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October 2017

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Q and A with Rolling Stone Photographer, Baron Wolman

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Baron Wolman is a photographer known for his work in Rolling Stone magazine when it first began in the late 1960s. Wolman has photographed numerous iconic faces, such as George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jerry Garcia, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, and many others. Aside from his impressive rock photography, Wolman has photographed authors, actors, comedians, and even cable cars. I had the opportunity to interview Wolman for Insight Magazine on creativity, his favorite on-field memories, and more.

1.What inspired you then and what inspires you now?

Photography has always inspired me. From the first day I picked up a camera and saw the world through its viewfinder, I was inspired. It was a unique experience that is no longer unique now that “everyone is a photographer.” So there is little that inspires me these days in the world of still photography – too many pictures and little respect for them because of the overwhelming number of images. We are drowning in pictures. That said, for the younger generations, they are more and more communicating with pictures rather than words, a situation that deserves some looking into.

2. What do you do to get over creative ruts?

I’ve had many “creative ruts.” When they occur I tell myself to look around to see what sort of non-photographic situations interest me at the moment. Then I ask myself “are there picture possibilities” within any of those situations. Usually there are. Everything a person finds fascinating can produce good pictures, from portraits, to sports, to landscapes, to fishing, whatever. The important thing is to remain curious – if one is curious about something, “study” it with a camera. That’s one satisfying and instructive way to go beyond the surface, and make good pictures in the process.

3. Are you working on anything new?

I’m working on a book compilation of my rock and roll Instagram posts. Also working on better marketing images from my archives. Also working on video interviews with fellow photographers about their careers and their favorite photos. There’s always something new happening especially if you’re open to it.

4. What piece of advice would you give to creators (writers, photographers, etc.) ?

My only advice to creatives is simply to repeat Joseph Campbell’s counsel to “follow your bliss.” Determine your passions and follow them. Don’t do things for the money, do them because you’re passionate about them, you love them, you get great satisfaction from doing them. Be they writing, painting, taking pictures, skateboarding. It’s an infinite list. And when you give yourself fully to your creative passions, there is also often a fringe benefit of public confirmation and financial income.

5. What’s one of your favorite on-field memories?

I have many “on-field” memories, but one of the best was being onstage with the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Fillmore West in San Francisco in 1968. It was both an exhilarating spiritual and photographic experience, and I have the photos I took to prove it.

6. Who are some of your favorite photographers?

There are contemporary music photographers I admire, there are contemporary sports photographers I admire, there are iPhone photographers I admire, there are landscape photographers I admire. The photographers I usually refer to when answering this question are: one, Cartier-Bresson, who showed me the joy of doing street photography (which translated into photojournalism for me); and two & three, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon who showed me the joy of simple but honest portraiture (which helped me make many of the best musician portraits I did for Rolling Stone).

7. Are there any books you would recommend to aspiring photographers?

Aspiring photographers should spend hours in the library looking at photo books of all kinds. They are inspirational in general and often specifically, whereby a group of photos on a specific subject can inspire a young photographer to direct his/her efforts in a particular direction, toward one or more specific subjects. There are good pictures to be made of virtually every subject, from war to family to sports to street to fashion – there are infinite possibilities to make meaningful photographs.

8. Lastly, are you a Nikon or Cannon man?

I’m a Nikon guy, have been since the Nikon-F single lens reflex appeared on the scene in the sixties.

Rewriting the Fairytale for Efficiency

Rewriting the Fairytale for Efficiency

By Dating, Millennials, RelationshipsOne Comment


A new survey found an increasing trend: that millennials are having sex with someone before dating them more and more often. Another increasing trend among millennials is to use dating apps to meet people. Correlation is not causation, but the evidence is pretty damning. conducts the largest comprehensive dating survey in the country every year. It makes sense that one of the biggest online dating companies would spend the most time and money getting the most reliable information about their industry. The most recent Singles in America survey has gathered revealing data on how millennials date.

A professor of mine recently described millennials as “people 18 to 24.” A generation encompasses a wider time frame than a mere 6 years. There is more than 6 years between the baby boomer generation and Generation X. It’s closer to 20.

Generation Y, deemed millennials by pop historians Neil Howe and William Strauss, includes anyone born between the years 1982 and 2004. Some secondary authorities start Gen-Y as early as 1977, but Howe and Strauss literally wrote the book on generations – entitled Generations. Millennials have been trash-talked for so long that the first and oldest millennials are now 35 years old, with the youngest at barely 13. Let that sink in.

According to the Singles in America survey, millennials are 48 percent more likely than previous generations to have had sex with someone before even going on a date. How’s that for instant gratification?

In the New York Post article “Young Adults: Gen Sex Date-Waits Millennials,” biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher gave her professional insight into these statistics.

“They’re not getting into bed just to have sex. They’re doing it to see who the person is, if they want to put their time and energy into them,” Fisher said. “You learn a lot between the sheets.”

Kathleen Hull is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota. In the Star Tribune article “Modern Dating Dilemma” by Libby Ryan, Dr. Hull explained that this “hook-up” culture is nothing new. According to Hull, hooking up “really started with the baby boom generation.”

The Singles in America survey data backs that up, concluding that millennials do not have casual sex at higher rates of previous generations. The catalyst, then, is the development and popularization of dating apps like OkCupid and Coffee Meets Bagel.

Trinity Strifas, 25, is a licensed practical nurse in Long Island, New York. Living in one of the biggest night-life cities in the country, she knows what’s what when it comes to dating.

Strifas agreed “dating is casual these days.” She explained that dating, in her experience, is pre-relationship. People dating might go to lunch, dinner, coffee, or a movie. Bars and clubs are typically for one-night-stands.

The 2017 Singles in America survey found 64 percent of singles meet at bars. If these venues are typically for one-night-stands as Strifas says, that certainly supports the survey findings that millennials are 48 percent more likely to have sex before dating.

The data certainly demonstrates that the best odds of meeting someone is at a bar, for whatever motive. But what if you don’t enjoy the alcohol-driven culture of bar hopping and clubbing? Other than a serendipitous, rom-com “meet-cute,” the next best option is online dating.

Online dating is losing its stigma and becoming more socially acceptable. The Pew Research Center conducts empirical social science research as a self-proclaimed “nonpartisan fact tank.” Their research demonstrates public opinions on online dating have taken a favorable turn.

According to the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of adults in the U.S. reported that online dating is a good way to meet people in 2005. As of 2015, that number has grown to 59 percent. This opinion now represents the majority of the country.

Katy Locke, 26, is a kids’ soccer site coordinator and director in Cupertino, California. Her bachelor’s degree in sociology gives her a unique perspective on all things people-related.

“Millennials have a more difficult time defining what dating really means, but the way that they most often get together is telling of what they want,” Locke said, adding, “Online dating is more convenient than meeting people while going out to bars or whatnot.”

The Pew Research Center tracked sets of millennials at a thinner age group. In 2013, only 10 percent of adults aged 18-24 used online dating. By 2015, 27 percent of millennials in that age range used online dating. That’s nearly three times as many people in only two years. In 2013, only 5 percent of this age group used mobile dating apps, compared to 22 percent by 2015. One may expect this trend to grow.

Dating through apps is the easiest dating trend right now. For people in school or working odd hours, traditional ways of meeting people don’t always fit into their schedules. Mr. Right may be more than a swipe away, but Mr. Right Now enjoys hiking and has a dog in his picture.

Locke said the most common dating practice among millennials is online dating and dating apps such as Clover, Grindr, and Plenty of Fish. According to the Singles in America survey, millennials are 57 percent more likely than Gen-Xers and baby boomers to have created a dating app profile.

“It’s easiest to date when dating is convenient and simple to access,” Locke said.

Despite these findings, 57 percent of millennials report they are lonely. Millennials are 22 percent more likely to feel that technology has made finding love difficult. Strifas believes our access to unprecedented technologies makes dating both easier and more difficult at the same time.

“Easier because we have access to people constantly,” Strifas said. “Difficult because since you have more access you can see how they are as people and make judgments and end up driving yourself crazy if you see other women or men talk to them.”

Statistic Brain is a trusted research provider to CNN, Forbes, and The New York Times. The data they gathered in April 2017 shows the scale of the online dating phenomenon in the U.S.

There are over 54 million adult singles in the U.S. Over 49 million have tried online dating. Almost everyone who’s been single at some point in the past 20 years has created a dating profile. Men make up the majority of online daters at 52 percent.

The instant gratification and single-serving nature of dating apps such as Bumble and Hinge are already prevalent in pop culture. Fans of the primetime Emmy-award-winning dramedy “Shameless” cheer and curse twenty-something female lead Fiona Gallagher, as she exploits Tinder strangers for quickies between work shifts and home life. Art imitates life. Fiona’s behavior is merely a reflection of our reality.

According to Statistic Brain, a woman’s online desirability statistically peaks at 21. Not to worry, ladies. At 26, women still have more online pursuers than men. Men have to wait until 48 to have twice as many online pursuers as women.

Anthony Stone, 34, is the food and beverage director of the Cleveland Agora in Ohio. As a concert venue director and bartender, he is privy to intimate details about millennial dating life. People tell their bartenders all sorts of things.

“Millennials live life on an instant gratification and throwaway mindset,” Stone said, elaborating, “They can UberEATS food immediately. They can download any song or movie from the comfort of their home. They can upgrade their smartphones every year. Dating is at a swipe.”

The Singles in America results show that 28% of millennials view sex as criteria to decide if they’re in love with the person. People tend to want to test-drive cars before they buy them.

It’s conceivable millennials who engage in this behavior use sex as an audition for something more. Perhaps by having sex before dating, these people are saving time and money from an outdated system that can be compared to a disguised form of prostitution. Man buys woman enough meals… tale as old as time. Whatever perspective, millennials are rewriting the fairytale for efficiency.


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Slut-Shaming Vs. Player-Praising: Sexual Inequality

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Sexual equality is not gender equality. Sexual equality is the freedom to express yourself and your sexual desires on a healthy, appropriate level just as much as the opposite sex. It’s being able to initiate courtship just because it’s what you want. It’s not being afraid of what people will think of you or your behavior. Sexual equality is being able to freely communicate and act on your sexual desires, so long as it harms no one, without fear of being shunned or outcast. Sexual equality is the idea of treating men and women as equals, whether it’s a long-term, committed relationship, or a casual “hook-up.”

In her book Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom, psychotherapist Leslie Bell talks about the social pressures young women encounter when it comes to sex. She mentions a 28-year-old girl named Claudia, whose “family would be horrified if they knew about the number of sexual partners she’d had, that they would be devastated and disappointed.” Claudia is a sexually active young woman who has difficulty coping with her desires, yet enjoys “the pleasure of being touched by someone she found so attractive.” While men feel free to express and indulge in such desires, women are held to higher societal standards. Bell describes how many young women struggle “in how to manage… their own desires to get what they want from sex and love.” Women are burdened with socialized sexual restraint and a forced moral responsibility that is not experienced by their male counterparts.

Men, for the most part, have the freedom to have sexual relationships without facing familial or societal judgment or condemnation. Women are held to strict expectations when it comes to their sexuality. “Despite all the advances of women over the past fifty years, these experiences are frequently split into masculine and feminine ones, with the masculine being overvalued socially and psychologically.” Women have made leaps and bounds in the professional world, yet have not made much progress in harnessing their right to freely express themselves the same way as men do, sexually. While it may seem perfectly reasonable for women to be able to conduct themselves in an equal manner as men, “there is a fine line between being experimental and being a slut.”

While gender equality has made significant advances, it still needs work, and it is not sexual equality. “The current average age of first sexual intercourse for girls is seventeen, leaving ten years of sexual and relationship activity before the current average age of marriage at twenty-seven.” That leaves an average period of ten years for young women to navigate adult life and develop adult relationships, but that can be easier said than done. Women “often contend with messages from their families, religions, and partners that they ought not to be sexually assertive, or sexually active at all.” Women are free to live their lives how they choose, and exercise their personal freedoms, yet from multiple angles those freedoms are severely limited. In a way, a woman’s sexual freedom is merely an illusion of freedom.

In an age of unprecedented gender equality, women are still being taught what is and is not acceptable behavior of them. “Instead of feeling free, twenty-something women are weighed down by vying cultural notions about the kind of sex and relationships they should be having in their twenties.” Young women hear so many different viewpoints on how they should live their lives that many don’t even know what they want. Some look for husbands as soon as possible, whereas others have embraced the idea of sexual exploration and experimentation to the point of blocking out any kind of potential serious relationship. “With relationships, women hear that they ought to use their twenties to ‘live it up’ and not necessarily to be serious about relationships.” It is not uncommon for twenty-something women to fear being tied-down, even when it comes to passing up a real opportunity for a happy and healthy relationship. Human beings need affectionate interaction for optimal emotional stability. Bell states that “young women often struggle to admit that they need anyone, but it’s particularly difficult to say that they need a man.” In wanting desperately to prove their independence, women may be leading healthy sex lives but closing themselves off to love.

Music and television shows flood our minds with archetypes of “independent women,” yet every young woman is closely monitored by those around her for evidence of any “slutty behavior.” The Destiny’s Child song “Independent Women Part 1” called on young girls and women in 2000 to aspire to rely completely on themselves:

The house I live in
I’ve bought it
The car I’m driving
I’ve bought it  I depend on me

Those are powerful lyrics. For young girls growing up in households with married stay-at-home moms, it might seem like in order to attain those goals, a girl should never become a married mother. Add another tense factor: the ticking clock. Bell says that modern women “spend their twenties hearing gloomy forecasts about their chances of marriage if they don’t marry before thirty, and their chances of conceiving a baby if they don’t get pregnant before thirty-five.” One idea that echoes throughout a woman’s twenties is: have fun as long as you can, but quit before you fall behind. Here are two prevalent yet contradictory views on how young women should live their lives.

Bell believes that “splitting – a tendency to think in either/or patterns and to insist that one cannot feel two seemingly contradictory desires at once – has become a widespread sociological phenomenon among young women.” Bell describes how the harsh difficulty of trying to reconcile opposing viewpoints within oneself lead women to develop anxieties about sexual relationships. She elaborates:

Confused about freedom and what it is to be a woman today, young women often split their social and psychological options – into independence, strength, safety, and control versus relatedness, vulnerability, need, and desire – as though they’re mutually exclusive and not equally important to human development.

College-age women aspire to be as free, strong, and independent as possible, so they learn to fear anything that can undermine those qualities or be perceived as weakness. “Vulnerability, needs, desires, and intimacy, then, often become new taboos for young women – experiences to be avoided rather than embraced.” In this way, women can become their own worst enemies, as not knowing how to deal with these confusing and conflicting ideologies can become very frustrating and self-detrimental.

Even the sexual health of women is less important to society than the sexual health of men. In her USA Today article “Women’s Sexual Health Deserves Equal Attention,” Laura Berman points out that Viagra was approved for the treatment of male impotence in 1998, yet there is still no FDA-approved medication for successful treatment of female sexual dysfunction. This is another indication that society values the sexual experiences of men over those of women. In a study titled Scripting Sexual Passivity: A Gender Role Perspective, researchers state that “college-aged women who reported engaging in passive sexual behavior also reported less sexual arousability.” So by conforming to traditional gender roles, sexually passive women are effectively enjoying sex less than women with developed sexual agency. Berman states that “in addition to low sexual desire, women also can have problems with arousal, orgasm and pain.” Alleviating these issues would seem to benefit both sexes, so why hasn’t it happened yet? Why is the sexual agency of males more important than that of females?

In a study titled Young Women’s Struggle for Sexual Agency: The Role of Parental Messages, researchers define sexual agency as “initiative-taking, awareness of desire, and the individual’s confidence and freedom to express sexuality in behaviors.” The study confirmed what several previous studies have stated, about the way the modern world views sexuality with each gender. “It seems there is a double standard that young men’s sexual behavior is typical and expected; an innate healthy desire that must be expressed. However, young women’s sex is viewed as inherently more dangerous, more suspect, and thus must be controlled.” Does this sound like the world we live in? Men are expected to hit on women – not the other way around. There is a birth control pill for women, not for men. For ages, women have been socialized into being passive and obedient to men. Less than a century ago, women couldn’t even vote! That is a significant system of control that was only relatively recently relinquished.

It isn’t fair that it’s condonable for men to have sex with whoever they want, whenever they want, when that very philosophy is considered repulsive when utilized by women. Researchers state that “traditional gender-based sexual roles dictate sexual passivity for women but sexual agency for men.” Men are sometimes even encouraged to have sex with as many women as possible – a goal that is somehow immoral for a woman. In American society, there is “a huge responsibility on women and men to experience sex within the limitations of their gender roles.” Men are expected to do the courting. Men are expected to entertain sexual pursuits. Shannon K. Gilmartin, Senior Research Scientist at the California Institute of Technology, finds “the pressure [men] feel to be sexually active just as intense as is the pressure to avoid sex and stifle sexual feelings among women.” Men are more or less expected to fool around with as many women as they want. Women are expected to engage in conventional dating and traditional relationships, and to “avoid at all costs being viewed as a slut.” Women have to constantly make choices keeping in mind their best image.

These differences in societal limitations come “from subtle and insidious cultural factors such as patriarchy… that stigmatize sexual activity outside of the marriage bed.” If a man engages in sexual activity on a frequent basis, with possibly multiple partners, he is sometimes referred to as a “player” by people who know him, and praised for his behavior. If a woman engages in sexual activity outside of a stable relationship, she is often met with remarks such as “slut” and shamed for anything near the same behavior. Gilmartin explains that “women are held to exacting and conflicting standards of femininity that demand they be sexually desirable and chaste at the same time, which often leads to confusion surrounding sex, dissociation from sexual feelings, and uninformed decisions about sex.” Women are expected to be sexy virgins, to wait for men to initiate every step of courtship. When they stray from this sociocultural script, their behavior is seen as deviant. These societal boundaries can create anxious or guilty feelings about sex, or drive a woman to close herself off emotionally.

The research team in the Averett study found that “almost every participant described a fear of sex and connected this fear to general insecurities about sexuality.” What kind of world are we living in when women are afraid of sex? This fear only increases the passivity that was socially engineered to keep men dominant of women. Researchers found that “passive behavior is linked to diminished sexual satisfaction for men as well as women.” This means that developing sexual agency is the key to any person, male or female, enjoying their sex life to the fullest. Women need to be actively passionate about their sexuality, and “until women see themselves as sexual actors with desires, needs, and priorities of their own, and not merely as objects of men to be desired, they will never be capable of true and full sexual health.”

In her study Changes In College Women’s Attitudes Toward Sexual Intimacy, Gilmartin conducted a very thorough case study of 14 college women. By interviewing the women during their freshmen and sophomore years, Gilmartin discovered that their perceptions about sex did change over time. The freshmen women described sex as “risky,” “scary,” and “instrumental.” The girls were primarily concerned about STIs, unwanted pregnancy, and the risk of emotional trauma. They were also afraid of sexual intimacy. Some did find that they could use sex to handle certain situations, such as to solve a fight with a boyfriend. By the end of sophomore year, their attitudes toward sex had changed. After a few casual encounters or short-lived relationships, most of the women became comfortable, even confident, with sexual intimacy. The girls hadn’t formed any sorts of real desires or ideals of sex; more so “sex signified or cost less than it used to, such that it was easier to imagine or actually have.” This might sound like an improvement, but it’s merely a lessening of the psychological detriment assigned to young women by society. Everyone should feel free to desire sex and to act on those desires, so long as it doesn’t cause harm to anyone else. The women in the study also learned over time and experience that sex can be separate from romance, and after college that “college romance was unstable” and “college men were unreliable.” In a sense, young women’s ideas of sexuality and their role in it evolve over time. The conclusion of the study is tragically put that “young women must constantly negotiate who they are and what they ‘stand for,’ sexually and otherwise, in relational systems for which terms are almost invariably set by the imperatives of dominant masculinities.”

Female writer Diablo Cody broke boundaries when Megan Fox’s title character defended her promiscuous behavior in the culturally-hip horror-comedy film Jennifer’s Body by saying, “You are such a player-hater.” Such a predominantly masculine statement coming from a strong female character puts cultural sexual issues in perspective. In the film, Jennifer feels empowerment by seducing the men she is attracted to. This behavior leads her to become a demonic succubus, who then preys on men in a fatalistic sense. When protagonist Needy confronts her, “You’re killing people!” Jennifer replies, “No, I’m killing boys.” This revolutionary character reverses traditional gender roles, going so far as to say that boys aren’t people. At one point Jennifer tells her, “PMS isn’t real, Needy; It was invented by the boy-run media to make us seem like we’re crazy.” Jennifer feels that even in the rise of equality, she is still living in a world that was shaped by men. While Jennifer engages in sexual activity with multiple partners, there is a certain beauty in that she doesn’t worry about what people think, and that no one condemns her personal choices. Of course, Jennifer is another victim of Leslie Bell’s “splitting;” she shuts out any ideas of a stable relationship, for fear of losing her strength and independence.

Society, as a whole, needs to change its perception of gender roles in order to properly accommodate female sexual agency. “Currently the ‘default’ framework equates healthy adolescent female sexuality with no sex or traditionally scripted sex.” That’s just not okay. It’s not fair. It’s not equal. Equality is something that should have no limits. Men and women need to be treated as equals in every way, including sexually. Until that happens, and it may be a very long time, young women must somehow face that challenge alone and against the tide.

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Q and A with Day Wave

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1.) What inspired the creation of Day Wave?

It all started with the idea of starting a guitar band. Before Day Wave I was playing more synthesizer music and I really wanted to do something more rock based.

2.) What’s the meaning behind the name Day Wave?

It just sounded like the music.

3.) How did you originally get into performing?

I started playing drums when I was 9 or 10. I always loved music, and I always wanted to play an instrument. That led to playing in bands and eventually writing my own songs.

4.) What would you describe your style of music as?

I guess I’d call it indie rock.

5.) Out of all the songs you’ve made, what’s your favorite and why?

I think my favorite would have to be Total Zombie. That was one of the first, and the song where everything seemed to click.

6.) So the first album has been released, you’re on tour, what comes next for Day Wave?

More writing and recording.

7.) How has it been performing with the Shins? Do you think your two styles work well together?

These shows have been really rad, I think it’s a great fit for us. Their audience has been super welcoming and hopefully we’re gaining some fans along the way.