A note-to-self on race, public platforms, and more

At the moment I’m struggling between wanting to post all about BLM and also finding space for other things that are important to me like art, writing, and creativity.. not that these are mutually exclusive. For my personal accounts, I’ve been inactive after going full-time social media for work. I’ve been promoting BLM anti-racist works on those accounts. I’ve used my personal accounts as an amplifier of those professional accounts, but I’m in need of a vector that communicates more directly about the issues.

About the issues: Since late May, the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDale, and more and more and more have catalyzed a dystopian flash-forward in the world’s consciousness on issues of race, Black Lives Matter, and violence. The tide of politics has risen exponentially, and I’m struggling to stay afloat. 

My personal issues with confronting the issues: Honestly, even in the past when BLM exploded with the death of Travyon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman and the shooting of Michael Brown, I largely stood in silent solidarity with my left-leaning peers. Silence is violence. The dialectic has to be shared among everyone in 2020. 

And that’s where I trip up. I need to educate myself more beyond my education. I need to read and note and participate. What that looks like: reading, highlighting, sharing, and engaging with works by radical Black authors and organizers. Sharing action items (petitions, email templates, other accounts, and places seeking donations) and continuing to take part in these action items yourself. Checking in with yourself about how you can do better each and every day. Understanding the weaknesses of your past and calibrating for the future. 

My issues with the issues is deep. It shows itself in my shallow distaste for the look and feel of organizing, for the lack of aesthetics, for the blunt edges of realities that I’ve happily excluded myself from. Maybe I tackle these with solutions that I’ve seen other use: design for politics*, social media for politics, community building for politics

*politics as protests, resource sharing, collective healing

I need to: build tolerance for the boring but necessary, exercise speaking out as a muscle

I need to: conceptualize a queer future 

Rice Essay

Cringey essay for rice from 2016?

Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve. You can type directly into the box, or you can paste text from another source. (250-650 words)

It’s hard to extricate the personal from the academic. Empirical sciences interpret the world through approximate models while literature imputes argumentative value through the realm of the subjective and aesthetic. A dichotomy emerges that manifests itself in the schools of higher learning, e.g. schools of liberal arts and of natural sciences. Of course the areas available to study today convolute this one example of higher learning’s equivocal function. Other conflicts can be drawn from the explanatory/philosophical, to the highly practical/mechanical: the debate between theory and practice. The lines further sharpen and bleed into one another as aspects of a subject appear inevitably linked with the definition of another, as when the question of interpretation in empirical sciences exchanges paradoxical glances with the empirical weight of literature in anthropological studies. Out of this mess of distinctions and indistinctions emerges some loose definition of higher learning’s function- a university’s function. However loose and amorphous, the definition encapsulates my reasons for transferring and the concomitant goals therein. 

I believe that the purpose of a university is to teach its students how to proceed through life. 

-deep sigh-

An accompanying shaking of the head in disbelief would be appropriate, but I reiterate nonetheless- universities guide students through the process of life. It sounds utterly banal and commonsense, the fodder of commencement addresses immemorial. Could an accompanying poignancy be latent? I have to ask, what is life? It’s the seed of germination, the chicken and the egg, the cause and effect- personal and academic, the individual and the family. What is life? When I considered it fully, I never saw myself concluding what I did: that life was inextricably everything- a concert of contradictions that makes the Gordian Knot look like a simple shoelace tie. 

All these crossed lines and bloody contradictions might suggest higher learning provides students with sharpened wits as to cut, like Alexander the Great’s sword, through the mick-mash of obfuscating life. But I believe the opposite is true, that universities hold the tools to see these lines and somehow help students embrace them as a homogeneous whole- in other words, that universities help students study life. This life includes the personal and academic- together.

This life includes the family and individual- together. This life exists in between the lines, is made up of the lines and as a whole has no lines at all. 

When I looked at life at my college, I realized that I had, in a major sense, been running away. The contradictions of the self and family peeled like salty brine at my insides, so I threw myself in the lukewarm solace of isolation 1,600 miles away, away from the problematic.

Unfortunately in life the problematic is also usually essential. What I did at my school newspaper I saw myself doing anywhere- writing is always going to be a part of me. Still, the newspaper gave me a chance to see myself in print for the first time and exposed me to the impact of college newspapers (e.g. the debate issue and Sigma Pi hazing piece proliferated nationally), but ultimately I’m not essential to the team, to the university.

I’ve meshed the academic and personal for most of my life. I remember sharing the details of Saturn and Jupiter to my father in between clothes racks too tall for my head to clear. I hope to continue meshing the personal and the academic in the process of learning how to live life. I hope to understand the implications of a life necessitated on each individual part of its gestalt, a life with self responsibility, familial responsibility, academic vivacity and the incessant progression of ideas.

the best place to be on a wednesday afternoon

the best place to be on a wednesday afternoon is the fourth floor of the paley media center library, where a quadragenarian with long brown hair greets you within the striated lighting of closed blinds. the greeting is soft and open. you are offered two choices of archives specific to the current season, but you choose neither* and are led instead to the classic archives, a section past two others, near where you can see vintage models of what-seems-to-be monitors lining a back wall. 
a comfortable chair with armrests is pulled out for you. you sit. say thanks. the archive is a computer system, and the librarian tells you of its various components. curator’s choice, made in nyc, interviews with cast members. mrs. maisel is referenced and you smile – there is a lot to see and watch. headphones – the type available in public school computer labs and libraries, small and bendy – are pointed out to you.

the exhibit below says upstairs in the fourth-floor library, paley has interactive exhibits. i guess public computers are interactive exhibits. the time allotment of 1:30 hours is given to you and you’re told accommodation for more time afterwards is possible. you find a mrs. maisel paley panel video that’s about that length. but it’s been five minutes – time to go back. you hit the lower left hand corner back button a few times just in case, going back in the session’s branching click history made in nyc > tracy jordan on conan > log out. before you leave you hear a different librarian explain the computer system to a new guest. are you familiar with it? -here’s how much time you have- 
smile at the person who helped you on the way out. 

*the choice is non and feels open and friendly, opening immediately to another thing – and I process it by looking away from my love of this ease.

Break break

I haven’t posted anything on this blog in so long! These days I’m working from home – thank god for the remote capabilities of digital marketing!

It’s odd to say, but I miss the office quite a bit. WFH has made me realize how easy it would be to just have the majority of work out of office…all I do is capable of being done from a laptop!

Some things I don’t miss are my near-hour commute time and spending $20~ on Midtown lunches. Getting off the J train after the sun had set also bummed me out most days. Then the days started getting longer, and I’d get home and still have a couple hours of sun left. It felt like a whole new life.

This first week of fully remote work has been a bit of a non-week. I don’t know what the phrase for the feeling of life becoming media is (like a reverse fourth-wall break), but I felt that walking back from the groceries today.

I’m starting to enjoy remote calls. I love that for lunch I can just walk over to the kitchen and make something new instead of microwaving a Tupperware of meal prep. There’s also an appreciation for your own bathroom that can only be grasped in contrast with public bathrooms. 🚽

Might post some private reflections/misc. backlog l8r.

Muff

going back in time. here are 10+ drafts from my tumblr vault–a washed out look into 2012-2015. Age 13-15.

Music to Check OUT/ download

http://blankkytt.bandcamp.com/album/heavy-crazy-serious

http://www.insaneproject.com/2011/12/2011-10th-best-tracks.html

http://freemusicarchive.org/music/The_Paperhead/Live_at_WFMU_on_Talks_Cheap_July_28th_2011/The_Paperhead_-_04_-_Cant_Keep_My_Eyes_Open

Engorgio

Just more thoughts while I’m on this machine. I feel unfortunate because this will make the total number of my drafts reach thirteen.. oh well. Haha well, this art-blog-scrolling-music-listening hobby of mine is getting nowhere. It has no point, and yes I don’t know. The music is nice though, very goood. So I am going to watch television series now I guess, which is so dissapointing, but there’s no helping it. I’m sorry.

Queer Art and Work and Words

Reading – skipping lines, dropping words, mutating forms, skimming – as a kind of poetry

y

some rules of alliance born of sound display

Today I went from opening a regular email to clicking to a list of 50 Best LGBTQ books on Oprah Magazine, to a review of Jean Cocteau: A Life, to more work by the reviewer, to a piece on Instagram and looks.

In a separate distraction, a search auto-populated with some past page I must have opened of an i-D article on side-hustles that I’m now fully reading. Looking at quotes like “inactivity as a goal”

floating notes: aspiring artists used to make porn in the 70s.
giving the audience exactly what they want describes porn

2019 is 3/4 over

what were your goals for 2019? reflect below

Thinking about this photo I saved earlier in 2019. I loved its honesty and the openness of each goal. “Communicate” is one of my favorites.

Finding time

In 2019 I struggled a lot with finding time for the right things. Asking myself “why” at every step was the hardest thing to do, and it also helped a lot in figuring out what even were these “right things.” I know now that, for me, the future is my primary focus. The future and the things associated with it are my “right things,” and I hope to focus more of my time on these things and less on the past going forward.


*a little note before I go. Trying out a new daily blog posting schedule where I’ll post at 7pm EST each day–ideally time for you to settle in after your commute and approximately the time I’ll be having dinner.

Instructions for instructions

This weekend was a long one. As a part of a ridiculously generous company policy, summer Fridays exist for all employees regardless of seniority.. what does that mean for me, an entry-level Marketing Assistant?

Well, since my hiring on August 5th, 2019, I’ve had every other Friday off. That’s incredible! To make it even more insane, I also took my personal day last Friday, which means for the past three weeks I’ve had work off on Friday. Labor Day was today so I got a four-day weekend at the end of my first month (has it already been that long?) at Hachette.

Since end of June, I’ve been scheduling daily posts for this blog with the consummate litany of tags and categories that I thought would promote the likes and views and follows that I had been seeing earlier this summer. Although the views remained more or less consistent, engagement dropped and I haven’t seen much change except when I post a non-scheduled post.

I won’t pretend that I know how this blogging game works. For now I’ll focus on having the drafted archived posts up for posterity.

How to capture the essence of a moment

To capture the essence of a moment, put it in a bottle and secure it’s precious quality for later reminiscence. How to: 

1. Find an empty part of the mind.

2. Keep mind open.

3. Allow moment’s sensations and emotions to flow into the vacant lot.

4. Focus on capturing the essence.

5. Seal the memory by soaking oneself in its sensory perceptions and feelings.