(013) Unexpressed Love
Grief, calculating delusion, wild art direction, wild fashion, creative approaches
To everyone who was already here, hi 🏼 and to everyone new — welcome to Surfista! I’d love to know how you found the newsletter and why you subscribed, should you feel so inclined :)
I send an edition of Surfista every 1-2 weeks consisting of long-form curations from the internet. It’s typically a mix of extremely current findings as well as resurfacing gems and ~rare references~ from the past.
Curation is a compulsion. Here’s a sliver of my brain and countless hours of surfing compiled just for you in the hopes that it ignites a spark.
Yours in austerity and prosperity,
The shortest distance between two points is reliably a straight line. If your dreams are apparent to you, pursue them. Creating optionality and buying lottery tickets are not way stations on the road to pursuing your dreamy outcomes. They are dangerous diversions that will change you.
— by Mihir A. Desai in The Harvard Crimson 👹
Robert Pattinson’s GQ Shoot
Perhaps because I’m in cyberpunk land right now, but resurfacing this shoot from 2022 by Jack Bridgland because it is perfection. The fantasy, the storytelling, the colours, the styling… Fully recommend looking at EVERY SINGLE PICTURE. It also reminds me ever so slightly of this other dope shoot.
I Forbid You To Forget Me by Daniela Spector
From an iPhone note:
Here’s what I learned — there isn’t a death section in bookstores, not even a grief one. That type of reading list is one that has to be passed down hand to hand; essentially, by the living. Those who have lived through it. We’re the only ones who can write that list.
I recently discovered this grief syllabus by Daniela Spector named I Forbid You To Forget Me about the grieving process after losing her mother in 2019. Hopefully you don’t need this right now, but it’s here when you do.
I really connected with this excerpt she included from an interview with Andrew Garfield (4:38) after he lost his mother:
I love talking about her, by the way, so if I cry, it’s only a beautiful thing. This is all the unexpressed love, the grief that will remain with us until we pass because we never get enough time with each other, no matter if someone lives till 60, 15, or 99. So I hope this grief stays with me because it’s all the unexpressed love that I didn’t get to tell her, and I told her every day. We all told her every day. She was the best of us.
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Heart On My Sleeve 💌
Let’s assume that everyone has heard the Drake/Weeknd AI song which Universal Music Group swiftly got removed from major streaming platforms like YouTube, and followed up with stern messaging to Spotify, Apple Music etc to take a hard position on AI music.
I like Dror Poleg’s take (as usual), drawing attention to the fact that there’s already a ton of fake content on the internet. Instead of getting fake content removed, the value in centralised platforms will move away from convenience and towards verification, allowing them to confirm that Drake is Drake, and the Weeknd is the Weeknd — it’s about authenticity. If the song on Spotify is labelled as Drake, then you know it is in fact by Aubrey Graham 😛 because Spotify is a trustworthy “marketplace”.
On what happens next:
But when it comes to paid music platforms, it'll be harder for AI abundance to wrestle listeners away from the incumbents. Harder but not impossible. We might see whole new artists and genres emerge outside of the traditional ecosystem. Most likely, the thing that will kill Spotify or Apple Music will not be a new music platform but a whole new interface for listening to and creating music. This platform won't just use intelligence to create the same old products (songs) but embed intelligence into products and create something completely different. — Dror Poleg
Sick album art for Peggy Gou by @angelofuture
I would embed, but you know why I can’t. Screenshots:
Yes, this is a thing that I discovered in the essay Stop Treating Women Like Men by Sophie Fujiwara. I love discussing everything about dating, love and social fabrics though admittedly had to take a break after I listened to too many Chris Williamson podcasts that gave me a very statistical view on the matter.
TLDR: College educated women want to marry college educated men, but there’s something like 3 college educated women for every 2 college educated men and college educated men are not set on dating college educated women. Thus, we have a high percentage of the younger generation who aren’t pairing up which contributes to significantly declining birth rates.
Check out your levels of delusion by inputting your dating standards to get your percentage likelihood of finding someone who fits your criteria :P
What’s interesting about the essay however is a broader theme that I think about a lot — the predominant messaging in society is about how to be the best man, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. Women competing along male axes will never win and risk losing later on by ignoring or trying to transcend biological limitations (or capabilities, depending on how you look at it).
Gilga is the new creative agency Donald Glover is launching. Some of the roles sound future-anticipatory, e.g. “AI Prompt Animator” and “AI Prompt Engineer + Librarian”. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.
Two standout quotes from his thought-provoking 2018 interview in the New Yorker:
Authenticity is the journey of figuring out who you are through what you make.
And something Dan Harman said about Glover:
Donald is no longer in love with everything about the world. But I’ve never said to him, ‘You seem sad or darker now,’ because, for all I know, that’s growth. Glover said that, as he’d grown, he’d realized that being a savior was impossible to reconcile with being an artist. “Everyone’s been trying to turn me into their woke bae”—millennial slang for an enlightened boyfriend. “But that’s not what I am. I’m fucked up, too—and that’s where the good shit comes from.”
I’m obsessed with POST ARCHIVE FASHION (PAF)
4 Ways to Say Something
I recently went through my screenshots folder & will be sharing more over the coming weeks. This is from Hannah Sullivan’s insane book, Three Poems (2018). It’s a must read if you’ve ever lived in New York, if you’ve lost a parent, you’re a woman, or you are simply curious about the human experience.
I find this excerpt extremely applicable to creative work and figuring out an approach to say the thing you want to say. See: this previous edition of Surfista breaking down my 13 Creative Commandments and striving for originality — thus, “saying something new in a new form”.
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