Kottke and the United States of Guns


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Like you, I’m heart broken, confused and angry as hell about yesterday’s mass shooting in Texas.

With every mass shooting, one of my favorite bloggers, Jason Kottke, responds with a post in which he shares the same material every time. I think it’s a wise use of his time.

I’m going to link to his post here in response to yesterday’s shooting. I feel more and more depressed that we live in a country so mismanaged when it comes to guns and of mental illness. Our president’s response  at a press conference in Japan was so painfully ignorant

Mind you, I’m not against gun ownership. But common sense conversations about gun ownership and the owners behind them should be on the table.

Either that or we need massive expansion of metal detectors in every public place imaginable … hotels, malls, grocery stores, Target, Kmart, Walmart … and could you fucking imagine … churches.

One standout part of Kottke’s post is this:

The gun is not a mere tool, a bit of technology, a political issue, a point of debate. It is an object of reverence. Devotion to it precludes interruption with the sacrifices it entails. Like most gods, it does what it will, and cannot be questioned. Its acolytes think it is capable only of good things. It guarantees life and safety and freedom. It even guarantees law. Law grows from it. Then how can law question it?

A designer friend of mine posted the above “Policy & Change” image to her Instagram this morning. I thought it belonged here as well.

 

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Media diet, busy-ness, relationships, life, learning and you


The last few months have been some of the busiest of my career (Thanks, President Trump!*).

The level of busy is positive for income and also for how it’s teaching me about my craft. While I make mistakes all the time on sets, I’ve learned how to deal with them better.

Another way to look at it is that I turn failures into opportunities. And that generally feels good.

Tina and I haven’t had a day off in what seems like forever. There wouldn’t be any real way to count. It would be exaggeration to claim no day off in months. There’s not a day that goes by when we don’t do something work related.

When we’re busy, my social life, media diet and reading life turns to shit. It kills me when I feel like I can’t keep up with my friends, or even maintain my personal media diet of books, exercise and mediation. Through the thick of it, I try my damnedest when and where I can.

Last Saturday night, Tina took some time to spend with her cousin Kelly and other girlfriends. I hunkered down and worked the night away on some interiors photography that had a hard deadline. It’s work that I’m really proud of, but can’t share because it has to publish first in a magazine. After that, I can share it.

Most of the night, I listened to one of my favorite radio stations: Nova Radio France. They play a mix of House, Jazz, some disco, etc. I heard a version of a Radiohead song once that I can’t find and it’s killing me. A lot of the music on Nova is bass-driven, and I think that’s why I like it so much. I used to play bass (try to anyway). Plus I get a little taste of French between songs, or in French songs, or in interviews they do with DJs.

Lately, they’ve turned me on to a pair of beautiful twin artist who go by Ibeyi. They’re super thought provoking and talented. Plus, I have a weakness for female vocalists.

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I don’t fucking care if this is some kind of advert for Burger King …


This viral video advocating standing up against bullies and for the bullied from Burger King is Gee to the R to the 8.

From Burger King:

Scrawny. Short. Ugly. Fat. Weird. 30% of school kids worldwide are bullied each year and bullying is the #1 act of violence against young people in America today (Source: nobully.org). The BURGER KING® brand is known for putting the crown on everyone’s head and allowing people to have it their way. Bullying is the exact opposite of that. So the BURGER KING® brand is speaking up against bullying during National Bullying Prevention Month.

In the BURGER KING® brand Bullying Jr. experiment, more people stood up for a bullied WHOPPER JR.® than a bullied high school Jr. Visit NoBully.org to learn how you can take a stand against bullying.

Grandiose intentions sometimes are just grandiose intentions


Swinging back into a blogging routine has been more difficult than I imagined. Our work schedule has been unrelenting since May.

I’m hoping that by attempting to journal a bit this year and even blog a bit more will help me — at least in hindsight — identify the best way(s) to move into 2018.

Being a freelancer is both a fun and a challenging way to live a life. Achieving a circadian rhythm is something so many people seem to benefit from, and I can’t seem to ever get into any kind of consistent rhythm.

One thing I wanted to share quickly was this sheet of bullet points sitting in front of me since August. It’s kind of the prosperity gospel in secular form.

It describes the habits/thoughts of an abundance thinker versus a scarcity thinker.

 

  • Believe there is always more where that came from.
  • Share their knowledge, contacts, and compassion with others.
  • Default to trust and build rapport easily.
  • Welcome competition, believing it makes the pie bigger and them better.
  • Ask themselves, How can I give more than is expected?
  • Are optimistic about the future, believing the best is yet to come.
  • Think big, embracing risk.
  • Are thankful and confident.

In reverse, scarcity thinkers:

  • Believe there will never be enough.
  • Are stingy with their knowledge, contacts, and compassion.
  • Default to suspicion and find it difficult to build rapport.
  • Resent competition, believing it makes the pie smaller and them weaker.
  • Ask themselves, How can I get by with less than is expected?
  • Are pessimistic about the future, believing that tough times are ahead.
  • Think small, avoiding risk.
  • Are entitled and fearful.

And while I agree that the positivity of the first group is a good way to move through life, I didn’t get to where I am because I believed there will be more where that came from. If I did, I wouldn’t have made it through the 2007/2008 financial crash.

Being adaptive and realistic is what got me through.

Although, when I read the scarcity ideas, there is nothing worse than the thought: “How can I get by with less than is expected.” As an artist, I would almost give all my talents away. Charging money for what I do is so so hard. I am in love with what I do. So doing something and just getting by might seep into my mind if I’m way too busy … But even then, I wear myself out trying to do more than is expected.

In reverse, I expect that from others. But I’m constantly let down that so many people I associate with or know are okay with doing far less than expected.

Which in turn makes me pessimistic about others.

But sometimes I have to remember other people’s abilities don’t match my expectations.

There’s always that.

I have been doing more to be more optimistic. And to share my knowledge is really on top of my radar. I think that’s what my goal is when I think of trying to get back into the vLog game. I want to share with others our trials and tribulations. Whatever they may be. But I’ve gotten out of a routine. And routines are super easy to break and extremely tough to resume.

If you want to read the rest of the article about abundance thinking, go here.

Hopefully you’ll want to stick around and get more info out of the guy behind this blog. I’m getting there. I swear.

 

With the horror of last night’s Las Vegas shooting comes a flood of responses


I don’t have time to properly respond with a personal reaction to the horrible terror shooting last night in Las Vegas.

I can say that: I hate violence. This stuff weighs on me. Hard. It makes me angry. It makes me emotional. It makes me sick. I’m sure I’m not alone.

The variety of responses though is sometimes awful on its own.

David Duke blames the Jews.

Alex Jones is claiming a liberal conspiracy by the Democrats and their Islamic allies.

Pat Robertson is blaming disrespect for president, flag and God.

President Trump sent his warmest condolences to those affected.

I spent about a minute reading the conspiracy nut blow jobs over at Breitbart on their thread about the shooting.

If the above five resources are any indication of the future, man, we’re fucked.

On the flip, I’m particularly drawn to bright minds like Jason Kottke, who wrote this morning:

America is a stuck in a Groundhog Day loop of gun violence. We’ll keep waking up, stuck in the same reality of oppression, carnage, and ruined lives until we can figure out how to effect meaningful change. I’ve collected some articles here about America’s dysfunctional relationship with guns, most of which I’ve shared before. Change is possible — there are good reasons to control the ownership of guns and control has a high likelihood of success — but how will our country find the political will to make it happen?

The whole post is worth a look. Link above.

If you read/saw some worthy responses to the shooting, please share them in the comments. If you read some particularly disgusting ones, hell, post ’em too.

Thanks.

 

 

Yay! Science programing worth a good goddamn!


Tina’s going to be excited about the above.

Drawing from never-before-seen footage that has been tucked away in the National Geographic archives, director Brett Morgen tells the story of JANE, a woman whose chimpanzee research revolutionized our understanding of the natural world.

Then there’s this Blue Planet II delightfully created, produced and delivered beast of a show with an amazing sound track from Radiohead and Hans Zimmer. Dip below the fold for a behind the scenes look at the way the sound track was approached (amazing).

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Today’s quote of the day comes from a recently dead fake news propagator. Who knew?


In a Washington Post interview last year, Fake News writer and now dead (at 38) Paul Horner explained the following about his ability to fool people on social media:

Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.

My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time. I think Trump is in the White House because of me. His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything. His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.

More below the fold.

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