Categories
Life

A celebration of difference

A tasteless mishmash, a remix so variegated it ends in shatters.

The point of the melting pot is to blend and spit out something cohesive.

The past, present, and future are all intertwined in diversification, miles away from standardization.

Bounded to each other, we celebrate our differences.

Plurality and assimilation are indispensable allies.

So we let our characters churn, breaking apart to congeal all the same. The glorious past happens all together now.

Categories
Life

The hunt for lost desires

We humans hunt for desires, only to realize that chasing the same materials leaves us feeling empty.

Consuming in a desultory fashion is not what the doctor ordered.

People are meant to be unique machines, versatile with no fixed shape.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but without venturing into the unknown we fail to evolve.

The victim stands still, faced by the conformist pressure of fitting in.

The same rebelliousness that encourages people to opt out is the same one that sparks them to live with intention.

At the peak of our abilities, we mature into death.

Ironically, the sheep survive. But to what end? The conundrum persists.

“The price of being a sheep is boredom. The price of being a wolf is loneliness. Choose one or the other with great care.”

— Hugh MacleodIgnore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity

What does it mean to be me?

Sociologist Erving Goffman believed that all human interaction was a theatrical performance. In his most famous book The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, Goffman called his analysis the study of  “Dramaturgy.”

Dramaturgical analysis is the idea that we present an edited version of our selves when we meet others in person.

All the internet’s a stage

The internet, of course, adds a new layer of complexity to Goffman’s perspective.

If social media is edited real life, then our dramaturgical action is the physical extension of it. We are no less authentic online than we are in person.

Goffman’s theory builds on American sociologist Charles Cooley’s ‘The Looking Glass Self’ theory. In 1902, he contextualized the individual:

“I imagine your mind, and especially what your mind thinks about my mind, and what your mind thinks about what my mind thinks about your mind.”

Charles Cooley

Keep in mind that people only considered themselves individuals with the rise of mirrors in the 15th century.

We juggle identities online and off, but each of us has a fixed character. It is our friends and family members and Google who know our most authentic self.

Categories
Life

A museum of self

The Metropolitan Museum only showcases ten percent of its owned pieces at any given time. The rest of the art is stored somewhere else waiting to be picked and featured.

“A physical museum is itself a sort of data set — an aggregation of the micro in order to glimpse the macro.”

We all have a surfeit inventory of things we’d like to show: our talents, our Instagram and SnapChat selfies, our love for others. But they can’t all be on display at once.

Like a museum, we have to curate our display while also growing our collection.

The timing, packaging, and place for revealing of our greatest attributes and emotions are stories of their own.

Like art pieces in a gallery, personalities also require curation. It’s impossible to show all your cards at once — pick a few from the archive and make the storytelling as compelling as possible.

RIP Evelyn Berezin, creator of the first word processor

We take the word processor for granted but fifty years ago it didn’t even exist. That is, until Evelyn Berezin came along and produced the first standalone word processing machine. She previously had made the world’s first bank and airline system software.

She called her machine the Data Secretary, thinking that the new technology would eradicate the role of the human secretary.

The machine itself stood 40 inches high and contained thirteen semiconductor chips that Berezin patented. Unlike machines of past this one could delete, cut, copy, and paste — features we find ubiquitous today.

Berezin thrived in a man’s world, crushing all stereotypes that came her way. She felt compelled to lead the way in computer technology. Author and blogger Gwyn Headley sums it up perfectly:

“Without Ms. Berezin, there would be no Bill Gates, no Steve Jobs, no internet, no word processors, no spreadsheets; nothing that remotely connects business with the 21st century.”

Her influence is profound. One to remember.

Photo by Barton Silverman/New York Times

NASA’s “women computers” 🚀

Katherine Johnson helped launch America’s first orbit around Earth. She also “computed the path” that would eventually get Neil Armstrong to the moon. 

In 1962’s Mercury-Atlas launch, astronaut John Glenn personally requested that she hand-crunch the machine’s calculations around the planet.  She confirmed the math a day and a half later.

The 2016 film Hidden Figures pays tribute to Johnson’s seminal role in one of the most important NASA missions in America’s spaceflight history.

People pot pie 😝

This video of human face pies is a nightmare. The teeth and pies with hair may be the scariest of the lot, while the fact that you can get these customized is haunting.

I know we are still 3 months away from Halloween so apologies in advance.

RIP Anthony Bourdain: ‘I love having my teeth kicked in by a different perspective’

Stay hungry. Stay curious. And above all, stay interesting.

Queens of the Stone Age lead singer Josh Homme, who wrote a song for Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, said it best:

He was such a beautiful contagion. He presented such a fascinating doorway to so many other things that aren’t within your narrow doorway of what you do.

RIP Anthony Bourdain: 'I love having my teeth kicked in by a different perspective'

Bourdain shared so many important messages on keeping an open eye on life and work. Below are some of my favorite Bourdain quotes as posted on this blog throughout the years.

Don’t aspire to mediocrity. Even if you fail, try to be awesome. At something. Anything. It doesn’t matter. Just try to be awesome.

Life ain’t that simple. It IS complicated. And filled with nuance worth exploring.

If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody.

Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”

Show up on time. It is the basis of everything.

We literally sit down and try to figure out, ‘What’s the most fucked-up thing we can do?’

I love having my teeth kicked in by a different perspective.

There are the type of people who are going to live up to what they said they were going to do yesterday and then there are people who are full of shit. And that’s all you really need to know. If you can’t be bothered to show up, why should anybody show up. It’s just the end of the fucking world.

If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or, at least, eat their food.

Anthony Bourdain

Categories
Arts Uncategorized

‘To me, a painter, if not the most useful, is the least harmful member of our society’

man ray quote.png

“To me, a painter, if not the most useful, is the least harmful member of our society.”

Man RaySelf-Portrait

Abraham Lincoln: ‘All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother’

A quote from Abraham Lincoln

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

Abraham Lincoln

Categories
Arts

Go inside the apartment of graphic communicator George Lois

Renowned graphic communicator George Lois takes us on a tour of his apartment. Located in Greenwich Village, what he calls “the best part of Manhattan,” the apartment is full of art. Even the chairs.

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘I have chairs all over the house that I don’t let anybody sit in. ‘Don’t sit in that chair!’ But it’s a chair. No, it’s not. It’s a work of art.”” quote=”‘I have chairs all over the house that I don’t let anybody sit in. ‘Don’t sit in that chair!’ But it’s a chair. No, it’s not. It’s a work of art.””]

Lois may be most recognized for creating the iconic “I Want My MTV” slogan. But he also designed 92 Esquire covers. He also spearheaded the 1960s Creative Revolution that shaped modern day advertising. Some even think he inspired the attitude of irreverence in Don Draper from Mad Men.

Take it from George Lois: “You have to have the good eye.” There is no doubt the man had a knack for aesthetics.

Categories
Uncategorized

Stephen King lists his top 10 favorite books of all-time

To celebrate the launch of Stephen King’s novel The Outsider in March 2018, Goodreads asked Stephen King to list out his top 10 favorite books of all time.

The voracious reader and prolific writer never felt satisfied with his final selections, but he played along anyway. See below for the complete list.

“Of course, any list like this is slightly ridiculous. On another day, ten different titles might come to mind, like The Exorcist, or All the Pretty Horses in place of Blood Meridian. On another day I’d be sure to include Light in August or Scott Smith’s superb A Simple Plan. The Sea, the Sea, by Iris Murdoch. But what the hell, I stand by these. Although Anthony Powell’s novels should probably be here, especially the sublimely titled Casanova’s Chinese Restaurant and Books Do Furnish a Room. And Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet. And at least six novels by Patricia Highsmith. What about Patrick O’Brian? See how hard this is to let go?”

Stephen King

Stephen King’s Top 10 Favorite Books of All-Time