Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday, October 5, 2007

"Listen! Do You Smell That?"*

I don't think it's teen spirit.

At 50, Siouxsie Sioux is finally set to release her solo debut Mantaray. The fantastic first single Into a Swan is a demonstration of the beguiling goth goddess's aesthetic and sound without which there'd likely be no Shirley Manson and certainly no Allison Goldfrapp. [Although it must be noted that the Into a Swan video seems to owe at least some small debt to Goldfrapp's Strict Machine vid. – Ed.]

And The Hives are back with a new great new track/video, Tick Tick Boom, that doesn't really blaze any new sonic trails for them, but is blazing nonetheless. The video seem to have been inspired by Ron Mueck's hyper-real giants.

*Name that movie.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Control Issues

Control, is the Anton Corbijn directed biopic about Ian Curtis the tormented lead singer of massively influential late-70's post-punk band Joy Division who committed suicide at 23. It's been called the "the somber B-side to (24 Hour Party People)"

Since I'm a fan of everything mentioned above – save suicide at 23 – I'm eagerly looking forward to it's U.S. release. Corbijn's eye is unfailing and the music was an integral part of the soundtrack to an angsty youth.

Should be fun for the whole family!

[See also: Love Will Freak Us]

Saturday, September 29, 2007

MS Doesn't Stand for 'Microsoft'


Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Accept the Diagnosis.

I've been spending almost all of my 'online time' researching MS, the treatment options (I think I'll be selecting one with my Neuro on Tuesday), lurking in MS forums and finally joining and participating in one, which instantly became a great source of information and perspective.

I haven't posted, because I've been wrestling with the impulse to post MS stuff – I realize that it can only hold a certain degree of interest for you all and I want to give you the 'other stuff' too. Anyway, I'm not going to fight it anymore and if this becomes an MS blog for now... so be it.

I've found a couple of interesting 'alternative' resources that have been a welcome complement to the more 'above ground' stuff.

Looking Forward with Multiple Sclerosis is the diary-like blog of a 40-year-old woman living, working and raising a family while coping with MS. In a very personal and candid chronicle the author documents (often in frank detail) the realities of her life with MS.

Another is Multiple Sclerosis Sucks: How to Suffer From a Chronic and Incurable Disease Without Appearing to be a Total Loser. It's one man's biting, sarcastic, no-holds-barred and often darkly hilarious humorous ["Hilarious" is probably a bit strong. – Ed.] breakdown of his 'journey' with MS. Be warned, it's not for the faint-of-heart or those that can't enjoy a bit of gallows humor.

Notes:
1. My diagnosis, or Dx as we type it now, is actually Clinically Isolated Syndrome, or CIS, a common precursor to an official MS Dx which comes with a second exacerbation.
2. No two cases of MS are alike.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Your Brain On Drugs


So, I've managed to avoid this fate... only to be confronted with this possibility.

I'll explain. Montel Williams was diagnosed with MS in 1999. That same year, he established a foundation to support those that suffer from MS and the effort to find a cure. His symptoms have included some significant pain. He has used – and been a vocal proponent of – medicinal marijuana to alleviate some of those symptoms.

So, depending on how this thing plays out, circumstance may dictate that I kick it all 'Montel Chilliams'.

I'm jus' sayin'.

N.b.:
1. I've now seen my brain – off drugs at the time – and it really looks more like scrambled eggs.
2. As a recovering alcoholic (10+ years! w00T!) I feel for the Hoff. I really do. But, then I realized he's a do*chebag when he's sober too.
3. Thanx to Diego for the Montel MS Foundation link.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger


It may be because I'm a fan of both the original Daft Punk track and KanYe's recent skillful appropriation of same [See: BTW: Daft Punk (& Kanye West)], that I dig Daft Hands so much. But I also believe it stands on it's own as a positively brilliant, unexpected and elegantly simple interpretation of the song.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

We Now Resume Our (Ir)Regular Programming


Thanx for your patience.

So, it's been three weeks since I woke up with the mysterious blind spots [See: Please Stand By Ed.]. After a fast-tracked journey (aided significantly by a succession of great doctors) and a series of tests that covered the gamut (A range held down at one end by, I sh*t you not, "how many fingers am I holding up") to discover the 'what' and the 'why', we're on the cusp of a confirmed diagnosis. I say confimred, because Friday's test, a lumbar puncture – commonly, 'spinal tap' – should erase any doubt about the informal diagnosis that has been suggested almost since I took the first test. Multiple Sclerosis.

So, one mystery seems to have been solved but the answer, MS, is itself a bit of a mystery. Even with a diagnosis it's almost impossible to get an accurate prognosis – it's sort of a 'wait and see' disease that follows a few different paths.

Now, in case anyone wants to get all dramatic and overwrought about the news, please know that myself (and Hol) made our peace with the diagnosis almost as soon as it was suggested and are doing just fine at this point. We're ready to take it as it comes. The prognosis does get a boost by the early (within 3 months) catch – so we've got that going for us.

I've learned a lot about the disease in the past three weeks and have a lot more to learn. I will probably share some of it in the coming weeks. So, I apologize in advance, but there's a distinct posibility that WTF will skew 'MSy' for a bit. But, I'm hopeful that it won't define WTF and I'm hopeful it won't define me.

A few things worth noting:
1. We won't have a confirmed diagnosis until next week, but we're 90 - 95% certain.
2. Aside from the likely MS diagnosis, I'm strong like bull. Blood pressure, heartrate, vision, blood work etc., etc. are all
excellent.
3. If you're like me, the terms 'lumbar puncture' and 'spinal tap' conjur sensations and expectations of something akin to medieval torture. However, I'm pleased and relieved to report that an 'LP' is not significantly worse than having blood drawn. Go get one today!
4. I certainly have no expectations that any of you learn more or 'do someting'. But, if you're compelled to there's a new button over on the left, for JoinTheMovement.org, that would be a good place to start.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Please Stand By

We are experiencing optical difficulties. WTF will return as soon as we have them resolved.

Specifically, I'm having some eye trouble and am working on getting it diagnosed. The symptoms aren't particularly drastic, just a bit iritating and mysterious at the moment. I have some 'blind spots' in both eyes that make reading, writing, and anything involving focused use of eyes a bit more trouble than they're worth.

More news as it develops.

On a related note:
After being told a few times over the past two days by optomologists that "smoking is bad for your eyes", I found it particularly ironic to find a large framed Hockney print in the retinal specialist's office.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Today's Forecast: Rocking and Rolling With a 100 % Chance of Over-Emoted Balladry

So, the inaugural WTF poll is closed. The ten of you that exercised your right to vote nudged out a narrow victory for GnR's November Rain as the way you like your video precipitation.

Thanx for playing. Now that the kinks are worked out, look for other, hopefully more engaging, polls in the future.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Shocking News: New Video Game May Be Too Artistic

Last night I was talking to my brother-in-law, Tim, who had just finished the spellbinding PS2 masterpiece, Ico, and we were both acknowledging the experience as support for the potential of video games to realize 'big A' Art ambitions. Ico is that good.

I haven't been following Ebert's "video games are inherently inferior to film and literature" blather, and don't plan to. However, while I might concede that as a whole, the medium may lean to the entertainment side it has the potential for Art. Ico and it's 'sibling', Shadow of the Colossus, both staggeringly artistic in their vision and execution, are just two games that have realized that potential. It's even been argued that Ico, a subtle, dream-like 'fairy tale' of a game, might have been too artistic for the collective gamer audience.

Now, the initial reviews are hitting for BioShock, the eagerly anticipated Xbox 360 title being released this Tuesday. And they are rave. My hope is that the market hears Games Radar's caution below and supports this 'mesmerizing masterpiece'. If it's everything the gaming press is saying it is, I'm sure we'll be lavishing our own praise in the coming weeks.
...the only glaring weakness we can find in BioShock is that it may be too unusual, too original, too artistic and too genius to be embraced by the general public. Please don't let this game become that forgotten, one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

Image ©2007 Take-Two Interactive

Sunday, August 12, 2007

"Lord, there goes Johnny Appleseed"

I have no f*cking idea. Well, I suppose that's not entirely true. I got as far as thinking that he was either the Second Coming or (and this was only in the final 45 minutes of tonight's John from Cincinnati series finale) that he might be an alien.

Now that everything there is to know is out there, I thought I might try to divine what the hell (puns intended) was going on but I think I may let it go. However confounding it may have been and however much Milch et al may have perversely crafted it to resist interpretation JfC was an intriguing, compelling, and, yes, entertaining departure from just about everything else.

Of the post-mortem assessments I've read so far, I think the following – from this post – sums it up the best:
"In the end, John from Cincinnati was as it has been all season: some kind of murky jewel, which, however much you hold it up to the light, however much you may squint to make it more clear, it still remains murky."

And, finally, I will miss the opening credits. I've never listened to any of Strummer's Mescaleros stuff but was absolutely mesmerized by Johnny Appleseed the moment I heard it running over the vintage surfing footage that opened this 'murky jewel' of a show.

[Image ©HBO]

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Professionally, a very interesting week. Stay tuned for more here and here.

In the words of the immortal America poet, T.A. Shakur:
"Change? Sh*t, I guess change is good for any of us..."

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Blowing Smoke?

"I smoke for my mental health."

When I say it in WTF, I don't necessarily expect my smoke to start a fire. But when David Hockney says it in the Guardian maybe it's worth contemplating – over a cup of coffee and a cigarette.

[Thanx to Mom for the article.]

Image © FreeFoto.com

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

"I'm Captain James TTEEE Kirk!"

Busy over here.

While you wait, why don't you watch all four videos below then vote over on the left? Only twelve days left!

On a related note, watch this. It is related – just watch.

Back soon.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Don't Click It.

The 2005 "final project" of Alex Frank – at the time a Communication Design major at the University Essen-Duisburg (sic), Germany – dontclick.it is a brilliant piece of work – student or otherwise. Both the concept – an exploration of a click-free interface – and the execution – restrained and concise – are exceptional.

[Via jyoseph.com]

Friday, August 3, 2007

Your Lucky Day

Some links to get you through the weekend. Or at least Friday afternoon.

You Make Lovin' Fun, a smoothed out 2005 remix of Fleetwood Mac's classic, by the awesomely named Trailmix. [Via Idolator who slept on it only slightly less than we did. – Ed.]

Watch the furry/BMX mashup video What's A Girl To Do? from UK phenom of the moment, Bat for Lashes. Like Bjork crossed with Donnie Darko and a fat beat.

Here's the trailer for Beowulf, Robert Zemeckis' CGI telling of the epic poem. To really appreciate – or excoriate – the CG, you should watch the trailer in HD. To really appreciate Beowulf, you should (re)read it. This 2001 translation is supposed to be exceptional. And while you're at it, it pick up Grendel, the "beautiful and heartbreaking modern retelling of the Beowulf epic from the point of view of the monster". It's fantastic.

At the moment, I'm reading Suite Française. You should too.

File this under, "I Wish I'd Thought of That": A beautifully simple and brilliant concept – a photo series of teddy bears turned inside out. See it and read the interview with the photog @ The Morning News.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

In Favor of Favoriting?

Speaking of neologisms, my mom (a logophile if ever there was one) recently noted that she'd just learned that to favorite is a conjugable verb; noting the use of "Favorited" on YouTube.

Favoriting
in the digital age is many things, it is a bookmark, an endorsement, a tracking device and one's self-elected membership in whatever micro-culture is being defined by those favoriting a given piece of content. The prefered Web icon of favoriting seems to be the heart – the icon of "love" – a pretty powerful commitment. Favoriting seems closer to a "thumbs up".

It was, and probably still is – a great source of consternation for my two youngest siblings, Andrew and Andrea, that I could not, would not, identify a "favorite" in any category of "things" – movies, food, pets, seasons, music genres, etc – I couldn't do it. I'm not sure what the root of the issue is. But, for what it's worth, I do know that I appreciate something as long as it's "good" at what it's trying to be. And because there are so many examples in any given category that fit this very inclusive filter, it's difficult – near impossible – for me to elevate one to the exclusion of others.

However, I'm not above asking what others' favorites may be. So, in the interest of trying out the new Blogger Polls feature, I'll be posting a poll asking what your favorite something is. Look for it over on the left in the next couple of days and favorite something. Maybe by next election we'll be favoriting our President into office.

What does the fractal up top have to do with this? I found it astounding that out of all of these, someone managed to choose a favorite – the one up top – which is currently the first image returned when one googles images for "favorite". [BTW, that's not the one I would pick. – Ed.]

Image ©1995 Clint Sprott, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Blogorrhea


One of my favorite words, logorrhea – the not so silent killer (of thought) – basically, and most politely, describes a tendency to talk too much. While I don't think anyone would diagnose me as logorrehic, as of late I'm certainly afflicted with a case of bloggorrhea – a neologism I wish I'd coined and for a brief, exciting moment naïvely thought I might have – until I googled it.

I've been dragging the agency's blog through the final (Finally!) steps to take it live with confidence. I won't bore you with the details, but know that once it's up and running I'm hoping to be producing twice the volume of blogorrehic effluvium. I'll get back to more regular posting on WTF that will in all likelihood complement the 'editing' I'll be doing at ZipLog. [Ssshhhhh. That's a sneak preview. – Ed.]

Also, if I haven't made it clear before, I'm a huge fan of Hugh MacLeod's gapingvoid cartoons.I can't recommend enough that you check them out on his blog, gapingvoid: "cartoons drawn on the back of business cards". The cartoon archive.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

On Consumerism, Identity and Being "Mates"

There's an interesting post from the best-of-craigslist, Through Being Cool. In it the author explores what it means for boys/men to be "mates" (Aus, UK vs. "friends", US), and ultimately questions the impact an identity developed through consumerism affects the way in which we 'boys' bond.
[Via The Morning News]

Based solely on the trailer, This Is England (now in limited release in the U.S.) looks like a fantastic case-in-point of the very issues the author discusses in the above article.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Prince and the Innovation

Or maybe it is a revolution. He distributed 2.9 million copies of his new CD in the U.K.'s Mail on Sunday.

Here's the article, from L.A. Observed, about how the columnist for the L.A. Times that proposed his paper pursue the same path (an innovative delivery system sure to benefit both beleaguered industries) had his column pulled. It contains the full text of the pulled article.

[Thanx to Andrew for the tip. – Ed.]

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Don't Stop and Smell the Coffee

There's no time when you're imbibing one at 171 different NYC Starbucks. In one day. Roughly one every seven minutes for twenty hours. By bike for the most part until he starts losing his sh*t around hour 14 and has to catch a ride.

Simple, compelling, effective concept that's starting to get the dude mad pub.

[Thanx to Todd for the tip. – Ed.]
Image ©2005 Bernie Hou. Via AlienLovesPredator.com

Monday, July 23, 2007

The "What'up Dog?" Days of Summer.


July has been a slow month for WTF. It may be because we've been having such phenomenal weather here in the STL – "This sh*t is like southern California!", I've remarked excitedly on more than one occasion – that we've been spending a lot of time outside before Global Warming f*cks everything up.

[When you need knowledge dropped who better than alterna-rapper Dr. Octagon to get the point across? The vid is like School House Rock in it's effective communication of the issue – "Trees are dying." Nuff said. – Ed.]

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mad* Good!

Just finished watching the premiere of Mad Men, AMC's well-reviewed new show about a 60's Madison Avenue agency, and I've got to add my endorsement.

Very good. Some great, smart writing. Surprisingly complex characters realized by a convincing cast of 'little knowns'. A great period-nailing look. And a very cool way of integrating the commercials into the show.

And if you're looking for a show with mad* smoking... this is your show. Watch it.

*[From UrbanDictionary.com: mad adj. 1: really or extremely 2: alot: That kid's mad cool., I got mad money.Ed.]

Love Will Freak Us

Walking past Lynn's (Interactive PM) desk, I just heard the woeful strains of Love Will Tear Us Apart, Joy Division's melancholy ode to the divisive power of love, and just had to share Dsico's inspired 2003 mashup – which reimagines it as a sexier experience by laying Missy's Get Ur Freak On flow over the top.

What may seem blashphemous to those entrenched in either camp comes damn close to the whole being greater than the sum of the parts as far as I'm concerned.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

BTW: Daft Punk (& Kanye West)


I like that rather than just license Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Daft Punk actually got involved on West's Stronger. I haven't completely fallen off the Kanye Express, this might be enough to get me back on board.

If You Haven't Heard...

(Cross) the thick - n - sticky - (tho - sometimes - lyrical - and - restrained) - electro - groove - techno - disco album, by French production duo Justice (Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Auge) is the shite.

The shite, if you're into the likes of Basement Jaxx, The Go! Team, Daft Punk, etc. If you're into one or all of the preceding it's a fair bet you'll want to rock this.

Visit Insound to DL their second free digital sampler (a mixed bag), Let's Get Digital 2, which contains Justice's Phantom – my current fav off of

Friday, July 13, 2007

“Okay everyone here ?? This is an emergency !!”

Makibishi Comic is a very fookin' cool online interactive cartoon game. What little I've 'played' is mesmerizing and compelling. Apparently a walkthrough may come in handy.

[Via NYmag's Vulture culture blog.]

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Wrote a Letter to the Government!

Last night. An email actually. To Mayor Slay. I felt compelled to do something given the challenging headline of the previous post. It's not a scathing indictment yet it's not quite a lobbed softball. And in rereading it, there's a certain geek/nerd naïveté to it. But what the hell? You gotta start somewhere.

I hope he opened and read it. I'll let you know.

[Bonus points for anyone who gets the headline/image referrence. – Ed.]

From: Chris Aguirre
Date: Jul 11, 2007 10:16 PM
Subject: Saint Louis, Slow Cities and Fast Company
To: mayorslay@mayorslay.com

Mayor Slay,

In case you haven't already read or heard, Saint Louis is one of five 'slow cities' named in the current issue of Fast Company (July/Aug). Having bounced between Saint Louis and a number of other cities nationally and internationally over the years, I think I've finally settled into being a Saint Louisan (I've been here for 10+ years on this tour). So, in light of the Fast Co. 'ranking' and as a resident of the city who also works in the city, I'd genuinely appreciate a better sense of what our plan is. What are we going to do to put and end to the overwhelming outside perception that Saint Louis is a violent, backwards or worse, dying, town? (Beyond rehabbing and building lofts which, don't get me wrong, is wonderful to see when you're already here.) I know (hope) there's more to the plan.

If you're interested, I've got a brief post on my blog with some pertinent links – not the least of which is a link to the City Vitals Report which gives one a great snapshot of our place (or lack thereof) in the contemporary metropolitan scheme of things.

Thank you in advance for your attention.

Concerned,

Chris Aguirre
XXXX XXXXX XXXXXX
Saint Louis, MO 63104

314.XXX.XXXX

P.S.

If you really know the city, you might recognize that my (and my wife's) address is (close to) this: http://tinyurl.com/27vlja

How do we get a handle on the crime?

Thank you again for your time.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

What Are You Going To Do About It?

In the lastest issue of Fast Company there's a cover line teasing to The 30 Fastest Cities – and the Five Slowest. It was with great trepidation and a nagging sense that I knew what I'd find that I checked the ToC and quickly flipped to page 90, a couple more quick flips past pages of 'fast cities' and there it was – two lines wedged between Budapest and New OrleansSt. Louis. F*ck.

Too normal for its own good. it ranks dead last on CityVitals'"Weirdness Index," a measure of passion and engagement.
[City Vitals ranks cities across a variety of criteria in four categories: Talented, Innovative, Connected, and Distintive. Download the very interesting City Vitals Report PDF. ]

Except for a brief bit in the piece's intro, putting Saint Louis at one end of a spectrum that has Fort Collins, CO [My birthplace. – Ed.] at the other, that's it. Hardly a resounding condemnation. More an offhanded character assasination. Those of us who live here – in the city in particular – know that this city is in the midst of a renaissance. Sure, there's work to be done, but... come on.

So, as you might imagine, my hackles are raised, my sensibilities offended, and my ass chapped. This is an issue that all of us here in the STL would be remiss in being anything but vigilant in our efforts to combat these perceptions of our city.

Stay tuned.

Site Lines

Well-written, humorous, and highly literate The Morning News is a newspaper-like Web daily that is always worth a visit. It's been around for ages and just keeps getting better.

Check out, Obedience, their interview with Shepard Fairey.

Your Logo's The Bomb!

Photographer/blogger, David Friedman, rounds up some unusual suspects – the logos of roughly 40 terrorist organizations – and groups them according to their dominant design elements. Hopefully you won't visit looking for inspiration.

[Via The Morning News]

Sunday, July 8, 2007

What I'm Reading

I was rereading American Psycho, B.E.E.'s early 90s meditation on society's increasing desensitization to violence delivered in a running onslaught of late-80s excessive indulgence. I think I picked it up to get reintroduced to Patrick Bateman's rampant, label-whoring, hyper-cosumerism – consumerism being what pays my bills. But, half way through, I found myself... bored. It's possible that in the intervening sixteen years, I have become more desensitized to violence (of which there is actually very little in the first half) rendering the shock and awe of the original reading impotent. Or, I may have just become desensitized to rampant hyper-consumerism. Regardless, if you haven't read it it's worth reading once.

Now, I've just begun The Pesthouse by Jim Crace. I hadn't heard of the author but the reviews indicate the book is a worthy companion piece to McCarthy's masterpiece, The Road. [See the WTF mini-review of The Road. – Ed.]

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Peep This.


HBO's Voyeur 'project' appears to be a multi-media/ARG-ish 'look' [sorry] at voyeurism through your eyes and into many, many windows. I've only watched a very small part of what's going at HBOVoyeur.com, a site that puts you high above the streets of NYC with lines of site into countless windows, and found it absolutely mesmerizing, bewildering and a little disconcerting. There's a sister blog, TheStoryGetsDeeper.com that helps the peeping Toms and Tinas get a better handle on what, if anything (other than the indulgence of the audience's voyeuristic tendencies), is going on.

[NOTE: The soundtrack is by Clint Mansell of the late(?), great, visonary British group, Pop Will Eat Itself and more recently the composer of the stunning Requiem For A Dream score. – Ed.]

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

iPh*cking iPhantastic iPhone!


The desire became overwhelming around 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon.

So, with a call to the Apple Store and a confirmation of untold [Literally. The employees can tell you if they have stock or not, but are forbidden to say how many. – Ed.] 8 Gig versions in stock, I convinced Holly that the future of our freshly hatched marriage depended on my acquisition of an iPhone. At three, we made an early Holiday exit and raced like a restroom out of order for the Galleria.

Once there, we tore into the mall and first made a beeline for the ground floor Cingular (the Galleria store has not had its at&t makeover yet). I popped my head in, "Any iPhones?" The three employees sitting around all just shook their heads silently and pointed up. To the Apple Store, Holly!

An interminable escalator ride up behind three large Red Bird Fever carriers, and a power walk halfway down the mall later, the glowing beacon of the faithful was before us...

A throng encircled the central bar peering over the shoulders of those tapping away on the ten or so iPhones tethered to it. Defeated, I thought, "There's no way I'm getting one." However, defeat was mercifully brief. Cloud (he goes by his last name; his first? Chris.) drifted over and asked if he could help with anything. I think I managed to get out, "Eight gig i Phone?" His answer? "Sure." [It took everything I had not to make a 'silver lining' crack just then. – Ed.] He went in back and came back with a ridiculously small black box. But, before handing it over, he turned to Holly and asked, grinning, "Do you support this purchase?"

And, with her blessing out of the way, bing-bang-boom – Holly's an iWidow for the rest of the weekend.

Oh, here's my review: Apple overpromised and overdelivered – it's much cooler than the hype.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Up On A Soap (Pad) Box.

On April 21, 1964, James Harvey walked into New York’s Stable Gallery to see an opening for a rising artist named Andy Warhol. The show—which attracted a line around the block, despite mostly negative reviews—consisted of 400 large replicas of supermarket product boxes. The ones that attracted the most attention were the 120 containers for Brillo cleaning pads. “Oh my god,” Harvey said when he saw the Brillo boxes. “I designed those.”

If I were the type of person to call something 'fascinating' – which I'm not, or at least, I don't – I might call Shadow Boxer, from this month's PRINT, a fascinating article.

Effectively an introduction to James Harvey, the abstract expressionist working as a commercial artist who designed the original Brillo packaging, it's certainly an intriguing examination of the story behind the story of the Brillo box made famous by Andy Warhol in his reframing it as Art.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Are You Acting Your Age If You're Not Acting?


There's an interesting, well-written (if maybe a bit longer than necessary to get the point) article by Adam Sternbergh from New York magazine on the effective collapse of any meaningful genereation gap between those in their 40s (and in some cases their 50s) through 20s.

And, BTW, the magazine's blog-esque site NYmag.com is a really well-designed, well-written, content-rich iteration of the magazine. And, you don't have to be a New Yorker to appreciate it.

Illustration by James Taylor

If You Liked The Landlord,


...you'll love Good Cop, Baby Cop.

Monday, June 25, 2007

I Got Nothin'

WTF was accepted by Delightful Blogs today. A reviewed selection of 1624 blogs as of this writing, DB bills itself as your way to "cut through the blog smog". Feels good for WTF to have passed a 'blog review'. Anyway, the button is down there on the left with the rest of the buttons, or you can click the link above.

So, in anticipation of a massive traffic spike, I wanted to post something. Anything. But, as I find I often do when confronted with a number of topics I want to post, I came up blank on all of them. I didn't think I'd be unique in posting an 'I got nothin'' post – but I was surprised when I googled the phrase to find one hundred pages of 'I got nothin'' blog postings. Seems it's a bit of a blogging rite of passage I've stumbled upon. [And that isn't even counting the "Did you mean: 'i got nothing'" Google-corrected spelling postings. – Ed.]

I'll get a handle on the ideas I had for posts tonight (basically all social media topics) and some or all will make it into future posts.

In the meantime, take a tour of Southern California's Big Donuts at RoadsideAmerica.com.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

TV: Flight of the Conchords


HBO's other new Sunday night (9:30 C) show is an alterna-sitcom about two musical comedians (or comedic musicians) from New Zealand living in NYC and trying to get their band, the titular FotC, off the ground as it were. Supported by a great ensemble cast of nobody's [My favorite, their lone fan the hilarious Mel. Or as their manager refers to her, their 'fan base'. – Ed.], this is a cool, quirky, little show. I caught the first episode twice and found it clever, absurd, often subtle, and funny throughout. I actually liked it better the second time. The whole Sunday night lineup is still absolutely worth catching.

You can check out the first episode for yourself. Or, read the reviews. Or just check out one of the songs (in a musical-esque way, they ocasionally break into narrative song) from the first episode, Part-Time Model.

Competitive Facial Hair

In a follow up to our Facial Hair Is Persuasive posting, we bring you Beard Team USA, representing you in the World Beard and Moustache Championships. The Championships are a biennial event organized by the WBMA, the World Beard and Moustache Association, to "encourage friendship among those with beards and moustaches".

And 2007 is a WBMA Championship year. Taking place September first in Brighton, England, it looks to be a breakout year for the event.

I'm turning pro.

[Thanx to Andrew for the tip. – Ed.]

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Uber-Exclusivity Is the New Exclusivity

British site 20ltd is a curated collection of twenty extremely limited edition, beautifully designed, luxury items that, according to the site, are available nowhere else in the world but from the 20ltd site. It's where I first saw the Confederate Hellcat Combat from the previous post. Peruse it as you would a gallery or museum – it's worth the visit.


Another site that curates modern objéts, Charles & Marie, is only marginally less 'uber' in its exclusitity. Many of their offerings are slightly more practical – and attainable – ranging from limited edition designer coffee mugs to a Tobias Wong rubber encased crystal chandelier. Their site offers some pieces on a limited time basis to anyone who registers to be informed by email and others only to a select invitation-only group of individuals.

Hell on Wheels


Without a doubt the most badass motorcycle I've ever seen. Absolutely gorgeous, awe-inspiring (and just plain inspiring) design. The F131 Hellcat Combat by Confederate.

[Be sure to check out the 'About' page – it's very well written and coveys a great sense of 'brand' . – Ed.]

This more I read about this company and their bikes, the more intrigued I become. I just read an entry from their blog, The Motograph, and found this:
...why are these machines so damn good? There has not been a person involved with our enterprise who had any previous vehicular design experience. There are no academic credentials pertinent to vehicular design. There exists no project management experience concerning vehicular design. There has been no utilization of outside consultancy.
Crazy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Facial Hair Is Persuasive

This is something I've known and for years have used to my advantage. Now, it seems its powers of persuasion are finally being put to use pitching both burgers and pizza. [Sure, it's a 'cookie pizza' but let's not split hairs. – Ed.]

Grow your own.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Dog Ate My Homework.

So, as promised in a previous post, I'm posting a paper I recently wrote/edited/linked/etc. using Google Docs.

A self-assigned piece of extra-credit homework, the paper is an exercise I undertook for a number of reasons – many, the same reasons I started this blog – not the least of which is just to get in the habit of writing regularly. The paper is an effort to do some longer form and more formalized writing than a blog posting tends to be.

If you're so inclined, let me know what you think. I'm open to constructive criticism/feedback on style/content/punctuation/etc.

Open Source Icons
On Smileys, Revolutionaries, Giants and Kitties

[Dog the Bounty Hunter has absolutely nothing to do with this post. – Ed.]

Monday, June 18, 2007

Me So Hyundai?

Are you f*cking kidding me?

This is a borderline insane lapse in judgment. Absurd even for a car dealership. It's apparently a real radio spot for Absolute Hyundai of Mesquite, TX.

Strangely, the complete lack of judgment (and lack of sophistication in 'appropriating' the song) makes the dealership's ad seem 'dirtier' than the original (Of which I'm a fan BTW). I guess it's all about context.

[Via: AdRants]