culture

Everyone I asked said the same thing

Torani No Totoro
Credit: Victor Vercesi

The truth is I’ve been prepping this post since January 31st, but never really got around to posting because I’d barely been finding the time apart from life to curate something for you.

I am looking forward to this Friday, because I’ll be sending my first mailer out to you, and I haven’t pre-planned anything. In fact, I think I’m going to set aside an hour either tomorrow or Friday itself, just so I can dedicate these thoughts to you.

I hope you enjoy today’s curated day. The first article got to me especially.

READ

Killing Up Close

Vice recently unveiled an excerpt from the first chapter of Kevin Sites’ “The Things They Cannot Say” – A book, that after reading the Vice article, I really want to get my hands on and read voraciously. Kevin Sites is Yahoo’s first war correspondent, and the thing that immediately makes me want to read this book, is the stories of Iraqi War veterans coping with post-traumatic stress. It’s easy to see the violence that’s done on a physical level, but after reading the excerpt below, it’s the psychological violence that hasn’t had enough written about it.

“He just starts twitching. ‘It’s going to be OK,’ I told him, but he pushed me back and screamed, ‘You don’t know what’s going on in my brain; there’s no switch that can shut off what’s going on in here.’ He’s sweating and pacing, just the look in his eyes. It went on for 30 to 45 minutes. I visibly see his pulse, 250 to 260, he’s going to stroke out. How do I stop it? I need to get three octaves above him. That’s what Marines respond to. He’s looking for someone in authority to take control. Now we’re talking insanely loud, I’m screaming at him, ‘You need to bring it down!’—trying to use military phrases. I start screaming at him, ‘Marine, stand down! Marine, stand down! Marine, stand down!’ About the fifth time I did it, it had an effect.”

The other reason, is that it approaches war and conflict with very human subjects. Ultimately, I think this book will be about people, not the war. The war is a background, the other people are background, but the people are stories. Added to that, that there’s an incredible literary prowess in making you react to these stories, it’s pretty powerful storytelling.

But what seems impossible to her is that her son could survive some of the harshest combat since the Vietnam War and yet not survive his own homecoming and transition to civilian life. While he did his duty for the Marine Corps, both protecting the president personally and protecting his nation overseas, she feels the Corps did not protect him in the end. This is a belief echoed by psychiatrist Jonathan Shay and others who work with returning veterans. “When you put a gun in some kid’s hands and send him off to war,” he tells me during an interview, “you incur an infinite debt to him for what he has done to his soul.” Despite her anger with the Marines, Sandi Wold knew her son loved the camaraderie of the Corps, but she also understood the internal conflict it had caused him. Still, she had him buried in his dress blues, knowing that underneath them, on the right side of his chest, her son bore another tattoo, this one of praying hands with a banner reading only god can judge.

Is Population Growth A Ponzi Scheme?

Akin to pyramid marketing, where the people who really do see any benefit are the people at the tier above you, likening population growth to a Ponzi scheme does suggest that our children, or the generation after us is the one that will be making those in power, all the richer, while those of us who do not directly benefit are merely cogs in the capitalist machine.

I think the thing that scares me the most, is that the while economies are asking if the population can sustain and replenish itself, whether the planet can. And that, is the crux for this discussion.

According to Ponzi demography, population growth — through natural increase and immigration — means more people leading to increased demands for goods and services, more material consumption, more borrowing, more on credit and of course more profits. Everything seems fantastic for a while — but like all Ponzi schemes, Ponzi demography is unsustainable.

Despite its snake-oil allure of “more is better,” Ponzi demography’s advocacy for ever-increasing population growth is ultimately unsustainable. Such persistent growth hampers efforts to improve the quality of life for today’s world population of nearly seven billion people as well as for future generations.

LISTEN

Bored Spies – Summer 720 (Fauxe Remix)

Fauxe did a beautiful version in his remix of new Cherie Ko project, Bored Spies. I don’t really know anything about that group yet, so perhaps I shall start digging.

WATCH

Grinderman – Bellringer Blues (Nick Zinner Remix)

After watching the Yeah Yeah Yeahs recently last week, I’ve been curious as to what one of my favourite guitarists has been up to, and lo and behold, I find a remix of the last song off Grinderman 2.

Happy as bird.

Nujabes「Eternal Soul」

Uyama Hiroto: “If I say new, it’s difficult but his music is filled with elements of old music and I think it’s those elements that are outputted and formed. By that meaning I guess you can say it’s new. Doing soundwork everyday, it brings back memories of him. Even now I feel like I can hear him saying “let’s go beyond this and do it.” Though he passed away he’s here today so I wish to perform what I’m creating right now to him.”

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