Interesting. Issue 001. July 2019. Everything is different.
Everything is different.
I’ve re-launched under a new name, with a new site, wlcm.studio. We’re now WLCM (pronounced “Welcome”), a rearrangement of the original initials with an additional “m”.
I also had a baby in the interim, and this re-brand feels a bit like a re-emergence at the same time, or at least an excuse for one.
I want to offer you something from WLCM each month that isn’t sales-y or tech-y, because those things aren’t (generally) interesting. I’m putting together issues for you of things that I think are interesting. I figure that what inspires all of our work - your work as well as mine - are things that are interesting.
This is issue 001. Welcome.
Three that made me pause this month.
From a tidy glass office in Midtown Manhattan, Darren Walker gives away $650 million a year of other people’s money, and is paid nicely to do so. When he got this job in 2013, as president of the Ford Foundation, he set his sights on tackling inequality.
There were complications.
Charities like Ford, he realized, owe their existence to inequality, and they reproduce it: they extend rich people’s influence, with no accountability, and they take money from the public tax rolls to do so. If a foundation gives a million dollars to a donor’s favorite pet cause, part of that gift is whatever tax the donor or foundation would have paid on that million — and neither you nor your elected officials has any say in the matter…
In 2015, he wrote an essay called “Toward a New Gospel of Wealth,” calling out “a system that perpetuates vast differences in privilege and then tasks the privileged with improving the system” — foxes minding the henhouse. The old gospel of wealth, as articulated by Andrew Carnegie in 1889, took inequality as a mark of progress, and called for its winners to give back in charity. Mr. Walker argued that this formula no longer worked.
- Excerpted from The Man With the $13 Billion Checkbook, The New York Times.
In 1946, not long after she fell in love with Pablo Picasso, Françoise Gilot made a painting called “Adam Forcing Eve to Eat an Apple.” Two flat, angular figures sit at a table. The woman placidly clasps her hands in front of her as the man—bald, blocky, with one dark, piercing eye shown in profile—thrusts the fruit into her mouth. Temptation, knowledge, punishment, exile: these are things, in Gilot’s version of Genesis, that come from man, even if it is woman who will be blamed. The same year, Gilot moved in with Picasso. A friend warned that she was headed for catastrophe. “I told her she was probably right, but I felt it was the kind of catastrophe I didn’t want to avoid,” Gilot recalls in her remarkable 1964 memoir, “Life with Picasso,” written with the art critic Carlton Lake, and recently reissued by New York Review Books Classics. In the painting, the woman’s eyes are clear, and wide open.
- Excerpted from How Picasso’s Muse Became a Master, The New Yorker. Read the rest.
We found an old, secondhand racing yacht with a pedigree. ... She was in a terrible state, and we put her on a ship and we brought her back to the U.K. and then I gave the girls sledgehammers and I said, "Right, take her apart," and we did. We stripped the inside of the boat. We stripped the deck. We took the mast out. We took everything apart. ...
This was also a bit of a first, because people didn't usually see women in shipyards. So that was an interesting situation. ... All these other guys had a shore team. They had brand new boats. So they didn't really need to do any work on them. And so they'd sit in a cafe and watch us as we were putting this boat together. ...
But the great thing about doing what we did the way we did it was we learned everything we needed to know about the boat. We put every single item into that boat, onto that boat. We painted her. We put the rig in. We did the rigging. We did the electronics, the plumbing, the [navigation] station. ... So when we put Maiden in the water, I would say that we, as a crew, knew our boat better than any other team in the race.
- Excerpted from With An All-Female Crew, 'Maiden' Sailed Around The World And Into History, Fresh Air.
PS: The documentary about this story, Maiden, is phenomenal.