May 12, 2017
On addressing the unavoidable.
As I’m thinking of topics to write about and links to share, it’s reeeeeeeeeeally hard not to just get swept up in the batshitiness of Donald Trump and his administration/cronies.
Judging by my own “content” consumption habits - what I’m reading, checking, opening on my phone - I’m becoming increasingly swept up in the daily minutiae of this crumbling empire.
Case in point: Buzzfeed collects and lays out all eight reasons that the White House has given for the abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey. I feel like, over the past three days, I’ve followed, story by story, each excuse/reason given, as the Washington Post or New York Times publishes them.
Between using Nuzzel (one of my favorite apps) and having Twitter alerts set for all types of journalists and breaking news, I’ve been spending a lot less time on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Which, in theory, is probably a good thing.
But when it’s chaos and unprecedented ineptitude and corruption at the highest level that’s taking that time away, it’s not necessarily a good thing. I - you, we, everybody - need a healthier mix of content consumption and breaks. Breaks from it all - news, social media, capital-M Media.
It’s not a sustainable thing to get wrapped up in every breaking story, every new controversy, the minute-by-minute updates from friends, or every issue. There’s no time to reflect and recharge. It becomes an exponential wave of stuff to follow.
I’m sure I’m not done writing about Trump or consumption and I hope this didn’t bore the shit out of you.
If it did, I suggest heading to NYTimes.com and reading the Trump headlines - your blood should start boiling in no time.
On to the links!
- We’re in an era of oil rig over-supply. And where do oil rigs go when they die? They don’t go to heaven where the angels fly… sorry, that was a stupid reference to a song Nirvana covered. Also, Nirvana = really not all that good. Man, this bullet took a turn (and no, that wasn’t an intentional Cobain suicide reference, but wouldn’t that make me kind of an asshole?).
- The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data. The Economist argues for a rethinking of how we might regulate big data. First, antitrust law needs to move from an industrial era mindset into the 21st century. Size should no longer be the key issue, but rather data assets. Second - and yes, this has privacy implications - governments could give more control to those who supply actual online data, including opening up more of their own data.
- Here’s The Economist’s full briefing on data.
- I don’t even know why I’m bothering to say this, but fuck Miley Cyrus.
- A quick recap of the weekend - no, literally, how the “week’s end” came to be. It’s a relatively new concept, intimately tied to capitalism, and currently being eroded.
- Life as an Alaskan fisherman - in pictures.
- Pink Floyd’s “Great Gig in the Sky” is great, primarily because of Clare Torrey’s wordless, soulful wailing. Take her vocals out? The song completely changes and it’s just kind of boring… like a lot of Pink Floyd’s music. Shots fired. Give the Torrey-less version a listen.
- MAAAAAAAAN WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU DO THIS?
Album of the Week
Pond - The Weather (2017)
I’m sure the members of Pond get tired of being referred to as “that other band that includes members of Tame Impala,” and I’d like to say that I’ll avoid that talking point, but… oops. Already botched that.
Anyways, I bring up Tame Impala because, for my money, there hasn’t been a more impressive string of 3 albums released by an artist or group over the last 25 years. Maybe Kanye’s first three? I’ll always have a soft spot for how The Strokes opened up their catalog. And D’Angelo’s three albums are each masterpieces in their own right, but they never really had momentum, since spanned 20 years.
Either way, Tame Impala’s sound has grown, evolved, and just gotten BIGGER over their three albums. Pond’s latest is a natural outgrowth of that. Minus the lack of a powerful lead singer (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), Pond’s album is loud, sometimes synth-y, and full of grooves. As a “secondary” project, it’s pretty damn good.
And I just blew my ears out listening to it.
Fuck Donald Trump.