Although I loved the music of Joy Division and its successor New Order back in the last millennium and knew the basic history of the bands, I never really understood the formative influence bass player Peter Hook had on them both — until Saturday night’s show at the Warfield in San Francisco.
Not only do I now recognize the pioneering upper-registry bass hooks as Peter Hook’s signature, I also thoroughly enjoyed the show by its own right. Ian Curtis, Joy Division, New Order — Peter Hook — are alive and well and currently touring in the form of Peter Hook & The Light — as relevant and sustainingly listenable today as they were forty years ago when Joy Division first formed (holy s$%t!).
So that they wouldn’t disappear into the ether, I collected a bunch of my silly Instagram/Twitter fun-sized clips below. Thanks for the show, Victor and Laura and thanks for visiting, Peter Hook!
Ceremony — New Order
Everything’s Gone Green — New Order
Temptation — New Order
Temptation — New Order
Blue Monday — New Order
Thieves Like Us — New Order
Thieves Like Us — New Order
The Perfect Kiss — New Order
The Perfect Kiss — New Order
Bizarre Love Triangle — New Order
These Days — Joy Division
Shadowplay — Joy Division
Digital — Joy Division
Autosuggestion — Joy Division
She’s Lost Control — Joy Division
Love Will Tear Us Apart — Joy Division
It’s Culture Day at my daughter’s school this week, and incidentally we just celebrated St. Patrick’s day, so as much as my daughter’s culture around food usually includes anchovies, blue cheese, sushi, and Mint Confetti Ice Cream from Three Twins, she is also quite Irish indeed and it would make sense for us to bring something Irish to share at school.
After somewhat of a disagreement over whether she could bring anchovies to share with her classmates, I came across a recipe for potato farls, cooked them up, got our girl to eat one whereupon she pronounced it delicious, and Culture Day was decided. First, I got into a little bit of historical meaning behind this food, which I bring to you now.
The potato farl is similar to a potato pancake and is made basically of fried mashed potatoes. It is highly associated with Northern Ireland, and in particular with its main city Belfast. Lucy’s grandmother Norma emigrated from Belfast with her parents when she was a teenager, so our family is strongly associated with Northern Irish culture.
The word farl is pronounced farrel and derives from the old Scots word fardel, which essentially means “a quarter.” Many types of typically irish breads and potato pancakes are round doughs cut into quarters and cooked in a skillet, which is how the farl got its name.
The potato farl’s history is tied closely together with Irish soda bread (or soda farls) for a few important reasons. Ireland’s climate lends itself to growing softer wheats, which led to a popularity of baking breads without yeast, and hence frying up soda or potato breads in a pan:
In Ireland, ‘plain’ soda bread is as likely to be eaten as an accompaniment to a main meal (to soak up the gravy) as it’s likely to appear at breakfast. It comes in two main colors, brown and white, and two main types: cake and farl. People in the south of Ireland tend to make cake: people in Northern Ireland seem to like farl better – though both kinds appear in both North and South, sometimes under wildly differing names.
But Ireland is known through the ages as a particularly poor country, and potatoes were a very economical food. ”About two-fifths of the population was solely reliant on this cheap crop for a number of historical reasons.” (Great Famine (Ireland) – Wikipedia)
A poor country discovered that potatoes and milk made a nutritious enough meal to exist on and you could grow more potatoes per acre than any other crop. Soda bread was probably not made as much because of this reason.
That began to change from potatoes to soda bread in the year of 1845. That year, a devastating blight wiped out Ireland’s potato crop and led to many years of what was known as the famous Great Famine. “During the famine approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland, causing the island’s population to fall by between 20% and 25%.” (Great Famine (Ireland) – Wikipedia)
Without potatoes, Ireland turned more strongly back to soda breads baked with more of Ireland’s soft wheats instead of potatoes. Both soda breads and potato farls, however, share their use of baking powder (bicarbonate of soda) as leavening agent instead of yeast.
While Lucy’s grandmother’s family didn’t emigrate until a hundred years after the Great Famine, the seeds of what was a mass emigration from Ireland may have been planted at that time.
Today, potatoes have revived and are back on the table. In the US, we are lucky that we can enjoy an abundance of many different kinds of potatoes year-round, and those of us who are Irish will remember our great love of, dependence on, and recovery from the blight of the great food that is the potato, delicious in many ways.
The recipe we are using to bring to school comes from The Guardian at http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/14/how-to-make-potato-farls-back-to-basics. We’ll bring along a healthy slab of Irish butter just for extra decoration.
Cheers — and enjoy your culture and your food. It’s why we’re all here!
If you work at a corporation of a certain size, you’ve doubtless heard of “employee networks” — also known as “employee resource groups” or ERGs. These are groups typically started by employees, motivated by the grassroots and sharing a common interest or characteristic, like a culture or race, or playing tennis, or being LGBT.
I’m not sure what percentage of corporations have or support employee networks, and I know that smaller companies and startups don’t usually have such groups (perhaps because they tend to be diverse by default?), but internally at SAP, they’ve grown in prominence over the last few years.
Since part of the reason SAP’s employee networks have been rejuvenated in the past few years parallels and perhaps has been inspired by our LGBT employee network transformation, I wanted to share a group of suggestions I published internally out loud here in the real world, to have a conversation about common experiences and hopefully also learn new tips.
Three years ago in 2010, the LGBT presence in our major SAP Bay Area location was lackluster at best. Today, especially since the release of It Gets Better: SAP Employees one year ago, we are a vibrant community – not automatically and not without work, but we are far less disenfranchised.
What did we do to bring this change? As near as I can figure out, these things are what made a difference:
Address an unaddressed need
First make sure you are addressing a real need, and a need that is not addressed elsewhere. Look around and make sure there aren’t other groups that are also trying to attract members — combine and/or build together.
For us, the need was clear: There was practically zero momentum in our local LGBT group – there was much disenfranchisement and no goal or sense of community. We knew there were many of us out there, but we were isolated locally. Meanwhile, national laws still lacked (and are getting better, but in most places continue to lack) protection for LGBT families.
All our goals and activities flowed from knowing these needs.
Ask and listen to what your local community needs. The nature of our employee network made it critical that we have a local presence – not only are there differing laws from state to state, but there are differing cultures and levels of acceptance per workplace. For us it was important to create a locally galvanized group — and we also chose a name that expressed our local nature — Pride@SAP Palo Alto. We made it a point to be a sub-group of the larger global group — not a different group, but a part and working together. The larger global group has much established practices and brand value already that has also been essential.
It can start with just one person – but one person alone can’t do it
There needs to be at least one passionate person who can devote some volunteer time to engaging a new initiative. It simply won’t fly without someone organizing things — administering communities, creating mailing lists, and getting monthly lunch rooms and appointments alone can take a lot of time, not to mention actually having activities.
But do not do it alone or expect one unsupported person to make a difference. Tap into resources from Global Diversity and Communications, if available.
It must be grassroots — but ask a local executive to help generate momentum
In my experience it doesn’t work all one way or all the other — it needs to be a grassroots group, but often disenfranchised people will stay this way unless they feel there are executives who care.
In our case, one key moment in kicking off our rejuvenation was a roundtable lunch attended by the Managing Director at Labs. This brought out many many people who were formerly hidden in the woodworks.
Welcome “straight” supporters
For us, it has been absolutely key to welcome straight supporters, who have been key to a successful re-establishment of the group. Staight folks might not always know the discrimination and difficulties you face (all the better to educate), but they often care about LGBT issues, experience homophobia, and have non-straight friends and family just as we do. If you want people across the company and spectrum to care, invite them to share how it is they care too. Be inclusive.
Use your internal platforms to create an internal community
This is essential for easily starting discussions, storing documents, starting activities and collaborating. Decide if you want this group to be open or closed. Inside some companies, LGBT groups are closed and let you enter by approval. In others, they are open. We have a combination of both. This is by design: when people join an open community, everyone in the company can see you joining. However for LGBT folks where not everyone is comfortable being “out” — you may need to welcome people to join at all levels of comfort of being “out.”
Make an email distribution list
And circulate emails with, for example, the notes from the roundtable summary above — linked also in a discussion on Communities. Encourage people to join the discussion online in the group. This is (still) often the most effective way to make sure you reach everyone you want to reach.
Create a core team
Identify 3-4 passionate members to help ramp up the group and to have a diverse start to the goals and activities
Build a list of goals, objectives, and activities
With the core group, build up a list of what you will do and why it matters. Let people know what this is and contextualize why it matters inside your company and in the world.
At a minimum, have regular monthly lunches in a regular room, in which you update on goals and activities, listen to and respond to conversations, and encourage new goals.
Network with similar local groups from other companies; track and talk about relevant external events.
Be specific and precise around “asks”
We developed a list of “asks” of local management as well as Global Diversity that included budget and communications, to help drive visibility. Be clear how these asks contribute to not just helping the employee group, but to the betterment of the company as a whole (according to the goals and objectives, above).
Come together around a cause
Your network can come together as a community around a cause that you collectively feel passionate about. For example, the LGBT community in Labs North America come together as Pride@SAP Palo Alto around the cause of anti-bullying. Our first notable event, a film night screening an anti-bullying film, brought us together around this cause and also set the framework for our It Gets Better film. By doing this it gave more purpose and focus for the group, which lead to an extraordinary outcome—the film and boarder awareness of the issue of teen LGBT suicide, which was cathartic for all of us involved.
Measure growth in the group and achievement of goals and report back to Global Diversity to raise visibility (how the group generates “ROI”).
One interesting way other companies’ LGBT groups measure ROI is by tracking successful hires from diversity recruitment efforts, for example.
Have you created an employee network or been a part of helping one grow? I’d love to hear from you.
San Francisco became the city of love again yesterday when the 9th Circuit lifted its stay on same-sex marriage. Weddings began almost immediately at SF City Hall and continued into the evening.
These adorable boys were handing flowers to every newlywed couple they saw.
Because love is love. So simple even adults know it when they see it.
The last time I heard from Mark, in March, he said: “Remember that I’m human as I remember that you are as well. I’m not saying goodbye yet. I’ll be around for a bit longer.” I took it to heart, filled my sails with it and went about my life. He died last week. How very like him that he wanted to spare us the heartache of “goodbye.”
Via post on Mark Winchester:
Mark David Winchester, born on March 27, 1965, passed into light in the early afternoon of Wednesday, May 15th, 2013.
Mark was born in Greene County, Ohio, and reared in the area of Sacramento, California. He graduated from Encina High School in 1983 and from CSU, Sacramento in 1988. Mark then moved to Ohio where he studied at The Ohio State University and earned a MA in 1990 and a PhD in 1995.
Following his graduation, Mark was employed by GATX, first in San Francisco and then in Chicago.
In 2007, Mark was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. He underwent treatment at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University from that time until he moved to Oakland, CA in January of 2012. At that time Mark resumed treatment, this time at UCSF.
Mark is survived by his parents, siblings and their children. But more importantly, Mark is survived by a wide network of chosen family and friends.
Mark died as he lived. Throughout his life, Mark was always more concerned about the comfort and welfare of those around him than he was about his own well being. His life was spent being gentle, caring, kind, funny, creative, patient, perceptive, and wise. He constantly used these qualities to make the lives of everyone with whom he came in contact easier and more pleasant.
Celebrations of Mark’s life will be held in Oakland and Sacramento on weekends at later dates.
November 2012. Mark and Moya.
Knowing that our daughter Lucy loves board games, Mark brought her several of his favorites so she could play them even after he was gone. We’ll play some rounds of Dixit and Magic Dance in his honor and will always remember him as we do.
August 2010. Mark engaging with Victor — an anti-gay-marriage “Yes on 8” man — on the steps of SF City Hall.
I wish I had a better picture, but Mark was amazing and even and compassionate with this fellow. He just kept asking Victor why we shouldn’t be able to marry and who that was going to hurt. Victor didn’t really have any answers and kept falling back on Bible verses in the face of Mark’s even and calm logic. Mark was indeed so very loving, calm, kind, and wise. And in the end, too damn human or we wouldn’t have to say goodbye.
Mark had a very long conversation with Victor. He had many insightful things to say later about this talk – including this:
“He seemed particularly surprised when I said that I have read the bible. He also noted that his grandfather is an atheist (and Victor prays for his soul) and was also surprised that while I and my father are on either ends of the spectrum of this issue, we still talk about it and other things. We both love each other very much. And that I am quite a bit more than my sexual orientation. I’m sure that Victor is much more than just a protester. It’s easy to get caught up in the us and them at an event like this. He is not the message. He is just a messenger. Misguided by his leaders and not really prepared for the onslaught of gentle discussion and questions about his beliefs.”
The Eighties. Oh the Eighties.
Mark and I met at Encina High School in Sacramento where he was a grade younger than me and was known for being brilliant, sensitive, and sincerely individual — and for wearing a cape. A human. A superhero.