Music Sundays: Achii

Today’s recommendation is an artist I don’t really know much about, except that he was (is?) part of a duo called Exist. They released a song in May of 2019 called Whatever (you can watching the music video on Youtube). Achii started releasing music by himself around a year ago, but I didn’t listen to any of music until January of this year. The song I’ve picked for this post is one of the first I heard and it is so good. I absolutely love his music and find that it’s really good for writing.

You can listen to Achii on Apple Music and Spotify. You can list to Exist on SoundCloud.

I hope you enjoy his singing as much as I do.

Weekend Reads: 9/25/2020

It’s been a week, hasn’t it? On the global scale things aren’t great. Everyone’s experiences are different and several people I know, including my extended family (as I’ve mentioned) have suffered loses due to this pandemic. But you know what all of this means? It means we don’t give up.

I know we want to. I’ve seen it all over Twitter and Facebook. RBG’s death has really hit a lot of people hard, myself included. But we cannot let this tragedy (for that’s what it is) stop us from fighting. We must donate money to Democratic candidates and to bail funds and abortion funds. And most important, come November 3rd, all American citizens must vote.

The only way this country is going to make it is if we vote Biden/Harris. And, if you can, give some money to them. But please, VOTE and keep fighting.

Kévin Reza: I haven’t seen a lot of solidarity in cycling (cyclingnews)

B&B Hotels-Vital Concept rider on Black Lives Matter and racing for the smallest team in the Tour de France

The Wrong Fires (On the Media)

What happens when minor stories detract media attention from urgent crises.

The Glorious RBG (Intelligencer | NY Magazine)

I learned, while writing about her, that her precision disguised her warmth.

A 5-Decade-Long Friendship That Began With A Phone Call (NPR)

In 1971, newly assigned to cover the Supreme Court, I was reading a brief in what would ultimately be the landmark case of Reed v. Reed. It argued that the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause applied to women. I didn’t understand some of the brief, so I flipped to the front to see who the author was, and I placed a call to Rutgers law professor Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Here are a three Ginsberg related things to watch. I’ve seen RBG and it is fantastic. The UMS newsletter shared the 2015 interview.

Sam Neill On His Social Media Fame: “If It’s Cheered Up One Or Two People, Then My Time Was Well Spent” (GQ Australia)

Easily one of the country’s finest (adopted) actors and certainly among its most admired, Sam Neill has also spent four decades as one of its most prolific. But as the film industry ground to a halt, we caught up with Neill to discuss this new age of uncertainty, the future of the arts and his recent foray into social media stardom.

Note: These next two articles go together. Read the short story first, and then the response essay.

“How to Pay Reparations: a Documentary” by Tochi Onyebuchi (Slate)

In this new short story, a city tries to use an algorithm to pay reparations.

Racism Cannot Be Reduced to Mere Computation by Charlton McIlwain (Slate)

No amount of A.I. can save white America’s soul, or restore Black Americans’ long-foreclosed-upon and deferred dreams.

Note: Two related articles from Vice by James Clifton

2012 Is Bullshit; 2020 Is When We’ll Really Be in Trouble

Scientist Peter Turchin’s work suggests that the next state of upheaval in the US is set to hit in 2020 based on historical violence cycles.

The Scientist Who Predicted 2020’s Political Unrest On What Comes Next

Catching up with Peter Turchin, whose theory predicted a period of political violence starting this year.

Why Every City Feels the Same Now (Atlantic – $$)

Glass-and-steel monoliths replaced local architecture. It’s not too late to go back.

Let this video inspire you.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Music Sundays: OnlyOneOf

Today’s artist is the kpop group called OnlyOneOf. They debuted in May of 2019 and something about their music appealed to me almost immediately. Their debut music was fantastic and they have continued to release excellent music consistently, including their last two releases.

The two videos that make up today’s post are their two most recent releases, part of their “Produced by []” series. All of the songs on this album were produced by famous producers. a sOng Of ice & fire was produced by GroovyRoom and angle was produced by Gray. I’m a fan of both of those artists.

I hope you enjoy these songs! Please check out all of OnlyOneOf’s music on Spotify and Apple Music.

Oh, also, if you’re wondering, my favorite member of the group is Junji – he’s the one with hair in his face (it’s blond in angel and silver in sOng Of ice & fire).

Weekend Reads: 09/18/2020

Some reminders to get your weekend started:

1) When you go out, if you’re going to be around other people, please wear a mask. It helps (NPR). Need a reason to wear a mask? Here you go:

None of those who died actually attended the wedding and reception.

2) Check to make sure that you’re registered to vote! You can do that here (Vote.org). Here are some more resources:

3) Get your flu shot! It’s not too early – in fact it’s the right time. Not sure why, since we’re all staying inside (if we can)? This might help:

Experts worry that the two diseases could overwhelm the health care system and create a new shortage of hospital beds and personal protective equipment.

Thanks for your time! Now, here are your weekend reads.


There are no good choices (VOX)

In shifting so much responsibility to individual people, America’s government has revealed the limits of individualism.

“That’s Their Problem”: How Jared Kushner Let the Markets Decide America’s COVID-19 Fate (Vanity Fair)

First-person accounts of a tense meeting at the White House in late March suggest that President Trump’s son-in-law resisted taking federal action to alleviate shortages and help Democratic-led New York. Instead, he enlisted a former roommate to lead a Consultant State to take on the Deep State, with results ranging from the Eastman Kodak fiasco to a mysterious deal to send ventilators to Russia.

How The Pandemic Is Widening The Racial Wealth Gap (NPR)

Sixty percent of Black households are facing serious financial problems since the pandemic began, according to a national poll released this week by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. That includes 41% who say they’ve used up most or all their savings, while an additional 10% had no savings before the outbreak.

Latinos and Native Americans are also disproportionately affected by the pandemic’s economic impact. Seventy-two percent of Latino and 55% of Native American respondents say their households are facing serious financial problems, compared with 36% of whites.

“Little Prince” Author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on Love, Mortality, and Night as an Existential Clarifying Force for the Deepest Truths of the Heart (brainpickings)

“Day belongs to family quarrels, but with the night he who has quarreled finds love again. For love is greater than any wind of words… Love is not thinking, but being.”

The Secret History of Hypertext (The Atlantic – $$)

The conventional history of computing leaves out some key thinkers.

[..]

In the years leading up to World War II, a number of European thinkers were exploring markedly similar ideas about information storage and retrieval, and even imagining the possibility of a global network—a feature notably absent from the Memex. Yet their contributions have remained largely overlooked in the conventional, Anglo-American history of computing.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

drawing of The Little Prince sitting on the sand and looking up at the sun. he is dressed like a pilot
The Little Prince – illustration from the Korean translation of The Little Prince by Kim Min Ji

Music Sundays: JUNE

June is an R&B (?) singer part of a crew called PLT (he’s in it with one of my favorite singers, Gaho). He released an EP in July called Ending that is absolutely fantastic. In fact, all of his music is really good.

You can find June on Spotify and Apple Music.

In the meantime, please enjoy Anywhere and Beautiful (which has Gaho on it) from the new album.

Weekend Reads: 9/11/2020

I don’t have any thoughtful commentary for you today. I had some earlier in the week and then forgot to write them down. In addition, most of my attention (for better or for worse) has been focused on the state of the world and sports. So, I guess just enjoy(?) this small selection of articles.

Let’s get real. No vaccine will work as if by magic, returning us to ‘normal’ (Guardian)

To dream of imminent solutions is only human. But progress will come from controlled expectations

Jobs in these industries won’t come back even after the pandemic is over (CNN)

Most of the job losses thus far have been in industries impacted by social distancing, such as entertainment, restaurants and personal care. Those industries are likely to recover once the fear of the pandemic subsides. However, automation and the rapid shift to e-commerce, remote work and online learning will lead to job losses in several other industries that will last well beyond the pandemic.

America Is Trapped in a Pandemic Spiral (The Atlantic – their COVID coverage is free)

As the U.S. heads toward the winter, the country is going round in circles, making the same conceptual errors that have plagued it since spring.

Sid Meier: ‘I’m not sure I’d play Civilisation if it was released today’ (Independent)

The creator of one of the most complex and influential video games of all time talks to Ed Cumming about his new autobiography, developments in technology, and storytelling

It Will Take More Than a Vaccine to Beat COVID-19 (New Yorker – $$$)

Vaccines are making progress, but they may not defeat the virus completely. Luckily, other therapies are on the way, too.

And, before you go, enjoy this song by one of my favorite singer, Gaho.

Music Sunday: LUCY

I am so excited to share this artist with you! LUCY is a band of four members (from South Korea). They were part of a show called Superband and four of the original members decided to stay together (I am honestly not sure if they were a band before the show, but it seems like they were) as LUCY. I am so thankful that they did, because their music is fantastic! I have a soft spot for bands and I’m always happy to share them with people. You can learn more about the band on this reddit post.

They debuted earlier this year with the song Flowering (look for it behind the cut) and that’s how I discovered them. They came back on the 13th with a 6 track EP called Panorama (which is great, let me tell you). I’d like to share their comeback song, Jogging.

Find LUCY on Spotify and Apple Music.

Continue reading

What I’ve been doing …

What I’ve been reading …

  • Real World by Natuso Kirino

This was the last one of the physical library books I had checked out (since before the pandemic). Real World is an interesting novel about four teenage girls who get, by choice or by accident, involved with a teenage boy who killed his mother. It is a pretty deep look into what it’s like to be a teenager and trying to figure out your identity and a huge reminder that actions have consequences.

  • Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang

I absolutely loved this book! While on the surface, this novel is about living on Mars – it is so much more. It’s a book about humanity, about how ignoring the past does no one any favors and nor does avoiding the future. It’s about changing, it’s about finding your place in the world, and it’s about the importance of communication. I highly recommend this novel.

What I’ve been watching …

Movies:

  • Birds of Prey (HBO Max)
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (TNT/Hulu)
  • Casino Royale (Netflix)

Did some movie rewatches with my sister.

Birds of Prey was the second to last movie I saw before the pandemic (the last movie was Jojo Rabbit on my birthday) and it is even better the second time around. I have to admit that DC does female superheros so much better than Marvel. I hold out hope after Captain Marvel, but still – give Birds of Prey a watch, even if you’ve seen no other DC movies.

I still absolutely love The Man from U.N.C.L.E. I know a lot of people did like it, but it is perfectly cast and beautifully filmed and executed. As for the James Bond film – it’s … dark James Bond. I remember enjoying it a lot more when I saw it the first time. As I said to my sister, Daniel Craig’s James Bond reminds me a lot of Christopher Eccleston’s 9th Doctor.

TV

  • Devs (Hulu) – This is by Alex Garland (of Ex Machina and Annihilation fame) and it is fantastic. Well – I thought it was fantastic. The reviewers are sort of in the middle about it, but I disagree. It’s eight episodes long and extremely gripping. It’s the story of Lily, who, along with her boyfriend, works at a tech company (think Facebook/Google/etc). One day, her boyfriend starts working for the Devs division of the company and ends up dead. The show is mostly about her tried to figure out what happened, but it’s also science fiction-y (more fantasy, but I’m giving it a pass). It has the surreal feel that Garland is so good at. Please, give it a watch.

I’m still watching Memorist and I’ve started Untamed. As for what English language TV shows I’m watching? I’m struggling to find something that clicks with me as much as Devs did and not finding anything. For now, tennis and cycling are filling the gap that an English language TV show would normally fill.

YouTube

Yes, I’m going to do it even though no one asked. Occasionally (or whenever I feel like it) I’m going to recommend a YouTube channel, video series, or whatever I feel falls under this category. So, let’s start it off in style!

Jill writes about fights in media (movies, TV shows, etc) using her experiences stage combat/fake fighting to discuss what works and what doesn’t work in many a fight. All of her videos are fantastic, but the one I would like to highlight today is about The Princess Bride. I hope you enjoy the video (and why not rewatch the movie while you’re at it (it is currently on Amazon Prime after all).

What I’ve been listening to ….

Not a lot recently, mostly because this past week I’ve been watching/listening to more sports than music. Once the Tour and the US Open are over, I’ll go back to listening to lots more music.

  • OnlyOneOf – KPOP band who just released two EPs
  • Davii – Korean rapper/singer/soloist
  • DAMYE – Korean singer
  • Maddox – Korean singer

Here’s your moment of calm:

Morning on the Dune (c) Tom Gill

Weekend Reads: 9/4/2020

Over the past week I have spent a lot of time watching sports – it’s a very weird feeling, because we’re in the middle of a pandemic but at the same time it’s a comfort. I’ve watched my favorite tennis player win on Monday and then lose, two days later (as he is prone to do) and have watched most of the first week of the 2020 Tour de France (I missed the first stage on August 30th).

Sports during a pandemic, as we all know, are strange. In particular because the Tour is in August/September instead of July, there are far fewer fans than normal (and those that are watching the race are almost all masked), and the riders are almost universally masked when not actively riding their bikes on the stage. It is strange because at the US Open there are no fans (aside from fellow tennis players, coaches, and the occasional family member and journalist), they are pumping in crowd sounds when there’s no action on the court, and displaying video screens with videos of fans cheering. It is unnerving, but it is also the world we live in.

I know it’s important to find comfort in familiar things when the world is burning around us, but we must not forget the fact that the world is on fire.

I wrote some original fiction for July’s Camp Nano (an offshoot of NanoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month) and, because I am always drawn to write post-apocalyptic stories, that’s what I wrote. It’s set about 30 after this pandemic, ten years after flooding (due to climate change) destroys much of the planet. My main character was born this year and she looks back at the pandemic and is appalled at the 200,000 deaths.

When I wrote that story, it was in July and it seemed we were doing better and maybe we wouldn’t reach that dreaded number of 200,000 people needlessly dying from COVID-19. It turns out that should I ever edit that novel and turn it into something that will see the light of day, I’ll have to adjust that section.

Why? Because it is highly likely that we have already passed that 200,000 death mark:

I am luckily, so far I have lost no immediately family members to the virus, but I know people who have. I am not alone, of course, but we need to remember that every one of those 200,000 deaths were deaths of human beings. Individual people. They are both statistics and more than just numbers.

Never forget that responsibility for each and every single one of those people’s deaths from COVID-19 lies squarely on the shoulders of the current administration in the White House. They could have saved lives, they chose to end them instead.

Last weekend, Detroit held a beautiful memorial/funeral for the thousands of Detroit residents who died from COVID-19:

What do 900+ people look like? They look beautiful. They are a reminder of everything we, and this country, have had stolen from us. Artist Eric Millikin created the mural below to represent all that we have lost:

So, as you’re enjoying your three day weekend, watching sports, and enjoying the nice weather – don’t forget what’s going on in the world. Don’t forget that 200,000 people in the United States have died. Don’t forget that you can help stop this virus.

Now, for the rest of your weekend reads:

When the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shows up at a peaceful protest in battle fatigues, it’s time to pay attention. (The Atlantic – $$)

At the Republican National Convention, Trump advisor Larry Kudlow said the pandemic “was awful.” On this week’s On the Media, why some politicians and educators are using the past tense to describe an active threat. Plus, how COVID could prompt long-term changes to American higher ed.

The acclaimed novelist lost her beloved husband—the father of her children—as COVID-19 swept across the country. She writes through their story, and her grief.

And, on the occasion of the loss of Chadwick Boseman to cancer:

Rahawa Haile considers how, by sliding between the real and unreal, Black Panther frees us to imagine the possibilities — and the limitations — of an Africa that does not yet exist.

And, lastly, enjoy this superbly choreographed dance by The Kinjaz.