Stanley Kubrick, 1946
Playboy: If life is so purposeless, do you feel it’s worth living?
Kubrick: The very meaninglessness of life forces man to create his own meaning. Children, of course, begin life with an untarnished sense of wonder, a capacity to experience total joy at something as simple as the greenness of a leaf; but as they grow older, the awareness of death and decay begins to impinge on their consciousness and subtly erode their joie de vivre, their idealism — and their assumption of immortality. As a child matures, he sees death and pain everywhere about him, and begins to lose faith in the ultimate goodness of man. But, if he’s reasonably strong — and lucky — he can emerge from this twilight of the soul into a rebirth of life’s elan. Both because of and in spite of his awareness of the meaninglessness of life, he can forge a fresh sense of purpose and affirmation. He may not recapture the same pure sense of wonder he was born with, but he can shape something far more enduring and sustaining. The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent; but if we can come to terms with this indifference and accept the challenges of life within the boundaries of death — however mutable man may be able to make them — our existence as a species can have genuine meaning and fulfillment. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.
The Surprisingly Large Cost of Telling Small Lies
By: Rebekah Campbell
NY Times, March 11th, 2014
Recently, I caught up with one of our angel investors for lunch: Peter is a brilliant entrepreneur from England who has lived all over the world. He has built several businesses and now lives a dream life with a house on a harbor, a happy family and a broad smile.
As our conversation drifted from an update of my company to a deep discussion about life itself, I asked him what he thought was the secret to success. I expected the standard “never give up” or some other T-shirt slogan, but what he said took me by surprise. “The secret to success in business and in life is to never, ever, ever tell a lie,” he said.
That stumped me. I know that lying is bad and telling the truth is good — we learn that as children. But the secret to success? I looked at Peter, confused and skeptical. He nodded and assured me, “Complete honesty is the access to ultimate power.”
As we spoke, I started thinking about the little lies I tell every day — often without thinking about it, but not always. I have been guilty of exaggerating a metric here or there or omitting facts for my own advantage. Each time, there is a little voice inside my head that tells me it is the wrong thing to do. I have wondered whether everyone does this or whether it is just me. Could this be what has been holding me back?
I did some research and it seems most of us lie quite a bit. A study by the University of Massachusetts found that 60 percent of adults could not have a 10-minute conversation without lying at least once. The same study found that 40 percent of people lie on their résumés and a whopping 90 percent of those looking for a date online lie on their profiles. Teenage girls lie more than any other group, which is attributed to peer pressure and expectation. The study did not investigate the number of lies told by entrepreneurs looking for investment capital, but I fear we would top the chart.
Most people lie about little things to make them look good. Astudy by a film rental company found that 30 percent of respondents lied about having seen “The Godfather.” It’s a classic film, we assume everyone has seen it, and we lie that we have too, because we want to fit in. People lie to stave off the consequences of making a mistake, to buy more time or to spare someone’s feelings. Their hearts may be in the right place, but they are still telling lies.
Peter has invested in hundreds of businesses. Every time he sees a pitch, he waits until the end of the presentation before asking the entrepreneurs to go back through the deck and point out every lie they have just told. There are always plenty. As soon as the entrepreneurs open up with the truth, they can start managing what to do next.
Peter maintains that telling lies is the No. 1 reason entrepreneurs fail. Not because telling lies makes you a bad person but because the act of lying plucks you from the present, preventing you from facing what is really going on in your world. Every time you overreport a metric, underreport a cost, are less than honest with a client or a member of your team, you create a false reality and you start living in it.
You know the right path to take and choose another, and in so doing you lose control of the situation. Now, rather than tackling the problem head on, you have to manage the fallout from the lie. I know people who seem to have spent their entire careers inflating the truth and then fighting to meet the expectations they have set.
Like me, Peter reads Buddhist philosophy and applies it to business. One of its lessons is to remain in the present, a more peaceful, creative and productive place from which to operate. Every time I tell a lie, I know that I am no longer present. I feel a tightening in my chest and sweat on my palms — just a small amount because I only tell little lies. But lies they are. They place me in a false future, increase my level of stress and prevent me from being as creative as I can be when I’m fully present. Stress saps our energy and causes nasty consequences for our bodies. We know that lying creates stress; polygraph tests measuring blood pressure, perspiration, pulse and skin conductivity can pinpoint a lie with tremendous accuracy.
I recently discovered firsthand the corrosive effect of lying. For several years, I have worked as a director of a nonprofit organization. We do great work in the community but as a team we have always floundered. A few weeks ago, I caught the leader of our group lying — not whoppers, but a series of tales about why he was late, why someone could not make a meeting or why emails had not been read. I confronted him and he justified his lying, saying that it avoided unpleasant consequences.
It was obvious why our team wasn’t working: People didn’t trust each other. The result was a culture of obfuscation and backstabbing in which we achieved less than we were capable of achieving. Staff members and volunteers became disheartened and eventually left. The leader’s constant lies, no matter how insignificant they seemed to him, had caused a breakdown of integrity and trust in the organization, and without integrity and trust nothing worked.
Since my meeting with Peter a few months ago, I’ve thought about truth and its relationship to creativity, peace, and ultimately success. I decided to test his ideas by trying to be 100 percent honest and transparent all of the time, even when I did not have to be. It was harder and more frightening than I expected. It is embarrassing to admit that I caught myself telling many more lies than I realized, most to protect myself. Telling the truth can be a tough option, and it made me feel much more vulnerable.
But the results have been striking. In an investor pitch six months ago, when I ran through our financial model and budget, I was open about where money had been spent poorly because of mistakes I had made — even though there was no way the investor could have found this out on his own. I was nervous, but the majority of investors I pitch say no anyway. So I decided to try an experiment: the total truth. At the end of our conversation, he said, “I really appreciate how transparent you’ve been with me, Rebekah. Give me a day to think about it.” The next day he called back and invested. I was stunned!
I’ve stuck with this philosophy ever since. It’s transformed my sense of peace and coincided with our company’s most productive period ever. Coincidence?
If you are reading this post and thinking, “This doesn’t apply to me — I never lie,” you are probably lying to yourself. If you try being honest and transparent about everything, I’m confident that you will find it both difficult and rewarding — and that it will make a measurable difference in your business.
Bangkok’s “Mexican” Gangsters
Hangin’ with the Far East Eses
Coconuts TV seems a bit dorky but it has some pretty decent content
Big Pimpin’: Interview with Chuwit Kamolvisit
Suspicious Minds Live in Las Vegas
August 11th, 1970
Watch this all the way through.
This has everything, music, power dancing, power swagger, mildly sexual power thuggery, power backup singer intimidation, power thai chi, impressive power stretching and did i mention power drumming.
I’m filing it under stunts.
It’s been a long time since I watched anything Elvis.
The last thing must have been the super cool King Creole
Skip to 1:40 for the dope track.
(Originally seen on the Joe Strummer doc soundtrack)
Mr. Glaser, who works at a battered, easel-like desk with no computer and a profusion of Tibetan and other Eastern art pinned up on the wall above it, drew the imagery for the ads by hand, something he doesn’t get to do nearly as much as he used to.
“It really turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would be,” he said. This was partly because it allowed him to think again about the deeply unsettled time he helped define, when New York was sliding toward near-insolvency, the country was mired in war, disillusionment was profound, and yet there was still a field called advertising whose job was to sell dreams and create desire. Occasionally, he said, it had — and still has — the power to transcend commerce and speak to the human condition.
Here’s a brand new interview with Offset’s Steve Heller
I love how cold bloodedly he shuts him down in the beginning.
'The idea that branding is the highest form of design is reprehensible'
By Adam Curtis
Nobody trusts anyone in authority today.
It is one of the main features of our age. Wherever you look there are lying politicians, crooked bankers, corrupt police officers, cheating journalists and double-dealing media barons, sinister children’s entertainers, rotten and greedy energy companies and out-of-control security services.
And what makes the suspicion worse is that practically no-one ever gets prosecuted for the scandals. Certainly nobody at the top.
There has always been Us vs Them in modern Britain - but this pervasive mood of suspicion and distrust is different.
In the past it divided along political lines. The Left was for Us and the conservative Right was firmly for Them. But now the politics have disappeared - because no politicians are trusted. It doesn’t matter whether they are left or right, all politicians are despised. They will never do anything for the ordinary person - only for themselves and their other corrupt friends in power.
In some ways this is disempowering because it means there is no-one who is both powerful and trustworthy enough to challenge the corruption. But it is also a moment of great opportunity - because the present mood of distrust with authority is very powerful and it could be harnessed to create a new populist movement. This is what someone like Russell Brand has sensed - and is trying to do.
I want to go back and look at the roots of this tearing down of politics and of authority in modern Britain. To do this I am going to tell the story of three rather odd men who in their very different ways helped begin it over thirty years ago.
They are only a small part of a much wider history. But what makes them interesting is that their peculiar stories shine a powerful light on the hidden roots of today’s mood of distrust. How really it was taken up with equal enthusiasm by both the political left and the right.
And what makes them even more interesting is that all three are also rather untrustworthy themselves.
Read this entire article and watch the videos.
I’m sure it doesn’t do it justice, but this clip gives you a feel for for the live collaboration Curtis made with Massive Attack last year.
Hopefully a decent video of this emerges at some point.
Also: Something, something, THIS.
Timothy Stuart Hillier
National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014
Matt Maunder has been the singer in band Mindsnare for twenty years. He has skated and surfed even longer. This photo was taken when we were camped out at Skenes Creek, on the Great Ocean Road on a surf/skate weekend. We lit a fire on the beach and I woke up next to this ugly mug in the morning. Hardcore punk pioneers Mindsnare have played their brand of music in Australia since 1993.
This should have won, who wants a photo of a cartoonist?
Check out the other finalists.
It reminded me of this Diane Arbus pic from the 70s
Maybe something in the eyes? or is it just the shared mild indigestion?
Tattooed man at a Carnival, M.D., 1970
Gelatin silver print, printed later by Neil Selkirk.