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Thursday, 30 December 2021

Dear 2021,

Dear 2020: Here we fucking go again This letter is a letter of resignation, not just honouring your departure but also respectfully handing in mine.

I try to hang onto an aura of positivity as I write these end of year summaries, yet one can always hear the coughs of exhaustion between the lines. It's not fair because I freaking loved you, 2021! You were the first year since 2016 where the global news graph appeared to bounce upwards. You were a testament to human resilience, learning to keep the capitalist system chugging along even when clogged by disease. Maybe we wanted more, but you delivered on what we begged for: a little dab of relief, a thin slice of normality, an optimistic whisper of a brighter tomorrow. Every day was a minuscule improvement on the one that came before, and I appreciated that, my friend. I appreciated it so much that I sacrificed my Xmas holiday to do you justice and celebrate you correctly. I would not dare let you leave without the proper send-off! But, as I sit here squeezing out the final drips of articulation, I fear my fatigue dampens the enthusiasm. Forgive me.

I've forced out this annual blog 13 times now. And while I'm masochistically stoked by my dedication, I also note that it's insane. I wonder who I'm writing these for. Carike? Wilme? Has it transformed into superstition where I've convinced myself that some cosmic yearly order expects me to churn out these reminiscences? If I drop the ball, will the message reach the subsequent months, and will I be punished for my negligence? Where the fuck did that thought come from? Did you put it there?

Part of my weariness stems from 2020. Standing unchallenged as the champion year of disaster, my letter to that collection of time was equally poorly received. Admittedly, I was a bit unrestricted with the kiss-and-tell aspect of my personal account. I often forget that people don't like it when someone writes about their lives on the internet. I don't get it, I'd love that, myself. Although maybe I should come with a splash screen before I enter a room that reads, "Warning: if you make an impact on Jared's life, you agree to be documented in his public narrative. Events may be dramatised for better entertainment". At least y'all know I'm not hiding anything.

The 2020 blog backlash was so severe that I convinced myself to not go through with it again. What's more, the idea of scrapping an article that receives around two views per every hour of work actually seemed like a sensible business move in the greater perspective of my mental resource. But then it occurred to me: how would I remember my life if I didn't document every minute detail? I don't have a memory anymore. I've grown dependent on digitally outsourcing the data for years. So here we go again, I guess. And maybe, just maybe, this time, I have located the ideal balance between openly displaying my person for public consumption while not dragging unsuspecting victims into the murky spotlight with me. How'd I do? Let me know in the comments.

In the end, I should be proud of this monumental undertaking. Don't lie to me that you're not impressed by such a comprehensive reference piece, unmatched by any other online, and arguably the best argument I have that there's something terribly wrong with me, please someone help or at least pay me. Could I interest you in buying this article? We can create an NFT out of it, price it upwards of a billion dollars, then join the space race or invest in a new vaccine called the GOAT jab, guaranteed to protect you from all the sus variants as well as cancel culture, plus it gets you super high. That shit hits different, and I'm here for it. Did you guys see how current I am based on those previous sentences? Flex your wokeness. Fire emoji.

Ok so some quick context before I drop you in the thick of it: 2020 ended in the shivering London winter during the harshest of UK lockdowns yet. I had settled in a Stoke Newington household with nine other individuals, and the depression monster was suffocating me in ways I hadn't experienced for a thousand moons or more. Although, I hear that was a common mood? I was single, and I felt it. I was still working for Pencilmation and I recognised the blessing. But above all, I wanted to unravel the mysteries of the Universe by viewing each electron as a duplicated god, demonstrating unique attributes to perceive itself through different perspectives developed by individual timelines, each narrative forming its own facts of existence, perhaps only an objective wireframe on which an infinite amount of subjective realities reside, yet ultimately functioning as a singular organism when considered collectively. Or maybe nothing exists except for me. Hey, have you ever heard of Janthopoyism? That shit is dope.

As per usual, this piece was rushed, favouring content over quality writing. Please don't judge me on this. Just notice me and love me. Here's to you, 2021.

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

ICON DESCRIPTION
Personal stuff that relates to me.
Notable people who died.
General news, often of a political nature.
COVID-19 news.
Some big event.
Disasters, often natural.
Internet related news.
Music related news.
Film/TV related news.
Science/Technology related news.
Award ceremonies.
Gigs I went to.
Trips I went on.
Books I read.
Articles I wrote/Juice Nothing related news.
Related to the religion I founded, Janthopoyism.
Information about my Heartbreak book.
Scripts I wrote for Pencilmation.
News about my band, Sectlinefor.
Funpowder Plot news (usually about my film).
Art stuff I did all by myself.
Traditional drawings of the Jarexit Monstrocities series.
News about my quest for fame.
Money I won.
The King/Queen of 2018.
Mental Health Checkup.
Worthy social media posts.


Dear 2020, January: patriot-idiots storm the Capitol, Biden swears he'll be a good president, Bitcoin ejaculates upwards, Larry King pegs it, Phil Spector is no more, Reddit peeps show they are boss and mess with the Gamestop stock

01 Jan
The 2021 countdown occurred in my bestie's apartment. Ammr and I were mostly doing what we do best: working! Shoving out those hours for Sectlinefor's new music video while sipping on a beer or two. We enjoyed some fireworks from his balcony and that was it. Considering lockdown was in full force and we weren't supposed to be doing anything, it was rather pleasant!
Sadly, this slight lift was merely a smile emoji blip on the overall graph of my psyche at this stage. Despite being one of the few humans who appreciated the previous year, my mental house of cards toppled right at the end, which was well documented over at Dear 2020. Entering the year with an icy UK lockdown winter was one thing. Having no family to hang with over Xmas was another. But I did my best to ensure I had the worst time possible by chowing an infinite amount of valium and pregabalin, some days feeling like I may be teetering on an overdose, which somehow felt worse than it sounds. Pregabalin, in particular, has an evil reputation for withdrawal symptoms, an effect I was wholly unaware of yet set 2021 in bad motion when I innocently flushed my stash for "new year new me" beginnings. One order of rough fucking ride, coming right up!
The African Continental Free Trade Area kicks off, opening free trade between 54 African Union nations. Nice!
Weighing around 320 kg, Barry Austin was reportedly the UK's fattest man. Fatal heart attack at 52.

04 Jan
The Qatar and Saudi Arabia border reopens.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces lockdown III and I distinctly remember thinking "I can't do this".
Actress Tanya Roberts has many decent credits to her name (Charlie's Angels, A View to a Kill, Sheena) but I'll always remember her from That '70s Show. A urinary tract infection advanced to sepsis and killed her at 65.
Vocalist and founding member of Children of Bodom, Alexi Laiho, actually died 29 December 2020, but nobody knew until today. He was 41.

05 Jan
They say we must talk about our mental health no matter how much it makes us cringe, and I let mine escape here.
Jonas Neubauer was a seven-time champion at the Classic Tetris World Championship. After a sudden cardiac arrhythmia, he died at 39.

06 Jan
So early in the year yet still surely the craziest most memorable event of 2021 was when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, causing Congress to evacuate. Five people to died. We're still dealing with it.
What added an extra surreal layer to my experience with the above is that I was suffering from immense insomnia brought on by depression and pregabalin withdrawal. I watched this drama unfurl on the news, feeling especially heartbroken because I'd marvelled over that wonderful building less than a year previous, yet I could not keep my eyes open. It felt like my duty to stay conscious, but brain said no, and I finally crashed. As America wept, I slept, and I actually woke up in the morning for the first time that year. The relief I felt overpowered any sadness I harnessed for America. And, to be honest, everything gradually normalised from here, don't you think? Society started to find its feet and became progressively better almost on the daily, as if we'd finally hit the low from years of spiral and were now bouncing back. This sentiment rang very true for my personal life too, measurably improving by the second right until the end of the year.

07 Jan
Due to the Capitol drama, Facebook indefinitely bans Donald Trump from their service. Twitter permanently bans him the next day. Over the coming weeks, many platforms executed the same orders, including Instagram, Tiktok, YouTube, Twitch, and Reddit. The social network Parler (where Trump fans fester) receives much the same treatment, removed from Apple and Google Play.
Elon Musk officially becomes the world's richest person, with a net worth of $185 billion.

08 Jan
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (1/50): When times get tough, remember that somewhere right now, a doggo is super excite for walkies.

09 Jan
Received my Pencilmate plushie in the mail a few days before which inspired some self-reflection here. I see we also surpassed 18 million subscribers around now so yay.

10 Jan
On the 21st June 2020, I wrote an article predicting this date would be the end of the world based on some code I deciphered from general Bowie shit. I was wrong, which some say is a good thing, but others, not so much.

12 Jan
According to my notes, today was the first day of the year that I felt capable of my usual routine. I was so depressed the weeks before that I even told my boss that I couldn't bring myself to work. He responded that part of hiring writers was knowing we are a little damaged, and I could take as much time as needed. This is what healthy work-life looks like.
Finished reading Hashtag Authentic: Finding creativity and building a community on Instagram and beyond by Sara Tasker. I don't think I was exactly the target market (it's more for photographers) but I enjoyed it enough to give it a 3/5. Full review on Goodreads.

13 Jan
Donald Trump is impeached for a second time, the first POTUS to ever boast the honour. He was acquitted soon following.
The first double arm/shoulders transplant EVER is successful in Lyon, France.
In 2004, Lisa Marie Montgomery strangled Bobbie Jo Stinnett to death then cut her unborn baby from the womb. Montgomery was executed by lethal injection today, the first female since 1953. The now-teenage baby is still alive and well.
Sylvain Sylvain was the guitarist for the infinitely influential New York Dolls. Cancer got him at the tragic but also hilarious age of 69.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (2/50): I’m never going to get married because I don’t want to kiss a girl in front of my parents, that’s just awkward.

15 Jan
Quite an interesting socially distanced Tinder date this evening. She was one of the heroes working in a London hospital, specifically administering the vaccine's initial doses and monitoring their reactions. Due to conspiracy whispers, I wisely used my time to subtly pry into her higher knowledge while investigating her eyes for any reptilian sparkle. She explained that people shouldn't worry about microchips as much as they should worry about the vaccine not working, which really stuck with me. Her nightmare stories about seven people dying in her ward on average per day during peak COVID also made me feel yuck. I realised that conspiracy theorists just needed to speak face-to-face with medical professionals who dealt with the virus to understand the seriousness here.

However, in hindsight, it was a terrible date. For starters, we drank some mulled wine, completely forgetting about my Dry Jan commitment. D'oh! Furthermore, a few hours after our meet, she found my blog. This blog. Needless to say, she was less than pleased with the Dear 2020 contents, taking issue with my lack of private life and stating there was something blatantly wrong with me. This coming from a medical professional! I was so vulnerable in Jan that her words caused nausea, and I strongly questioned my digital output here and for the rest of the year. There are more people with things as we go on. Ugh.
Official COVID global death toll passes two million.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (3/50): Being gay is not a choice otherwise I would have already chosen it years ago.

16 Jan
Multiple women come forward about actor Armie Hammer, some accusing him of violently raping them while others claim he expressed deep desires to eat them. Armie denied these allegations but wtf!
Notable crazy man but also one of the most influential music producers of all time, Phil Spector, died today at age 81 due to COVID complications. His passing happened in prison after he was found guilty of shooting actress Lana Clarkson dead, a ruling that surprised no one because of his wild history with guns. Regardless, his "Wall of Sound" technique changed the game, and I was always a big fan of his work on Let It Be.
I won the lotto! £2.5!

19 Jan
By this time, Bitcoin had already exploded, making many people very rich, including some savvy friends of mine. Today, Elon Musk added #Bitcoin to his Twitter handle, and it shot up even higher. It was a hot topic all year, people cheering as they made top dollar and then crying when they lost it all again.

20 Jan
Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States. Kamala Harris becomes Vice President, the first woman, the first Asian American, and the first African American to do so. Biden immediately rejoins the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, plus ends the 2017 travel bans plus cuts all funding to the Mexico border wall. He repealed the ban on transgender military personnel some days later. Thank Jesus. Small concerns aside, Biden is fucking way better than Trump. Even if you're an American who supported Donald, please recognise the sliver of optimism that the entire rest of the world has gradually gained more respect for you over 2021. It's been a while, brah!
You don't get news bigger than the above, but weirdly, Bernie Sanders Wearing Mittens Sitting in a Chair stole the show. Photoshoppers went wild, definitely one of the most (over)used memes of early 2021.

21 Jan
Last year's 2020 blog was the article that kept on giving. The girl on the 12th and the 24th of Dec? She read it and wasn't happy about the content. It was not so much her mentions, but how openly I spoke about my other romantic relationships. Needless to say, after a (very civil!) exchange on this day, I never saw her again. The bricks stack up against me. I felt rubbish, like I've been doing my entire life a little wrong.
The Glastonbury Festival announces its 2021 cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

22 Jan
In effect today: Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons! The first legally binding international agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons, hoping to eventually eliminate them completely.
As Wall Street bet against the obviously failing GameStop to make quick cash, Reddit's r/WallStreetBets decided to fight against the man, buying tons of stock and driving up the price by more than 600%. Lots of rich people lost a lot of money and threw their toys, provoking trading platforms to restrict the activity. But everyone was watching and it was too late. The people again prove that we hold all the power.
Easy come, easy go, but in January, Nathan Evans' Tiktok sea shanties were all the rage. His Wellerman racked up 8 million views, and he released an official version of Polydor Records today.
Ron Campbell was an animator who worked on many projects you've heard of such as Yellow Submarine, Sesame Street, Scooby-Doo, The Smurfs, The Jetsons, DuckTales, Winnie the Pooh, Rugrats, Darkwing Duck, and Ed, Edd n Eddy to name just the ones I wanted to. Today he passed at 81.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (4/50): I don’t need you to agree with me. I don’t need you at all.

23 Jan
One of the most recognised television/radio hosts was Larry King, having conducted more than 50,000 interviews in his time. At age 87, he died from sepsis after being hospitalised from COVID.

24 Jan
Thanks to an amalgamation of strict lockdowns and my mental health rendering me bed-ridden, I pulled my authority card and postponed the completion of Sectlinefor's video, which knocked the release date back too. Everyone was very understanding. Announcement here. God, it's pretty painful to think back to myself during these days. I was struggling so badly!!!
Frank Shankwitz was the co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He died from oesophageal cancer at 77.

25 Jan
Disney+ limits certain films from younger viewers (such as The Aristocats, Peter Pan, and Dumbo) due to outdated cultural depictions (aka racism).

26 Jan
100+ million worldwide confirmed COVID-19 cases.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (5/50): Sorry I blogged about having sex with you.

27 Jan
I remember it was difficult, but I managed to release two new pieces of Janthopoyism scripture (Knowing When to Shut the Hell and Knowing When to Let It All Out) kicking off Book 4. Sadly, I cannot link those at the moment as everything Jantho was later hidden unless you were a subscriber. So why not become one?
Cloris Leachman was an actress for more than seven decades. She won eight Primetime Emmy Awards, and with her 22 nominations, makes her the most nominated and awarded in Emmy history. She's also won an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award. She died in her sleep at age of 94, with reports of a stroke and COVID-19.

29 Jan
EU is so pissed off at the UK about vaccine supplies that they invoke Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. Everyone told them they looked stupid so they reversed the decision.
Hilton Valentine was the original guitarist in The Animals. The intro of The House of the Rising Sun is all him. He died today at age 77, no reports state how why what where.

30 Jan
Big one for me: Sophie was an insanely brilliant electronic/harsh pop musician whose one and only album, Oil of Every Pearl's Un-Insides (2018), was placed in my book The 250 Best Albums of the Decade at #62. Tragically, she fell off the roof of some Athens apartment and died from her injuries at age 34. I really really loved her. She had a lot more art to give this world.

Misc.
And thus ends the most difficult month in recent memory and beyond. According to my notes, The Great Depression started on the 20th of December 2020 and took over 20 days to stabilise, my lowest since November 2017.
But I look back with pride that I never gave up, standing against my mental adversaries with every weapon I could fathom. Those included no alcohol (bar the accidental mulled win lapse on the 15th); no drugs; no dairy (a decision I largely held throughout the year); no takeaway; no junk food; and a general gluten avoidance, as well as running 121.97km. I tried to quit porn too but failed. Regardless, it's safe to say I was pretty chuffed with my achievements, and again, this type of forward momentum in the face of turmoil set the precedent of 2021. From here on out, I fucking smashed it, bro.

Dear 2020, February: good boy rover runs around mars, I release my book Heartbreak Sucks how to get over your ex in 30 days lol, Daft Punk dissolve, Prince Harry and Megan say fuck you to England, Mr Potato Head loses his gender, that old guy who walked around his garden died a hero

01 Feb
100 million vaccinations worldwide done.
After Evan Rachel Wood accused Marilyn Manson of sexually abusing her, four other woman came forward with similar stories. Manson is promptly dropped from his label and TV projects despite his denials. Various ex-partners came forward to his defence. Personally, if my teenage years spent studying the dude are anything to go by, there were plenty of warning signs.
Famed train wreck Dustin Diamond died today at age 44 from small cell carcinoma of the lungs. Most people remember him as Screech from Saved by the Bell, but I could never forget his home made sex tape where he fingered one female's butt then rubbed said finger on another female's upper lip. Not that I've seen it.

02 Feb
After 26 years, Jess Bezos steps down as Amazon's CEO.
At the ripe age of 99, Captain Tom Moore became a UK hero by walking one hundred lengths of his garden to raise money for the NHS in 2020. His goal was £1,000. He managed £32.79 million. The interest in his life skyrocketed, everyone learning that he was a British Army officer who served in India during WW2. He turned 100, was knighted by the Queen, then died today from pneumonia although he also tested positive for COVID.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (6/50): Sometimes I catch myself talking to myself and then all three of us shut up.

03 Feb
Tessica Brown goes viral after she explains how using Gorilla Glue on her hair was a bad idea, as it became completely fixed in place permanently. Everyone tried to post solutions until she ended up in hospital while Gorilla Glue wished her well while reminding everyone that they are a fucking adhesive. After empty threats of suing the company for not explicitly stating as much on the label, she underwent a four-hour surgery on February 11th to fix it.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (7/50): Spread dopamine wherever you are, and the world will follow wherever you go.

04 Feb
In further proof that I have no idea what's going on, Scientists announce that they've taught spinach plants to send emails when they forsee a drought coming.

05 Feb
The Framing Britney Spears docco is released, adding monumental force behind the #freebritney movement.
Lil Uzi Vert announces that he's implanted a 10-carat pink diamond in his forehead, worth $24 million. Wait, why are artists complaining they don't make enough money anymore? A crowd member ripped it out in September, but he got it back.
Black Country, New Road drop their debut For the First Time, which I go on to call the best album of 2021.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (8/50): Just imagine you’re me for a second. Pretty cool, huh?

06 Feb
Breaking 886 days of not smoking, I finally have a full cigarette today and another one tomorrow. It was for an art project, I swear! I gave the rest of the box away. I think I smoked a further 4 cigarettes over lockdown, they were horrible, I have no interest in going back.

07 Feb
Super Bowl LV. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated Kansas City Chiefs, 31–9. The Weeknd performed the halftime show to mixed reaction but plenty of memes.

08 Feb
Mary Wilson was a founding member of The Supremes, the best-charting female group in U.S. history. Hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease got her at 76.

09 Feb
Uploaded today was that video where attorney Rod Ponton signs into a District Court of Texas Zoom meeting with a cat filter on. He struggles to remove it and utters the now infamous line "I am not a cat".

10 Feb
From today until the 27th, Texas got fucked by power failures and mad winter storms, causing $195 billion damage and between 210 and 702(??) deaths.
Larry Flynt was best know as the publisher for the pornographic magazine Hustler. The People vs. Larry Flynt was a great film about him, I loved it. Heart failure, 78.

12 Feb
The Chinese movie Hi Mom earns US$848 million, making it the third highest-grossing non-English film of all time and the highest-grossing film by a solo female director EVER.

14 Feb
Happy Valentine's Day! To celebrate I finally released my loooong awated book Heartbreak Sucks! How to Get Over Your Breakup in 30 Days. First announced two years ago on this date, I was so happy to put it behind me. And while it didn't make me billions and blast my ass into the stars, the feedback was solid and I am still confident my program will help someone somewhere. If not, the bunny illustrations are dope. Purchase and review it on Amazon UK or Amazon US or just search for it on your local machine. Goodreads here!
On a side note, a tiny bit of decent Heartbreak Sucks press dotted about the underground, so here's a dump of those: The Faerie Review, Pages and Paws, Liliyana Shadowlyn, The Book Self Blog, Quiet Fury Books, Amy Shannon, and The Book Worm.
Today also seemed like a good day to model my new face masks as well as show off my entire collection. Check out my infinite swagness.

15 Feb
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (9/50): Fuck money, homie, how many countries you been to? How many times have you fallen in love? How old were you when you first realised all living beings were merely components of one singular organism?

16 Feb
Bernard Lown was a cardiologist and inventor, best known for developing the life-saving defibrillator treatment. Annoyingly, he suffered from congestive heart failure and ultimately died from it. Then again, he was 99 which proves he knew a thing or two about survival.

17 Feb
Rush Limbaugh was a hugely famous radio personality whose views on almost everything conflicted with mine. Still, can't deny the facts, he was the most-listened-to radio personality in the US, 2019. At age 70, lung cancer got him.
Fianlly kicking Monstrocities back into gear, here comes weekly beasts from 2020's Jarexit III: The Americas! Starting with The Sacred Valley. Full collection here!
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (10/50): For minimised risk, turn your suicidal thoughts into a stand-up comedy routine.

18 Feb
NASA's Perseverance rover lands on Mars, seven months after launch.

19 Feb
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announce they will not return as working members of the Royal Family. A few weeks later (8 March), the couple is interviewed by Oprah Winfrey, with many accusations of racism against the royals. The next day, Piers Morgan was his usual loud dick self about it, and after a record-breaking 57,121 complaints, he quit Good Morning Britain. Something related happened to Sharon Osbourne here, but I lost interest.
The Supreme Court rules Uber drivers as workers not self-employees, therefore entitled to minimum wage and holiday pay.
Kim Kardashian officially files for divorce from Kanye West.
One of New York's most iconic sculptures is the Charging Bull outside the New York Stock Exchange. I've seen it and I loved it. It was a gift to the city by sculptor Arturo Di Modica, who died today at age 80 from cancer.

20 Feb
The engines failed almost right after United Airlines Flight 328 took off from Denver towards Honolulu. Bits were falling off of it, metal raining to the ground below. 24 minutes later, it landed, all 241 people uninjured. Due to similar incidents, most airlines have grounded their Boeing 777-200s.

22 Feb
After 28 years, Daft Punk announce their split. Balls!

23 Feb
After Australia proposed legislation that would force a "fairer" payment process between news sources and tech giants, Facebook threw a hissy and banned all news from their platform in that country. Google also wasn't happy, but when the world backlashed, Facebook u-turned, and order was restored.
This is dumb, but my notes recall that today I mistakenly ate some coleslaw with dairy in it. On the one hand, I am a little gutted every time I fail on my mission of conscious eating. On the other hand, I used to snort coke every weekend, so I'm not sure it's worth too much worry. Truth be told, there were a few mishaps this year, but all very minor and almost always accidental.
Two new pieces of Jantho scripture dropped today, namely How to Deal with Other Human Beings, and So Does Prayer Work or What? The Answer May Surprise You. Again, these are currently hidden to the public, but if you want access ASAP, sign up!
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (11/50): Find what you love doing and guilt your friends into buying it from you.

24 Feb
Jarexit III: The Americas Monstrocities continue with Lima and Pucallpa. Full collection here!
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (12/50): My third eye has been pried wide open, and my fat judgemental mouth has opened with it.

25 Feb
In honour of gender-neutrality, Hasbro announce that Mr. Potato Head will now simply be known as Potato Head.

26 Feb
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (13/50): Getting old is good. It means you haven’t died yet.

27 Feb
Once in a lifetime correlation between Instagram content and our current year, today I celebrated my 2021st post with this selfie.

28 Feb
The 78th Golden Globe Awards hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler again. The Crown won four (most). Nomadland best drama. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm best comedy. Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom best drama actor. Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday best drama actress. Sacha Baron Cohen in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm best comedy/musical actor. Rosamund Pike in I Care a Lot best comedy/musical actress. General reception was "bad".

Misc.
February as a whole was noticeably edging upwards into realms of easier stokedness. COVID was fizzling down into more digestible matter. I was exercising quite a bit and was bonding with my nine housemates over regular drinks. The only curious thing was my excess porn viewing finally turning to ick. I really did a number on myself during these lockdowns. So much time dedicated to this grossness every day, and for the first time in my decades of consuming filth did I notice its effect on my spirit, punching holes into my soul. I made many decisions and tried many angles to defeat this beast, a theme that ran throughout the year.

Dear 2020, March: blood clots are the latest trend, that boat got stuck like a fool, Beeple sells NFTs and becomes a rich man, Dr Seuss is a racist in hindsight, Norther Ireland burn Brexit, Taoism and the Tao Te Ching make me a better man

01 March
Last year August, Pencilmation came under (false!) fire for not paying artists enough. It exploded on Twitter, with many employees and ex-employees joining the debate on either side. The evidence presented was 100% fake but it still caused some stress on our side. Anyway, today YouTuber DaftPina released a video investigating which included an interview with Ross the Boss. I thought we came out on the good side here! Because we are.
Download Festival announces 2021 cancellation. The next day, The Isle of Wight Festival announces their re-scheduling.

02 March
Dr. Seuss Enterprises announce that six books (And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat's Quizzer) will no longer be republished due to racist imagery. Naturally, the right-wing screamed about Woke Culture gone wrong.
Dolly Parton gets vaccinated. Just under a year previous, it came out that she'd donated $1 million for research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which went on to develop Moderna.
Bunny Wailer was an original member The Wailers along with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, winning three Grammys in his life. Stroke complications killed him at 73. There are no original Wailers left now.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (14/50): "How often do you masturbate?
AS OFTEN AS IT TAKES."

03 March
Austria suspends the AstraZeneca vaccine over blood clot concerns after two persons developed the ailment, one dying. While the link remains very low (1 in 100,000) or even questionable, many countries followed suit, including Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. I agree with the decision. Tensions are so high, the vaccine fear is so real, you don't need to add more panic to the panic.
Jarexit III: The Americas Monstrocities continue with Rio de Janeiro. Full collection here!

04 March
The UK gets its first Amazon cashierless grocery store.

05 March
Announced around here that Lola Bunny would be less sexualised in the upcoming Space Jam sequel in hopes of better representing strong female leads. Naturally, mid-30-year old right-wing men online simply could not handle it. It's also worth noting that Pepé Le Pew is completely absent from the film, which kinda sucks, because I loved those cartoons, but is also kinda understandable, because he was probably the most rapey animated character of all time.
My interview on the Douglas Coleman Show was launched today. I thought it was going to be a piece about my Heartbreak Sucks! book, but it turned out to cover various Jared-related projects, including #legobiscuits, Pencilmation, and my ancient debut novel, This is Your Brain on Drugs. People really loved it, including one girl who had blanked me years ago, suddenly getting in touch to organise a date. Success!

06 March
Around here I surpassed 3,000 Insta followers and decided to pay the energy forward by giving props to these five superior artists.
Lou Ottens died today at age 94. Working under Philips, he invented the cassette tape and played a big role in developing the compact disc.

07 March
Lars-Göran Petrov was the death metal singer for Entombed. He died at 49 from bile duct cancer.

09 March
The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights becomes the first song to ever spend a year in the Billboard Top 10. It also ultimately became the all-time longest charting song on the Hot 100 at 90 weeks.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (15/50): I used to think I was a rockstar, turns out I was just another drug addict.

10 March
The remains of missing 33-year-old Sarah Everard are discovered in Kent woodland. Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens was arrested for the crime. He confessed his guilt and was sentenced to life in June.
The 700th #legobiscuit!
Jarexit III: The Americas Monstrocities continue with Orlando. Full collection here!

11 March
To honour the 700th #legobiscuit, I put together this super cringy docco thing called #legobiscuits number 700. Only during lockdown would anyone put any effort into something so immediately pointless.
Speaking of #legobiscuits, around this date (I'm unsure exactly), I launched a little hub with links to the various platforms you can find the drawing collection. I know you didn't ask for it but now you have it anyway.

12 March
I've been following Beeple's art since his Insta was at 1mil, but today his superstardom skyrocketed as he embraced the NFT trend and sold a collage of 5,000 works he made. It went for $69,400,000, the fourth most expensive piece by a living artist.
Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his father, mother, two brothers, and two sisters in Amityville, Long Island, New York, 1974. The endless creative media dedicated to the Amityville Horror are because of this dude. He died in custody at 69 for unknown reasons.
Goodwill Zwelithini was the reigning King of the Zulu from 1968 until now. He died at 72 from diabetes-related illness exasperated by COVID.
Even though my IMDB credits will prove that I was still very hands-on with many Pencilmation episodes, I was recently focusing on other larger projects while new writers were shuffled into the mix. Hence why it gave me much relief to finally be permitted to speak about my main work for the last years! Announced by Animation Magazine, here is the low down on Gil Next Door, a brand new series I have written a large portion of. Sadly, it did not quite make it out in 2021, but I'm praying we at least see some episodes in 2022.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (16/50): I don’t care about this! I must comment that I don’t care about this so people know how much I don’t care about this!

13 March
After China re-released Avatar, its earnings shot up to $2,847,246,203, making it the highest grossing film of all time again.
2021 Kids' Choice Awards. Wonder Woman 1984 won best film. BTS won 5 awards. 195 people were slimed simultaneously breaking a Guinness World Record.
I finish watching all seven seasons of 30 Rock. So sharp. Appealed to the workaholic NYC lover in me. Tina Fey is a comedic genius.

14 March
The China National Space Administration lands Zhurong rover on Mars, the fourth country to reach the planet and only the second to do so with a rover.
63rd Annual Grammy Awards hosted by Trevor Noah. Beyoncé was nominated nine times, winning four, now the most-awarded woman in the show's history. Taylor Swift was nominated six times, and won Album of the Year for Folklore, now the first woman to win that award three times. The Weeknd called out the ceremony for being bullshit, and many artists agreed. Lucky for them, the 50% decline in viewership from last year made it the least in all their history.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (17/50): “Women are being raped and murdered!”
“NOT ALL WOMEN!”
Do you hear how stupid this sounds?

15 March
I'm on a mission to listen to every album ever made by every artist ever, and I curate separate Spotify playlists for each artist along the way. Around here, I launched a nice little list where you can find these collections.

16 March
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (18/50): Don’t be afraid of making terrible art.

17 March
Every year, I add a new holy book onto the pile of religious scriptures and 2021 was all about Taoism. I Read (Seven Translations of) The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu So You Don't Have To, complete with opinions and analysed extracts. I make no reservations in calling it the most profoundly inspiring text I have ever had the pleasure of investigating. You'd struggle to find an educated person who disagrees. It changed my perceptions massively, and exclusively in a good way.

Just over a week later, I announced 2022's choice, the far scarier and bulkier Secret Doctrine by Helena Blavatsky, central to the Theosophy philosophy. Still working on it, eek!
Jarexit III: The Americas Monstrocities continue with Miami. Full collection here!

19 March
North Korea and Malaysia decide not to be friends anymore because Malaysia was extraditing North Korea citizens to face money-laundering charges in the US. Malaysia then told North Korean officials that they have 48 hours to get the fuck out.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (19/50): When your art gets you laid, that’s great! When your art prevents you from getting laid, that’s even better.

21 March
Protests against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill take place in Bristol. They called it "Kill the Bill" which is a dodgy pun if there ever was one. No surprises when demonstrators attacked the police then.
Manger Things is the 700th episode of The Simpsons.

22 March
Of the roughly 470 mass shootings in the US this year, the one in King Soopers supermarket (Boulder, Colorado) was the worst. 10 dead, 2 injured. It was not considered a terrorist incident, more of a mental health issue.

23 March
Ever Given, one of the largest container ships in the world, gets stuck in the Suez Canal for six days.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (20/50): All my life, people told me to worry about stuff, so I worried about stuff, and even though none of that stuff ever came true, I could never get back those days I lost worrying about that stuff.

24 March
Despite over 170 credits to her name, actress Jessica Walter will always be Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development to me (ok, and Malory on Archer). Aged 80.
Jarexit III: The Americas Monstrocities continue with Washington D.C. Full collection here!

25 March
Finished reading Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. The man's work changed my life many years ago hence I decided to deeper pursue him, but ultimately, I felt like I already knew most of what this book had to offer. Still, I did tighten my 2021 processes because of his suggestions so I guess it means a lot than I put on (3/5). Full review on Goodreads.

29 March
After running away from the cops, dropping his gun, then complying with officers to turn around with his hands up, 13-year-old Adam Toledo was shot dead by the police sparking further protests against authorities killing people of colour.

30 March
When you're out promoting your labour, you often agree to strange things. Here's one: Savio Clemente offers life coaching sessions via his podcast, and in return, allows the guest to spam their work. Everyone wins! I chose to spoke about my conspiracy friends and their effect they were having to my wellbeing, and then attempted to sell my Heartbreak book (badly). Listen on Spotify Podcasts or Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.
Post-Brexit stresses makes Northern Ireland loyalists feel unwanted, and so they decided to fuck everything up. Huge protests explode, featuring bricks through windows and petrol bombs obliterating cars. By tyhe 9th of April, things had calmed down.
Jantho scripture? Yes. Two new bits out today: Janthopoyism vs the Law of Attraction, and Does Free Will Even Exist, Bro? This concluded Book 4. Access is forbidden to those who aren't on the mailing list, so get on it.

31 March
Tuckshop Community Radio/Three Amigos Skate Shop podcast. Interviews make me want to throw up, but not this one. Live and in person. Super casual vibes, the nicest dudes, I'd do it again. Please excuse the embarrassing amount of nu-metal conversation. In between my loud mouth yaps, I also got to spin some of my favourite songs, including the premiere of Sectlinefor's latest single, The Saddest Face in All of Existence!!! Listen on Spotify Podcasts (just my bits) or Mixcloud (full show).
Jarexit III: The Americas Monstrocities continue with Philadelphia. Full collection here!

Misc.
Without a doubt, March was the greatest 2021 month yet. A lot of this was owed to getting back into the dating game after an age of isolation. Also, spending a healthy slice of time with Ammr working on the Sectlinefor music video was just what the doctor ordered. Amazing what other people can do for your brain, huh? The Tao Te Ching also benefited. So did the sudden attention on my art. I actually felt kinda famous this last month, and I liked it.

Dear 2020, April: Table Mountain is on fire, Sectlinefor release the best music video of all time, DMX overdoses to death, Prince Phillip dies long before he dies, that catepiller cake sues its distant cousin, India can't breathe

01 April
April Fools Day! Some highlights include LEGO SmartBricks that slide away from you before you painfully step on them; The Canadian Space Agency reporting that the Perseverance rover found our missing socks; and Teletubbies Bitcoin. Usual online prank kings, Google, cancelled their tradition for the second year running due to the unfunny-ness of the pandemic.

02 April
As Russian troops build up at the Ukraine border, Putin says there's nothing to worry about while also warning NATO not to get invovled. It doesn't fill me with confidence.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (21/50): You talk about “sheeple” as if you made up that word yourself.

03 April
Cyclone Seroja attacks southern Indonesia, East Timor, and Western Australia, causing 272 fatalities and $490.7 million in damage.

05 April
Yahoo! Answers announce that they are shutting down after 16 years of service. The meme world mourned. There was some of the most batshit craziest content on there!

06 April
Arkansas bans transgender surgery, hormones and puberty blockers for youths. They are the first state to do so.
The UK halt Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine trials on children due to rare blood clot concerns. A review the next day revealed that out of 20 million people who received the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine, 79 people suffered the clots, 19 of whom died.

07 April
Concluding Jarexit III: The Americas Monstrocities with New York. Full collection here, and let's hope Jarexit IV comes out early 2022!

09 April
The first "touristy" thing I noted in 2021 was on the one-year anniversary of Dean McKee's COVID death. I didn't know him very well, but his passing hit me hard. That's when this disease became real. So, to honour his life, I visited the newly decorated National COVID Memorial Wall, where 120,000+ hearts represented those families who'd lost someone. Photos here.
After Scooter Braun acquired the masters for Taylor Swift's first six albums, the lady swore to reclaim her songs simply by re-recording them. Today she started fulfilling her promise by releasing Fearless (Taylor's Version), her second album. Not only that, but it included a buttload of additional tracks, a 26-song monster ensuring fans got their money's worth for the purchase. It's amazing when someone as huge as Taylor becomes the underdog and then still wins. I love her.
Big one: Rapper DMX was hospitalised due to a cocaine-induced heart attack a week or so before, then died from organ failure, aged 50. Hugely influential loss to the hip hop world. It's worth noting he was the first artist to debut an album at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts, five times in a row.
Another big one: Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of the Queen, was the longest-serving royal consort in history (since 1952). He died two months before his 100th birthday.

11 April
Police officer Kimberly Potter claims she tried to grab her taser but accidentally pulled out her gun and shot 20-year-old Daunte Wright dead. She is currently facing a first-degree manslaughter charge.

12 April
Good day! After barbers reopened, I got my head shaved for the first time in 2021 and then the mailman delivered me the first hardcopy version of my book. Photo of both things here! I also posted some direct quotes from the text a few days later here.

13 April
Japan decides that it's fine to dump radioactive water from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean over the course of 30 years. China, South Korea, and Taiwan express their disagreement.
The CDC and the FDA suspend Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine due to six cases of rare yet severe blood clotting.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (22/50): Normalise friends practising their oral sex techniques on one another.

14 April
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (23/50): There have been multiple moments in your life when a toilet was the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.

15 April
Scientists successfully injected human stem cells into monkey embryos. Where is your god now?
Marks & Spencer lodge an intellectual property claim against Aldi, stating that Aldi's Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake was too similar to their Colin the Caterpillar cake.

16 April
Charles Geschke cofounding Adobe and co-created the PDF document format (both with John Warnock). At age 81, he died from cancer.
Actor Felix Silla's CV is weird, including playing Cousin Itt on TV's The Addams Family, an Ewok in the Return of the Jedi, and voicing some people in The Sims 2 video game. Pancreatic cancer, 84.

17 April
Global COVID death toll surpasses three million.

18 April
Today a huge fire started up on Table Mountain in my home city of Cape Town. 400 hectares were burnt down, including part of Rhodes Memorial, the historic windmill at Mostert's Mill, and the University of Cape Town, where their Special Collections library was destroyed. Five firefighters were hospitalised. Seems like it was an arson thing.
Twelve football clubs agree to join a new breakaway European Super League. I know nothing about anything except that people around the world were majorly pissed including my friends. Two days later, Manchester City pulled out and everyone else quickly followed.

19 April
Jim Steinman wrote some killer tunes, man! Including (but not limited to) Total Eclipse of the Heart, It's All Coming Back to Me Now, and I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That). At age 73, aspiration pneumonia ended his run.

21 April
On Twitter, @starwarsposting posted the first For the Better, Right? image macro, and 2021 internet was cut to pieces by it shortly after.
After seeming to dodge it for ages, COVID smashed into India harder than anyone else ever, with 315,000 infections in 24 hours, still the highest spike to date.

23 April
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (24/50): "Before relationship: “Wow, I love your strong work ethic!”
During relationship: “You never have any time for me!”
After relationship: Sorry, did you say something?"

24 April
In April 2020, a man named Josh Swain created a Facebook message group and added every other Josh Swain on the platform, giving them coordinates and challenging them to duel on this date, one year later. The day eventually came and Josh Fight went ahead featuring people with all different names wielding pool noodles. They raised $14,000 for the Children's Hospital & Medical Center Foundation, and a five-year-old Josh was dubbed the King Josh.
41st Razzies have arrived. Absolute Proof won worst film with star Mike Lindell winning worst actor. Kate Hudson won worst actress and Sia won worst director both for Music.
1 billion vaccination doses have been jabbed around the world, although 50% of those were in the United States, China and India.

25 April
93rd Academy Awards. Nomadland won three awards, including Best Picture and Best Actress (Frances McDormand). Anthony Hopkins won best actor in The Father (the oldest winner ever, 83). It's the least-watched Oscars since 1974.

27 April
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (25/50): Ironically, the most apparent characteristic of ignorance is certainty.

28 April
So many hours spent sitting next to Ammr editing the Sectlinefor video, and I loved every single moment of it. The Saddest Face in All of Existence. Today it finally fell out of us. It's such a solid piece of work, perfect even, and I feel honoured that such talented minds played the roles they did. Without reservation, I consider it the greatest project I've been a part of, and if I never beat it, fine. Ammr is the best. I love him so much. Look what we did!!
Big clash on Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan border where 55 people were killed and 40,000 were displaced.
Michael Collins flew the Apollo 11 around the Moon while his crewmates, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, landed on the surface. FOMO! He died from cancer at age 90.
Amy Carlson aka "Mother God" was the leader of Love Has Won, a new age meets conspiracy theory cult group. Her body was found today, mummified, wrapped in xmas lights, face covered in glitter, her eyes removed. An autopsy called her cause of death "alcohol abuse, anorexia, and chronic colloidal silver ingestion", the latter of which she was consuming due to her belief it cured COVID. Several cult members have been charged with abuse of a corpse.

29 April
ITV announce that X-Factor is no more. Rejoice!
Dropped eight full pieces of Janthopoyism scripture, the entirety of Book 5: The External Worship. It's the Skew system, probably my favourite part of the entire book as the most practical and most specific to our teachings. Sadly, only members can currently access Jantho writings, but sign up now and you'll get in as soon as.

30 April
India reports 400,000 new COVID cases and over 3,500 deaths in one day, quickly becoming the most devastated country in the world. Their exports of the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine were suspended to look after the country of production. Hospitals ran out of beds and oxygen. Thankfully, by the end of May, things began to look much better.
3,000 clubbers come together to dance at Bramley-Moore Dock, Liverpool, without social distancing or mask-wearing. And it was legal! Part of a study about coronavirus transmission at events. The Download Pilot Festival tested a similar thing in June. From what I understand, no major breakouts were reported, a strong step in dealing with our strange world.

Misc.
Looking over my notes, and I was THRIVING in April. COVID numbers were dropping, lockdowns were loosening, pubs were opening, the sun was creeping out. I was exploring the city in unique ways while running at least 20km a week. I also was studying ab exercises and nutritional eating. Romantic dates were flooding while new housemates moved in, replacing the shitty old ones, all of us bonding over food and drinks. My creative projects were blasting out, and I had become obsessed with spiritual material, most specifically Taoism and Theosophy. It really was the most magical month of the year thus far, borderline peak Jared.

Dear 2020, May: Israel and Palestine are still furious, Sectinefor release the album of the year according to everyone, Texas puts god in vaginas, Friends reunion brings world peace, Sebastian the Crab was singing about sex, Sadiq Khan is the London mayor again which I support

01 May
As the United States withdrawal their 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, the Taliban begin their operation to reclaim the country.
Lubbock in Texas bans abortion, the largest US city to do so.

05 May
SpaceX flies, lands, and recovers a Starship prototype, their first time after four unsuccessful attempts. The day before, the SpaceX Crew-1 mission ends, four crew members returning to Earth from the International Space Station. Good work, Elon!
George Jung was one of the most major figures in the US cocaine trade, 1970s/early 1980s. His tale was made famous when Johnny Depp played the man in the film Blow, 2001. Probably one of Depp's most convincing roles, tbf. Anyway, the real guy died from liver and kidney failure at age 78.
For the first time in my life, a date stood me up. I ended up drinking four beers at a bus stop in the rain. It was actually rather pleasant.

06 May
Local UK elections. Sadiq Khan wins London for a second term, which is good cos that's who I voted for.
Paul Van Doren cofounded a shoe company with his brother. That's right. Vans. He died at age 90, nine days after publishing his memoir which is pretty perfect timing!

07 May
When John Kay died (77, a fall), many publications hailed him as one of the greatest journalists of his generation due to his work with The Sun, twice earning him the 'Reporter of the Year' in the British Press Awards. What very few mentioned was that time in 1977 when he drowned his wife then tried to kill himself, never properly charged, only admitted to a psychiatric hospital, resuming his job a short time later.

08 May
Obama's "First Dog" Bo died of cancer today at the age of 12.

11 May
41st Brit Awards. Dua Lipa won two awards (including best album), more than anyone else. The audience provided PCR tests but were not obliged to social distance or wear masks as part of a trial by the UK government. Rina Sawayama could not initially be nominated, for even though she'd lived in the UK for 26 years, she did not hold a passport as her birth country Japan does not allow for dual citizenship. The show changed their rules just so she could take part; the criteria now stating you can be "born in the UK, are a UK passport holder (including individuals who hold more than one passport) or have lived in the UK for more than five years".
My favourite Norman Lloyd fact is that he worked as an actor since 1923, his final film in 2015 (Trainwreck, fun movie) when he was 100. He worked with Hitchcock and with Chaplin, while starring in Dead Poets Society too. He died at 106.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (26/50): I’ve become so crazy that I’ve started seeing a therapist now. He's not actually there.

12 May
I had big plans to finish the entire Definitely Not a Cry For Help film this year but got so tangled in other projects that I only released this single episode. Shame! It's Chapter Nine: Da Nang. Editing it was pretty fun but recalling the 2019 filming was a nightmare as I was struck hard by depression in that country. Still, it turned out ok, and is extra special as the collective movie officially crosses the one-hour runtime here. I'm strangely optimistic that I'll get it done next year even though I base that on nothing. Watch the full thing thus far here!

14 May
The same day India reported their (then) highest death count from COVID (4,329), Cyclone Taukta hits the land, killing 174 people and causing $2.12 billion in damage.

15 May
Tensions between Israeli and Palestinian forces continues to escalate, death toll exceeding 150. An Israeli airstrike destroys a high-rise office building in Gaza occupied by media outlets. Five days later, after immense international pressure, Israel agree to cease fire. The protests in every country were loud.

16 May
2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards today and tomorrow. Best Movie: To All the Boys: Always and Forever. Best Show: WandaVision (which won six awards in total). Best Movie Performance: Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Best Show Performance: Elizabeth Olsen in WandaVision.

19 May
As part of my wild "try anything" promotional strategy, the official Sectlinefor condoms arrived today.

21 May
BTS release their song Butter which spent ten weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart, more than any other single in 2021.

22 May
Eurovision Song Contest 2021 is won by Italian entrants Måneskin with the song "Zitti e buoni". Shortly following, people accused them of using cocaine on air, which was quickly disproven.

23 May
The 2021 Billboard Music Awards. The Weeknd was nominated for sixteen awards, winning 10, the most out of anyone on all fronts. When Machine Gun Kelly wins your rock album, I question why I'm including this stupid shit in my blog. Whoever is in control of these shows probably turns on the radio for one day then makes a decision. It's gross.

24 May
Samuel E. Wright was best known as the voice of Sebastian in Disney's The Little Mermaid where he sang Under the Sea which won an Academy Award. At 74, prostate cancer got him.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (27/50): Monogamy: because I’m terrified of you meeting someone better than me, so don’t you even dare try.

26 May
The final book of the core Jantho teaching is Book 6. The first two pieces arrived today, namely The Differences Between the Pencil Program and the Skew System, and Pencil: The Eraser/Past (is Stupid). If you missed them then, tough. It's all locked up now, but sign up to the mailing list and you'll gain access pretty soon!

27 May
A few weeks prior, I emailed my mate who runs Papa G's House podcast and said, "Put me on your fucking show!" and he said, "Ok". We chatted about many projects for over an hour but primarily Sectlinefor's new album, which was dropping the next day. Truly one of the best interviews I've ever had the pleasure of attending! Watch it here!
Straight after the podcast interview, I rushed out to go on a first date with a girl named Lenka. She was more special than I could have ever anticipated, proven by her dog named Ziggy and her Bowie tattoo. We decided not to pursue our relationship romantically and instead, work on being the best friends ever. We did so, meeting on many other occasions and hanging out as often as possible, now super buddies. One of my favourite dating app success stories ever.
After DECADES of waiting, the cast of Friends finally reunite for a special. I still haven't seen it!

28 May
OMG fknnnn FINALLY. Sectlinefor (the band I sing for) releases our third record, Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak. According to quite literally everyone, it's our best work yet, and we agree. What a relief to get this out of our digestive track because it had been lodged in there since last year. Every listening link and yummy information can be found in one convenient place over here. I'm still glow with pride from this work.
Side note, you can find some of the fantastic (and not-so-fantastic) album reviews on our website. I also put together this nice little image collection highlighting words that stuck out to me. Always a trip when people not only analyse your work but actually enjoy it. I didn't know that was possible.
Adding to an already eventful day, I got my first COVID jab today too. I think I articulated my stance well enough here.

30 May
I was feeling myself and wanted everyone to know with this selfie post. I must say, to release an album and publish a book already by this early date did feel like I'd done enough in 2021, and nobody could say shit. Of course, I still went charging on.
Proven on this same day. 50% vaxxed and restrictions dropping, I attended a rather large gathering and got drunk with people I hadn't seen for months (including some new babies I'd never met). Life was truly blossoming now!

31 May
WHO rename variant B.1.617.2 to Delta. Within months, it was the dominant strain globally.

Misc.
I'm unsure if June quite topped April, but I was still hitting all cylinders hard. Quitting pornography was finally underway with weeks of abstinence, yet still struggling. The tiny bubbles beckoning travel were unmistakably present. But overall, I was largely achieving my perfect balancing act, repeating the mantra "I can have it all". For more information, please read below:
Ok, so here comes a potentially problematic vomit of personal life, but classic Jared, you know me. Perhaps around February, a shining revelation fell into my head, and I predicted the future exactly. As vaccines rolled out and as the sun cleared the skies, we were looking at a lockdown-less summer of epic proportions. One of the most glaringly exciting factors would be the single humans, gagging for a shagging, wandering the streets for affection. Naturally, I was one of those desperate souls. So my strategy was simple: install every dating app possible and put in the groundwork, exploring a polyamorous side to my sexuality which I had never granted the opportunity before. People have different opinions on this lifestyle, but I justified my actions by remaining 100% honest with every party involved. And it worked! When May rolled around, the harvest was in full bloom, and I had multiple partners on the go, sharing drinks and laughs and a ton of other fun.

As these carefree summer days rolled on, however, I was quick to realise this behaviour was not for Jared. These lovely poly ladies were easy come, and for them, I was easy go, many dropping me for better upgrades like I meant nothing. How dare you! As is the nature of the scene, I guess. But my poor codependent heart was not equipped for such neglect!

The final nail came with a girl who we shall call Seattle. She was from... Seattle! An incredible musician who I deeply connected with rather quickly, our rapport thriving on the same level despite our eight-year age gap (me being the little one). What's more, she lived only a few blocks from me, so we hung out more and more, me buying her drinks, she spoiling me with home-cooked meals, and all the good stuff between. Gradually, she dominated my romance scene, the other girls fell away, and Seattle became a key feature of 2021, as you shall see.

Dear 2020, June: Tory bastard caught snogging whoever, George Floyd murderer goes to jail. Zuma goes to jail, Conan O Brien calls it quits, a boxing champion and a meme step in the ring, Dakota Skye I loved you so much

01 June
For the first time since the start of the pandemic (March 2020) UK reports zero deaths.

03 June
Finished reading The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle for the second time. As some of these teachings were hugely influential to my thinking (and, subsequently, the Janthopoyism philosophy), I decided I needed to revisit the work. I'm glad I did even though I realised I'd already learned everything I could from it previously. It's also very boring. (4/5) Full review on Goodreads!
F. Lee Bailey has a pretty impressive resume as a criminal defense attorney, working with Albert DeSalvo (a "Boston Strangler" suspect) and heiress Patty Hearst, as well as a prt of O. J. Simpson's "dream team". 87 death day.

04 June
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle give birth to Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor, eighth in the line of succession to the British throne.

06 June
Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Logan Paul. I, like everyone, thought (hoped) Mayweather would use Logan as a mop, but they were weirdly evenly matched, neither scoring.

07 June
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (28/50): Be kind to everyone you meet because you never know who is currently stuck in an infinite time loop.

08 June
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (29/50): Massive respect to every girl who’s licked her boyfriend’s butthole. We recognise how gross that must be for you, so thanks, it’s very kind.

09 June
There are an unfair amount of moments where we could truly say Pencilmation has "made it", and one of them would be this article about us on the Wall Street Journal.
Upon researching for Dear 2021, I nearly fainted to discover my favourite pornstar of all time, Dakota Skye, died today at age 27. I spent the year actively avoiding porn so much that somehow I missed this one, and I feel like I betrayed her. She was my iPhone wallpaper for a long time, and we've even exchanged a few emails before. Based on her Tweets, she was always struggling, often begging for money and bouncing out of rehab. Apparently, a mix of fentanyl and other drugs ended her at age 27. It's the right age to go, but I'm super bleak about it.

11 June
47th G7 summit, where Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, and the general European Union all got together to chat about the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. I'm not sure if it went anywhere but I'm sure they had a great social party.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (30/50): DID YOU KNOW: you can do your own research and find resources that agree with your opinion no matter what that opinion is? It’s true!

12 June
As lockdowns were evaporating and the travel bug stirred from its slumber, I knew I had to start unloading my phone with all the cool explorations I'd embarked on during isolation time. I mean, you can take the traveller out of the travel but... something something, here are some photos of trippy shit you didn't know existed in London. Much more to come!

14 June
Gay men are now allowed to donate blood in Britain.
19 million subscribers!

15 June
Promotional tactics continue as I detail the story of how Sectlinefor named our third record, Kissing Strangers During an Outbreak.
US COVID death toll exceeds 600,000, equal to that of cancer.

19 June
Flash floods in Nepal started around here and occurred sporadically throughout the year. Over 102 reported dead.
Champ was the older of Joe Biden's two German Shepherds who moved into the White House at the start of his presidency. Poor dogge passed today at age 12.
I won the lotto! £2.8!

20 June
Brazil becomes the second country to surpass half a million COVID deaths.

22 June
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (31/50): Your robot name is your mother’s maiden name, followed by your PIN code. Try it below!

23 June
There is far too much interesting stuff to write about John McAfee. He was a two-time presidential candidate, but more famously, the name behind the first commercial anti-virus software, McAfee. He quit the company and went on to criticise them. Due to accusations of murder and tax evasion, he was forever on the run until caught and jailed in Spain. After the Spanish National Court authorised his extradition to the US, he was found dead in his cell, suicide by hanging, 75. Many people (including his wife) believe he was murdered.

24 June
The finale of Conan O'Brien's show. I was kinda gutted. I love his style and always had fantasies where he'd interview me one day.
Microsoft Windows 11 is unveiled.

25 June
Derek Chauvin, the officer who murdered George Floyd in front of our very eyes, is sentenced to 22.5 years in prison. Good move. If he was freed, the world would be burnt to a crisp by now.
UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, is found to have broken COVID rules (and marriage vows) by snogging his aide, Gina Coladangelo. He resigns soon after.
A heatwave hits West North America, resulting in the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada (49.6 °C).
The Pentagon release their Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena report, giving detailed analyses of UFO spottings. According to anyone who read them, the data was underwhelming.
Ed Sheeran releases Bad Habits which remains at #1 on the UK charts for eleven weeks. Add this to his four weeks with the song Shivers, two weeks with Merry Christmas (w/ Elton John) and one week with Sausage Rolls for Everyone (w/ Elton and LadBaby), and you're looking at 18 weeks dominated by the dude. Say what you want.

26 June
More London photo dumping!

27 June
Finished reading The Abs Diet: The 6 Week Plan To Flatten Your Stomach And Keep You Lean For Life by David Zinczenko. I learned a lot and took a ton of it on board, but the simple fact is that after 6 weeks, I did not have a six-pack. Hell, I still don't have one! But no regrets, it was a step in the right education. (3/5) Read full review on Goodreads!

28 June
You Kinda Smell Like A Baka Eren Yeager.

29 June
Former South African president, Jacob Zuma, is sentenced to 15 months in prison after refusing to appear before a corruption inquiry. Good! Nobody likes him, right? Nothing bad will come this, surely?
New Mexico legalises recreational weed smoking.
3 billion worldwide vaccinations.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (32/50): I miss the days of having a little cough without worrying that I’ve just murdered every old person in the room.

30 June
Somehow, Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction is overturned, and his release process begins.
Four new bits of scripture fell from the sky and onto the internet today. They were all to do with the Pencil Program, more specifically the "Lead Centre" section (symbolic for the present). Their titles were: Is Janthopoyism Against Mindfulness?; What to Do When Your Energy Spikes; Keeping the Mind Clean; and Nirvana! (Janthopoyism Edition). Sadly, only members can access them now, so why not become a member? It's free and we'll be opening the text to you soon.
Writhing in indecisive turmoil I decided to let the coin decide whether I should resume Jarexit travels in a stress-free two months or just one singular month of panic. A quick blessing from Ganesh and it told me that one month was the only way. Eek! Shit kicked up a notch from here!!

Misc.
During June, I tasted God. Sun was shining, the weather was sweet. England was buzzing high from football vibes. I had upped my weekly runs to 25km along with lifting weights, all the while exploring tiny crevices of London that I had never found before. Maybe I was drinking too much but I had becomes OBSESSED with Brew Dogs, so at least it was classy. And, besides, sacrifices are there to be made, trading a bit of my liver for socialising, focusing on my friends, but more importantly, focusing on Seattle, stepping down from that strange polyamorous adventure. It truly felt like I had it all, and I recall June as running on pure magic. And I wondered, could I keep it this way forever?

The answer was, of course, no. The internet went down for a couple of days in my house. For some reason, that pushed me over the edge. The travel bug multiplied in volume, hence I flipped a coin on the 30th, and hence I decided it was time to Escape like before, resuming Jarexit IV. Sabotage the comfort for risky experiences! I have no regrets. But I could see in Seattle's eyes that she was a little sad about my decision. And I could see in my eyes reflecting from her eyes, that I was too. And then things got ugly, so you have that to look forward to.

Dear 2020, July: Jeff Bezos is a cock shot into the sky, Joey Jordison has left the buildng, England loses the final soccer match ever, South Africa loots itself, I get vaxxxxed, that Epstein chick is naughty af

01 July
Michigan state announces a $5 million raffle for vaccinated residents, a pretty decent jab incentive. I just got mine because I didn't want to kill anyone.
After keeping an eye on Stoke Newington Facebook groups, I managed to leap at the chance to get my second jab literally on the day I qualified, no appoinment necessary, walk in and out. The UK can be hard to love sometimes, but we smashed the vaxx scene.

03 July
Lightening struck all through Western Canada, collaborating with the heatwave and causing over 130 wildfires. 600+ people died.
Prepping for Jarexit, still frantically emptying my phone of London adventure photos, here's another batch showing off the greatest city in the world.

04 July
After my annual freak out that I was a terrible writer, I quickly grabbed my "Best Book on Writing" list and slid my finger down to the uppermost title I'd yet to consume. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott was the winner. I found quite a bit of golden advice here, plus Anne is a hilarious personality, but large sections were inapplicable to my craft. No regrets though! Never any regrets. (3/5) Read the thorough Goodreads review.

07 July
The idea to get two circles tattooed on my wrist had been ricocheting in my mind for years. Today I was like, fukkit, big ups to my homeboy Jesus, got them done.

08 July
Over 4 million official global COVID deaths.
Around 2013, Miley Cyrus attempted to murder her Disney persona using as much sex appeal as she could muster. It shocked the world, and I freaking loved it. Round about this time, I Tweeted "What I like about Miley Cyrus is that we probably all have a legitimate chance of sleeping with her" and people thought it was hilarious. I meant it with the utmost respect too. She was doing whatever she wanted, it was a liberation, and even if I could never prove it, I like to believe she'd appreciate the joke.
So fast-forward eight years, and every Thursday I scour my ancient Tweets to illustrate a #throwback #legobiscuit. This one cropped up and I was like "Ha!" and I drew it here. I see now, far too late, that we were no longer there as a society, and while the joke was still well-Liked, it bombed hard in other demographics. Four females (including Seattle) got in direct touch to inform me of their disapproval, and of course, it didn't help how Miley had progressed into a much more refined superstar by this point. A few days later, I posted an apology on Facebook, to which some friends fought on the opposite side, standing by freedom of comedy, especially because celebrities aren't real people. This alternate support confused the issue, and my internet persona doubled-down on my humour brand, which only worsened matters. I hope I learned something here, and this drama does tie into bigger dramas down the 2021 road.

09 July
When former President Jacob Zuma was imprisoned, his groupies lost their shit, rioting and looting from this day until the 18th (primarily in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng). Naturally, the stress of employment due to COVID plus the country's history of racial injustice didn't help. 342 people died. Having grown up in Durban, I had many friends left without any access to food. It was the most homesick I've felt yet.

10 July
More adventure photos from London lockdown? Sure!

11 July
England lose 2–3 on penalties to Italy in the UEFA Euro 2020. For the country vibe to fall from such an elevated platform hurt even me. After Brexit embarrassments and freezing lockdowns, it felt like we needed this win. But still, the preceding energy was EPIC. With almost 31 million TV viewers, it was the most-watched UK event since Princess Diana 's funeral (1997).
Richard Branson essentially wins the billionaire space race by flying up there with Virgin Galactic. Many lauded the landmark moment, a huge step towards space tourism, definitely where the evolution of humankind and technology is headed. Others criticised the adventure as a waste of resources, where humans were starving on our planet and maybe deserved some attention instead. I see both sides.

12 July
Jeffrey Epstein's romantic crime partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, appears in court because of all those sex trafficking things.
w00t climate change. Today, floods started in the UK, then continued to roll over Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. 242 people or so died, mostly in Germany. €10 billion in damage.
Paul Orndorff was better known as Mr. Wonderful, one of the more prominent WWE wrestlers during the 1980s boom. He died due to dementia at age 71.

17 July
Crazy rainfall falls upon China's Henan, 7.95 in in an hour, the most on record. The following floods killed 302 people.

19 July
Almost all restrictions in England are removed, and I hit the ground running.

20 July
The billionaire space race continues. Blue Origin NS-16 was a cock-shaped spacecraft that took Jeff Bezos up and away today. Oliver Daemen was on board too, the youngest person to space travel at 18. Wally Funk was on board too, the oldest person to space travel at 82.
Inge Ginsberg was the best. As an Austrian-Swiss Jew, she escaped the Holocaust, then helped American spies in Switzerland during the war. In later life, she wrote books, then at age 94, she fronted the heavy metal band Inge and the TritoneKings. She survived COVID in 2020 then sadly died at age 99 today.
Not long before this date, Seattle called off our romantics. Her reasons were cryptic, and tbh, I wasn't open to hearing them due to travelling prep stresses. I assumed it was just my leaving plans bothering her, which would be fair. Yet she was adamant it was something else. Regardless, today she collected her plants that she'd stashed at my house (and adopted my plant, Spath), and I never saw her again. More on this exciting drama to come.

21 July
Liverpool loses its UNESCO World Heritage status due to developments along the waterfront.
Video game publisher Activision Blizzard is hit with a huge lawsuit from the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing after an investigation proved that female employees faced sexual harassment and discrimination.
Brisbane is announced as the host of the 2032 Summer Olympics.
As my struggle against pornography stopped-and-started, I realised I needed to tackle the issue like I tackle all of my issues: with a self-help book! Your Brain On Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction by Gary Wilson was that publication. Stacked with firsthand testimonials and scientific evidence indicating neurological addiction, I'm sure it helped with my rewiring, but the advice was copy-and-paste, not exactly groundbreaking for me. (3/5) Full Goodreads review here!
So here's something stupid and embarrassing: after going 65 days without porn, reading the above book, then posting the review (to great online praise), I figured I had earned another session. What happened was terrifying, not just a one-off celebration, but 24-hours of smashing myself, scraping the grossest corners of the web to feed the hole in my perverted soul. It would be impressive if it weren't so shameful, and in those moments, I realised what it was to be a genuine addict. I've messed around with all sorts of drugs and have successfully quit them all (including cigarettes). But this incident was uncontrollable, as if my hands weren't mine. And so the battle resumed, with many long breaks and regular relapses, never fully getting on top of it before the year ended. Which is fine, as long as I don't give up! I must beat this thing eventually. And, if nothing else, the 2021 periods without porn were record-breaking, definitely the least amount of material consumed from any year since my porn viewing began.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (33/50): Not to play the devil's advocate here, but I highly recommend the devil, he's the best.

22 July
You know I'm getting seriously close to traveling again when I am cleaning up the Jarexit to-do list, ensuring a spotless launching point. Both Jarexit I and II were honoured by blogs ordering their cities from Worst to Best, and it was time to treat 2020's Jarexit III the same. Behold: Worst to Best: Jarexit III (The American Edition).
A few days later (unsure of the date), I also launched The Jarexit Hub, where links to all my Jarexit travel material is collected, including photos, blogs, Monstrocities, and Definitely Not a Cry for Help content. It's updated per each stop and is such a fantastic way to map out my adventures. I use it for reference regularly.

24 July
Not a review, but I finished reading The Secret Doctrine: Vol 1 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. All 676 pages of it. The Secret Doctrine is the central text to the Theosophy religion, which will be my studied scripture of 2022. However, seeing as there's still volume 2 to go (798 pages, ugh!), I'll refrain from giving too much away. But know this: it's the most well-researched and complexly detailed writings I've ever endured, probably only around 50% actually going into my head. That said, what did go in was insanely epic. And while I don't automatically swallow, I can see why people consider it one of the most influential occult books of all time. I was quite obsessed.

25 July
DaBaby spurted an array of homophobic remarks at Rolling Loud Festival in Miami, leading to many upset comments and half-assed apologies. My favourite joke was that DaBaby is not talented enough to separate the man from the art.

26 July
One of the 2021 deaths that hurt my inner-teen the most would be ex-Slipknot drummer Joey Jordison. People like to say different things, but his technical skills and inventive patterns always stuck out to me as the most impressive feature of the band. When he was kicked out, Slipknot died somewhat for me, and then today, Joey died himself, 46, a natural death according to his family.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (34/50): Every human is a victim of the non-consensual trapping of spiritual electricity inside a meat body and should be compensated with a free home, free food, free health care, and free education.

28 July
Light from behind a black hole is observed for the first time. This confirms Einstein's theory of general relativity.
The final photo dump from London, and you know what that means. Yup. Jarexit was about to blast off once again, the year transforming into something far more dangerous from here on out.
Dusty Hill was the bassist for the legendary ZZ Top, playing with them for 50 years. After suffering several physical ailments, he died at 72.
The last of the core Janthopoyism scripture was released today, finishing off Book 6. The texts were to do with the Pencil Program, more specifically The Point/Future, featuring: The Actual Point; The Optimists Shall Inherit the Earth; and Finally Locating Your True Path. It took 14 months but Phase I was finally complete!
As noted previous, only those on the mailing list can access the scripture, so get in line!

29 July
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (35/50): Blessed are those who read something they disagree with yet do not grant their ego permission to comment.

30 July
And off I go! Bittersweet as I leave my house in Stoke Newington, my home for the last ten months or so. I had bonded with my housemates and was loving the London life, so it wasn't the easiest leap of faith. But as I sat on a train, riding into the sunset otherwise known as Paris, I knew the time had come. It was without a doubt the #1 city I wanted to visit in the world (check the final lines of Dear 2020 for proof), an utter travesty that I'd never been there, this fact pestering my lockdown to the point of tears. So to say I was excited to resume Jarexit IV in this direction is selling the thoughts short! This post more accurately describes the vibes.
Christine Weston Chandler, a.k.a. Chris-Chan, is the creator of the widely-panned webcomic series Sonichu. Coming out as trans in 2016, she has regularly become a troll target due to her very strange (and often politically incorrect) online presence. Today, a recorded phone conversation between Chris and another troll (Isabella Loretta Janke) leaked, where Chris detailed how she raped her own mother (who has dementia). Chris was arrested the next day. One of the most unsettling 2021 internetty stories, and I've only given you the bare bones here.
You remember the old lady, Muriel Bagge, in Courage the Cowardly Dog? I loved that show. Thea White voiced her, plus she married Andy White, the guy who played drums on The Beatles' recording of Love Me Do. So she earns this space. After two liver cancer-related surgeries, she died at 81.

31 July
When Little Richard shouted "a-wop bop-a loo-mop, a-lop bam-boom" at the beginning of Tutti Frutti, he was referencing the rhythm of his drummer Charles Connor. James Brown also once said that Little Richard's band were "the first to put funk into the rhythm," again probably chatting about Charles Connor. He was 86 when he died from normal pressure hydrocephalus.

Misc.
The Brew Dog Summer continued into July, and I had a wonderful time. A lot of my joy can be owed to Seattle herself, as our connection only grew stronger. Sure, I was sacrificing my health for all the alcohol, but it was for a good cause! I was partying my lockdown trauma to death!
But there was an inescapable underlying current of sadness. My travel plans dominated my mental real estate, and between surges of excitement, I was forever questioning my decision. I loved my place, and I loved London, and I was really loving the Seattle vibe, so it was confusing (especially when Seattle called it off). Not to mention COVID numbers were crawling up, which was freaking everyone out. Still, my notes seem to favour the frantics, and I was pretty amped for my future overall.

Dear 2020, August: crate challenge just add water and morons, rolling stones lose their wattage, Jared in Pais, Taliban take the power back, Haiti earthquake eats the land, the Nevermind baby wets himself in public

01 Aug
For Sectlinefor fans and Easter Egg enthusiasts alike, I posted this Insta image to highlight a little bit of subliminal COVID shit you may have missed in our music video. Tbh, I had met a Parisian girl and was crushing on her hard, so my hope was to get her into me by indirectly informing her I was in a band. It didn't work and we never hooked up.

03 Aug
Multiple wildfires start burning down 125,000 hectares of Greece for about a month. Many people lost their homes. I have a fair amount of friends in Greece and it was painful to watch their newsfeeds.
The 800th #legobiscuit!

05 Aug
Noted terrorist organisation, Tigray People's Liberation Front, capture the Ethiopian World Heritage Site of Lalibela. The Ethiopian government claim it back, and this exchange of power occurs several times until the end of the year.

08 Aug
The 2020 Summer Olympics (postponed until now cos Rona) finished up in Tokyo. The US smashed it, with 113 medals (39 golds). China 2nd (88 medals, 38 golds); host Japan 3rd (58; 27 golds); UK 4th (65; 22).
Pat Hitchcock was the only child of Alfred Hitchcock and Alma Reville, starring in some of his classics such as Psycho and Strangers on a Train. Aged 93, she died.

13 Aug
Bob Dylan is accused of sexual assault dating back to 1965. He denies the allegations. Not Bob!!

14 Aug
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit Haiti. 137,500 buildings destroyed, 650,000 people in need of assistance, 12,200 injured, 2,248 people dead. Damage is at 1.5 billion US dollars, over 10% of the country’s economy. It's the deadliest natural disaster of 2021.

15 Aug
The Taliban captures the Afghan capital, Kabul, and the government surrenders. A heartbreaking day for many people.

16 Aug
Sean Lock was a super hilarious comedian, always on the telly, always making the people laugh out loud. Lung cancer got him at age 58, and I was surprised how many of my friends paid their respects on social media.

17 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (36/50): Lord, please send me the perfect girlfriend or at least 20 average ones.

19 Aug
After immense pressure from investors about protecting children, content subscription service Only Fans announce the removal of all adult material. The world laughed, getting ready for the platform to plummet out of existence because that is literally the exclusive reason anyone visits the site. Six days later, the weight of their stupidity broke their decision and they u-turned.

20 Aug
The treatment Ronapreve is approved, shown to lower hospitalisation/mortality by 70%, while shortening symptoms by four days.

21 Aug
After three fascinating weeks, I left Paris. Like so many before me, I fell madly in love with this city while at the same time feeling terribly inferior to it. Still, the sheer amount of sights to see meant I was forever busy, running around taking endless photos and really leaping into the deep end of this Jarexit stuff again. Here's the summary. It's also worth noting that, up until this trip, France was the only country in the world that I'd visited before and not ejaculated within the borders. I finally got that done, thankfully.
The highlights were endless but include: Seeing Roxane again, meeting her friends (specific shout-outs to Camille, Pierre, Gilbert, and Fred), going to paintball with her friends on her birthday, I Love You Wall, Père Lachaise Cemetery, Montmartre Cemetery, Moulin Rouge, scouting Amélie locations, Le Passe-Muraille, Sacré-Cœur, The Centre Pompidou, Montparnasse Cemetery, The Stravinsky Fountain, 59 Rivoli(!!), Notre-Dame, Buttes-Chaumont Park, The fucking Louvre (yes, including the Mona Lisa), getting caught in the biggest rainstorm I've seen since Bangkok 2019, scouting Taylor Swift Begin Again locations, scouting Inception locations, scouting Invader's street art, Rachid Khimoune's "Children of the World" sculptures, Luxembourg Gardens, Arc de Triomphe, and the fucking Catacombs of Paris. Oh, plus the Eiffel Tower, it was actually super cool.

A quick but potent love snowball to Kiiiiii. Bonding with you over our big day out was my absolute favourite period in Paris, which may be a big statement but is also an easy one. I am massively looking forward to running around with you again somewhere in the world!! So much love to you.

Photos here and here and here and here and here and here.

Next up, Lisbon, Portugal!
The FDA Tweets a warning against using antiparasitic drug ivermectin to treat COVID, stating "You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it". Please note that the medication does have some human uses. Regardless, their attempts did little to deter the demand, as many countries and celebrities (most famously, Joe Rogan) continued to swear by its effectiveness.
Sweet sweet Connie Hamzy is a famed rock groupie, claiming to have banged Jimmy Page, John Bonham, David Lee Roth, Alice Cooper, and Keith Moon. She is mentioned in Grand Funk Railroad's song We're an American Band, and she wrote a book called Rock Groupie: The Intimate Adventures Of "Sweet Connie" From Little Rock. She died at 66 from some quick illness.
Don Everly was one half of (and only half left over from) The Everly Brothers. Now the duo is no more, because Don is dead, age 84.

23 Aug
After suing his ex-bandmates over using Sex Pistols music in a biopic, John Lydon loses the case.
Went on a Tinder date with a girl I shall be referring to as Cabbage. I wish I could tell you everything about her, because she is such a fascinating human with so many boasting points that my blog becomes very disinteresting in comparison. She became my tour guide throughout my Lisbon trip, revealing city secrets that you literally cannot find on the internet, and I developed a monumental crush on her. I was a little gutted when we parted. Luckily, we decided to stay in contact, and today was not the last time 2021 heard of Cabbage Lisbon Girl.

24 Aug
Worst musical death of 2021? Charlie Watts. He was the drummer of the Rolling Stones from 1963 until 2021, performing on every one of the band's studio albums, considered one of the greatest drummers in history. After health issues that already led to Charlie bowing out of touring, he died at age 80. It super sucks. He was the least rockstar of the biggest rockstar band on Earth.
Janthopoyism officially locks for non-subscribers. Full statement here. And thus began the arduous yet rewarding process of rewriting the scripture from the very beginning, something which continues into the new year.

25 Aug
Spencer Elden files a lawsuit against literally everyone who had anything to do with Nirvana, claiming that the display of his four-month-old penis had resulted in "lifelong damages" and constituted as child porn (even if it took him 30 years and countless profiting to realise this). In December, the Nirvana camp dismissed this as a cash grab (lol) and refused to alter the image. I hate Spencer for what he did here. He's a part of musical history and now wants to get weird about it, pulling the pedo card, especially when Kurt once stated, "If you're offended by this, you must be a closet paedophile."
Who can forget the Milk Crate Challenge? Stacking an up-and-down set of stairs made from loosely balanced crates, and climbing them, Humans all around the internet were face-planting from dangerous heights. Reported injuries were so extensive that TikTok banned everything.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (37/50): Your genitalia is now named after the last thing you ate. (surprise, it’s still dick)

26 Aug
The Kabul airport in Afghanistan is attacked by a suicide bomber during one of the final US evacuations. 183 people were killed, and the Islamic State – Khorasan Province claimed it. It was the deadliest terrorist incident in 2021. The US retaliated with an airstrike the next day, reportedly killing some of the dudes responsible. On the 29th, the US ordered a drone strike too, which accidentally killed seven innocent children.
Hurricane Ida is the second-most damaging hurricane to make landfall in the state of Louisiana, also hitting up Venezuela, Colombia, Jamaica, and Atlantic Canada. It lasted until Sep 4. 115 died. $65.25 billion in damage.
I was briefly dating a girl during 2021 who loved GG Allin so much she had a tattoo of him on her leg. What a keeper! Unfortunately not, as she became more and more difficult to see. Eventually, it was obvious that I'd never have the opportunity to gift her the birthday present I'd purchased: Rock and Roll Terrorist: The Graphic Life of Shock Rocker GG Allin by Reid Chancellor. I nearly threw it away but instead added it to my excessive luggage and quickly read it on this day. Obviously, with a subject as fascinating as GG, the story couldn't go wrong, but it was nothing new to me, and graphic novels aren't real reading anyway. (2/5) Full Goodreads review here!

28 Aug
I won the lotto! £3!

29 Aug
After like a billion false release dates, perhaps the most anticipated album of 2021 drops. Donda. Kanye West's 10th. Big talking points were the appearances of DaBaby and Marilyn Manson, both previously "cancelled" due to homophobic remarks and sexual assault allegations, respectively. We saw it coming as they attended one of the listening parties. Even weirder was when Manson joined West and Justin Bieber for Sunday Service at a later date. Anyway, the album polarised opinion, but from my perspective, it was neither as bad nor as good as either side were preaching. I liked it, all in all. Bit long, though.
Despite having his vaccinations already, Eric Clapton releases his anti-vaxx/lockdown single This Has Gotta Stop. He becomes one of the weirder newsworthy celebs in this already weird scene.
Lee "Scratch" Perry was a pioneer of dub music with his innovative production style, working with Bob Marley and the Wailers, Beastie Boys, and The Clash. He sadly passed today at age 85.
Ed Asner is the most honoured male performer in Primetime Emmy history, winning seven. He was also the president of the Screen Actors Guild. He died at 91.

30 Aug
The United States withdraws its last remaining troops, ending the 2001 - 2021 war in Afghanistan.

31 Aug
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (38/50): Nothing like someone touching your penis to really bring you back into the now.

Misc.
My August notes were pumped full of optimism, with slices of uncertainty wafting between the lines. By anyone's standard, I slammed back into the travel without any regard to safety, running around one of the more chaotic European cities of Paris while COVID numbers continued their escalation into darkness. It was akin to finding one's footing while tumbling down a hill. Yet, the most stressful aspect was the infinite photography, my days swamped by editing and uploading stacks of the most beautiful sights I'd ever seen, only to walk out the door and double the content again. Hard life! Still, overall, there was an undeniable sensation that I belonged on the road. Despite what people may think, there are fewer distractions, fewer temptations. Sure, many hours are dedicated to exploration, but I run while I do so, which maintains my exercise regime, plus I get more work done in the evenings as I ignore those hostel peeps around me. The audible whimper behind my grimaced smile did nothing to detract from my abundant gratitude. My life had resumed! Wa-hoo!

Dear 2020, September: Squid Game is the only program anyone watched in 2021, Elon Musk rubs his face on you, R Kelly will eat bread in jail, Norman McDonald was really funny, the shaman dude is the epitome of king for a day fool for a life time, Sheidlina and I are besties now

01 Sep
With immense annoyance, I leave Lisbon, only wanting to stay longer but forced back into London because I bought festival tickets a billion months ago, argh. Silly reason to complain but I really wasn't amped, especially considering how much money I shovelled into the trip.
Part of my resistance was Lisbon itself. I'd been here before, but this round was different. I really fell for its relaxed casualness, which was in direct contrast to the intense perfection of Paris. I felt so at home as the sun smiled down and my hostel raised the bar up. I wish I could have remained a few more days. Here is my full summary.
Highlights include: Belém Tower, Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Jerónimos Monastery, Berardo Collection Museum, Chão do Loureiro parking lot, Praça do Comércio, drinking Ginjinha, scouting Bordalo II street art, Carmo Convent Ruins, Hospital de Bonecas (the doll hospital), Alfama area, Pink Street, Livraria Bertrand (the oldest operating bookstore in the world), Prazeres Cemetery, Eduardo VII Park, Church of St. Dominic, LX Factory (incl. Ler Devagar), Bordallo Pinheiro Garden, The Parque das Nações, the endless skyline views, the endless sunets, and the time I got way too fucking drunk at a hostel party. Met some cool people, didn't exhange any details, remember no one.

Extra virtual high-five to Helen! So lovely to meet you and so happy we've maintained regular contact! I'll come to visit again soon.
Finally, the biggest heart emoji to Cabbage here. You were Lisbon to me :)))

Photos here and here.
Texas being Texas bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy because "life matters!". On the same day, residents are now permitted to carry handguns without a license or training because "fuck your life!".
Daffney was a wrestler who endured so many concussions that her day-to-day was badly affected, ultimately ending her career. She spoke at great lengths about proper treatments for future wrestlers until today, when she read out a suicide note via Instagram live stream and then shot herself in the chest. She was 46.

02 Sep
Steve "The Brawler" Lawler was a professional wrestler I remember. COVID-19 killed him at 56.
El Salvador accepts Bitcoin as an official currency, the first country to do so.

03 Sep
My resentment towards London due to this unwanted revisit could be trumped by that feeling when I first walked through the gates of Wide Awake Festival. OMG! How long had it been? And how is this legal? No social distancing?? No masks??? It took a while to get used to. The beer was also far too expensive, I didn't miss that. But I adored watching Idles, Dry Cleaning, Black Country, New Road, and Black Midi, such a thrill. Annoyingly, I built up a piercing headache by the end, was literally squeezing my skull on either side just to endure the music, but I left aware that what I'd experienced here was a blessing. This wasn't the New Normal. It was just the Normal.
Certified Lover Boy by Drake is released. Damien Hirst created the artwork and I feel like it's a new low in album covers.
The QAnon Shaman who became the personality most associated with the Capitol storm pleads guilty to obstructing the proceeding of Congress. He was later sentenced to 41 months in prison.

04 Sep
Willard Scott was a weather presenter, radio/TV personality, actor, narrator, comedian, and author, but you'll be most impressed with his creation (and original portrayal) of Ronald McDonald. He died at 87.

05 Sep
Sarah Harding was a member of Girls Aloud, the UK's biggest selling girl group of the 21st century and officially the most successful reality TV group ever. For over a year, she battled breast cancer and lost today at age 39.

06 Sep
Michael K. Williams was an Emmy nominated actor famous for roles in The Wire, Boardwalk Empire, and 12 Years a Slave. He died from dug overdose at 54.
Best known as Ezal in the film Friday, Anthony Johnson died at 55.

07 Sep
Steve Burns appears in some videos reprising his Blue's Clues character, celebrating the show's 25-year anniversary. There he gave really heartfelt messages about he never forgot his viewers, it was really touching.
Finished reading Conscious Evolution: Awakening the Power of Our Social Potential by Barbara Marx Hubbard. I connected with her philosophies so hard, it's inspiring when a human is not only well educated with the state of the world but can completely see the potential of a bright future. If I was ever elected into a position of power, my model of change would be directly based on Barbara's (4/5). Full review on Goodreads!

08 Sep
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (39/50): You give me advice as if I want to be anything like you.

09 Sep
Arlo Parks' Collapsed in Sunbeams wins the 30th Mercury Prize. Considering it was my 12th favourite record of 2021, I was way more than ok with that!!

11 Sep
So let's try this again. I pack up and leave London for the second time within months, happy to report that I stayed gone for the rest of the year. The visit was cool but unnecessary especially considering the price. Plus, due to Brexit/COVID woes, the supermarkets were hardly stocked, giving off such doomsday vibes.
Regardless, I took some photos, mostly of Adam and Didi's cats (Joey and Sami) and the festival. Swipe through those here and read the full summary here.

Off to Prague which had been on my list for many many years! How did it go? Don't touch that dial and you'll find out.

12 Sep
2021 MTV Video Music Awards. BTS, Lil Nas X, and Olivia Rodrigo each won three. Justin Bieber only won two despite his nine nominations, lol, what a loser (please note: I haven't won any yet).

13 Sep
I've waiting most of my life for my actual name in reference to me to appear on Wikipedia. Today, thanks to the endless magic of Pencilmation, this dream came true.

14 Sep
Korea tensions as North Korea blast two ballistic missiles that land just outside Japan's territorial waters. South Korea then shoots out a submarine-launched ballistic missile a few hours later.
Norm Macdonald was a comedian and an actor, best known for his Saturday Night Live work but has made a huge name for himself all over the show. I found him uniquely hilarious. He died today at age 61 from leukaemia.
Reuben Klamer invented the board game The Game of Life. His real game of life ended today, at age 99.

15 Sep
UK, US, and Australia form a security pact to counter China fears, which includes Australia building its first nuclear-powered submarine fleet. Not a scary world at all!
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (40/50): When I was a little boy, kissing a girl was the most profoundly earth-shifting event I could fathom taking place. Now I’m a 36-year-old man, and still.

16 Sep
Space X joins the civilian space race, sending four ordinary people up into space upon their Inspiration4 shuttle.
Here comes a long and dramatic one. Apologies. Please don't read it.

Throughout my recent travelling adventures and even dipping back into London, I continually messaged Seattle because I missed her, and I considered her an essential 2021 item. But at some juncture, she ceased responding without any cement reason as to why. It tore me up so badly that I even left her a drunken 10-minute voice message one night, ughhh. Anyways, on this day, she finally got back to me, stating her reasons for silence. It's because, and I quote, she was "uncomfortable with the way you talk about and regard woman".

This response sent me flying. Granted, I accept a lot of my comedic output can be a little distasteful at times, but I deeply considered myself to be a vocal ally to women's rights even when hiding behind my exaggerated online character. Occasionally a joke is reprimanded, but what's infinitely more frequent is when females commended me for my statements while it's the right-wing males who spazz out the hardest. Still, here was this human being who I'd grown quite attached to expressing upset about my presentation. I swallowed my automated defence system and decided to use this room to grow. I politely (screenshots available on request) requested examples, but she dismissed me, claiming there were far too many for her to care to offer. However, over our brief exchange, the ever-giving Miley Cyrus drawing was mentioned (please see July 8th), which made sense. She also specifically highlighted my 2018 review for Lily Allen's autobiography as another, which I find weird not only due to the time elapsed since, but because I can't find anything offensively gender-specific in that text whatsoever? Maybe people should read the book before critiquing the critique? Idk.

Regardless, I was shook and decided to take her concerns very seriously. I contacted an array of my closest female comrades, including my sister and an ex-girlfriend. Their responses were varied (my ex labelled me "immature" rather than "sexist" lol), but there did appear a general essence that there was stuff for me to work on. My sister nailed it best when she asked if I had any idea which particular drawings might be misconstrued. I said I did. And she said, "Well, there you go". She was right. If I could spot the potentially problematic jokes, then there you go indeed.

A week later, Seattle deleted me from social media, no space for retribution on her side, the closest I've come to cancel culture in my life thus far. She even unsubscribed from my Janthopoyism newsletter, oh the horror.

The ordeal fucked me up for longer than I care to detail. My signature carefree flow was wounded. I was second-guessing every joke and decided against plenty. For the first time in my life, I felt like the world had progressed without me. I think there's some reasoning in that assumption.

But now, in the greater scheme of my artistic output, I can contextualise this hiccup as a beneficial one. I realised that I like to make sex jokes. And when a heterosexual man makes sex jokes, a woman is usually who he refers to because that's who he likes to have sex with. I don't believe my heart was ever in a malicious place. Still, considering our current times as we try to push away from sexualised-female mentalities, I can see how I was grinding against the movement. I have since decided to approach everything from a more "win/win" perspective and going forward, my sex jokes will be non-gender specific. Because to be honest, that's even funnier. My subsequent #legobiscuits have adhered to this new rule, and I attempted to balance the Miley one as best I could.

At the same time, I hope people realise what comedy is. #legobiscuits are not autobiographical! They are amusing thoughts that do not accurately represent who I am. I'm convinced that 100% of all comedians would make a similar statement. But it's also essential for me to accept my humour isn't for everyone, because how could it be? No comedy is. No LIFE is. If people cut you off, especially when you've done nothing directly to them, it's because you were living loud enough for them to hear you. It can be a positive sign.

And so I need to stop giving such a gigantic fuck every time someone deletes me from their existence. Because if you're like me and want to stay true to yourself creatively, that's just part of the package. I am reminded of an old ex-girlfriend who I've emailed on the same day every year for the past 10 years. She stopped responding in 2018, and yet I keep sending these messages, year after year after year. That pathetic shit will never happen ever again. I will continue pursuing a path that I feel is in tune with who I am, and if it rubs you the wrong way, then get in touch. My door is always open to everyone whenever you are ready. Let's chat about it. I'm happy just to listen if you prefer.

But if you're not willing to converse and educate, then you can't complain when the world doesn't change around you. And while we're at it, screw cancel culture. Let's try forgiveness culture for a while.

17 Sep
Every now and again, something comes out and explodes so loudly that you are forced to give it your attention. In 2021, nothing was as big as Squid Game, the South Korean show on Netflix. I enjoyed most of it! It is currently Netflix's most-watched series ever.

19 Sep
73rd Primetime Emmy Awards. The Crown and The Queen's Gambit won 11 each. Seth Rogen blasted the event from the stage due to its seemingly lax COVID protocols. 23% increase of viewership didn't reflect the lukewarm reviews.

20 Sep
American COVID death toll surpasses 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, now the deadliest disease outbreak in the country's history.


21 Sep
The Battle at Lake Changjin is a Chinese film that made over $905 million at the box office. It's the highest-grossing non-English film now.
Never Mind the Buzzcocks returns to TV woooo! Noel Fielding is the only old school member back in the seat while Greg Davies is the new host.

22 Sep
After my favourite artist in the world/biggest "celeb" crush, Elena Sheidlina, announced a solo exhibition in Florence, I was like ", I HAVE TO GO IF SHE IS THERE". In fact, if you read the intro to Dear 2020, I mention her, that's how hopelessly infatuated I was. I desperately commented on her every post asking her if a handshake would be possible, and she confirmed it was. I started making arrangements, which included drawing a picture of her to give as a gift. TO BE CONTINUED.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (41/50): I’m not annoying. You're annoyed. Take responsibility for your emotions.

24 Sep
Due to some leaked rumours about a fuel shortage in the UK, drivers panicked today and stocked up as much fuel as they could. This, of course, led to a full-blown fuel shortage. By the 27th, an estimated 50-90% of fuel stations were dry.
China decides that all crypto-currency transactions are illegal now.

25 Sep
Closing time on Prague and yet another city that lands on the top shelf. I loved it! I felt like a part of my personality was accurately represented here with such a strange vibe of dark mystery and absurd hilarity. That said, my emotional response wasn't 100%, and there was a linger of deppro during this city visit. But the fact I remain utterly in awe of the area is a huge testament to its strength! A weaker city would have killed me. I explain better here.
Highlights include: David Černý's endlessly weird sculpture work (such as Žižkov Television Tower; King Wenceslas Riding an Upside-Down Dead Horse; Franz Kafka's rotating head; Piss; Quo Vadis; and Kampa Park babies); the Dancing House of Prague(!); Olšany cemetery, Franz Kafka's grave; the vibey Naplavka walk along the banks of Vltava; the Faust house; The Idiom Installation; The Paternoster Lift at Prague City Hall; Old Town Square (especially the Astronomical Clock); The House of Suicide and the House of the Mother of Suicide; Dripstone Wall; Lennon Wall; Charles Bridge; St. Vitus Cathedral; Steampunk Prague; and Memorial to the Victims of Communism. Smashing my forehead against some stupid metal bar attached to my bed is something I shall also remember for a while. Waking up with blood pouring down my face was a more intense than coffee, I tell you.
Photos here and here and here.

Shout to Helena! Thanks for having so many drinks with me on school nights! You made my life more difficult but also far more fun :)))
Another salute to Laurence, my only roommate for the full two weeks. Was an honour to spend time with you, good sir!

On my way to Pisa, Italy! Second time! Quite a bulky adventure coming up, so hang on!
After months of utilising my skills elsewhere, I was requested to gradually contribute more scripts to Pencilmation. Here is the first of the year: Teach a Man to Swish. It wasn't great.
I won the lotto! £4.3!

26 Sep
One sleeps in Pisa and off to Florence. Purely a financial decision, you must understand. By taking a little detour to send my love to the Leaning Tower, I saved £150. No brainer! There are some photos in this set.
So within four hours of reaching Florence, I'd already met Sheidlina at her exhibition, my entire reason for visiting this city. She was absolutely lovely, and even better, I didn't make a complete fool out of myself. She loved my drawing of her so much so that she Liked it on Instagram too, as well as this post where I prove I met her in the first place. The full groupie story was better detailed on Facebook, but just to give a further conclusion, I weirdly fell out of love with her after this. No-fault of her own, I think I'm just like that, like the time I touched Nick Cave's hand then stopped listening to his music for a year following. Don't meet your idols because the magic rubs away? I'm unsure, but Bella Porsche was right there below to catch my internet love.
Alan Lancaster was a founding member and bassist of Status Quo. He died at 72 from multiple sclerosis complications.

27 Sep
R. Kelly is GUILTY on all counts of sexually abusing women and children for over 20 years.

28 Sep
Elon Musk and Grimes announce their separation.
Perhaps a strange time to announce this, but I have to concur with Time Magazine's decision and crown Elon as my King of the Year. The reasons are endless, with his richest man in the world status, his ability to influence crypto with a single tweet, his Tesla bread and butter which includes the push towards electronic (and driverless!) vehicles, his associations with the space race, his weird romantic life, and his awkward SNL appearance... the name Elon Musk was stamped on 2021's everything! There is no better choice.

29 Sep
Janthopodcast Episode #1 is launched! It's just me explaining the scripture, starting with Book 0 here. Sadly, it's currently hidden from non-members but should be publicly released next year. Sign up and don't miss it!

30 Sep
I worked at Dennis Publishing for eight years or something, leaving in 2017, sad to say goodbye to so many faces I loved. In August 2021, Future plc. bought the company for £300 million, and most of my friends lost their jobs. Nobody seemed too bleak, and today was their last day in office, many sending me selfies from the local pub. I was gutted to not be there!

Misc.
Despite many good people featuring in life, September was a wobble. For starters, I fell into a deep porn binge again, which weirdly gave me a terrible spiritual reaction. It felt like I failed myself, especially considering the utter loss of control. It was a full day of it! I realised I needed to start treating myself like an addict here, and I picked up the 12 Steps while talking to professionals online about it. Sadly, I tumbled a few more times before the year, but I guess that's how it works. I will beat this fucking thing, I swear.

Anyway, so I was dealing with that when Seattle hit me with those anti-women accusations, and at the same time, someone close to me flew off the conspiracy theory rails and ran away with a cult. Nobody has any idea where he is! This triple combo delivered a good shot to the jaw and spiralled me quite far down, damaged from the inside out. Still, adventure time was running strong, and by the end of my September notes, I'd seemed to broken through on the sunny side again :)

Dear 2020, October: welcome to the metaverse forget everyhing you know about facebook please says Zuckerberg, Alec Baldwin murders someone, island boys for sale, Chapelle comes out as a trans-hater so brave, Tory gets stabbed which isnt as fun as it sounds

02 Oct
Only one week in Florence, and we're already off. But even when considering the short stay and the fact I'd been there before, one can not escape the magic of this Italian city, which I detailed here. I was feeling closer to my old self by this point, which is always appreciated, because my old self is rather nice.
Highlights include: meeting Sheidlina obvz, the Piazza del Duomo obvz, Cimitero delle Porte Sante, and Ponte Vecchio.
A small collection of photos lumped with Pisa here.

Next up, an Italian city I hadn't visited yet: Venice!! One day only, but still...

03 Oct
24-hours of cramming Venice, done! One of my biggest Jarexit regrets to date is that I didn't spend more time in this city. It's up there with the most unique areas I have ever had the pleasure of drooling over. I think my summary and photoset illustrates this well, but to conclude, OMFG!!!!
Highlights include: literally everything, this city is a masterpiece. The unlimited canals and bridges are famously unmatched on the globe. Also: Libreria Acqua Alta(!); Church of San Lorenzo; the Venetian Arsenal; Ponte Dei Sospiri; Piazza San Marco; St Mark's Basilica; Scala Contarini del Bovolo; and the intricate Venetian masks selling everywhere.

Next up, the final Italian stop, Milan! Never bee there also, woo.
After tens of thousands of Facebook's internal documents were leaked to the media, Frances Haugen came out as the whistleblower, using her inside knowledge to show how the platform prioritises profit over public safety.

04 Oct
Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp fell over for six to seven hours and the world basically ended with it. It was their worst fail since 2008. Zuckerberg's wealth dropped by more than $6 billion.

05 Oct
Dave Chappelle releases a standup special called The Closer, where he makes anti-trans jokes, causing a big debate between freedom of speech activists and hurt LGBTQ+ members. Netflix defended the program even when its own offended employees organised a walkout. A lot of my friends sided with Chappelle, but I was unsure. We're finally reaching a point where certain demographics can feel safe, but when an iconic figure says stuff like this, it undoes the progress. Until everyone can laugh at the joke, it's not funny to me.

06 Oct
The WHO endorses the first vaccine for malaria.

08 Oct
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (42/50): Don’t ever do something just because a social media post told you to.
Read that again.

09 Oct
Two weeks, four cities later, and I am done with Italy! I often call it my favourite country, but I think repeated visits along with the sheer excess of ground covered this trip wore down my enthusiasm. Milan in particular wasn't as WOW as every other Italian city I've visited, but the underlying current of evil creepiness did make for a decent story. My hostel kinda sucked too which may have played a role. Here's that summary. And here are the photos I specifically chose to show you how strange Milan is.
Highlights include: Milan Cathedral (the Duomo); San Bernardino alle Oss; The Wall of the Dolls; Portinari Chapel (eeekers!) plus its crypt (double seekers!; L.O.V.E. sculpture; and, of course, da Vinci's The Last Supper, which was sick even above the hype bar.

On and on we go, leaping to Athens, Greece now!
Around here, Smash Mouth performed at The Big Sip festival where singer Steve Harwell behaved rather erratically, threatening the audience and throwing up Nazi salutes. He left the band shortly following to work on his mental health.
I won the lotto! £2.9!

12 Oct
In the process of rewriting the Janthopoyism scripture, I realised I had to address its root belief in Pantheism rather than just assuming everyone would effortlessly accept that the entire Universe is a singular organism. So I added a new piece of scripture presenting the data for my case and was so fucking proud of it that I decided to release it as a standalone article ahead of the Bible. I called it Pantheism: The Golden Thread Combining Religion, Philosophy, and Science.
After surviving several German concentration camps during World War II, Eddie Jaku published his revered memoir, The Happiest Man on Earth, at age 100. That was a year ago, and now he's dead. Pretty good ending, to be fair!

13 Oct
90-year-old William Shatner becomes the oldest person to go to space, at age 90. Star Trek!
Twins Kodiyakredd and Flyysoulja freestyle in a hot tub and their viral "song" Island Boy is born. I won't lie, I dig their look, it's fun.

15 Oct
Twitter user @thatsgoodweb posts an image of a wizardy dude "pondering my orb", and one of my favourite mememes of 2021 was born.
Sir David Amess was a Tory MP, stabbed to death by an Islamic extremist today. He was 69.

16 Oct
My birthday! I moved from a hostel to an Airbnb a few days early to spoil myself, and then a very close London friend came and stayed with me. Together, we met up with Lizzie (who long time readers will recall very well) as well as Cleo, Chris, and Steph. No boys allowed! We also stuck a photo of Tanya's head on a stick so she could be there in spirit. A bunch of drinking and a semi-early night was everything I wanted. I am 37 years old now.
You can't get a digital nomad anything for their birthday because they can't fit it in their luggage. That said, my computer has space, hence I appreciated this cartoon one of the guys I work with drew of me.
Pencilmation Episode I Wrote: Battle of the Emojima. Considering I wrote this one in August 2020, it was like an extra birthday present!
Ron Tutt was Elvis Presley's drummer for most the King's career, touring and recording. He also did work with the Carpenters, Roy Orbison, Neil Diamond, and Jerry Garcia. He died at 83.

19 Oct
Pencilmation Episode I Wrote: Eat, Shrink, and Be Merry.
Leslie Bricusse was a composer who wrote the theme music and lyrics for the films Doctor Dolittle, Scrooge, and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, plus the songs Goldfinger, and You Only Live Twice. He died at age 90.

20 Oct
Queen Elizabeth is briefly hospitalised, setting off a trend where she cancels her attendance at various events. I have a strange feeling that 2022 will be when she leaves us.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (43/50): I know I joke about suicide a lot but that’s only because I’m going to kill myself one day.

21 Oct
Alec Baldwin accidentally discharges a prop firearm on the filmset of Rust, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. A huge debate about movie safety followed and continues.

23 Oct
Athens is perhaps the only city I've been to more than once (three times, actually!) where it kept getting better. This visit was the charm, really sucking up the energy left from their rich polytheism and esoteric philosophies that I have since become obsessed with. Also HUGE shout-out to Lizzie for taking the time to show me cool stuff! Despite having caught a slight cold in Milan (COVID??) I bounced back with vengence, and it was an enjoyably eventful stop. Photo summary here and lone photo set here.
Highlights include: Adventuring with Lizzie; Areopagus rock vies; Pittaki Street; Korai 4; The Platonic Academy ruins (a biggie for me!); Athens National Garden; the urban decay; Mount Lycabettus; and naturally the Acropolis featuring the mighty mighty Parthenon.
I must also note the storm I got caught in; lightning and thunder occurred simultaneously, and I knew the electricity was dancing directly above my metal umbrella, with the power to kill me in a literal flash. I was pretty scared, especially as I made my way home, crossing roads that had become rivers, gushing far past my ankles. And when everybody's phone in Athens warned us to stay indoors, I knew this was no joke. Cool story though!

On a sad note, things between the London girl and I were challenging. I blame myself. I was not used to the amounts we were drinking, and due to working every day, I wasn't exactly the cheerful Jared she may have assumed I was. We also had different opinions on what constitutes a considerate shared living space. Still, I loved every second of her company, in Athens and before Athens, and I hope we get to share many more conversations in the future.

Next up: Warsaw, Poland! Hey, do you remember Cabbage the Lisbon Girl? She and I had been conversing for a while, and together, we decided this would be a cool city to meet up again. What a wonderful world!

24 Oct
James Michael Tyler is pretty much only known as Gunther from Friends. He died from prostate cancer at age 59.

27 Oct
Janthopodcast Episodes #2 and #3 are sent out to the secret mailing list, where I explain Book 1 and 2 in their entirety. Sign up and get involved!

28 Oct
In an attempt to brush their dark past under a rug, Mark Zuckerberg announces that Facebook, Inc. will now be known as Meta Platforms. This is in part to reflect their focus on building their virtual metaverse world so they can distract us forever.

29 Oct
Malcolm Dome was a busy music journalist in the rock/metal scene, writing for Record Mirror, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer and Classic Rock. He coined the genre name "thrash metal", which is a biggie! He died today at age 66.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (44/50): “Ok, gun to your head, if you had to choose between...”
I choose the bullet.
“No, wait, you have to...”
The bullet, I choose the fucking bullet.

31 Oct
2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference starts today. Some of the most powerful people agreed to "phasedown" coal power, cut methane emissions by 30% and halt to deforestation (both by 2030), while increasing financial support for developing countries. Many were quick to criticise the results, but I think it sounded promising (if they stick to it).
Happy Halloween. To "celebrate", Cabbage and I decided to adventure time away from Warsaw and checkout Krakow and Auschwitz for a day/night. We had no idea what we were in for.

Misc.
Bouncing back after September into a decently happy October. As it should be! Birthday month and all. By the looks of my notes, I was achieving the balance I always strive for, getting on top of all aspects, running a lot, hanging with familiar faces, working very hard, and just generally loving life as I explored more places. Good for me!

Dear 2020, November: Omicron drops the latest viral sensation, Britney is free, that kid killed people and everyone said it was ok cos he was white, FW De Klerk was the nicest racist, Astroworld Travis Scott people suffocated shitty festival, Get Back Beatles makes me a better person

01 Nov
Back to Warsaw, exhausted from big adventure time.

Four hours in Kraków, and respect where respect is due, we made use of every single second. We crammed this city's beauty into our eyeballs, quickly comprehending why this is a far greater tourist option for Polish visitations, hanging onto some traditional, unlike the hastily rebuilt capital. Summary and photo set here. Highlights include: St. Mary's Basilica (go inside!!!); Eros Bendato statue; The Wawel Royal Castle; all the Smok Wawelski dragon stuff; and general skyline views.

Still during Oct 31st, we raced to Oświęcim/Auschwitz, arriving at our accommodation, suitably spooked by the dark trees, the haunted aura, and the general Halloween vibes. The next morning we casually strolled to the Auschwitz tour (Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau), where they showed us things that burnt holes into my mental health. Summary and photo set here, but there is no way to articulate the aftermath of the experience. At the time, my emotions were blank, but each morning following, I woke up traumatised, only stabilising weeks later. And I'm still not the same, fundamentally a different person. Such an important sight, perhaps the most important of all my travels, but damn, it stir-fried me into a mess.
"Vax" is announced as Oxford's Word of the Year. The "Vaxx" spelling is also accepted.
Official COVID deaths worldwide? 5 million.

02 Nov
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (45/50): When there’s nothing new under the sun, it’s time to look in the shadows.

03 Nov
Bob Baker cowrote the Wallace and Gromit films. He died today at age 82.

04 Nov
As part of my "must run 25km a week" promise, I largely ignored my left foot when it complained about plantar fasciitis, I'll run through it. But this week, it refused to play anymore, and the rest of the year was spent trying to fix it with extensive stretches, massages, new shoes, and reduced exercise. Kinda sad to lose so many km from my final score, but we must listen to our bodies. It's all good now :)
The UK approve molnupiravir, an oral pill said to cut the risk of hospitalisation/death by 50%. They are the first country to do so.

05 Nov
At Astroworld Festival, 300+ people were injured and 10 people were crushed to death during founder Travis Scott's set.

06 Nov
On a plane, leaving Warsaw. Strange place! Completely flattened during WW2, they rebuilt it in hopes of recapturing their former vibe, but instead, it feels lost in a world that never quite existed. Still, it was one for the books, with plenty of cool stuff to see and friendly faces to meet, not to mention the Auschwitz sidquest which reprogrammed my neuropassages. Photo summary here. Photosets here and here.
Highlights include: Old Town Market Place; Warsaw Barbican; assorted Marie Curie landmarks; assorted Frédéric Chopin landmarks (including his heart hidden inside a pillar at the Church of the Holy Cross); the Nicolaus Copernicus sculpture; the University Library Rooftop Garden; Okopowa Street Jewish Cemetery; Powązki Cemetery(!); Warsaw Uprising Monument; The Warsaw Pegasus Sculptures; Mały Powstaniec statue; Centrum Praskie Koneser; Łazienki Park; Piłsudski Square; The Neon Museum; Mermaid of Warsaw spotting; Palace of Culture views; Keret House (the world's narrowest home); PiwPaw Beerheaven; and Skład Butelek Klub/Chmury Club.

Of course, the highest treasure from Warsaw was my adventure partner, Cabbage. Coming from brief Lisbon meetings, we took a risk living together for two weeks, and it completely paid off! It's an easy result when we're talking about someone as considerate and kind as she is. She cooked me the most delicious meals I've tasted in years (or ever?), she massaged me when I ran too much, and she insisted on a morning moisturiser routine to keep me pretty. I tried to reciprocate her care, but it was impossible because she pampered me to a level I have never felt before. I must have done something really special in a past life to deserve this time with this girl. The goodbyes were sad, but as the year rolled on, we have maintained strong contact, bonding even deeper, and already making plans for our next outing. Very lucky boy I am!

More sadness: my 90 EU days were up. Cheers, Brexit! They kicked me out, do not pass go, do not collect £100, only allowed back after a further 90 days. Balls! Anyway, I decided to turn it into a blessing and finally ended Jarexit IV. Thus began Jarexit V, the Africa edition!!!! First stop, fucking Cairo!!!!

Check out this Jarexit Map of the Great Escapes thus far and don't forget to follow everything on the Jarexit Hub :)
Seven years vegetarian today and I still can't imagine my diet any other way as I sit upon my moral pedestal judging the corrupt peasants below.
Maureen Cleave conducted many music interviews, the most famous of which was when John Lennon claimed the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus". After being diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, she died at 87.
I won the lotto! £2.6!

09 Nov
Richard Kyanka was the creator behind the Something Awful site. He committed suicide at 45.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (46/50): I've tried to help people, but they didn't listen so now I'm just going to live the most brilliant life anyone has seen, and y'all can join me whenever.

11 Nov
F. W. de Klerk was the president of South Africa, 1989 - 1994. I'd never say he was a good man, but he will go down in history as the dude who noted the losing battle and dismantled the apartheid system. Mandela took over and de Klerk was made deputy. The dude won a Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the change.
Graeme Edge co-founded and drummed for the Moody Blues. Metastatic cancer, 80.

12 Nov
Britney Spears' conservatorship is terminated. The #freebritney hashtag worked! More stuff like this!
On that note, here you go. The Britney story was so inspiring to watch, running deeper than just popstar troubles, representing a far greater power to be found within a mass of public voice. So many of us were part of the process which undid a wrong, and so with her newfound freedom, I place a crown on Britney's head as my Queen of the Year.
In her ongoing fight against Scooter Braun, Taylor Swift's second re-recorded album drops, namely Red (Taylor's Version). Like Fearless that came earlier this year, it featured tons of additional tracks (30 in total) including a 10-minute version of All Too Well that became the longest song to top the charts IN HISTORY. This record also makes Taytay the fastest soloist in Billboard 200 ever to have four number-one albums, achieving it in under 16 months.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (47/50): This motherfucker gravely underestimates how much cocaine I’m on right now.

14 Nov
Outside the Liverpool Women's Hospital, a taxi driver noticed his passenger had a bomb and refused to let him out. The bomb then exploded, killing the perpetrator and injuring the hero driver. It was later considered a terrorist incident.

17 Nov
Continuing my excessive spiritual quests, I read Ramtha: The White Book by J.Z. Knight. It was full of shit and the worst book I'd endured this year. (2/5) You can read all about it on Goodreads.

18 Nov
Peter Buck co-founded the Subway fast-food which I fucking love. He died today at 91. Thank you for the service.

19 Nov
17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse shot and killed two people during the Kenosha unrest 2020. Today he was found not guilty by reasons of self defence. Hundreds of people rioted against this decision.
During their fourth wave, Austria announce that vaccines will be mandatory from Feb 2022. I'm no anti-vaxxer but I audibly blurted out "Yikes!".
Despite being 33 at the time, Adele releases her fourth album, 30. I liked it! As did everyone else, hitting #1 in 35 countries, opening with the highest UK first-week sales for an record by a female artist since Adele's own 25, and the UK's best-selling album of the decade. It's also the best-selling album of 2021 in the US. What I liked the most, however, is that she demanded Spotify removed the shuffle button from the album because the order was not meant to be messed with. Spotify bowed. Thanks, Adele!
Hank von Hell was the lead vocalist of Turbonegro. His body gave in after years of drug abuse, at age 49.

20 Nov
If you've been paying attention, I love you, and also, you'd notice when I left Paris I announced that the place I wanted to visit most on Earth would be Cairo. What a thrill when I got that done, flying away today. Needless to say, when you're as obsessed with mystical esoteric wisdom as much as me, there is no better city than Egypt's capital, and I captured that vibe within my tummy. Despite the chaos and heat and harassment, it lived up to the hype as probably the most extraordinary location I've set foot. I describe everything much better here. Photo sets here and here and especially here. Just looking over these again made my guts turn weightless.
Highlights include: The Giza Pyramid Complex (the best place I've ever seen?); The Egyptian Museum(!); Monastery of Saint Simon(!); The Nile; Garbage City (omg); City of the Dead; Islamic Cairo; Coptic Cairo; Baron Empain Palace; Al-Azhar Mosque; and Khan Al-Khalili marketplace.

Next up, Zanzibar, to visit my long lost friend, Mark. Keep those African vibes rolling!
Pencilmation Episode I Wrote: Live and Let Diamond.

21 Nov
American Music Awards of 2021. Olivia Rodrigo was nominated for seven. BTS, Doja Cat, and Megan Thee Stallion each won three. No idea why I even include this show, it's shit.

22 Nov
The Omicron variant is first discovered in South Africa. Instead of acquiring the congrats they deserved, everyone banned southern African countries from crossing their borders, including UK, slapping my SA home on the red list weeks before I was scheduled to go. Thankfully, everyone reversed their decision when the variant was found to already be literally everywhere. While it's super contagious and looking likely to become the dominant strain worldwide any second now, the health effects are mild and could be a gift where the world raises its immunity, the dying fart of the virus. That's my hope anyway!

24 Nov
NASA launches the Double Asteroid Redirection Test. This is the first attempt at asteroid-deflecting technology, just in case that doomsday scenario ever comes true.
An inflatable dinghy capsizes on its way to the UK from France. 27 of the 30 migrants on board die.

25 Nov
Five days bouncing between Stone Town and Paje Beach, we left Zanzibar. I'm blown away by how a place can be so relaxing yet so stressful at the same time. Power cuts were a given, and I was constantly at war with the wifi, trying to hold down a full-time job. Plus I fell sick midway. Still, it was the most fun I had all year, drinking excessively, running around the beaches, chatting infinite shit with Mark, and clicking solidly into what Africa was. Such a paradise and the perfect introduction to what lay ahead. Photo set here and here.
Highlights include: Stone Town (especially the doors!); Freddie Mercury's childhood home; the Hamamni Persian Baths (plus the roof!); fucking Changuu Island (go feed giant tortoises, you won't regret it!); Paje Village; and The Rock restaurant.

A quick stop at Dar Es Salaam, and then we missioned up to Bagamoyo where Mark's ladyfriend, Ann Jangle, was waiting for us. The night we arrived, she played a show, and I was starstruck by her power. An artist named Fadhilee Itulya joined the bill, and it was such a relief to see live music again, we've all lacked such luxuries. The next few days, we took it easy in this town, gearing up for the next chapter in our separate lives, blessed that we would be turning the page together.
Peter Jackson's three-part Beatles docco, Get Back, finally starts dropping on Disney+ today. I was on African wifi but managed to get the near-eight hours in by the 8th of Dec. To peek behind that creative curtain is a magic I'll endlessly be grateful for. I loved The Beatles even more after this viewing. I word-vomited all about it on Facebook here if you're keen.
Janthopodcast Episode #4 is popped into select mailboxes. Book 3 is the topic of conversation here, and marks the last podcast of the year. Soon enough, these will be released to the public, so sign up to be the first to know.

29 Nov
Bagamoyo done! Didn't do much touristing, but the Old Boma ruins are worth your attention. Today, we leave, the three of us (Mark, Anne, and I) climbing into a car to drive across the Tanzania-Kenya border, armed with two of the best doggos (Kez and Kev) and a handful of PCR tests. A big first for me! I'd never crossed borders on wheels before. And I nearly didn't, as we had to do another rapid test due to our South African passports (unfairly considered the most infected in the world), and then they would not allow us through anyway due to some missing car paperwork. So there we sat, beneath the screaming sun, trying to figure it out as I attempted to get my day job done without crying. Seven hours later, we decided to just abandon the car and got a taxi across. Our mission was to get Malindi, but by this late stage, we decided to crash out at the nearest spot, which turned out to be the awesome Diani Beach. Diani Backpackers was super dope! Some sort of a summary here. Some bonus photos slapped at the end of this set.
Co-founder and chief executive of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, steps down because "it was time".

30 Nov
Barbados becomes a republic, replacing Queen Elizabeth as head of state, Sandra Mason now their first president.

Misc.
Some tiny whines documented here and there, although they appear circumstantial rather than mental. I was adventuring out of Europe's safe arms and into the wild of Africa. It takes a while to update the comfort zone, especially when every day felt like a wifi war. Furthermore, the amount I was drinking in the second half of November was death-wish levels, but you can view it from a different perspective. I was sliding into a more chill mode, enjoying my time hanging with Mark and opting to take life easy, which is a rarity in my usual scheduled frenzies. The year was winding down, and I was winding with it, and reflecting now, I had a fucking rad time doing so. I could learn a lot from November 2021.

Dear 2020, December: NASA launch a time machine, Desmond Tutu is going straight to heaven, Always Sunny cast still smashing it, Anne Rice reincarnates, Grand Prix upset omg, Spiderman pays back the money he owes with interest

01 Dec
Season 15 starts and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia becomes the longest-running live-action comedy series in TV history. What's more, it's still funny!!!
Frantic African movements continue, leaving Diani to finally reach Malindi, which was yet another paradise. Btw, if you're ever in Diani, a must-see is Ali Barbour's Cave Restaurant!
Anyone with a browser could note that something went awry with Pencilmation's views over the last few months. A change of algorithm tripped up many kids channels and we lost millions of our usual streams. Around here, our company process shifted into a far more streamlined operation, completely uprooting my current responsibilities and shoving a ton of extra work onto my plate. Good thing I was hungry for it, my creative udders suddenly milked to shit, just like I always prefer. Expect ample more scripts written by me next year!

02 Dec
Somewhere around here I passed 4,000 followers on Instagram. Nice, but I want more, what's taking so long?

03 Dec
Melvin Parker was the drummer in James Brown's band, performing on the monster hit I Feel Good. Brown once called him "the greatest drummer I ever had in my life". He died at 77.

04 Dec
Mount Semeru erupts on the Indonesian island of Java. 57 are dead, 104 are injured, 23 are missing, 10,655 have been displaced. This diaster is ongoing.

05 Dec
Whew, so many location changes. Mark and Anne and doggos finally settled in Malindi, but I broke away from the crew on this day to check out the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Full summary here. Photo set here.
Malindi highlights include: Ruins of Gedi(!); Sindbad Park; The Malindi pier; and, naturally, the beaches (Rosada Beach Party was sick!!!).

06 Dec
In response to China's dodgy human right history, the US, UK, Canada, and Australia announce a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

07 Dec
As I was rushing around doing my Heartbreak promo in February, I guested on the podcast Kulcharama With Diva and forgot about it. Months later, it popped up out of nowhere. I can't listen to myself but maybe you can.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (48/50): The best thing about modern romance is that when you first see the love of your life, there's a good chance you'll be pooping.

08 Dec
After a video surfaces of Downing Street Press Secretary, Allegra Stratton, joking about Tories breaking COVID rules by having a party last year, she resigns. This investigation continues, with various incriminating photos appearing along the way.
Due to Omicron concerns (or perhaps to distract us from the party drama above), Boris Johnson announces new restrictions in the UK, casually referred to as "Plan B".
Robbie Shakespeare was one of the most influential reggae bassists ever, know for his work with Sly and Robbie. He died at 68 following kidney surgery.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (49/50): Are you seeking the truth? Or are you seeking confirmation?

10 Dec
Western Kentucky tornado lasted under 3 hours and killed 58 people within that time. The damage is unknown.
High Court rules that Julian Assange can be extradited to the US from the UK.
Michael Nesmith was one of the four Monkees, the greatest Beatles rip-off band ever because at least they were honest about it. He died at 78 from heart failure.
#Top50LegoBiscuitsOf2021 (50/50): “You’re welcome! You’re welcome! You’re welcome!” - God, every Friday
#TGIF

11 Dec
On a plane, leaving Kenya after one of the most intense location runs I have achieved in all of Jarexit history (Cairo > Zanibar > Dar Es Salaan > Bagamoyo > Tanga > Diani Beach > Malindi > Nairobi = three countries within the space of 15 days!). Nairobi was terrifying af, but I found my way eventually which included feeding giraffes. A lot of people told me they loved this summary in particular. Photo set here.
Highlights include: The Giraffe Centre (go feed fucking giraffes, it's the best!!); Karura Forest; Nairobi City Park (there are monkeys here); and Cathedral Basilica of the Holy Family. My accommodation was also one of my best (even though the CBD is where white boys go to die).

So here we go, dodging Omicron towards a well-deserved rest period in Cape Town, South Africa. The first time I've been home in three years. The perfect final stop to yet another explosive year of travel.
Anne Rice was a huge author (100 million+ copies sold) best known for vampire stuff, including Interview with the Vampire and Queen of the Damned. Complications of a stroke took her at 80.

12 Dec
2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I actually watched this! Good thing too, as the ending was nuts, Verstappen only passing Hamilton due to a safety car slowing the race after an accident, winning the World Championship. Uproar and investigations soon followed.
Supertyphoon Rai struck the Philippines. 401 died, 13 million people are affected, $794.72 million in damage.

13 Dec
Despite still being in cinemas as I type this, Spider-Man: No Way Home is already the highest grossing film of 2021. The Marvel Cinematic Universe also became the first franchise to grab $23 then $24 billion.

15 Dec
As promised every year, here's The Top 50 Albums of 2021 according to me. Response has been positive, and as is often the case, it stands as my most read blog of the year (which isn't difficult as I wrote so few).

16 Dec
Hub played the bass on The Roots best records, serving them from 1992 - 2007. Today he died at age 62 from multiple myeloma.

17 Dec
Reflection time and here are the 10 most famous things I saw in 2021.

18 Dec
I was never a big fan of Drakeo the Ruler, but I appreciated how original his 2020 album, Thank You for Using GTL, was, having recorded all the vocals over the phone from Men's Central Jail. Today, during Once Upon a Time in LA festival, he was stabbed backstage in the neck. The entire festival was cancelled as a result. Obviously, this is tragic, but fuck me if this wasn't the most gangster paragraph in this blog.
I won the lotto! £3.7. Brining my grand total lottery winning to £24.3. That's, like, two months worth of free playing! W-o-o-o-ttt.

19 Dec
Anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn is arrested for inciting violence, including urging people to burn down MP's houses and "hammer to death those scum, those scum who have decided to go ahead with introducing new fascism".
Ron Anderson was a vocal coach to such superstars as Axl Rose, Chris Cornell, Ozzy Osbourne, Seal, Alicia Keys, Tom Cruise, Mary J. Blige, Lenny Kravitz, Neil Diamond, Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hayley Williams, Janet Jackson, Avril Lavigne, and Björk. He died at age 75.

20 Dec
My sister found this photo of mini me without pants on, so I presented it to the world for Likes.

25 Dec
For the first time since 2017, I had Xmas with my daddy, which also featured my two sisters and step mom. And for this, I am grateful.
10 years and 10 billion dollars in the making, NASA launch the James Webb Space Telescope. Using infrared spectrum, it will allow us to see further into space and back into time than ever before (estimated to just 100 million years after the Big Bang). THIS IS WORTH GETTING VERY EXCITED ABOUT.

26 Dec
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was one of the coolest South Africans who ever lived. He was an Anglican bishop who worked hard as an anti-apartheid figurehead, a human rights activist, and an all-around man of peace. His energy was perfect, and his morals always appeared in tune. I strive to be more like this holy dude. Today he sadly left us, at age 90 from cancer.

When his passing was announced, I was next to my dad, who dug up this old photo of them together (with Trevor Manuel between). Naturally, I slapped that image on Instagram right away.
Jean-Marc Vallée was a filmmaker responsible for such gems as Café de Flore, Dallas Buyers Club, and Wild. He was 58 and a heart attack got him.

28 Dec
Record high 129,471 new infections reported in the UK. It'd be faster to tell you which of my friends don't have COVID at this point.

29 Dec
Jeffrey Epstein's wing woman Ghislaine Maxwell is found guilty on five sex trafficking-related counts, facing 65 years in jail.

30 Dec
I wrote this Dear 2021 article, and you read it. Thank you.

Touchdown! I did it again, guys! I did it again! We all did it. Everyone reading these words survived another year. Well done.

If you've made it this far into the depths of the article, then allow me to apologise for what traditionally goes on down here. It's a special place, kinda just for me, where I evaluate my year against my previous years, working as a space where I challenge myself with myself, Jared vs. Jared, I always win. That said, I can't imagine why anyone else would find anything of interest around these parts, but it's always the section I find myself most interested in reaching. So let's take a look at how the team of me and 2021 did.

On paper (or on-screen, rather), my creative writing fumbled. Pencilmation may have surpassed 19 million subscribers, but we had a tough year near the end. Meanwhile, I wrote a mere seven pieces on this blog, which is eight less than last year (and some are so pointless they shouldn't even be counted). But let's not forget Heartbreak Sucks! I published a fucking book which functions as an exemption card I wave around, screaming, "I wrote enough!". And then there's Janthopoyism. Never forget I started a religion which no one else I've met has done. In 2021, I churned out masses of spiritual texts, already in a solid position to bind up into another publication, fulfilling my ambition to release one book a year forever. Hell, I'm even 50% of the way of drafting yet another book, so what you don't see is often the most significant boasting points, gearing up to sink the Titanic.

Janthopoyism ties into my strengthening quest for more profound spirituality. I pursued that in many forms, devoting countless hours to researching the esoteric beliefs behind many many religions while reading a fair number of books on the topic. As a result, I genuinely feel like I'm uncovering some deeper understanding of the inner workings of reality and I am amped to share those with whoever will listen. Speaking of which, I set my 2021 Goodreads Challenge to 10 books, and I completed 12, so that's another win there.

Music! Sectlinefor's third album, Kissing Strangers during an Outbreak, came out, and a stream of positive sentences ensued from other people for a change. Plus, how about that music video for The Saddest Face in All of Existence? The pinnacle of any work I've been a part of imo. As I've noted before, if an artist releases a record and a book in one year, what the fuck else matters? What more could you possibly expect? I did my part to appease the creative guards; anything on top of that is just whipped cream.

My film/web series/fictional travel vlog, Definitely Not a Cry for Help, was largely neglected by I did squeeze an episode out. On the one hand, I feel terrible that it's the first dropped baby when louder projects demand resources. On the other hand, in the bigger picture, at least I got something out. Even if I achieve only one section per year, it'll get done soon enough. Although let's hope it doesn't come to that.

And then there's my pride and joy, my craftwork army, my little #legobiscuits. As I type this, we are dribbling on the 900 drawings line, maybe even crossing within the first week of 2022? Popping these onto Instagram is akin to breathing, such an enormous sense of satisfaction. It's also worth mentioning that a new batch of eight Monstrocities dropped, representing Jarexit III. If you're interested, Jared Woods Saved My Life is a good place to keep up with my art.

Speaking of Jarexit, travel was tricky for everyone in 2021, but I refuse to accept the rules bestowed upon average civilians and darted out into the world through any crack I could discover. Midway I finally managed to resume Jarexit IV by sticking within the safe boundaries of the EU, visiting Paris, Lisbon, Prague, Pisa, Florence, Venice, Milan, Athens, Warsaw, Krakow, and Auschwitz. When my Brexit allowance ran out, I blasted into the big African game, rolling through Cairo, Zanzibar, Dar Es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Diani Beach, Malindi, and Nairobi until catching a breather where I am now, in my hometown of Cape Town. NOT BAD FOR A PANDEMIC, HUH??? Check the Jarexit Hub for greater detail.

Something I always highlight is bands I saw, and while 2020 live music evaporated with the plague, the signs of normality were best found at Wide Awake Festival, the first for a long long time. Idles. Dry Cleaning. Black Country, New Road. Black Midi. I watched them perform in 2021, and that was a big deal. What's more, I already have some crazy tickets for 2022, COVID willing.

A slight foot injury at the end of the year couldn't dent my Strava stats, and while 2020 was my best year then, 2021 kicked dust in its face. I ran a total of 1012km this year, which is 226km more than the previous. Furthermore, I started lifting weights which changed to resistance bands during travels. I was also more diet conscious, measuring protein while achieving my most dairy-free year yet (only a few accidental slip-ups here and there). That said, I sucked on the odd cigarette, I drank a lot, and the last few weeks have been EXTREMELY high calorie, but you know what? I regret nothing. Perpetual improvement is the name of the game, and 2021 played well.

And in the spirit of wiping my life across the skyline, yes, I got laid a lot this year. Thank you so much to everyone involved.

In the end, 2021 was a good one for the world and a good one for me. We enter 2022 with adequate reason to be cautiously optimistic. Everyone has learned their lesson not to say, "this is my year!" but without stretching the imagination, we could easily map out how society may resume into even more normal normality over the next course. As for me, I reflect with a smile over my general mental health upkeep, then turn my attention to the future with the following goals and resolutions:

Maintain 20-25km running per week without busting myself.
Next to zero junk food by the end of the year.
Fewer cheat days (currently once a week, hopefully down to once a month?)
Stricter alcohol rules: never drink alone, only allowed to drink if (a) it's a person I haven't drunk with for over a year (which includes new people); (b) it's a location I haven't drunk in for over a year (includes ever); or (c) special occasions (birthdays, festivals etc).
COVID willing, absolutely fucking smash travels, the most travelly year in Jarexit history.
This hopefully includes finishing Africa, a little bit of EU/Russia, then either a thorough East Asia or America tour.
Stop chasing people who have no interest in maintaining connections while ensuring my door is always open if they wish to return.
Make at least a hundred new friends around the globe, and hopefully travel further with the best ones.
Strictly no porn whatsoever.
Research every esoteric philosophy (ties into 2023 book).
Publish the Janthopoyism Bible as a priority.
Finish writing my 2023 book.
Everything else is a bonus. A #legobiscuits book is in mental circulation, as is Sectlinefor's fourth record, as is Definitely Not a Cry For Help (*at least* one episode).
Explore financial gain from other creative outputs for a change.
Build an empire, take over the planet.

And that's it! So just to sign off as neatly as fleeting time will allow, I extend nothing but gratitude towards you, 2021. You were the rebound from rock bottom, gifting enough hope to the people for them to pick up the shattered pieces of 2020, now rebuilding a better future with a lot more awareness than before.

And if this article is the last of its kind, please know I am happy to bow out at this safe moment. I write my name at the bottom with a sense of accomplishment, hoping that 2022 recognises me with a smile and invites me to collaborate without strings, the only objective to produce the best fucking year our lives have ever witnessed.

Lots of love,
Jared Woods