Band: Rachel’s
Album: Systems/Layers
Best song: “NY Snow Globe” is wonderful.
Worst song: “Packet Switching” falls short.

Because this site doesn’t get a wide amount of traffic — and I’m thankful for this, by the way — I imagine I should try and reconcile my issues with Twitter, the outside world and the notion of intellectually masturbating. This is to say that I’m trying to actually figure out my own place on the privacy spectrum.

I work in the media, but I try not to be too out there with it. Part of that is the notion of the old American media ideal of objectivity in all forms; I used to work at a joint where you couldn’t put a political bumper sticker on your spouse’s car, as someone could see you in said car. Even for those of us on the sports staff. It was a frustrating experience for someone like me, as I have a lot of opinions on just about everything including (maybe especially) politics.

I no longer work at said joint and my current employer does not forbid such things (though, without a car, I don’t know where I’d put said bumper sticker). But, of course, it doesn’t look great if someone working for a news organization is screaming — either online or via bumper stickers, lawn signs, volunteering for a candidate, etc. — about one issue or another.

Because of my political beliefs, I did spend a good amount of time RTing and tweeting about the recent battles over reproductive rights. I also spent a lot of time tweeting while watching hockey games, often doing my cheering online. This, of course, is completely worthless and no single person gives a single shit about my reaction to Patrick Kane being awesome. I’m not sure I care about it. So, I quit doing the latter because no one cares and I quit doing the former because of my job.

This is all to say that I’m not great at Twitter. I mostly tweet photos and videos of animals, with the occasional environmental thing in there. This makes me sad, on some level, because I do have a fuck ton of opinions on politics and the current climate is very very very strange and makes me feel like I’m living in some terrible alternative reality where the sane people are considered extremists and the crazies rule everything. A world where words have no meaning.

The decision to keep that stuff away from my Twitter feed is partially one in the vein of maturity, but also because — like I said — I suck at Twitter. I don’t bring a ton to the table and my measly 150ish followers don’t give a shit. I tend to keep that stuff to Facebook, wherein my account is protected from the outside world.

It’s not hard to figure out who I am or for what I stand or what I believe. This blog, obviously, is a place wherein I spout off a bit about politics (notice the links above), but mostly about my own philosophy. I keep my Twitter feed to mostly irreverent stuff or environmental stuff, though the latter makes me sad because it means we’ve completely politicized the environment. Everyone should care about the Earth, no matter your political stripe.

Apropos of nothing else written here, The Rachel’s are an amazing collective of wonderful musicians. Like a lot of bands, I found them through the mail order catalog of the Touch and Go distributed records.

Because I knew of Rodan and James Noble who had been the driving force behind the band. On a lark, I bought The Sea and the Bells, a strikingly lovely record that ebbs and flows as well as any chamber music does. As the band changed — James Noble left a while before — Rachel’s got to be more of a post-rock outfit, as evidenced by the project-y Systems/Layers. The album is more experimental, coupled with the SITI Company for a dance project. “Moscow Is in the Telephone” is an excellent opener and “Where_Have_All_My_Files_Gone?” is a topical record. “NY Snow Globe” closes out the record on a softer note and the title track is surprisingly accessible.

Ultimately, though, here’s what’s important: Whatever I think/believe, I do not let it influence the decisions I make at work, editorially. First of all, I don’t have much sway in editorial decisions at my job. Second, I am a professional with a Master’s in my field; I didn’t get here by pissing off people with whom I am diametrically opposed. Third, I am a relativist in most things, so I try to be empathetic to other people’s worldviews as much as possible.

I’ll continue to Tweet things like this, mostly, though. It’s mostly because my own identity is wrapped up in my love for cute animals and my meager — by which I mean donating money to wildlife charities, leaving a small carbon footprint and sorta using social media — attempts at spreading the conservation word. But, also, it’s because I’m starting to mature a little and need to act like I’m more of a professional at my job, not just some angry atheist progressive.

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  • About Me

    I'm Ross Jordan Gianfortune. I am not a writer, but I sometimes write here about music and my life. I live in Washington, DC.

    I used to review each of Rolling Stone Magazine's top 500 albums of all time. Now I'm writing about albums I own.

    My work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Gazette, The Atlantic, Sno-Cone and a bunch of defunct zines.

    You can contact me at rjgianfortune at gmail dot com.

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