It’s raining cats & dogs. Loving my new jumper I got at a clothes swap.
Mile End, South Australia
Punk boxing with my friend Belli at Such Is Life festival. I lost, obviously, because Belli is one tough motherfucker! Bit silly to be fighting with boots on. Till next time.
Goongerah, East Gippsland, Victoria
(Photo credit: Lee Stefen)
A dandelion amongst the weeds
Mile End, South Australia
a certain sort of dude
it’s hard, when your friend you haven’t seen
for five years
meets you and says
“you sound like… a certain sort of dude,”
and you know immediately
what she is saying
because sounding like the lowest common denominator is the only
way to blend in, to not be singled out for being
but at the same time who you are,
and who people think you are,
don’t match up —
and you hear the palpable discomfort,
(real or imagined)
wherein you don’t fulfill others’ expectations of
and the cycle starts again
…who are you anyway?
"In this room, for one hour
let’s be easy in our skins
with gentle curiosity
proffer and accept
selected morsels of our lives"
Shailja Patel, First Dates in Utopia
the opposite of digital dualism is a whole
You are a smeared entity, multiply identitied. You are different in every packet, sometimes the receiver, sometime transmitter, mostly all at once. You are a node, like a forgotten memory to everyone else, just as they are to you. The sum of human knowledge is your latent, unthought thoughts, the words of all the other humans your memories to never be remembered. Your potentiality is diffuse in the ocean of human imagination, and all of it is there for you to drink. Making a trillion memories none of us will ever remember to remember, all watched over by machines of loving grace.
"Cyberspace, not so long ago, was a specific elsewhere, one we visited periodically, peering into it from the familiar physical world. Now cyberspace has everted. Turned itself inside out. Colonized the physical."
"…documenting experience isn’t anti-experience, it is different experience. It is not a removal from the moment but a different sort of immersion, one that can be critiqued or praised, but shouldn’t be mis-identified as “not in the moment."
In my ongoing quest for the perfect framework for understanding haters, I created The Disapproval Matrix**. (With a deep bow to its inspiration.) This is one way to separate haterade from productive feedback. Here’s how the quadrants break down:
Critics: These are smart people who know something about your field. They are taking a hard look at your work and are not loving it. You’ll probably want to listen to what they have to say, and make some adjustments to your work based on their thoughtful comments.
Lovers: These people are invested in you and are also giving you negative but rational feedback because they want you to improve. Listen to them, too.
Frenemies: Ooooh, this quadrant is tricky. These people really know how to hurt you, because they know you personally or know your work pretty well. But at the end of the day, their criticism is not actually about your work—it’s about you personally. And they aren’t actually interested in a productive conversation that will result in you becoming better at what you do. They just wanna undermine you. Dishonorable mention goes to The Hater Within, aka the irrational voice inside you that says you suck, which usually falls into this quadrant. Tell all of these fools to sit down and shut up.
Haters: This is your garden-variety, often anonymous troll who wants to tear down everything about you for no rational reason. Folks in this quadrant are easy to write off because they’re counterproductive and you don’t even know them. Ignore! Engaging won’t make you any better at what you do. And then rest easy, because having haters is proof your work is finding a wide audience and is sparking conversation. Own it.
The general rule of thumb? When you receive negative feedback that falls into one of the top two quadrants—from experts or people who care about you who are engaging with and rationally critiquing your work—you should probably take their comments to heart. When you receive negative feedback that falls into the bottom two quadrants, you should just let it roll off your back and just keep doin’ you. If you need to amp yourself up about it, may I suggest this #BYEHATER playlist on Spotify? You’re welcome.
** I presented The Disapproval Matrix to the fine folks at MoxieCon in Chicago yesterday, and they seemed to find it useful, so I figured I’d share with the class. It was originally inspired by a question my friend Channing Kennedy submitted to my #Realtalk column at the Columbia Journalism Review.
this seems worth repeating
You have to reinvent for the book. Your life doesn’t appear to have changed, but the book is telling you it has. The book is a way of acknowledging more than one thing you already knew. Now you come to think of it, life’s been weird since you finished the last one. You couldn’t settle. You felt belittled, especially in your nightmares. That’s always a conversation with the writer down inside. They know more about everything than you. They catch on faster. They’ve come to some understanding, they’ve made some decision. Look around, there’s plenty you don’t intend to lose. But bridges are going to be burned. It won’t be one of those scary 100% conflagrations of the past, but something’s got to go. Indeed, something’s already gone. Now you’re going to find out what. That’s what a book is for, sunshine, finding out who you are now.
"There is as much difference between us and ourselves as between us and others."
Michel de Montaigne, on the inconsistency of our actions
"If I had my way we’d sleep every night all wrapped around each other like hibernating rattlesnakes."
William S. Burroughs