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.