Rampant Media Consumption #3
Here’s how we’re allocating our attention spans this week:
I’m reading Dorothea Lasky‘s most recent book of poetry, Rome, and like all her other work it’s super weird and pop and amazing.
This might be a little late in the game, but I just started (and finished) Transparent… in just three days…
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of my all-time favorite band, mewithoutYou. Their understated, lyric-driven indie sound is in direct contrast to what I’m currently reading: Black Echo by Michael Connelly. It’s the crime/mystery/police thriller genre author’s debut novel, and having just enjoyed a novel of his based loosely on the work of Edgar Allan Poe, I decided to go back and start at the beginning. So far, it’s satisfyingly profanity-laced, cliff-hanger-y, and full of technical police talk. I love it.
Nathan (publisher’s assistant in training)
Nathan reports that he went to a reading of I Think You’re Totally Wrong at Powell’s this week. He describes it as a debate about the importance of the life/art balance and recommends one of our books and a zine that can also help with that.
Erik (sales manager)
This week I spent an unusual amount of time on YouTube researching and listening to old Dub recordings. I’ve always liked old roots reggae and the Dub always seemed like a rogue splinter group with origins and facets hidden away in old vaults and obscure collectors closets. This isn’t too far off. Some of these recordings had numbered pressings equal to the amount of cash they had at the time, maybe 200 copies, maybe 1,000… making them for the most part, exceptionally difficult to find. Thanks to YouTube, I’ve invested no small amount of time tracing the legacy’s of King Tubby, Lee Perry, Mad Professor, and Jah Shaka. I’ve discovered a new holy grail of records to hunt and secure; it’ll likely be a long time before I see one, and it’ll probably be way too much money and I’ll have to make concessions… I did manage to go out and find a few of these albums, maybe the one I like the most right now is: The Commandments of Dub, Chapter 2, put on by Jah Shaka. Many of these album titles have these types of overtones linked to Rastafarianism, I just like the music.
I’ve been sifting through Michel Foucault’s, History of Sexuality series, three volumes: #1 An Introduction by the same name, #2 The Use of Pleasure, and #3 The Care of the Self. At this point it’s difficult to say exactly what I’m looking for, but I think I’m after some leverage to use against some other writers, which will remain nameless. Foucault has always left huge impressions, as I get older these impressions I feel, take shape alongside other dents and damages from lack of maintenance in my former study. So now as I encounter his work, which some would say is a little demanding, I feel I have to be all the more diligent not to re-open old wounds.
From volume two: ” My aim was not to write a history of sexual behaviors and practices, tracing their successive forms, their evolution, and their dissemination; nor was it to analyze the scientific, religious, or philosophical ideas through which these behaviors have been represented. I wanted first to dwell on that quite recent and banal notion of “sexuality”: to stand detached from it, bracketing its familiarity, in order to analyze the theoretical and practical context with which it has been associated.”
I received the Jan. 26, 2015 copy of the New Yorker, and I’m happy to say, that at this point I’ve only read the cartoons!
Couldn’t stop reading this week. I finished Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project and kept thinking about her unbelievably disciplined, almost athletic endeavor to be perfect in her career, marriage, parenting, and personal development. Started Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist. Takeaway from all of these: Women, we’ve got to stop being so damn hard on ourselves, it’s not like the rest of the world isn’t happy to do that for us.
Looks like I’m going to play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time this weekend. I read Joe’s battered 1989 manual and had a great laugh at the art and less happy laugh at the disclaimer about global use of the “he” pronoun (everyone would be SO confused if they did it any other way).
Also gobbled up: Let My People Go Surfing, Yvon Chouinard’s memoir and manifesto about founding Patagonia in the 50s and growing it into a successful global company in between long climbing trips. We’re looking for business role models for Microcosm, companies that started small and grew big while sticking to values and not being sold to investors. Check, check, check, check. Super inspiring.
Dove into the new Cometbus, felt some love and recognition for the smelly, unsocial book dealers in there.
And I lay on the office floor and read Crate Digger! It’s so good. Bob Suren made a mix as a reward for the Kickstarter backers (could be you!), and I serenaded the office with it, closing out this week in screaming style.