Brexit Bummer

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By Dr. Motte

The world is mourning right now. The UK in aggregate voted to leave the EU. It will have massive implications. I have a stake in this decision, because my two children are British as is my wife. Many others closer to the center of Brexit are more impacted, and I feel for them.

The UK leaving the EU will mean travel limitations and barriers to employment, which are beyond significant inconveniences. Worse are the financial consequences for the additional overhead and constraints in trading. The worst part is that culturally, our new norm is a new low. We’re living in tacit acknowledgement that the majority of our fellow humans would rather segregate than unify. Many tie the decision to leave the EU with low intelligence or unwarranted fear. Others claim more severe xenophobia. In any case, we are taking two steps back, and it will take decades to repair and right the course. This is what we are grieving over. What could have been if we all came together not just in the EU but all over the world? There is a possibility that this referendum amounts to nothing and the UK remains in the EU, but the damage has been done as we start drawing lines on the basis of where people come from.

Needless to say, I’m feeling pretty bummed, and so is my family. We’re not the only ones. Brexit is such a huge global bummer that it set the world record for the number of times the word ‘bummer’ was used to describe how people felt after the results posted.

Bummer trend

From a Google analysis of the word bummer.

My only hope is that people will continue to stand up for what is right. More and more people around the world are taking a stand and many are taking stands different to each other. It all gives me faith, because it means people care and are not happy with the status quo. Our humanity gives us meaning and vulnerabilities. Only by working together can we enrich ourselves fully since we’re all connected. I am committed to the forces of tolerance, unity, and peace. We will eventually overcome the isolating rhetoric, fear-mongering, and misguided nationalism that prevents us all from progressing to a better place.

Beardyman

Beardyman has been hailed by the BBC as a “King of Sound, Ruler of Beats” for his amazing skills at beat boxing, looping, and general music making. When I was living in London, I heard of the legend of Beardyman from an agent while working out of the Topspin office at William Morris in Soho. I quickly realized why the “legendary” status was bestowed on Beardyman when I saw videos of him performing and heard his tracks. Beardyman  released his album in 2011, “I Done an Album,” which I thought was a wonderful work of art in sound and hilarity. The funny clips in between tracks made me crack up and the cross-genre tracks showed Beardyman’s diverse skills as a master of sound. I couldn’t find an embed of the album to post, but . It has may levels with a variety of styles and genres. A video for one of his tracks, Vampire Skank, is below. The song starts with a skit and then goes into some heavy wup wup wup dubstep with an ironic twist. I got a lot out of that track in 2011.

What really motivated me to post about him today was the Beardyman TED talk video embedded below. It shows the genius and skills of Beardyman and speaks to what can be achieved when the technology is good enough to represent precisely what’s going on his mind. #MadRespect for Beardyman.

 

A video of one of my favorite Beardyman tracks, Vampire Skank (warning: heavy dubstep mid-way through). Devilishly cheeky.

 

Tokio Aoyama

If you ever find yourself able to attend an exhibit for Tokio Aoyama, I would do everything possible to see his art in person.

In the spring of 2012, I was lucky enough to stumble into the Hoxton Gallery in Shoreditch on the way to get my groceries at the Organic Grocer on Kingsland Road. My old London neighborhood at that intersection and the general area near the Shoreditch Triangle can be magical in the art and culture it bestows to everyone on a daily and whimsical basis. Passing by the gallery, I saw glimpses of mega cool in his paintings set in a great vibe, and it pulled me inside. I glided into a procession around the bricked arch Hoxton Gallery soaking in the great art.

Tokio’s paintings have musical themes to them and have rich exacting styles. They feel like surrealist expressions in vivid fantasy settings with jazz, soul, hip-hop, rock, funk, all sorts of musical grooves. Some are mellow, others are adventurous, and when looking close at each painting you can get a strong sense of Tokio’s genius, skillz, depth, and values. His work is truly awe inspiring, and I would welcome a chance to bring him to California as I feel many in the US and especially California would appreciate. I had a chance to talk to him, and he was nothing but gracious, humble, and a genuine bad-ass human being. If there was anyone I would give a proper #madrespect salute to, it would be Tokio Aoyama.

Tokio Aoyama

 

Tokio returned to the Hoxton Gallery for another exhibit called Loop in August 2013. They describe him well:

World-acclaimed, Japanese-born painter Tokio Aoyama creates beautiful, dizzyingly surreal paintings marrying pop culture with the symbolism of modern and traditional Japan. Music is always at the heart of Aoyama’s paintings. Although not a musician himself, Tokio has engaged in various collaborations and friendships with the members of the world-wide music scene, including the ‘Live Painting’ series. The ‘LooP’ exhibits feature numerous heads of the icons of the music world embodied in the psychedelic, mythological landscape of his mystifying paintings.

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11593939454_2f5be14b04Those were the best my iPhone 4 at the time could do. Here are some more from across the web.

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Those above pics are from Sam Woolfes post about Tokio’s art and exhibit. Go check out his post for a great montage of Tokio’s art. If you could see his paintings up close, you’ll immediately appreciate the precision of his touch, and then stepping back you’ll soak in all the great grooves and the incredible spirit of his imagination. 

 

 

 

 

Shoreditch Street Art London

Nazlee and I took photos of street art around our neighborhood in Shoreditch London, and I uploaded them into Flickr. I will look back fondly at my time in Shoreditch. It’s certainly one of the most creative places I’ve ever lived in, and I bet it’s one of the more vibrant, colorful, electric, and interesting neighborhoods in the world. London represent.

Enjoy the street art of Shoreditch from Banksy, David WalkerROAInvader, Citizen Kane, James CochranStink Fish, and others. Also check out this Huffington Post article on London street art for more perspective. If you want to see what the streets of London around that area looked like 100 years ago look at the images in this article.