Austin Kleon FTW:

The entry for “Contrary” is several paragraphs long. My eyes glaze, not over, but above — to the entry for “contrarian.”

That’s a word that usually has a negative connotation, right? “Oh, he’s just being contrarian.” But let’s read the definition, anyways.

“con-trar-i-an n. an investor who makes decisions that contradict prevailing wisdom, as in buying securities that are unpopular at the time.”

Contrarian as investor? Oh, I like this idea.

I don’t want to oppose the status quo just to oppose it — I was to invest in what I think is undervalued at the moment. (Like paper dictionaries.

Invest in what is undervalued — and maybe undernurtured?

Florida ain’t all bad all the time?

Congressman Maxwell Frost on the cover of Teen Vogue. He's sitting on a lawn while smiling and wearing a white t-shirt and black bomber jacket.

Maxwell Frost, organizer as politician:

Frost has also received a flood of letters from people, young and old, praising him and proclaiming, “You’re gonna save us!” He’s flattered, but thinks this is an idea our country needs to shake. “I’m not a savior,” he says. “There’s not one person, not one elected official, not one politician that’s going to save us all. It’s gonna take all of us banding together, building power, doing what we need to do.”

Voters have long bought into the old ways of politicking where candidates say, Elect me and I will take you to the promised land. “When nothing changes, people are like, ‘Guess my vote doesn’t matter,’” Frost says. So he’s committed to continue being transparent with his constituents, not to lower their expectations, but to tell it like it is: “I’m not gonna promise a bill is gonna pass next year — I’m one out of 435 votes. But what I can promise is what I’m going to fight for, how hard I’m going to fight for it, how I’m going to interact with the community, and the way I’m going to be a member of Congress.”

Diane Ravitch // Florida: Will DeSantis Be Able to Hide the History of Atrocities Against Black People in His State?

The only people who would react to this history [of lynching Black Floridians] with a sense of guilt and shame are those who identify with the oppressors.

Most people, I think, would identify with those who were brutalized, commiserating with them as fellow human beings subjected to inhumane treatment.

The whites who want to hide, purge, and suppress this history identify with the oppressors.

The arc of history bends toward justice.

This bums me out.

My lasting memory of the Middle East — besides drinking w/ co-workers — is seeing Hot Water Music upstairs in probably 1997 just after I moved to Boston. I figured there’d be 50 people there to see this little band from my hometown — but I opened the door to a packed house of ~300!

I ran into an intern from CCO and we both reflexively said “what are you doing here?!?” Me thinking “how do you know about this band I though only folks from Gainesville knew about” and her thinking “you are sooo not cool enough to be here.” The show was out of this world.

I feel like I saw more shows than this but know (via Listcore 008) that I saw Gritkisser, Yo La Tengo (one of the few shows I’ve ever fallen asleep at (not totally their fault), Bettie Serveert and Lucero either upstairs or downstairs.

Small, great pleasure is after A walks across the street to school is to see him do a walk-run to catch up with a friend. Feels like he’s more his full self then, a friend, a buddy.

This iteration of 10thumbs took inspiration from Rhoneisms. Fittingly he captured my thinking better than I could articulate:

When the mask mandates end, you’ll likely see me still wearing one in most public situations. There are many reasons. Here’s some off the top of my head.

Respect. When I enter a store, restaurant, or even a private home, I may not know what the owner’s preference is. Therefore, out of respect, I’ll default to wearing a mask unless I’m told it’s OK to do otherwise and then I’ll make my own choice based on my level of comfort. It’ll likely be the case that I’ll opt to keep mine on and I similarly expect the same respect in return.

What started as an odd joke between a couple co-workers with a plastic army man has evolved — since Russia invaded Ukraine — into a kind of Layer Tennis in 3D Art Installation outside the bathrooms on our floor. There was something apolitically simplistic about each addition: First a Ukranian flag, then “Liberty!” quote bubble, etc.

This has dovetailed with what seems like a greater focus on the invasion — and it’s unjustness — and expressions of compassion for the Ukranian people (see SNL opening w/ the Ukranian chorus). This is good because war is bad. But the difference is striking from when the U.S. invaded Iraq or Afghanistan. Where were the Iraqi flag emojis or Afghan artists on network TV then?

So this Layer Tennis thing struck me as part of that mixed with needlessly playful — or at least tone deaf to the horrors of war.

So my contribution was to print out lyrics from Phil Ochs’ “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” and Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War”.

I have Mark Arm’s version as a 7″ and remember vividly Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready’s rendition as part of Bob Dylan’s bday celebration.

In looking for Arm’s version on Bandcamp I came across a bunch of covers — which is a great thing!! Here are some of the most interesting to me.

Powerful argument against the current push to ban books (emphasis added):

When I was 12 or 13 years old, I was not prepared for the racism, the brutality or the sexual assault in Larry Heinemann’s 1977 novel, “Close Quarters.”

Mr. Heinemann, a combat veteran of the war in Vietnam, wrote about a nice, average American man who goes to war and becomes a remorseless killer. In the book’s climax, the protagonist and other nice, average American soldiers gang-rape a Vietnamese prostitute they call Claymore Face.

As a Vietnamese American teenager, it was horrifying for me to realize that this was how some Americans saw Vietnamese people — and therefore me. I returned the book to the library, hating both it and Mr. Heinemann.

Here’s what I didn’t do: I didn’t complain to the library or petition the librarians to take the book off the shelves. Nor did my parents. It didn’t cross my mind that we should ban “Close Quarters” or any of the many other books, movies and TV shows in which racist and sexist depictions of Vietnamese and other Asian people appear.

Instead, years later, I wrote my own novel about the same war, “The Sympathizer.”