Atlantic article – Reading a Poem: 20 Strategies

“Someday, when all your material possessions will seem to have shed their utility and just become obstacles to the toilet, poems will still hold their value. They are rooms that take up such little room. A memorized poem, or a line or two, becomes part internal jewelry and part life-saving skill, like knowing how to put a mugger in an arm-lock or the best way to cut open a mango without slicing your hand.”

Link to full article here

The Human Shuffle

“If ChatRoulette catches on, it might even swing our collective online pendulum back toward chaos.” 

Below is a link to a brilliantly written article about Chatroulette (the crazy site that pairs random strangers’ webcams) circa 2010. I thought it unpacked the problems, and potential transformative properties of the site, and ones like it, really well. I think the site is a very interesting social experiment that has really just become grotesque slathering of naked people. Author’s note: the end of that last sentence made me laugh so I kept it even though it probably conjures potentially harmful images. Please, forgive me.

LINK HERE 

Dear Not Gonna Pray – Andrew W.K. responds

“It’s the feeling of power in our powerlessness. A feeling of knowing that we don’t know. A feeling of gaining strength by admitting weakness.” – Andrew W.K. 

LINK TO ARTICLE HERE 

Andrew W.K. responds to a letter written to him about prayer. The sender has just learned that his brother has been diagnosed with cancer. The sender’s grandmother feels the family should pray for his brother, and he feels prayer is pointless and solves nothing. It actually makes the sender angry to even think about prayer.

Andrew W.K.’s retort is amazing:

“I want you to pray for your brother right now. As a gesture to your grandmother — who, if she didn’t exist, neither would you. I want you to pray right now, just for the sake of challenging yourself. I want you to find a place alone, and kneel down — against all your stubborn tendencies telling you not to — and close your eyes and think of one concentrated thought: your brother.” 

love that response. Asking some one to pray out of respect for their grandmother. Asking someone to pray as a challenge. We should constantly put ourselves in other people’s shoes. Because if what we believe is in fact true, then it will stand up to any challenge. As Shad says, “The truth is bulletproof.”

W.K. goes on to say that prayer is more than meditation because of humility (which means the condition of being humble or having a modest estimate of one’s own importance). Humbling ourselves before something greater than us.

I enjoyed this article, and subsequently, every article I have read that Andrew W.K. has written. I think he has a unique perspective.  I don’t always agree with everything he says, but I think his voice is very important and has a meaningful place in the cultural landscape. Also, his music is rad.

WK Photo by Ashley Eberbach

Top 10 Intellectual Rappers – listverse.com

If I were a rapper, I would want the title “Most Intelligent in the Game.” I think that would feel pretty good. I agree with the names on this list, although I’ve never listened to Kool Keith. Aesop at number one, huh? He certainly packs ’em in and uses words that few others are using. If you follow my blog at all, you know I’m going to mention Shad. I know he hasn’t been around as long as some of these other guys, but he certainly fits the bill of “intelligent.” I’ll stop before I get too fan boy on my own blog, but I hope brotha Shad won’t stop slaying tracks till he’s unanimously atop all these lists. 

Top 10 list LINK HERE

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Writer?

“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.” – Letters to a Young Poet, Rilke 

LINK HERE to storylineblog.com