Pics or it didn’t happen: Our obsession with permanence

Pics or it didn’t happen: Our obsession with permanence

Something happens. Something memorable, or kinda cool, or not really that interesting at all, but we take thirteen pics of it anyway. We have to take pictures; record it, show the world, share, for posterity’s sake. That we were there. That we are here, now. This is really nothing new. And this is nothing we would put on the shoulders of the Millenials (Gen Y) and Pivotals (Gen Z) who have had the luxury of social media basically since day one (and therefore the normality, and subsequent pressures, of performing online). It’s just the latest form/different version of the photo books mom/grandmom pull out every time you start dating someone new. It’s just the logical next step for a species that started in the dirt, moved on to cave paintings, invented the camera in 1888, and now has a tool to share who they are with the entire world in the blink of an eye. This is just progress. But why is it something so rooted into our DNA, or just our sense of identity? Why do we feel the need to capture everything and look at it over and over again? And for other people to do the same? Why, ultimately, do we feel like something isn’t really real, something didn’t really happen, something isn’t worth remembering, unless we have the physical photo of it to look back on and share with others? Memories There are countless studies (here’s one, for example: False memories in highly superior autobiographical memory individuals) that will tell you that many (most) of our organic memories are junk, and can be created from...
Banksy fan? You can soon buy his artwork for cheap

Banksy fan? You can soon buy his artwork for cheap

Banksy is something of an enigma in the art world – and not just because no average Joe knows his true identity. His heavy-handed imagery and symbolism, and constant political/cultural commentary, have both thrilled and divided art enthusiasts from London to New York to China. He has a mission. He has a statement he’d like to make and he makes it, loud and clear and easy to understand, again and again. But this isn’t meant to be a review, or even a comment, on his art. Nor of his bravado. Nor is it really a discussion about the phenomenon that has led to Banksy’s art pieces selling for millions of dollars, “Save Banksy” campaigns (watch an example in the video below) and his rabid, cult-like following. We just wanted you to know that you will soon be able to own some of Banksy’s latest artwork at a much, much lower price point than the 6+ figures it has recently been selling for. If (and it’s a big “if”) you head to the West Bank, to Bethlehem. This is also where the artist’s controversial hotel stands. “The Walled Off Hotel,” as an apparent commentary on Israel and Palestine’s strained (to put it lightly) relationship, and the wall that splits the holiest of cities into two, offers the “Worst View in the World” (you can buy a t-shirt there that says so). The gift shop will be located at the back of the hotel (not to be confused with the Banksy-themed store that opened up across the street in an attempt to capitalize on the artist’s celebrity).   Interestingly, it stands in...
For the record, Antifa =/= Nazis

For the record, Antifa =/= Nazis

Antifa has been a much talked about group lately. The discussion started in earnest when they clashed with white supremacists, Nazis, and Confederate sympathizers in Charlottesville a few weeks back during the “Unite the Right” rally. President Trump struggled with the comparison, saying that both sides were at fault. Both sides were wrong. Both sides were morally reprehensible. Equally so. But after the recent violence in Berkeley, even Daily Show host Trevor Noah came out against Antifa’s more aggressive tendencies when battling Fascism (Antifa = Anti + Fascist). In general jargon, Antifa became associated with the left, and Nazis became (well they were always sorta) associated with the right. But that shouldn’t be the discussion. Nazism/Fascism is something that history has already thrown in the trash regardless of what the America political spectrum looks like today. It was defeated, both as a mantra and as political movement. Condemned as something awful and never to be repeated. And rightfully so. This goes without saying. Is Antifa a slightly more menacing and erratic, and perhaps less well-dressed, version of Indiana Jones? He punched Nazis too. Because they were Nazis. We’ve discussed the power of ideology (Don’t Kill Hitler), and we won’t say/we aren’t here to say that the approach that Antifa and other groups have taken to combat the recent rise in visible Nazism is pure, cut and dry simply the “right” course, or the course of action that will solve the problem in the long term. It’s not, and it won’t. As Berkeley mayor Jesse Arreguin said after the recent clashes on the streets of his city, “Fighting hate with hate does not...
Food & Sex & Everything in between

Food & Sex & Everything in between

It’s been said that food is better than sex. Food is not better than sex, but some meals can and do come (pretty) close. The comparisons are apt. The sensations, yes, the appetites, the insatiable hunger for something so perfect you feel you cannot get enough. When something so delicious passes your lips and you grip your fork, your spoon, the sides of your seat in pure and unadulterated ecstasy. Like honey that rolls slowly, dripping down chins and fingers. It’s sticky sweet. Honeycomb. Along with rank cheeses that assault the senses. Époisses and Limburger. Or along with more subtle cheeses that sit delicate at the back of the palate. Appenzeller Swiss. White cheddar. It’s a sweetness that fills your smells, your taste, you smell, your touch, with a different sort of of sensation. Something you crave. But savory is most necessary (as a paradox, perhaps, of food: the sweetness of dinner comes more from the umami. A richness, sure, but more from the complex flavors of which pure sweetness of sugar/dessert can not alone compare). Breathe in the smell of onions cooking in butter. There is something so very sensual about that smell. Add a touch of (that) honey for sweetness. Add the onions to your steak, cut thin and cooked rare. Have vegetables on the side. Have asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli cooked in oil with a little salt sprinkled on top. Have something from rivers or the ocean: Trout cheeks are the best part of the fish, as soft and nearly as rich as pork belly. Enjoy truffles and pickles and pate beforehand, with the cheese. The tension...