Friday, July 18, 2008

Change Your Beat

New technology is freaking out a lot of people in publishing, not surprisingly, since their (my!) livelihood rests on books. And books are looking more and more like dodos.

Sister is due to talk at a national conference on perils and opportunities in publishing, and we've been chatting about how to deal with change.

Yesterday I saw a nifty exercise in change, in the currently playing movie The Visitor (watch the trailer and get involved in immigration issues on this site):
a hip, young African-drum player teaches a square middle-aged professor to drum to a beat of 3--instead of the 4/4 beat of Western music.

It's super easy--and it's not. If you freeze up and think about it too much, fear will throw your rhythm off. The trick is to relax, keep breathing, and take it slow.
Same with computers, right?

I thought it would be fun to do this drum-beat exercise at a conference--everyone could drum to a beat of 3 on their tabletop. The idea being, hey! humans invented this--we can do it too, even if it's unfamiliar!
(And why do I assume it would be to a bunch of publishing professionals? Oh, gee, I don't know...)

So, otherwise the movie is a pile of cliches:
a soul-dead, New Englandish, academic white guy intersects with a couple of illegal immigrants, and the Syrian guy teaches the Connecticut guy to play the drum, which gives him a way to express his locked-up grief and connect with reality, which is a sad-but-true reality about love and loss.

But it's still a pretty good movie about contemporary America, by the director of The Station Agent. After all, the cliches are true enough (which is why they're cliches, obviously--I know these guys!).

And the drumming is cool. The music includes Fela Kuti, Nigerian hero of Afrobeat (whom I'd never heard before).

Speaking of change, this week I finally wrenched myself out of the coffee shop and went back to the YW.

I'd hurt my knee four months ago, so I took a break. It's been so great not to exercise, I didn't go back even though my knee healed a while ago and I was turning into a blob.

I admit it feels good to be back, even if I slightly resent what feels like a waste of time.
At least I don't have to wear red tights, which I vote Kirk's Most Embarrassing Costume.


ddip said...

Ooooh, red is definitely NOT his color! glad you went back to the Y. You'll have to come to the Sunday class for the Swedish version of body pump (after labor day, that is, when all the revamping is done)!

fresca said...

I'm not sure it's the color that's the problem here. : )

Yeah, I didn't realize body pump class is on hold until they re-do the gym, so I showed up for it. But in fact I am bored to death with that class, so I was just as happy to go do freeweights.

momo said...

Try the Body Flow (TM) class--it's tai chi/pilates/yoga to good music.

Fela said...

Hey, if you like the music of Fela, you might like to see Fela! A New Musical, playing Off-Broadway ( For $25 tickets, you can visit and use code Social1