The vibration is the way in
10 things worth sharing this week
I’m headed to Detroit next week to keynote the MACUL conference. If there’s something I shouldn’t miss downtown let me know. It’s been a few years.
Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
My favorite thing I wrote this week was about famous songs built on presets from drum machines and synthesizers and what makes a sample good or not so good. (It basically comes down to good theft vs. bad theft.)
SXSW has started here in Austin, Texas. I have some friends giving talks: Maria Konnikova is talking online cons, John Hendrickson is talking memoir, and Kevin Kelly is talking AI. I’m going to try to see Penny Lane’s new movie on Saturday. Otherwise, I’m clueless. I don’t have a badge this year, so I’ll probably just hop on my bike and cruise around, maybe catch some free shows. If there’s something cool I should know about let me know! (If you need food recommendations in Austin, I would follow @odam and @nadiachaudhury. If you get overwhelmed, just walk the hike and bike trail or head to the roof deck of the library.)
Currently reading: Stephen Ellcock’s The Cosmic Dance, a “visually overwhelming, profoundly uplifting book.” (See #7 from last week’s list for a bunch of books it reminds me of.)
Bernadette Mayer’s writing prompts.
I was a little depressed last week, but very productive — The Goldilocks Theory in effect. (In Tuesday’s newsletter I shared examples of what goes on in my brain when I’m making art.)
Lots of good stuff in Michiko Kakutani’s “Why we love Flaco The Owl,” from Picasso’s owl to the video of these eagle-owlets in Belgium. (The bit about “baby schema” — “a theory that the features of a human infant (round head, big eyes, roundish body) tend to trigger protective emotions” reminded me of an ancient blog post of mine, “What makes something cute?”)
Listening: De La Soul is streaming and New Order’s “Blue Monday” turned 40 this week. (I made a tiny playlist of songs that inspired it.)
One of my favorite newsletters is Tom Hodgkinson’s weekly letters from the editor for The Idler. Recent topics covered: being annoying, the uplift of listening to classical music, whatever happened to elevenses, the terror of clown kings, and more. (We had his “Manifesto of the Idle Parent” hanging on our fridge for years.)
RIP Ian Falconer, creator of Olivia. RIP producer Glen “Spot” Lockett. RIP actor Tom Sizemore, who starred in one of my all-time favorite movies, Heat. RIP Judy Heumann, disability rights activist and star of Crip Camp.
Some flowers can grow anywhere, others need the right conditions. So it may be with people: Dandelions and orchids.
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Thank you for including Judy Heumann in your list. She’s a hero and legend in my field, and it’s a devastating loss. She was actively mentoring a new generation of disability rights activists, and they are bereft (but committed to carrying on her legacy). I attended the live stream of her memorial this week, and it was heartening to see the attendance both at the synagogue and online.
Hello! It's great to hear you're coming to my town! Well, I'm in the suburbs of the city, but we always say we're from Detroit regardless of where we actually live.
There are a lot of great things to do while you're here. There's the Greektown and Corktown for great food, Eastern Market for fun outdoor shopping, the Detroit Institute of Arts is fantastic, but I think the Henry Ford museum is worth a jog out to Dearborn. It's AMAZING - I recommend it highly. And if you want to get blown away by tons and tons of books, there's John King Books that's worth a visit. They sell previously enjoyed books so it's jaw dropping cool.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head. Those are our favorite places anyway. Hope you have a good time while you're here!