"But there was nothing about the little, low-rambling, more or less identical homes of Northumberland Estates to interest or to haunt, no chance of loot that would be any more than the ordinary, waking-world kind the cops hauled you in for taking; no small immunities, no possibilities for hidden life or otherworldly presence; no trees, secret routes, shortcuts, culverts, thickets that could be made hollow in the middle – everything in the place was right out in the open, everything could be seen at a glance; and behind it, under it, around the corners of its houses and down the safe, gentle curves of its streets, you came back, you kept coming back, to nothing; nothing but the cheerless earth."
Thomas Pynchon, "The Secret Integration"

This is Ian Mathers' Tumblr. I live in Canada. I've written about music and other things for Stylus, PopMatters, Resident Advisor, the Village Voice, and a few other places. Hi.



I HAVE to start wearing earplugs more often. Even when it feels really good not to in the moment, I pay for it later. I can barely hear the text alerts from my phone right now, and it’s sitting on the desk a few inches from me.


Nichelle Nichols inspires Whoopi Goldberg to become an actress because she was the first black woman Whoopi’d ever seen on tv that wasn’t playing a maid.

Whoopi gets her career launched by starring in The Color Purple.

Lupita Nyong’o was inspired to become an actress after watching The Color Purple because she was finally watching a film with people who looked like her.

So just to be clear, An African communications officer (who Nichelle never would’ve played if not for MLKJ encouraging her about representation) inspired the lead actress in the best black film of all time (which was based off a book written by a black womanist) where the women carried the weight of the film, which led to an African actress to get the role in a high profile film, directed, written by and starring black folk before even graduating school and now has the most nominations I’ve ever seen from someone so inexperienced.

But by all means, keep making racist powerpoints about how representation has no affect on anyone just because you don’t see color.

Earth — “A Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge (Part 2)”

I almost forgot to celebrate Earth Day.

(NB. Never search for just “extracapsular extraction” on YouTube unless you have a higher tolerance for eye surgery than I apparently do)





the thing to realize here is that conservatives find the idea of paying workers a livable wage so absurd that they make hyperbolic comparisons like this

because fifteen dollars and hour and a hundred thousand dollars an hour both mean the same thing to them; more than you deserve

^That commentary is very important.

[rant]The problem is a lot of businesses believe that just because they have a job they want done, they’re entitled to labor to do it. It’s a hard pill for a lot to swallow - but if your business isn’t doing well enough to pay somebody what they deserve for their time - you don’t deserve that labor. Period. End of story. Yes it would be great if somebody would just boost the productivity of your business for (practically) nothing - but that’s literally fantasy. People aren’t elves. They have actual practical needs, and need actual practical money.

In some ways getting paid minimum wage is almost worse than being unemployed, entirely because time is valuable - much more so than money. If you are stuck in a minimum wage job or jobs - and that is your income - you’re not going to have the time or money really to even pursue a better paying job. You can’t afford a car, you don’t have time to go to interviews, you cannot afford to get higher education so you can get a better paying job - because you don’t have the time or the money, you have bills and you need food. It’s our era’s serfdom.

Further - who employs the most minimum wage workers? Giganto-huge corporations. Look, Wal-Mart and Taco Bell aren’t exactly out on the street corner with a sign and a tin cup, and yet these businesses are essentially asking poor people to do charity for them - on the behalf of the millionaires and billionaires who run the businesses. If you’re working for $7.25 or less, you’re basically doing a business a favor. They’re not doing you a favor, they’re (usually) not being kind to you, you’re being kind to them, more than kind in some instances.

Never mind of course that low wages are incredibly destructive to a capitalist free market economy which rides on mass production and consumption of goods. People - a lot of them - need to have money to buy things. This isn’t the 1700s when there were less than a billion people on the planet, and a few aristocrats buying hand made furniture and clothing was an economy. An industrialized economy is supported by consumers, obviously they can’t consume if they don’t make enough money to. In the long run having a ton of people living below the poverty line stalls the economy, it’s self destructive basically. Henry Ford realized this a century ago (literally - 1914) when he introduced the $5 work day ($112 today) - more people making more money meant more people buying his products. But more importantly he also realized (no duh here) that paying his employees almost twice as much as his competitors meant: he attracted the best employees, lowered turnover (and thus training costs) and boosted productivity. Ever taken notice that the companies which insist on paying their employees next to nothing also suffer from high turnover, training costs (or a lack of properly trained personnel if they try to skimp on training to make up for turnover) and low employee productivity, job satisfaction, etc? Who’d of thunk it? It turns out you get what you pay for.

It really bothers me when discussion about wages centres around what businesses can get away with, what the market will bear, etc. People deserve—not some subset of people we’ve decided have ‘earned it’ or ‘work hard enough’ or any crap like that, people in general deserve—to make enough money to live. Businesses who do not want to pay people enough to live on for what are only technically not full-time jobs—or who parcel up all the work they have into part-time slices so that they don’t have to actually pay people what their labour is worth—do not deserve employees. (I do not for a second blame people who take that kind of work anyway, because they/we desperately need money and something is better than nothing, for the situation. It is very much not a situation of their making.)

(Source: -teesa-)

Leverage Models — “The Chance to Go” (Off the Avenue)

I may have forgotten last time, but I certainly won’t again. Leverage Models are playing the Drake Underground (wonderful venue) with these guys tomorrow night here in Toronto and I can almost guarantee two things:

  1. It’s going to be amazing
  2. Not enough people are going to be there

If you’re in Toronto, I cannot possibly recommend you come to this show any more than I am recommending that you come to this show. If I had any money at all in the world, I would try and bribe you with a beverage of your choice to get you to come out (as it is, I’m not going to a show tonight, one I’ve been anticipating since it was announced last year, one where this may be my only chance ever to see a band I really love live, because I can’t afford the ticket). But believe me, the show will be reward enough itself.