Been really enjoying the old Konica Hexanon lenses lately. There's something about them that's building my loyalty to the brand. There's a sharpness to them, no matter the camera used.
âHere's a selection of photos I've taken over the last couple years, using a few specific lenses. And I think I'll post a few lens-specific posts later on.
Here's the 57mm F1.4:
Here's the 50mm F1.4:
The 24mm F2.8
The 52mm 1.8
The Konica S2 Auto's 45mm F1.8:
I don't jive with memes. I remember back when people showed me the "I CAN HAZ CHEEZBURGER" memes a decade ago, but it took me quite a while to "get" them. For a while, I enjoyed them on Facebook or Twitter, but now when I see a meme-like image with a quote on it, I just scroll past it. They're not worth my time or mental investment.
However, my current English 11 class has confronted my habits and bias head-on: they are deeply involved and invested in meme-based thinking. Their quips and inside jokes are largely meme-ish. The class has pushed my mind into deeper thinking about how memes work and why I seem to sluff them off so much. I've found myself saying to the class, "Memes stop deeper thought," or "Memes end a nuanced conversation before we can get to the meat of it," or "Memes put down a flag before you've even reached the field," or "Memes make an in-out group mentality where it's not useful." I don't know if this sort of thinking really works, but it seems like my thoughts coalesce around "Memes stop thought."
While reading the print edition of The Globe and Mail last week, I saw an article that made reference to the following book, Memes and the Future of Pop Culture, by Marcel Danesi. It looks like it's gonna' be a good book.
The article from The Globe and Mail, "Malls, bowling alleys, and the places of our youth are disappearing. Where do we go for a nostalgic place?" by Odessa Paloma Parker, describes part of Danesi's book like this:
Danesi is the author of the recently published book Memes and the Future of Popular Culture, a work that explores how “meme culture” could bring about the end of pop culture – movie theatres, etc. – as we know it; he describes popular culture as “an experiment that may be coming to an end as we shift away from real spaces into virtual spaces.” If you think about what nostalgia means to a millennial, he’s on to something. Ferrao explains that the younger staff at Superflux have a twinge when it comes to older technology, much like she would catching a glimpse of shag carpeting or another symbol of a certain generation’s collective youth. Those even younger, under 20, might not even know how to ascribe a parallel set of emotions to a tangibly familiar place as to an evocative one, as Ferrao has done with the Barbican.
Hm. I wonder, perhaps, if my tendency to dismiss meme-thinking stems from my pop-culture stewardship. As I read the part of Danesi's book that's available through Google Books, I couldn't help but think "I get that," over and over again. But meme culture is something new, something that follows different rules, that exists in a temporal space different from my pop culture conditioning.
The thing is, I have no interest at all at playing with a culture that aims to score points by stopping conversation for a laugh, or for virtue-signalling points. So perhaps I don't belong in meme culture. I look forward to getting a copy of Danesi's book somehow.
And I have yet one more piece of data to support the following statement: I'm old.
On the verge of Spring Break, I have very little to say. It's been a challenge to get my brain thinking as deeply as I'd like it to be thinking. My homonculus just doesn't seem to have anything worth writing down.
Not that I'm not busy. Rehearsals for OffTopic Theatre Company's production of Chickens take up 7 hours of every Sunday afternoon; work's going generally ok; I've been spending a good amount of time with a friend in Vancouver. I'm keeping an eye out for summer work that I hope will fill up at least July, since life has been very expensive. Many of my gigs were cancelled for the slow season, which has made it difficult to keep money rolling in. I've been battling a cold, or series of colds, that have plagued me since January 3rd. Blog posts haven't been a priority.
But Spring Break is here. I'll have my kids with me for about a week; I'll have 12 hours at least twice over that span. I'll have some divorce-related stuff to work through. And the weather, so they say, is gonna' be good.
But I can't think of much to say. So here are some photos to show what things I've been up to for the last month:
Rehearsals for Chickens
Driving up the West Forest Road on Harrison Lake
A shoot with Emily
I appreciate this article from Education Week, titled "We're teaching consent all wrong,"
The key idea from the article is this:
Instead, researchers and educators offer an alternative: Teach consent as a life skill—not just a sex skill—beginning in early childhood, and begin discussing consent and communication in the context of relationships by 5th or 6th grades, before kids start seriously thinking about sex.
I like this because I see it both as a parent and as a teacher. As a parent, I often see my children test one another's boundaries and do things to one another without the other's consent: one might arbitrarily take control of a video game, or dump leftovers onto someone else's plate at dinner, or drop something in the other's room that they don't want anymore. At school, students take one another's books, or write on one another's pages, or talk to another student when they clearly want some peace and quiet. None of these issues are sexual, but nonetheless they're matters of consent. If someone doesn't want that food, or someone doesn't want you writing on their page, the perpetrator is breaking trust and consent.
One of the issues I've seen in the consent conversation, however, is crossover with other terms: "Bullying," for example, often gets used in situations where no bullying is taking place. Perhaps people are doing things you don't want them to, but they're not inherently bullying the other person. Conflating "nonconsensual" and "bullying" muddies the water too much to be useful. The Venn Diagram crosses over—bullying cannot take place consensually—but they're far from one and the same.
Does a parent bully when they need to get their child to attend a family gathering for example? The child may not want to do it, and the parent may need to coerce them, but it's not quite bullying, not quite a matter of non-consent.
Just as we often conflate non-consensual actions with bullying, we also conflate it with coercion. I think we need to be a little careful about that. Somebody can do something without consent, but also not necessarily participate in coercion. Many non-consent stories, it seems, don't involve coercion as much as they involve terrible communication.
Consent is always complicated. We'd like to think that there are little cues we can take to make it simple, but it's always complex. It's a continual process. It demands good communication. It gets messy as we reiterate it in our memories. Whether in parenting or education or in sexuality, there's always more nuance than any maxim can handle.
So I support the idea of teaching consent as a general life skill. Even when it makes life harder.
It appears the Canada Food Guide has finally come of age and is basing its ideas on science, not lobbyists.
I don't have the expertise to add much to the conversation. I'm not a nutritionist or scientist. But I do my best to eat well, or at least know what I should do to eat well. And I'm glad to see a more scientific approach to a topic that often seems so nebulous.
Although I've always been interested in food an nutrition, since the old Canada Food Guide was drilled into me in my school days, I've enjoyed hearing the skeptical approach to food research. For example, this article from Neurologica describes some of the ways nutrition research often doesn't make the cut.
Part of this general interest in nutrition, or my more focused approach to it, stems from how much nutritional misinformation my ex-wife had to navigate when she had her own medical emergency. We had numerous people telling us conflicting advice about how to manage the sickness through nutrition, but their advice constantly contradicted what the agency's nutritionist told us. All the mixed messaging highlighted just how contentious food nutrition is as a field.
There's also the matter of opportunism. Food nutrition is one thing, but people's desire to capitalize on the market for diet fads and whatnot. I get suspicious of anything with corporate backing, anything where somebody can capitalize on those who are seeking a solution.
If the Globe and Mail summary is to be believed, the new Canada Food Guide breaks from the recommendations of the meat an milk lobbies and instead tries to focus on science. Leslie Beck, the author of the article embedded above, writes,
Health Canada has committed to stay on top of the evidence to ensure that our food guidance is continually relevant. We shouldn’t have to wait another 12 years for an update.
YouTube: ephemeral ideas
Amazon | DailyMotion
DeviantArt | Duolingo | Flickr | FVRL | Kik
LinkedIn | MeetUp | MySpace
Playstation | Reddit | Snapchat
Spotify | The Internet Archive
Tinder | Vimeo | VK | WattPad