okay moving on now to posts i’ve been meaning to make since the LAST episode of wtnv but cannot resist making now that i’ve finally listened to the most recent one: i think my favorite thing about night vale right now (aside from EVERYTHING ABOUT NIGHT VALE, ALWAYS) is how carlos and cecil have, you know, switched? in terms of which of them is FREAKING THE FUCK OUT and which of them is totally cool with everything. like. god. it’s amazing.
i mean, first of all, obviously there was the whole “everyone in night vale slowly inches towards the lazy, inertia-based heat death of the universe while carlos looks around, says in a clear, placid voice, ‘ah, the end of the world,’ and goes to clean the gutters,” episode, which, uh. is the best thing that has ever happened, ever? like, that’s so indicative of how deep under carlos’s skin night vale has gotten and IT’S REALLY VERY STOCKHOLM-SYNDROMEY but in a way that, in the context of night vale and what night vale is, is actually quite adorable and probably counts as becoming well-adjusted? which is one of the (many) things i adore about night vale, the fact that they never shy away from the fact that night vale is DEEPLY FUCKED UP, but instead just make everything work within that structure so that — like night vale itself — it looks normal until you try for even a second to imagine it out of context.
but also like. look, i’m honestly gobsmacked by how smart this show is, and the inherent social commentary in the strexcorp stuff is so fucking sharp i can’t even deal with it, and i’m so, so interested to find out (hell, even to see if we ever do find out) if carlos’s increasing relaxation vis a vis the night vale weirdness is at all related to the appearance of a huge soul-sucking all-consuming corporate entity. like, obviously cecil is losing his shit for good reason, strexcorp is clearly The Holy Fuckshit Terrifying Worst, but i wonder if maybe, on some subconscious level, the evil of strexcorp is almost a comfort for real-world carlos? like, if “a gigantic corporation has appeared and we know next to nothing about it except that it probably has some interest in controlling us to our detriment and for its own profit,” is maybe, after life in The World Outside Of Night Vale, easier for carlos’s understanding of reality to make sense of than “all those trees that appeared overnight are semi-malevolent and out to eat our souls, but aren’t they pretty? mmmm, invisible pie. hey, did you eat your government mandated slice of pizza today? ohmygod please stop looking at THE BROWNSTONE SPIRE. oh hey, it’s my dear friend, this rock! no dogs in the dog park.”
i mean, whatever night vale ends up doing with this arc, i know i’m going to love it, and obviously i’m just kind of spinning my wheels here, you know? but mannnn, the strexcorp thing is imho far and away the scariest shit this show has ever pulled, mostly because so many pieces of it are relatable in a way a lot of wtvn almost actively strives not to be. which isn’t to say wtnv isn’t relatable, of course, it hugely is, but the fun of it is often the juxtaposition of that — something as mundane and human as cecil’s feelings for carlos, or frustration with steve carlsburg, against the backdrop of TOTALLY UNFATHOMABLE SHIT GOING DOWN while no one bats an eyelash. and i don’t know, i’d just love to see that turned on its head, i guess. i’d love to see cecil giving these impassioned but coded speeches and hissing desperately into his microphone (SO GOOOOOOOD) while carlos slowly, and to his great horror, realizes that strexcorp being around has actually made him feel more comfortable here than used, and what that means about his life Before. ugh. shivery just thinking about it. IT COULD BE SO SHARP AND UNSETTLING, and nobody does sharp and unsettling like night vale.