To know me is to know that I’ve had a Sony NEX camera attached to my arm for the past 2 years. I get a million messages a day asking for photos, and I’ve come to realize I’ll simply never be able to physically get to all of them, I have many 10s of Thousands of photos waiting to be sorted through, individually edited, and organized into Facebook albums. Cranking out 2 facebook albums a week isn’t going to cut it, there’s too many. But I will definitely get around to the good stuff. I watermark each photo with HustleBear.com because I have absolutely no intention to ever make a professional career out of photography and figured I might as well bring eyeballs to my blog. I’m not a professional photographer, I’m a hobbyist, but I’m heartened to see so much enthusiasm from so many people over the photos. It’s insane, but I have over 1000 (!) Facebook profile photos out there among my friends. That’s pretty fucking cool man. Whenever I log in I see mostly my photos in my friends list. To date I’ve got 819 email notifications that someone used my shot as their profile pic, and much of the time I’m not notified, and never when it’s a cover photo. So yeah, that helps make it feel like a worthwhile hobby. Since the pics are watermarked to this site, and with all the activity my Facebook albums have been generating, people often ask me why I’m not posting these photos up on my blog.
I don’t have a good answer. It’s a good point.
So here you go, I’m going to start posting some of my favorite sets of photos more regularly. I’ll start with my Hong Kong trip earlier this year. I was there for only about 3 days, but it’s an interesting story. Continue Reading >>
|(Click image for bandcamp.com album page)|
Oh hell yeah! Govinda is BACK!! It’s as if “Resonance” sounds like the Govinda I used to love, and yet at the same time it sounds nothing like Govinda. “Erotic Rhythms From Earth” is a classic that humanity should be remembered by (my previously review here). Shane Madden is Govinda, and I’ve always loved his creative dark erotic ethnic middle eastern ethereal chill vibes. But this new release is NOT CHILL. This is definitely the most aggressive edgy music I’ve ever heard from Govinda. And yet it is still very ethereal and atmospheric.
I have to say… I fucking like it! I’m so happy to feel that way, as I’ve kind of lost faith after the foray into bland pop (a la Sound Sutras). I do love it when an artist I love changes their sound and pulls off something amazing. Govinda has DELIVERED with a distinctive new sound. The old Govinda sound is gone, but the heart has returned and is again focused in the right place. Darker and grittier and keeping itself relevant in this age of dubstep; but this definitely ain’t dubstep, and thank god. There’s a lot of great dubstep out there, and I’m glad Govinda didn’t turn into another generic dubstep act with some ethnic elements added. This is definitely palatable to the dubstep crowd while remaining a distinctively different animal. The trademark violin and complex beats are still there in every track, just a lot more aggressive.
“Resonance” is only an EP, but it’s just skyrocketed to my 2nd favorite Govinda Release (maybe a notch higher than Worlds Within). “Erotic Rhythms From Earth” is known as one of the greatest sex albums of all time. I don’t yet know how “Resonance” holds up on that front, but I’ll report back on that soon… ;)
UPDATE: All good on that front, and more! This might now be a rival for my favorite Govinda release to listen to!
This is the most epic set of photos I’ve ever taken, not because they are my best shots, but because I’ve never captured so many living giants in one photo album. Just about every person in every photo in this album below has had significant impact, or clearly will have some significant impact, with many people in our culture. These are the incredibles. And I was struggling like hell to try to capture some human element from them. Which is challenging because they are often so guarded, and usually when they see some guy with a camera they tell him to fuck off. So like the bastard that I am, I made it my task to find a crack in their armor and capture that human moment. Not some awkward defensive goofball reaction, but something true and authentic.
Here you go my friends, if you’re a fan of anyone in this album, you can see that the legend is a human, like you. Reach out, pull up, join them.
[more info and MANY PHOTOS after the break]
Something truly horrible happened to me recently. The worst thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. I know that far more terrible injustices happen around the world, but I’ve never experienced anything like this. I can’t talk about it. I will be happy to at some point in the future. Anyway I was getting pretty depressed and disturbed. And then I saw this video, and it hit me really hard. In fact I think it might be one of the most important videos you ever see in your life.
So beautiful and inspiring:
The photo above is Philip Gould standing over the grave site where he will soon be buried in a few weeks.
Some things are hard to accept. Some things feel impossible to accept. While watching this video, I realized that I’m unable to accept what happened to me, that I still hoped it was a nightmare I could wake from. Seeing Philip Gould so accepting even of his own inevitable approaching death is what I needed to see to realize that I need to accept what cannot be changed, that I can accept it, and that no matter how awful something is, I can appreciate that I have my life and my health and my drive to create a good future ahead.
Sometimes you smile at the world and the world smacks you hard. I hope I’ll have the strength to always face the difficulties of life as bravely as Philip Gould.
“Acceptance is the absolute key. At that moment you gain freedom, you gain power, and you gain courage.” – Philip Gould
I’m not religious, but I do come from a large religious Orthodox Jewish family. I’ve been to enough orthodox temple services to get a good idea of the one main issue that matters to most religious Jews when they vote for a presidential candidate:
Is he a friend of Israel?
I’m a supporter of Israel. Especially after I visited in 2007. I kind of just assumed it was a big desert with a bunch of odd religious fanatics. I was wrong. What a beautiful country. Tel Aviv was such a fun city. The nightlife, the beaches, the ancient castles, the shopping, the people with a lot of attitude. Israel is like a big playground. I was surprised to find that most Israelis are NOT religious, but they do love and respect their country, very much. What these people have built among all their hardship is undeniably inspiring; and it’s just such an enjoyable place to be.
If you walk around Israel and speak with the people about Israeli politics, it’s completely not controversial for everyone to acknowledge that Israel is more or less the puppet of the United States. Many Israelis talked about this with me. Everyone says the same thing. If a European nation or the UN condemns Israel, no one gives a damn. If the US is ever slightly annoyed, Israel jumps to address it. No one I met in Israel had any difficulty articulating that.
No one I met in Israel denied that their nation was under the thumb of the US Government, and yet, and yet every single one of them was grateful for US “support”.
I want to ask all my Jewish friends to think about this next question:
How can we call Israel a Jewish Homeland when it is ultimately controlled by the whims of the voters of the American population?
(pause to let that set in)
We don’t have a homeland yet. Not unless we’re independent to make our own decisions. This aid comes at a heavy price. Our sovereignty and our ability to pursue our best interests should be for sale to no one. Certainly not for $3 Billion.
I organized an event for Peter Schiff at my house, some difficulties ensue… (with Photos and Video!)
Whoa man, my house has been packed before, but never like this! Last week I held a cocktail party with a short talk from Peter Schiff. About 300 people came over, and most of them piled in my living room all at once to see Peter speak. It was so tight that the photographer actually had a hard time lifting his arms to take pictures. I was honestly terrified by the sheer number of people I knew would show up that I’ll somehow fit in one room; but hey, we made it work! And it was a great time!
Everyone looked amazing. Check out all the pictures below:
(Many more photos below at the end of this article)
As many of you know, I’m a massive fan of Peter Schiff, he’s had a significant impact on my economic understanding, and I watch all of his videos that get posted online. I even named him “Man of the Year” in a previous article. To say the least, I was extremely excited to have him over to speak at my house. I know I was warned a thousand times by many people that he can be difficult to deal with. Still, I was surprised that for a moment even I was pissed with the guy.
Continue Reading >>
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This is one of those albums you’ve got to let grow on you. When I first listened to it I remember thinking that I couldn’t believe I actually listened all the way through that boring piece of shit album. I couldn’t understand what the buzz was about, it didn’t click with me, and I never intended to listen to it again.
This music is sparse. Very minimal electronics over a minimal acoustic sound with a male/female duet that goes for personality over precision. I like simple soft minimal music, I just didn’t like this album.
Some day later I heard the song “Islands” come on the radio again. I was in jammed traffic and frustrated in a hurry. It kind of hit me, whoa, this is really pretty, and it’s so soothing right now. I was kind of pissed that the song ended so soon and some crappy My Chemical Romance song came on and totally ruined the vibe. I gave the album another chance and I couldn’t believe I didn’t first realize how awesome this is. Even almost 2 years later it’s still one of my favorite albums to play in my room while I do whatever various things I do. I literally could listen to this on repeat all day.
The Beatles wrote a lot of very simple and light hearted songs that were surprisingly epic and touching. That’s kind of how I approach XX. Everything is stripped away, the vibe is very easy going and playful, yet the undercurrent is deep and soulful. I love this album. Lower your guard, clear your head, enjoy.
[Video after the break]
Ok guys, tonight September 14th, I’m throwing another cocktail party. It’s an event to present the new California Common Sense organization. I’ll explain below why California Common Sense is such a cool idea, why what they’re accomplishing already is very impressive, and why just about everyone in California is gonna love this. My mind is blown about their possibilities.
The full details are at the Facebook Event Page:
Confirm there if you’re coming.
So my friend Joe Lonsdale is a guy with big ideas and incredible results. An early executive at Clarium Capital, he worked closely with Peter Thiel, the super famous Billionaire who founded PayPal and funded Facebook into glory. Together they funded and developed some incredible projects, and separately Joe has begun several prominent business ventures and organizations. One of his latest projects is California Common Sense (aka CACS). Information technology is rapidly transforming the world, and Joe wants it to transform our government.
CACS is a nonprofit organization devoted to opening the books of our state government and making all that data easy and fun to play with, so you can easily understand what’s actually going on. The goal of this increased transparency is to increase accountability and reduce the massive waste.
The public interest in withholding these records outweighs the public interest in the disclosure of them.
–Erin Peth, Deputy of Legal Affairs for Governor Jerry Brown
After all, as citizens we’re paying for this (state income tax, property tax, payroll tax, every time we buy something in a store, etc). We are all shareholders in this organization known as the California Government and we should know what’s going on with our money. Continue Reading >>