Bill Withers is from my home state! I just love his music. When I first moved to Oakland CA, I was surprised to hear his music everywhere. I get a little homesick because I can't find a lot of my favorite WV things here -- hot dogs with cole slaw, good swimming holes, people who know that West Virginia is actually a state -- but they do love Bill Withers around here, and whenever I hear one of his songs, it's like a hug from home. (Especially "Lovely Day"). I agree that "Lean On Me" would be the best National Anthem! It's a lot easier to sing, too, and always turns into a sing along when it shows up in my classroom playlist.

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Thank you for the Neil Postman interviews, I've been listening to him lately too. I learned about Postman from a professor I knew named Richard Heffner, who hosted a PBS show called The Open Mind. I was going through my notes from school a few weeks ago and rediscovered the program Heffner recommended that I watch, his first interview with Postman from 1985: https://www.thirteen.org/openmind-archive/media/are-we-amusing-ourselves-to-death-part-i/

One of the WFMT interviews is from the same year, recorded just a few weeks prior... can't wait to listen!

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In the 90s I was marketing and promotions manager for Chapters a big box bookstore in Canada (like Barnes and Noble) and one of the highlights of my career there was doing a book event with Martin Amis. He was as cool as you’d expect and I specifically remember the after party with a small group of the staff--mostly young university students--and Amis was a generous and interesting guy who made every effort to bring us up to his cool level.

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May 26, 2023Liked by Austin Kleon

About your interest in artists with "differences and disabilities" who create because of, and in spite of, those attributes... you probably know that there is a whole world of what is called Outsider Art. Anyone who is interested in amazing art from people who are differently abled, and outside of what we like to call "normal" society, Raw Vision magazine could be a resource https://rawvision.com/. One of my favorite outsider artists is James Hampton whose creation Throne of the Third Heaven was created over many years at night in total obscurity while he worked as a janitor during the day - here's a link to a video about the work. https://americanart.si.edu/videos/james-hamptons-throne-third-heaven-american-art-moment-smithsonian-american-art-museum

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Hi Austin

Re Artists/disabilities

Fascinating to read about Hillenbrand - particularly the rhythm of language she heard in audio books.

A couple of other for you.

Susanna Clarke - author - Johnathan Strange and Mr Norrell (which is epic in all ways) and Piranesi (which should inspire some drawing notes)


Josie George - A Still Life - wonderful memoir about her life with chronic illness. Bimblings is her Substack.

Giles Duley - photographer. Lost both legs and an arm whilst photographing US battalion in Afghanistan. Returns to conflict zones to photograph and set up Legacy of War foundation.

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May 26, 2023·edited May 26, 2023Liked by Austin Kleon

Your blog post on disability and art mentions Alexander Graham Bell and his experience with the deaf—an extension of that is that Vint Cerf, an internet pioneer, who along with his wife is hearing impaired and has a long history with email technologies.


(This ties into the notion of how assistive technologies help *all* users, the most prominent example these days is the use of close captioning by the general public.)

You also mention Laurel Hillenbrand and her life with chronic fatigue syndrome. Stuart Murdoch from Belle & Sebastian also has dealt with that and it led to his career in music. (Unfortunately, the band had to cancel some recent tour dates due to his condition.)



And lastly, I can't help but think of '60s garage band The Barbarians and their drummer Moulty who had a prosthetic hand. He recorded a song about it (backed by The Band!) but Moulty & co. more or less disavowed it.

Their appearance on the T.A.M.I show is pure fire too! You can clearly see why The Ramones namecheck him in "Rock 'n' Roll Radio"!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25x3aIWs76E ("Moulty" song)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOWC7lhuKtQ (T.A.M.I. show)

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Thanks, Joe!

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I would even be interested in your failed (or searching) words on Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Can’t play myself because the camera on BotW gives me motion sickness. Assuming TotK is similar.

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Hi, Austin! I can’t seem to find John Warner’s list on the link you provided. Please advise! (I will probably feel like an ignoramus once the answer is revealed, but I can live with that!)

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I love the Isak Dinesen quote.

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Here's few more artists with differences and disabilities.

Embrace the Shake. Phil Hansen developed an unruly tremor in his hand that kept him from creating the pointillist drawings he loved. In this TED Talk, he tells about how using that limitation to spark his creativity. https://www.ted.com/talks/phil_hansen_embrace_the_shake

Dame Evelyn Glennie is profoundly deaf and a multiple Grammy award winning solo percussionist and composer. The documentary about her titled Touch the Sound that is beautiful in every way. Here is the trailer for that. https://youtu.be/Edkx6ovQ9YM

It looks like the entire documentary might be on YouTube, broken up into different parts. Here is Part 2: https://youtu.be/hN7Ri50mz3k

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Thanks for pointing out John Warner, looks like a great newsletter and more great things to check out!

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