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

15 short fiction collections written by women you should check out – Bustle.com

I have read a few of these collections. I really enjoyed Self Help by Lorrie Moore and The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender. Bustle.com has complied a formidable list to check out. Get to reading. LINK HERE

“Bender’s world is strange and fabulous, an ultravivid, matter-of-fact presentation of extraordinary circumstances and bizarre fulfillments … Declarative and telegraphic, Bender’s stories read like modern fables – with a healthy sense of twisted humor thrown in for good measure.”- Village Voice Literary Supplement.

“That is what is wrong with cold people. Not that they have ice in their souls – we all have a bit of that – but that they insist every word and deed mirror that ice. They never learn the beauty or value of gesture. The emotional necessity. For them, it is all honesty before kindness, truth before art. Love is art, not truth. It’s like painting scenery.”
― Loorie Moore in Self Help 

flammable                                   self help

Are You Preparing for the Unexpected?

“Let’s stop putting off our work and instead start preparing for greatness.” 

I want to be great at many things. I want to write songs, I want to write poems, I want to write books and Nelson is saying that doing great things is made easier by practicing and honing your skills; keeping your body and mind conditioned, so when opportunity is thrust into your lap you don’t have to say, “Man, I wish I would have done (x) or (y) more.”

LINK HERE from stroylineblog.com

 

Why It Doesn’t Matter How You Feel About Your Friends

“It doesn’t matter how much you love someone. What matters is that they know it.” 

LINK HERE 

Said the Gramophone

Have you checked out saidthegramophone.com? It is a great music blog. A strictly music blog. They have done a list of 100 best songs since 2005 and it is worth flipping through. It’ll be like diggin’ in the crates at a record shop that’s been running since the 70s. Said the Gramophone is one of the oldest music blogs around. They like to post good music and talk about it. It’s that simple.

Check out the list for 2013 HERE.

gramophone

They did include Katy Perry’s roar on the list. Don’t hold that against this site until you read what they wrote in regards to it:

“All right – I waffled for weeks about whether to include “Roar” on this list. Not because it doesn’t deserve to be. Not because it’s mainstream pop – as evidenced elsewhere, I have no problem celebrating bubblegum. But there is a certain politics here. Somehow, listing “Roar” feels like conceding defeat. Conceding defeat to corporate masters, commercial interests, the military-industrial machine that fueled millions of dollars into a laboratory-honed hit. The same issues are in play with Drake, Miley Cyrus, Daft Punk, Beyoncé or even Phoenix, but “Roar”, in particular, feels like a culmination, a quintessence, of our gamed means of musical production. “Roar”‘s undeniable steamroller of hook seems almost pharmaceutical in its attention to detail – ingredients that have been tested, double-blind, lyrics borrowed from other successful (and triple-patented) products, polished and packaged and then beamed directly into my ears, in a thousand shops and shopping-malls and children’s parties. Katy Perry is a real person but this catchy masterpiece is as soulless and bullshit as Walmart’s Boxing Day flyer, as a commercial for Old Spice or Dove, as the score in a play-off game by my beloved Habs. Beware.” – said the gramophone