I love Lil' Wayne, but, well, this is kind of ridiculous:
But I guess everyone has to start somewhere! (Via Idolator.)
I'm sure it's old news by now, but I'm just getting around to reading this article on elevators in the New Yorker, and this, in particular, stood out to me:
In most elevators, at least in any built or installed since the early nineties, the door-close button doesn’t work. It is there mainly to make you think it works. (It does work if, say, a fireman needs to take control. But you need a key, and a fire, to do that.) Once you know this, it can be illuminating to watch people compulsively press the door-close button. That the door eventually closes reinforces their belief in the button’s power. It’s a little like prayer.
It's true: even though I know that the close button doesn't work, I still use it.
Michael Pollan poses a question that I'd assume a lot of people have about how to fight climate change on an individual basis--"Why bother?". For my part, I was (again) inspired by the thought of planting a garden:
But there are sweeter reasons to plant that garden, to bother. At least in this one corner of your yard and life, you will have begun to heal the split between what you think and what you do, to commingle your identities as consumer and producer and citizen. Chances are, your garden will re-engage you with your neighbors, for you will have produce to give away and the need to borrow their tools. You will have reduced the power of the cheap-energy mind by personally overcoming its most debilitating weakness: its helplessness and the fact that it can’t do much of anything that doesn’t involve division or subtraction.
Now, to actually do it.
Out of laziness, I missed the Dirty Projectors show last week in San Francisco. I'm pretty disappointed, because I'm sure I missed an amazing show, and Rise Above--their most recent album--is one of my current favorites.
If you're not familiar with the concept of Rise Above, here's how I described it around eight months ago:
[it's] a reinterpretation of Black Flag's Damaged, made without listening to the original album, recorded on a four-track that Dave Longstreth picked up mid-inspiration at the local music shop (apparently), but with merely a 25-year-old memory of said album and its songs & lyrics ...
I love this because--yes, taking the story with a grain of salt--Rise Above is what Damaged sounds like inside of Dave Longstreth's head! This is how his twenty-five-year-old memory of the album has evolved, and that's pretty neat. Frankly, it sounds better than Black Flag ever did, to me, and probably a lot worse to people who grew up listening to Black Flag.
This fucking city
is run by pigs!
They take away the rights
from all the kids.
As a reference point, Longsteth's take on punk sounds very much like early Scritti Politti: scratchy, nervous guitars combined with a mix of anxious yelps and R&B crooning.
And, perhaps despite itself, some moments of really intense beauty. The album closes with "Rise Above", one of the most conventionally pretty songs the Dirty Projectors have ever recorded, and a gorgeous end to a truly brilliant album.
Today, I read this Michael Kinsley piece in a recent New Yorker, the premise of which being that longevity is essentially the last competition that you'll ever have, and that after arriving at sixty years old, it's totally up for grabs whether you'll die tomorrow or live until ninety. Fun!
Oh, and, I certainly wasn't aware of the state of surgery/repair w/r/t Parkinson's:
[The symptoms] got even milder after I had an operation, a couple of years ago, to implant wires in my brain and two pacemaker-type batteries in my chest ... During the operation, your head is screwed into a metal frame and the frame is screwed into the operating table. My surgery lasted nine hours, and for most of it I had to be awake, so that the doctors could test the connection, like asking somebody to go upstairs and see if the light in the bedroom comes back on while you fiddle with the circuit-breaker box in the basement.
It's the future! And it's pretty fascinating.
There's a fascinating profile of George Clooney in the latest New Yorker. I particularly enjoyed this description of Clooney's altercation with Fabio last year:
I asked Clooney about the Fabio incident last November, and he laughed, saying, "What do you want? Dinner at an Italian restaurant with Sarah and myself and my buddy Benny and his girlfriend Meilani, and there's a table sitting there full of four or five women and Fabio with his back to me, and it's one of those things where they just keep taking your picture." He went on, "This isn't new to me. I'm going to go to dinner tonight, and they'll do it, they'll position themselves. I know it, and I'm used to it. But it went on and it went on, and I gave them the finger"—a photograph of the gesture was published online—"and they kept doing it and Fabio was looking over his shoulder and laughing and smiling and shit. So finally I go, 'O.K., enough.' I go, 'Knock it off, enough.'" And, speaking across to Fabio's table, "'I thought you were a nice guy.'"