What’s floating your boat right now… or at least keeping you away from the sharks? Here’s my latest #SaturdaySix – a monthly round-up celebrating a sextet of things that are inspiring me.
Sharks. Is there something in the air? Or more likely the water? Perhaps it is our present proximity to the Fourth of July weekend (that public holiday that proved so problematic for the good people of Amity). But whatever the reason, sharks seem to be foremost in many folks’ minds right now. Just a few examples:
My friend Heather Bussing reacted to my tweeting an SF Gate article on a great white shark sighting in the sea near San Francisco with the above remarkable graphic on the etymology of the word “shark”*. Who knew there was such a history?
Last Saturday (23 June 2018), I saw a tweet from Michael Sheen (via an RT from Ruby Rose), in which Mr Sheen marveled at the concept of an open-air screening of Jaws in Austin, Texas, in which the audience bobs about in inner tubes, on a lake. Moments later, David D’Souza responded with a link to a perhaps somewhat more chilly proposition – a UK-based screening in which the audience must float for the film’s duration in a lake near Cambridge (circulation-preserving wetsuits available for hire for an additional £5 or so).
The following day (Sunday 24 June 2018), I saw the Koi carp circling the ducks in the water that in turn encircles
Hever Castle in Kent. The next line is perhaps inevitable…
We’re going to need a bigger moat.
TWO: WILL CARRUTHERS’ ART
Will Carruthers is a talented gent. He has played in many bands, including the godlike Spacemen 3, and Spiritualized. He has penned a beautifully-written and optimistic book on his highly unusual path through life, entitled Playing The Bass With Three Left Hands (I wrote a whole post inspired by my love for this book last year). He is also a visual artist of no small ability. He has been sharing a great series of ink on paper pieces over the last few weeks. The one depicted above (entitled Wish Fulfillment) is stunning. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to describe this beach view as Turneresque (although the overall feel and emotional tone of the piece is very much Mr C’s own). My thanks to Mr Carruthers for his kind permission to share this image here. If his is a new name to you, I would urge you to get to know his work (You could do worse than to start with Spacemen 3′s Playing With Fire album). Your life will be the better for it.
THREE: CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE BILL MURRAY KIND
I still can’t quite believe I was in the same room as Bill Murray for an evening, at London’s Royal Festival Hall earlier this month. Bill Murray’s live show was every bit as bizarre, unpredictable and all-conqueringly charming as the man himself*. It is a marvel that Bill Murray walks among us. Mr Murray even – occasionally – interacts with us. In a lovely Guardian interview a few days before the RFH show, Murray touched on what inspires his wild and wonderful incursions into our mortal world. I love his commitment to remaining engaged with life:
“I’m not [acting like this] for the purpose of being exciting – I do it because it’s fun. If there’s life happening and you run from it, you’re not doing the world a favour. You have to engage. It’s almost sad that people are not expecting others to engage, that it’s a surprise, and if it’s someone they recognise I guess it has an almost supernatural quality. But I’ve always been like this.”
FOUR: THE DAY YOU BECAME…
This month, I had the privilege of spending two hours basking in the thoughts of Naval Ravikant (via the Tim Ferriss podcast). You can do so too, simply by clicking on this link. I hope you will find his words as transformative as I do. My mind is still alive with Mr Ravikant’s words. I feel that you could ask him about any topic and he would have a deeply thought-through, unusual but perfect perspective on it. I blogged recently just on his views on how much fear colours and feeds our everyday thoughts. Naval says:
“What I find is that 90% of thoughts that I have are fear-based. The other 10% are probably desire-based. Any Buddhist will tell you that desire is the other side of the coin to fear.”
Once you recognise your thoughts for what they are, you can work to transform them.
Naval generously shares numerous book recommendations throughout his chat with Tim Ferriss. I have invested in (and am looking forward to reading) the two volumes he mentions most frequently: Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations and Krishnamurti’s The Book of Life.
Only yesterday did I get round to seeking out another of Naval’s recommendations – a 2007 blog post by Dilbert creator Scott Adams, entitled The day you became a better writer. As one who loves to write, and wants always to improve my writing, I am kicking myself that it’s taken me this long in life to read this post. If you have any interest in putting one word before another, I strongly recommend you read Adams’ words.
Naval: You have no idea the impact that your words have had on me these past few weeks. Thank you, sir.
FIVE: THE ICE OPINION
I’ve long believed that Ice-T is one of the great minds of our time. He is also emerged as one of the great voices of Twitter. Ice-T has a total worldview that is compelling, coherent, wise and witty. Here are two great Ice-T tweets of recent vintage. In the first, he offers a perfect description of the unprecedented levelling effect that Twitter enables:
“I dawned on me yesterday that TWITTER is the 1st open platform for White, Black and people of every Race,Religion and Sex. To speak Openly.. At as safe distance, and mostly anonymously.This is a very unique experience… You get to see how people REALLY feel. Love and lots of HATE”
The second comes from Ice-T’s ongoing series of Daily Game tweets, micro morsels of wisdom by which to live. I particularly love these words:
“Daily Game: Don’t worry about everyone liking you… Roll with the people that Roll with YOU. That’s honestly all you need.”
SIX: OF GUINEA PIGS AND MEGADETH
Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine is quite a gent. A phenomenal musician and songwriter. A friend to Ice-T (with whom he collaborated on Body Count’s Civil War, my favourite song of 2017). Mr Mustaine has been so kind as to spare me a few moments on Twitter over the past year or so, and every time he has been both gracious and civil.
The other week we had a brief exchange about pets. As a direct result, a portrait of one of my guinea pigs, Sundae (asleep on his pink mop rug thingie), ended up at the top of Dave Mustaine’s Twitter feed for more than 24 hours, there for all Mr M’s many hundreds of thousands of fans to see.
The marvelous interactions that Twitter enables give me frequent cause to say “If I could tell my X-year old self that X…” In this particular case, “If I could tell my X-year old self as he was buying Megadeth’s So Far, So Good, So What on picture disc vinyl at Milton Keynes Our Price in 1988 that one day Dave Mustaine would shine the spotlight of Twitter exposure on my guinea pig, I might well have found it rather hard to believe.” Thank you, Mr Mustaine – from both me and Sundae!
* As originally shared on Twitter by Simon Kuestenmacher. I make no claim to the copyright for or ownership of this image, and will remove it from this post immediately, if required.
** My further faltering words on Murray’s magnificence can be found here.
Jawsulent, Steigerful pic at top of page from a little online cartoon by Simon Heath. My humble thanks to Mr Heath for his kind permission to reproduce this picture here.