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Tag Archives: gil scott heron

Turning off the tv, and taking your time back is a concept that’s recently come to me. I moved recently; in my previous house I had Sky+ and boy was I an evangelist for it. To me, it was seriously great, freedom to go do what I wanted and come back to catch up on all my favourite shows and movies. Heaven sent for a girl like me with not a lot of time on her hands. In my new house however, I’ve had no tv for the past few weeks. Has it been a big deal? No. I’ve been unpacking, listening to music, watching internet television as a I pleased but able to dip in and out while updating my twitter or this here blog. And my two of my favourite Interweb gurus Seth Godin and Clay Shirky seem to be thinking along the same lines:

“At the local health food store lunch buffet, they offer stir fried tempeh.
I never get it. Not because I don’t like it, but because there are always so many other things on the buffet that I prefer.

That’s why I don’t watch TV. At all. There are so many other things I’d rather do in that moment.

Broadcast TV was a great choice when a> there weren’t a lot of other options and b> when everyone else was watching the same thing, so you needed to see it to be educated.

Now, though, you could:

  • Run a little store on eBay
  • Write a daily blog
  • Write a novel
  • Start an online community about your favorite passion
  • Go to meetups in your town
  • Volunteer to tutor a kid, in person or online
  • Learn a new language, verbal or programming
  • Write hand written thank you notes each evening to people who helped you out or did a good job
  • Produce small films and publish them online
  • Listen to the one thousand most important operas
  • Read a book or two every evening
  • Play a game a Scrabble with your family

None of them are perfect. Each of them are better than TV.

Clay Shirky has noticed the trend of talented people putting five or six hours an evening to work instead of to waste. Add that up across a million or ten million people and the output is astonishing. He calls it cognitive surplus and it’s one of the underappreciated world-changing stories of our time.”

Your time can be your own. Distractions are detractions from the stuff that’s worth doing.

*I apologise in advance for my overuse of Gil Scott Heron quotes. But he probably won’t ever stop, lyrically, being the man for me.

If, like I, you’ve been waiting for something from Gil Scott Heron, than 16 years is a long time to wait.I’m not going to pretend that I’ve been bating my breath since I was 12 because I really wasn’t that cool or informed, but this for me since The Revolution Will Not Be Televised became essential listening at 18, I’m New Here has been a long time coming, and the link to listen is right here.

I can throw up something like ‘it’s worth the wait’, but three songs in and he’s got me. At various moments it’s tender, slick, devilish and desolate and in being in work is the worst time to listen to something like this. No bones about, I’ll be buying this album and I think you should do.

Some advice from the man himself:

There is a proper procedure for taking advantage of any investment.

Music, for example. Buying a CD is an investment.
To get the maximum you must

LISTEN TO IT FOR THE FIRST TIME UNDER OPTIMUM CONDITIONS.

Not in your car or on a portable player through a headset.
Take it home.
Get rid of all distractions, (even him or her).
Turn off your cell phone.
Turn off everything that rings or beeps or rattles or whistles.
Make yourself comfortable.
Play your CD.
LISTEN all the way through.
Think about what you got.
Think about who would appreciate this investment.
Decide if there is someone to share this with.
Turn it on again.
Enjoy Yourself.

Gil Scott-Heron


EVERYTHING is poetry with him.

I’m New Here is now available for mass consumption. Do it. Now.