Monday, 15 September 2014

Quote of the Week - Corkran

“If you make 77¢ on the dollar and you compound that over a lifetime, you end up with women having a lot less free cash flow.”
~ Jo Ann Corkran

This is from a great article about women investors fueling women-run businesses.

There are times - like right now - I get to wondering what it would be like to have that extra percentage accrued over a lifetime. Money is a decision-maker in society; automatically earning less is literally having your decision-making capabilities decreased for you.

I guess this week is about money. And Scotland.

Happy Monday!

Monday, 8 September 2014

Quote of the Week - Context and Sourcing

I try to source all the quotes I post, but even I was sucked into the Frieda Kahlo quote that was actually part of a Marti McConnell poem and you think I would know better.

Imagine how thrilled I was to find this amazing site - Quote Investigator!

Context is so important and we are losing it rapidly. The internet has become our archive for everything and that includes as much shaky truth as documented truth.

Maybe all this misquoting and misattribution is just telling us to stop trying to own thoughts and ideas. Yet, without proper attribution, what context is there?

This "Bukowski" quote has been everywhere: Find what you love and let it kill you.

It never felt like Bukowski to me. Also it has a funny spirit to it - especially for a man who spent a lot of time crawling into a bottle, up skirts and who pecked out his pecadillos on a typewriter.

Well, Quote Investigator says, it's not Bukowski at all - it's Kinky Friedman, or at least extrapolated from some statements by Kinky Friedman.

If you know anything about Kinky Friedman - well you might not know anything about Kinky Friedman - he's a consummate prankster. He's all persona and that persona was carefully designed as a post-hippie trickster Jewish cowboy who actually ran for Governor of Texas.

If you take Friedman out of context and call him Bukowski, well the words no longer mean what the words mean.

This is a little bit the problem with all these pithy quotes running around as twitter memes. Their lack of context allows them to mean themselves and their opposite. The more they circulate, the more power they lose. This is the opposite of remix culture - you are not adding power or doubling context - you are diluting and lessening. Maybe this is a place that language is going - beyond a kind of absolute meaning. Maybe we are moving in the direction of post-lingual. Maybe we should stop trying to hold onto context in the same way that perhaps we should stop trying to hold onto intellectual property.

I don't know.

We are evolving rapidly and in 100 years, when the Future Library is opened, I have no idea who we'll be.

But right now, those words mean something completely different to me if they've come from Bukowski than if they are coming from Friedman. One is said by a poet and novelist who took his work seriously and engaged sparingly in biting humor, and another from a humorist who loves provocation. The ability to re-contextualize and re-source is extremely powerful and we should use it. The danger is in losing context altogether, and disconnecting from source in a way that meaning is lost.

If the internet is to be our home, then I believe we must share context in order to communicate effectively. If we are aiming at making sense of life 140 characters at a time, we need to be precise. There is enough misunderstanding in the interfaces of humanity at the moment, some of it very violent. We are so often meeting in words now, and not in person or gesture, image or sound, we risk complete disconnection if we have no common ground for interpretation.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Groove Theories: Chasms / Subtle Bodies

Subtle Bodies
Sleep Genius

by Sean Morris

It was a rainy February night in Davis, CA. 2Pac brayed from my car stereo as I drove to see Wax Idols tear the roof off of a house known simply as “Chillanova.” Instinctively checking Twitter upon my arrival, I learned that an amp had fallen on the finger of Hether Fortune, WI’s frontwoman, and the band would have to cancel. San Francisco’s Chasms became impromptu headliners, and though the roof stayed intact, their goth-tronic post-rock duo delicately reversed the gravitational pull of the house partygoers’ feet.

Intrigued, the next day I took to Chasms’ Soundcloud and perused their most recent release at the time, the RiserEP. That majestic sixteen minutes comprises the first half of Subtle Bodies, their first LP. Though the chest-thumping percussion that opens “N.V.S.” is programmed at headbanger speed, there is never any doubt that this song was made for swaying. Dissonant and dulcet guitars gather like storm clouds, Jess Labrador’s elongated undertone misting the strikingly hypnotic track as it chugs along. Primary songwriter Labrador still hasn’t told me if “N.V.S.” stands for “not very smart” or “night vision system.”

Template firmly established, Labrador and bassist Sky Madden dig in. Their supernatural shoegaze would fit perfectly on the soundtrack of any David Lynch movie that isn’t The Straight Story. "Riser" features more pronounced (though not much more coherent) vocals, brightening the gloomy drone beneath it. “Not In This Dimension” is noticeably softer. Muted drums and Madden’s bass attempt to torment high-pitched melodies flittering their way to the heavens.

“When It Comes” and “Darker Outside” are slightly less bewitching. These cuts come from an earlier EP that employed more white noise than its followup did. “Soft Opening” and the newly recorded “Dissolution Into Clear Light” provide a glimpse into what a Chasms live show is like. The focus is less on harmonic refrains and more on ambient distortion. Divorced from the strobes and smoke of a darkened stage (or even a dimly lit living room), these pieces lose a bit of resonance. Even the most patient ear may strain to stay invested in the eleven and a half-minute “Dissolution.” Still, the top half of Subtle Bodies is so winning that the spell it casts does not break.

Chasms will tour the west coast this October with new wave group All Your Sisters. Be sure to check them out, provided nothing slices your finger open.

Subtle Bodies is vinyl + download that is only available via Chasms website, but the EPs that Subtle Bodies are culled from are available on itunes and amazon.

Listen/purchase Chasms' music on:

Zestyverse's resident Music Geek Sean Morris is an SF Bay Area native with a photographic memory and encyclopedic knowledge of popular culture. He is a graduate of UCLA's School of Theater, Film, and Television, a former Los Angeles Slam Team member, part of the collective Art 4 A Democratic Society, and a music blogger for The Owl Mag. Find him on TwitterSoundCloud, and YouTube.

Quote of the Week - Sherry

"How does anything happen in human history? How do we make the great leaps forward? We take risks. We place our hope in new, heretical ideas. If Albert Einstein had accepted the status quo of physics we could be living in a vastly different world." 
~ Kev Sherry

This great reminder is from an article on Scottish Independence. It's worth reading just for the inspiring argument Sherry makes about life and the evolution of humanity.

It's the beginning of a new cycle - in the US our summer was marked as over by Labor Day and we are back in work mode. Okay, we're not very good at leaving work mode, but we manage a little fun in the summer months!

Maybe it's time for some risk assessment. Are you risk averse? Are you a risk binger? When was the last time you took a risk? How did it work out? What would you consider a great leap forward?

Yes, homework - absolutely! Summer is OVER.

Thanks to Olly the Octopus for posting this on twitter!

That's Baryshnikov by Max Waldman at the top.