2-14-18 Week 5

John Capouya, Florida Soul: Chapter 2, Ernie Calhoun

Nobody knew who Otis Redding was/is?! Blasphemy!

As a native Detroiter, this music is a part of me—those Motown roots that add soul to my spirit.  

Loved how Capouya framed of the rise of soul to coincide with the rise of civil rights.

I would actually have like to ask Capouya more about how gospel singers and the previous generation felt about soul music. As far as I know, they felt the same way about soul as old soul singers today feel about hip-hop: that it is a lewd, sacrilegious take on a pure musical form. Interesting how things change…

“Art can change hearts and minds.” Damn right. If there is one thing consistent in every human society, it is the amalgamation of art and myth that instigate, reinforce and challenge cultural mores.

Oh man, Deep City Records reveals Eccentric Soul’s deep rabbit hole digging into little known tendrils of soul…

 

GOODBYE GATEKEEPERS, Monday, October 16, 2017 from Ben Thompson’s Stratechery

This article details the fall of Harvey Weinstein through the lens of The New York Times, who has gone from “All the News that’s Fit to Print” to “Journalism Worth Paying For.” Because the only newspaper that matters was a significantly different news organization in 2017 than it was in 2004, the Weinstein story was able to be released. In 2004, Sharon Waxman’s report on Weinstein’s alleged abuses was crushed by thorough pressure from actors and Weinstein’s people. Because the paper relied so much on advertising dollars, especially those dollars generated from the film industry where Weinstein was a titan, the report got quashed. Fast-forward to 2016 and subscriber revenue now outpaced flagging ad dollars.

The rise of the internet has coincided not only with the loss of established news arbiters, but with the eradication of other traditional gatekeepers like Hollywood producers. Through YouTube, independent filmmakers and on-demand show creators like Netflix and HBO, Hollywood is no longer the arbiter of acting stardom.

This has great significance on the arc of my career. In addition to developing reporting and writing chops, I dedicate a set of time each day to reading articles on News Whip, Buffer and Parse.ly and studying strategy in books like Bharat Anand’s The Content Trap and Derek Thompson’s new book, The Hit Makers.

 

What Investors Really Fear, The specter of inflation—that ever-feared and never-appeared boogeyman—is haunting Wall Street. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic.

Thompson reports and comments upon the Wall Street ‘correction’ last week: a 10% drop in stock prices and a $3 trillion loss in value. This blip Thompson associates with fear of rising wages, which could lead to people being able to spend more money, higher-priced goods as a consequence and hence, duhn-duhn-duhnn, inflation.

Inflation is one of those bugaboos of bankers and financial succubi that may signal hesitation in the hoped-for perpetual growth of financial markets. Thompson seeks to quell any panic about global market meltdowns or even an inflationary bump by citing research, which indicates that while wages crept up in 2017, ‘ “core personal-consumption expenditures”—the Fed’s most commonly used inflation measure—was 1.7 and 1.5 percent in those years.’ In other words, people made a little more money, but, surprise surprise, they didn’t go out and spend it on big screens and boats.

Thompson then asserts one of the more eloquent challenges to our market system in one sentence:

“If investors are wary of central bankers because they think bankers are wary of labor’s gains, it sets up a dynamic where capital specifically defines risk-free success by its capacity to restrain the prospects of labor.”

Indeed, this has always been capitalism’s problem: in order for one person to have more stuff, another has to have less. This is contrary to how tribal homo sapiens have sustained for 99% (or so) of our existence.

The astonishing surge in wealth, health care, technology and the transcendence of man over nature attributed to market capitalism’s ‘success’ since the first stirrings of coal fired factories in London to the rise of artificial intelligence has not come without cost: the eradication of our indigenous knowledge and interconnectedness, the sixth mass extinction precipitated by human hands, a failed ‘war’ on mind-altering substances (leading to mass-incarceration, a system of racial inequity and the escalation of violence death and strong-armed injustice in poor nations throughout the world), repression in the face of fear-mongering, injustice and inequity in access to healthcare, junk food barons, corruption and collusion amid corporate and government conglomerates, an incredible disparity in wealth distribution, lack of consideration for human life and sane policy in catering to powerful lobby groups, and a consistent cycle of government deregulation and economic catastrophe that destroys massive swathes of personal wealth.

Of course, this dipshit, via the dipshits at National Review [my apologies for the non-dipshits at this publication (you know who you are…) ], says that instead of the above, what we need to worry about is the rise of socialism, populism and a call for more sane, humane, equitable policies. Goddamn pinkos!

For the right wing’s part, if they want to play blind man, they can follow the shepherd off of a cliff for all I care. Me, I plan to keep my eyes wide open all the time.

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