Miles is an often overlooked part of the striking design of many Blue Note jazz albums, having designed hundreds of them during his time with the label.
He designed, sometimes photographed, occasionally drew, and exhibited a seemingly endless capacity for clever juxtapositions and flashy, effective, bold colors and typography.
The simplicity and contrast of image and color influenced design for years, maybe still does. Reid contributed an essential component of American culture that went hand-in-hand with the scintillating sonic brilliance of the music inside those wonderful covers.
In Which the Chronicler Expounds His Enduring Affection for Certain Bits of ST:TOS
What did I latch onto for comfort viewing the past two nights? Star Trek: The Original Series. Gosh, what a wonderful vision of daring and exploration into the unknown. Of course, this effusion is helped along by my sticking to several opinions of the [insert arbitrary and fawning superlative here] episodes of the original series.
In many cases, they’re a group of, well, adventurers, D&D/RPG-style. The rough & tumble nature of their whimsy is all in service to the story they’re telling week to week. Even so, the best moments focus on the relationships between. Insight into these characters is what makes them so compelling, and the show relevant and even inspiring.
There are so many moments that touch me. The earnest desire to understand the unknown, the sheer bravado. I’m kinda moved by a lot of these 60s teleplays.
So what’s this got to do with art? Art is an adventure, of course. If requires we feed our desire and expand our horizons, to outer space if need be.
Some of These Days, I Swear—There’s a Book We Should Keep in Mind
I’ve written before about how poetry is a too-often overlooked literary form, so it was with NO END OF DELIGHT that I feasted my eyes on Trefology, which popped up in a completely unrelated web search.
And This Day in Music is one of those nice listy landing pages that sparks the feels.
I’ve Been Thinking a Lot Today About Protest Art, So Put That Into a Search Engine for a Glimpse Inside My Head
When you live in New York or any big city, it is easy to fail at growing up. The city is designed to keep you in a state of perpetual adolescence. You never need to learn to drive if you don’t want to. And even if you do drive you can go back to that bar you went to when you were twenty-one, and it will still be there, and it will still be called Molly’s, and the older waitress there will still remember you and let you sit where you want. And feel be years later, when she is no longer there, when there is just a picture of her above the bar on a place of sad honor, and you know what that means and you don’t want to think about it, guess what: you do not have to. Because no one is driving home, and you’re back again, listening to “Fairytale of New York,” which is still on every jukebox, falling into the same conversations you had with the same friends in the ’90s: about how the internet is going to change culture, and what you are going to do when you grow up.
— John Hodgman, Vacationland
Returning, Briefly, to Digital Hygiene, and a Reason So Many of Us Are So Frustrated, Angry, and Short on Time
A recent episode of Note to Self (I highly recommend subscribing) was a repeat, but also a really, really good one. It’s an overview of the ways social media companies are driven to manipulate us, honing algorithms that ever more selectively push our buttons.
Our psyches are exploitable, and even with no malice intended, we’re taken advantage of without even knowing it. It’s more important to take time out for perspective, for reflection, for people face-to-face and hand-to-hand.
You Need Distractions Today, I Can Tell, and Here Are Three Short but Amazing Things
It’s a part of most retail jobs that employees have to do certain chores that may be gross or filthy. Cleaning bathrooms and floors, dealing with trash, wiping down fixtures and windows. These can seem demeaning, and I’ve thought so on more than one occasion.
They aren’t, though.
I was thinking about their place in work of all kinds, and it’s not just that you have to do them, I think they contribute, weirdly, to a bigger picture.
They’re small cogs in a larger machine, just like you, if you’re one of those workers. But you have to do the same kind of maintenance at your own house, and there’s no shortage of cleanup in art, either. These tasks relate.
They also interrelate. An attitude of reverence toward your tools and tasks carries over to the important work, the art itself. Working a job is valuable training in maintaining the harmony of everything unseen in the art you make. It supports and frames it. It makes it possible to forget about everything but the art itself.
I finally got around to seeing the Carpool Karaoke featuring Paul McCartney, and it was typically wonderful. I really can’t get enough of Paul just being his alternately down-to-earth and godlike-famous selves—the latter of which he dubs “Him”—but this was a cut above. It must be terribly hard, sometimes, to reconcile being a person who just wants to walk around in the world as a normal human with a concept people want to worship and get a piece of, everywhere you go. I’m continually amazed by the grace he displays of such relentless recognition. I’m sure it’s hard.
So many of us think we want to be famous, and should think harder and longer about what it might mean. There’s little controlling it if it happens.