Bill Weye

Tag: passion

Jason Kottke and Hugh Hefner: men with a common project

I‘m sure you’ve heard of Hugh Hefner. And you might have even heard of Jason Kottke, who’s been blogging since pretty much the beginning of blogging in 1998. Did you know that Hefner and Kottke have something in common? (This is totally safe for work, trust me.)

Kottke’s Scrapbook

I’ve been reading Jason Kottke’s blog since 2000. It’s evolved quite a bit since then, but in a certain respect I’ve always thought of his blog as a scrapbook of a mans’ walk through culture, which reflects his tastes, values, and passions. Most of the blog is not about Jason’s life — especially the posts from the last few years — though what he publishes is a personal editorial decision, so I think we can assume that those decisions say something about him.

Kottke/Hefner

Kottke/Hefner

That’s why I think Kottke.org is certainly a scrapbook (of a sort) that chronicles Jason’s experience with “the liberal arts,” as much as it is about the liberal arts themselves. After all, the blog is not comprehensive of the liberal arts; it’s representative of the liberal arts Jason finds compelling. If you read through Jason’s interviews (links below), Jason says that he tries not personally editorialize or advocate for certain points of view on his blog — he wants to be “neutral” — but by curating the content, he is expressing his interests in his scrapbook.

Hefner’s Scrapbook

I would love to know what’s going to happen to Hugh Hefner’s scrapbook after he passes. Have you heard of this thing? Hefner has amassed about 2,000 volumes, dating back to high school, into a scrapbook of his life. Of course, his life really hasn’t been his life for some time; in part, because of his chosen profession, his life is a history of post-1950s censorship battles, socio-sexual developments, and race relations. Through the 1960s and 70s, Hefner and Playboy were part of (Hefner might say center to) a conversation about morality and sexuality in the United States.

Here’s one example of how the Hefner scrapbook is more than a personal journal. In an interview with Brigitte Berman, director of the documentary Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel, she relates one thing she found surprising in the scrapbook:

So Hef’s into scrapbooking?

He still does them. One of things I loved was the one about the Big Bunny–the big personal plane he has with the bunny logo on the tail. Hollywood friends asked him if they could use the Big Bunny to rescue Vietnamese orphans during the war.There are these incredible photographs of the bunny girls caring for these orphans on the plane.

The scrapbook has been a passion for Hefner since before World War II (even using Twitter updates here and here to let us know when he’s working on it), and I think because of that the scrapbook will be made public after he’s finished working on it (the day he dies, I would imagine). It’ll probably be given to a library or other public archive, and probably digitized for researchers.

That’s the key difference between the Kottke and Hefner project: one is readily public, the other is not (though Hefner has given access to researchers and filmmakers in the past). Despite this, I think they’re both scrapbookers at heart, collecting their interests and passions into compendium of entries. Both reflect their life experiences. Kottke is pointing us towards things that might interest us now; Hefner is collecting points in history that will interest us later.

Related Links

Kottke/Hefner photos by megnut and cliff1066 and republished here under a Creative Commons license.

On The Court And On Fire

Playing basketball today, I was on fire. What does being “on fire” actually mean? For me being on fire means that I am moving around the court with ease, almost like I have helium in my shoes. My shots are falling from almost any angle when I am on fire; today I probably had 20 points, two of which came when I drove to the basket on a fast break, finishing with a running baby hook.

The furnace inside me–the one that keeps my basketball passion burning–never ebbs when I’m on fire. I don’t get tired when this fire burns. The game never seems to move fast enough for me, but at the same time I see plays develop before they happen–my mind slows the game down when I am on fire.

This feeling I only get playing basketball, sometimes, is addicting.

Ibuprofen and Basketball

I will turn 40 this year. That combined with the fact that I am not in the best physical condition has made it imperative that I use Ibuprofen before playing my regular basketball game. Well, I should take it before playing.

Today I was in a rush to get dressed and upstairs to play before I realized that the Ibuprofen was still in my locker, so I played without my regular dose of 600 mg. Ankles are funny things; I don’t think they’re supposed to feel like tennis balls, swollen knobs with feet coming out the other side.

The 12 Noon Crew

About a year ago, a regular member of the pick-up basketball game that I play died after a long battle with cancer. Carlos E. Figueroa’s body was chipped-away by cancer (and the doctors), but before he left us Carlos wrote his sentiments in the form of a poem. The poem moved me and many of the other regulars because it reflects the spirit of the game, so I had a plaque engraved with the words; that plaque is mounted on a wall overlooking our court.

no matter how good, bad, slow or fast you are, there will always be a space for you to join the 12 noon crew, even if you have cancer.

if there was a place, a game, or thing that made my day, that would be the 12 noon crew.

if there was a thing that inspired me to go on, not to quit, and keep on fighting that would be the 12 noon crew.

if I were to rewrite my life, I would definitely have the 12 noon crew as part of my new life.

an angel is watching!

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