fear is the greatest human emotion, perhaps the only one. even love is a sub-feeling, a by-product of fear. we love out of fear. no matter what fear, it doesn’t matter. fear of loneliness, mostly. fear of death. wanting to last in people’s memories.not sure where this is from
I’m trying to be a lot more deliberate in my looks now that I kind of have nowhere to go. For hair.. I’ve had a pretty boring series of haircuts all my life; I’ve never ever dyed my hair, never done anything wild in styling it, and have never had an unusual cut. I cut my own hair now, which is an easy 2-minute buzz of my back and side hair and a 20-minute to an hour long haphazard job with my top and front hair which I hack at using a pair of scissors and a wild amount of self-doubt.
So, I’ve had some haircuts that I preferred. For a long time it was really long hair – so no haircut at all. More recently it’s been short hair.
Here’s me with messy short hair (and overall messy look) which I liked a lot at the time:
I still like the messy short hair – it’s easy, and looks alright sometimes. Having looks look good by chance was my style philosophy for a while. Intentionally stylized looks could be fake, or forced. But they could be beautiful too.
My lazy style meant throwing on all the clothes I loved, messy hair don’t care. Now I guess I’m thinking of paring back, wearing maybe just 3 colors at most lol. To all the clothes I loved before.. I’m still thinking of clothes I love as items that I can still love…just not all on myself 100% of the time.
Hair is still a WIP. I love my black hair, I don’t think I’d ever dye it. I also don’t like gel, so the best I could do is something wild with the buzz. Or I could start wearing wigs.. Khruangbin vibes?
I love her ideas~ not to conjecture on a slippery slope, but I can’t help wondering if on-demand consumption will be able to replace mass products in retail stores. I see it as being widely adoptable, pending multiple needs: accessible prices at scale, a rethinking of seasonality, and the move toward week-to-week production based on machine learning projection models that Nonoo starts to explain at 18:00.
The conversation around clothing our own avatars is so interesting given multiple 3-D model artists being employed by brands during virtual fashion week to model the weight and movement of new collections. I agree that this could be mainstream in the near future if this modeling is available for more and more brands. The idea of biotech-informed material clothing production is also exciting and reminds me of the material ecology work of architect Neri Oxman, especially when Nonoo talks about lab-grown leather and synthetic silk.
Elaine Scarry’s ideas on transformational beauty as the work of lessening pain and injustice felt illuminating initially, and then too obvious, a framework already capsizing. And then I took a look off my page and came back… I feel a bit Zen? A Koan.
- Beauty emphasizes and empathizes the world; pain contracts the world and diminishes our ability to create and exist in the world
- Beauty in the 21st Century has been over-used by advertising, thereby conditioning our responses to beauty with consumerism; when we see something beautiful we want to buy it
- Beauty by way of Plato and Homer sees beauty as a way toward goodness and justice, ideals which are helpfully threaded by beauty – an ideal that exists and is able to be processed in the world of senses
Moving on to a brief point on queerness and utility
- Scarry writes about the theory of value and beauty as being so subsumed by consumerism, while in history it’s been so much richer of a concept in terms of value outside usefulness and the commercial sense
- Ocean Vuong brings this idea in parallel with queerness: “that’s the critique that we all get: That queerness is decorous, it’s not a utilitarian thing, and therefore has no value.” Source
I see my problem currently as a project of excavation. I need to exhume beauty from the muck of consumerism and restore in my mind some practice of enlivening that lasts (and is appropriately Zen). The sound of a single clapping hand.
I don’t believe in allyship. I want to believe in nonduality, and/or a process toward it.
tabs in my browser
Oh, and Jack Dorsey’s archived blog entries:
i have no super powers but i skip reasonably well
i wanted to write the sky today and my wrists are holding me down.
kids are absent from structure, and play in the disorder while creating more
as soon as i record, you become false.
very important content
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
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.
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 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.
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.