Who is Denting the Universe?
In reply to last week's note, one of you wisely said, "the world is very judgmental. [And For most of us] it is a delicate balance in sharing our depth and safeguarding our vulnerability."
Later that night, after issue 14 went out, I saw Amanda Palmer on tour for her new album, "There will be No Intermission." My love for Amanda resides in my head rather than in my gut, such as my love for Pearl Jam, but the difference between one versus the other is another note for another day.
"There will be no Intermission" is a Bruce Springsteen style show where the talent does a lot of storytelling throughout and play a little music along the way; the songs are the fruit of the stories that precede it. The narrative is personal, Springsteen talked about his alcoholic father and depressed mother, Amanda Palmer spent four hours talking about death and abortion. It was intense. It was depressing. It was deeply personal.
It is not unusual for artists to mine their personal lives for raw materials for their art. Both male and female artists have done it, Bukowski and Plath are just two of such artists staring back at me from the bookshelves. What is striking about Amanda's latest work is how naked and vulnerable she allows herself to be, even more so that the deepest confessional poets. The artifice was that there is no artifice. Just Amanda.
What Amanda did on stage was the antithesis of Witches in the C-Suite. Some say that she is preaching to the choir, her fans, and does little to move the needle beyond her reach, i.e., Texas state legislature, but I disagree. She put something out in the Universe and it will have a ripple effect. The frustration is the inability to accurately measure the impact.
A few nights later, I saw Melinda Gates in conversation with Brene Brown. Melinda Gates is currently on tour promoting her new book, "The Moment of Lift."
"The Moment of Lift" talks about a variety of challenges women all over the world face: unpaid work, access to capital, education, healthcare and etc. Big gnarly topics, each impacting women's lives intimately.
During the conversation with Brene, Melinda opened up (a little) about reconciling her Catholicism and Gate's global initiative to increase access to birth control (Depo-Provera not condoms) but the conversation is as you would expect from someone of Melinda's stature, composed, measured. Suitable for the C-Suite. Thesis to Amanda's antithesis.
Melinda's work in gender equality through both the Gates Foundation and her personal channels are guided by quantitative data, a 30,000 view from high, and the impact of the work is carefully measured. Amanda's work is driven by qualitative data and often limited to her own experience. Yet a fundamental core of their work shares an acknowledgment, "I see you, I hear you." You need someone to express all the pain and fear and loneliness that is part of life. You need someone to hear your need and struggle."
They each come at the work from a different vantage point, and vastly different style and flare. There is no right way. Feminists and Patriarchy both want us to believe that there is an only way, a more effective way, a more impactful method. Yet that is not life. A single input, a tweak in the variables, and there is an observable change in outcome. We will never know with certainty which approach will move the needle more, or if the existence of the antithesis is essential for the thesis to succeed.
PS. Promise next week it will not be about women, gender and etc....
IDEAS YOU CAN STEAL
I'm short on amazing tricks and hacks this week. The best advice we gave to clients all week is:you need to consult a lawyer on this.
I know, if you are anything like me, the idea of a lawyer is scary!!! It's grown up stuff. Am I in trouble? It sounds really expensive. Here is the thing, there are many situations in life where you will be better off to engage the advice of counsel then to muddle it out on your own. Our client might very well be in a pickle because their first call was not to a lawyer.
On the note of lawyers, Facebook's new general counsel is Jennifer Newstead, a key player in the creation of the Patriot Act and making it palatable for the American public. Which means....might be time to seriously consider divorcing FB and Instagram.
WORTH A READ
(How) Patriarchy is Spoiling America’s Next Election One of America’s Next Great Tests is Whether it Can Transcend Patriarchy — and It’s Already Flunking - by Umair Haque
There are so many insightful (and no duh moments in this essay, it's astounding when its all laid out with such clarity." One of them is "the deep, hidden double standard that men can prove their character by what they’ve done, but women can only prove their character by what they haven’t." On point with thesis and antithesis,
Norway is ON! Thailand just got added to the list as well. I've been honored with the Kravis Leadership Moonshot House Fellowship which will take place this year in Thailand in June. The immediately after I will leave for Kurdistan Iraq for round two of Hello Future. The summer schedule is getting packed and I must admit, I'm tired and it's not yet May.
Our Plant on Netflix narrated by David Attenborough.
First of all, it's amazing! Incredible footage as you've come to expect from Blue Planet and Planet Earth (BBC). It's even better (in my opinion) because Attenborough uses this opportunity to highlight the perils of climate change. A missing narrative and missed opportunity in those previous series.