Clarity First Newsletter,
April 22, 2022

“We’re breaking all of the rules. Even our own rules…”.

– John Cage

Love & Work

A notebook about how we work, learn, love and live.

If I listened only to cable news I’d be one sad puppy. But there is so much hope to be found when looking to the explorers, the teachers and the lovers.

Happy Friday.


Creative Process, Teaching

“Corita Kent (1918–1986) was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice.”

We’ve talked about Corita Kent in this letter more than once. We’ve celebrated her Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules, which I think should be hung in any place where creatives gather.

“At age 18 she entered the religious order Immaculate Heart of Mary, eventually teaching in and then heading up the art department at Immaculate Heart College. Her work evolved from figurative and religious to incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics, biblical verses, and literature. Throughout the ‘60s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider poverty, racism, and injustice. In 1968 she left the order and moved to Boston. After 1970, her work evolved into a sparser, introspective style, influenced by living in a new environment, a secular life, and her battles with cancer. She remained active in social causes until her death in 1986. At the time of her death, she had created almost 800 serigraph editions, thousands of watercolors, and innumerable public and private commissions.”


I thought of her this week because swissmiss held up her rules again. These rules are so smart.



“Before we go back to business as usual, let’s consider, look for and learn from any positives our kids may have brought back with them.”

Thomas Courtney

“The unanimous conclusion in educational literature has been that 2020 and 2021 will be a generational burden on kids. And it’s true. This pandemic has hit us all hard: educators, parents, and most powerfully, kids. We need to talk about ways to address it, correct it, and be mindful of how our tax dollars can address it.

“Yet, there’s something quite special happening in my classroom right now. It’s something that has been revealing itself in larger and larger ways, and I am not alone in noticing it. It doesn’t show up in test data, and it isn’t discussed in any periodical or book that I’ve seen, either. But it’s there nevertheless — a type of silver lining under the voluminous gray cloud of quarantines and distance learning.” – Thomas Courtney

Article: What if Covid’s Silver Lining Could Be What We Learn from the Kids?



“The act of surfing can bring meaning to life.”

“The act of riding a wave, a fortunate coalescence between skill and circumstance, is a sort of serendipity. And being open to serendipity, watching for it, celebrating it, and even bringing it about, is a meaningful way of moving through the world and finding more meaning in life.” – Aaron James

Article: What Surfing Says About the Importance of Serendipity in Life



“As the population has grown more diverse, support has dwindled for grand efforts, like the GI Bill, to open doors to higher education.”

The GI Bill opened the doors to college to returning World War II veterans, including many from immigrant families. They joined the professional class and became further integrated into American society.  BETTMANN, GETTY IMAGES

“At a recent town-hall meeting in Tucson, local business leaders took up education in the state of Arizona. They examined state suppo’rt for public colleges — among the lowest in the country — and fretted about their future work force, says Gary D. Rhoades, a professor of higher education at the University of Arizona. They had even gone to the statehouse to meet with legislators, he heard at the town hall. If you need to raise taxes,’ the businessmen had told their representatives, ‘we’ll give you political cover.’

“To their surprise, the professor recalls, the legislators waved off their requests. One reportedly said: ‘Those kids don’t need college.’

“In a state where 60 percent of schoolchildren are Hispanic, and the legislature is overwhelmingly white, the words ‘those kids’ have meaning.”

Article: When College Was a Public Good



At least one guy thinks we should be saving the sounds of older technology before it disappears.

“The Museum Of Endangered Sounds is owned and operated by me, Brendan Chilcutt.

“I launched the site in January of 2012 as a way to preserve the sounds made famous by my favorite old technologies and electronics equipment. For instance, the textured rattle and hum of a VHS tape being sucked into the womb of a 1983 JVC HR-7100 VCR. As you probably know, it’s a wonderfully complex sound, subtle yet unfiltered. But, as streaming playback becomes more common in the US, and as people in developing nations like Canada and the UK get brought up to DVD players, it’s likely that the world will have seen and heard the last of older machines like the HR-7100. And as new products come to market, we stand to lose much more than VCRs.

“Imagine a world where we never again hear the symphonic startup of a Windows 95 machine. Imagine generations of children unacquainted with the chattering of angels lodged deep within the recesses of an old cathode ray tube TV. And when the entire world has adopted devices with sleek, silent touch interfaces, where will we turn for the sound of fingers striking QWERTY keypads? Tell me that. And tell me: Who will play my GameBoy when I’m gone?

“These questions and more led me to the undertaking that is The Museum Of Endangered Sounds.” – Brendan Chilcutt

While this is an apparently abandoned project, Chicutt had aspirations to develop “the proper markup language to reinterpret the sounds as a binary composition”, he did get far enough to leave behind an interface that can be played spontaneously. It’s fun, and mind-stretching.

Website: Museum of Endangered Sounds



“Because a world designed for all of us is priceless.”

A brilliantly designed commercial for Mastercard is intended to be as accessible as the product it’s promoting. The project of filmmaker Fredrik Bond in collaboration with branding agency McCann, the advertisement opens with an audio description produced for people who are blind or partially sighted, a feature that overlays the remainder of the work.

“The ensuing narrative, which is used as an essential storytelling device rather than optional addition, follows the protagonist, Marjorie—played by actress and activist Marilee Talkington—as she leaves her apartment to grab a coffee. A roving spotlight illuminates friends and passersby, who produce sound-generating activities that she parses as she walks down the sidewalk with a cane. Once at the cafe, Marjorie uses Mastercard’s new Touch Cards, which are notched in different shapes to help people who are visually impaired distinguish credit from debit from prepaid.

“At its close, ‘Spotlight’ amends the company’s long-running slogan with a pitch for more inclusivity and accessibility that mirrors the approach introduced by the commercial: ‘Because a world designed for all of us is priceless.’” – Grace Ebert

Article: A Stunning New Mastercard Ad Uses Accessible Marketing to Center People Who Are Visually Impaired


Article: The Way We Manage Conflicts Needs to Take Neurodiversity Into Consideration

Article: India’s Women Are Building An Alternative To Toxic Masculinity

Article: Paid Family Leave is Good for Moms and Baby Brains

Article: Nestle, Danone, Unilever and PepsiCo Agree on Plastic Chemical Recycling Principles



“A blind, Black, nonbinary musician from Seattle, Brittany Davis presides over a backing band that features six hard-hitting women. Together, they fuse rock, soul, hip-hop, pop and R&B in four songs — all drawn from Davis’ debut EP, I Choose to Live — that teem with insights about identity, injustice, authenticity, motivation and power. Each song in this set moves at a different pace, from the righteous hip-hop fury of ‘I Choose to Live’ to the plaintive slow burn of ‘Loud Loud World.’ But all four convey a clear sense of purpose.” – Stephen Thompson

This is why I love rock. And soul. And funk. And learning from each other. I defy you to watch this video without moving your body, and without smiling.

Article: Brittany Davis: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert


Image of the Week

“In the late 1950s and 60s, Savoy Records was on a roll. From early jazz releases by the likes of Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, it pivoted to James Cleveland, Dorothy Norwood, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and just about any major gospel artist from that period. The artwork for every single one of these records was made up of an oil painting and a simple signature, “Harvey”. Striking and distinctive, Harvey’s paintings of dream-like landscapes and crosses are all awash with distinct surreal style, flooded with such vivid colour and divine light that there is absolutely no doubt that, when you see one, you’re looking at a Harvey.” – Henry Boon

Article: Searching for Harvey: Solving the Mystery Behind 200 Influential Gospel and Jazz Album Covers

What’s Love & Work?

Love & Work is the weekly newsletter by me, Mitch Anthony. I help people use their brand – their purpose, values, and stories – as a pedagogy and toolbox for transformation.

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