Recorded a video for the "Coronaoke" Facebook page.
I chose "Someday Soon" because I'd never really paid attention to it before I heard people sing it at karaoke in Agassiz. And when I first heard it, I didn't like it. But it grew on me. So it felt a fitting song to choose to post to a group of people who miss doing karaoke.
I kinda' miss karaoke too, but mainly I miss going to pub jams. So I did this recording and kinda' did a pub jam with myself.
I haven't written here for quite some time—I haven't felt like I've had much to say—but I think I'll try to think a little through writing here.
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, I haven't been very social. This has been o because I've been quite busy. For the last week I've been preparing for school as a distance learning teacher, for example. I've never taught distance learning before and look forward to the challenge, but I also dread being a vector of corporate branding; our school has regrettably depended upon Google's "Classroom" platform. But strange times lead to strange bedfellows, like me and the Google platform. For the time being, in our district, Google's the only feasible way to make the information work.
I've moved in with my partner. This means I've moved out of Agassiz and to New Westminster, close to Vancouver. We moved here at the beginning of March, expecting me to commute to Agassiz for work for at least the remainder of the year. However, the pandemic offered me a solution on this front: stay home... in New West. This will save an enormous amount of time and money, both of which are hard to come by.
I'm happy to have moved in with my partner. It's a bit of a surprise that it worked out. I had kind-of given up hope mid-February that we could find a place to live that fit our mutual professional and personal needs. But then... we found this. And it worked out. And I'm grateful.
The pandemic, however, also decreased the availability of gigs and supplementary work. I had done regular music gigs in Harrison Hot Springs until September, and then followed that with a few months of dog-walking. However, both of those opportunities have disappeared since the pandemic hit, so I have to live without the extra influx of cash each month, which I admittedly got used to. So be it; I can do it.
And that's all. Just for the sake of an update.
Stay safe. Wash your hands.
In the past, I've written about a lack of motivation to complete my musical and photographic projects. I don't feel like tracking down those posts, or trying to find posts I may have deleted. But my lack of motivation to get projects done continues, and I feel like I need to declutter my mind in order to do it.
Plenty of people suggest a big thing: delete your social media. I don't want to do that—I talk to my kids through Facebook Messenger and still enjoy posting my photos to Instagram. But I have noticed that I barely use Twitter and Tumblr, and the greatest suck on my time has been scrolling through Instagram, jealously looking at other photographers' work.
So I've started deleting people I follow on Instagram and Twitter, and may do the same with Tumblr one day. If I don't know the person, I might just not follow them. The FOMO, the envy of their curated lives, is just too strong. That envy of all the people I scan past... I feel that may be a severe hindrance to my motivation.
Of course, the real solution is to delete all the social media, or at least to make it inaccessible somehow. I don't want to lose my numerous "jeffnords" handles, but I don't want to spend time glancing at the social media stuff anymore. It's a tough choice.
Yesterday, I stopped following over 1000 accounts on Instagram, largely so I'd decrease the envy that drives me to go there. It's funny how much it seems I post for "likes;" I'm nervous that all my unfollowing will lead to a lack of "likes" for my photos, which does seem to produce a dopamine hit. I really like it when I get some "likes" on my photos.
But it's not real, is it? I've posted over 1500 photos to Instagram, but it's never really lead to anything but more likes. I haven't met many new people exclusively through the app. I know that's because I'm not being a professional photographer or anything, and I don't need to hustle the professionals and models that might lead to more connections. But when a photo doesn't get many likes, I genuinely feel bad, and then I see all the professional stuff and I feel worse.
So maybe it would be a good thing to delete it all and start over, and break out of this addictive cycle that leads me to spend too much time paying attention to Instagram likes. I don't expect likes from any other social media site; Instagram is the only one that seems to really affect me. So do I let it go?
It's tempting. I'm tired of not getting the motivation to finish my work, to make prints, to finish writing and recording songs, because it's too easy to scroll through a feed.
It's sort-of like how typing stuff online isn't political work, how people feel like they've done something political by posting online, but they haven't done anything to change a single policy. For me, with Instagram, I post things and like people's posts, but it doesn't actually help me do anything genuinely creative. It's a stumbling block.
I may have just talked myself into deleting my Instagram presence.
My friend Katrina Ryan helped me make an Electronic Press Kit. Here it is!
And here's the direct link:
A lot has been written about the influence of partisanship in the impeachment of Donald Trump. Here are three examples:
But I can say this: watching it all unfold has filled me with melancholy.
Trump is indefensible, and he's dragged his colleagues to childish levels in order to maintain his hold on power. I don't remember politicians, Republicans or Democrats, consistently making such bad arguments in the George W. Bush era, in the Obama era, in any other political context. He's dumbed down his entire party; they sound childish.
And this makes me sad because I want adults, I want political leaders, to speak with clarity and conviction, not in defense of somebody who isn't worth defending. Trump is clearly a mess; nobody has created this much chaos in his term in Office. He needs to go. The letter proves it. And somehow, he continues to drag his entire party with him, as well as his base. What a sad state of affairs.
I don't want to shame any politicians; I do not believe shame is an effective long-term tool here. But I do wish some of them would look at the language they're using and admit they wouldn't use such childish arguments in other political contexts. The silliness of the "Trying to take back the 2016 election" arguments would not be tolerated elsewhere.
Of course, there are checks and balances that did not work, that brought us here:
I don't care what system we choose for Proportional Representation, but we need it. The FPTP system has bought us Brexit, Trump, and even Trudeau's somewhat inexplicable maintenance of power here in Canada. First-past-the-post will continue to amalgamate power in the hands of a select oligarchy.
What I fear, though, is that FPTP will breed kakistocarcy, "a system of government that is run by the worst, least qualified, and/or most unscrupulous citizens." As long as those in power see no threat to it, crapshoot leaders, like Donald Trump, will still have access to power, we will continue to see decisions made by arbitrary referendums, like Brexit, and we will continue to have to settle with semi-mediocre leaders like Trudeau. People with real leadership potential will avoid such systems, since they hope to maintain their integrity; unscrupulous opportunists, like Mitch McConnell, will maintain their hold, knowing that a proportional mandate would jeopardize their lazy grip to power.
It should have happened a long time ago. We're reaping the consequences now.
We need First-Past-The-Post to go the way of the British Empire that propogated it.
YouTube: ephemeral ideas
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