A collection of thoughts ... from a[n exploding] boy in Toronto.
Really touched by Katara’s compassion and gentleness in this moment amidst Aang’s fit of range. That’s not something I’m very tolerant to being around. But I guess it’s easier to be calm and consoling and compassionate when someone’s anger isn’t directed at you AND when they’re angry for a very legitimate reason (e.g. someone just stole Aang’s close friend/companion animal) as opposed to something trivial leading them into a fit of rage.
Unless the economy is of the people and by the people it will never be for the people. This book is for people who want to know what a desirable alternative to capitalism might look like. It is for people who want more than rosy rhetoric and Pollyannaish descriptions of people working in harmony. It is for people who want to dig into what economic justice and economic democracy mean. It is a book for optimists—who believe the human species must be capable of something better than succumbing to competition and greed or authoritarianism, and would like to know how we can do it. It is also a book for skeptics—who demand to be shown, explicitly and concretely, how a modern economy can dispense with markets and authoritarian planning, and how hundreds of millions of people can manage their own division of labor efficiently and equitably.
I found this book very inspiring on both the individual level in terms of my interactions/relationships with others; on the meso-ish level of starting up organizations that embody parecon values; and on the macro level in hopes of one day what could be a radically more just and compassionate society.
Too many of my classmates have shared their disenchantment with “human nature,” which I found slightly annoying, so this really stood out to me:
“While capitalism is incompatible with the best of human potentials, it is compatible with some of our worst potentials. No economic system totally at odds with human nature could possibly survive as long as capitalism already has if it did not resonate with some part of what human beings become.”
“In a hierarchical system that rewards greedy and fearful behaviour many of us will often behave in these ways.” We are told it is impossible to have a system where people make their own decisions, and “where people are positively rewarded for embracing a fair distribution of the burdens and benefits of economic activity, where people are rewarded for acting in solidarity with others[.] … The fact that we can see people behaving in these positive ways every day despite disincentives to do so is clear evidence that such behaviour is not beyond human nature”
I also find it interesting how Hahnel defines solidarity. Basically, “concern for the well-being of others” and in a later section he adds “and granting others the same consideration in their endeavors as we ask for ourselves.” This is a very simple and compelling principle to embrace, whereas I had often interpreted solidarity in a more hesitant way meaning, ‘I will completely back you up regardless of what you do; even if really terrible.’
Saw Obvious Child tonight — “the first romantic comedy about abortion” (and ‘wrapped in a very positive way’). Not quite a favourite, but often cute and “the subversive rom-com you’ve been waiting for.”
Was cool to see Amy Goodman interview the director Gillian Robespierre. Their exchange at the end was endearing.
AMY: It’s hard to believe that in 2014 you’re breaking new ground when it comes to just dealing with what so many women deal with every day. But when it comes to Hollywood, which takes risks in a lot of ways, it’s you, actually, who are breaking ground in making this an experience that many women have and have to deal with.
GILLIAN: *awkwardly chuckles* Thank you. Thanks so much.
AMY: No, you were supposed to respond to that.
GILLIAN: I don’t know how to respond to that. *they both burst into laughter*
p.s. Gillian Robespierre disagrees with the tag line of it being a “romantic comedy about abortion,” but that soundbite description was fitting for how I saw the movie. She also says “there is no comedy or sarcasm or jokes about abortion,” but there definitely was jokes about abortion.
Just saw that cool Filipino cat Blackbird Blackbird play last night. I still wish I had DJing skillz. It’s great to see all the Asian producers/DJs out there doing their thing. Some of my more favourite tracks:
Taquwami - Λlieɳs
Futurecop! feat New Arcades - Schizoid Man
Shigeto - Miss U
Giraffage - Visible
Kid Koala - reinterprets “Moon River”
On a separate note regarding TD Bank’s “Forever Proud” slogan, TD Bank is corporate! They literally have a bank on Wall Street. But, okay, to be honest, I can’t help but find their (probably opportunistic) sloganeering a tad endearing. And it is my bank. But, I do plan to switch to a credit union once I get a job. For real!
“If you’re going to build a great company, not just building a company that might do well for one or two years, but will do well in the long term, because you are producing a great franchise – what I say internally ‘start with the people.’ Build the company around them and the shareholders will be well taken care of.” — Ed Clark, TD Bank CEO
1) Deana Lawson, “Self-Portrait” (2012)
LAWSON: At least once a year, I make a self-portrait. It’s an occasion for the artist to construct her representation through her own medium, be it a camera or a paintbrush or what have you. It’s an opportunity to declare who you are visually and who you aspire to be. A selfie is a smaller branch of self-portraiture—quick and less considered. A self-portrait considers the interiority of the artist; it’s a moment for self-reflection, to pause and to look at yourself.
4) Jun Ahn, “Self-Portrait” (2008)/Courtesy Christophe Guye Galerie, Zürich
AUN: This image was taken at the apartment where I lived for about six years, while I was in graduate school for photography, in New York. I consider the elimination of context the most fascinating aspect of a photographic image. For me, photography is the reality and the fantasy, the truth and the fiction, all at the same time. What I wish to discover through photography is the invisible moment, the invisible structure, and hidden beauty of a world that only can be seen with the camera.
ARSENAULT: My work is a visual diary, and I’ve been capturing self-portraits for the past twenty years. I discover an environment and figure out a way to place myself in it. Sometimes, the process is quick and spontaneous, like “Italian Stallion,” which was taken in Tuscany, Italy. My shadow splayed across the lying figure creates my self-portrait. My work is a time line of my life. It’s an ongoing process, and I like to think of it as one continuous body of work. When I’m capturing a self-portrait, I’m exploring facets of my personal relationships, my sexuality, and my identity (often poking fun at myself).
LYON: It is not actually possible for me to photograph myself, as empathy, the quality that drives my work, can only be felt with another human, not with myself. This is a true document and an accident, to boot, as no one is looking through the viewfinder. The only real thing in it is my shoulder and the back of my face, which, again, is by accident, caught directly in front of the lens, creating a foreground, and the strange bathroom, decorated with children’s decals. A work of narcissism, a record of the person I was pretending to be forty-three years ago, and here taken out of context, as it was originally published, against a portrait of someone making love in a mirror.
20) Jen Davis, “Untitled No. 40” (2011), courtesy of Lee Marks Fine Art, IN andClampArt, New York
DAVIS: “Untitled No. 40” is part of an ongoing series of self-portraits. Through the act of photographing, I invite the viewer into the past eleven years of my private life, exploring the vulnerabilities that I carry, associated with a lifelong struggle with my body, feelings of isolation, the battle to recognize beauty, a quest for intimacy, and sense of acceptance. As I photograph myself, it helps me to think of the camera as a third party, creating a physical distance between the camera and myself, and an emotional distance between myself and the person being photographed. I was creating a character whom I didn’t necessarily know.
Sam Smith — Leave Your Lover
Not as good as the acoustic version of “Latch” or his Whitney cover, but this is pretty sweet/cute; mostly due to the back story.
Danng … Sam Smith covers my favourite Whitney song. I couldn’t help but notice and think, why does he change the lyrics to “how will I know if *you* really love me?” I was thinking, just say *he* dammit! So I was curious if it was a homophobic thing (it’s not) and came across this interesting interview:
In part, seemingly Sam Smith wanted to make the song as inclusive as possible:
"I want to make it a normality because this is a non-issue. People wouldn’t ask a straight person these questions. I’ve tried to be clever with this album, because it’s also important to me that my music reaches everybody. I’ve made my music so that it could be about anything and everybody— whether it’s a guy, a female or a goat—and everybody can relate to that."