Chief of Stuff Inaugural Update
Welcome to Issue #1
As this is the first update it’s a bit on the longer side, but I expect each one to vary slightly as I work through all the great STUFF that’s out there!
Here’s what awesome stuff is covered:
A brief history on tie-dye
Some new news
What’s worth watching
Some stuff to make you laugh
... and a project I’m working on !
Stuff to Know:
The Brief Origins of Tie-Dye in American Culture
This all started because I recently hosted a tie-dye party and was surprised to discover that my friends had never done tie-dye before! Maybe it’s because I’m a product of summer camps or because we did lots of crafts growing up, but I love to tie-dye! We even did it as a planned activity during my sister’s bachelorette last summer. It’s an easy, colorful way to express yourself and impossible to mess up. There’s literally no “right” way to tie-dye! See the pics below.
Tie-dye seems to be experiencing a resurgence of late and was even touted in Vogue as a top trend. It’s everywhere! It also represents something very unique - a symbol of rebellion by the younger generations. This sparked my curiosity and led me to dig into the history of tie-dye in America a little further.
Modern tie-dye became popularized and is largely associated with the 1960s counterculture - Woodstock, the Grateful Dead, psychedelia. As younger generations pushed back against acts of violence, cultural uniformity, and materialism in favor of love, compassion, and individualism, nearly everything—became an opportunity for self-expression. Conveniently RIT Dyes introduced easy dying at a time when society was rejecting societal norms and harsh restrictions following the civil unrest of the 1950s. The dyes allowed anyone to participate in the movement and create their own symbols of peace and love. In fact, RIT even funded several artists to produce tie-dye shirts to sell at Woodstock. Popular rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin became symbols of the Woodstock movement, dressed in their own unique swirls of psychedelic colors. For many tie-dye represented a universal necessity for love and compassion in a turbulent political time filled with civil unrest, a lack of justice, political scandals, and the Vietnam War.
Until recently, tie-dye was a friendly backyard activity, rather than a symbol of rejection for the establishment. That said, we are now experiencing our own upheaval and the parallels of the late ’60s and ’70s are similar to what we are facing today. As we continue to navigate the turbulent social, political, and economic climate of the Trump presidency, tie-dye could once again be that call for change and, with its irrepressible colors, for purposeful optimism! Get dying and show off your unique colors my dears!
Stuff to Keep You Informed:
The News! I know, I know…there’s a lot of information and misinformation out there. Opinions are treated as facts, experts are ignored, and well it can all be a bit overwhelming and frankly disheartening at times. For those of you struggling, my friend, Connor wrote a great article about how to rethink your news consumption, I’ve gone on an information diet myself and have found it really helpful.
That said, I have tremendous respect for journalists and are excited to see some new approaches to the media landscape. This is an extremely interesting and exciting time in reporting and I want to introduce you to two new outlets that are worth exploring:
🌍 Rest of World - My former colleague Sophie started RoW, which covers the impact technology has on the entire world not just in the US/EU. It provides a fresh take on what’s happening outside of our small bubble and sheds light on how tech is being used all over. I’m closely following trends in Africa and Latin America.
🙋♀️ The 19th - August 21st (a week ago!) marked the 100th anniversary of the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing and protecting the right to vote regardless of gender. In that spirit, 19th News was launched! It’s a nonpartisan, all-female newsroom covering gender, politics, and policy. I particularly like that they chose the asterisk as their logo, as a reminder that there is still plenty of work still left to do.
Stuff to Watch:
I opted to not cover the current Netflix trends and while I loved reading Normal People, couldn’t make it through Episode 1 of the TV show (this might be controversial for some!).
It’s Kobe’s birthday and #24 would have been 42 today. UC Irvine was Kobe’s practice gym and I was lucky enough to interact with him regularly when I was working for the Athletic Department. Kobe led by example and taught me firsthand that greatness isn’t devoid of kindness. His Oscar-winning animated short is a beautiful homage to his first love, based on the retirement letter he wrote for The Players Tribune. There are lots of amazing Kobe highlights circulating today, but this one is a personal favorite and is only five minutes.
Helvetica (available on Netflix)
Helvetica is an older documentary, but it is one of my favorites. It covers the history of typography, graphic design, and how one typeface impacts our lives. As you’ll discover, Helvetica is the most prolific font and is literally everywhere - this took me by surprise! How did this happen and why? You’ll hear from some of the most influential designers included famed graphic artist Paula Scher (she’s designed so many iconic logos!). If you enjoy this documentary, follow up with Paula’s Abstract Episode on the Art of Design (also on Netflix). Any guesses which font this is? 😉
Since we’re limited in our travel, logging onto a live stream can offer the perfect escape. I enjoy watching the brown bears fishing for salmon in Brooks Falls, Alaska, and surfers catching waves at legendary Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu. Explore.org offers a variety of webcams to choose from and is the perfect antidote to mindless scrolling or channel flipping. Who knows what you might discover live!
Stuff to Make You LOL:
Many thanks to The New Yorker for providing much-needed humor and for being one of my favorite accounts to follow on Instagram! Check them out @newyorkermag and try your luck at the weekly cartoon caption contest.
A very funny parody that reminds us to discover more and that “things may not be perfect lately, but maybe what we need right now is a healing dose of “good enough.” Suddenly I'm craving Panera.
Blame the 7+ years I lived in SF, but I love a good vest (or gilet for my British friends) just as much as any tech bro. I despise carrying a purse and much prefer throwing my phone, wallet, keys into my pockets, and just getting out the door. Plus with shifty weather/microclimates, you can be warm and functional - it’s great! I currently own eight vests, but my Patagonia SPX vest is by far my favorite (pics below). That said this New Yorker article had me cracking up… for those of you looking to “upcycle” here are some clever ideas!
Stuff I’m Working On:
I have a few projects currently in motion and one is a repository of sustainable/eco/conscious/ethical brands. Discoverability is pretty hard in this area so I’m working on making it easier! If you have a brand(s) that you support or your own running list, please email me so I can add them. ♻️ 💚
Thanks for reading!