Posts tagged with "New book"

Art by Heather Skovlund of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Kel Mitchell × Blessed Mode

Emmy-nominated actor, comedian, pastor and author Kel Mitchell released his new book Blessed Mode on December 14, 2021. Blessed Mode currently is the #1 new release and #1 best seller in youth Christian ministry. The book follows Kel’s moving 90-day challenge where he believes that when you place focus your faith and trust in God, blessings will follow.

Starring in NickelodeonsKenan & Kel, All That and feature film Good Burger, Kel has had a vast career in the entertainment industry. Now, in his new book, Kel shares his spiritual side with the world. Kel personally knows the battles of depression and addiction, but aims to communicate that power he found through God’s presence. Kel trusts in the freedom and blessings that he believes comes from his relationship with his faith in God. Kel aims to share his testimony of hope with the next generation, and even serves as a youth pastor at Spirit Food Christian Center.

In Blessed Mode, Kel offers 90 strong devotions to support his audience, including:

  • Find freedom in God’s life-changing presence.
  • Experience God’s power through prayer.
  • Recognize God’s many gifts in your life.
  • Share the blessings you’ve received with others.

Kel speaks on the book, stating, “As you read through the pages of Blessed Mode, you will learn that in every emotional wall there is a blessed way out! You will be breaking through these walls widening that crack of light a little bit, day by day, so you can discover God’s blessings on you. I hope this book can inspire others to embrace their blessings and find strength spiritually, mentally and physically! Life is a beautiful blessing giving to us by God! I cannot wait to show the world this side of me and how to activate BLESSED MODE!!”

You can order Blessed Mode on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Target, Christian Book and Cokesbury.

Art by Heather Skovlund of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Nikki Sixx – The First 21

Mötley Crüe and Sixx:A.M. founder Nikki Sixx is now a four-time New York Times best-selling author with his new book, THE FIRST 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx entering the coveted list at #8 on the Hardcover chart and #11 on the Combined Print And Ebook List. THE FIRST 21 joins Nikki Sixx’s other three bestsellers, The Heroin Diaries, This Is Gonna Hurt, and the Mötley Crüe biography, The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band. In addition, THE FIRST 21 also quickly rose to Amazon’s bestsellers list since its release on October 19, occupying the top spot on Amazon’s rock music books chart and in the Top 40 overall biographies and memoirs chart. THE FIRST 21 is also #22 on the USA Today’s best-selling books top 150 list, as well as #9 on Canada’s The Globe and Mail bestsellers list, evident of the book’s global appeal.

“I am such a fan of books and storytelling,” said Nikki Sixx. “The whole process is extremely creative from the beginning to the end, which allowed me to open up candidly in the memoir about addiction, sobriety and reflect about the formative years of my life, while unpacking the complicated childhood that had some twists and turns along the way. I am really happy THE FIRST 21 connected with people in such a deep way.”

THE FIRST 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx is available at book sellers everywhere including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, INDIEBOUND, BOOKSHOP, HUDSON BOOKSELLERS, Powell’s, Target, and Walmart, among others. Fans can also listen to the latest release of his band Sixx:A.M, SIXX:A.M. HITS via Better Noise Music. The album serves as a companion piece to the book. The album debuted at #2 on the iTunes Metal in the US (#2 Rock), UK, Canada and Australia, as well as top 10 in numerous other countries. For more information, please visit: www.hachettebooks.com, or www.TheFirst21Book.com for the book and www.betternoise.com for the album.

About THE FIRST 21: How I Became Nikki Sixx:

Rock-and-roll icon and three-time bestselling author Nikki Sixx tells his origin story: how Frank Feranna became Nikki Sixx, chronicling his fascinating journey from irrepressible Idaho farm boy to the man who formed the revolutionary rock group Mötley Crüe.

Nikki Sixx is one of the most respected, recognizable, and entrepreneurial icons in the music industry. As the founder of Mötley Crüe, who is now in his twenty-first year of sobriety, Sixx is incredibly passionate about his craft and wonderfully open about his life in rock and roll, and as a person of the world. Born Franklin Carlton Feranna on December 11, 1958, young Frankie was abandoned by his father and partly raised by his mother, a woman who was ahead of her time but deeply troubled. Frankie ended up living with his grandparents, bouncing from farm to farm and state to state. He was an all-American kid—hunting, fishing, chasing girls, and playing football—but underneath it all, there was a burning desire for more, and that more was music. He eventually took a Greyhound bound for Hollywood.

In Los Angeles, Frank lived with his aunt and his uncle—the president of Capitol Records—for a short time. But there was no easy path to the top. He was soon on his own. There were dead-end jobs: dipping circuit boards, clerking at liquor and record stores, selling used light bulbs, and hustling to survive. But at night, Frank honed his craft, joining Sister, a band formed by fellow hard-rock veteran Blackie Lawless, and formed a group of his own: London, the precursor of Mötley Crüe. Turning down an offer to join Randy Rhoads’s band, Frank changed his name to Nikki London, Nikki Nine, and, finally, Nikki Sixx. Like Huck Finn with a stolen guitar, he had a vision: a group that combined punk, glam, and hard rock into the biggest, most theatrical, and irresistible package the world had ever seen. With hard work, passion, and some luck, the vision manifested in reality—and this is a profound true story of finding identity, of how Frank Feranna became Nikki Sixx. It’s also a road map to the ways you can overcome anything, and achieve all your goals, if only you put your mind to it.

b. intro via Chris Parsons for use by 360 Magazine

A Little Spark

By: Merilee Kern

Whether gifting for the holidays, a birthday, Valentine’s Day or “just because,” children’s literature is a timeless gift that can impact the recipient, families and society at-large in meaningful ways. This truth is exemplified with “A Little Spark ” children’s book authored by Chris Parsons—a truly unique title that was recently awarded the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal for best in family-friendly media. Fittingly so, as this distinctive  interactive, read-along chapter book is centered around the noble theme of finding, and doing, good in the world. 

A Little Spark is redefining children’s literature by driving its overarching message home by combining a compelling narrative and cast of identifiable characters with full color  illustrations; a custom-scored musical soundtrack of original songs like this accessible through QR Codes while reading the book; an audiobook featuring delightful performances; fun on-and-offline activities; and invaluable life lessons that are highlighted throughout each chapter. It’s a heartening activity to enjoy with young children, grandchildren and students.

To complement the beautifully illustrated 160-page chapter book, Parsons collaborated with renowned music producer Bruce Faulconer  to develop the full album with an original soundtrack and accompanying audiobook. “Lyrics range from playful to heartwarming and, in one instance, even a bit ominous,” noted Faulconer. “The music keeps the reader poised and, at times, thrillingly on the edge of their seat. We worked with an amazing group of performers and have created something truly special that’s resonating with kids and adults, alike.”

Enhancing the read-along story and the various audio components, A Little Spark also comes complete with a free companion online Resource Library available at BeThatSpark.com, which boasts over 50 book-related family activities like coloring pages, character puppets, word searches, mazes, dance videos, character drawing video tutorials and more. A “Parent’s Guide” is also available to help plan and optimize the overall experience.

“Parents, grandparents, caregivers and educators are indelibly seeking great content to engage with kids, and A Little Spark is written with purpose and intention toward that end,” said Parsons. “The storyline, and the various lessons embedded throughout, underscore that even the smallest creature can make the biggest difference. This takeaway message is especially important for young, impressionable children to hear because they so badly want to be seen and heard…in today’s culture more than ever.”

“Children’s literature is a powerful force that can shape and nurture the minds of kids,” continued Parsons. “In the case of A Little Spark, the combination of a great story, captivating illustrations and rich characters—in combination with mood-inducing music—can truly engage young minds in an impactful and immediate way. It’s one that not only entertains and inspires young audiences, but also helps them develop critical thinking skills and encourages a sense of adventure and the confidence to take that first step.”

As per the Mom’s Choice Award, “A Little Spark is an innovative, inspiring, and entertaining tale about unlikely comrades who join forces on a quest to defeat a threatening enemy. A little Spark reminds us that, to awaken our passion and spirit, we all need something in life to make the world be a warmer place, and to always look for ways to ‘Be That Spark.’”

Working in partnership with a teacher advisory group, the “Be That Spark” elementary education pilot program launched this October in multiple first grade classrooms. This one-of-a-kind scholastic program combines the book, music and all of the related material into a formal academic lesson plan designed to provide a fun, inspiring experience for educators and their students. The Be That Spark program includes a focus on helping students develop positive character traits based on the characters and lessons from the book. It aligns with U.S. standards by creating meaningful and challenging lessons for students intended to increase their reading, listening and comprehension skills.

“Our panel of judges really felt this book merited a place on our list of the best in family-friendly media products that parents and educators can feel confident in using,” said Dawn Matheson, CEO, Mom’s Choice Awards. Other accolades include A Little Spark earning its place as an Amazon new release best-seller in a number of categories, including #1 in Children’s Music Books.

Art by Heather Skovlund of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

Moving – The Atlantic

In this first volume of Remember the Internet, a series that tells a complete history of the Internet, one book at a time, journalist Ana Valens introduces us to the erotic gifs, hashtag fetish fan art, and sex worker resource blogs that combined to transform Tumblr into the vanguard of a user-generated sexual revolution. As she tells the story of her own online sexual and political awakening, Valens investigates how Tumblr’s technical architecture made it a convenient laboratory for social justice and sexual freedom, one that would ultimately clash with the government’s crackdown on sexuality online. 2021.

In the second Volume, Not just anyone can join the most elite Tori Amos tape trading webring of 1998. In a world before “search” and “social media,” teenage Megan Milks has what it takes, negotiating two-to-one trades of rare concert audio with some of the most intense “ears with feet” in the Toriverse, using their living room computer to navigate fandom friendships haunted with nascent queer meaning. In this new volume of Remember the Internet, Milks leads us through a world of bootleg concert recording on DATs and USEnet meetups, a world still inventing the rules for being with one another online: bring references, bring blanks.

Available September 21, 2021

In the third volume, Google Glass was supposed to replace phones and PCs, becoming the peripheral that turned the internet itself into a bodily function, making the instant overlay of real-time information into a new organic language. Where did everything go wrong? Was it the unchecked hubris of Big Tech, which had become addicted to solving problems that didn’t exist using grandiose solutions with prohibitive price tags? Was it a tone deaf marketing campaign that failed to take into account the secret loathing of Silicon Valley’s haughty elites? Or was it simply too early, a product before its time like the Palm Pilot or disco? Journalist Quinn Myers gets the inventors, users, developers, detractors, lovers, haters, models, and members all on the record in this slim new entry in the Remember the Internet series. NOT AVAILABLE FOR GOOGLE GLASS.

Available November 16, 2021

In the fourth volume, On Myspace, Noor al-Sibai is a scene queen: artfully curated and presented to rise to the top of the top 8. Off of it, she’s a teenager: dealing with trauma both personal and political, bad relationships, and understanding the ways in which the new world of social media is changing her relationship to each of these. In this new installment of Remember the Internet, Noor al-Sibai tells the story of growing up on Myspace as part of the first generation to come of age online.

Available Spring 2022

Image by Ivory Nguyen for use by 360 Magazine

KO Média – ELLE DECORATION CANADA

KO Média is excited to unveil the fall issue of ELLE Decoration Canada featuring a new way of imagining your dream home by designer Nicholas Ancerl. Crestwood, described as “a dramatic home among the treetops” of Barrie, Ontario, has yet to be built. Instead, it has been brought to life with 23 photo-realistic renders. “The contemporary interiors will have a rustic touch and a neutral colour palette,” Ancerl explains. “We want the colours of nature, seen through the expansive windows, to dominate the interiors.” When asked about setting expectations too high for homeowners with such stunning renders, the designer assures: “Nothing can take away from the experience of actually stepping into a real space.”

This edition is imbued with a desire to create bright, airy living spaces that are both functional and serene. Included are Toronto-based architect Anya Moryoussef’s transformation of a single-car garage into a modern workspace inspired by traditional Italian studiolos; a prefabricated house reimagined by architect Alain Carle to capture the natural play of light and shade throughout the day; an architectural firm’s ingenious use of every nook and cranny in a tiny Vancouver home brimming with joie de vivre; and wood-and-glass containers fashioned by a Montreal couple to give their Old Port loft structure without sacrificing any natural light.

In the spirit of the season, Athena Calderone, author of Cook Beautiful, shares recipes that capture the tones, textures and tastes of fall and tips for creating the ultimate autumn table settings. Readers will also find a curated list of outdoor armchairs, loungers and swings from which to soak up the sun, and patio heaters in all shapes and sizes for the chilly months to come.

We caught up with Quebec native Philippe Malouin, creator of the Hanger chair, to find out how he continues to keep things simple after being listed among the world’s 100 top designers by Architectural Digest. Designer Montana Labelle offers advice for combining elegance and simplicity from her newly opened Lifestyle Studio in Toronto; and Quebecer Danielle Carignan, a pioneer in the personal organizer profession, shares tips to declutter your space and your life.

And for those seeking an escape, this issue has everything from top coffee makers for a meditative morning routine; to a seaside hospitality complex in Iran that blends seamlessly into the blazing red, yellow and orange rock formations of Hormuz Island.

The fall issue of ELLE Decoration Canada will hit stands and Apple News+ today.

Art by Heather Skovlund of 360 Magazine for use by 360 Magazine

The Town Hall × The Boys

The Town Hall has announced a special evening with brothers Ron Howard and Clint Howard as they reflect on their new book The Boys. The live evening, moderated by Malcolm Gladwell will take place on October 12 at 7PM at The Town Hall  the same day The Boys is released.

What was it like to grow up on TV? is not a question most of us know the answer to, but Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard and fan-favorite actor Clint Howard do. The brothers rose to fame on popular shows of the 1960s and 70s like Happy Days, The Andy Griffith Show, and Gentle Ben. At The Town Hall, they chat about their new dual memoir The Boys, in which they reflect on the importance of family and share memories of their extraordinary childhood spent on sound stages, hanging out with Hollywood legends like Andy Griffith, and working with trained bears. Theyߣll also dig deeper, examining the industry with the perspective of life experience behind them.

Tickets prices, which include a copy of The Boys are $47-$52 and are available at 

The evening is presented in partnership with Strand Bookstore and is also providing copies of The Boys.

After the last year and a half of working on this book, I am really looking forward to sitting with Clint and Malcolm at Town Hall to dive into our life experiences, as well as share all that we have learned throughout this process, said Ron Howard.

Clint Howard agreed. Writing a memoir with my brother has been an awesome experience and kicking off our book tour in New York City is a dream come true.

We are excited to welcome Ron and Clint Howard to The Town Hall to discuss their book The Boys, said Artistic Director Melay Araya. This is an exciting opportunity for audiences to get a peek behind the scenes of Hollywood from two these two prolific men and to see that while their family’s circumstances may have been different, they have gone through some of the same struggles and triumphs that many families do. Our goal at The Town Hall is to welcome important voices commenting on the American experience, and we know this evening will be fun and enlightening.

With the perspective of time and success Ron as a filmmaker, producer, and Hollywood A-lister, Clint as a busy character actor the Howard brothers delve deep into an upbringing that seemed normal to them yet was anything but. Their Midwestern parents, Rance and Jean, moved to California to pursue their own showbiz dreams. But it was their young sons who found steady employment as actors. Rance put aside his ego and ambition to become Ron and Clint’s teacher, sage, and moral compass. Jean became their loving protector sometimes over-protector from the snares and traps of Hollywood.

By turns confessional, nostalgic, heartwarming, and harrowing, The Boys is a dual narrative that lifts the lid on the Howard brothers’ closely held lives. It’s the journey of a tight four-person family unit that held fast in an unforgiving business and of two brothers who survived child-actor syndrome to become fulfilled adults.

Interview with Dean Karnazes

Dean Carnazes is a marathon runner known for serious feats of endurance. He recently wrote a book, Runner’s High: A Life in Motion, about running and his experience as a marathon runner. I got the chance to speak with Dean about his marathon career and Runner’s High.

What was your favorite experience while running?

While I was running across the country—from LA to NYC—I got a call from the White House saying that Michelle Obama wanted me to stop in to say hi. Prank call was my first reaction. But it was real. I’ll never forget running down the hallway of the White House and out to the South Lawn to meet with the first lady. She welcomed me with a hug and said, “It’s such an honor to meet you.” I’m not making this up. 

What is your favorite part of the marathon experience?

The pain and the struggle. You remember the joyful moments, but the tough moments leave a more indelible imprint. 

Do you have a marathon that you particularly liked?

How long is the interview? (laughter) I’ve run hundreds of marathons and each is memorable in it’s own way. I once ran 50 marathons, in all 50 states, in 50 consecutive days. That experience in its totality was quite extraordinary.

Do you have a favorite place to run?

Greece. I’m 100% Greek and Greece is the birthplace of the marathon. It doesn’t get more real than that.

What athletes do you particularly admire?

The back of the packers struggling to reach the finish line before the cutoff. Sure, I admire the elite, but watching the last place finisher is more inspiring. 

I’ve been in a 2-week quarantine in a hotel in Sydney in preparation for this crazy 1,000-mile run across Australia, so I’ve been watching a lot of the Tokyo Olympics. In fact, I’ve probably watched more television in the past two weeks than I’ve watched in the past two years! 

Are there any Olympic athletes, in the most recent Tokyo Olympics, that you were particularly impressed by?

So many of the athletes impress me. But I think what impressed me the most this Olympics’ was Simone Biles withdrawal because of mental health concerns. She is such a dominant force but she became very human in showing her vulnerability.

How do you feel about energy drinks and other products that may change/enhance athletes’ performance?

Athletes will always seek anything that can provide an edge. So long as it is not a banned substance, I’m okay with it.

What, in your opinion, is your biggest accomplishment as a runner?

The fact that I am still just as passionate about running as I was when I first started. The stoke is still there after all these years.  

What was it like to write a book about something you’re so passionate about like running?

To capture my authentic running voice, I do a lot of writing while I run (by dictating into my phone). People say I truthfully capture the essence of running in my writing, and that’s because at a time when I’m experiencing the thoughts, feelings and emotions of a runner I’m taking note. To put that passion into words makes compelling reading. 

Are you happy with the way people have spoken about your book thus far?

I got an email from a gentleman this morning who said he had intended to read a couple chapters of my book last night before going to bed. Five hours later he finished the book, he told me. Then, he said, he got up. He just had to go on a run.

Yes, I’m happy with the way people have spoken about my book. That message says it all.

Photo via Lucas Jones of Polity Press for use by 360 Magazine

Q&A WITH AUTHOR DAVID THEO GOLDBERG

A pervasive sense has taken hold that any and all of us are under suspicion and surveillance, walking on a tightrope, a step away from erasure of rights or security. Nothing new for many long-targeted populations, it is now surfacing as a broad social sensibility, ramped up by environmental crisis and pandemic wreckage. We have come to live in proliferating dread, even of dread itself.

In this brilliant analysis of the nature, origins, and implications of this gnawing feeling, author David Theo Goldberg exposes tracking capitalism as the operating system at the root of dread. In contrast to surveillance, which requires labor-intensive analysis of people’s actions and communications, tracking strips back to the fundamental mapping of our movements, networks, and all traces of our digitally mediated lives. A simultaneous tearing of the social fabric – festering culture wars, the erosion of truth, even “civil war” itself – frays the seams of the sociality and solidarity needed to counter this transformation of people into harvestable, expendable data.

This searing commentary offers a critical apparatus for interrogating the politics of our time, arguing that we need not just a politics of refusal and resistance, but a creative politics to counter the social life of dread.

David Theo Goldberg is Director of the University of California Humanities Research Institute.

Interview by: Heather Skovlund-Reibsamen

To begin, when did you realize that you first wanted to be a writer?

Quite young. I liked to write as a teenager, fifteen or sixteen, won a prize at high school for English writing. Looking back, I was not nearly as compelling as I fantasized. In training to be an academic I started attending closely to my technical writing. While at graduate school in New York I was involved in making independent films and music videos. I co-wrote the outline and voice-over text for an experimental film on apartheid South Africa which I also co-directed. The film won some international film festival awards. My early published academic writing was dense. I worked hard at getting myself to be clearer, cleaner, more concise. Like all art, writing requires endless attention to its detail, rhythm, flow.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I have a couple. I lap swim quite seriously early every morning. When I am struggling with an idea, or even to articulate a sentence, the quiet solitude of pulling through water on one’s own unbothered by anything around often leads one, or even a whole sentence or two. The challenge, of course, is to recall accurately   enough what I thought so great to be able to write it down at swim’s end. Until injuries caught up with me a few years ago I surfed extensively, and for many decades. I would travel to some surf spots further afield as much to be able, between surfs, to write uninterrupted by day-work at home as to enjoy the great surf and culture at hand.

When I have things pouring out of me and I am writing fast I tend to plug into fast jazz. The likes of the great Cuban jazz pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba or Japanese pianist Hiromi. Or the big band Snarky Puppy, with Hammond organist Cory Henry, who are fun. Writing has rhythms and I hope some of the music has rubbed off in my writing. There are times, nevertheless, when I like to write in silence, completely alone with my own thoughts.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

It depends on the book: I usually read extensively regarding the subject matter until I feel saturated and an argument thread for the book is mostly in place. Jacques Derrida, the great French philosopher, was once asked by the documentary filmmaker, Amy Ziering, if he had read all the books in his enormous personal library. “I have read only four,” Derrida responded. He then added, the crease of a smile at the corners of his mouth, “But I have read them very well.” The challenge is to read whatever one is engaging to find insights and ideas with which one can think.

I also find it thought-provoking to observe cultural, technological, political and economic trends and changes at work around us. My writing itself is as much an unfolding of the argument line, often enough surprising me in the writing, through where the writing takes me.

Edward Said, the great intellectual of the late twentieth century, wrote a book, Beginnings, which is about how challenging it can be to open a book, to write the first sentences. But also how to end, to bring it to a close in ways that will linger with the reader. Whether creative or analytic writing, not that it is always easy to distinguish the two. Said’s book has stuck with me through much of my writing career.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Ten sole or co-authored monographs; another ten edited or co-edited books. Naming a favorite, especially publicly, is like saying who among your children are your best ones. Tough to do. There are two books that stick out because they have both expressed key developments in my thinking and have been impactful in scholarly debates around these questions.

The first is The Racial State (2002), about how the modern state since the 17th century was founded on racial structures, structuring into its very formation the elevation of Europeans/those of European descent at the expense of all others. Obviously these structures transformed over time, and from one place to another,  but the driving principle has largely remained in place. The key argument is that modern states become modern by taking on the technologies of race as structuring mechanisms.

The second is The Threat of Race: Reflections on Racial Neoliberalism (2009). This book traces the ways the neoliberalizing of polities globally—the financialization of everything; the divorcing of contemporary social, economic, and political conditions from the historical forces that produced them; the complete personalizing of responsibility for one’s standing and experience in society, no matter the social structures and challenges one has faced–has sought to empty the concept of racism and its affiliated racial conceptions of any critical charge or meaning.  The conservative attacks we are currently witnessing on critical race theory have their foundations in this neoliberalizing turn starting in the 1980s. Conservatives of this stripe find discussions, analysis, and engagement of racial issues threatening precisely because they challenge their view of the world.

What inspired you to write Dread: Facing Futureless Futures?

In 2016 family, friends, and colleagues were waking up each day with a sense of anxiety, some calling it a sense of doom. The rise in authoritarianism here in the U.S. but also across a widening range of societies was in part fueling this sense. I was feeling it too. I started by trying to put my finger on what this feeling was, what it amounted to, to name it. “Dread” was the concept I came up with to best express this sense. When I mentioned it aloud, others would exclaim, “That’s it!” What followed was the urge to write a book exploring the underlying conditions prompting this generalized sense, and the implications.

What is the significance of the title?

Dread is a socially produced pervasive anxiety the basic cause(s) of which it is difficult fully to identify. Like Kierkegaard in the 19th century, I contrast dread with fear. Fear is a feeling the object of which one can usually identify, name concretely. The object of dread is a feeling of anxiety and unsettlement the sources of which I cannot concretely or precisely articulate.

“Facing Futureless Futures,” the subtitle, speaks to the ways in which we have created or collectively allowed to be created social conditions that threaten our very wellbeing, if not existence. That some are talking about “the sixth extinction” exactly expresses this heightening anxiety about the survival not just of lifestyle but of life, of the world that supports life itself.

Can you tell us about the book?

I wanted to account for the conditions prompting this pervasive sense of dread, of uncontainable anxiety. The authoritarianisms that seemed to be taking hold, the unhinged statements and expressions struck me as symptomatic of something deeper, structurally more pervasive and difficult to address. So I was concerned to string together an analysis of those conditions, to offer a language of analysis for what is happening to us, what we are doing to ourselves and over which we think we have little if any control.

These include the pervasive emergence of algorithmic culture, the ways algorithms are structured increasingly into and order our everyday activities, the overwhelmingly instrumentalist mode of thinking it insists upon, often in increasingly intrusive ways (the “internet of everything”). This pervades not just how we order consumer goods, how we invest, how we learn at school and college but how we run our homes and businesses, increasingly how cars drive, how and with whom we interact, how we relate to each other, indeed, the quickening pace of worker and work function replacement by robots. Everything we do when electronically connected is now being tracked—where we go, who we interact with, what we consume, how we vote, our medical conditions, our work habits, everything! And that in turn becomes the basis for shaping and reshaping our desires but also the (narrowing of) possibilities presented to each of us.

Increasingly, chips are being inserted into human beings, for a variety of purposes, from medical reasons to consumption accessibility (we are in the early process of being turned into walking credit cards), to tracking productivity, and government control. The digital is transforming the very nature of the human into the techno-human.

The anxiety all this is producing, consciously or not, includes the sense of lost privacy and transparency, depersonalized desire, and undermined self-control. This is readily exacerbated by events and even structures over which we take ourselves to have little or any control, like the pandemic and the impacts of climate change, the conditions for the production of both of which have been dramatically over-politicized. And all of this has laced through it structurally produced differentiations of class, race, and gender, further intensifying the concerns. The outcome of all of this, I suggest, is the ramping up of “civil war,” less conventionally understood than as more or less violent contestations over how we should all be living in the world.

Did you learn anything while writing the book?

One cannot address a dominant set of social concerns without first understanding it. The given is not indelibly cemented into place. What looks like natural conditions is often, at the very least, socially arranged. That means what we have made with debilitating effect we can unmake.

Above all, this invites a relational mode of analysis. It involves seeing—in the sense of looking at the world—in its deeply relational constitution. What we do in one place both affects and is affected by what others are doing elsewhere. Like the weather, environmental impacts and pandemics know no national boundaries or borders. Tracking is at once individually isolating and, less visibly, deeply relational. Racial ideas circulate globally, even if taken up and expressed differently in one place from another, just as racisms in one place are shored up and sustained by racisms elsewhere. For example, critical race theory was originally formulated and fashioned in American law schools but both its application and of late its facile condemnation have been taken up as far afield as Britain, France, and Australia.

And second, I found myself reaching a more hopeful conclusion, if not ending. I suggest that those societies that have taken seriously infrastructures of care for members of the society at large are far better able to address collective challenges such as pandemics and the impacts of climate change, or indeed racisms, at least in principle. Societies that fared better in quickly addressing the pandemic and saving their populations from rampant infection and death have been those that have invested more readily and enduringly in social infrastructures of care.

What is the purpose of the book?

To elaborate an analysis and vocabulary for understanding the debilitating social and ecological conditions we have created and face, and how we might address the challenges in creatively relational ways.

What are you wanting your readers to take away from the material?

Three insights: that we have created a world that in all it gives us is undermining the very conditions of possibility for sustaining those affordances; that the technological apparatuses so completely transforming our worlds and who we are in them,    especially tracking technologies, enable possibilities not previously available. But at the very same time they have proved debilitating, socially, ecologically, and increasingly politically; that a completely self-regarding disposition to the world, individually and nationally, is in stark contrast with one that recognizes our deeply relational condition socio-ecologically; the deeply relational ways in which socio-ecological worlds are constituted become key to addressing the challenges we are facing interactively.

What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?

The conditions unfolding across the world were transforming remarkably quickly. The pandemic took hold in the middle of writing the book, shutting down much of what we had taken for granted. It revealed deep socio-economic  disparities, racially indexed, exacerbating the impacts.  These were further ramified by the George Floyd murder, among others, and the protests that followed. While I was already lacing racial analysis into the analytic contours of the book, the series of police killings and protests as well as the attacks on Asians, especially women, needed to be referenced. Nor could one write a book about dread without addressing the pandemic. So I added a chapter devoted to Covid and its social impacts and implications pretty much in situ.

What was the highlight of writing this book?

Being in sustained conversation with close intellectual friends and colleagues about the range of conditions I address in the book. This was especially productive and meaningful given our extended collective remoteness as a pandemic consequence. But also, because I was thinking and writing in the midst of an unfolding of the very conditions which I was addressing.

Is there anything that you would like to add for the readers?

The world we have inherited and from which we make ourselves today has furnished us with extraordinary possibility. But in being less mindful of the cumulative impacts of the many generations of this making we have just begun to understand that our world also is in advanced process of radically undermining the conditions making its enduring sustainability possible. The book is about our present circumstances with a view to understanding some of what it will take to have futures to which to look forward. I very much hope it is read in this spirit.

by Smith Publicity for use by 360 Magazine

BRETT NEWSKI – IT’S HARD TO BE A PERSON

Songwriter and touring musician Brett Newski (who has played alongside the Pixies, Violent Femmes, Courtney Barnett, Manchester Orchestra, Better Than Ezra and more) is releasing his first illustrated book, It’s Hard to be a Person: Defeating Anxiety, Surviving the World, and Having More Fun, accompanied by a soundtrack to the book featuring 8 original songs. The book has been endorsed by Stelth Ulvang of The Lumineers, “I love how easy Newski makes it to plow through the dark stuff with some well-placed humor and grit.

Newski been featured on Rolling Stone, NPR, American Songwriter, SiriusXM, Boston Globe, and Billboard. He continues to tour over 100 dates per year. He’s also the host of the popular podcast, Dirt from the Road, where he chats with musicians about their strangest travel stories, mental health boosts, and how to navigate the hurdles of being a person in modern times. Guests include All American Rejects, Dashboard Confessional, Nada Surf, Stelth Ulvang (The Lumineers), Guster, Heartless Bastards, The Verve Pipe, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Barenaked Ladies co-founder, Steven Page.

Starting with couple of doodles Newski posted to social media making light of his struggle with anxiety and depression, they garnered a surprising and overwhelming response and he decided to make his relatable coping mechanism of drawings into a series. Now, Newski presents three years’ worth of drawings in his new book, It’s Hard to be a Person, offering mental health boosts through humor and relatable quips about the perils of living in our world with a mental illness. Newski’s drawings offer a warmth and innocence that comforts readers and reflects their own experiences to assert that, despite the taboo of mental illness, most of us relate to each other on a deeper level when it comes to mental health.

Newski’s book shares the message of:

  • How anxiety is useful and can cultivate creativity
  • Using humor to overcome mental health struggles/phobias
  • How creating music, art, and writing can help ease anxiety and depression
  • Helping introverts shine
  • Shared experiences – how art can connect us by allowing us to express difficult emotions
  • The importance of speaking up about mental health issues
  • Dispelling the stigma around mental health, therapy, and discussing difficult things

Book and album preorder available here.

Road Trip via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

New Book on the Volkswagen Type 4: 411 and 412

There’s a new book out now via Veloce Books about the Volkswagen Type 4 by Marc Cranswick, going over everything from the history to the specifications on the vehicles. Sections from the book have been provided below. You can purchase the book HERE.

“If ever there was a car in search of a context and market, it was the VW Type 4. Volkswagen’s first foray into the upscale sector brought engineering innovation to Wolfsburg. It also tried to convince worldwide buyers that VW still had the right stuff. With design origins in the Porsche consultancy, the signs were hopeful. However, globally, the automarket was rapidly changing.”

“The VW Type 4’s portfolio ran to unitary construction and fuel injection, but had to face fancy competition from Detroit’s European subsidiaries. All the while, VW was searching for its future road, and faced challenging developments. The fuel crisis and Japanese competition in North America kept the pressure on at Wolfsburg.”

“The Type 4 411 and 412 held to VW tradition, while introducing new engineering directions and refinements. VW’s biggest ever car faced off against mainstream competition.”

“It was also Volkswagen’s first mid-size car and it’s final design in a thirty year air-cooled odyssey.”

“Could the VW 411 and 412’s solid traditional virtues carry the day? Then and now the Type 4’s unbreakable VW quality, and flat out sustainability, appealed to air cooled devotees. The 411 and 412 brought a new dimension in comfort to VW, and its hardware design was utilized by the air cooled clan both on and off road. The Type 4 even had a sportscar connection, and never lost the power to surprise.”