Good advice from Ansel Adams

"I wish I had gotten into the environmental work earlier because I think that's a citizen's fundamental responsibility. The channeling of creative arts in that direction has been very difficult. As I said, I never made a picture with a direct environmental objective, but if they can be used for that, that's fine. I think young people are pretty aware of the dangers, but they're sort of pessimistic. They think everything is set up and it doesn't make a difference who they vote for. They don't realize they have to go out and vote themselves." – Ansel Adams

From Ansel Adams – The Last Interview conducted by Milton Esterow and published in ARTnews, Summer 1984 issue. via John Sexton’s Newsletter.

The Essayist

I just started re-reading Essays of E.B.White. I couldn’t help but share his self-deprecating description of an essayist. His writings, in general, are amazing, but I am particularly inspired by his essays, as I have always aspired to write longer, and deeply reported essays.

The essayist is a self-liberated man, sustained by the childish belief that everything he thinks about, everything that happens to him, is of general interest. He is a fellow who thoroughly enjoys his work, just as people who take bird walks enjoy theirs. Each new excursion of the essayist, each new “attempt,” differs from the last and takes him into a new country. This delights him. Only a person who is congenitally self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays.

E.B. White

July 25, 2020, San Francisco.

Awesome. Actually not so Awesome

“In France the most often used word is ‘connerie,’ which means ‘bullshit and in America it’s hands-down ‘awesome,’ which has replaced ‘incredible,’ ‘good,’ and even ‘just OK.’ Pretty much everything that isn’t terrible is awesome in America now. It just got out of hand to me. Everything’s awesome all the time. I was in Boulder, Colorado and someone said, ‘I’ll have a double espresso, awesome,’ and the other person said, ‘Awesome.’ I went to the Great Wall of China once, and I have to say it was awe-inspiring. I would say it was “awe-inspiring,” I wouldn’t say it was “awesome.” A Pepsi isn’t awesome; it’s just not.” 

David SedarisVia

California is so stupid

California is so stupid….Golden State legislators outdid themselves by passing Assembly Bill 5, signed last month by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Effective Jan. 1, the law reclassifies most independent contractors as full-time employees. This codifies the state Supreme Court’s 2018 Dynamex decision about “misclassified” freelancers. …The new law was pitched as a simple measure to provide contract workers with benefits like sick leave and health care. Yet as the dust clears, many ugly details are emerging. But here’s something weird: Freelance journalists are limited to 35 submissions a year per “putative” employer. Wait, what? The law was aimed at Uber and Lyft drivers. Yet now scriptwriters, actors, housekeepers, gardeners and many other types of contract workers will have their livelihoods threatened by Sacramento saps.

Andy Kessler, the Wall Street Journal. (or on FB)

Andy is not one to pull punches. When reading this latest column of his, I was reminded that our headline-oriented, attention seeking media culture rarely scratches the surface and doesn’t really dig into the dirty details of the news.