Selfwriteousness: the storified life

Taxi-ing down the runway in Rome, I noticed the passenger next to me take out her iPhone and turn her camera to selfie mode. I watched the screen as she settled her face into what was presumably her usual selfie attitude: a hint of a smile, no teeth. She examined the picture she’d taken, applied a filter, and then put the phone away. She was … Continue reading Selfwriteousness: the storified life

Univers(e)al Metaphor

I recently wrote about how the structures of desire manifest themselves in music, even at some of the lowest levels of complexity, such as in the movement of one chord to the next. I wanted to find a way of visualizing how the very smallest building blocks of music (notes) can combine into harmony, and stumbled across the following diagram: This is a potential representation … Continue reading Univers(e)al Metaphor

The dual ethics of feminism

Consider the following controversial issues: Prostitution Page 3 Strip clubs Beyoncé videos Rihanna videos Other music videos Kim Kardashian’s naked selfies These topics all relate to women showing their sexual nature in the public sphere, and seem to engender (see what I did there) more heated debates than do other women’s issues. Consider some of the following for and against arguments that relate to these: … Continue reading The dual ethics of feminism

Why I can’t heart consent

I saw this slogan on a car bumper the other day and it immediately gave me the ick. Here’s why. In these enlightened times, our decision-making processes often resemble something like this: I respect her right to choose, but it’s not right for me She doesn’t want me to, but it’s my decision My body, my choice In other words, consent (exercising a choice) is … Continue reading Why I can’t heart consent

23 Life Lessons from the Classics

Here are the life lessons I’ve extracted from five favourite classics. Beware of spoilers. You’re very much welcome. North and South Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Plot: Country girl Margaret forced to move to industrial city after her dissident father leaves the church. Encounters poverty and crosses swords with mill owner Mr Thornton. Three bereavements, a strike and an unexpected inheritance later, it’s second time lucky for … Continue reading 23 Life Lessons from the Classics

Desire in Music (Part 3)

Read parts one and two first! Exactly why Mozart is great Here is a mini analysis of the ‘desire’ structures of the Mozart excerpt featured in my previous post: Micro scale: The first bar contains a plain C minor chord. At the second bar in, we get an intruder, a seventh note [red] creeps into every chord. A seventh note is often used just before the end … Continue reading Desire in Music (Part 3)

Structures of Desire (Part 2)

Read part 1 here. In my previous post I talked about how desire motivates our actions and decision-making. It is also clear that the same structures of desire that we see build up and resolve, or defer and frustrate, in our everyday lives, also recur in the structures of the art we make. Desire and fulfilment can only operate in time, and so it is … Continue reading Structures of Desire (Part 2)

Structures of Desire (Part 1)

How often do you wake up naturally and lie peaceful and still? Nothing moves or impels you, you’re an ‘unmoved non-mover’, not doing but being? I’m guessing never. What normally happens when you first wake up? You spring out of bed to quieten the damn alarm (in my case it’s AAAAAAAHHHHHHH-SEVENYAAAAAA from the Lion King – nothing if not joltingly rousing). There’s a moment of indecision … Continue reading Structures of Desire (Part 1)