“You wouldn’t want an angel watching over / Surprise, surprise, they wouldn’t wanna watch / Another un-innocent, elegant fall / Into the un-magnificent lives of adults”—The National, Mistaken For Strangers
Playboy Magazine:Mistake or not, what made you decide to go the rock-'n'-roll route?
Bob Dylan:Carelessness. I lost my one true love. I started drinking. The first thing I know, I'm in a card game. Then I'm in a crap game. I wake up in a pool hall. Then this big Mexican lady drags me off the table, takes me to Philadelphia. She leaves me alone in her house, and it burns down. I wind up in Phoenix. I get a job as a Chinaman. I start working in a dime store, and move in with a 13-year-old girl. Then this big Mexican lady from Philadelphia comes in and burns the house down. I go down to Dallas. I get a job as a "before" in a Charles Atlas "before and after" ad. I move in with a delivery boy who can cook fantastic chili and hot dogs. Then this 13-year-old girl from Phoenix comes and burns the house down. The delivery boy - he ain't so mild: He gives her the knife, and the next thing I know I'm in Omaha. It's so cold there, by this time I'm robbing my own bicycles and frying my own fish. I stumble onto some luck and get a job as a carburetor out at the hot-rod races every Thursday night. I move in with a high school teacher who also does a little plumbing on the side, who ain't much to look at, but who's built a special kind of refrigerator that can turn newspaper into lettuce. Everything's going good until that delivery boy shows up and tries to knife me. Needless to say, he burned the house down, and I hit the road. The first guy that picked me up asked me if I wanted to be a star. What could I say?
Playboy Magazine:And that's how you became a rock-'n'-roll singer?
Joe and I and Jared and Ronen and Luke have been working for this last year on something really special and we are getting very close to making it public. It’s actually part of the reason I haven’t been posting much original content on my tumblr, as a lot of the projects I’ve been working on recently (like this one) are being held close to the chest until they’re ready for the world.
So anyway, what we’ve been making is the next, beautiful, new-and-improved version of hitRECord.org; and it’s gonna be really amazing (we think).
What tumblr is to reblogging, hitRECord will be to remixing.
It’s gonna be very special and lots of fun.
Stay tuned for further announcements, but in the meantime, go follow hitrecordjoe.
My name’s Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and I make a website called hitRECord.org. So, if I’m already busy making a website, why would I start a Tumblr? Well, I guess because I see hitRECord.org and Tumblr as two different things. Even though both sites allow users to create an identity within a community and post content, they have two very different purposes.
The purpose of Tumblr (it seems to me) is to facilitate a multimedia conversation of exhibition and appreciation.
The purpose of hitRECord is to facilitate a collaborative creative process resulting in collectively RECorded and remixed works of multimedia.
(Ever feel like you just wrote two badass sentences, because you’ve been staring at them for twenty minutes, only to realize that anybody reading them for the first time is actually gonna have quite a bit of trouble understanding what the fuck you’re trying to say?)
In other words, Tumblr is for posting things and checking out what other people post. While hitRECord is for cooperating with other people to make things together. Was that clearer?
Anyway, I mostly wanted to start a Tumblr so I could have a place to keep a RECord of miscellaneous things I find on the internet that I want to remember. And of course to wax intelligent about the disparate currents of new communication technology and culture.
Alright, I promise, I won’t write too much of this kind of shit. And if you read it, well, thanks!
“An early glimmer of our Age of Undoing appeared in a prescient 1976 research report by Lance A. Miller and John C. Thomas of I.B.M., drably titled “Behavioral Issues in the Use of Interactive Systems.” “It would be quite useful,” Miller and Thomas observe, “to permit users to ‘take back’ at least the immediately preceding command (by issuing some special ‘undo’ command).””—On Language - The Age of Undoing - NYTimes.com
It is hard to take pictures in a world so abundant with magic.
My friend Ronen once said that he sometimes gets the feeling I understand him, and sometimes gets the feeling I think he’s crazy. They both are true, and yet this post below goes a long way to helping the former… (and, actually, the latter too :)
Anyway, it’s a beautiful expression of intentional wonder that I begin to understand and that is crazy in the best way.
2.5 years ago I set out to restore my childlike wonder of the world. Where did it get jaded, go away? When does that inherent wonder and kindess leave most ‘adults’? What does one to do hold onto it, that shard of soul?
To hear it described independently by others, that they associate that kind of innocence with me, is exciting, especially in a world trying so so hard to jade all of us.
and shows me how making myself publicly accountable has proven effective.
People who haven’t spent time with me are sometimes under the impression that what I do here is document my life. Those who are a part of my life know the truth- my life goes undocumented.
In particular, I never talk about other people except to express wonder at how amazing they are and the god-like qualities they (may not realize they) have, but I can see in them, and that role in the world I perceive.
I may say, ‘so-and-so is an amazingly talented designer and wise soul,’ and some people will say ‘man, why is he showing off?’. But in fact I am creating an image of my friends: ‘this is how I see you. You amaze me. You inspire me. Though sometimes you may feel mundane, when I look at you I see the spark of god, and I want to show you the superhero I see you as’.
Anyone who knows my life knows two things: I am very reluctant, cautious, and strict about not discussing or talking about people I may know who are perceived to have ‘value’. I am creeped out by the very idea of what I see happen with this ‘proximity value,’ and when people ‘namedrop’ it is enough to turn me off to them, immediately, pretty much forever.
The social convention on Facebook and Twitter is often to say where you are, and who you’re with. I generally do not do this for the above-stated reasons.
As I increasingly am fortunate to work on various projects and spend time with people who, in their various circles, are accomplished, the de-facto result has been that no one really knows what projects I’m working on, because I am so strict to be careful about this, that I tend not to discuss it when when the topic arises.
The second thing is that I play with the line of expressing excitement about things I never see others show as being possible to express excitement about. When the world has been good enough to bring you something you never would have expected, certain jaded people ‘act cool’, because they don’t want to be seen as bragging.
I have 65cents in my pocket right now. It’s hard to brag. But when the world amazes me, I have a promise to it, to say “holy shit, world! You amaze me! I can’t beleive this is possible!” and to scream that from the tops of mountains if possible.
When I get letters and emails from people who read this blog or my twitter saying how it inspires them to see what’s possible, or even how it’s helped them change their own lives from being in a bad situation, I am honored, touched, get the feeling like I’m on the right track. It begins to feel almost like a responsibility.
In setting out to lead a good life of a good man, very often one can feel mapless- “those who say don’t know, those who know don’t say”.
Whatever little I know, I will forcefully leave breadcrumbs because I ain’t headed there alone. Not by a longshot.
And if part of what ‘Ronen’ means to people is expressing innocent wonder at the world around you, both in ways we take for granted, and ways we take for granted we never will experience, and to scream ‘whoah! Look at this!’ to say ‘holy cow! Wow!’ to be resistant to a jaded world that insists we hide that wonder when we experience it, hide that joy when we’re blessed to encounter it- there is a side effect: It can be seen as ‘bragging’. (and perhaps managing that is a separate issue).
People who brag behave differently. If I would be bragging, there would be other things I’d be saying.
I made a promise to express wonder when I feel it. To put on now naive yokel face and say ‘whoah’ when I feel it inside. To never supress a smile, or excitement, or wonder, or joy, or love, even of sometimes ‘playing it cool’ is more effective.
I see this happen to people in relationships who are on social networks. They post about how much they love their partner, or their children. And inevitably, snarky comments get written by people (like myself) who have yet to find that someone to truly share their lives with, who have yet to have their own family. And slowly, these people in relationships stop posting ‘omg I love my husband soooooo much’ or ‘[kid’s name] makes the most adorable face when I put her to bed’ because they experience negative feedback to ‘showing off’. So they stop.
And it’s sad.
There was a time when I was studying with Talmudic legal scholars in Jersualem to become a Rabbi. I was being trained for rabbinic and talmudic law, to which I seemed to take naturally, but the direction I wanted to go in was being a rabbi who greeted people with a smile, who inspired people, who helped show them what is possible. We all have had those people in our lives. I was going to become a rabbi and change the world.
I’m obviousely not going to become a rabbi anymore. But I still want to change the world. Is it arrogant for men to think we can do that?
Ronen - Hebrew, root ‘r’a’n’n- a joy so exhuberant, it becomes song