365 Days, Albums, Photos, Words (or Less): Day 3 (Ke$ha, Animal + Cannibal)
What introduced me to Kesha, who’s now thankfully done away with that ridiculous dollar sign, was part proximity and part bad decision making. Each year at the University of Pittsburgh there’s what is called the Bigelow Bash, a free concert which takes place, you guessed it, on Bigelow Boulevard in front of the Cathedral of Learning. The year Kesha was set to perform, I lived near enough that I would’ve been able to hear the show regardless of whether I joined the crowd or not. I could’ve maybe blocked her out with my own music, but didn’t want to pass up a free concert, having been to so few. I was also curious, what with how little popular music I listen to; she was an unknown to me.
Admittedly, I was also spurred to attend by the fact that my ex, who I was not yet over, would be in the audience as well. This was the main deciding factor. Her friend ordered me back to my room to listen to Kesha first before I went to a concert of hers, but I chose to ignore the demand. Aside from the sunburn I received, it was one of the best free good times I’ve had. If I were to examine the parts that make up the whole, I would’ve predicted hatred, yet Kesha, despite being the poster child for many of the things I detest about pop music in general, ends up being one of the catchiest artists I know of.
It’s enough to make me a believer about her supposed high intelligence; it takes brains somewhere down the line for this all to work essentially in spite of itself. Anytime I really listen to the lyrics, I hate that I find them so catchy, but I just can’t help it. She is my one and only true guilty pleasure, and Animal + Cannibal remains her best effort, riddled with hits from start to finish.
(365 Day Photo Challenge, Day 3)
We live in a “diverse and often fractious country,” writes Robert Dawson, but there are some things that unite us—among them, our love of libraries. “A locally governed and tax-supported system that dispenses knowledge and information for everyone throughout the country at no cost to its patrons is an astonishing thing,” the photographer writes in the introduction to his book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay. “It is a shared commons of our ambitions, our dreams, our memories, our culture, and ourselves.”
But what do these places look like? Over the course of 18 years, Dawson found out. Inspired by “the long history of photographic survey projects,” he traveled thousands of miles and photographed hundreds of public libraries in nearly all 50 states. Looking at the photos, the conclusion is unavoidable: American libraries are as diverse as Americans. They’re large and small, old and new, urban and rural, and in poor and wealthy communities. Architecturally, they represent a range of styles, from the grand main branch of the New York Public Library to the humble trailer that serves as a library in Death Valley National Park, the hottest place on Earth. “Because they’re all locally funded, libraries reflect the communities they’re in,” Dawson said in an interview. “The diversity reflects who we are as a people.”