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Jan202020

Daily Links Special for Dr. Martin Luther King Day

 

MLK March on Washington Speech

— NPR: ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech, In Its Entirety https://t.co/kBC12Wlln0

— New Yorker: From 1965: Renata Adler reports on Martin Luther King, Jr., and the historic march from Selma to Montgomery. https://t.co/KevfNjsnou

— Paste Magazine: Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day With Musical Tributes From Patti Labelle, Joan Baez & many more. https://t.co/YBCTnHi8cH

“I fear I may have integrated my people into a burning house” — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

Jan122020

My Annual Playlist of Songs I Heard for the First Time That Year: AKA The Smokler 50 (2019)

Welcome to my 8th annual playlist of songs I heard for the first time that year. It includes songs that are brand new to 2019, a few, but mostly those I found on my explorations of music across time, genre and medium

I cut things off on Dec. 31 with 905 songs discovered via streaming playlists, terrestrial and satellite radio, personal recommendations, research into artists I only know so well and regular visits to record stores. The total 905 is about 60 more than my usual average of 825-850 new songs per annum. I’m pegging that to the documentary film I made this year about the comeback of vinyl records which meant turning the usual stream of new music discovery into a geyser.

From there I chose 50 I feel like I could listen to endlessly without getting bored but that also remind me of my coordinates in the galaxy of music that year. I also keep an eye on diversity as you finding something new (to you) is half the point: Even if that year meant 79% listening to say celtic punk rock, that’ll still only be say 15% of the playlist.

If you listen and say “How all over the place!” or “I discovered 3 new bands! Hosannah!” I’ve done my job. If you listen and say “wow, you must really like Artist X or Genre Y” I haven’t.

Enjoy! And if you would, tell me what you find.

 

Jan12020

My New Year’s Day Prayer: Ring out, Wild Bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,

The flying cloud, the frosty light:

The year is dying in the night;

Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

 

Ring out the old, ring in the new,

Ring, happy bells, across the snow:

The year is going, let him go;

Ring out the false, ring in the true.

 

Ring out the grief that saps the mind

For those that here we see no more;

Ring out the feud of rich and poor,

Ring in redress to all mankind.

 

Ring out a slowly dying cause,

And ancient forms of party strife;

Ring in the nobler modes of life,

With sweeter manners, purer laws.

 

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,

The faithless coldness of the times;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes

But ring the fuller minstrel in.

 

Ring out false pride in place and blood,

The civic slander and the spite;

Ring in the love of truth and right,

Ring in the common love of good.

 

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;

Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;

Ring out the thousand wars of old,

Ring in the thousand years of peace.

 

Ring in the valiant man and free,   

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land,

Ring in the year that is to be.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Nov302019

My new Website Design and What you can Expect to Find here..

Hello world. This is my new website design.

At long last, my home base online has a brand new look. Thank Philadephia’s own Brian Crumley for all of it.

What you’ll find here:

What I hope you’ll find here in the future: 

  • Monthly roundups of movie’s I’ve seen (ala Khoi Vinh)
  • Monthly roundups of what I’ve read (ala Ben Werdmuller)
  • Better contextualized and more useful to you versions of what i post on social media feeds elsewhere
  • More themed essays and posts like I did more of long ago.

I like the way things look a lot more now. And there’s something about redecorating that makes you want to fill the new space with projects and dreams.

Nov72019

Blue Waves: Winning the 2018 Midterm Elections and Saying So

Friends, I am as heartbroken about Andrew Gullim & Beto O’Rourke and the racist nonsense that no doubt poisoned those elections. But the House is Blue. Kris Kobach, Scott Walker & Putin’s fav. congressperson are out of of a job. We elected 111 women, half are POC. 300 state house seats flipped. Voter suppression/gerrymandering laws turned back in Florida, Michigan and Utah. A brand new, state of the art program to end homelessness in my own San Francisco. Unprecedented turnout amongst young people who 2/1 vote Dem.

If that’s not a wave, I’ve never seen one. Listen to Rebecca Solnit on this one. We blue folk are terrible at joy, at secretly loving our own tragedy and downplaying success. We mistakenly believe being miserable and refusing to be proud is a sign of our commitment to our values.

Don’t do it. We worked hard for this. We earned it. Let’s not dishonor the hard work and commitment of the millions of Americans who made it happen by pretending it’s something less than it actually is.

Nov72019

Publicly Sharing RSS Libraries i.e. My RSS Feeds are Yours

 

Inspired by Matt Haughey’s public posting of the RSS Feeds he subscribes to, I’m doing the same (below).

What is RSS, you ask? A method to subscribe to what your favorite websites publish and have their updates all in a single place. Think of it as DVR for the Internet, food delivery instead of pickup except for the web. Podcasts would on the same technology and concept: Subscribe once, receive forever without asking again.

RSS has been around for most of the 21st century but took a pretty big hit first when people began using Facebook and Twitter to receive regular news updates then when in 2013 when Google discontinued its free RSS product called Google Reader. At that point, anyone who still used an RSS reader and carefully pruned their feed library was probably over 30 and stubborn.

Lately though, its been making a bit of a comeback. Idea being that self-selecting your daily information diet (see: No Trump-loving-creepy-brothers-in-laws) probably means less unwilling toxicity and restless nights of non-sleep.

I’m all for this. RSS made the Internet seem both rich and manageable in my early days with it and I’m still grateful. And while not every one of your favorite web publications still have rss feeds (many newer ones which came along in the last fallow few years just didn’t bother)  many still do.

The more feeds we share, the more our friends and loved ones can conveniently use RSS to assemble their own rich and varied information diets free from the poison of racism, intolerance and fight-picking.

In that spirit, my entire RSS feed library taken from the great Newsblur Reader service then alphabetized is below. Take, subscribe, read, enjoy.

* items with a star are feeds custom created by me.

 

Feeds: