Hybrid nation…….

"Today, hardcore has given way to hybrid." –Wired, The New Power Generation: 05/2005 Tokyo is the world’s cultural chop shop. Local ideas are stripped of emotional baggage and jingoism to harvest the underlying pop-culture building blocks. This DNA is crossed with useful parts scavenged from other customs and presto out of the mash-up emerges something truly special. How about your own piece of french domestic life with a miniaturized pocket meal set? You can eat the tiny candy. If movies are more your thing why not try Howl’s Moving Castle or check out the new Prius which is rumored to reach 113 miles per gallon. Back in the West ideology still trumps innovation. Purity is valued over pragmatism. The importance of a cultural advancement seems to lie more in being able to judge who was first or among the early adopts rather than the intrinsic value of the idea. The central question seems to be, "how can we find out who is hardcore and weed out the posers?" Thankfully, times are changing. Napoleon Dynamite has his Liger and the flexitarians are causing the hardcore vegetarians to protest the contamination of the cause. It is time to exploit this country’s most abundant resource –the creativity of each one of its citizens. So suck it up and bridge the gap between the red/blue, straight/gay, black/white, right/wrong and get to work. ‘Cause when the water start to rise it won’t care which side you were on. Track three for the playlist: El Pus with Thing Thing from Hoodlum Rock: Vol.1

How to be creative…….

Hugh Macleod has written a great piece on how to be creative. I love his no nonsense, practical approach. He has two points that especially resonate with my view of the world. First, everyone has the potential to be creative. Basically, if you are human then your natural inclination is to create. We are thinking and doing creatures. Evolution did not favor our species because we can run fast or camouflage our bodies from predators. On the flip side, just because everyone has this talent doesn’t mean things are going to be easy. Creativity doesn’t independently express itself like some weird parasite tucked away in our brains. It takes effort. And chances are if you are trying something new, you are going to get stuck and have to deal with a healthy dose of frustration. Do you have the back bone to deal with this? Can you stick it out until the dark cloud clears and things start to make sense again? There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs. -Unknown

Winning hearts and minds…….

I thought it would be fun to create a musical thread that follows the topical ebb and flow of shiftingheat. It would be the viral element reinforcing ideas and provide an audio snap shot of a cluttered mind. After all, we need something to get this party started. The idea would be to link songs to posts as deemed appropriate. My first choice is the TalkingHeads: Life During Wartime An anthem for an army of one.

The next 10 years…….

"If men were able to be convinced that art is precise advance knowledge of how to cope with the psychic and social consequences of the next technology, would they all become artists?" –Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media I’ve been thinking about our sped-up polarized world. We are awash in trivia. Celebrities are more real to us than members of our own families. News is dumbed down and sexed up. Television serves up crumbs that are crammed between fast food and automobile commercials. Each message is a drop one by one collecting together. First a rivulet forms then a tiny stream. The river gains a voice. The ocean commands authority. It whispers," Just let go. We have it all taken care of. Haven’t we created a perfect world?" But the world crumbles anyway. Some small newspaper goes looking for a fight and part of the world ends up in flames. The heat seems to be melting both ends of the earth but we wouldn’t know it because truth is now a negotiable commodity. What to do? I think the future is too important to leave up to the experts. It’s time to take Marshall’s advice and make some noise of our own.