Today I'm joined by Fletcher Bentley, my occasional friend and fellow colleague here at my regular, office job processing data into smaller bits of data and then reassembling them into long, data strings which we then hang on data trees.
Fletcher was born in Madison, Wisconsin and moved to Philadelphia late last year to pursue a degree in aquarium architecture. Aside from his job here at Datatree Data Systems, he works part-time brewing Chemex coffee from a tricycle vending cart, and spinning Portuguese electro and ambient samba at an organic co-op store. This past summer, he took a 14-day trip through six European countries and hasn't stopped mentioning it since.
CC: So Fletcher, do you see yourself leaving Datatree at some point and pursuing your dreams of playing music and building houses for fish?
Fletcher: You know, in Spain they don't ever use the word "pursue," it's too aggressive. They say instead to 'believe' your dreams. Crea sus sueños. You live them, you don't chase them. It's the Barthelona way.
CC: Ok, well, I'm not sure if you answered my question, but that's fine. Let's move on. What made you choose something so specific as aquarium architecture? Is that something you've always been passionate about?
Fletcher: Obviously you're completely out of touch with what's going on in the world. Sometimes I can't even believe we work in the same office. Have you ever heard of the Mediterranean Monk Seal? There's like 500 of them left bro. Japs make foot cream out of them. Pygmy Seahorses? Practically wiped out. Russians are eating them like popcorn. If you remove these creatures from the food system, the whole eco-grid could collapse. In Berlin, there's a secret museum inside a deserted hospital called Todwürfelabschussf, and it's just dead owls painted black and scattered everywhere, with early Depeche Mode playing from a phonograph. And that's what's going to happen man. That's where we're at right now.
CC: That's all pretty grim Fletch, and I'm not denying any of it is true. But again, you still haven't answered my question.
Fletcher: What, about my degree? I want to build aquariums that will change the way people think about marine life. Aquariums that speak to people, literally. The fish will speak through specialized aqua-digital voice converters. Its going to be sick. My buddy Klem in Rotterdam is helping me with the technical stuff. You know the Dutch invented the submarine right? I mean they knew how important the ocean was before anyone else.
CC: Off the record here for a minute, I noticed on the work calender that you requested a whole week off in January. What the hell is that for? You realize that's when I'm getting married right?
Fletcher: Oh, that's a Swedish holiday I observe now called Boxing Week. Its the six days following Boxing Day. And you know my step-brother is half Swedish so, there's really nothing I can do about it. And did I just see you put honey in your tea? Bees are enslaved in torturecombs for that honey that we literally steal from them. And they feel that pain, both emotional and physical. You know in France its illegal to --
CC: I'm sorry to cut you off Fletcher but I have to go meet my beekeeper friend for sushi. Let's pick this up next week as I'd love to hear about some of your upcoming DJ shows. I heard you're spinning at the Christmas Village holiday market this year in Philly? That sounds pretty random but interesting.
Fletcher: Well yeah, I'm not actually spinning at the market, but I am working there. I'll be selling edible ornaments made from flaxseeds. I came up with idea while sketching church bells in a Turin piazza. My DJ name, 'Nooch', which is short for 'nutritional yeast', will be imprinted on all the packaging though. Obviously with organic vegetable ink, probably beets.
Fletcher: Listen brah, I'd love to keep rapping with you, but I gotta run and catch the last showing of that new Norwegian doc, "Døde Fugler Skrik", about the connection between solar flares and bird cancer. I heard it's life changing. We'll talk soon. Namasté.