Notes from week one-thousand, three-hundred and eighty-nine
A quick point to make: a whole pot of coffee is not ideal for writing. A lot of people have propogated this lie over time. It makes you write a lot, definitely, but it’s all wildly meandering and directionless. It lacks the tunnel-vision clarity of a whisky write, even though whisky will lead you down terrible rabbit-holes.
It is only week two of the attempt to do weeknotes, and I’m stuck on where to start, again. The week has blurred hugely. I thought it was finishing much earlier than it was, and then it lingered on considerably more. Time, and my experience of it, got deeply monged along the way.
I wanted to return to my twitter account to see what I’d been saying (as much a guide as anything about the ongoings, despite the semi self-censorship). Unfortunately, twitter’s handling of time is shocking. Scroll, scroll, scroll. It’s quite disrespectful really, treating everything as being so deeply ephemeral and meaningless. There’s no history. I did find an online app that would do what I wanted: create a calendar view of my posts. Twistory links out to iCal, Google Calendar & any apps that support either. Mine is here, if you’re that way inclined.
Content wise, it’s not really telling me much, but that’s my fault. I started with envying Richard Adams’ footage of a semi-frozen Swedish lake, and ended with my usual fantasies of living high in the mountains of Scandinavia, surrounded by snow and ravines, overlooking the sublime fjords.
I find the bleakness of those climes, the reclusiveness and simplicity of life, so romantic. Here, everyone is so fucking noisy. I’m no different. People are talking about the “internet of things,” of making objects speak. I think the last thing we need at the moment is more noise. There needs to be a decent understanding of how to manage the signal first. Certainly, before the advertisers get there and piss on the wires for everyone.
The need to control signals and manage the mental division between my public and private sector hats escalated sharply this week. On one hand, we went into full activity on a project for a public sector client, looking into the lessons that digital media can teach education, and building a community around that. Immediately, I’m contending with three languages to slip in between: education, public sector and digital industry. I also prepped a presentation/pitch for a major high-street bank. Their requirements are so vastly different to the public sector client’s, it hurts. Still, I made a handsome Keynote presentation with lovely looking soundbites to really demonstrate an understanding of their needs. That’s what really matters, to demonstrate the illusion. Or allude to the illusion, that’s more correct.
In the middle of the week, I had my quarterly fascination with Black Metal. I love its perfect ridiculousness, its full-on pretending, and the desire to “out-evil” each other. How evil can you really be when you paint your face, go to the woods and act like a troll? Still, of all musical genres, Black Metal is the best myth-maker. It has its downsides (almost institutional racism/anti-Semitism, some murders and occasional church burnings), but at a base level, it is a brilliant world to escape into. It has its own forms of ancient rites, “kvlt” rules and pre-Christian ideologies. Black Metal shares some of the same space as the mountain life and appeals on the same grounds: it’s a simplistic world that harks back to a brutal time with clear rules of engagement.
This track by Norwegian three-piece Satyricon occupies the overlap in the Black Metal/mountain Venn diagram. The production is suitably murky, the guitar gossamer-thin, drums pithy and vocals (‘vokills’) excellent. Its crowning glory is around 4’40” when it glides effortlessly from cave-dwelling black metal to folky, pagan flute.
I’m too hip to invite comments, but if that’s your thing, then get involved below.