Ephemera - 28th June, 2020

Reading

Former employees accuse Cards Against Humanity of a racist and sexist office culture

This article goes into the accusations of racism and sexism at Cards Against Humanity, specifically regarding co-founder Max Temkin. While CAH definitely hasn't aged well and I probably wouldn't feel super comfortable playing it these days, this hit me a little hard because for the last few years one of my favourite podcasts has been Do By Friday, of which Temkin was a co-host.

I'm not one to wring hands too much when a cultural figure is exposed for their wrongdoings - in a world overwhelmed with quality music, film, and other forms of media I don't really see why anyone feels the need to argue that there's nothing wrong with enjoying a R Kelly song or Louis CK bit. But there's something more personal about podcasts that made this hit home a little for me. It was interesting to hear Temkin's co-hosts grapple with the situation in the episode after the revelation (it seems as if he is ghosting everyone?), and I'm glad they addressed it upfront and honestly.

When Friends Fuck Up, and So Do I

Sci-fi author John Scalzi wrote this raw and honest post about his possible complicity/complacency in the above situation and a few other similar ones.

Twitter thread on writing processes

Author/podcaster/historian Mike Duncan lays out his process for writing his books and podcast episodes in this Twitter thread. Basically it boils down to breaking everything into atomic ideas, from book, to chapters, down to paragraphs. I'm looking forward to reading his biography of the Marquis de Lafayette with potential paragraphs such as "Eligible Bachelor!", "Army is fucked", "I'll buy a boat", and "Fuck the Frenchies". For those of you unfamiliar with Mike Duncan, his Revolutions Podcast is my vote for the best history podcast out there.

Listening

Juneteenth Bandcamp list by Surgeon

Techno artist Surgeon shares some of his favourite music from Black artists on Bandcamp. The techno recommendations are great (I picked up releases by Claude Young Jr and Robert Hood), but there's some other classics here like Kamasi Washington's 'The Epic', A Guy Called Gerald's 'Black Secret Technology', and Actress' collaboration with the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Watching

How Barker built a plate reverb for percussive experiments

Barker has been one of my favourite electronic musicians of the last few years. This video goes in to some of his production techniques, specifically the use of physical reverb modelling which seems to be one of secrets behind his unique sound.

Giving To

This is a new section for my Ephemera posts. I'm trying to make more of an effort to donate to charities and contribute to society in other ways (I might write an article about that some time), and I thought it'd be nice to share a little about it here.

The BLM uprisings in the US recently inspired similar action around the world, including in Australia where deaths in custody has long been an issue for Aboriginal Australians. While I'd like to imagine I'd be marching in support if I was back in Australia, I'm currently on the other side of the world. My small contribution has been to give to the ALS (NSW/ACT), the pioneering organisation providing legal support to the Aboriginal community.