The privilege of being clutter free

Don’t pack too light:

A few weeks into coronavirus quarantine, a reader who had cleaned out his home according to the decluttering guru Marie Kondo’s ultra-popular KonMari method emailed me to ask if I had heard from anyone else who was regretting that move. He’d been happy with the results until the country’s circumstances had abruptly changed, and his family ended up reordering some of the same board games and casual diversions they had parted with back when their lives were busier and the boxes were taking up space in a closet.

Packing light for a lifetime has its perks, but it’s not a strategy that’s highly adaptable to sudden unemployment or overburdened supply chains. America’s economy asks its residents to cycle new things in and out of their home constantly, and for decades, the process has looked like a perpetual-motion machine to all but the poorest among us. When the pandemic hit, it became clear that the process was much closer to musical chairs. Tossing everything that isn’t just right in the moment is its own kind of privilege, which is why Kim Kardashian’s house looks like a mausoleum, and why the set for the anti-capitalist film Parasite is all sharp edges and sleek wood. The pursuit of domestic perfection should be done only by those who don’t have to worry about what unforeseen wants or needs might lie ahead. Among consumer culture’s most impressive sleights of hand is convincing far too many people that they’re in that group.

Everything in moderation is the best approach. Absolutes tend to be brittle when hit with changing circumstances don’t they? I think it makes it easier to adapt to change. That’s my philosophy piece for today.

That’s a Camera

Elsa Dorfman, Who Made Art With Giant Polaroids, Dies at 83

She used a 200-pound camera for her natural portraits of everyday subjects and celebrities — even while Polaroid, outpaced by technology, was fast going out of business.

“she was smitten with the Polaroid’s power to render a painting-size image so rapidly that she and her subject could watch the likeness materialize together before their eyes. “I was in love,” she said.”

“For The Love Of Morticia”

This is great.

Now let me tell you a somethin’ about being an Addams. They are as thick as thieves and they protect each other to the end. Their burdens aren’t unilateral. Morticia and Gomez share parenting responsibilities. They attend parent-teacher nights together. They sit through a lame school play.

They rally in a time of crisis, like when they couldn’t find Wednesday after a party: “Fan out. Pugsley, head for the dung heap. Mama and Morticia, the shallow graves. I’ll take the abyss. Lurch, check out the bottomless pit.” They take time for their shared interests and personal ones.

Parenting Style 

In contrast to 21st century helicopter parenting, Morticia’s style is more hands-off. She encourages independence. She allows Wednesday and Pugsley to play with sharp objects and explosives unattended.

However, her laissez-faire child-rearing sensibilities do not mean she isn’t an engaged parent. She’s supportive and respectful of her children’s interests even when she doesn’t understand them, like when they allegedly wanted to go to summer camp.

Elliot Gould: “it’s all of us together, or none of us”

Enjoyable interview, it’s very easy to hear and see him in your head as you read it. He’s got a distinctive voice and mannerism.

The best review ever received by Elliott Gould – renowned actor and star of M*A*S*H and The Long Goodbye; not to mention, Ross and Monica’s dad on Friends – was from Groucho Marx. The two of them had become close in the comedian’s latter years – so close, Gould says, “he used to let me shave him”. One day Marx asked Gould to change a lightbulb in his bedroom. Gould took off his shoes, stood on the bed and replaced the broken bulb. Marx told him: “That was the best acting I’ve ever seen you do.”

Gould, now 81, has been telling the story for decades – but it is clear even in our pixelated video call that it still delights him. “Isn’t that great?” he says, his distinctive nasal, New York baritone now deepened with age. As we speak he is sitting at a computer at a friend’s house in Los Angeles, relaxed in a blue hoodie, with a seemingly bottomless mug of coffee before him. In isolation on either side of the Atlantic, neither of us has anywhere to be. And after more than half a century in Hollywood, in which he went from leading man to exile and, eventually, fixture – Gould could fill days, not just hours, with his stories.

Enoch Powell did such harm to this country. When he did his Rivers of Blood speech in 1968 everything changed. I went from being “Lettsy” in the playground to “that black bastard” and “golliwog” overnight. And, thanks to Brexit, it’s happening again. It’s absolutely heartbreaking. I still believe in the power of music and culture to change peoples lives, but I’m struggling.

Don Letts, ‘Punk was a refuge from racism’

Chris Cornell, Dead at 52

Fuck. I was only talking about him yesterday with a friend who’d recently gotten me into Audioslave.

Chris Cornell, the lead singer of American hard rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died aged 52. The medical examiner confirmed Cornell’s death was suicide.

Chris Cornell: rock star who kicked down the boundaries of sound
Alexis Petridis
Alexis Petridis Read more
Brian Bumbery, Cornell’s representative, called the singer’s death “sudden and unexpected” and said his wife and family were shocked. On Thursday, the Wayne County medical examiner’s office said Cornell killed himself by hanging.

(via the Guardian)

Chuck Berry, Dead at 90

The father of Rock’n’Roll is no more. 

Chuck Berry passed away peacefully at his home yesterday. 

Charles Edward Anderson Berry, better known as Chuck Berry, was born into a middle-class African-American family in St Louis, Missouri. He first rose to fame in the 1950s with songs such as “Maybellene” and “Rock and Roll Music”. In particular, “Roll Over Beethoven”, which jokingly told the classical greats to give way, became “the ultimate rock and roll call to arms”, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

Chuck Berry, October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017.

What If?

There’s a lot of truth in that.