There’s a duck with one broken wing and questionable allegiances in Dead Astronauts, so it’s a little disconcerting that the cover of The Restless Clock features the diagram of a duck with its own questionable behaviors.

It was a duck, and what the Duck did, though unremarkable in a duck, was so extraordinary in a machine that it immediately seized center stage. Like Reisel’s artificial man and certain other machines had been purported to do—but this time in live performance—the Duck shat. It did so, appropriately, in response to being presented with a meal. First it gobbled up and gulped down some bits of corn and grain; then it took a pregnant pause; and at last it relieved itself, through its tail end, of an authentic-looking burden.

‪Two things right off the bat about Jeff VanderMeer’s Dead Astronauts: (1) I’m going to get a headache from this book, probably; and (2) his wordsmithing is at its most rhythmically seductive here — or, not just seductive: gravitational, like you don’t quite have entire control over your body stumble-stepping down a hill.

Browsing around Movies Anywhere, the multi-studio, multi-platform, “merge your collections” service, I notice they now have a Watch Together feature but, honestly, here’s a promotional image and I could not watch a movie this way. That said, they also have a Screen Pass feature where certain of your movies you can digitally lend out to other people. If you’ve merged your collections on Movies Anywhere and have anything interesting to watch, let me know.

It’s slow going in the beginning of The Seep by Chana Porter, and a bit like a kid quick-tripping through telling a story in an “and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened” way, but it settles down. I’d think that if you liked the James Tynion IV and Eryk Donovan triptych of Memetic, Cognetic, and Eugenic, you’d probably find this worth reading. Parenthetically, having just started in on Dead Astronauts by Jeff VanderMeer, I already can tell this one is going to give me a headache.

This week I’ll be watching Stargirl, Wynonna Earp, The 100, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Doom Patrol, and starting in on the finale season of The Rain. I’m into season two of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts on weekend mornings, I’m starting the final season in my Justice League Unlimited rewatch, and I’m into part two of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

When I’d first heard that Marian Call was doing a garage band album with foul language, at some point I thought about Kaywinnet Lee Frye and Simon Tam discussing the appropriate times to swear. Regardless of what you do or do not know about Call personally, her singing persona doesn’t necessarily readily suggest anything other than the Simon end of that conversation.

Of course, being television, we not much later do see Simon swear. (Who could blame him, given the circumstances.)

When I posted about the first single dropping earlier this month, I’d said that it gave me “complicated feelings of expectations both met and confounded” that at the time I couldn’t explain. I probably could have; it’s mostly that somehow I’d imagined Call roughing up her voice more than she does here. That’s not a failing of the single, or of the album; it’s simply a mismatch of trying in advance to imagine the album in my head.

At any rate, the five-song EP itself — Swears! — drops today, and the only real thing I will say about it now is that “Glacier Bones” is brutal and while I always expect certain Call numbers to break me I fully did not at all expect to be broken by a garage band.

Fuck you, too, Nature.

Last night became movie night; I watched The Old Guard. It was diverting enough, but not particularly special. The one thing that popped for me was the teamwork elements in their fighting style: e.g., one person grabs and disarms a bad guy but sets up the person behind them to take the kill shot. I’d watch a sequel.