This is Weather

I’m pretty sure this is a classic joke, but those most famous telling of it is by David Foster Wallace in his commencement speech to Kenyon College from 2005.

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”

The sentiment behind this quote is a main thrust for what I’m hoping to do with the piece. Focusing awareness on what is always around you but often ignored. While it’s music about the weather, really it isn’t about the weather at all. In the background, there is a lot of manipulation of data, but its not really about the data. The data is just a means to an end, which is to ensure that the music is reflecting the current moment.

My goal is to simply point and say “this is weather.” Afterwards, hopefully listeners will be able to also notice everything else around them that fades into the background. The big overarching ideas that Wallace talks about in his speech that manage our lives more or less clandestinely, just like the weather.

Droughts and the Mafia

Apparently, a drought created the mafia. That’s not my opinion, but it is the findings of research published by the Center for Economic Policy Research.

They found that a popular leftist movement flourished in Sicily in 1893 during an intense drought. The mafia was supported by multiple interests on the right to counter to this group. By 1900, areas with the largest political activity in 1893 became strongholds for the Cosa Nostra.

The paper has a lot of other findings, but none of them are nearly as interesting. If it wasn’t published by actual scientists, I would think it was a wonderful example of a spurious correlation.

Fix, by Alice Fulton

There is no caring less
for you. I fix on music in the weeds,
count cricket beats to tell the temp, count
my breaths from here to Zen.
September does its best.
The Alaskan pipeline lacks integrity,
mineral fibers are making people dizzy,
we’re waiting for a major quake. Ultra-
violet intensity is gaining,
the ozone’s full of holes and

I can find no shade.

The full poem is here, and its really wonderful and worth a read.

I found this on Pome, a fantastic newsletter full of daily poems run by Matthew Ogle.