get even more of that goodness.

I’ve already posted an introduction, a bunch of songs from new 2023 albums I’m excited about, and a post about the Academy Awards. What’s more, I’m posting my Favorite Recordings of 2022 and my Favorite Films of 2022 lists there before I post them here! What’s more: I will make an announcement there soon that I’m pretty excited about.

So, subscribe for free to get my writing delivered to your email, or just follow the site regularly!

I’m eager for feedback: questions, comments, recommendations — and even constructive criticism from mature, respectful grown-ups!

The art for this Substack was drawn by animator and author Ken Priebe.

Regarding the technical difficulties at Looking Closer: These disruptions have begun — coincidentally, I’m sure! — after threats from some highly insecure bros who took offense when I raised some questions about Top Gun: Maverick. Apparently, somebody launched an attack on this site  — ill-advisedly, as the attack has done far more damage to my host server than to me.

And here’s the irony: In doing this, they’ve only strengthened my case that any ideal of masculinity that glorifies lawbreaking recklessness and obnoxious arrogance leads men into behaving like dangerous juvenile delinquents. “How dare you raise a critical question about Maverick? How dare you suggest that Top Gun glorifies immaturity and violence? In response, we’re going to behave immaturely, and with violence!”

(Sigh.) Boys, boys, boys…. Such behavior by bullies bothered me when I was in second grade, and now it just makes me shake my head and feel sorry for them.

But hey — their vandalism has inspired some new creativity in me, and I’m delighted that Give Me Some Light already has so many subscribers! I call this a “win.”