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Wednesday, 30 December 2020

Dear 2020,


Dear 2020: Here we fucking go again Man, I've met some crazy motherfuckers during my lifetime, but none of them became an adjective. "That's so 2020!" may cement itself into popular culture forever! Then again, 2021 is still coming, but we'll get to that.

It's amusing to recall the years before you where people were like, "Yo, this year be so mad!" but then 2020 came along WHOOOSH, like a gigantic squeegee, wiping those faces clean of expression, sullen blank stares, speechless and defeated. You were the year towering above all years, the King Kong to our Ann Darrow, the sadistic child's magnifying glass to our chaotic sprawling of ants programmed to survive. Except way more boring than that. Just lying on our couches, eating pizza, watching Netflix, ordering useless shit on Amazon to help Jeff Bezos becomes the evil ruler of the Universe. No one told us the apocalypse would be so dull. Regardless, I am honoured to have been a part of it.

I've said it many times, and I'll pen it officially: you were the only year that mattered to me. Before 2020, I spent most of my days in my mind, worrying about flight delays or trying to remember the pub order. But this year, the outside experience forcefully stole our attention. I couldn't look away! Every day, my phone had new news, and it was like a fucking 96 car pile-up upon a litter of puppies. What a mess you made!

My life has been effortless, especially over the last two years. I slid from one country to the next, expecting specific actions to happen, taking everything for granted. There were many months I lost interest in the ride; I couldn't care less what happened to the world or me. Some nihilist depression, I guess, but why put it in a box? To sell on Amazon? Wait, I already did the Bezos joke.

But suddenly, this year, there was a collective fear threatening to topple our very existence. There was an invisible demon crouched around every corner, hiding within human beings, ready to pounce inside whoever dared breathe in its presence. Yet, we also had the unprecedented energy of hope pulling us back up, finding ways to function during the most challenging times of our lives. I watched the globe working in unity unlike anything previously, and my heart overflowed with love and into my tummy. I often think about those people who passed away in 2019. They missed all of this. I find that so tragic. For the first time, I am soooo grateful I was a part of this narrative. I am also thankful that I never used Zoom. Not once. I didn't understand many of the related jokes, but I reckon my life was better for it.

2020, I compare you to a cold slap in the face to every single human alive. We fell back in our seats, forced to reevaluate our roles in society and society itself, asking what was important to prioritise in modern living. Am I going to lose my job? Is my mother going to die if I hug her? Should I start an Only Fans profile so I can afford hand sanitiser? These were questions asked by the entire human race experiencing similar worries, a wake-up call through the humbling fragility of our very presence on Earth. Things were doubly-worse if your name was Karen. If a singular bat can do this, then nature is still very much in control. We're lucky COVID was relatively harmless! This outbreak could have been something genuinely destructive!

Above these concerns, it's the knowledge that life has changed forever, and I believe it's ultimately for the better. We were moving and moving and moving without aim, and now we are not. We march together with a singular goal: restarting a civilisation stammered by a virus with an additional fist for the equality of all races thrown in. I sink deep into the beauty of that.

Of course, personalities don't change overnight, and voices got louder. This period of high stress proved ripe for growing exaggerated versions of each character. The conspiracy theorists? More paranoid about everything, screaming into their megaphones about pizza or whatever. The depressed? A whole new batch of misery to latch onto, why did this happen to them. The go-getters? Finding a way to push through and make the best of a tricky situation. But the spiritual? They registered this as the most significant shift in decades. It was as if a portal of enlightenment expanded above our heads, and we could now view the world for what it was—a singular entity. One where every human from every country is connected even just by coughing on each other.

Looking at my friends, I could have predicted each of their reactions flawlessly. Except, of course, I was too wrapped up in my predictable response to call it beforehand. There are learning experiences everywhere, and we are all learning faster than ever. Not fast enough to beat the deep fakes, but still, pretty fast.

The most curious observation is that my brain and life are forever in opposite sync like a see-saw of cosmic connection. The correlation is epic and grows more evident with each cycle: my mental stability appears to throw society off-balance. I have never been happier in 2020 compared to every other year. The files inside my head organised themselves, compartmentalising components of my thoughts and memories and personality into easy to find envelopes. And yet on the outside, the world spins all wobbly like it's on drugs. Hang on, am I in control of the Universe? Or am I simply the most narcissistic human on the planet? I have no proof either way. Should I intentionally initiate an ugly mental condition to stabilise the Earth for the good of humankind? No, I don't want to do that.

Anyways, 2020, there is nothing that can be said. You were a necessary weapon of gigantic yikes. You made each previous year in everyone's lifetime look like a lowkey cartoon comedy show. It's a feat I never thought I'd see at such a level and now that you're nearly over, I am saturated with one teacup of sadness and two tablespoons of relief. Congratu-fucking-lactions, dude. That was a ride!

I nearly didn't write this letter. I felt you'd said enough for everyone and I'd best keep my mouth shut just in case I started confessing my ever-growing love for Elena Sheidlina again. But in the end, no year deserves this analysis more than you. So here I go, bowing my head and showing my respects. It may be worth noting that I wrote this whole article doped up on handfuls of valium so never mind the spelling errors. The fact I didn't die is a goddamn miracle. A lot of people died. Anyway, 2020, this was you, you crazy crazy fucker.

Use the following key to find what you are looking for much quicker:

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Personal stuff that relates to me.
Notable people who died.
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Some big event.
Disasters, mostly natural.
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Traditional drawings of the Jarexit Monstrocities series.
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Money I won.
The King/Queen of 2018.
Mental Health Checkup.
My social media posts which I am the most proud of.


Dear 2020, January: Aussie forest fires rage on; I'm at Machu Picchu; Trump nearly starts WW3 with drone strike kill of Qasem Soleimani; Kobe Bryant dead; Rush Drummer Neil Peart Dead; Ricky Gervais rips the shit out of everyone

01 Jan
The countdown into 2020 occurred in some random bar located central to the Machu Picchu village (Aguas Calientes). I was dancing with Los Cuatros Chullos, our four-person travel crew, whilst watching a group of girls from the corner of my eye, attempting to drink enough to shush my self-doubts to approach them. That never happened. No matter! Because, dude, can you imagine a better place to be?
Rewind and picture this: following on from the premature end of my Dear 2019 article, I backflipped into a plane on Xmas day and flew halfway across the world from Madrid, Spain to Pucallpa, Peru (with a 9-hour stopover in Lima, zzzzzzzz). When I landed, my brother, his girlfriend, Andrea, and their whole family were waiting for li'l ol' me. Initiate Jarexit III! We hung around for a couple of days then ventured out across the Sacred Valley on the 28th. First, two days in Cusco which we explored slooowly otherwise you pass out from the lack of oxygen at 8,000 feet. On the 30th, an inspirationally scenic six-hour drive took us to Santa Teresa (my god!) where we cleared our sins in the Cocalmayo hot springs—a holiday highlight we all agreed on, wow. On the 31st, we boarded a train which ran through the Amazon jungle, arriving in the aforementioned village before doing the thing: floating around the 15th-century Inca ruins known as Machu Picchu, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It was misty as fuck but experiences like this tattoo your brain and it's a big bucket list tick that literally everyone has to do.

And then here we were, in some random place where a round of drinks costs more than our two nights accommodation. We were situated in one of the final timezones to cross the line, and we made a good time of it (even if we were continuously dodging fireworks thrown at us by little children).

Bedtime and awoke without a hangover, the first time since 1999. We scrambled into a car to make our way back to Cusco, only to find that our biggest fear had occurred: a colossal mudslide barricaded our thin mountain road, shut. We had to get out the car, climb over the masses of huge rocks by foot to a second car waiting on the other side, holding our breath as stones still rolled down over our shoes, threatening a full disaster. The drive continued as did bits of the mountain, tumbling around us. We were suitably freaked. We could have been killed; this is not a joke; people die just like this every year. But we didn't die! Instead, this hardened as an exhilarating moment of my life, a biggie which I shall treasure forever.
Quick stop off at some lady's hut for yummy corn beer (the skulls of her parents next to us were weird though), another quick stop at Abra Malaga (the highest altitude I've ever stood at, 4,160ft above sea level), then another final stop at Cochahuasi Animal Sanctuary to pat llamas. Then we were back in Cusco for a few more days of relaxation. Whew!!!
So how was your New Years?
Not so good for Indonesian capital of Jakarta where nearly 400 millimetres of rainwater overflowed the Ciliwung and Cisadane rivers, killing 66 people and forcing 60,000 out of their homes. It's their worst flooding since 2007.

02 Jan
The Australian bushfires rage on from last year, reportedly killing as many as 500 million animals and losing 20% of their forests at this point. Today, the government of New South Wales declares a state of emergency and the government of Victoria declares a state of disaster.

03 Jan
The world shook when Trump ordered a drone strike that killed major general Qasem Soleimani, a man some Iranians consider to be an iconic hero. World War III was trending high and we all held out breath waiting for retaliation. It came five days later when Iranian missiles smashed into U.S. forces based in Iraq. Nobody was killed, but 110 were diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. Around the same time, Iran mistakenly shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, killing the 176 passengers. Meanwhile, every leader of every country desperately screamed for both sides to calm the fuck down, and thankfully, the conflict appeared to chill then. Regardless, a very tense way to start the year! Little did we know...

04 Jan
From Cusco to Pucallpa, and fuck me, that was unbelievable. I pull the files from my memory and I'm like... surely this trip didn't happen. I detailed much of this on Instagram but in summary: this adventure changed me and continued to change me for the rest of the year. I felt God in the Earth, and the Earth held up the mirror to the God in me; the God in everyone. I burst with a newfound optimism for the planet and the knowledge that we are no threat to her, we are only going to kill ourselves if we keep up our nonsense. We will die and the Earth will grow over us without effort.

I can't express the thrill it was to be travelling with Los Cuatros Chullos, our four-person crew featuring myself, my brother, Andrea, and Sandra. I'm so used to solo missions that this was a different experience where everyone played a role to carry the organisational load. I didn't have to be switched on all the time hence why this felt like a genuine holiday.
Needless to say, I was rejuvenated and ready to smash whatever at this point, a power I owe to this continent which I shall detail later. For now, just know that the Sacred Valley is an apt name.

The highlights were well covered on the New Years section but there is tons of Instagram documentation here and here and here and here.

05 Jan
77th Golden Globe Awards with the ever-blunt Ricky Gervais hosting for the fifth time. Marriage Story led with six nominations. I loved that film! Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won the most awards (three). I loved that film even more!

07 Jan
After a long period of nurturing this creative outlet, I finally announced my Monstrocities series with this post. The idea was to mould Jarexit 1 cities into pencil crayon art pieces, capturing their personalities as mythical monster creations. I had already completed many of them, and released an image every Wednesday from tomorrow until I ran out.
Neil Ellwood Peart was the drummer (and lyricist) of Rush. I'm not an excitable fan of the band, but my God, Peart was the star of the show, inarguably one of the best drummers we had, now gone. Brain cancer got him at age 67. Monumental loss.
Pencilmation Script: The Holy Rail.
Now might be a good time to mention that there will be far fewer Pencilmation scriptwriting credits under my name this year. This shift is actually a good thing because it meant my responsibilities grew within the company. Still, if you check 99% of the episodes, my name will still be credited somewhere and, of course, it's all recorded in my IMDB profile. But what I will say is this... I've been placed to work on something else. Something much bigger. So don't you worry about me.

08 Jan
Monstrocities 001: London

09 Jan
TOI 1338-b is discovered, a rare planet that orbits two stars!

10 Jan
Future and Drake release the video for Life Is Good. Ending the year with 1.36 billion views, it's the most-watched 2020 vid on the platform.

11 Jan
Pucallpa was a blessing; a quiet jungle town vibe to soothe the madness that came previously. The conversations I shared with my brother was invaluable and magical, we lol'd a ton. I also spent a large portion of my time with Andrea and Sandra as well as their parents, so the flavour was one of family. Genuine human connections, man. Not something I get a lot of during my travels.
Other highlights include the interestingly shaped Immaculate Conception Cathedral; the small artwork selection from the shaman Pablo Amaringo; and getting my shoes fixed for less than a pound. That final point is a bigger deal than it sounds. I have been wearing those Hi-Tek mountain boys since before the Jarexits, years and years of countries after countries. They were nearly dead until some Peruvian craftsman on the side of the road Frankensteined them back to life, ready for many more months of service. What troopers they are! Why does anyone buy new footwear?
Photos here.
Instagram summary here.

But the time had come. I knew I had to experience some loud Peru madness; hence why today was the day I left those lovely humans and flew to the country's capital, Lima. It felt right seeing as I'd already shuffled around that airport three fucking times (including that first 9-hour stopover, ugh). I had to rectify this cock-tease and explore what the city had to offer. Which I obviously did. I do everything.

At this point I was so high on life it was embarrassing, my spirit had risen and my vision had cleared which is a big theme of 2020. What's more, the Peruvian girls love me! My Tinder blew the fuck up! I arrived at my hostel, put my bags down and was on a date within two hours. Drank a lot, went back to her place, did the deed and fell asleep.
As you can imagine, I awoke with extreme confusion. I'd changed locations so many times recently and with a hangover sploshing my eyes, I had no idea which country I was in let alone who this lady was next to me. It took a full minute of panic to piece it together. That shit is so funny. That's what life is about.
In the end, I turned off Tinder because I had so many dates lined up, I could no longer slot them into my one-week schedule. What a wonderful life! Respect to you, Lima!!!

12 Jan
Taal Volcano erupted in Batangas, Philippines, killing 39 people.

15 Jan
In late 2019, then-candidate for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders, requested money by stating the famous slogan "I Am Once Again Asking for Your Financial Support". It didn't take long before 2020 used it in all sorts of strange ways. Sadly, anyone who gave him money lost out as he eventually conceded the nomination to Joe Biden. Maybe a good move. The world simply isn't ready for Sanders yet.
I think we hit 14 million subscribers today? Somewhere around here anyway. I forgot to keep track of all of this during the year. After 10 million it kinda loses its celebratory magic. What a pretentious thing to say, sorry.
After discovering that 74% of pet owners play music for their pets while they're not as home, Spotify creates a Pets Playlist just for their animal ears.
Monstrocities 002: Copenhagen
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (1/50): I don’t care if the whole world likes my travel photos, if my ex-girlfriends don’t see them then they're USELESS.

18 Jan
In response to the 2017 documentary The Problem with Apu, Hank Azaria steps down as the voice actor for Apu Nahasapeemapetilon.

19 Jan
Three weeks in Peru (totalling 56 days in Spanish speaking counties considering my 2019 end in Spain) and it was time to leave. But as my Instagram post explained, there was a leap of enlightenment found here which escalated my spiritual philosophy in an immeasurable way, although I did eventually manage to measure it. We'll get to all of this later, but if someone asks how I received my sacred text, I'll always proudly credit Peru for firming the connections I had been scuffling with for the past few months. It's almost a cliché to say but there is some sort of higher electricity radiating from that portion of the earth. Everyone who has been there knows this to be true.
Lima highlights include the dizzying views from the Miraflores boardwalk; The Bosque El Olivar; The Huaca Pucllana(!!); the Barranco street art (wow, top stuff!); having sex; and the 1900 Hostel, one of the best I've ever had the pleasure. Here are the photos.
But I was not done with South America yet! Rio here I come! Big dream of mine to visit this city! Excited and scared! You can tell I'm giddy from my exclamation point usage!
So I land in Rio around 04:40am and have several hours to kill before my hostel lets me in. That's when I remembered my Whatsapp Bestie Michaela had complained that I'd never drawn her any pictures. Perfect timing. I sat in Rio airport and knocked out this piece which is exactly how she looks literally all the time, ask anyone. She liked it. She's a good one.

21 Jan
This is TMI so please skip it but I gotta hang onto the moment where I was sitting on a balcony in a favela, looking over the glorious night-time lights of Rio, Christ the Redeemer towering over the land, as my Tinder date was on her knees sucking me off. I was drunk but my brain really paused to take stock of how wonderful life is and how grateful I was to be a part of this moment.
Terence Graham Parry Jones was an actor most famous as a member of the Monty Python team. He also directed Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life as well co-directing The Holy Grail. After fighting degenerative aphasia for years, he eventually died from frontotemporal dementia at age 77.

22 Jan
Monstrocities 003: Berlin

23 Jan
So much like Lima, my Rio dating apps were vibrating on overdrive, and I met various lovely ladies throughout my stay. But the date I had today was very different.
From the very first exchange, she and I connected like touching live wires. And the longer we chatted (and the more we drank) the deeper that connection vibrated. We moved around Rio like a new couple, making out and drinking massive beers until we stumbled on a fucking outdoor dance floor in the middle of the city. It was magical and it felt like we were meant to be together forever. We went our separate ways but made concrete plans to hang out the next day.
And then I fucking ruined it. The following morning I awoke with a self-deprecating hungover and backed away. The night before had moved so fast, profoundly romantic words of commitment were exchanged and I could not deal. Our following Whatsapp conversation was cold from my side and she picked that up immediately. Once my hangover subsided, I realised my stupidity and tried to patch it up but she had turned her back. Try as my might, she would not see me again and I left Rio full of regret. We are still in contact and chat regularly but this is a tragic story as well as one of the most fascinating human interactions I've ever had.
I'm still bewildered by all of it. Sometimes I wonder if I will see her again and then we'll live happily ever after? Maybe.

24 Jan
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (2/50): ME: Tonight I’m finally going to cook that fancy rice dish I bought all those ingredients for!
BRAIN: Or you could just eat cereal out of the box like crisps again.
ME: Or I could just eat cereal out of the box like crisps again.

25 Jan
Liang Wudong was a physician at Xinhua Hospital in Hubei, China, secured in history as the first doctor to die from COVID-19. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the COVID show.

26 Jan
Super funny that day when Donald Trump was impeached hahaha. His trial started today but he was acquitted on February 5th. Anticlimax.
62nd Annual Grammy Awards! Lizzo received eight nominations. Eilish became the first artist since 1981 to win Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. This also happened which is wonderful.

27 Jan
Kobe Bean Bryant was a basketball player of note, standing as the all-time leading scorer in Lakers history with many other records and achievements under belt including two Summer Olympics gold medals and an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball. He died at age 41 in a helicopter crash. Seven other people died too, including Kobe's 13-year-old daughter, Gianna. It was a big one.

29 Jan
Monstrocities 004: Budapest

30 Jan
The World Health Organization declares the outbreak of COVID-19 as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Now I don't know about you guys but I can guess what I was thinking. "Pffft, what's COVID-19? Sounds like nothing to me. Probably just some distraction. Doubt such a thing will affect my life in any shape or form".

31 Jan
The UK formally withdraws from the EU, initiating an 11-month transition period. Naturally, I gave my statement on Instagram.
The second part of Bojack Horseman Season 6 arrives on Netflix, ending the series. And may I just state that this is my favourite show of all time.

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: Looking back over my notes all this time ago, there seemed to be a strong optimism which is a classic January vibe, right? I found some brief scribblings from the beginning of Rio that indicated a slight wobble, especially in the loneliness ballpark, but it appeared to be shortlived. Good start then! And how could it not be? I was in South America the whole time, baby!

Dear 2020, February: What's COVID-19?; dancing pallbearers own internet; J'Lo and Shakira look very nice at Super Bowl; I'm at the White House; Joker wins best actor Oscar; Rage Against the Machine announce tour that never happens

01 Feb
When I arrived at the airport, the local lady at the counter asked if I'd "been to sheena". I was like, "sheena?" and she responded, "Yes, sheena!". Hmmm, "No, I don't know who or what that is, so I don't think so." But she kept going. "Sheena! SHEENA!" eventually I was raising my voice, "Listen, I obviously have no idea what you're talking about so it's fair to assume I have not been there!". She accepted that.
Through the gates and the English announcer announced "Please let staff know if you have recently visited China and if you're feeling any of the following symptoms of COVID-19..." and I was like, "ooooh, not sheeena, CHINA! And also, fuck, this COIVD thing sure is making some noise now".

Anyways, wings spread and heart open, I left Rio on this day. As much as I always fantasised a visit to this side of the Brazilian vibe, its reputation did quiver my jollies. Thankfully, the buzz of danger only heightened the experience, which was otherwise a loud mixing pot of bright colours set on fire. I loved it! It was like a reflection of my home city Cape Town and for the first time since leaving that location, I recalled what made that previous life so exciting. I explain all of this much more eloquently on this Instagram post but the summary is that I adored it. A high contender from all the Jarexits.
Highlights: Christ the Redeemer (one of the 7 Wonders of the World); Sugarloaf Mountain; getting laid; Copacabana beach; Ipanema Beach; Cemitério São João Batista; the massive servings of açaí; the Rio De Janeiro Cathedral (omf, craziest church ever, go go go!!); the internationally famous Escadaria Selarón Mosaic Steps; getting drunk with Pepe; the Royal Portuguese Reading Room; the National Library of Brazil; the Etnias mural by EduardoKobra (the biggest mural painted by a single artist in the world); and getting my teeth polished. Whew, a lot! Photos here and here.

Next up: Orlando. Florida! THE UNITED STATES OF 'MERICA! GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WOOOORLD!!
After 50 years of service, Slade kick out their drummer Don Powell. Powell tells them they'll rue the day as he announces his own band named "Don Powell's Slade".
Andrew James Dalrymple Gill was the lead guitarist and co-founder of Gang of Four. He died today at age 64 from multiple organ failure and pneumonia. Considering a November 2019 tour through China, his wife has suggested he may have been an early COVID victim.

02 Feb
Shakira and Jennifer Lopez play the Super Bowl LIV halftime show and everyone loved it. Reactions were mostly to the effect of "how does J'Lo look like the hottest 50-year-old that ever lived?" and "wtf is Shakira doing with her tongue?".
Ivan Král is best known as a co-writer, guitarist and bassist of the Patti Smith Group, playing on her first four albums including the mighty Horses. He's also played with Blondie and Iggy Pop while his songs have been recorded by U2, Pearl Jam, and David Bowie, to name a few. He died at age 77 from cancer.

05 Feb
When Johnniqua Charles was detained outside a club in South Carolina, she launched into a freestyle song and dance about how this security guard was about to lose his job. People loved her and a remix followed shortly after.
To do my duty in spreading their filth, I wrote Mensvreters: Eating People for a Good Cause, a promotion article for their sophomore record, Boef Lewe. If you haven't already, check them out. The quality of material they shat out this year is as masterful as it is terrifying.
Monstrocities 005: Rome
Kirk Douglas was a very famous actor known for everything including three Oscar nominations, an Academy Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The American Film Institute called him the 17th greatest male screen legends of classic Hollywood cinema, the only person on that list who was alive at the time. He was also one of the last surviving stars of film's Golden Age which sadly ended today. Still, he reached 103, so wtf can you really say? Nice run, man!

07 Feb
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (3/50): You keep posting shit stuff and wasting my time why.

09 Feb
Plane time! Wait, I mean, train time!
The week I spent in Orlando was mostly settled in Cocoa, chilling my ass off with one of my greatest old school pals, Stu, and his wife, Lonny. Together we drank beer and... drank beer? Watched Netflix! Mostly the beer thing. It was just a dream to have a private room for a bit. Basically, it was the perfect rejuvenation point after the explosive Brazil, and before the looong USA trip I'd dotted out coming up. And considering how crazy Florida is, the regional education was a blessing which probably saved my life. Thanks, Stu!
Highlights include: Lake Eola Park; Orange County Courthouse (where Ted Bundy was found guilty of murdering girls); falling in love with Aria the dog; watching Stu fish; seeing manatees for the first time; chatting giant turtles at Loggerhead Marinelife Center.
In-depth summary here. Photo collection here. Random Jarexit 3 b-sides here.
This little visit concluded with Stu and I detouring through West Palm before I embarked on my solo way, onward to fucking Miami, bitch.
The 92nd Academy Awards. Joker was nominated for 11 awards. Parasite rightfully won four awards incl. Best Picture. It was the first non-English language film to do so. 1917 won three. Ford v Ferrari, Joker (incl. Joaquin Phoenix for Best Actor), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won two each. Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland won best actress. I'm losing interest in this side of the world now.

10 Feb
Rage Against the Machine announced their first full-length world tour in 20 years. Which obviously didn't happen but still.

11 Feb
The World Health Organization names a brand new disease. They called it COVID-19.
Large Hindu mobs rush around North East Delhi attacking Muslims and destroying their property. 53 people died, 200 people were injured, 2,000 people were arrested. This is not the Hindu way.
Pencilmation Script: Cut the Clap.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (4/50): I checked and if you refuse to listen to people and do whatever you want to do, nobody actually stops you.

12 Feb
Ah man, so nostalgic to see one of the older meme formats coming back strong. Cover Yourself in Oil. Oil floats in water. Wait for rain then fucking fly, bitches.
Monstrocities 006: Athens
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (5/50): I promise to keep making art for you whether you want me to or not.

14 Feb
Seven months after Chapter 6 and I finally released Definitely Not a Cry for Help Chapter 7: Cape Town. Its style was far removed from what came before and that led to a strong positive reaction. My friends really loved it and they weren't shy to tell me so. I also consider it one of my favourites, and it will most likely stay that way until the end.
To combat the inevitable Valentine's blues of singledom, I attended a Miami bar party catered for my lonely demographic exactly. It didn't help because every female was way older than me, so I began plan B: get as fucked as possible. It was going quite well until I forgot where I was and made a Trump-related joke. It was like someone pulled the needle off the vinyl, I was suddenly interrogated by the whole of Florida, fully aware that these people have guns. I instinctively slammed my gear into reverse and claimed the ignorance of a British man while concluding that Trump won fair and square according to the voters of a democratic system. They accepted this, but my nerves had not. I quietly made my exit and cursed this day of loveless love. Made a decent story though.

15 Feb
Caroline Louise Flack was a television/radio presenter known for I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, The X Factor, and Love Island as well as winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2014. After being arrested for allegedly assaulting her boyfriend, she was found hanging dead from suicide in her flat (age 40). A big uproar about cyberbullying and the detrimental effects of social media pressure followed. Also worth noting that she is the fourth person linked to a Love Island suicide.

16 Feb
So Miami was interesting. A pretty rough city, not really what I'd pictured based on Will Smith. The causal intolerance of the people was far from my circle of trust, and my hostel was a shabby hole of shitness, a perception which doubled when my roommate informed me that he slept with a gun under his pillow. Who are you gonna shoot, bro? Me? Then again, certain elements helped to balance the scales, like the graffiti which rivalled the best I've ever inspected plus Miami Beach was exactly what you've seen on T.V. Also, the weather? It was hot! And it was winter! Wtf!!
Highlight time: Miami Beach plus strip as discussed; Wynwood Walls (here's the graffiti!); the original Coppertone sign; and the Calle Ocho Walk of Fame in Little Havana. But NOTHING compared to the Holocaust Memorial. It was the best sculpture I've laid eyes on and I've laid eyes on many.
Photos here and proper summary here. Next up, Washing D.C!! Before even boarding the plane, I knew this was no small freedom fry. And I was right.

18 Feb
2020 Brit Awards. Dave – Psychodrama won the album of the year. Lewis Capaldi won two awards, more than anyone else. Congrats, I guess.

19 Feb
Monstrocities 007: Cape Town
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (6/50): Everything I’ve ever said was intended to end the conversation.

23 Feb
Whew, Washington D.C. was a trip. I pushed myself to the max, wringing the most I could from a one-week timeframe as I covered these lands I'd seen a billion times before on every film ever made. After the unsettling Trumpian atmosphere of Florida, America became the patriotic powerhouse in my mind again, and I'd argue it as my favourite USA city except for... well, we'll get to that. For now, I got onto a bus to leave, waving goodbye to the unmistakable landmarks and the friendliest faces I'd ever briefly brushed words with. Onto Philadephia which, tbf, I was amped about too.
Full gushy Washington praise here.
Highlights are plentiful and include: The Lincoln Memorial; the classic view from the Lincoln Memorial; the Reflecting Pool; the Washington Monument; the World War II Memorial; Korean War Veterans Memorial; the Library of Congress; wearing my Make Racists Afraid Again hoodie outside of the White House; the South African Embassy's Mandela statue and the British Embassy's Winston Churchill statue (if you know, you know); the National Gallery of Art featuring a Self Portrait by Van Gogh; the stairs from The Exorcist; the Culture House (go there for good times!); L. Ron Hubbard's old house aka the first Church of Scientology (I went inside his office!); and the Washington National Cathedral (where Helen Keller is buried) TO NAME BUT A FEW.
Photos here and here.

24 Feb
Creola Katherine Johnson was a NASA mathematician whose calculations were critical to the first and subsequent U.S. spaceflights. She was one of the first African-American women to work as a NASA scientist. In 2015, Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. What a life, making it all the way to 101.
Guitarist David Edward Roback was best known as founding member and one half of Mazzy Star. He died from metastatic cancer at age 61.

25 Feb
One step closer to fame and The Freewheelin' Troubadour spat out this poetic gold, commissioned by BT Sport to bless love into Arsenal's 200th game against Chelsea.
Kazuhisa Hashimoto was a video game developer who created the Konami Code, a cheat code and Easter egg used in many games: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (7/50): “It wasn’t like this back in my day!”
That’s strange. It’s almost as if things changed over time.

26 Feb
Even though the true origin is unknown, the best we've got is when Tik Tok user lawyer_ggmu paired the Tony Igy's EDM track "Astronomia" with Ghanian pallbearers dancing as they carry a coffin. This quickly became the go-to meme indicating an upcoming death, known as the Coffin Dance/Dancing Pallbearers. This may also be worth looking at. Biggest internet thing of 2020 perhaps?
Monstrocities 008: Bangkok
It wasn't quite here but I forgot when Pencilmation hit 15 million subscribers. Probably a week or so later but we'll just put this here.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (8/50): All I want in life is for people to vocally recognise how brilliant I am at regular intervals.

27 Feb
Although never proven, Pandit Sudhakar Chaturvedi's claimed birth year of 1897 would have made him the oldest Indian ever, at 122. He was also known as an Indian freedom fighter, a Vedic scholar, an Indologist, and a friend of Mahatma Gandhi.

29 Feb
U.S. and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, sign a conditional peace agreement. America starts to withdraw troops from Afghanistan on March 10.
Luxembourg is the first country EVER to make all public transport free!
Waking up with the shakes, I blasted out an article called Two Forces to Facebook and Janthopoyism had suddenly begun.
Pencilmation Script: One Flue Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Keep in mind it takes a few months to put one episode together, so this was quite a topical coincidence. Or was it...? It was.
Despite his five-decade acting career, Dieter Laser will be best remembered as the psycho doctor in The Human Centipede. He died today at age 78.

Misc.
Mental Health Checkup: A lot can be gained by analysing mental health in terms of February. If you want to obliterate depression, just run around America! I was having the best time and covering mass ground as I did so, keeping the brain entertained and the exercise serotonin flowing well. I think I had some down moments in Miami but, dude, I was in Miami! I recall this month as one of joyous distractions. Try it!

Dear 2020, March: Tiger King literally becomes the king of Netflix; Breonna Taylor is shot dead in her house by cops for no reason; I went to New York; Tom Hanks caught corona; Harvey Weinstein goes down for 23 years; Disney+ keeps rolling out, sucking up the world

01 March
It's always sunny in Philadelphia! It's not though. My trip was cursed with frequent rainfalls, restraining my week-long visit from finding my happy place in this city. Thankfully, the hostel I was staying in was marvellous, and I made some proper good friends I'm still in contact with today. And what else do you need?

I'll tell you what you need. You need what I had. Here are the highlights: running up the Rocky stairs; the Love Park; Paddy's Pub (which claims some Always Sunny similarities even if they are few); the Magic Gardens; the Liberty Bell; Charles Dickens' pet raven all taxidermied up at the Philadelphia Free Library; the Wanamaker Organ (the largest functioning pipe organ on the planet); the Irish Memorial; the basketball court from the beginning of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; and vegan Philly Cheesesteak which I still think of til this day.
Above all else, the coolest aspect of Philly is how proud its people are. Literally, everyone who lives there just talks about how great Philadelphia is, it's such an excellent vibe.
Also worth noting that the COVID conversation was fairly regular at this point. I was still refusing to take it seriously.
Summary photo here. Photo photos here. Running up the Rocky stairs here.

Ok yeah, but for real now, no more fucking around. If you could go back to any point in time before this date and ask me where I wanted to go, I would say New York. New York had been calling me my whole life because I worship big cities, and New York is one of the mothers. When the bus turned that corner, and I witnessed that skyline for the first time in my life, I wept. First stop: Lower East Side Manhattan!

02 March
Tik Tok/Twitter user @neekolul wears a Bernie 2020 shirt which dancing to the Oki Doki Boomer song by Senzawa. She got 2.63 million views in three days. At the time of typing this, it's at 43.7 million.
After 35 years of service, Flavor Flav is fired from Public Enemy. It was later announced this was a hoax. I would delete this entry but I've already written it.
James Lipton was big name in the film/television world, starring in, writing, and producing various titles for our entertainment. When you play yourself in both The Simpsons and Family Guy, you know you've made it. Bladder cancer got him at age 93.

03 March
CC the Carbon Copy Copy Cat was the first cloned pet, achieved by Texas A&M University and Genetic Savings & Clone In. She lived 18 whole years and was by all observations totally normal, birthing a litter of her own. Gone but not forgotten, dear CC.

04 March
Genesis announce a reunion tour then COVID took it away.
Monstrocities 009: Koh Tao & Koh Phangan
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (9/50): "Imagine there's no countries”
Imagine there *ARE* no countries, John.

05 March
Marnie the dog could never seem to keep her tongue in her mouth or her head straight and that's all the internet wanted, making her a star with around 1.9 million Instagram followers. She was 18 when she passed today.

08 March
Still in New York and loving life, I relocated to Upper West Side Manhattan to get a feel for that side of this mad city.
Spoiler alert though, the Lower East Side was the best from the whole trip. So arty!
Highlights from that week include: the building on Led Zeppelin's Physical Grafitti; the Hare Krishna Tree; Katz's Delicatessen (When Harry Met Sally fake orgasm scene); Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique album cover location; the building where GG Allin had his final gig before overdosing dead a few hours later; David Bowie's Apartment (where he died); the location for Ramones' debut cover; the outside apartment from Friends; locations from Taxidriver; the location from Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited; Hotel Chelsea(!!!); Times Square; locations from Birdman; the famous Charging Bull; the Fearless Girl Statue; Wall Street; the 9/11 Memorial; World Trade Center; and the Ghostbusters Firehouse.
This is to name very few places. Very few. I hit NY hard, bro. And I wasn't done yet.
Here are some photos so long. Here are some more.
William Gibson creates a website called Wash Your Lyrics where users can generate posters which direct you to wash your hands properly for the correct allocated time by using a song of your choice. Not all heroes wear capes but maybe William wears a cape, I'm unsure.
Respect to Max von Sydow for his 70-year career in cinema, starring in more than 150 films including The Exorcist, Flash Gordon, Dune, Minority Report, Shutter Island, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He was also in Game of Thrones a little bit, but who wasn't? 90 years of age and off he goes.

09 March
After Italy gets smacked by COVID harder than anyone, the entire country is placed in quarantine. The world now starts to worry.

11 March
WHO declares that the COVID-19 outbreak is now a pandemic.
Harvey Weinstein is sentenced to 23 years in prison for his evil sexually abusive ways.
Monstrocities 010: Da Nang

12 March
Tom Hanks announces that he has tested positive for COVID-19. For some reason, this is the moment that made it real for me.

13 March
Breonna Taylor was 26 years old when plainclothes officers forced entry into her home and shot her dead. Breonna's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, heard the police breaking down the door and upon thinking they were intruders, fired a warning shot. The police returned with 32 shots. Walker was not hit, but Taylor was six times. The operation was part of a suspect drug dealing thing even though the apartment was never ultimately searched. Eventually, the family was paid $12 million, but no homicide charges were filed against the officers. Naturally, this only added to the tensions which escalated substantially throughout the year.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (10/50): Hey, sorry, I wasn't ignoring you, I just matched with a different Tinder girl who was much hotter than you and I was chatting to her but she’s blocked me now soooo whatsup!

14 March
Pencilmation Script: Cheese Your Own Adventure. And can I just say, this is one of my favourite bits I've ever written.

15 March
Alright, cheers Manhattan! Next up, a smooth move to Brooklyn because Brooklyn.
It was a tough change though, not only because HI NYC Hostel was one of the best accommodations I've ever stayed in, but also because COVID was now the dominant thought. Everyone was afraid of everyone. Nobody would touch the elevator buttons so we'd all just stand there in silence. Trump had banned anyone from the EU/UK to cross the border. It was really sinking in that this was not a game anymore. This was an era-defining event. I remember about this time walking into a supermarket that had been stripped bare, and my stomach sank. "Are we going to be ok?" I wondered to myself, all alone, on the other side of the world from home.
That's not to say I wasn't having fun anymore! I was! My previous week was filled with fascination, including: the Seinfeld cafe; The Dakota (where John Lennon was shot); Strawberry Fields; Central Park; The Birthplace of Hip Hop; the stairs that Joker danced down; Yankee Stadium; The Museum of Modern Art; Pier 54 (The Titanic's intended Arrival Destination); Madison Square Garden; Empire State Building; the location for The Doors' Strange Days album cover; and the subway vent that blew up Marilyn Monroe's dress. Again, that's just a tiny selection I figured you might be interested in.
Some photos here and a special album cover selection here.

16 March
There is no doubt that Italians staying indoors had a decent impact on the environment. Some reported that dolphins had even returned to the now non-polluted Venice canals. Sadly, these turned out to be unture, but did spark a bunch of imaginative variations such as dinosaurs returning to NYC and giant ducks coming back to the Thames. Some funny ones here. At least the air pollution in Punjab, India cleared so drastically that the Himalayan mountain range was visible for the first time in 30 years. That much was true.
Due to some COVID thing idk, the 40th Golden Raspberry Awards winners were announced online. Cats was nominated 9 times Only 9? It won 6. Only 6?

17 March
Pencilmation Script: Lense With Benefits.

18 March
For the first time in 64 years, the Eurovision Song Contest is cancelled due to COVID.
Colonel Alfred Merrill Worden USAF was one of only 24 astronauts to have missioned to the Moon, Worden orbiting it 74 times. Due to some infection, he died at 88.
Monstrocities 011: Kuala Lumpur
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (11/50): I strongly believe that women can do anything that men can do because I’m trying to bang this feminist girl at the moment.

19 March
Pope Francis became the first pope to join Instagram, breaking the record after gaining over one million followers in less than 12 hours. Later in November his account Liked a sexy photo of Brazilian model, Natalia Garibotto. The Vatican are still investigating the incident but we were all just relieved it wasn't of a little boy, right?

20 March
COVID death toll passes 10,000 with a quarter of a million cases.
In a move that surprised everyone, the Tory government announced the furlough scheme, where employers pay their staff 80% of their wages up to £2,500 per month. It's the nicest thing they've ever done, really helped a lot of my friends, even if I'm sure we'll all pay it back one way or another at some point.
The Weeknd releases After Hours. Its second single, Blinding Lights, is the biggest song of the year according to OfficialCharts.com, with 177,000 downloads, 211 million streams, and eight weeks at number 1. Deserves it. The whole album is some of his best work.
After gleefully skipping around New York and changing accommodations for the second time, the city kinda... fell down. COVID had smashed us worse than anywhere in the world and somehow I was in the middle of it, of all places. The hostel I was staying at reacted by kicking us to the curb, assuring us we'd be refunded "soon". And there I was, a few hundred dollars down, on the streets of New York in the middle of a pandemic. Truly one of the most special moments in my life.
It's who you know, and my lovely friend Javier heard my social media cries, organising a private room for me in the Bronx. What a pal! All of my friends were screaming at me to leave NYC and come back to London, but I didn't want to. I had a flight to London from Chicago in a month or so anyway. I'd just wait for this silly airborne disease to blow away and then I'd skip over there and catch my flight. No harm done! Super optimistic! Just look at me! Smug little cunt, I'll slap that thumb right off your thumb.
Tiger King is released on Netflix. Due to the global lockdowns, this show served as the greatest of distractions, momentarily breaking up the panicked newsfeeds with various "wtf did I just watch" postings. 64 million households viewed it within its first month. I was shamefully one of those.
Kenny Rogers is one of those musicians everyone knows the name of. Selling more than 100 million records worldwide will do that. He died from natural causes at 81.

23 March
After faffing around for far too much time, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally announces an immediate lockdown where citizens could only leave the house for essential goods or a little bit of daily exercise. 27.1 million people watched the address, the highest number since the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.
At the same time, President of my home country South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, announced a national lockdown. This enforcement included a ban on alcohol, cigarettes, and even walking your dog. It was one of the strictest in the world, and my friends were furious. It was weird for me watching from the UK, where people were dying by the thousands. I was kinda relieved by the decision. My grandparents live there for God's sake.
Every year I read and deeply analyse a religious text. Last year I laboured through the Christian Bible so I wanted something the polar opposite of that. Shorter. Less popular. Weirder. Introducing 2020's entry: I Read The Book Of The Law (by Aleister Crowley) So You Don't Have To, the holy text for Thelema. It ticked all the boxes but, damn, I underestimated how much research was involved in picking it apart. Regardless, it opened up my mind in a way I hadn't considered before, and my fascination with religion really exploded afterwards, as the rest of the year shall effortlessly illustrate.

24 March
Round about here it is reported that 2.6 billion people were facing movement restrictions based on the pandemic, which is a third of the entire globe.
Tokyo announces that its scheduled 2020 Summer Olympics will be postponed "beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021" thanks to that cursed Corona.
Disney+ continues its roll out, reaching the UK today and spreading across the world as the year went on. By September, 73.7 million people had subscribed.
Pencilmation Script: Statues Your Own Adventure.
Alberto Aleandro Uderzo was a comic book artist/writer who we all know as the co-creator and illustrator of Astérix. 92 he passed after suffering a heart attack.
Bill Rieflin may not be a name you recognise but his drumming skills have blessed the metal rock scene substantially, beating those skins for Ministry, KMFDM, Swans, Nine Inch Nails, King Crimson, and even R.E.M. Cancer interrupted him at age 59.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (12/50): I can't believe your ego is so huge that you are unable to see how much better I am than you!

25 March
Monstrocities 012: Melbourne & Gold Coast
And thus ends Monstrocities Jarexit 1!

26 March
After eight months of sending out a newsletter detailing my shameless attempts at becoming famous, I could no longer live that life of a lie. My priorities had shifted into a new realm, one of a "religion" I had been developing for a long long time (read: spiritual philosophy meets self-improvement program—which I guess is what a religion is anyway). Today I revealed its logo and announced its name: Janthopoyism. Of course, nobody knew what I was talking about. Although, at that time, neither did I. But the newsletter changed, now a slow drip of this scripture, which promptly became my life. Join us!
USA COVID cases zoom past both China and Italy with 81,321 plus 1,000 deaths. Globally, cases reach 500,000, with nearly 23,000 official deaths.
One of my favourite internet challenges was started by TikToker @lindseybear1 who filmed her boyfriend playing Call of Duty as she walks into the room naked. And the Walk In Naked Challenge was born.

27 March
Somewhere around here, my flight from Chicago to London got cancelled. It was a wake-up call like a slap to the face with a wet fish. What the fuck was I doing here?? In a panic, I purchased a flight to London for the coming weekend. A few hours later and I realised I'd accidentally bought a ticket for the weekend after the next. Oops! I couldn't wait that long! New York was crumbling around me! I bit the bullet and bought another ticket, now leaving the weekend coming. £948.23 is what I spent in total, but whatever. I was freaking out but pretended I was chill every time mom called. No use both of us panicking.
After eight months of sending out my Becoming Famous newsletter, I announced my retirement from the project here. I still believe the idea was genius; I was going to become famous by teaching other people how to become famous. How could that not work? But by this point, my religion Janthopoyism had consumed my mind, and something had to go to make space. The end.
North Macedonia joins NATO, the 3rd country to do so.
After boasting that he was shaking hands with COVID patients, Boris Johnson tests positive for the virus and ends up in hospital, saved by the same NHS he's trying to kill.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (13/50): When I was a kid I wanted to take over the world. Now I'm like, yikes, nah, it’s cool, you can keep it.

28 March
I won the lotto! £3.30! Woohoo!

29 March
In what was the most petrifying flight of my life, I boarded a PACKED plane from the corona hub of New York city to pretty much the second corona hub of London. I can't tell you how stiff my posture was this whole flight; any orthopaedic would have been proud. Even eerier is when I landed, and there was no security, no customs people, no one who even asked how I was feeling. How much COVID the UK borders were allowing to waltz on through is the peak of insanity to me but whatever. I was home, catching an Uber down the desolate streets I hardly recognised to Tanya's house, who kindly let me stay with her.

I could talk forever about what I had just been through but what matters is that I had the time of my life. New York is the greatest city in the world, on par with London and Tokyo. And the USA is a country I am deeply in love with; I ache to return and explore it for the rest of my life. I also consider myself to be a lucky boy to set foot back on European soil for the first time this year so late in the game. Up until now, 2020 was pure America! I had it good, but now it was time to chill. It was the globe's time to chill. Mother Nature had ordered it so.
Summary photo here.

30 March
By this point, COVID had truly inserted its dick of disruption into the live music scene. Over the previous two weeks or so, the following festivals announced their cancellations: Glastonbury, Download, Isle of Wight Festival, All Points, Lovebox, and Parklife, to name a few.
Rest in Peace to the incredible songwriter Bill Withers. He was responsible for monster hits such as Ain't No Sunshine, Lean on Me, Just the Two of Us, Lovely Day, Use Me, and Grandma's Hands plus many more. Legit some of the best tracks ever written, leading to three Grammy Awards and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. 81 is an ok age to go through. Heart complications. Thanks for everything, Bill.

31 March
With Jarexit III forced into early retirement, I put together this little graphic to show where I had travelled for the last 15 months. When you look at it like this... it looks really good.

Misc.
As the coronavirus dominated the world, every show in the world with a live audience was forced to shut down, many moving to film at home, using video chats to interview guests without anyone to laugh along. Obviously, the quality of the shows dropped, but you've got to respect people trying their best to work through such a unique moment in history. From here you might as well just assume that literally everything was cancelled because it all was, I'm not going to write them down.
Mental Health Checkup: The thing about March is that I was mostly in New York, baby! I'd waited my whole life for this, and it delivered in minute details I didn't expect. Of course, halfway through the month, the apocalypse started to shake the city from its foundations, and everything felt so alien that I was often panged by fear. But looking back, I was still hanging on simply because of how surreal those visions had become. And when the dynamite fuse was just about touching the nitroglycerin, I bailed ship and made it back to London. All things considered, the cards fell in my favour in every direction and who had time to be depressed anyway? It was the end of the fucking world! That said, I did find some notes stating that I was working far too hard and that there was a burnout fizzing in there somewhere.

Dear 2020, April: NASA says there are aliens but everyone is too busy; I started a religion, what did you do?; #FreeBritney; Facebook cares so much they gave us a new reaction d'aw; conspiracy theories are the new normal; at least we have the cat that dances

01 April
April Fools Day! But how do you compete with a reality that was already utterly insane? The answer is that you can't. The usual kings Google released the following statement: "Our highest goal right now is to be helpful to people, so let's save the jokes for next April, which will undoubtedly be a whole lot brighter than this one." Besides that, Coronation Street announced an animated series? Tweetdeck changes GIF to JIF? Know Your Meme changed its name to "Know Your Pickle? Yeah, not the year for it, eh.
Yemen releases 470+ of its prisoners due to covid concerns in their overcrowded prisons.
Adam Schlesinger was a multi-instrumental songwriter known for bands like Fountains of Wayne (Stacy's Mom!), Ivy, and Tinted Windows. He also did tons of other stuff, writing for television and film, winning three Emmy Awards, a Grammy Award, and was nominated for Academy, Tony, and Golden Globe Awards. He died from COVID-19 at age 52.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (14/50): How to be a good writer in two easy steps:
STEP 1: Write a bunch of stuff.
STEP 2: Replace all of the words you’ve written with better words.

02 April
The number of official COVID-19 cases passes 1 million worldwide.

03 April
After two people very close to me started to have mental break downs about how the prophecy had been fulfilled and COVID-19 is the final proof of a sinister paedophile Satanic Brotherhood controlling the world... I decided it was up to me to lower my vibrational level and educate myself. Little did I know that I was initiating a harrowing and dark part of my 2020 which should have been spent nurturing my energy in lighter ways. I regret everything, especially as more and more conspiracy theorists latched on to my reports and flooded my inbox with unresearched arguments. There will be a few examples dotted about this blog, but I will be holding much back to avoid any further manifestations. You have no idea how many people jumped on my back due to the research I posted online. You have no idea how many friends I lost for the same reasons. And it all started here: my first call of action by purchasing David Icke's most famous book, The Biggest Secret, 500+ pages of pure shit. It arrived five days later and on I went. More on this and everything soon enough.
Here's a strange one I found while researching for this article. Turkish folk music band Grup Yorum were always in trouble with concerts and albums banned due to their strong leftist views. After eight of the members were arrested for "resisting the police" and being "a member of a terrorist organisation", many went on a hunger strike including singer Helin Bölek who joined said strike in June 2019. In November 2019, she was released but kept her hunger strike going to protest her band's mistreatment. After 288 days of this, she died at age 28.

05 April
I can't even remember how long I had been working on this, but I finally launched my new portfolio site, Jared Woods Saved My Life. It was a reskin of my older creation intended to find work whereas this one is the main Jared Woods website, more of an artistic dumping ground for whatever the fuck I want, no financial gain to be found. I update it semi-regularly so you might as well check it out ALL THE TIME.
Due to arson attacks on mobile phone masts, YouTube announces that it will be deleting any conspiracy theory videos that connect 5G to COVID-19. Borderline content will also be omitted from the search function. Worth noting that around this time the conspiracy theories were exploding at volumes never heard before.
Honor Blackman was an actress known for her role as Cathy Gale in TV show The Avengers and as the Bond girl Pussy Galore in Goldfinger. At age 94 she left the world.

06 April
Captain Sir Thomas Moore aka "Captain Tom" is a 99-year old man who decided to raise money for the NHS/fight against COVID by walking laps around his garden leading up his 100th birthday. The media caught on and by the end of the day that he turned 100, he has raised £39 million. What a hero. Furthermore, he was featured in a cover version of "You'll Never Walk Alone" by Michael Ball, making him the oldest person to achieve a UK number one. Not all news is bad news!! :D
Finished reading Let's Get Digital: How to Self-Publish, and Why You Should by David Gaughran. As time has gone on, I have only realised how much benefit I got from this title. Fuck traditional publishing, I'm no longer interested, I'm doing everything myself. Check out my long Goodreads review here.
Moments before I really committed to Janthopoyism, I posted a quick piece to Facebook which could be argued as early scripture. It was called A Brief Essay on How Christianity Could Be 100% Legitimate Using Scientific Hypothesis. One person really liked it.

07 April
Pencilmation Script: Well That Escalator Quickly.

08 April
After 78 days, Wuhan ends its lockdown.
Chynna Marie Rogers was a rapper affiliated with the ASAP Mob. She died at age 25 from an accidental drug overdose.
2020 wasn't exactly a good year for my blogging but I did spew out this ramble titled Stop Romanticising. I thought it was pretty decent considering the climate.

09 April
After spending a lovely two weeks with my bestie Tanya, it was time to leave. We had a good time, running 5km almost every day, occasionally drinking, watching the OC nonstop and just generally freaking out about this brand new virus that had interrupted our lives. I would have stayed longer, but her boyfriend was sneaking over, and I felt it was important to give them space to roll around wherever they see fit. But I thank you, Tanya, for allowing a dude to come and crash at your place who just stepped off a flight from New York, the most plagued city in the world. That's true friendship. And neither of us died! So it's all good.

As luck would have it, two of my most powerful friendships, Jon and Jon, lived together in Reading and they invited me to crash with them indefinitely with open arms. And thus began the greatest isolation period anyone has ever had. Truly blessed to have such lovely people in my life, especially those who are keen to get completely fucked up. Which we did. A lot.
I'll never pretend to have known Dean Mckee well, but we performed at the same Bus Da Rhymes open mic poetry evenings back in the day. COVID got him at age 28 around this time. This hit us hard. The virus is killing people we know now.
Due to his 4ft 1in height, Malcolm Dixon got many Holywood roles that needed someone short such as an uncredited Oompa Loompa in the 1971 Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the dwarf in Flash Gordon, the Leektar the Ewok Warrior in the Return of the Jedi, and the Goblin Corps in Labyrinth. He was also in music videos for Duran Duran and David Bowie. He died at 66.

11 April
Today was the holiest of days which will go down in history when the official Janthopoyism website opened for people to sign up and get ready for the scripture to change their lives. This outlet dominated my entire year and saved me from myself in so many ways. I don't give a fuck if anyone reads any of it, the effect on my personal life has been immeasurable. A hole on me continues to fill as it goes on and for that I am very grateful to have been a part of its writing, even if I don't fully take credit for a philosophy which appeared in my head with no thought process from my own brain. Join us!

14 April
Donald Trump suspends funding towards the World Health Organization due to their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic plus its relationship with China.

15 April
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announces a 20% pay cut lasting six months for herself and all other ministers to show solidarity to those citizens affected financially from the virus.
TikTok user micklagi posted a video of a cat bobbing its head to the EDM track "I Wanna Dance" by Jonas Blue. A few months later, a transparent version was uploaded as a Twitch emoji by user MadLittleCat and CatJAM/Vibing Cat was the latest memostar.
For the second time in my life, a script I wrote was viewed by over 100,000,000 people.

16 April
I have no idea how to summarise this but here goes: In 2007, Britney Spears acted weird, we all remember that. As a result, she was involuntarily placed in a conservatorship, meaning her father, Jamie Spears, controlled all of her assets and restricted her visitors, including her communication with doctors about treatment. Fans have opposed this since the beginning, the #FreeBritney campaign is nothing new, but today a fan podcast called "Britney's Gram" questioned Spears' well-being, some conspiracy theorists believing that the star was being held against her will. The #FreeBritney hashtag kinda exploded from there. After many lawsuits throughout the year, Britney was still unable to regain control of her assets, but in November she stated that she would "not perform again if her father is in charge of her career." There is a lot more to this but I can't.
Gene Deitch was an illustrator known for his contributions to Popeye and Tom and Jerry. After some intestinal problems he died at 95. The upcoming Tom and Jerry films will be dedicated to him.

17 April
Fiona Apple releases Fetch the Bolt Cutters and omg. I knew it was my Album of the Year from this point until the end, which it was.
As a general response to the world going to shit, Facebook releases a Care/Hug Reaction, where an emoji-man cuddling a heart. More often than not, I've seen it used ironically.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (15/50): How am I supposed to convince you that you love me when you won’t even follow me back on Instagram??

18 April
In the most embarrassing example to be white ever, hundreds take to the streets in America to protest their right to get haircuts.
Pencilmation Script: Past, President and Future.

19 April
Portapique, Nova Scotia: A killing spree leaves 23 people dead, including the perpetrator, making it the deadliest massacre in modern Canadian history.

20 April
Oil prices fall into negative value.

21 April
Florian Schneider was a musician known as one of the founding members of Kraftwerk, performing with the legendary group until 2008. After a quick battle with cancer, he died at age 73.

22 April
Monstrocities 013: Glasgow
And thus starts Monstrocities Jarexit 2!

23 April
Facebook joins the pack, removing all "pseudoscience" and "conspiracy theory" due to its reputation for spreading misinformation about corona.

24 April
I'm sorry, I had no idea who Namio Harukawa was, but I came across his art when researching for this article and had to include him. Have you seen his stuff? It's just... women facesitting on men. NSFW! What a legend. He died at age 72.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (16/50): Quantum mechanics teaches us that our minds are shaping our reality and, to be fair, you’ve done a terrible job of it.

25 April
Pencilmation Script: My Bear Lady.

26 April
Finished reading Elements of Pantheism by Paul A. Harrison. I enjoyed it even if I thought the author was on a mission to be the authority on pantheism, and in that way, was inaccurate about various definitions. Check out my long review on Goodreads here.

27 April
In one of the strangest events in 2020, The Pentagon releases three videos of "unidentified aerial phenomena" which could be some of the strongest evidence we have for alien life visiting our planet. And yet literally no one cared. There was far too much other shit going on.

28 April
Linkin Park announce that they will be reforming without Chester Bennington. Sounds like a bad plan.

29 April
Monstrocities 014: Florence & Pisa
Irrfan Khan was an Indian actor whose career spanned over 30 years and was loved by all. He broke through into Hollywood cinema in such films as The Amazing Spider-Man, Life of Pi, Jurassic World, and Slumdog Millionaire. He died from a colon infection at age 53.
John Lafia co-wrote Child's Play and is credited for coining the name “Chucky”. He hung himself to death at age 63.
500th #legobiscuit right here.

30 April
Even though there had been several odds and ends poking holes on the site, today was when the first pieces of Janthopoyism scripture were released via the newsletter and the site, namely Janthopoyism is a Stupid Name and Cool Logo, Not Sure About the Dots Though. Thus it begins, even though this was only from what's known as Book 0: The Fundamentals, a kind of introductory section. Still counts!
Proving that the creatives thrive during lockdown, I also launched a brand new Instagram account which stripped the Jared clean out and only posted #legobiscuits. Perfect for them people who love my drawings but hate me. Give a follow then!

Misc.
Since June 2019, a mass swarm of locusts attacked regions of East Africa, the worst in 70 years for Kenya and the worst in 25 years for India, Ethiopia, and Somalia. By April 2020, 23 countries were hit. More than 20.2 million people are facing acute food insecurities. Many international countries got involved, and the swarm saw much decline by October although the problem persists to this day.
Mental Health Checkup: Back in London, hanging with familiar faces, going for runs, getting fucked up on generally the right drugs, working my ass off... it seems like I was made for the lockdown life. That is, except for the conspiracy theories. They were getting me down, not so much in terms of the flimsy evidence I kept unveiling nor in the hours wasted researching, but primarily due to the arguments that were driving myself and close friends apart. It is what it is, though. And when I wasn't looking over there, the rest of the world was nothing but a fascinating place to be.

Dear 2020, May: Black Lives Matter shut down the world after George Floyd is murdered by a cop; Dominic Cummings makes and breaks lockdown covid rules; Elon Musk and Grimes have a baby called X Æ A-12; they see a blackhole; Little Richard dies which sucks

01 May
Not all news is bad news, as The Johns Hopkins University announce that 1 million COVID patients worldwide have recovered.
Watching this atmosphere of paranoia swirl around me, I took it upon myself to publish an Unpopular Covid Theory.

02 May
At this point, the 2020 script started to become unbelievably silly as Washington state asked citizens to be wary of murder hornets that suddenly arrived in the USA, the world's largest hornet with enough venom to kill a man.
Moments before this date, I clicked that a great way to promote Janthopoyism would be self-created memes. I'm not sure if it works or not, but I kept up the practice until the end. Check them out on this ever-growing page here.
Pencilmation Script: Me, Myself and Guide Dog.

03 May
David Greenfield was the keyboardist and singer in The Stranglers. He played with them for 45 years until COVID-19 killed him at age 71.

04 May
Conspiracy theory video Plandemic is released and quickly accumulates millions of views due to its damning content claiming COVID-19 is a world domination method via vaccines. I watched it and was like WOAH HOLY SHIT! And then I researched it and was like, oh, literally everything said here is crap. Still, many of my friends worshipped the deception. In May, I fought furiously. In December, as I write this blog, I no longer care.
Grimes and Elon Musk had a baby boy, and as we all predicted, they named him X Æ A-12 (pronounced "Ex Ash A Twelve" or "Ex Ay Eye, whatever you fancy). California law said no to the numbers, so it was changed to X Æ A-Xii. Much better!
British/Kenyan scientists discover a parasitic microbe that blocks mosquitos from carrying malaria, setting a way to control the disease.

05 May
The UK COVID death toll surpasses Italy's 29,029 with 32,313, now the highest in Europe.
Millie Small was the Caribbean's first international recording star, plus their most successful female performer, primarily for her monster hit My Boy Lollipop. Stroke, 72.

06 May
Astronomers discover the first black hole visible to the naked eye.
Monstrocities 015: Bucharest

07 May
The hunger strike from the Turkish folk music band Grup Yorum continues, protesting their band's mistreatment. Bass guitarist İbrahim Gökçek died today after 323 days.

08 May
Iepe Rubingh invented chess boxing then died at age 45. The Queen's Gambit was dedicated to the man.

09 May
What could easily be labelled the most significant loss of 2020 would be that of Little Richard. His nickname speaks volumes as The Innovator, The Originator, and The Architect of Rock and Roll. His influence still vibrates the world today while his character's flamboyance is yet to be matched by another performer. The man deserves a blog article all to himself, but this will have to do: without him, there would be no Chuck Berry, no Elvis Presley, no Buddy Holly, no Beatles. Today, this bright spirit leaves its 87-year-old earthly bone cancer-ridden body to fly to the stars, joining other such legendary figures.

11 May
Primavera announce that their festival will be postponed until next year. This is standard news at this point except I had tickets for this so the sting stung extra deep :(
Actor Jerry Stiller is known for various roles such as those in Seinfeld and The King of Queens, as well as bringing his son Ben Stiller into this world. He died at 92.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (17/50): As soon as this is over I want to have sex with you on drugs.

12 May
A maternity hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, a majority-Shia neighbourhood, is stormed by gunmen. 24 people are killed, including two newborn babies. Elsewhere in Kuz Kunar, a suicide bomber kills 32 people at a funeral.

13 May
Despite existing since February, it was today that Twitter user olvidam_ese posted a variation of the Swole Doge vs. Cheems meme and it grew to become a favourite on the webz.
Monstrocities 016: Dubai

14 May
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (18/50): Defeat all of your enemies by enjoying your life.

15 May
Researchers find a 2.5 cm millipede fossil on the island of Kerrera in the Scottish Inner Hebrides. It's the world's oldest-known land animal, around 425 million years ago.

17 May
To do my part to spray foam on the rampant conspiracies racing across the globe, I decided to pen a three-piece COVID theory series where I'd research the content for HOURS in hopes of finding the truth about what was going on. My first topic to tackle was an unbiased look at 5G with my Is 5G an Evil Weapon Against Our Health? piece. People who had already agreed with the concepts applauded my efforts while those who disagreed turned their back completely, prompting a greater distance between the two. I was only trying to help! But it didn't achieve shit and people continued to believe what they believe. There was a lesson in here somewhere, but I was yet to learn it.

18 May
Cyclone Amphan formed two days previous and peaked today, eating up Eastern India, killing 128 people and causing US$13.7 billion in damage.

19 May
Palestinian terminate all agreements (incl. security ones) with Israel and the United States in direct response to Israel's plans to claim the Jordan Valley.

20 May
Monstrocities 017: New Delhi
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (19/50): Sex sells! But it’s still kinda gross if you buy it.

21 May
The U.S. announces its withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty, a program of unarmed aerial surveillance over its members' territories.

22 May
Brazil overtakes Russia, with the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases (330,000). President Jair Bolsonaro still claims the disease is nothing to worry about.

23 May
China reports zero new cases since the pandemic began.

25 May
No death tore the fabric of 2020 than that of George Floyd in Minneapolis. After crying that he could not breathe due to white police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, Floyd ultimately died. All for using a counterfeit $20 bill. Caught on film, the ripple effect was monumental with black people using this event to illustrate their ethnicity's mistreatment while white people suddenly realised these violations' extent. And the shit hit the fucking fan in the most consequential of ways.
Crazy enough, on the same day, a racist white lady named Amy Cooper refused to leash her dog after a black man named Christian Cooper (no relation) asked she did so. This altercation led to Christian filming Amy as she called 911, saying "There is an African American man—I am in Central Park— he is recording me and threatening myself and my dog. Please send the cops immediately!" While nowhere near the Floyd effect, this viral video did prove how some white people were weaponising the police against black people, speeding up the snowball. Amy lost her job, her dog, and is facing charges of filing a false report, which may end her in jail for a year.
It's that time again where another instalment of Definitely Not a Cry for Help found its way on YouTube, this time Chapter 7: Bangkok. There are parts of this episode which I consider to be my best work. But there are parts I wish I had another go at fixing. Regardless, the insane amount of hundreds upon hundreds of hours were totally worth it when only 100 people watched it, and the beat goes on. We do what we do because we have no choice. Sadly, other projects dominated the year, and this was the last episode of 2020, leaving me with four more to gruel through in 2021. Wish me luck?

26 May
Protests for George Floyd and the general treatment of the black community immediately spread across the globe with hundreds of rallies lasting for weeks, fighting against racism and police brutality.
Costa Rica legalises same-sex marriage, the first in Central America to do so.
The largest air carrier in Latin America, LATAM Airlines, files for bankruptcy. Hey, I flew them a couple of months ago! They were nice.
Noise pop duo Black Dresses announce their split due to online harassment. I was pretty gutted, I thought their discography was solid, I wrote about them on this blog often enough.
Prahlad Jani was an Indian breatharian monk who claimed to have lived without food or water since 1940. Reportedly the goddess Amba sustained him. Jani welcomed investigations into his claims, and many studies seemed to confirm his magic despite the sceptics. He died today at age 90.

27 May
The Chinese National People's Congress votes to criminalise "secession", "subversion", "terrorism" and foreign interference in Hong Kong. This move basically allows the Chinese government to suppress the Hong Kong democracy. The US declares that Hong Kong is "no longer autonomous" under the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act.
After he and his wife felt unwell, Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister, Dominic Cummings, broke the lockdown rules (which he partially wrote) by driving five hours from London to Durham. He claimed this was to get his son to his sister's place if they became too sick to look after the child. On the 12th of April, they felt well enough to drive 30 miles to Barnard Castle to "test Cummings eyesight" which just so happened to coincide with his wife's birthday. The whole country cried for his punishment, but instead, Boris loosened lockdown rules to distract all of us.
Monstrocities 018: Tokyo
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (20/50): I have no idea how Bluetooth works and, sometimes, Bluetooth has no idea either.

28 May
Bob Kulick's name might not be huge, but his guitar work sure is, playing with bands such as Kiss, Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Meat Loaf and Michael Bolton. He won a Grammy then died at age 70 due to heart issues.

29 May
Next batch of Jantho scripture for ya! Still hanging around Book 0, but it's vital to lay the groundwork. This month we're looking at Do Not Believe a Word I Say and Why Janthopoyism is Destined to Fail. Encouraging! We also snuck out The Six Books of Janthopoyism just to get y'all prepped for the big game.
To end things off, I opened a questions section where people could ask me anything they like about the religion and build a better case. Thus far, I've had a ton of messages offering to help me with SEO.

30 May
Finished reading Acid for the Children by Flea. As a massive fan of Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis, I was surprised to find that this book only focused on Flea's life before the RHCP had their first show. Normally such a premise would put me off, but he delivered it in that pure-chemistry over talent way, offering a genuine read from one the best flowing bassists in the modern world. Check out my long review on Goodreads here.

31 May
Due to his Epstein ties, Prince Andrew steps down from all official duties. A decision I'm sure was not his own.
6 million COVID cases worldwide.

Misc
Even though the conspiracy theories had been bubbling for a few months, it seemed they exploded into global consciousness around May, with quite a myriad of variations to go by. 5G, microchips, Bill Gates, face masks, lockdowns, COVID is a myth; social media censorship, Hillary Clinton suckling the life juice out from little children... you name it, the bad men at the top were playing a game of chess to finally take control, manipulating the economy and stealing our freedom. Oh, the horror! Me, I don't subscribe to these things because if there is such a secret organisation, then the conspiracy theorists' protests would have been an easily predictable result and an obvious tool in the Brotherhood's mass distraction plan. I'd prefer just to draw cartoons though if that's ok.
Starting around here and still going is the Assam floods in India, annoyingly killing the annoyingly pleasing consecutive number of 123 people with another 26 landslide deaths. Five million people were affected.
Mental Health Checkup: As for me, lockdown was treating me well. I had my mates Jon and Jon by my side, and we were striking the perfect balance between healthy and unhealthy. However, as I continued along with my notes, it did seem like I was gradually slipping down. I had developed a pain in my neck from excessive computer use last December, and it was massively flaring up around here. Furthermore, all the attention I was placing on debunking silly conspiracy theories were chipping away at my energy ever so slightly. And finally, I was itching to travel, but who wasn't? Anyway, I can't complain, I look back at May with much fondness. The time spent in Reading was a dream compared to what 99.99% of the world was going through.

Dear 2020, June: statues of celebrated racists come down; Hong Kong and China are not agreeing; no more blackface for anyone; that guy from Lord of the Rings dies; there's that weird astronaut meme that takes too long to explain; Bill Gates puts a lot of money towards vaccines which either makes him a hero or a super villain, everyone has different thoughts

01 June
Tear gas is fired to clear away protestors so that Donald Trump could get a photo taken of himself holding a Bible in front of Ashburton House, a location damaged by fire the night before.
WHO reports six new Ebola cases, a renewed outbreak of the disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

02 June
A US$5 billion lawsuit is filed against Google, due to the company tracking users in Chrome's incognito mode.
Pencilmation Script: My Own Worst Penemy. Again, I think this was a superior episode with rare serious commentary for our cartoon series.

03 June
UK announces they will grant citizenship for all Hong Kong citizens if China imposes new security laws on the territory.
SpaceX launches 60 satellites into low orbit, bringing their total to 482.
Putin declares a state of emergency after 20,000 tons of oil leaks into the Ambarnaya River. It is reported to be the second-largest in modern Russian history.
The second in my COVID Conspiracy series focused on the concerns around Bill Gates and his vaccination involvement. I called it Does Bill Gates Have Evil Vaccination Intentions? and it received a decent amount of attention.
Sadly, I do consider the piece a fail. I was hoping to help specific friends, but they were not open to my provided evidence and stuck firmly to their narrative. This effort caused greater rifts between us while anti-conspiracy groupies cheered me on; nothing I wanted. I was working furiously on a third and final piece focusing on COVID number reporting but quickly realised it was not worth it. My mental health was suffering in this dark world, and nothing I could possibly say would change anyone's stuck perception. Granted, I learned a lot, but it was around here that I began the gradual distancing away from this poison and into realms of much higher spirituality. The relief was instant.
Now, this is controversial as fuck, but I gave it a lot of thought, and I'm crowning Bill Gates as the King of 2020. The reason why is the conflicting opinions that forever kept him in conversation. Is he a billionaire dedicated to helping the world through life-saving vaccines? Or is he an evil man trying to inject us with microchips? I'm sure you've made up your mind by now, but his name was inescapable as arguably the most spoken about this year, hence why I could think of no one else more fitting. Congrats, Bill! I'm sure it means a lot to you.
Monstrocities 019: Barcelona
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (21/50): Right now, the primary role of a white person is to turn to the black community and say, “however you want to do this, I’m with you”.
Not to make me my own internet thing or anything but that above #legobiscuit received over 2K upvotes on Reddit.

04 June
Trump finally builds his wall! Around the Whitehouse, though, out of fear from the protests. The wall was soon turned into a place for messages in support of the movement.
Hong Kong goes ahead and passes the National Anthem Ordinance, criminalising "insults to the national anthem of China".

05 June
16th Street NW in Downtown Washington, D.C. was officially renamed Black Lives Matter Plaza, with the words "Black Lives Matter" painted in 35-foot yellow capital letters. Tons of other places were renamed due to the protests, check them here.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (22/50): Live each day like it’s your last because it’s looking likely.

07 June
Bristol protestors yanked down the Atlantic slave trade participant Edward Colston's statue and threw it into Bristol harbour. This is just one example of such behaviour, and there is a lovely list to be found right here.
This one is so strange I'm not even sure where to place it, but it became known as the Wait, It's All Ohio? Always Has Been meme. It's where one astronaut learns something about the Earth just before a second astronaut shoots him. It started in 2016 as some shitty drawing, but had upgraded to much more realistic variations by this point. It's surprising how many exist.
As part of my Janthopoyism newsletter, there is a lucky draw where a random email address wins a random prize every month. May's winner was Kieran who won a "200-Word Blog Post on Anything". He chose the following: "As Dominic Cummings and his wife have both wrote separately about their trip to Durham, I'd love to hear from their 4-year-old son who was along for the ride". Your wish is my command, here is BREAKING NEWS: New Details Emerge About the Dominic Cummings Lockdown Breach.

08 June
After strict lockdowns, New Zealand lifts all restrictions, declaring itself COVID-free. Four new cases did pop-up in August but they stamped those out rather quickly. From the get-go, the nation's approach was praised internationally. From what I hear, the country is functioning at total normality except none of us are allowed to go there.

09 June
From here: in response to the current racial climate, many content platforms (such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, NBCUniversal, Britbox, Hulu etc) decide to remove episodes from popular programs that feature blackface. These include Little Britain, The League of Gentlemen, The Mighty Boosh, 30 Rock, Scrubs, The Office, Community, The Golden Girls, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

10 June
Monstrocities 020: Madrid
And thus ends Jarexit II Monstrocities. Plans for Jarexit III are always underway, but they slip down the priorities pile regularly as more pressing issues crash on top. I could never say when they will arrive, but I can say that they will arrive one day!

11 June
Every Rage Against the Machine album reenters the charts due to the current BLM and fuck-the-system climate.
Due to racial pressures with Antebellum and its slavery connotations, band Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A. "Funny" enough, the name Lady A was already a name of a Seattle-based African American blues/soul musician for 20 years. What followed was a lawsuit over the name, proving that the band did not give a fuck about the BLM movement whatsoever and were just trying to sound non-racist while suing a black lady who owned the name they wanted. Fuck them.

12 June
Finally finished my sequel Jarexit piece titled Worst to Best: Jarexit II where I order the countries I visited during that branch of my world tour in excessive detail. They take forever to pen but are so rewarding to lean back and look at. Still no sign of the third one yet, but it's burning my mind, I swear.

13 June
Showing what little support I could, I attended a peaceful social-distanced sit-down BLM protest in Forbury Gardens, Reading today. We've each got to do our part. Photos here. Sadly, one week following this event, someone was stabbed right here at Forbury Gardens, which kinda tainted the vibe.
I won the lotto! £2.90! Woohoo!

16 June
The 2018 Inter-Korean Liaison Office was built to improve relations between North Korea and South Korea. Today, North Korea was like, nah, and demolished it.

19 June
Sir Ian Holm Cuthbert CBE acted in many things and won a Tony Award for his performance as Lenny in The Homecoming. Other recognisable roles include Ash in Alien, Father Vito Cornelius in The Fifth Element, Chef Skinner in Ratatouille, and Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit. Prostate cancer/Parkinson's got him at 88.

20 June
Pencilmation Script: Whose Line Up Is It Anyway (co-written with Dylan Boyko).

21 June
An annular solar eclipse, everyone!
In a world rife with conspiracy, I came up with my own called David Bowie and the Fabric of Existence. Essentially, the world is going to end on the 10th of January 2021. Mark it down.
Finished reading On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. Seems a bit tasteless to go to the popstar of horror for literary advice but any list anywhere points to this book as a must-have. I finally surrendered and I admit that its teachings have stuck with me to this day. Check out my long Goodreads review here.

22 June
Joel Schumacher is known for directing some fantastic films such as The Lost Boys and Falling Down, as well as some of the worst, most notably Batman & Robin. 88, cancer.

24 June
From here: many white voice actors stepped down from their roles as mixed-race characters to support the Black Lives Matters movement. They include Kristen Bell as Molly from Central Park, Jenny Slate as Missy from Big Mouth, and Mike Henry as Cleveland Brown from Family Guy. A couple of days following, The Simpsons announce that white actors would no longer voice non-white characters. Some people were against this as excessive, but I considered it a sign of great momentum, one where people from every industry were looking at what they could do to help. When the protests calm down, these are the actions that remain.

25 June
The Dixie Chicks change their name to the Chicks with the blessing from a New Zealand duo who have the same name. The "Dixie" was dropped as it referred to the American Mason–Dixon line that separated the free and slave-owning southern states. The band went on record apologising for "that stupid name" they chose as teenagers and have discussed changing it ever since they heard someone referring to the Confederate flag as "the Dixie Swastika". And for the record, a month later they released an album called Gaslighter, and it was great!

26 June
Here we go, Book 1: The External Universe! Now we're getting into the real Jantho scripture and asking the big questions such as Does God Exist?, How to Meet God Right Now, and What in God’s Name Is God’s Name?. Also, while no one was looking, we snuck a quick numerology piece into Book 0 named The Number 10, don't tell anyone.
Milton Glaser was a graphic designer, best known for his Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits album cover and his insanely recognisable I Love New York logo. He received the National Medal of the Arts award from President Barack Obama in 2009, the first graphic designer ever. He died of natural causes on his 91st birthday.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (23/50): Conspiracy theorising is the art of being smug about your paranoia.

27 June
Pencilmation Script: To Bean Or Not To Bean.

28 June
Confirmed cases pass 10 million worldwide. The U.S. counts for 2.5 million of those.
I may have been locked-down, but that did not mean I wasn't capturing my surroundings as if I was still travelling. Here are some Reading photos.

29 June
India bans TikTok along with 223 other Chinese apps, citing security as their primary concern.
Carl Reiner was an actor for seven decades, best known as the creator, producer, writer, and actor on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He won 11 Emmy Awards and one Grammy Award. 98.
Johnny Mandel was a composer who worked with many big names such as Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand, and Tony Bennett, winning 5 Grammy Awards (from 17 nominations) in the process. He's probably best known for writing Suicide Is Painless, the theme song for M*A*S*H. After suffering a heart ailment, he died at 94.

30 June
China continues to piss everyone off further by passing the Hong Kong national security law, allowing them to crack down on opposition against Beijing.
Pencilmation Script: Kiss And Digital.

Misc
Mental Health Checkup: June was a steady climb to happier and happier levels, especially once I started researching Hinduism. That lit a fire inside of me, which served me until 2020 closed its doors. My neck finally started to improve, and as lockdown loosened, I even got to see a few friendly faces for the first time in over a year. Gotta look at the sunshine! Which is easier during the summer, granted.

Dear 2020, July: Among Us takes over the world; Taylor Swift drops Folklore and nothing was the same again; Kanye West runs for president; Jair Bolsonaro gets coivd like a fool; Ellen DeGeneres is suddenly a bad person; everything is cake now

01 July
After a Russian "vote", Vladimir Putin can potentially remain in power until 2036.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (24/50): You want me to talk about my mental health? What, and ruin the surprise?

02 July
A landslide in Hpakant, Kachin state, Myanmar, kills at least 174 people.

03 July
Quick weekend pop-down to London to say hello to some old faces while the open lockdown allowed...
...and I must apologise for being such a boy, but I did get laid with the hottest metal girl a few times over this weekend. Quite a hefty crush developed but alas she moved on rather quickly after me. Still, I treasure those fleeting memories fondly, I mentally refer to them frequently.

04 July
Kanye West announces that he will be running for president in the 2020 elections under the independent name the "Birthday Party". As he was super late to the, erm, party, he only qualified for ballot access in 12 states. After receiving 60,000+ votes on election day, he suspended his campaign and said he'd be back 2024.
Ronnie and Donnie Galyon were the longest-lived conjoined twins in history, reaching the age of 68 dying of congestive heart failure.

06 July
Ennio Morricone was a composer who wrote more than 400 scores for cinema and television. According to Wikipedia, Morricone is considered one of the greatest film composers of all time. His score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is regarded as the best in history, it's in the Grammy Hall of Fame. He's won three Grammy Awards, three Golden Globes, and six BAFTAs, to name a few. He's cited as an influence to Hans Zimmer, Danger Mouse, Dire Straits, Muse, Metallica, and Radiohead. Due to injuries from a fall, he died at age 91.

07 July
Jair Bolsonaro! After spending months downplaying the virus even as Brazil grew to be one of the most infected nations in the world, the president caught the damn thing. He survived which is annoying for many.

08 July
In a move that should bring you much fear indeed, I finally learned how to make ebooks and put them on Kindle all by myself. I practised by reformatting my 250 Best Albums of the Decade (2010 - 2019) publication which you should totally buy. And now shit gets real.
Buzzfeed's cooking sideshow Tasty tweeted a video of everyday objects that turned out to be cake. And suddenly, everything everywhere was cake whether it was cake or not it was cake, the world was cake.

09 July
I knew life was getting much better when my self-designed one-of-a-kind Is Pepsi Ok? shirt arrived in the mail.

11 July
Pencilmation Script: Dramatic Burn of Events.

12 July
Joanna Cole was an author of children's books best known for the Magic School Bus series, which was adapted into a cartoon series that changed my life. She died at 75 from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Kelly Preston was an actress who appeared in tons of notable films such as Twins, The Cat in the Hat, and Jerry Maguire (which she was awesome in). She married John Travolta and remained a Scientologist for the rest of her life which ended today at age 57 from breast cancer.

13 July
Little sister Jaclyn's birthday so I drew her this picture with an associated poem. I feel I really captured her essence.

14 July
Daniel Lewis Lee was a white supremacist who murdered three people. He was the first person executed by the US federal government since 2003.

15 July
Roundabout here that #ChallengeAccepted thing happened where females were encouraged to post a black and white selfie as a "women supporting women" campaign. It kinda backfired as women from Turkey claimed original ownership of the movement to raise awareness about black and white photos of women who had been killed. Others pointed out that the practice achieves fucking nothing at all.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (25/50): People keep saying that lockdown is not a competition which is why I’m going to win.

18 July
After 13 weeks of Reading lockdown, the time had come, and I strolled back to London for two weeks to get some real work done (i.e. record an album with Sectlinefor). It was weird because I was moving into someone's room who I didn't know, just found them on a Facebook group, they had an empty space and I was suddenly in the middle of some new housemates for a short time, hi. Surreal.
Anyway, backtracking and a lot can be said for my time in Reading, and I've already said it. But let me once again send all the love I can to Jon & Jon. They were the coolest lockdown motherfuckers ever. Their hospitality was unmatched, I felt like I was at home and even now, six months later, I miss the place like it was my own. Legends is not a strong enough word for these dudes, we had a lot of fun and the entire lockdown circumstance was an absolute joy. I've never laughed so hard in my life. I felt blessed the whole time but now... like always... I move on.

20 July
Finished reading The World's Religions by Huston Smith. This was everything I wanted and more; a crash course through the most famous religions, souping my knowledge up to some respectable standard before I climbed further on my mission of swallowing everything about religion ever. Possibly the best book I read this year, I gave it full marks on Goodreads. Speaking of which, read my uber long review on that platform here.

21 July
The offshore Alaska Peninsula earthquake may have been harmless, but at a 7.8 magnitude, it's the biggest 2020 had to offer.
Pencilmation Script: Drop It Like It's Dot. I was particularly fond of this one, idky.

24 July
Taylor Swift casually drops a surprise album called Folklore, and the whole world crumpled itself like a piece of paper. It broke the Guinness World Record as the most Spotify streamed opening day for a female album. It stayed at number one for eight weeks, the longest since 2017. It's the best selling album of 2020. I awarded it as the 2nd best record of the year.
Regis Philbin was a television presenter who holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours on U.S. television. Among many examples, he hosted Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and the first season of America's Got Talent. He died from a heart attack at age 88.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (26/50): People say stuff like, “I wish I lived in the 60s” but then complain when the wifi doesn’t work.

25 July
Kim Jong-un declares a state of emergency, ordering a lockdown of Kaesong after a COVID-19 victim returned from South Korea. This was the first case officially acknowledged by North Korea.
After a Twitter vomit of anti-Semitic statements, key grime player Wiley is dropped by his management.
Peter Green was a guitarist best known as the founder of Fleetwood Mac, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. In 1970, Green took some LSD at a party and his mental health declined, never to recover, leaving the band soon after. He died today at age 73.
John Saxon was in every movie ever including Enter the Dragon, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and From Dusk till Dawn with over 200 other titles to his credentials. Pneumonia, 83.

26 July
Olivia de Havilland was a leading actress of 1935 to 1988. She was known as one of the last major stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood, and the oldest living Academy Award winner. She and her sister (Joan Fontaine) are still the only siblings to have won major acting Oscars, plus the only sisters to have won any Academy Awards at all. Today she passed at 104.
Do you know Bill English? What if I told you that there's a good chance you're touching something he developed right now. The computer mouse! Anyway, he's dead, respiratory failure, aged 91.

27 July
A while before now, I created a #legobiscuits only Instagram page so that people who hated me could still get the drawings without any of the Jared nonsense. Anyway, today I hit 555 posts, with 55 followers, plus I was following 5 people (even though I only followed them to reach that number). Looks cool!
The Ellen DeGeneres Show suddenly comes under fire with various ex-employees calling her real-life persona to be the opposite of her on-screen "be kind to one another" style. DeGeneres did apologise stating she aimed to correct these issues.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson bans TV junk food advertising before 9pm in an attempt to fight obesity.
Super overlooked but backing-vocalist on Primal Scream's classic album Screamadelica, Denise Johnson, passed today at age 56.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (27/50): "Hey, girl! Nice ass!"
"Thanks, I poop out of it."

28 July
While in London the fun never stops. Much like New York, I figured I'd exploit this monster city for all its worth and snap images of famous locations used for recognisable album cover artwork. This is why we do what we do, check this awesome shit out.

29 July
Smashing out Book 1: The External Universe with four bits of scripture this month, namely: What is the Purpose of Life?, Upgrading the Biological Operating Systems of Future Generations, This is Why Bad Things Happen, and What Happens When We Die?. Casual stuff.
Next month, Book 2: The Internal Universe! Lots of entertainment! For me, anyway.
After being shot in the face by her husband, Connie Culp's features were in a bad way. She was the first United States person to receive a partial face transplant. It was largely a success. She died at 57, unrelated to the surgery.
Malik B. was a rapper and founding member of The Roots. He was on their first four albums then he left. He died at age 47 for unknown reasons.

30 July
NASA launches its Mars 2020 rover, searching for signs of ancient life while collecting general samples. This is all in preparation for humans to get the fuck off Earth before it implodes.

31 July
Two solid weeks of recording and Sectlinefor's third album was done done done. It's funny because of isolation, neither Piton nor I had ever heard the songs before. Sure, I'd practised the words in my head or with whispers, but what you'll hear on the record is the capturing of the first time we heard it too. The album was eventually named Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak (more on that later). We've decided to do the professional thing and promote the fuck out of it so it'll only be coming on the 19th of February (the 50th day of the year). Here's a photo of us having a drink to celebrate its completion. Here's a photo of the album cover which came much later but it's the best I can offer you for now.
Despite calling London home for 12 years, I decided to play tourist and snapped locations which I imagine normal visitors would, idk. Everything is pretty famous in London.

Misc
Despite being released in 2018, the online multiplayer social deduction game Among Us became the hottest thing on the planet. I've never played it, but the memes alone swallowed up much of my time. Peaking at 3.8 million users in late September, the game studio Innersloth cancelled plans for a sequel to rather keep the original flowing nice.
Mental Health Checkup: Considering the weekend abuse I put my body through during early-July it's impressive how I held it all together, and my mental state was in it for the good times. The change of scenery to London did me good too, I got a lot of work done and stayed out of trouble, plus London does have the unique ability to wrap me in the happy blanket of home. Of course, the chill time was over, and we kicked off August hard first thing. Good luck!

Dear 2020, August: 
Chadwick Boseman dies out of nowhere which really bleaked everyone out; Jeff Bezos has now made more money than God; Leo laughing meme works too well all the time; WAP drops all over the floor; M tgo the B girl makes cute face to superstardom; Aleksandr Lukashenko becomes the Belarus President again and the people say no no no

01 Aug
Fuck the pandemic, I'm outta here! Completely against the government's advice, I kick-started what became known as Jarexit IV, first stop: LIVERPOOL! I support the football club, true true, but my favourite band of all time is The Beatles, hence why I was finally visiting the city that holds the oxygen that could grow the greatest group that ever existed. I was excited as fuck.
Full overly-poetic summary here but I gotta point out how cool my life is. Oh, just popping down to London for two weeks to record an album then I'm off to Liverpool. What you up to? Fucking loving it!
Although, truth be told, it's never that simple, is it? London has my heart and always will. But as per Jared, within two weeks shit got weird and it was all because of women. Silly women! Why you funk wit my heart?
I met up with an ex who's moved on quite nicely without me, congrats. I also slept with that aforementioned beaaaautiful metal chick who got my heart revving in the strangest of ways. She still gives me the feels.
But most of all, there was a girl I shall be referring to as Lamb. She made a sizeable dent in my 2020. She was locked down with an abusive boyfriend asshole and apparently, he's obsessed with me. You may actually remember him mentioned in my Dear 2019 blog, 10 Aug where he defaced a painting of mine. He summoned a vicious enemy out of me that day, and I owed him nothing but retaliation. I waited for the dish to get cold. So my hatred only grew when Lamb was forever phoning me when she was doped up on meds, crying about how whatshisface had hit her again or was calling her names I dare not repeat. I was fuming, but what can you do? I was locked down too.
Regardless, just before I left, Lamb and I hung out, which led to a kiss. I was elated; my feet lifted an inch off the floor; this girl could really be something. Her experience was different. She still felt dedicated to her abuser, and now he wanted to kill me too. Which is fine because I will bite his face off and I know many people who want him dead. I just have to touch my phone in the right places and he won't be a problem anymore. Plus I have the home address of his family, but that's whatever.
Anyway, after the most chillest year of my life I was like, well damn, I love you London but we've known each other for a long time, the drama is too thick, let's take a break. Little did I know that Lamb's role in my year was not done yet. Not even fucking close.
I won the lotto! £3.70! Woohoo!
Pencilmation Script: Catcall Me If You Can. Another political commentary episode I managed to sneak through, one I'm very proud of.

04 Aug
Due to unsafely stored ammonium nitrate, two huge explosions in Beirut, Lebanon kill over 220 people and injured thousands. $10–15 billion damage and 300,000 homeless later and the government declares a two-week state of emergency. I'm sure we all remember the footage, it was a new feeling.
Despite doing the rounds in 2017, it was today when Redditor MohammedAzees posted this image to r/dankmemes and the Leonardo DiCaprio Laughing image macro became one of the most powerful memes that 2020 had to offer.
Another strong 202020 mememe was the Reese Witherspoon 2020 Challenge. As the name suggests, Reese Witherspoon started it, displaying a nine-month calendar using roles from her career to show how lovely the year was going and then how it deteriorated into a repetitive nightmare. 1.4 million likes in less than three days. Tons of people made their own because we all felt that shit.
Pencilmation Script: In-Terror-Gation.

05 Aug
Despite defeating most of my depression with the Beatles, I could no longer sleep. I lay in bed for two nights, in fear of COVID and being away from home like a child. Then I remembered I had valium in my bag and everything was ok.

06 Aug
Trump signs an executive order to ban TikTok in 45 days if not sold. Just over a month later, TikTok filed a lawsuit against Trump, preventing this action. As it stands, there are no restrictions in place.

07 Aug
Perhaps not the biggest song of the year and not one we should be showing our children, but Cardi B (featuring Megan Thee Stallion) released WAP today, aka Wet-Ass Pussy. Sex sells, it certainly was a conversation. It boasts the biggest 24-hour debut on YouTube for an all-female collaboration while its lyrics were the most searched in 2020. Here we are.

09 Aug
When Alexander Lukashenko is reelected as Belarus' president, the people said not a fuck. Seven days later and 300,000 people in Minsk (plus 200,000 people in other cities) marched, their largest in history. The EU rejected the election. The Belarusian government retaliated with sanctions against EU officials. The UN Human Rights Office reported on the 1st of September that there were more than 450 reports of torture against detainees, including sexual abuse and rape.
I finished watching Parks and Recreation. It took over nine months, but whenever I felt a bit meh, I'd get into bed and binge a bunch of episodes. It got me through a lot. Now it's gone, and I'm so alone.
Martin Birch was a music producer/sound engineer, working on albums by such legends as Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Blue Öyster Cult, and Iron Maiden. He was 71, dead for reasons unknown.

11 Aug
Vladimir Putin announces that Russia has approved the world's first COVID-19 vaccine, and the world said "we don't trust you, mate".
Russell A. Kirsch invented the digital scanner. He suffered from dementia and died at 91.

12 Aug
Because grownups are stupid, I decided to create Janthopoyism for Kids, translating the religious material into simpler, more metaphorical variations presented as illustrated teachings. What I didn't count on is that they'd turn out better than the adult scripture itself. Book 1: The External Universe arrived today and it looks super colourful. The bear is symbolic.

13 Aug
Israel and the UAE shake hands, normalising relations, the third Israel–Arab peace deal.
Like any religion worth its sugar, Janthopoyism has a mystical side to it which I, unfortunately, haven't reached the point of writing about yet. There's something to look forward to. So anyway, I decided it was time to get a girlfriend and followed the procedures exactly. And, in no uncertain terms, the Universe responded that I needed to pursue Lamb. We were in different cities, but I would see her everywhere; in the supermarket, in random Instagram photos, in the eyes of pornstars. The spider web of complexities I'd have to crawl through put me off, but there was no denying the alignment. Soon enough, I gave in and told her of my plans. I would continue to travel, but when she said she was ready, I would be there. Her psychotic boyfriend and her debilitating pharmaceutical addiction did not even register as factors. We spoke almost every other day from this point.

14 Aug
Pete Way was the bassist for the band UFO from 1968-1982; then 1988–1989; then 1991-2008. He played with Ozzy Osbourne a bit too. After what I assume was a car accident two months earlier, he died at age 69.

15 Aug
Two weeks in Liverpool done and, my God did that live up to the hype! Which is crazy because the hype I built was HUGE. Everything is Beatles. Everything. I can't tell you how much Beatles this city has exploited for financial gain and I support every penny of it. I visited their houses, I sat in pubs they sat, I walked the roads that made them famous, I did everything Beatles that Beatles can Beatles. Even more surprising, it wasn't all Beatles, and there were plenty of other sites to be seen surrounded by the friendliest people I've met in the UK. Plus, Tanya and her bf came to visit one evening and we pub crawled along Mathew Street, pretty much THE Beatles road, which was such a lovely highlight.
Other highlights include: walking Penny Lane, Paddy's Wigwam (so weird!), The Beatles Statue, Eleanor Rigby statue, The SuperLambanana, St. Peter's Parish Church Woolton Merseyside (where JOHN MET PAUL!), Royal Albert Dock, Strawberry Fields, John Lennon's school, and The Beatles Story Museum. As I say, Beatles stuff mostly.
Full Liverpool summary here.
Sick Liverpool photos here and here and here.

Certainly, the feeling of an outbreak still tainted the air, but what can you do? When you're a traveller, you're a traveller.
I was supposed to go to Manchester next, but COVID grew legs and kicked that city down, so I boarded a train and veered off into the distance, over the England line, towards a city I was lucky enough to have visited before, Scotland's capital, Edinburgh.
So thanks to Tinder's Passport feature, I was able to soothe my loneliness for Lamb by setting my Liverpool location as if I was already in Edinburgh. As a result, when I landed, I already had a date lined up with a girl named Laura, and we met up on my very first Edinburgh night. To sell this girl short would be a difficult task, not only for her attractiveness but for our intellectual synchronisation, the conversation flowing on high-level topics that blew me away. As far as first dates go, I was speechless following, my mind suddenly wondering if this was the true path after all. She quickly became a welcomed firm fixture of my Edinburgh experience, a friendship that blossomed into a romance that we both sadly knew had a time limit.
For the first time ever, the U.S. National Weather Service warned of fire whirl which is a whirlwind made of fucking fire. It's also known as a fire devil in case you couldn't get the emotion right.
After snagging itself on a reef in Mauritius, the Japanese bulk carrier Wakashio split in half, spilling 1,000 tonnes of oil into the ocean, the biggest environmental disaster in Mauritius history.
Mercedes Barcha was the wife and muse for who I consider the greatest modern-day author Gabriel García Márquez. He died in 2014 and she died today at age 87.

16 Aug
I only came across this while researching for this article but Cathy Smith? Pretty mad story. She was a groupie best known to sleep in The Band circles, and is the subject of the #1 hit Sundown by Lightfoot. She has occasionally sung backup vocals for artists, but her main claim for fame came as a drug dealer, especially when she shot 11 speedballs (heroin and cocaine) into Saturday Night Live cast member John Belushi and killed him. She served 15 months for that. Despite all her drug abuse, she lived until 73, today.

17 Aug
Bella Poarch uploaded a Tik Tok of herself pulling funny faces to Millie B's M to the B track and it exploded with 44.9M Likes as we speak. Loads of people copied her moves while Millie B appreciated the additional attention even if her flow is atrociously bad. Good beats, though. In the end, I just adore the simplicity of what it takes to go viral these days. I'm far too clever to be famous anymore.
Finally made some side art with this self portrait picture. Not sure it'll land me any Tinder dates but it was still a detailed piece of work I'm proud of.

18 Aug
Jack Sherman was a guitarist best known as one of Red Hot Chili Peppers' many string men. When founding guitarist Hillel Slovak left then came back, Sherman was the one in between, earning him a slot on the band's debut album and co-writing a lot of their second. He also later played with Bob Dylan and George Clinton. Anthony Kiedis wasn't very kind to the dude in his autobiography but regardless, gone now, heart attack, 64.
Hal Singer was a saxophonist and the last male survivor of the Tulsa race massacre. He got all the way to 100 until he passed today.

19 Aug
The iconic bar from the TV series Cheers announces it can't take the corona hit and will be shutting down before the end of the month.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (28/50): Is it a panic attack? Or was the coffee too strong? Find out very soon!

20 Aug
Hurricane Laura forms and touches down in Louisiana, USA, lasting nine days, killing 77 people, causing $16.1 billion damage. It ties with the strongest hurricane on the state's record, 1856's Last Island hurricane.
Frankie Banali was a drummer, best known for his Quiet Riot work but also played with W.A.S.P. and Billy Idol. Pancreatic cancer, 68.

21 Aug
Chinese historical war drama film The Eight Hundred is released, grossing $468 million worldwide, the highest of 2020.
Finished reading The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. I spoke to some people and they told me that you're not supposed to read this book back to front, rather keep it on hand for reference sake. Oh well, I did it wrong but quite a few rules stuck and my grammar grew stronger as a result. Happy days. Read my long Goodreads review here.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (29/50): May you find peace without becoming boring.

22 Aug
One week up in Edinburgh and time to go except nope, not a fuck was I leaving and extended my stay another week.

23 Aug
When Jacob S. Blake leaned into his SUV, police officer Rusten Sheskey shot him in the back seven times in front of his kids, killing him. Once again, this only added fuel to the BLM and defund the police movements. Protests naturally followed.

24 Aug
Power Trip never made it big but I loooved their Nightmare Logic album. Their singer, Riley Gale, then goes and dies at age 34 from what I can only assume was drugs.

25 Aug
Africa is now free of wild polio, the second virus gone since smallpox 40 years ago. Fuck anti-vaxxers, for real. Fuck your faces, I hope you get sick.
With the police shooting of Jacob Blake adding to the BLM unrest, marches in Kenosha, Wisconsin, were interrupted when 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot three protesters with an illegal AR-15 style rifle. Rittenhouse was arrested and charged with homicide. Just another example of 2020 gone wrong.

26 Aug
Time for this month's dose of Janthopoyism and Book 2 has arrived! Starting simple with the following life-changing texts: Calculating How Special You Are From 1 - 10; Your Brain Has Failed You; and What is the Meaning of Life?. Racing along now! Are you with me so far?
Side note: the primary colour of the website changed from black to white round about here. You know, less Satanic, more You Can Trust Me, Drink This Kool-Aid?
According to Forbes, Jeff Bezos becomes the first person in history to surpass a US$200 billion net worth. "Fuck you, Jeff!" I say as I order more stuff on Amazon.
Joe Ruby co-created Scooby-Doo in 1969 then died at age 87 in 2020.
Out of nowhere, some person on Twitter posted inaccurate information about how Pencilmation underpays artists. Many old employees with rejected work joined the whining while employees tried desperately to correct the misinformation. Eventually, our boss came along and said that he had no idea what was going on, but he'd pay people more. And that was that.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (30/50): I want to save the world and I want everyone to know that it was me who did it.

27 Aug
Another one no one will care about but me but The Drones are fucking incredible and their longest running drummer Mike Noga died today at age 43.

28 Aug
Say what you will about Black Panther (and I have) but to learn that lead actor Chadwick Boseman was secretly fighting colon cancer the whole fucking time he was filming that flick and the Avengers epics... idk, man. That's a work ethic that I kiss the feet of. His role as a superhero icon to the black community will take a long time to be matched if ever, and his death knocked the world stunned. He was 43.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (31/50): Hey girl, are you an unwanted guest at a hostel? 'Cos I’m checking you out!

29 Aug
Ok, that's enough now, time to explore beyond Edinburgh except nope, another week added on, I am not ready to go.
Pencilmation Script: March & Foremost.

30 Aug
2020 MTV Video Music Awards, are you excited? Obviously nobody was there except for our old friend COVID, but Lady Gaga won five awards. Lady Gaga was also nominated for 9, the same as Ariana Grande. I could tell you more stuff but that's enough already.

31 Aug
As part of souping up my desirability, I paid a fuckload of cash to a professional company called Hey Saturday for model photos to use on Tinder. They were worth the money and you can see why here. The matches certainly rolled in more effectively. If only I actually cared.

Misc
Flash floods hit Afghanistan this month, the death toll hitting 190 by September.
Mental Health Checkup: According to the designated Google Doc, Liverpool was perfect, as it would be. I was approaching my brain from the right angles. I pulled away from over-working and took a smarter sideways attack before it became a threat. But when I moved to Edinburgh, the adjustment period threw me off, which may or may not have been the rain. However, by the end of August, I found my footing, owed in part to Laura, and owed in part to just how fucking amazing Edinburgh is. The Lamb stuff was messing with me, sure, but I'm a big boy with big dreams, and life is bigger than me. More on all of this very soon.

Dear 2020, September: 
We hit 1,000,000 COVID-19 deaths; Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies like the pillar beneath US democracy; a dude drinks cranberry juice to Fleetwood Mac and becomes massive; the second coming of Jesus in Russia goes to jail; David Icke is wrong about everything and gets banned from the internet; Farmville is shut down which ybj is probably about time

1 Sep
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (32/50): Your child tells you they love you because you taught them to say that.

3 Sep
200 mammoth skeletons were unearthed at a Mexico City construction site around Santa Lucía Airport. It's the largest mammoth bone find to date.

4 Sep
Two years without a cigarette. My plan was to light one up once COVID hit a million deaths but when that time eventually came, it still didn't feel right. I will smoke again, I'd be so gutted to die without having had another ciggie, but I await the moment to introduce itself. It is yet to do so.
It only took 14 years, but the La Línea highway is opened, the longest road tunnel in South America at a length of 8.65 kilometres.
Israel and Bahrain shake hands, normalising relations, the fourth Israel–Arab peace deal.
A gender reveal party using a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device went horribly wrong set a fucking massive California wildfire spreading over 7,000 acres. Let's just stop this now.
At 93 years old, Pope Benedict XVI becomes the longest-lived pope surpassing Pope Leo XIII's record in 1903.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (33/50): If you ever feel too small to make a difference, just remember that it only takes one tiny tissue to ruin the entire wash.

5 Sep
Pencilmation Script: Don't Push My Buttons. (cowritten ith David Saliterman)

6 Sep
After three weeks of postponements, I knew it was time to leave Edinburgh even if my heart was not ready. All I can say is that a part of me belongs there. The architecture of the Old Town alone cast a spell on my domestication. Jarexit has filled my life with many magical stops, but Edinburgh fights sturdy for a top slot. And again, I must offer much of this to Laura, my partner in crime, among many other things, sprinkling her brain dust into my experience to help it fly even higher. It also helped that my hostel, Code Pod, was my favourite yet, the only 10/10 I've given on Booking, and the only accommodation I left where the staff audibly expressed their bleakness.
I also no longer feared COVID. I could see how society could function with it even if we never got rid of the damn thing. It was inspiring to watch a city do its best to keep the buzz going despite the obvious concerns. I hardly felt it was there. Everyone just did their bit.
I also no longer feared Brexit. Because I'd happily move to Scotland the moment they claim independence, rejoining the EU, letting England sink.
Highlights are insane and include: OLD TOWN, Victoria Street, National Museum of Scotland, Antony Gormley's statues, Water of Leith Walkway, St Giles' Cathedral, Greyfriars Bobby Statue/Greyfriars Kirkyard, Royal Mile, Scottish Parliament Building, Queen Mary's Bath House, Jacob's Ladder, Trainspotting locations, getting laid regularly, Calton Hill, The Witches Well, the Castle obvz, drinking with hostel people, Arthur's Seat, Portobello beach, on and on and on and on.
Bsically everything I just said with more elequoence can be found with this post.
Inspiring Edinburgh photos here and here and here and here. Please note the final photo from the final batch where I finally said goodbye to the shoes that I wore through every Jarexit country. You boys did so well, I miss you. Also, bonus shirtless mirror selfie here.

And now for somewhere completely different, somewhere I have never been! Belfast! Northern Ireland! Still the UK but there's a virus on, man! Where do you expect me to go??

8 Sep
Pencilmation Script: Veg of Allegiance. I was also particularly proud of this one.

9 Sep
17 million subscribers?. I think it was here, yeah.
Sid McCray was the singer for Bad Brains, one of the pioneers of hardcore punk as well as being one of the first 100% African American punk rock bands ever. Sid died today at age 63.

10 Sep
Diana Rigg did a lot, starring in the 60s TV series The Avengers, playing James Bond's wife in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and (much later, as our generations will recognise her) as Olenna Tyrell in Game of Thrones. 82, lung cancer.

11 Sep
Keith Short was a film industry sculptor known for making Tim Burton's Batmobile, the Ark of the Covenant/Golden Fertility Idol from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Emperor Palpatine's chair in Return of the Jedi, and the Tree of the Dead in Sleepy Hollow. After suffering a stroke, he died at 79.

13 Sep
One week, Belfast, done. Tbh, that's all you need. Don't get me wrong, Belfast has a lot going for it. The street art is abundant, the Game of Thrones exploitation is a tourist hustle, the historical Titanic launch site gets a lot of attention, and C.S. Lewis was born here so....? The sad matter is that the aura of division reigns strong here, there's no unity, no patriotism. I had a great time (especially with my side trip to the Giants Causeway, omg, nothing like it, the cover for Houses of the Holy by Led Zeppelin was shot there!) but I was happy to leave Belfast just like that.
Highlights include: the incredible Queens University architecture; Cathedral Quarter; Albert Memorial Clock; The Titanic Memorial; The Big Fish; CS Lewis Square; and the Peace Wall.
Full summary here.
"Cultured" photos here and "arty" photos here.

Sneaky lifehack for ya'll: if you go to the Republic of Ireland from the UK during COVID, you're required to quarantine for two weeks. However, this does not apply if you come from Northern Ireland. So off I went to Dublin, the rules not applying to me without even breaking the law. Yippee!

14 Sep
The Royal Astronomical Society detects phosphine in Venus' atmosphere, probably meaning microbial life.

15 Sep
I can feel the darkness just talking about this, but if you remember the 3rd of April, I purchased David Icke's most famous book The Biggest Secret. 500+ pages long and it eroded at my spirituality like nothing I'd ever read. What a fantastic theory this man has backed up by nothing but selective research and fabricated facts. Many months before I'd finished this title, I'd quietly pulled away from the conspiracy filth that plagued so many of my friends, but my integrity refused to let go, and I finally finished this book today. I promptly threw it in the bin.
There was an element of symbology to all of this. I wrote a "concise" review for Goodreads and then a much more in-depth waffly analysis on my Juice Nothing blog. And that was that. I had done my time. Nobody can fucking ask me to do anymore, and I turn my back on this paranoid scene forever. I became liberated, free to focus on building my spirituality from a clean space where I did not believe the world was out to get me and instead, we were all evolving together as a singular unit. This book did much damage to my mind. Damage I am still unpicking today. However, I am grateful for the 15th of September, the date where I looked my conspiracy theorist friends dead in the eyes and could say with all confidence "your culty arguments are hypothetical and have zero basis in anything provable". I earned that response the hard way. I read what they read. I have the data to back it up.
Although, to be honest, I just wanted to start to make amends at this point. People can believe what they want to believe as long as they don't try to force it upon others. My goal was to get rid of the negative energy and make life beautiful again. I did pretty well from here.

16 Sep
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (34/50): Beauty is only skin deep. Everyone is ugly after you rip their face off.

17 Sep
On the 5th of Sep, dance troupe Diversity perform a Black Lives Matter routine on Britain's Got Talent where dancer Ashley Banjo is knelt on by a police officer, referencing George Floyd. After 24,500 complaints and much controversy, Ofcom said fuck you, and decided not to launch an investigation into the matter.
Terry Goodkind was the author of the epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth (which sold 25 million copies worldwide) and contemporary suspense novel The Law of Nines The Sword of Truth. I know people who adored him. At age 72 he died for undisclosed reasons.
Winston Groom wrote the novel Forrest Gump in six weeks, earned nothing from his agreed 3% share of the film's profits and died from a heart attack at 77.

18 Sep
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an associate justice of the US Supreme Court from 1993 until her death. She fought for and often won many debates in favour of gender equality and women's rights. She was 87 when cancer got her and considering the untimely point of US history, much of liberal American shook,

19 Sep
A 1634 edition of The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare is discovered at the Royal Scots College's library in Salamanca, Spain. It's probably the oldest copy of any of his works anywhere.
I won the lotto! £2.20! Woohoo!
Pencilmation Script: End of the World Wide Web.

20 Sep
Another sad COVID venue victim would be that of London's legendary Crobar, loved by many including myself, Dave Grohl, Slash, Alice Cooper, Slayer’s Kerry King, Gwar, Lady Gaga, and even Justin Bieber. Owners say they will try to relocate when they can.
72nd Primetime Emmy Awards hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. What surprised me was that Schitt's Creek cleaned up, winning all four main acting categories and all seven major awards in a single year. The show became the most-awarded comedy in a single year. I've only seen the first season and didn't think it was that good, so I best get going.
Michael Chapman was a cinematographer who worked on some films like idk Taxi Driver and Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Raging Bull and Michael Jackson's Bad's music video and (most importantly of all) Space Jam. Congestive heart failure, 84.

21 Sep
Microsoft buys video game company ZeniMax Media for US$7.5 billion, the most expensive takeover in industry history.

22 Sep
This is a fun one. Russian spiritual leader Vissarion is known as the second coming of Christ according to his 4,000 followers. They live in his settlement plus an additional 6,000 follow him globally. Tbf, the dude had some interesting ideas, including a moneyless sustainable, environmentally friendly and vegan lifestyle. Then again, his teachings that women are the inferior gender are questionable, and the fact that he lived with a seven-year-old girl until she was 19 then married her was also weird. Authorities decided enough was enough and arrested Vissarion for running an illegal religious organisation and possibly placing others in harm's way.
Growing up I loved Joseph Michael Laurinaitis aka Road Warrior Animal (or simply Animal), the professional wrestler who was one half of The Legion of Doom. I had his toy and everything. Anyway, he's dead now, 60, natural causes.

24 Sep
I already posted this earlier, but in case you missed it, today was the official day where the name and the work for Sectlinefor's third album, Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak, was revealed.
Side fact: I got the title idea from Laura in Scotland. We weren't strangers by that point, but I left her place in the morning with this phrase humouring my mind as just the type of irresponsible behaviour we'd been dabbling in. Not all of our songs were named, so I blessed this title as one of them. When the time came to create the artwork, this was one of the rough ideas Piton liked which turned into the full art piece you see today, and he chose it. There you go! A simple thought growing and growing and growing. It's a great concept anyway, so topical. The only subject in the world, really.
After years of pitiful nominations, The Mercury Prize has gradually regained its place in my heart with another solid line-up for 2020. My money was on Charli XCX but when Michael Kiwanuka's Kiwanuka won, I was more than happy. To prove that, may I remind you that this album was dubbed the 58th best record OF THE LAST WHOLE DECADE by ME, according to a book I wrote, which you should read.

25 Sep
How the internet pans out can often be difficult to comprehend but the story of 420Doggface208's "Dreams" Skateboarding Video really unfolded in a way nobody could predict. There he was on TikTok, skateboarding down the road, drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice, singing along to Fleetwood Mac's Dreams. In less than one week, 13 million views racked up and countless parodies followed, including Fleetwood members themselves, such as Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and songwriter Stevie Nicks separately. Ocean Spray also gifted 420Doggface208 a truck full of cranberry juice. Can you imagine being this dude?
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (35/50): I love it how people say stuff like, “OPEN YOUR EYES, SHEEPLE!” as if we aren’t 100% aware of the exact same information they are. The only difference is that we’ve concluded it’s stupid as fuck.

26 Sep
In what felt like the wisest move, I abandoned the Dublin ship early and made my way back to my London home. The first week of Ireland's capital was grand; I had a wonderful time meeting people and seeing the sites. But the second wave of COVID came tearing through the sky like God was ripping a piece of paper in half, and everything was shutting down at rapid speeds. I couldn't even find any Guinness! I realised I'd been rolling the dice quite extensively and while I am quite pro at dice-rolling, my gut told me to run and so I did.
But Dublin rocked my world, and I'm still fairly convinced that once Brexit is taking bites out of the UK, I'll be slipping over this way for an extended period. It may be colder, but it's a lovely vibe where I can legally live and work and drink Guinness and remain in the EU. Let's see!
Highlights include: drinking Guinness with my old pal Danielle and her new son Fionn, checking where the Spice Girls' filmed the Stop video, The Hungry Tree, Francis Bacon's Preserved Art Studio, the Garden of Remembrance, the Famine Memorial, Samuel Beckett Bridge, Windmill Lane Recording Studios, Grand Canal Square, Oscar Wilde's House(!), Hellfire Club, the outside of the Guinness Storehouse, the Poolbeg Lighthouse at the end of the Great South Wall(!!!), and Pheonix park.
Full summary here. Did you notice that my mask changed per each travel photo, btw?
Photos here and here.
Of course, it's never that simple because, hi, my name is Jared. Texts with Lamb were progressing nicely owed in part to her boyfriend's slow demise into madness. She never explicitly gave permission, but I decided it was time to play Mario and come to sweep the girl off her feet, whisking her away to better lands where we could live happily ever after. I'd travelled enough, you know? 40 odd cities in two years wear a man down. Maybe it was time to be normal and do the normal thing, find a normal girl and have a normal house, make normal babies, go out and have normal dinners once in a while. I was devoted to this idea. But if you know me, then you'll know that normal has never been my strongest point. And if you knew Lamb, you'd know that normal is a concept so far blasted from her skull that aliens are still struggling to decipher the signal. More on that later. Oh, yes. Much more on that later.
Jimmy Winston was the original keyboard player for Small Faces, one of the most influential mod groups of the 1960s, massively pioneering the 90s Britpop movement and inducting into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He died. 75.

27 Sep
Mariah Carey reveals in her memoir that she secretly recorded an album called Someone's Ugly Daughter with her friend Clarissa Dane, under the name "Chick". Due to record label buzzkills, Mariah's vocals were mixed to the back with Clarissa's dominating, but Carey claims she is still seeking the original versions with her leading the way. I heard some of it, and it wasn't bad in that 90s trend-following alternative way.
To celebrate their 350th episode, Family Guy give Stewie his first actual word, unoriginally being "fuck".
Once the most popular Facebook game ever, FarmVille announces they are shutting down. What? Did they even still exist?
At some point in the year (February, Miami?) I decided to purchase a book about being a more manly man. Suddenly, in my hands was The Way of the Superior Man: A Spiritual Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Women, Work, and Sexual Desire by David Deida. I didn't really care to read it, but with nothing else at my disposal, I gave it a go all these months later. And it was good! Not great, but I really did learn somse stuff (espeically about treating women like goddesses to make them happy) that will last me a lifetime. I explain myself much better on Goodreads.

28 Sep
Deftones announce that fans can "adopt a dot" from their Ohms album cover, a part of history for you to keep forever, all proceeds going to the UC Davis Children's Hospital and Crew Nation relief fund. Naturally, I own one. What an album too! One of their best!!
As we slowly prep for our upcoming third record, Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak, today we unveiled our updated logo. Record coming 19th Feb 2021!

29 Sep
September 29 US presidential debate. Highlights include Trump telling far-right neo-fascist organsation Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" which was worrying. Much more fun was when Biden asked Trump "Will you shut up, man?" as well as referring the President as a "clown".
COVID-19 death toll hits one million. I said this would be where I started smoking again but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Two million, then?
Timothy Ray Brown is considered to be the first person cured of HIV/AIDS. He died from leukaemia at age 54.

30 Sep
THE 600TH LEGOBISCUIT, PEOPLE.
The good word of Janthopoyism continues to bless you, my child. We end Book 2: The Internal Universe with the following three scriptures: Why Did That Horrible Thing Happen to Me?, If I Am Divinity and Evolution Thrives on Conflict, Is It Ok to Be a Selfish Antagonistic Asshole?, and Are Morals Definable and Does Karma Exist?.
As a bonus, our lovely mailing list hit 100 subscribers, so to celebrate, each of their names became a permanent fixture of the Jantho teachings, forever, even when we eventually go to print. Isn't that lovely? Of course, it's all a lie as one girl unsubscribed a month or so later and she was erased from existence, replaced with the next name in line, but whatever! Check out The 100 Disciples there.

Misc
Mental Health Checkup: According to my notes, I was flying high in September. Adventuring all over the place, getting laid in Edinburgh, cutting off the conspiracy theories to nurture my spirituality, running as far as my legs could tolerate, eating healthy... all the pieces were in line. And most of all, there was Lamb who I was coming home to, ready to start a relationship with whether she was ready or not. At this point, I had moved into two of my best friends' home, Adam and Didi, giving me space to search for a place of my own (thank you!!). They spent the first week feeding me vegan food that went straight to my soul and the second week they left to explore Scotland, leaving me to look after their cat, Sammy. That creature kept me awake most nights, but its face was so adorable that I could never stay mad at him. I feel we bonded pretty well and I miss him so. Things were looking good! I had a strong September, and now it was time to settle back in London to calculate my next moves. That comes now.

Dear 2020, October: Waiter, there's a fly in Mike Pence's hair; I turn 36; Trump gets COVID but does not die; Van Halen does die which is way shittier; Sean Connery dies also so that's a double whammy of shitness; I announce my book Heartbreak Sucks for the millionth time but for realsies now

1 Oct
The EU sues the UK for breaking sections of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, but my Brexit friends still assure me that everything is going according to plan.
The Supreme Court of Ireland rules that Subway bread is not actually bread. There's too much sugar in it they said, so it's something else. Ok.
2019's moving film Marriage Story was a subtle masterpiece, but the passionate argument scene was soon molested by the internet as we do. Different variations existed but when @demolitionprep tweeted a version for Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust", a whole load of unstoppable shit happened.

2 Oct
After working my ass off while keeping my mouth shut, I finally announced that my book Heartbreak Sucks! How to Get Over Your Ex in 30 Days was going to be released, 14th February 2021. For those keeping track, I first disclosed my completion of the book on Valentine's Day 2019, but due to issues with a publishing company, the project turned ugly and I couldn't bear the sight of it, shoved upon the high shelf, letting me look at other things. But the months past, I dusted it off, I rewrote the whole fucking thing and here she comes again, completely independent this time! A very exciting report for a very exciting product for a very exciting start of 2021! :D
Trump announces he caught COVID. Much of the world saw this as an act of God, but within a few days, he felt fine again, crediting his bounce back to the antiviral drug remdesevir, the dexamethasone steroid, and the unapproved antibody REGN-COV2.

3 Oct
Pencilmation Script: Vending Over Backwards.

4 Oct
New Caledonia vote against independence from France.

5 Oct
How the artwork or Sectlinefor works is that I think up rough ideas for each song then draw rough sketches of the more superior four. I send those to Piton, and he selects his favourite two. I create those two to completion, and then Piton selects his favourite one which subsequently names and adorns the record. When it came for our upcoming third album, I was convinced he would go for the other selection, but much to my surprise, he chose Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak and the rest is history. Anyway, that was a long story to send you off to today's post to look at the alternate album cover of what could have been, as well as the outtakes for our fist two records too.
Considered by protestors to be "rigged", mass amounts of marchers took to the streets against the recent Kyrgyzstani parliamentary election. The results were annulled the next day and President Jeenbekov resigned on the 15th of October.

6 Oct
Biggie here was Eddie Van Halen main songwriter and guitarist for, you guessed it, Van Halen. Often considered one of the all-time greats, he popularised the tapping solo technique meaning you could play the fretboard with two hands. After battling both throat and lung cancer, he died at age 65. With that, his son/band's bassist went on record that Van Halen was over, because, "You can't have Van Halen without Eddie Van Halen."
Johnny Nash was a singer-songwriter, mainly included on this list due to his massive hit "I Can See Clearly Now". After declining health, he died at 80.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (36/50): I will never ever lie to you because I don’t give a fuck what you think.

7 Oct
During a debate with Kamala Harris, a fly landed on vice president Mike Pence's head for two minutes and stole the show.
After a particularly distraught phonecall, I urged Lamb not to do anything stupid and visit me where I could talk her down. I ordered the Uber, she came, and she eventually calmed. We proceeded to have a lovely day where we walked around a lake and spoke to ducks then ended the evening by ultimately consummating our "relationship" in my eyes, on Adam's couch (sorry if you're reading this, bro, I never told you). I couldn't be happier. The Universe had delivered everything it promised.

9 Oct
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (37/50): I assess a person's intelligence by how often they contemplate whether they might be wrong.

11 Oct
Pakistan becomes the latest country to ban TikTok.

12 Oct
Conchata Ferrell was an actress known for her roles in Two and a Half Men and L.A. Law, but was also in Frankenweenie, Edward Scissorhands, Erin Brockovich, Mr. Deeds and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She died from cardiac arrest at 77.

13 Oct
I'm quite proud of this Instagram write-up so I'll let you read it there but what matters is that today, for the first time in since December 2018, I moved into a room and had a bed to call my own after having slept in 67 beds around the world (actual number). I'd moved to Stoke Newington, not to stalk Thurston Moore who lives here, but because Lamb lived in the area too. I checked out many places in the region but followed the one with the right energy. As hippie as that sounds, it works every time and the ten other people I live with are massively awesome; I liked them more and more as the year went on. Again I do recommend checking out the Insta post because there's an included image with the other love of my life, Sammy.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (38/50): I love it when people accuse me of having a god complex. It means they haven’t noticed my Satan complex yet.

14 Oct
2020 Billboard Music Awards. Post Malone won nine from 16 nominations, which basically means nobody else exists.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (39/50): I hate it when people conclude their directions with "you can’t miss it!"
YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT I AM CAPABLE OF.

15 Oct
The Government of Thailand declares state of emergency due to demonstrations against Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and demands for reform of the Thai monarchy. Gatherings of five or more people were banned.

16 Oct
Happy birthday to me! 36 years young, underrated number. It's a square number (6) and a triangular number (the quantity of objects it takes to form an equilateral triangle). This happens when you turn one year old, 36, and 1225. I spent the day with Lamb, and we were fortunate that new lockdown laws didn't kick in until midnight, allowing us to go for a meal. When we arrived at our booked location, wouldn't you know it? The address was at #36.

17 Oct
New Zealand Labour Party, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, smashes it, winning their elections with 50.01%. No surprises, the whole world adores her.
And hereby I ecstatically crown Jacinda Ardern as the Juice Nothing Queen of 2020. Her command has been what every leader should strive to demonstrate, not only due to her response to the COVID outbreak, but her compassion during the terrible 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings. The whole world noted her work this year and we can only hope that her reputation inspires many to come.

19 Oct
Around here it was reported that China overtook US as world's biggest movie box office of the year due to the USA's ongoing COVID issues and China shutting that shit down fast.

20 Oct
Always difficult to know with Lamb and her blood-to-toxins ratio, but on this day she told me she loved me.
OSIRIS-REx spacecraft becomes NASA's first probe to get samples from an asteroid (Bennu) set back to Earth in 2023.

22 Oct
34 countries sign the Geneva Consensus Declaration, looking to limit access to abortion. Wait, wtf? Which direction are we moving here??

23 Oct
The Queen's Gambit is released to Netflix. Within four weeks it became Netflix's most-watched scripted miniseries. I loved it. Anya Taylor-Joy could be my future wife and I'd be chill with it. I've said that since she was a witch.
38 years after the end of the 1982 war, the Falkland Islands are declared free of land mines.
Joining the ranks, Israel and Sudan agree to normalise relations, now the fifth Israel–Arab peace deal.

24 Oct
With Book 2: The Internal Universe all written up, the Janthopoyism for Kids version was soon to follow, and here it was today. Again, I'm mad proud of how these turn out, taking complex teachings then simplifying them into metaphorical understandings complete with visually appealing artwork to bring pulse to the message. I sometimes wonder if this is the side of Janthopoyism that will go down in history. Raise your kids on this stuff and they'll fix everything.
Pencilmation Script: Petal to the Metal.

27 Oct
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (40/50): Normalise the use of comebacks even if you only think of them a few days later.

28 Oct
Book 3: The Bridge of Receivings slamming into this bitch like what! Just two pieces of scripture this month, but in my defence, they were some of the longest of the lot. You Are Watching a Movie That Is Watching You and Ideas Are Gifts from the Gods. I hope they mean something to you.
After deciding I'm worth it, I finally upgraded my iPhone 6 to an iPhone 11. Haven't looked back in the slightest. Still getting used to the size but is this what battery life is supposed to be like? And everything just kinda... works? Totally worth the money that I didn't really have.

29 Oct
Mensvreters release their short film Joburg Fried Humans. Its one of those things that is so brilliant but I don't exactly recommend you watch it.
140 migrants drown off the coast of Senegal bound for the Spanish Canary Islands; the deadliest shipwreck of 2020 thus far.

30 Oct
A 7.0 earthquake smacks Turkey/Greece, the deadliest of 2020, killing 116 known people in Turkey, with 1,034 injuries.

31 Oct
Hurricane Eta forms today and lasts until the 14th of November, causing shit all through Central America. 211 died, 120 are missing, $7.9 billion damage.
Typhoon Goni races through the Philippines, the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone in history, uprooting hundreds of thousands of homes and killing dozens of people.
Difficult to think of an entertainment fatality quite as massive as Sir Sean Connery, the first ever Bond actor, winning an Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards, three Golden Globes, often worshipped as the sexiest man on the planet, and (until today) Scotland's Greatest Living National Treasure. Reportedly unwell for quite some time, he passes at 90.

Misc
Mental Health Checkup: October was another strong month although cracks were appearing everywhere, but what are cracks when you're dancing? All of my self-imposed deadlines were crushing my neck, but that may have been a posture thing. Things with Lamb were tricky, they'd pull this way and that, but relationships, eh? We were working stuff out. She was still deeply clawed into her ex, but the fairy dust of early romance made that all disappear, and by mid-October, I feel it's safe to say that we were officially in love. Plus it was nice to be settling into a London place, not running everywhere with a bag in tow, a lot of stress off my shoulders. And finally, I was falling in Hinduism in a big way, not in any conversion styles, but just as a concept, it did wonders for my mind. So, 10 months in and like... no real mental health issues all yeah? Wow, this Jantho stuff really works!

Dear 2020, November: vaccines are coming out now, please save us; Joe Biden beats Trump and we rejoice; Baby Shark breaks all YouTube records; Johnny Depp has been deemed the victim; strange monoliths appear everywhere in the world; I kinda had a gf but now I do not

1 Nov
On my quest to absorb as much Hinduism as I could, I started from the bottom and surrendered myself as an idiot, reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism by Linda Johnsen. It served the purpose I'd hoped; layering upon layering upon layering of how this is probably the best religion the world has ever known. Read my extra-long review on Goodreads here.
Filming for Sectlinefor's music video The Saddest Face in All of Existence starts today. Don't get too excited though, it's only due in Jan 2021.
54 (mostly Amhara women, children, and elderly) are killed by suspected members of the Oromo Liberation Army in Gawa Qanqa, Ethiopia.

2 Nov
Four years after it was uploaded, Baby Shark becomes the most-viewed YouTube video of all time with 7.04 billion views. It's since surpassed 7.5 billion.
The Johnny Depp vs. Amber Heard drama was never far from 2020's news. Still, we'll summarise here because today was the day when the High Court of Justice ruled that Depp had no contrary evidence that he wasn't a "wifebeater" and therefore could not sue The Sun tabloid newspaper for such a label. Because of this, Depp lost his job as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. In a unique turn of events, the Internet sided with the male in this dispute, calling Amber the liar and noting how she kept her job despite evidence against her physical abuse tendencies.

3 Nov
From here until the 7th, it became clear that Joe Biden was elected as the 46th President of the United States. This did not stop President Donald Trump from crying "rigged" but even at this point, his strongest fans began to see through his crybaby act, ready to move on.
It's also worth noting that Kamala Harris became the first female vice president-elect as well as the first African American/Asian American vice president-elect. She stands as the highest-ranking female elected official in USA history.
Part of my "take a sad song and make it better" life policy, every month I'd buy a new face mask to spruce up the pandemic, but very few filled me with as much happiness as my David Bowie one.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (41/50): If you hate someone, turn that hate into love. Love them every day. Love them until they soften. Love them until they love you back. Then leave them. That’ll fuck them up proper.

4 Nov
The USA formally exits the Paris Agreement on climate change but with Biden on the reigns, the chances of rejoining are looking promising.

5 Nov
Promotion for Sectlinefor's third record Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak continues, this time with a sneaky photoshoot that took place during a part of our music video filming for our first single The Saddest Face in All of Existence. Ammr Khalifa snapped these up in a manner of minutes whereas I spent hours editing them up but guess who got the most credit in the end? Regardless, if it's about the final product, then we all win.

6 Nov
Sir Cliff Richard becomes the first artist to have albums in the Top 5 UK album charts across eight consecutive decades, 1950s - 2020s, with the Music...The Air That I Breathe hitting #3 this week.
Ken Spears was a television writer best known for creating the Scooby-Doo franchise with Joe Ruby, who himself had passed in August. Due to complications from Lewy body dementia, Ken did at 82.

7 Nov
Four days after the United States presidential election, Trump's people hosted a press conference at the Four Seasons. Something went wrong, and it was booked at the small business Four Seasons Total Landscaping, situated between a sex shop and a crematorium. It felt like the death bullet to Trump's spine as he continued to crawl even slower into clown town.
Pencilmation Script: Reborn This Way.

8 Nov
Tough weekend. After getting on some of the gear, Lamb and I argued for days straight. Thanks to her fistfuls of pharmaceuticals, she doesn't remember the bickering, nor does she remember physically attacking me by grabbing me by the throat, nor does she remember leaving a half-eaten burger beneath my (a vegetarian's) bed that I only found a day later, nor does she remember vomiting all over my floor. Somehow she remembers me kicking her out of my house once I'd had enough though. The argument continued throughout the week via Messanger where she perpetually listed the ways in which I was inferior to her ex-boyfriend, and with that, a beautiful thing that could have been, ended. For the record, it truly was magical while it lasted. I'm not sure what game the Universe was playing, but I could not have been more certain that she was the one for me. I still love her madly. I just had no idea how thick the muck was. From what I've last heard, she is seeking professional help for her addictions, and her ex-boyfriend is in a coma, so maybe it's best I keep moving forward in a more stable direction. I hurt, but we suck it up. Maybe I'm destined to live alone, who knows anymore.
Alex Trebek was mainly known as the host of the game show Jeopardy! for 37 seasons right until his death, today, at age 80 after a battle against pancreatic cancer.

9 Nov
Pfizer and BioNTech announce that phase III trials of their COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective. Nine days later and the trials are complete, settling with a 95% effectiveness with no adverse effects and the world rejoices except for the anti-vaxxers who cried into their milk.

10 Nov
As a kid, I really enjoyed punk rock band Leftöver Crack, so I pay my respects here to bassist Alec Baillie who died today. His age and cause of death have not been reported.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (42/50): Yeah, but you were whining before covid too, though.

11 Nov
As is the nature of testing procedures, more vaccine results come out, this time Sputnik V proving to be 92% effective.
My Parents at Age 29 is an image macro showing the differences between parents' generation and our one. It's all too real.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (43/50): There is never a reason to say IMHO. IMO will always suffice.

13 Nov
Lookie here, Heartbreak Sucks! How to Get Over Your Breakup in 30 Days suddenly appears on Amazon for preorder. Initial price set at $0.99 so that my friends can snap it up without paying much, but those figures will shoot up once we release, so get it the fuck now!
Full update across the board for Sectlinefor's website, check it out, or don't, whatever-the-fuck.
After one of the largest and most expensive manhunts in British history, Peter Sutcliffe was caught in 1981, found guilty of murdering 13 women, and sentenced to 20 concurrent life sentences. He got away with just one today, dying at age 74 from COVID-19.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (44/50): Make sure to take lots of selfies with your friends so that when they die you can prove you were much closer to them than anybody else and you'll get more sympathy Likes.

15 Nov
15 Asia-Pacific nations of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). This forms the world's largest free-trade bloc, covering a third of the world's population.
46th People's Choice Awards. Jennifer Lopez was the People's Icon. The rest of the winners were so predictable you could probably guess them yourself.
Looking back at the 8th of Nov and my depression hit a 2020 high. I tackled it the only way I knew how: running from my problems. My goal was 50km in one week which I achieved. It helped! It's the only foolproof depression-defeater I know of.

16 Nov
I think it was around about here that Trump was using Twitter to sprout his beliefs about how the election was rigged this way and that. Twitter took matters into their own hands by placing disclaimers under almost everything the president said such as "This claim about election fraud is disputed". And a new meme was born.
Next up: Moderna's mRNA vaccine is proven to be 94.5% effective against COVID-19. This one is extra special because its distribution requires no ultra-cold storage. Two weeks later, they applied for Emergency Use Authorization in the United States, planning to do the same in the EU too.
Funny enough, it turned out Dolly Parton donated $1 million to Moderna's vaccine and the world loved her even more.

17 Nov
Announced today that Conan O'Brien's self-titled talk show will end in June 2021 after a 10-year run on TBS. Sad, he was one of my favourites.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (45/50): You're living your best life. I am not. Because you’ve already peaked. I have not.

18 Nov
Talk about wtf-ery was when a 9.8 ft tall metal monoliths pillar was discovered in Utah. Like something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, the world had questions that were never answered as it suddenly disappeared nine days later. Either as some copycat art projects or alien communication, these monoliths kept appearing all over the world, including Morocco, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ukraine, North America, Canada, Quebec, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, D.C., Australia, New Zealand, The Bahamas, Paraguay, and Iran.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (46/50): I always support my local grocer rather than Tesco because it’s closer to my house.

19 Nov
Finally, the first song from Sectlinefor's third album Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak is released! I wasn't too sure on the choice but it was one of Piton's favourites, and in hindsight, it worked well as a lyric video. It's the final song on the album. We called it Double Blue Tick Of lol. I drew the pictures too. Thanks Fran for the extra hands.
Shuggie Bain, the debut novel by Douglas Stuart, wins the 2020 Booker Prize.

20 Nov
People say 2020 was a shit year, but how bad could it be when fucking all new episodes of Animaniacs returned today on Hulu!
Sandy Dvore was a graphic designer responsible for many recognisable logos and TV sequences such as United Artists, The Young and the Restless, and The Partridge Family. He was 86.

22 Nov
Considering such a crazy year, Oxford Dictionary took the easy way out and simply gave up, stating too many new words became commonplace and no singular option would suffice. They did give us some candidates though: bushfires, Covid-19, WFH, lockdown, pandemic, circuit-breaker, support bubbles, keyworkers, furlough, Qanon, Black Lives Matter, and moonshot. Even mask up, anti-mask, anti-masker and mask-shaming were considered.
The 48th Annual American Music Awards. Taylor Swift, the Weeknd, Dan + Shay, and Justin Bieber each won three.
Patrick Quinn was an ALS activist who helped generate awareness (and US$220 million) for the disease through the Ice Bucket Challenge which went massively viral in 2014. He ultimately died from the condition at age 37.

23 Nov
Finishing up their studies is AstraZeneca's AZD1222 vaccine collaborated with Oxford University. With a 70% effectiveness, it's not looking great although efficacy can reach 90% if an initial half dose is followed by a full dose a month later. Sounds like something the losing team would say.

24 Nov
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards nominees are announced but all anyone gives a fuck about was the snubbing of The Weeknd's After Hours, an album that deserved many but received none. Everyone was pissed, even The Weeknd called the ceremony "corrupt" and tbh it's done a lot of free promotion for the record for now.
After dissing my art for almost two years, snappycakes requested a collaboration. Naturally, I agreed, and here that is. I can only imagine his intentions were to piggyback upon my follower-numbers especially considering how many backhanded compliments his write-up gave me, but as a big fan of his immense talent, I was happy to do what I could do.

25 Nov
Speeding along the Janthopoyism skyline and Book 3: The Bridge of Receivings comes to a strong close with three important pieces of scripture, namely Accessing the Universal Mind, Asserting Dominance Over Your Bridge of Receivings, and Your Secret Weapon to Become the Most Enlightened Human in the World.
I wanted nothing more than to start Book 4 during December because this shit super helps my brain colour-coordinate, but alas, between working on Sectlinefor promo and a Sectlinefor music video and Heartbreak Sucks! promo and the Top 50 Albums of 2020 and this fucking article, there was simply no space. It's cool, it's a good time to pause, as between the six main books plus the two additional ones on either side, we're about halfway so breaaaathhhheeeee.
I know very little about football, but the death of Diego Maradona sent ripples throughout all circles, widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time. Sadly, his talent was outweighed by his drug problems which banned him from the field on multiple occasions. After an emergency brain surgery to treat a subdural hematoma, he suffered a fatal heart attack at age 60.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (47/50): I only apologised to calm you down before I fuck you over again.

26 Nov
Had a brain-bulb Facebook post, decided to post it to this blog, called it Devolving to Evolve. Nobody cared nor should they.

28 Nov
After a nightmare process of trying to order Diazepam online, imagine my horror when a batch of Pregabalin arrives. I argued that this was not what I ordered but it became my word vs. their's, so what can I do? Post on Trustpilot, that's what! They quickly changed their tune, the Diazepam arrived, which was kinda annoying cos I'd already ordered other Diazepam from a different company. So now I have far too many pharmaceuticals at my disposal and spend most of December zombified. This entire article was written slurry as a motherfucker, perhaps you can tell. I'm falling asleep right now.
David Prowse played a manservant in A Clockwork Orange but as if that's not enough how about fucking Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy? Sadly, he passed today at 85.

29 Nov
I think around here I passed 2,000 followers on Instagram.

30 Nov
A full moon eclipse occurs; the last of four total lunar eclipses in the year.

Misc
Mental Health Checkup: November was the month that fell over. It started with work. I couldn't seem to write with fire anymore. Everything that came from my fingers felt subpar, and that was the initial kibble to awaken the demons. My fukkit switch flipped mid-month, got trashed with Lamb and things between us imploded beyond repair as noted above. So now I had no work fuel, my physical stamina had been self-sabotaged by toxins, but nothing could compete with losing the girl I thought was the Christ of 2020. But I will say, props to me; I'm getting better at this. Instead of sinking into the mattress, I got strategic. I knew the Lamb stuff was a juggernaut of pain which I was unequipped to defeat, so instead, I started by running and running and running, every day, 50km in one week. There was certainly some serotonin bros in there somewhere, and we teamed up to fight the next week, which was to find my writing mojo again. I watched inspirational documentaries (Matangi/Maya/M.I.A for some reason having the most profound effect) and started reading a book called Your Screenplay Sucks! by William M. Akers which helped (more on that later). By the time November ended, I was still heartbroken over Lamb. I was low; there's no escaping that. But the fact that I fought as hard as I did to stay remotely afloat is something I am proud of, and something I believe will serve me for the rest of my life.

Dear 2020, December: The Great Conjunction is not seen by the UK; EU and UK actually make a deal amazing; Bob Dylan sells all his music; Taylor Swift drops another album like a crazy person; Elon Musk becomes the 2nd richest man in the world; Pornhub delete a bunch of vidoes after mass accusations of bad pr0n and then they have an award show

1 Dec
Hugh Keays-Byrne was the Mad Max bad guy, playing Toecutter in the 1979 film and Immortan Joe in 2015's Fury Road. He was 73.

2 Dec
UK approves Pfizer's vaccine, the first country to do so.
Brothers Dan and Frank Carney founded Pizza Hut. Frank died at the age of 82 from pneumonia.

3 Dec
For reasons of medical value, the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs vote to remove marijuana from their dangerous drugs list.

4 Dec
Official deaths surpass 1.5 million. The average is one death per every nine seconds over the last week. WHO announced that COVID has caused more 2020 deaths than tuberculosis did in 2019.
The USA announce its withdrawal from the Somali Civil War over the next month.

5 Dec
Just wanted to show you my Sonic Youth facemask.
Russia starts mass vaccination with the Sputnik V candidate.

6 Dec
Second part filming for Sectlinefor's music video The Saddest Face in All of Existence, this time with professional actors. Still worth getting excited for even if it's only out Jan 2021.

7 Dec
Announced around here that Bob Dylan sold his entire back catalogue to the Universal Music Group for an estimated $300 million. Considering he's nearly 80, it seems like a good move. What else is he going to do with those songs? Take the money, man. It's more than you'll see in your lifetime otherwise.
Chuck Yeager was an Air Force officer, who in 1947, became the first pilot to have exceeded the speed of sound. He also fought in World War II and was known to have flown more than 360 types of aircraft. He was 97.

8 Dec
I didn't realise this was a thing but Nepal and China finally agree on Mount Everest's official height: 8,848.86m.
Finished reading Your Screenplay Sucks!: 100 Ways to Make It Great by William M. Akers. Had this bad boy lying around for ages but when my writing lost its buzz, I hoped it might refuel my cool. It did! And now I have a useful checklist of items to run through with any project I start. Let me tell you all about it using this long Goodreads review.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (48/50): Even if my friends didn’t jump off a bridge, I still would.

9 Dec
Remember Third Eye Blind? Jason Slater was a founding member and the original bassist. He died at age 49 from liver failure. Never say I don't tell you anything.

10 Dec
One of the most... heartbreaking requests from Unbound Publishing was that they wanted to change my 32 hand-drawn images for my book Heartbreak Sucks! That made me sad because I quite liked their childlike charm. Anyway, once I won the fight and got my book back into my own rightful hands, for some reason, I couldn't shake their opinion on that factor. Were they not professional enough? So I thought... fuck it, let's go commercial and make pictures that people would respond better to. I did that and released some on Instagram to show you.
Not sure if this counts, but read the 34-page book Kindle Reviews: How to Get Reviews for Your Kindle Book by Alex Foster to help me with my own quest. Super short Goodreads review here, but spoiler alert, I gave it 2 out of 5.
Tommy Lister Jr. played the hardcore bully in both Friday and its sequel. He was also President Lindberg in The Fifth Element. He died at 62 from COVID complications.

11 Dec
Predictable yet still relieving, Time Magazine announces Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as their person(s) of the year.
The EU agree to reduce greenhouse gas by 55% over the following decade.
Show-off Taylor Swift drops another surprise album, this one called Evermore, a "sister record" to Folklore. People loved it, and Swift became the first female in US history to get eight number-one debuting albums. With a four-month 18-days gap between the two chart-topping albums, it's the quickest this has been done by a female since 1956. My opinion is that it'd be her best work if we didn't have Folklore to compare it to.
I read the 18-page book How to Find Book Reviewers: How to get reviews the easy way by Werner Stejskal. Its advice was like nothing I'd heard before and I gave it an impressive quix stix review on Goodreads but I am yet having any success applying it to real-life so whatever.

12 Dec
Half had sex with a beautiful girl, but due to all the Valium and Pregabalin I'd been chewing by the fistful, my dick hardly worked, and the semen had retreated way back. That was a big deciding factor for me to stop my shit. Sex is way too important to be sacrificing it for pharmaceuticals.
Charley Pride was a professional musician and a professional baseball player somehow. He achieved 52 top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 30 of which were number one. He died from COVID-19 complications at age 86.
Pencilmation Script: Pug Life.

14 Dec
A total eclipse! Visible only from the South Pacific Ocean, South Atlantic Ocean, and southern South America, but still... SPACE STUFF.
The US removes Sudan from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. At the same time, they slap Turkey with some sanctions because Turkey purchased a S-400 missile system from Russia. This is the first time the US have sanctioned a NATO ally.
After monumental pressure from all sides on Pornhub including a damning artice in The New York Times accusing the porn site for "monetizes child rapes, revenge pornography, spy cam videos of women showering, racist and misogynist content, and footage of women being asphyxiated in plastic bags," Pornhub responded removing all videos that were not uploaded by verified users. This meant millions of videos have been deleted from the platform. Tbh, I like Pornhub as a company, I feel they are legit and are trying to do the right thing here.

15 Dec
3rd Pornhub Awards held virtually for some unknown reason. Riley Reid wins Most Popular Female Performer and Favorite Social Media Personality. Natalie Mars wins Favorite Trans Model. These are the only names I recognise. Whatever, I'm trying to quit porn.

16 Dec
After writing a full fucking book in 2019, summarising an entire decade of music, I loudly announced my retirement. I was super cereal too, but as 2020 went on, I kept listening, and I came out the other side with a very obvious top 50 again. Goddamnit! What was I to do? I eventually worked it out: The Top 50 Albums of 2020 but stripped back, a sentence or two per release, no colourful icing, no profound conclusions, just a well-ordered list with a thought or two. It took no time at all! It did wonders for my mental health!

17 Dec
Because Star Wars is Bible to some, I felt compelled to pay respects to Jeremy Bulloch who played Boba Fett in the Star Wars franchise. Complications from Parkinson's disease, 75.

18 Dec
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (49/50): Food is so annoying you gotta just keep buying it like forever wtf.

19 Dec
With an estimated net worth of US$153.5 billion, Forbes labels Elon Musk the second-richest person in the world.
Pencilmation Script: Duel Intentions. Additional Writer for Joe West.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2020 (50/50): What’s worse than when the person next to you is snoring? When they’re dead.
London is suddenly announced to enter Tier 4 lockdown, meaning people can only meet outside and in groups of two among other things. I found this funny for exactly one day... [TBC]

20 Dec
[CONT'D] Around here I could see a Depression Train in the distance. It was racing towards me, screaming its whistle about how I would be flattened and alone for Xmas. I found it hilarious. Pfffft, that tiny thing? What harm could something so small possibly do? And then it was like... depth perception, bitch! BAM!
2020 had its turbulences for everyone, but for me, this was pancake time. The worst I felt the whole year, which is strange considering we're 11 days away from ending the most atrocious year our current society has seen. I was so close to a clean report card, but life never works that way. Anyway, so I wanted to die and was eating so many pills I was probably making my calorie count until I realised I was in big trouble. So I did the usual haha Jared laugh for help on Facebook two days later, some people heard the message between the lines and a bunch of ears let me vent into them. That dismantled some of the washing machine from my brain and I managed to meet up wtih some faces over the next several days. Thanks to everyone involved.
New COVID strain unlocked! Highly infectious. Spreadings like mad across Europe and Australia. Borders were shut fast and furiously.

21 Dec
Every 20 years we have the great conjunction, where Jupiter and Saturn appear closest in the sky. Today was that day, the closest since 1623. Tons of good photos online but for the UK the general consensus was "clouds".
So much Sectlinefor promo going on that we forgot to release the tracklisting. Whoops! You can read the 10 titles here.

22 Dec
Around here it becomes known that Twitter will be resetting the 33.2M Followers from the @POTUS account once Biden takes over, all the way back down to zero.
Tuck Tucker was an animation artist who you've never heard of. However, you are aware of his work as he's stamped his name on cartoon shows such as SpongeBob SquarePants, The Simpsons, Rugrats, Family Guy, and Drawn Together to name a few. I'm not sure why but he died at age 59.

24 Dec
Like some fucking Xmas miracle, the UK and the EU agree to a comprehensive free trade agreement just in time. This includes 90-days of visa-free travel in any 180-day period, which for me is like, all I wanted tbh. Fuck the fish, leave them alone.
Remember the girl I could only half-bang on the 12th of Dec due to the excessive Pregabalin/Valium doses? Well, I stopped those, found her again, and did the job right this time. We were both much happier people for it, fuck Tier 4, Happy Xmas Eve. She's lovely too, I hope I get to see her again.

25 Dec
Xmas day! With my brain still slightly wobbly from depression, perhaps spending Jesus' birthday shoving narcotics into my face was a bad idea. I fell back into a bad hole, watching rom coms in bed for two days until I got my power back. Just in time too, otherwise this article would have never happened.

26 Dec
After quite the hype, the band The Kunts fail to get their song Boris Johnson Is a Fucking Cunt to Xmas #1. They reached #5 though, which is still very respectable!
I won the lotto! £2.50! Woohoo! That means I won a total of £14.90 this year, which is basically a free month of playing! Score?
Pencilmation Script: Flick and Tired.

27 Dec
The number of confirmed worldwide COVID-19 cases reaches 80 million. With our average 13,000 a death day tally, we'll probably hit 2,000,000 fatalities around the second week of 2021.

30 Dec
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is approved in the UK.
Argentina legalises abortion, the third country to do so in South America.
I wrote this article and you made it all the way to the end. Claim your free muffin anytime you see me!


So there we go, done. Another overly-long article read by me and perhaps the year itself, if years can even read, idk, why do I even do this to myself? Nobody views at these pieces, is what I'm getting at. I receive roughly one hit per each hour I work on them, it's nuts. But I suppose it has something to do with respect. And tradition. Tbh, I've started to grow worried about what will happen if I don't write them.

Looking back at my previous yearly letters (and there are 11 of them, let it be known), I usually conclude with a bunch of other useless waffle followed by a section praising my achievements from the year. Now, as much as I love waffles, I thought I'd skip straight to the part where I talk about #me, so let's get to it and reflect on what I managed to churn out from my brain to my fingers to the outside reality. I apologise for how self-centred this may seem, but truthfully, it serves as a record for me. I often refer back to these, measuring myself against myself, ensuring I am beating me up year after year.

One regard of my life that I am infinitely grateful for is that my job was unaffected by this airborne monster. Pencilmation continues to thrive with billions of annual viewers. We're so close to 18 million subscribers, it's killing me. And while my scriptwriting credits appear fewer this year, I was still a vital part of most episodes' creation as my IMDB profile proves. I was also working on many behind-the-scenes projects that should come to life in 2021, shhhh. And the fact that I'm getting paid to write cartoons for a living has not lost its awe. I still wake each day with the sunshine beaming from my nipples.

As for my blog (this one), I wrote 15 pieces, two more than last year, SUCK IT, 2019. Sure, some of them were a couple of sentences long while others were merely advertisements for my web-series, but still... some of them weren't! Some of them were uber long! Dear 2020, for example. And that David Icke one, ugh.

And, of course, the most potent names are always obscured by the curtain. This year I learned how to mould text into Kindle products, starting with my 250 Best Albums of the Decade book (buy it!), setting up my next title for a 14th of February 2021 release. It's called Heartbreak Sucks! How to Get Over Your Break Up in 30 Days, so that's a biggie, which you can preorder already, and should. And if I told you how many other books are in the working machine, you'd be scared. Ok, I'll tell you. 13. My goal is to write one book a year until I die. Wish me luck! About the dying part, not the books. Can't wait!

Speaking of "2020 projects only coming next year", my band Sectlinefor recorded our third album this year, titled Kissing Strangers during an Outbreak. It's coming on the 19th of February, five days after the Heartbreak book. A new album and book in one week. It just kinda happened that way. It's very stressful. Anyway, a proper-proper music video will be out in Jan for that, but this year we did manage to push out a lyric video for our song Double Blue Tick of lol. Watch it!

One project I consider a failure this year is my film/web series/fictional travel vlog, Definitely Not a Cry for Help. I wanted to finish it in 2020 and move on, but I wasted so much time disproving conspiracy theories that I only managed to spit out two chapters. This means there are four to go. I've delegated the necessary time in my head to do so next year. Let's see if it works that way. Historically, it does not.

Regardless, I did reskin my old portfolio and turned it into an art hub where all my work can sit happily in a circle holding hands. My pride glows, I update it as often as I can, I highly recommend you waste some time there. Jared Woods Saved My Life. Great name too, right? RIGHT.

Now for the biggie because nothing could surely be bigger. Everything I've done before, be it record albums or write books or film movies or whatever... those are great, but everyone knows someone who has done such stuff before. However, as it stands, I am the only person I know personally who has legit started a religion. It's called Janthopoyism, and it's completely transformed my life as I hope it does yours. The scripture is halfway through, and it's picking up momentum rather rapidly, strangers emailing me with immense praise and shit. I suggest you join the mailing list now before it becomes a massive movement and I grow my hair long again while wearing a white tunic, standing on a giant rock, waiting for someone to shoot me.

We have to mention the #legobiscuits, don't we? These guys continued to march on strong, crossing the 600 line and not stopping to breathe, a new soldier pretty much every weekday. Follow me on Instagram for a good time, baby.

Furthermore, a brand new art project made its appearance this year, namely Monstrocities. These travel stops turned into pencil-drawn pencil crayon-coloured beasts were unusual in my canon because they shunned digital involvement—a risk considering I never could stay in the lines. Twenty of them done, hopefully many more to come!

Obviously, the crowbar of COVID did smash me backwards in many regards. How many live bands did I see? None. But considering the pandemic, I did reasonably well with my travels. All over Peru, then to Rio in Brazil, then jumping around the USA: Orlando, Miami, Washington DC, Philadelphia, and New York; each of those places were new to me. I also watched New York fall when it became the disease's epicentre, which I consider a tremendously petrifying 2020 experience. I even snuck around the UK sometime later. Liverpool to Edinburgh to Belfast then a cheeky slip over to Dublin. It's not a lot to boast, but it's more than most. I'm itching to run away again though, whew, that's a big feeling.

As for exercise, Strava informs me that I spent 94 hours running this year, covering 786km distance in total. Last year I was only 391.6km, so again, suck it. There were no cigarettes in 2020 either but damn, I was close. I'm also inches from becoming a full ovo-vegetarian, no dairy for me, thanks. That's an environmental decision above a health one though.

Let's talk about sex now. Truthfully, my libido has dropped substantially, and it's like women can smell my lack of interest. I fucked more girls this year than any other in my life. Although maybe that's because I finally learned how to use Tinder. Either way, appreciated. If you are one of those females, much love to you. Thank you for making a boy happy.

My 2020 Goodreads reading challenge was 10 books, and I smashed it with 13. Some hardly count due to their length, but others massively do, so they balance. It's a pity because I'm halfway through another book, but I guess that'll give me a decent headstart next year.

When writing this article, the most glaring surprise was my mental health. I lost control of the handlebars on occasion, true, but never anything to write a suicide note about. Maybe it's an age thing, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of the brain chess game. It's an automated system, it knows what to do, and even when I slip up, I recognise what it is, salute the process, and react accordingly. In 2020, I was the furthermost away from killing myself than ever before and did not have a single panic attack. Sorry to sound super hippie, but I owe a lot of it to spirituality. The mind doesn't have all the answers. Our emotions tell us everything we need to know. Did I mention I started a religion?

There appears to be a curse on saying something stupid like "2021 will be my year!". I doubt we'll hear much of that this round. But while we've all realised we are at the mercy of the gods, there are promises. Vaccines are here, Biden kicked Trump out, the EU and the UK shook hands and made a deal. I'm not sure when, but my 2021 goal is similar to what it has been for the last while. I want to make as much art as possible, and I want to study every religion, and I want to do it all over the world. Maybe a girl will come along who can join the fun, but that's non-essential. I'm unsure when the powers will allow for my next escape, but again, I am optimistic by default.

Anyway, 2020, the point is this: we won't forget you. Like, ever. Our kids and our kids' kids will be asking us about this year. It was the first real thing that happened to anyone born after the war. And literally everyone was involved. Killer move, dude. Seriously impressive. Way to make your mark. You were the star of this show, not me nor anyone else, and I couldn't love you more for it.

Just please... please tell 2021 to place it back to normal. I super want to go to Paris.

Lots of love,
Jared Woods