Wednesday, December 17, 2014

clearing the desk

So glad Chris Rock's new movie is playing, first because we get to watch it, second because there's no better time to have this man speaking out regularly in the news. The chain is around the brain: the sexual exploitation of children in California. The boy from Jurassic Park's college admissions essay. Thierry Cohen's Darkened Cities. Adult siblings and happiness. Ever conscientious, the New York Times takes a moment to explain 'ants on a log' in this article on the life of a pot critic: 'the children’s snack of raisins and peanut butter on top of celery'. Beautiful Norwegian passports. Where to begin with Ursula LeGuin. The junction, the gapers, the merge. 'Let’s just talk about how impossible it is to keep your life from spiraling out of control when you have no financial cushion whatsoever. And let’s also talk about the ways in which money advice is geared only toward people who actually have money in the first place.' Women sing waulking songs of Scotland. Thank me later: an interview with Drake's voice coach.

And finally, the Nakasendo Trail, an old road in Japan that connects Kyoto to Tokyo. It was once a major foot highway, the in-land equivalent of the Hokkaido, traveled by nobles, samurai, and artists like the poet Basho. Today, small sections retain some of its historical feel. More pictures here.



Monday, December 1, 2014

first and foremost

Like many of us, I've been riveted to the news unfolding around Mike Brown's murder; Ferguson, Missouri; and the non-indictment of the grand jury. I click links and read until I feel too angry, or sad, or sick to keep going.

Over the weekend my family and I had long talks about what we'd read. We talked about what a mess everything was. What this said about the state of race relations in our country. Whether we'd made any progress as a nation since the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. How devastatingly far we still have to go.

But I haven't participated in this conversation online at all. Not a peep. Mostly, I use social media feeds as a reader, as places to consume, not create.

That now seems insufficient. It devastates me to think that, on a matter that so preoccupies me, this silence could be read as apathy. Our country is crumbling. We are all at stake. There is, to me, no more important conversation being had.

So here we are, in this little attic, a place where I sometimes fling my odds and ends so I can return to them later to rifle through, hold things to the light. And in the spirit of this tiny corner, here are scraps of what I've been reading. If you're looking to learn or commiserate or challenge yourself, these might be good places to start:

on waking up and smelling the water. how to argue eloquently about Ferguson. how to address the riot shamers. riots as a 'language of the unheard'. riots as 'exactly what’s supposed to happen when an injustice is happening in your community'. MLK Jr. on the stumbling block of the white moderate more concerned with 'order' than with justice. #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. Last Words. 12 things white people can do because Ferguson. and, closer to home, the demonization of Gary, Indiana.

only a fraction of the preponderance of important, thoughtful things being said right now, buy it's a start.


Friday, November 7, 2014

like a whale

Let's all sit under this beautifully drawn language tree and read the Diary of Samantha Pepys. BRB, getting my B.A. in Internetology. Chicago and the criminalization of homelessness. I was an intent, anxious, too-serious boy bent over a heavy novel in the slop-strewn eating hall of a traveler's block in Shanxi province. At night, anxiety made camp in my body, keeping me awake as I fretted over what I could do to make money and where I would live. The self-imposed challenges of owning it. Chris Rock, Duke of Doubt. A breathless, exquisitely written and rather long birth story.

aaaaand
dated to about 7000 BCE, probably the oldest mask in the world

Thursday, October 30, 2014

something in between


They take the elevator down from her sixth floor apartment and walk out into a snowy yard. The fox, on a leash, runs out and immediately starts tunneling into a pile of snow.
Irina's fox is named Viliya and is both a pet and Irina's dissertation project. Irina is a graduate student at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics outside of Novosibirsk, the capital of Siberia. 
She walks Viliya through apartment blocks and playgrounds. The fox waits patiently to cross the street. 
As they walk, groups of women coo at the fox, “what a beauty,” almost like it's a baby. Grown men stop, stare, and snap photos of Viliya. An elderly woman walking past asks, “Is that a wild animal? Or a domesticated pet?” Irina answers that the fox is somewhere in between. 
In fact, Viliya is the result of decades of calculated selection to see if it's possible to repeat the domestication of a wild animal, like a wolf, into a pet, like a dog.
More here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

i got this foliage going nuts

But what do you mean by basic though? Naruto x Fashion = both 2004 me and 2014 me internally squealing. The last FBI Burglar emerges after 43 years (filed under: badass ladies from Philadelphia; horizontal vs. vertical life). It's the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness. Let the nazi fall off onto his head. Nicki Minaj will not explain her ass to you. Bristol Palin, Malala YousafzaiHead, heart.

ayo shouts out to wisconsin foliage last weekend. i see you, boo.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

never catch me

Find your beach.  Put on your cutest shit and go to the fucking party and run it. A singular exhibit for a singular starman. Navigating all the fringe beliefs in LA. What I semi-seriously believe early childhood development to look like, moon allergies, witch hands and all. 10 grammar mistakes people love to correct that aren't actually wrong. For moms everywhere, I will find Oprah at this Oprah weekend. The reclusive, doll collecting copper queen of New York. Mongolian throat singing in the hands of a trained soprano.

the haunting, and curiously joyful:

Never Catch Me - Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

pie and coffee edition

Drinking a cold G&T in a rattan chair with a fan overhead — I like that a lot. Some of these zones really speak to me. Artistic advice from an awesome mom.  We cook to make ourselves indispensable and special. Delivering the mail, our collective secret dream job, not always so dreamy actually. What happens when your pet gets internet famous or, more generally, why do we meme? Artisanal cartography in the age of ArcGIS. This humpback whale goes Full.Damn.Breach.My past,” she told the room, “is littered with the bones of men who were foolish enough to think I was someone they could sleep on.” Fictional cities and fantastic architecture.

Aaaaaand, in honor of some damn fine news yesterday: