Why When We Are Young We Heed What We’re About

Like most, I remember the years of maturity coming into adulthood, reaching your late teens, and then beginning your twenties, I remember experiences of those years more favorably than other times. I sometimes remember those years more favorably than, indeed, they may have been.

I remember one night, the summer of the year 2000 it could have been, that I decided a change of scenery would do me good. I sneaked off to Toronto for a night of bands and the like, being then a smidgen wilder then than I am today.

The night was unique, for different reasons, but wouldn’t you know that when the witching hour was upon me, I had begun to make friends with a couple of other young guys, cool to me for their moxie–would you say there’s a three-letter-word for that? The two young gents told me where we could get something to drink, to keep the night lively. For nothing too expensive, we could keep having a good time.

We were enjoying another band, where I’d never been, with a glass of moonshine and the two of them the same, until one of the boys told me, awfully, that some other patrons had brought a gun, and we should go. That unnerved me, unfortunately, so caution prevailed.

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Photographer: One Idea LLC

I bid the two a polite goodbye, leaving them with my number back home in the suburbs, this being only the year 2000 I recollect. It was my parents’ number, for a later time to summon me to meet again.

The last few remaining hours of the night I spent, sadly, like a derelict, waiting for the morning transit. What is memorable, though, I twenty years later is that of the times I made a commute like that, this night, the one I am recounting, and some other nights like that, are typical of what shape my favorite memories of that time in my life.

It’s a brief story–you might not believe it. However, I think I could recall, maybe, a thousand specific experiences from those years. It is interesting what people interpret as memorable. I wanted this morning to touch base with those folk I connect with on WordPress.

I hope your autumn is going great.

A Rock Musician’s Death

I learned on Facebook the other day that David Berman has died. The record label Drag City discussed it with sadness and admiration. With shock I listened to several of the songs he penned. It is a terrible loss that he is gone.

@dragcityrecords

David Berman, the poet, cartoonist, and singer-songwriter behind Silver Jews and Purple Mountains, has died… “We couldn’t be more sorry to tell you this. David Berman passed away earlier today. A great friend and one of the most inspiring individuals we’ve ever known is gone. Rest easy, David.” Berman was 52 years old.

His lyrics inspire. When I had a trusted young friend in the nineties, I gave her my David Berman, Steve Malkmus & Bob Nastanovich Starlite Walker CD, and she was thrilled. It was a point of pride to have some poetry amid more serious business.

With a lot of talent went terrible sadness. Berman eventually publicly discussed his hatred for his father, which is terrible.

The music remains. It is wonderful, indeed. I hope that fans remember Berman with more than just sadness–you can hear on the early fuzzy Arizona Record how triumphant Berman sounds, and it was years and years ago. In every album he made, it sounds like the work of a great and profound musician, cheeky and moving and fascinating.

I wanted to say this because a loss is a part of life. When a friend from high school years ago, at last, died this spring, my parents and I took flowers to her grave, and I thought how easy it is to dismiss life and death, but mourning needs to be reverent, somehow.

It has been hard on Berman’s fans. I’m sure many bid him farewell. It is a burden to say goodbye, but his music will continue to transfix and bewitch and transcend. Goodbye, David Berman.

Mermaid’s May 2019 WordPress Tea Party

Stephen Malkmus

The Little Mermaid website belongs to a blogger who organizes month-long tea parties, inclusive blog hops that invite participants to mix and to write collectively on a theme.  I have read some new bloggers, accordingly, and enjoyed some new bloggers accordingly.

May’s theme is “music.” It’s a fun theme. https://www.thelittlemermaid.site/join-in-the-fun-join-in-the-may-2019-tea-party/

While music is not my lifestyle, I hear some.  My taste runs to College Rock, Electropop, Art Rock, Folk-Rock, and Soundtrack.

I can’t play an instrument, but it’s lovely to think of the musicians who make social media the method to make a name for themselves. Before the days of social media, musicians had to count on other resources to become successful.

One song I have a preference for is the Stephen Malkmus single Jenny & the Ess-Dog.  STEPHEN MALKMUS “Jenny & The Ess-Dog” (2000) https://tinyurl.com/yyebecd8

  Malkmus had broken away from his famous band Pavement, and I remember his next band the Jicks did Jenny & the Ess-Dog for his first appearance on David Letterman.  I don’t believe he had ever been on Letterman’s show.

I regard him as a favorite.  Pavement – Perfume-V https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5qnAwmVTv0

Stephen Malkmus
@EvaMcGreggor

I find music to be a pleasant pastime.  I’ve heard of painters, for example, who play music while they work on a canvas, or the like.  I often play the radio, or the streaming app Spotify, when I blog, do Facebook and Twitter, clean the apartment, those kinds of household business.

I’d like to thank The Little Mermaid for helping with such a great idea as the monthly tea parties.  Such are the fruits of blogging with WordPress.

Let’s hope there are more tea parties down the road and thank you for reading about my experience.

You can see me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/findingenvirons.  You’re welcome to “like” this post, to comment, and/or to “follow.”  Have a beautiful springtime.

Star Wars Celebration on YouTube: Where’d You Go? Chicago

It’s Good Friday, and I’m having browser issues.  Microsoft put up an alpha version of its Edge browser, and I tried, like a web developer, to surf it before it’s finished, and it lasted maybe three days.

Star Wars Celebration went on from April 11 to April 15 in Chicago.  The celebration is an army of devotees sharing a love of Star Wars.  This year Star Wars Celebration premiered a teaser for Episode IX, a preview of Star Wars series The Mandalorian, the cinema for Jedi:  Fallen Order, and a trailer for S7 of The Clone Wars.  It is all interesting.

Being that this year is 2019 and that Lucasfilm put The Phantom Menace, a prequel film to Star Wars, in the cinema in 1999, the twenty-year anniversary of Phantom Menace was observed.


Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace score
S

Five days is a long time to spend with Star Wars, but between Thursday and Monday a viewer watching the events on the Star Wars YouTube channel got to see the panel discussions each day at 12:00 and 4:00 Chicago time.  Celebration, which I think is nine years running, moves around the US, but this year they put it on in Chicago.  Given the audience’s enthusiasm, it seems like that worked well for them.


Photographer:
donterase

Jedi:  Fallen Order is the name of the EA game that is the first new Star Wars game since Battlefront II.  EA is a notoriously difficult game company.  The decisions EA makes are known to send gamers away.

I suspect Disney needs Episode IX in December to be a sensation if they want their investment in Disney+ to succeed.  Disney+ is the streaming service available this fall, in November, when Disney is making available their animated features, along with the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the Star Wars films, and The Mandalorian.  Disney+ could rival Netflix, and it is expensive for Disney in the short term, so it is reasonable to think that if Episode IX is a major success, it is an indication Disney+ will do well.

It is hard to anticipate what Netflix is planning in response to its rival.  If there is already talk about what Netflix is going to do, I haven’t caught it.

I believe that Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy is leading Lucasfilm for the next ten years, and her decisions to put a lot of roles that are empowering for girls affect her hold on the Star Wars fanbase, because a large number of male fans of Star Wars have made a backlash owing to the perception that they are “toxic.”  A space opera such as Star Wars has a lot of male fans, so the response has been loud about how Star Wars has met its “demise” in the sense that there will never again be a great trilogy.  The next trilogy of Star Wars films is going to be directed by Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

The Last Jedi was the film that divided the fanbase, perhaps deliberately.  That said, there was a backlash to the Star Wars Prequels, which subsided, so the same may be true of the problems facing the Star Wars Sequels, the films The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and now Episode IX, concluding the Saga.  Be that as it may, The Mandalorian, continuing Return of the Jedi from 1983, looks fantastic.  Some of the success of Disney+ is probably going to be affected by whether Episode IX proves to be a giant.

Good luck to Lucasfilm.

You’re welcome to “like” this, to follow, and/or to comment.  The inspiration for Where’d You Go? is from the Medium publication newsletter Publishous, 11,000 strong and available every week or two.

Will this be the #spring in history that sees curtains for YouTube?

While the protests and the petition signatures were clear, the directive to restrict copyrighted material, known as Article 13 in the EU, received a “yes.”

Video on YouTube will likely no longer include “remixed” content once individual nations of the EU establish how they’re going to legislate protection for mainstream media, its images, film clips, and music.  For years now, the Internet has taken liberties in the name of freedom, to borrow from established media and then return to it transformative work, for the purpose of review, satire, parody and other kinds of humor.  This will likely end.

On YouTube, content filters for video uploads could become stodgy, and uninventive.  Removing freedoms to speak with ideas recycled from mainstream media inhibits Internet creators’ ability to articulate.  These come in the form of memes, even when it is an upset to the original, and identities in solidarity with views closely held to championed archetypes.  In the face of traditional media protected by Article 17 in the EU, emerging voices can and will fall by the wayside.

School bus pausing at Louth United Church, St. Catharines

If the nations of the EU no longer can upload or view content that contains copyrighted elements, for YouTube, a platform that facilitates hundreds of millions of hours of new and original video every day, doors are closing for what is a livelihood for hardworking creators.

In addition, the possibility that social accounts would be charged fees to link to webpages is a terrible limitation for small bloggers, with pages that have no hope of affording such a privilege.  This was the spring, 2019, that Articles 11 and 13 became Article 17.  There is every possibility that the restrictions on uploading copyrighted content in the EU will drift into the same freedoms available regardless where the Internet is accessed and overtake them.

A content filter is complex; it could be, despite how valuable original content is for Google and for Facebook and Twitter, that content filters will only function effectively if they are applied universally, and not just in the EU.  This could be a matter of months or years from now, but the challenges facing the EU, by creators on YouTube, and users enjoying social, and the right of Google to chart the world as it’s understood online, should be informing you.  You should at least consider the possibility that you need to be informed.

Photographer:
Kelly Sikkema

An Internet structured around Article 17 will heavily favor the promotion of mainstream media.  Independent voices will lose the opportunity to include portions of copyrighted media, and this could mean a “talking head” style of video on YouTube rather than video containing the freedoms we enjoy now.  All art and video would be required to be free of copyrighted material, which I think is a practical impossibility.

There are creators who thrive on the “remix” of media images or industry music or PC games.  Formerly, they were smart enough to make a living doing that, and exceptionally.  Their opportunities are going to disappear.

The outcome of Article 17 in the EU is only just beginning to take shape, but there will be changes for Facebook and Twitter and YouTube that Article 13 is necessitating, the requirement to filter content video users upload.  Users on the Internet, with the support of the infrastructure of YouTube and Google, will have to strategize differently once Article 17 goes into effect.  It is a sea change.

You are welcome to “like” this post, to follow the blog, and/or to leave a comment.  Whatever your age, if you are interested in tech, you stand alongside the brightest minds challenging the narrative of the mainstream media.

11 Perfect (And True) Loves Found and Lost

It’s Valentine’s Day, and in the spirit of the occasion, a spot of research has led me to Well-known and Famous Couples in History, by Madhura Pandit.  It’s an expository piece from which I chose ten of the most dynamic romantic figures ever known, in Madhura’s estimation.  I added an obvious eleventh, with thanks to scholaradvisor.com for the example.


Photographer:
Clem Onojeghuo

Nine of these people are based in history, and the last two are the stuff of legend.

Historical Couples

Julius Caesar and Cleopatra and Mark Antony

Cleopatra and Mark Antony are both associated with Julius Caesar.  Mark Antony discovered beguilement with Cleopatra’s greatness.  Cleopatra, in turn, might have discovered a feeling of strength with him, since he was getting to be a standout in Rome.

She found in him the chance to reestablish old wonder.  Mark Antony had attributes not the same as that of Julius Caesar, yet the equivalent political stature.

The gathering after Julius Caesar’s demise demonstrated scented blooms in Cleopatra’s boat, where she dressed like the Roman goddess Venus when they met in 41 BCE.  The dinner awed Mark Antony in that he needed to outperform such marvelous planning; however, he hopelessly fizzled.

With extraordinary cleverness, he figured out how to keep considerate about it.

Cleopatra, on the other hand, could engage Mark Antony by being next to him constantly.

https://www.scholaradvisor.com/essay-examples/cleopatra-relationships/

Napoleon and Josephine

Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine were hitched when he was a general in the military, and she a rich widow.  They went separate ways as Josephine couldn’t deliver a beneficiary, and Napoleon remarried.

Despite enormous ambition, Napoleon’s life ended in exile.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono

As the music career of The Beatles gave way to solo careers for the four musicians who were members, no one knew that John Lennon had scant little time left alive.

That being said, John Lennon and Yoko Ono arranged a seven-day “Bed-In for Peace,” in the Presidential Suite of the Hilton lodging in Amsterdam, as a challenge against war and savagery on the planet, March 1969.

Lennon’s life ended when he was shot in the street outside his home in New York City.

https://www.vogue.com/article/john-lennon-yoko-ono-relationship

Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley

Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley had set their sights on enjoying a weekend writing competition, to see who could write the more impressive story, when Mary dreamed of events she would novelize as what ultimately became the book, Frankenstein.  Mary Shelley’s novel would be instrumental in science fiction.  In future years, many times various filmmakers would adapt it for the silver screen.

Frankenstein probably exceeded the talents of her husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley.  Percy Bysshe Shelley later succumbed to madness.

Legendary Couples

Lancelot and Guinevere

Sir Lancelot was a knight in King Arthur’s Round Table, who went gaga for Queen Guinevere.  Their mystery prompted terrible capital punishments for the two, divided the Knights, and debilitated Arthur’s kingdom.

It is not known whether Arthur’s kingdom ever existed, but it has been written about for centuries.

Adam and Eve

In the book of Genesis in The Bible, there is an account of The Lord creating our world and making Adam and Eve the first people who would live here.  The lives of Adam and Eve were idyllic, until Satan, in the guise of a snake, led Eve to eat an apple from The Lord’s Tree of Knowledge, filling her consciousness with all manner of realizations.  Eve quickly had Adam do the same.

Enraged by the betrayal, The Lord declared that all of man would from then on endure untold hardship.

Many of the devout feel that these events occurred roughly four thousand years ago, in the Garden of Eden.

Prince of Peace

With thanks to Madhura Pandit, vogue.com, and http://www.scholaradvisor

An Exhaustive List of Well-known and Famous Couples in History can be found at https://historyplex.com/famous-couples-in-history

You’re welcome to “like,” follow, and/or comment if you feel me.

10 Reasons Radical Success is the Weakest Link Part II

The White Album puzzle

Updated November 9, 2018

December 2017 my brother and his wife and kids gave me an unusual gift for Christmas, a puzzle game celebrating The Beatles’ music The White AlbumIt is unusual mainly for the fact that the cover of The White Album is entirely the color white, which makes the puzzle an exercise in assembling puzzle pieces all the color white.  It is as if the wrong end of a game of chess game came down on you.

September 24, 2018, the Stereogum music history website posted to Facebook about the fiftieth-anniversary release of The White Album.  The Beatles Announce 50th Anniversary “White Album” Reissue With Previously Unreleased Tracks

The White Album puzzle
The Beatles

I think of The Beatles being a radical success in music history, given the enormity of their popularity, even decades later.  However, how does that view of The Beatles relate to contemporary ideas about success, and how it is won?

I have ten reasons I’m suggesting that success like what The Beatles enjoyed is actually a weak link in terms of what it means for the individual to pursue preconceived notions of success and how it is misleading.  The first four were presented in a previous blog post.  The remaining six are presented here.

Streaming services

  1. Netflix is the leader of the pack, I believer, for video streaming.  They devote an enormous budget to original content and their selection of existing content is good.
    That being said, Disney is entering the streaming video service market soon, as is AT&T, I understand.  Netflix in my region is compatible with my TiVo, as is another video streaming service, the free video streaming site Tubi.  The selection on Tubi is big, but they don’t offer original video.
    Both Netflix and Tubi are compatible with my TiVo, but the selection of videos on Netflix is good and for Tubi, not so much.  I want to step out of the chain of logic to ask if that implies that Tubi is a weak link.  Netflix is a completely enjoyable experience if you watch video and Tubi is an extra addition to the TiVo I watch TV with.
    It isn’t too hard to say which could be better assessed to be a radical success in the future.  That being said, while Netflix needs to make a lot of important decisions before the day is done to remain ahead of the curve, Tubi is probably under far less pressure.
    Does Tubi’s relative weak link status mean that it isn’t a success?  It is free.

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  2. Going forward with the theory that radical success means enormous difficulty, consider the contender that could grab much of Netflix’ market share, Disney.  Disney is certain, given its weight as an entertainment brand, to include great films and shows, being known for its films, television, toys and theme parks.

Which of the two, Netflix or Disney, will be more of the radical success–that a good streaming service can be?  Or will they both amount to great success?  Disney has built in family-appeal given its products for both adults and kids alike; Netflix has been building that kind of appeal from scratch.  Will either Netflix or Disney be a weak link?  It seems important to me that entertainment be good when it is accessed or experienced.

It would be a shame, I think, for the bottom to fall out of Netflix if it were to become a weak link given competition.  Netflix has a reputation for spending extravagant amounts of money on shows and films while not necessarily having a concrete plan in place to recoup its expenditures.  As I said, Disney already has an enormous built-in capacity for success in the future, in addition to plans for its new streaming service

I would ask if streaming video is right for Disney, given all they’ve done to pack movie houses with so many great family films.  Will Netflix Ever Actually Make Any Money?

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Photographer: Jakob Owens

3. I started this post by saying there is a fiftieth-anniversary release of The White Album coming 11/9.  From what I understand about music streaming services, Spotify has a great conversion rate bringing customers from free use of Spotify to the premium version.  I would ask if taken to task whether Spotify will be a “weak link.”

From what I can tell, the selection of music with Spotify is wonderful.  I’ve never actually searched for The Beatles, but I am sure they are there.  The selection is good.  I have fewer specifics on hand, but I wouldn’t appreciate seeing Spotify become relegated to “weak link” status, as it seems to be an awesome service.

It is understood that The Beatles essentially recorded The White Album live to 8-track tape, and for everything they’d done in the name of their music they were in fact recording music that would be a bit of a farewell to their fans.  If less scrutiny was being given to the music emerging on The White Album, would The Beatles have lasted longer and recorded songs for longer than they did?  I think it is possible, for when something is intended to be “perfect,” it is often a departure the way a pinnacle climbed must then be descended.

US Politics 

4. If you are following this argument, you can guess that the weak link I’m referring to is the President of the United States.  I don’t like to posit criticism of the United States or its politics, but an example of someone about who there is much to decry that could be a weak link is the President.

As he is someone who was a TV star, I think it is worth mentioning here the radical success that he is known for enjoying and how at the same time the President has mounting problems that he is both a radical success, being wealthy and commanding power, but also a “weak link” in that he could bring down the whole show if he is not effective.  President Trump has a knack for appearing with ferocious emphasis again and again in the news, and yet he faces so much criticism and real-life repercussions and consequences that I think he makes a great example of a “weak link” who is at the same time a radical success.

The President brings to mind so many components and elements of radical success gone wrong that it is becoming clearer all the time that the President of the United States is an extremely divisive man. Donald Trump Says China Remix

 

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Motivated to Entrepreneurship

5. The ninth reason I want to assert that a weak link can be very much undermining is the idea that if you begin to succeed as an entrepreneur you can find yourself under more pressure than you ever anticipated facing.  Making money is many people’s idea of success, but you have to put in years of work to make dreams come true.  And in this scenario, ironically, you yourself could be the weakest link if you don’t meet obstacles well.


Unless you keep improving, day in and day out, you could end up being the weak link in your organization simply owing to the fact that your luck could change.  If you have found a strategy that makes you King Midas, turning everything you touch to gold, if all of a sudden your luck changes, you may now be suddenly in a seat of weakness.  The Secret to Self-Motivation | Gary Vaynerchuk’s GREATEST Motivational Speech Ever! 

Photographer: Rawpixel.com
Aerial view of computer laptop on wooden table

You need to keep improving and being good.  Everything that took you somewhere is behind you; you have to continue to make great decisions.  I suspect you’ll see for yourself if you falter.

6. The final reason I want to take back to Geeks + Gamers.  If you have someone, like Jeremy, who has more than one channel on YouTube, who is comfortable discussing games, films, and sports, a very articulate individual, who sees success coming from YouTube, from a Facebook group, from Twitch I suppose, who challenges who is at the top, as with The Last Jedi remaining a highly successful film, however vocal its detractors, I think it is a philosophical note to say that if you are at that pinnacle I referenced above, there is any number of reasons your descent will be hastened by those who come after you.  You have to reach that pinnacle in excellent form; and you have to leave it in such a way that it endures, that there could be a fifty-anniversary, that there could be another billion-dollar blockbuster, that there could be a second term.  This is all vital, from a philosophical standpoint, what must be done if radical success, like the kind that spreads all around the globe, is to be achieved and then preserved. CLICKBAIT : A YOUTUBE STORY

I was amused by the Christmas gift last year of The White Album puzzle game I got from my brother and his family.  If you have read this, please feel free to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.