is that the right thing to do?
Björk and Rosalía have collaborated on a new song addressing Icelandic fish farming. According to the article, Björk has said that “artists were often the ‘canaries in the coalmine’ of environmental emergencies because it was their job to be sensitive.”
We are the canary in the coalmine. It’s our job to have our sensors, our antennae, out all the time, and read how we feel in our environment and be aware. We pick up this emergency – and we want to act on it.
I love that the video for the song is simply a text scroll over what I assume is an image of factory farmed salmon.
“For peak culinary creativity, look no further than the vegan bakeshop.” Yes! This is how I feel about all cooking, to be honest, but my kitchen skills are fairly limited to baking.
Watched Catherine Called Birdy with the 10 year old over the weekend. It’s a delightful coming-of-age comedy set in medieval England directed by Lena Dunham. The 10yo legit turned to me at one point and asked, “is this how it was when you grew up?” It’s possible she was joking, but still.
Speaking of movies, I can’t recall now exactly why, but Reality Bites has been on my mind all week. This scene is basically the (daily?) interior struggle of any creative person, each of us with a little Lelaina on one shoulder and a little Troy on the other as we juggle our creative practices with our need to support ourselves financially. (I can’t believe Violent Femmes hasn’t been covered by 60 Songs That Explain the 90s).
I listened to part 1 of the new Freakonomics series about succeeding at failing (if you’ve been reading this newsletter every week you should know by now, lost pigeon that I am, that I’m a fan of talking about failure).
Embracing failure is a particularly popular idea in Silicon Valley — although, interestingly, you never hear about it from people who are in the midst of a failure; you hear about it after the fact from people who have succeeded wildly.
Exactly! I think about this a lot, ever since I quit my last full-time day job. About halfway through my two years of unemployment-by-choice before starting my current day job, I read Felicia Day’s memoir and wrote about it here. The 4th of my 5 reasons to read it? “The importance of failure, blah, blah, blah.” Day writes: “The more mistakes, the better the story afterwards, especially if there's a happy ending.” But, and I think this is what Dubner and his guests are getting at in this Freakonomics episode, what if there is no happy ending? What if you’re never “wildly successful”? What if we heard from more folks “in the midst of failure”?
This seems like a good follow-up to my earlier post about animal dissection in elementary school since last week my 10yo’s fifth grade class dissected squid (she was actually out sick that day—legitimately, I swear—so we explored the Froggipedia app instead). In this week’s memo her teacher recapped the experience as follows: “Most students were able to learn about squid anatomy and adaptations that it uses for survival.” Despite watching Reality Bites many, many times over the past nearly 30 years, I’m still not sure I truly understand the concept of irony, but I know it when I see it and I think that summary might be a little ironic given the reality of the situation for the squid, no? (The RB connection gets even stronger when Lelaina mentions vivisection in the next scene.)
Or maybe this is the follow-up you’re looking for?
A No Stupid Questions episode (what can I say I’m a fan of the entire Freakonimics family of podcasts) that explores the connection between happiness and creativity…For me, the biggest takeaway that I’d like to spend more time with is this report, about, essentially, what folks do for work after art school (it’s from 2010 so I’d like to do some digging to see if this org is still a thing—at quick glance it doesn’t appear so—and if they’ve collected more recent data, especially during or post-COVID). Ultimately for me, all of these conversations about creativity are moot without solving the problem of TIME.
Oakland peeps, while news like this is depressing for the arts community here, there is some good news from time to time, such as the fact that Oakland-based BANDALOOP has opened a space in West Oakland and is now offering classes for kids and teens (you can sign up for single classes, too, so it’s pretty low-risk!).
Since my next update will be after Halloween, I’ll leave you with this chalk pastel drawing of a pumpkin done by my 10 year old during art class this week (still volunteering every Monday morning after my standing 7:30 a.m. meeting and it is such a wonderful way to start the week). I’ll have an udpate on her felt faux feather embellished angel wings next week.