Tag Archives: Facebook

Beauty &Taxes

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These are two things I have been working on this month and BOTH are surprisingly foreign to me.

The band spent all of the Winter months writing, rehearsing, performing and recording the Strength EP, which is due out May 2012.  The songs are hard, aggressive, thick, dynamic and lyrically pretty clearly about strength – my interpretation of strength – there were some ups+downs writing the material but no un-scalable brick walls.

Now Spring has come and I’m in the midst of writing some new material for the second EP titled Beauty.  I have come to realize, that I have NEVER written from a conceptual space like Beauty before.

It’s disorienting. Most of the material I have written is heavy and generally deals with issues we don’t wish to speak about (living beyond trauma, anger, depression, etc…).  But Beauty – well that’s something we seemingly engage with every day, and can’t stop talking about, particularly in a time of heavy media saturation – billboards, tv ads, magazine pull outs, facebook, etc…

The facebook element really intrigues me – in past we would look to magazines and other external media to draw comparisons and build our sense of Beauty worthiness and attractiveness – I feel that now we do this more so by stalking our friend’s pages and the pages of totally random seemingly happy + seemingly beautiful strangers.  We are very willing to take on the role of the advertiser by posting what we believe to be beautiful photos of ourselves to broadcast a particular notion we’d like to persuade an audience to believe. Simultaneously, we play role of  an audience who is willing to accept the potential deception of the seemingly wonderful scenarios portrayed in the photographs/posts of others.  We should recognize that with any medium there will be an inherent bias in the message – facebook photos are self-selected for us to look our best and to meet some standard (a standard that is quantified by the number of Likes). It’s an instantaneous model for the pursuit of crowd-sourcing a standard of our own Beauty.

But we all know that Beauty is far more than aesthetic. Many times when I think of Beauty I immediately think of love, or truth or justice or good or some other highly conceptual positive element. But I’m not entirely comfortable with that – again that’s too self-selecting, and things like being good or engaging with truth can be painful and difficult actions, but entirely necessary – can’t a painful truth be Beauty?

Can broken hearts be beautiful?

I’m trying to work from neither the aesthetic nor the emotional elements of Beauty. The definition that has really made the largest impact has been the phrase being in one’s hour.”  It’s the only one that’s really rung true in my mind as a place to start writing new material.  It I have LITTLE IDEA what this EP is going to sound like in the end….it’s a grand experiment this Beauty.

And as for Taxes.….well you see I was supposed to be doing that this afternoon – but decided to write to you instead…..if ever you feel really down and out about your Beauty (whatever that means to you), know that you are always and forever more beautiful than taxes will ever be.

Are we being social right now?

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Sooooo……What do you think is the culmination of this social media frenzy?

ICQ, Yahoo chat rooms, MSN Messenger, Hi-Five, Facebook, Myspace,  Twitter, Google Buzz….etc….

Social interactions with people you would never really interact with in the flesh. The virtual self seems to be more appealing – how do we aggregate all of this extraneous information?

Are we trying to communicate that which can not be said?! I wonder. McLuhan believed that eventually media technologies would lead to a ‘post-literate’ world, where the written word and language would be superseded by the visual medium.

Hmm.  Well, that’s hardly the case is it?!  All of our ‘social’ networking is highly contingent upon the written language!! Gah! Literacy is a HUGE aspect of how we now communicate in our ICT (information and communication technology) laden world!

But is literature social?  The written word is not entirely a social thing – I mean you are reading this and I have written it and in some way we are sharing the experience – but not in ‘real time’, not with any meaningful fleshy connection (no sexual innuendo intended here).  Doesn’t being social inherently include a human connection which is predicated upon a physical human characteristic? (Touch, taste, smell, sound…you get the idea).  We are experiencing a social moment together in some sort of suspended time warp where the human aspect has to be ‘guestimated’ – sarcasm and intonation fail miserably over social networks.

Even if we can have updates that are fractions of a minute or second apart (ahem..twitter), it’s not nearly as quickly as you could transmit a message by just talking to me in person. Granted of course that these technologies are leaping great distances in short periods of time, What is the need for people in the same place to have an interface between them?  More over – why do I need to know INSTANTANEOUSLY what is going on in the world?!  How have our social interactions been hijacked by technologies created by the inherently anti-social?  We sit in our own rooms distanced greatly not only by physical geography but by a constant interface through which we must first pass our message.  I suppose telephones did the same thing – but then with telephones there was a physical connection still – the human voice.

Oh – and does Blogging count as a social media?!  Is a cork based real life bulletin board a social media?  So confusing!

Obviously this is just the beginning of a phase or stage of communications technologies – we have yet to plateau.  Where are we going – where is this taking us?  After you have read this,  are we now ‘friends’?! (I’m a pretty great friend who always has chocolate on hand just so you know)

So many questions!!