Special Extra Mysterious Magical Immeasurable by Bruce Mau
February 25th, 2011  |  by choorocca

It’s been a crazy-nice last week and a half helping my brother-in-law with his new Massive initiative, the Massive Change Network. Everyone should join the conversation about the design of our world – the design of our future.

Yeah, it’s been a little crazy, positively hectic and sleepless, but extremely satisfying all said and done. This sort of thing is what really motivates me these days; being involved and part of real change is what inspires me.

So, I’m working away the other night and Bruce sends me two essays he wrote last year. One originally published in the World Policy Journal and the other in Fashion Magazine: Storm by Magnum Photos, edited by Paolo Pellegrin. Bruce tells me he thinks it would be a “fun read”, ha! Yeah, as usual, I was blown away. Which isn’t surprising.

Yeah, Bruce Mau has that affect on people, the business of Design, the world. And, thank God for that. Thank you Bruce for that.

Urbanity Revised is a brilliant piece on why it’s necessary for us to rethink the City, entirely. Yes, utterly and completely….rethink and change our ideas and conceptions, our fundamental beliefs of what a “City” is. But what really struck me, was the essay Special Extra Mysterious Magical Immesurable (SEMMI). In my opinion, one of the most important and inspiring essays I’ve read in a long time. See, we (as a global community) know so much. We know what’s wrong, what’s right, we know what we can do, what we can’t do yet, and we know what we should be doing. But yet, nothing is being done – the message doesn’t seem to be getting through. Whether it’s the idiot box that’s numbing awareness, or just plain old ignorance, people still wake up every day and go about their business like the world isn’t going to end. WTF is up with that? So in this essay, I think Bruce nails it it on the head with this revelation of the importance of Beauty. Yes, with Beauty by design and through design, people just might wake up – they might find the desire to do the right thing.

I can’t really say it better than the man himself, so you’ll just have to read it. There is hope…and it starts with you and me. Join the global coversation at www.massivechangenetwork.com.

Special Extra Mysterious Magical Immeasurable, by Bruce Mau.
Urbanity Revised, by Bruce Mau.

[Sorry, links to these texts have been removed]

If you’re interested, here’s my response to Bruce’s email to me after I read SEMMI:

Hi Bruce, thanks for sharing that “fun” read with me, ha! I am grateful. I don’t think anyone on the planet could have said it better. I will read it again, and again. I especially think it’s fantastic that this essay was published in Fashion Magazine. Shift in perspective is one massive change we are in dire need of as a planet.

I wonder daily about what I do. What I’m doing. Why I don’t feel “connected”, or fulfilled or challenged in a way that actually means something. Mind you, I am not talking about being a husband or about fatherhood. Those life roles are what drives me, and is where I find the most fulfilment and inspiration – purpose. I can not say that I have learned lessons in life more important than after I became a father. (I chuckle quietly to myself now at the blissful ignorance of my non-parental friends…boy, do they say some silly sh!t some times, haha. But, I don’t hold it against them, that was once me too!)

But I am finding it difficult to motivate myself or really, truly care if we (the company I currently work for) sells more software (is that bad?). Yes, if it weren’t for B and the girls….genuinely caring about my job, work, would be impossible. The Marxist in me still believes that we should all be doing our Art. And, it seems that I’m not alone though. My generation – born in the 70′s – are a unique bunch in our own right, a nice mix between old school and new. Fortunate enough not to have had to wear bike helmets and shoes outside, and also there for the advent of the first video game console and Apple computer. Yes, we are the last generation to still hold some of those old time values, and the first generation to grow up with all the conveniences of the modern button pushing, I-want-it-now era. Down-to-earth-tech-savvy, hybrid genXers?

Yes, I see the look in the eyes of some of my close peers. I hear them ask the questions and propose ideas that lead me to believe that we are all aware (and thankful) that we are very fortunate to live the lives we live, but also know that the illusion can not last much longer.

When I first became a home owner, I went through a phase where I had all these romantic ideas in my head about technology that would allow me to live “off the grid” if necessary… Stuff like a green on-site power generator, rain water collection, water filter & water tank, solar panels, hydroponics etc., nothing crazy. One of my close buddies asked me why I was so “paranoid”. I told him I wasn’t paranoid. I then asked him if he remembered the blackout we had in the early 2000′s…I believe it was 2003. I asked him to think about what would have happened if that blackout lasted a whole week; a month; or even longer.

Yes, the current set of existing systems in place from 1st world right down the socio-politcal-economic fraying line do not work. And, the appearance that they do work will not last. We need something other than – how did you put it? – “our current resource extraction model” to share and care for our planet if we are to remain here even a touch longer in the grand scheme.

Through university, among the many interesting odd-jobs I’ve had, I stocked produce shelves at Costco one summer. I was appalled at the amount of fresh fruit and veggies that got tossed on a daily basis (and would stuff myself in the back room as much as I could every shift, lest see all the goodness go to waste). I was blown away by the fact that with everything we can do, these grocery giants (at the very least) haven’t yet figured out how to disperse that “waste” to people who need it locally?!! So much could be done with that “waste”. (We have had heated discussions about this very topic here at my household – ‘red tape’, ‘bureaucracy’, ‘liability’ and other lawyersome words thrown around, all hogwash.)

So yes, I am grateful. Grateful and thankful that there is now something like the Massive Change Network. Thankful, that you have kick started a lazy planet on the long path toward enlightenment…and more importantly, survival. Everyone can lead, but not anyone can Lead. I agree with you… “Beauty is the tool with which we are able to continuously reconnect to desire.” No one will respond to the picture if it isn’t painted nicely or fashioned in a way that actually sends the message through.

I am thankful that I now have something for which to apply my Art: help paint the Big Picture! That sculpture, Future. The new Starry Night. It is frightening, but yes, beautiful.

Thanks Bruce.


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