Kindness

Kindness

Words of wisdom outside Master Wrench auto shop in Portland.

Self-Deception

Self-Deception

“Oh the gift that god could give us, to see ourselves as others see us.”
-Robert Burns

An awesome article by Marcie Bianco rocked my world the other day. She explores the question “Why did so many women (specifically, white women) vote for Roy Moore”?  That’s a GOOD question, Marcie Bianco. I’ve also been wondering why the hell women voted for Trump. The answer she gives is pretty simple – I will paraphrase.

Women support abusers like Roy Moore and Donald Trump because they view alliances with men (husbands, brothers, prospective boyfriends) as crucial to their stability / safety. Women put the opinions of men first to maintain their status. This prioritization of men’s opinions (usually subconscious) is called internalized misogyny.

When I read the word “ALLIANCES”… I got it. I thought, “Yes.” Another lock of the tumbler fell into place for me. I guess forming unusual alliances to secure power isn’t a complicated concept, and it’s something informed feminists have probably known about for a long time, but I’ve been unable thus far to grasp WHY ON EARTH WOMEN COMPLAINED ABOUT HILLARY SO MUCH. And. Now. I. Know.

Elsewhere on the internet, author Emily Fridlund lists her 6 favorite books about self-deception. What a timely and fabulous list. Two books that I’ve read recently that touch on this topic include:

 

Tokyo by Mo Hayder
Good NIGHT, I enjoyed this read. I picked it up at a thrift store in Australia! Books from thrift stores aren’t supposed to be great! The story is divided between a present-day plotline that investigates the question “when is ignorance the same as evil?”… and a flashback plotline on events up to and including the Nanking Massacre.

The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu
This one is more sci-fi, but has similar themes about deluded groupthink leading to military atrocities. The author was born in China in 1963, so has a connection to China’s Cultural Revolution. If you want to have the pants scared off you in regards to what people are actually capable of, well, this is one of the books that’ll do ‘er!

Oh yes, and I’ve just made some women’s rights enamel pins (pic above) – inspired by a line from HRC. Coming to an Etsy shop in the near future!

 

Arrhythmia

Recently I was informed that “This is How We Walk on the Moon” by Geographer is actually a COVER of the original Arthur Russell song. Maybe this is Music Knowledge 101, but it was a very exciting discovery to me. I think Geographer is a great band and wonderful in concert, but this song wasn’t a personal favorite.

The original version is so much weirder though! I don’t understand time signatures well enough to get what’s happening with the beat… it seems almost arrhythmic to me … in a wonderful way that slides just beyond my comprehension.

Further Googling reveals that Jose Gonzalez also did a very nice cover version.

What else…. Spotify played “Add Ends” for me the other day… maybe slyly suggesting that Arthur Russell fans might also enjoy Danish band When Saints Go Machine. Well, they got it too close for comfort! Add Ends sounds almost as if Arthur Russell is singing, with the same off-beat strings.

Strings also feature in Kishi Bashi’s terrific version of “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)”. (This one sounds so much better listened to on nice speakers that I feel a bit bad posting a YouTube link.) Gorgeous! Listening today I heard the ‘born with a weak heart’ lyric… something I’ve never noticed before. Really, every stanza of that song is beautiful. The story of how it was written is super cool too.

The parenthetical title, “Naive Melody,” comes from the fact that the bandmates switched instruments when they composed it. Musically, it was one of the sparest arrangements they ever made. The song consists of a simple guitar-chord progression, a four-bar bass figure, and a fluty synthesizer part, repeated over and over again. The polyphony is African sounding, but also vaguely Baroque, creating an ambiance of innocence that’s augmented by the whimsical array of found-object percussion sounds (a wine bottle, scrap metal, ashtrays, a cocktail shaker, a candleholder, and a milk jug).

The topic of percussion reminds me of something interesting I just read – drummer Max Weinberg (you may remember him from old Conan O’Brien shows, and also the E Street Band) suffered from a ‘drumming slump’ in the 80’s that robbed him of his timing! What!? That can happen?! According to Wikipedia:

Weinberg suffered an acknowledged “drumming slump” around 1980, and his time-keeping skills were criticized by Springsteen. What could pass unnoticed in concert became apparent on record, and Weinberg practiced drumming components for months in order to regain a fine sense of timing.

Don’t worry, the story has a happy ending. Max Weinberg got his timing back!

Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.

–George Bernard Shaw

In Honor of Alabama’s Close Call

Wowwee! (No Words, Just That)