The Starving Activist is the sometimes-home for words. AR Neal (that’s me) finds them, cultivates them, and leaves them here. Enjoy.

November 14: Books, Covers, and Judging

The saying goes that we should not judge a book by its cover.I was reading something about choosing or designing an appropriate book cover for one's novel, and ensuring that the back matter is spot on, since readers quite often judge a book by its cover.But this post is not about books per se -- it is more about how we judge one another by our external covers.Clothes, eyewear, weight, age, hair style (length, color), physical ability height ... we take it all in. If it were not so, the other saying about the importance of first impressions would not be considered valid.I decided to start using a new web browser yesterday.I do that, randomly. Don't judge. I get bored.Anyway, this one is built on the Chromium platform and is called Torch. It has some interesting things built in, like a music aggregator. I like that as on first try, it has been more stable than just streaming via Youtube (even though that is where Torch pulls music from). I listened to a number of 70s and 80s tunes, which made me nostalgic.I thought about a young man I met when I was DJing at WRSU at Rutgers. He came in one day and wanted to sign up to do a show. He was a bit shorter than I, wore glasses, and seemed like a very intelligent young man. He was quiet, almost nerdish, and very sweet.If you know him -- his name is Sam Figueroa -- do send him this way. I'd love to hear from him.Sam was one of the best turntablists I'd ever met.He brought his crate of albums up one day to audition as it were. We showed him the equipment and stepped back: wow. He spun, scratched, and mixed. I wondered why he wasn't a part of some headlining group but was grateful he was at our little station! Each week when he was on, the studio was crowded with 'fans' -- those of us who DJed and wanted a touch of what Sam had. It did not matter what you gave him, he could mix it. After a four hour show, we all went home hoarse because we'd spent the entire time, yelling in appreciation for what he had done. He was a non-traditional student -- came to Rutgers as a part-time student from a community college, as I remember it now, who worked as well. I also remember trying to convince him to do more than one show a week, but his work schedule would not permit.I must admit that I judged Sam by his 'cover' when he first walked into the station. He did not look the way I envisioned a DJ and initially, I was ready to write him off. There were others who did look the part who could not find their way through a single page liner note much less work two turntables, so I got over my 'cover bias'. So glad I did.If you know Sam, tell him I'm sorry for being weird and judgmental and I hope we can still be friends. I offer this little piece of artistry in his honor for today's #NanoPoblano post.

November 15: Little Pilar

November 13: Last Will and Testament