Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007

This video, of skinny screaming Springsteen, has embedding disabled, check it here.

I need the arbitrary line of a new year right now. Wallpaper your room, Zeno, it's time to persistently start again!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

110,000 Results

Just anecdotal feedback:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

In Defense of Milk Crates

Oh, you mean that furniture is not "age-appropriate"?
Wendy Savage is, Linney said, “Just a mess. I know a lot of people like this, sort of arrested development people, who are knocking on 40 and still living like college students with the milk crates that are the coffee tables and that sort of stuff.”

Check it here.

No way is that a coffee table, man. That's my armoire!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I'm Sticking With You

"I'm sticking with you/cause I'm made out of glue"

How can both Juno & The Savages use this song on their soundtracks? Well, they can, and do, to great effect,and it's OK with me (not like anybody asked). What great films. It's been a long time. No spoilers here, but I have been a Tamara Jenkins fan since I saw her perform in Baal and then later a performance piece at The Brattle back in 1887. Her vision is crackily funny, serious, real, no shit.

I didn't connect Jason Reitman, director of Juno, to Thank You For Smoking, until after I saw the film. It's not as battle scarred, maybe it's the Song Of Innocence to The Savages' Song Of Experience.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Disgusting fish from China

Looks like Soylent Green is our only hope, check this NYT article out.


China produces about 70 percent of the farmed fish in the world, harvested at thousands of giant factory-style farms that extend along the entire eastern seaboard of the country. Farmers mass-produce seafood just offshore, but mostly on land, and in lakes, ponds, rivers and reservoirs, or in huge rectangular fish ponds dug into the earth.

"They'll be a major supplier not just to the U.S., but to the world," said Richard Stavis, the chairman of Stavis Seafoods, an American company that imports Chinese catfish, tilapia and frog legs. China began emerging as a seafood power in the 1990s as rapid economic growth became the top priority in the country. But environmental experts say that headlong pursuit of higher gross domestic product has devastated Chinese water quality and endangered the country's food supply.

In Guangdong Province in southern China, fish contaminated with toxic chemicals like DDT are already creating health problems. "There are heavy metals, mercury and flame retardants in fish samples we've tested," said Ming Hung Wong, a professor of biology at Hong Kong Baptist University. "We've got to stop the pollutants entering the food system." More than half of the rivers in China are too polluted to serve as a source of drinking water. The biggest lakes in the country regularly succumb to harmful algal blooms. Seafood producers are part of the problem, environmental experts say. Enormous aquaculture farms concentrate fish waste, pesticides and veterinary drugs in their ponds and discharge the contaminated water into rivers, streams and coastal areas, often with no treatment.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Oh Shit, To Be Human Again

"People have too many sexy-looking leather date books in their lives and not enough spaced-out moments in stretched-out T-shirts, listening to the magical emanations of other heads." Cintra Wilson on Daniel Johnston, see here.

Here is a Pere Ubu video (via Alan Partlow) that reminded me of that quote.

"Let's watch the whole world just goin slow/Let's watch the whole world goin slow..."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Keep reading Monty

Grownup meditation on Hanukah's violent roots

Here is Chanukah and Adult Faith by Danya Ruttenberg What does it take to celebrate a holiday with such violent roots? (via Jewschool).

My own (facile, off-the-cuff, blogged in short) take:
"When the legend becomes fact, print the legend"-- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Meaty, Beaty, Big & Bouncy

When it was Lebewohl’s turn, he got up, noteless, and looked at the audience. “What am I gonna tell you?” he said. “My food will kill you.” Abe Lebewohl, Second Avenue Deli

This is an excerpt from Bill Buford's Heat, just re-posted by The New Yorker. The closest I have come to reconsidering meat-eating was reading this great writing. If I change my mind on being veg, I suppose the only way to go is by doing some slaughtering & butchering before eating. Being around some of America's greatest cooking didn't provoke a critical look at my eating the way that Buford's writing did.

When we made sausages at the butcher shop, people often ate the meat raw, straight from the bowl, which—I don’t know, call me old-fashioned—just seemed wrong. But it illustrated an attitude toward good meat: if you’re lucky enough to get it, don’t mess with it. Bill Buford

But how can I make my own kosher salami? And which way to the cardio ward? And won't I end up dead in Katz' with a pastrami sandwich stuck in my craw after this binge?

I become a vegetarian in 1979 (pescatarian by 1989) reviewing the evidence available to me at the time. Including IB Singer's statements on the matter. I picked the most progessive option available.

"When a human kills an animal for food, he is neglecting his own hunger for justice. Man prays for mercy, but is unwilling to extend it to others. Why should man then expect mercy from God? It's unfair to expect something that you are not willing to give. It is inconsistent. I can never accept inconsistency or injustice. Even if it comes from God. If there would come a voice from God saying, "I'm against vegetarianism!" I would say, "Well, I am for it!" This is how strongly I feel in this regard." IB Singer

Nowadays, the picture is more complex, since it is not just a case of factory farming vs. tofu eating. Eating fish can, in some cases, be contributing to eco-ragnarök more than a burger who you knew back when he had a face.

The year before I became a vegetarian I was a Camus-carrying existentialist/fatalist, but hey, at 17 I was more idealistic than at 16. Today? I suppose I am keeping faith with that idealist even if I am often a tired would be cannibal.

Certainly the appeal of having a rabbi of some sort to declare what is kosher and what is trayf is evident when faced with the moral/health dilemmas of the flexitarian/locavore. I am presently staying with a Pareto-vore Solution: 80% of the moral and health issues are solved by eating from 20% of the menu! Or something.

Patti Smith and Vincenzo Cerami on Pasolini at NYU

I was lucky enough to attend a round table discussion on Pasolini's work at NYU last night. Some incomplete notes with rough quotes... Link to festival here.

Vincenzo Cerami emphasized the creative process in his remarks. He was a powerful speaker and even with simultaneous english translation his vim came through.

Cerami on Pasolini's creative process: "Everything I have said until now is WRONG." Repeat.

"Pasolini used myth to tell his stories because using contemporary images would be too ugly" (He used the word "BRUTO" which of course sounds better to these anglophone ears.)

A story of the nearly blind comedian Toto being fed his lines by Cerami and seemingly mangling them when asked to repeat them... Cerami realized that he was being played by the comedian as Toto riffed & sought the right note for his improvisation. "Comedians don't like scripts, they like the setup and the idea." Also he noted Pasolini's choice of a comedian regarded as low-brow for his films, characterizing the archetype of the comedian as "a non-psychological, metaphysical character." cf. Laurel and Hardy appearing to have wives in one comedy and then dressing as wives in the next.

Patti Smith graciously and patiently listened to the others speak and then, in that voice familiar from her records spoke like the oracle. WOW.

"Pasolini gave me permission to use the whole palette of mediums to create" (music, poetry, photography). She compared him in this regard to Ginsberg among others.

She recounted her being raised in the austere confines of Jehovah's Witnesses* and wishing she could be a Catholic because "they had all the great art and ritual", but then "by the time I was 12 I was disillusioned and declared my existence and my independence" She got laughs of recognition over the 12 year old line and then linked this emancipation to the opening lines of Gloria on Horses "Jesus died for somebody's sins/but not mine". Flash to her post 1977 accident and her discovery of Pasolini's Gospel According to St. Matthew. She found his near documentary style to uncover "Jesus the revolutionary", scraping away the "man-made artifice" of the church and "reconsecrating Jesus as a friend" to her.

Smith then told a story of hearing Warhol say that he liked the "shit, literal shit" in Pasolini's Salo. And when asked what he thought of Pasolini's film said, "it's really funny."

Finally she recounted hearing of Robert Mapplethorpe's death and the synchronicity of randomly opening up a book of Pasolini's and reading "It isn't that the dead do not speak, it's that we have forgotten how to listen." and how that helped her cope with the loss of her friend and confidente because when she learned to be quiet, his voice started talking to her and did not stop.

Smith also reinforced this last statement on Pasolini's use of Maria Callas in Medea, that having her remain silent throughout the film left the viewer in a state of having experienced a powerful opera.

Pasolini's short film Ricotta was then screened and it was funny, profane and nailed it. (So to speak.)

*Patti's entrance immediately reminded me of Lester Bangs' essay "Stagger Lee Was a Woman". Bangs was also raised as a J.W.

Monday, November 26, 2007

If They Outlaw Comics Torrents, Then Only Outlaws will have...

Marvel & DC are trying to kill popular comics torrent-linkers, but before they have their own digital comics solution in place.

In short, the parallel with Napster is all in place, but what will be the iTunes type of solution?

I bought New Gods in pulp, in collected book set and then I downloaded the .cbrs. Same with Watchmen (well, I got the book as a gift, but still...). So, I bought 'em legally 2x. The scans are a great format.

Mini rant: The multigig 1960's Kurt Schaffenberger Lois Lanes? Well, I am still waiting for the trade paperback of those, man! (What, DC, too busy killing off Big Barda? Oh, that's another rant and not a pretty one. Suffice to say that Barda will outlive us all.)

Cbrs are the mp3s of online comics, and the scan-and-posting crowd is pretty meticulous about their craft. The reasonable solution is probably DRM free authorized downloads with ads. I don't know what the mainstream comics publishers clear, but a buck a comic is probably alot. Plus they can still publish the collected graphic novels, distribute in bookstores and clean up.

Marvel is doing Rhapsody style subscriptions, but they don't have the newest stuff available. DC is doing an artistically more experimental format actually setup for the computer screen, but, hey, where is Grant Morrison?

Interesting perspectives on this issue:
businessof content

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Gift Idea for $18.00

For only $18 you can restore the gift of sight to a blind person in the Himalayas. See here for more.

From the site:
The Himalayan Cataract Project is one of the world’s most financially efficient international health nonprofits—the organization was recently awarded a 4-star rating by Charity Navigator for "sound fiscal management."

Monday, November 19, 2007

Thank you D.J.s for your support!

I have been getting feedback from folks who visited the Square Foot show which just closed this weekend and it is good. Thanks!

My favorite was from an opera singing friend "I think I'm starting to get your work. (I don't know how that sounds, but I meant it in a positive way) I find a lot of humor in it - particularly the juxtaposition of drawing and text."

That says it all.

There is a learning curve to both making and viewing art--not the usual one, of "how do I draw this" but also understanding "can you hear me out there?!".

I think that both my sister Amy's painting (pics to come) and mine currently has a layer effect of text/marks working against a field of some kind. In her case, for this show, they were luminous abstractions with witty, idiosyncratic marks suggesting time being marked off or looped around somehow beneath the surface. In my case, it was cartoon over text over flat color. Do you "read" the drawing, the text or both as a dissonant rhythym?

As far as people asking me about specific meanings of the text in the new pieces, my new policy (as of today) is to ask THEM what THEY think first.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Have We Done Something Wrong???

"Ooh ooh ooh complete control, thats a laugh
On the last tour my mates couldnt get in
I'd open up the back door but theyd get run out again
At every hotel we was met by the law
Come for the party - come to make sure!
Ooh ooh ooh have we done something wrong?"

A Visit to the Cat Challenge Room

"The researchers enlisted 18 individuals with cat allergies and randomly assigned them to receive one week each of zafirlukast or placebo. Subjects volunteered to endure a one-hour stay in a specially designed "cat challenge room." This carpeted room, home to a couple of house cats, contained bedding that was shaken right before a study volunteer entered the habitat. "The room provides an extremely intense cat exposure, 10 to 100 times the level of allergens you would find in the home," says Wood. "

Thursday, November 15, 2007

ON THE CREATION MUSEUM or "horseshit, horseshit, horseshit"

"And this is, in sum, the Creation Museum. $27 million has purchased the very best monument to an enormous load of horseshit that you could possibly ever hope to see." link here
(via Daring Fireball).

Wait, one more quote, this is too awesome not to echo:

"Not for the Creation Museum that mamby-pamby weak sauce known as “Intelligent Design,” which tries to slip God by as some random designer, who just sort of got the ball rolling by accident. Screw that, pal: The Creation Museum’s God is hands on! "

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Seminal Influence of Kung Fu

In conversation, I realized that while I always give credit to the 1966 Batman for turning me onto art (albeit while also instilling some demented ideas about women, Miss Kitka), I haven't realized that Kung Fu was kind of the bookend to that TV influence.

Caine simultaneously had skinhead and grunge looks and attitude--even the dual presentation as a minimalist monk and a shaggy slacker is striking. He was like a one man Hawk and The Dove.

Strummer, Kiku, Square Foot Show, N+1=0

The Future is Unwritten: Strummer reverberates through my head after seeing this documentary.

Kiku: The Art of the Japanese Chrysannthemum at the NY Botanical Garden. O.C.D. has never yielded more sublime results. Plus, you know, Albert used to practice nascent REBT here, so it was also a pilgrimage for me.

Square Foot Show-Hey, not bad. I am in it, it is up until November 17th. I will do more paintings in this format.

N+1 = 0: I still love Indecision, the novel by Benjamin Kunkel, but the NYPL Live talk with Alex Gourevich was a bust. I am all for being skeptical of manipulative politics, but has this retard (Gourevich) ever read any Alan Moore Swamp Thing?

Friday, November 02, 2007

Steve Ditko is 80 Today

Steve Ditko is 80. (Thanks, Comics Journal for the reminder!)
Here is a J.J.J.J. Jolly Jonah Jameson Jpeg to celebrate the event.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Albert Ellis, Role Model

Here's a dose of Albert:

My first contact with Al served to reinforce his image in my mind as the Lenny Bruce of psychotherapy. I was a doctoral student attending my 1st APA convention in 1980 or 81s. Al was one of four presenters on a symposium on the interface of religion and psychotherapy. The presenter before Al delivered an eloquent plea for the inescapable confluence of spirituality and psychotherapy. Quite moving and uplifting. Al then stood up and said as his opening line: “Religion and psychotherapy: I say fuck it!” Half the crowd gasped in horror and half of the crowd roared its approval. An atheist suggesting that a belief in God was an irrational idea.

Al Ellis: Courageous and Integrative Empiricist by John C. Norcross, Ph.D.

Steve Jobs Style cf to Young Stalin?

"Much to Lenin’s surprise, Stalin submitted a brilliant position paper on party policy toward nationalities within the Russian empire. The killer really was an intellectual, and certainly no bureaucrat. Mr. Montefiore notes, shrewdly, that 'everything with Stalin was political, but he worked in an eccentric, structureless, unbureaucratic, almost bohemian style that would not have succeeded in any other government, then or now.' " Yeah, maybe not gov't style, but what about the modern corporation?

The Dictator as a Young Poet-Thug (NYT Book Review)

Actually WWII was largely fought by leaders who had weird personal habits: watercolorists, nightowls, salami-eating pseudo vegetarians--so I am not sure about this claim. But I did think of The Steve running circles around his non-New Balance wearing competitors when I read the lines above.

Based on the photo of glamourous young Stalin with his New Romantics hairdo, the moral bankrupcy inherent in Sexy Che Guevara icon -tshirts looks less like an aberration and more like the norm.

I can definitely see this portrait of Stalin making it as a t-shirt among the Young and Useless.

Fucking primates are retarded.

While I am on this tangent, I highly recommend Spain's comix bio of Stalin featured in Arcade #4 about a zillion years ago. I can't find a direct link, but go hit the comics bins, this one is worth it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shmuley Explains it All For You

Shmuley has some good ideas, even if I feel distant from religious Judaism at the moment. The same way that Buddhist values find their way into everyday discourse, Jewish values are similarly worth spreading.
Check it out here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No Posting Day

It's been a while and it will be a while more, but probably my next posting will be a link to some of my own drawings...

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Harriet The Spy or The Phantom Notebook

SO, I lost a Moleskin like the one pictured above. It had about 3 weeks worth of notes, journal entries, doodles, random contacts. Most info was mentioned at least in passing on this blog, all contacts (that I can think of) were contacted.

Notetaking as a tool is valuable. But I am finding that I am able to reconstruct most of what was important to jot down. The act of writing imprints the event to some extent. Also, I am using the Moleskin Shuffle, with 64 pages each, that is not like having to reconstruct a 200 page journal, is it?

Still, I fucked up. Where is the damn thing anyway? Is someone reading it somewhere in this city, cracking up? Or I did write something as inflammatory as "What kind of person doesn't like tomato sandwiches?" that will lead to my downfall??? Is there some vital information that the Russians weren't supposed to get?

The Phantom Notebook is having an interesting half-life as a lesson in impermanence and memory. Making me retrace the events and thoughts in a way that is different from the way they show up on this blog.

Still, if anyone finds this damn thing, would you email me already? Cash reward, no questions asked.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

1966 Batman + Frank Miller Mashup

Amazing. More here.

"Who causes the wind to blow and the rain to fall."

"Well, I wake in the morning,
Fold my hands and pray for rain.
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin' me insane."
Bob Dylan

Today's Shemini Atzeret, so I wound up at CBST for Yizkor. Of course, we do the ancient prayer for rain afterwards. It's 83 degrees & humid in NYC on Oct. 4, so that is the least we need to pray for. We need autumn weather.

Here is a great digression on the etymology of the Prayer for Rain, (tefillat ha-geshem).

The Maggie's Farm lyrics were the ones that spontaneously erupted while en route this a.m.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Neat Stuff

Merlin Mann and Omnifocus at Tekserve.

Visions of Albert Ellis after the orgy of video and Rational Emotive Songs at his memorial. Still thinking about the man and his work. How to Be Rationally Stubborn, Emotionally Undisturbable, Behaviorally Happy, Unconditionally Accepting, Shamelessly Unfrustrated, and Unmiserably Reasonable While Keeping People from Pushing Your Buttons. Here.

Darjeeling Limited
--worth the wait, and great. Maybe Anderson's Down By Law. Anyway the 2 films would make a great fantasy double feature.

Kohei Yoshiyuki
This show is hilarious and disturbing--Infrared flash photos of voyeurs, turning the viewer into one too. Til Oct 20, hurry.

NY Book Fair:
Retard Riot-great comics influenced stickers, buttons, images, ideas. Link to great buttons this mf made.

Sto's upcoming show (Oct 12-Nov 11) at Cinders, The Cinders table
Batforum available here at Sara Ranchouse --a comics parody of artforum, I will post a scan/review soon
Slavs and Tartars-interesting posters and ideas: "What's the Plan, Uzbekistan?/I'm your man, Azerbaijan!"

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Albert Ellis Memorial

Went to the memorial service at Columbia last night. It was kind of the last Friday Night Workshop ever. At 3 hours plus with no break it was a marathon of Albert tributes.

How to convey the ordinary and spectacular spark that was Ellis in action? Nando Pelusi said he was "Epictetus via Groucho Marx with a stop at the Bronx Botanical Gardens." and "I may not have Albert's genes, but I will pass on his memes."

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Waldman & Chabon article to check out

"When Ayelet Waldman reads something by Michael Chabon she doesn’t like, she takes her complaints right to the source.

Honey, this sucks."

Defending Zissou

I am eagerly awaiting The Darjeeling Express, by Wes Anderson. Hotel Chevalier is definitely worth seeing--13 economical, poetic minutes. (Go to iTunes for the free download.) Chevalier reminded me of Love at Twenty/Antoine and Collette (now at Film Forum) in some ways.

But nearly every writeup of Darjeeling makes a point of slamming The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, one of the finest films ever made. Ah well, the film exists, it is a great meditation on life, death, age, fatherhood, sonhood and lighting fast rescue missions. It hardly needs another blogger to defend it, it stands on its own.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Give up TV, Free Speech quotes from Salon

2 quotes from Salon that bear repeating:

"I gave up watching television 25 years ago because I liked it so much even though I couldn't remember what I had watched the day before and could see that if I went on as a viewer my life would become a blank." Garrison Keillor

"The Iranian leader's visit to Columbia provoked outcry, support and a twist on free speech: 'We're glad you're here -- so we can tell you you're an asshole.'" Ellen Miller, a sophomore at Barnard


Saturday, September 22, 2007

What This Blog Is For (As it turns out. For the moment. This might change.)

This blog is pretty much "look at what I am into this week" than any original content. Maybe it performs the role that my bookshelf/record collection used to.

It ought to be spread out more visually in that case, hmm?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Park(ing) Day!

Yes! Check this out at Streetsblog.
"Man, the dope is that there's still hope".

The official Transportation Alternatives press release:

Turning Parking Spots into Parks

20 NYC Parking Spots to get a Green Makeover

September 21st is National PARK(ing) Day, when thousands around the country will reclaim parking spaces in their neighborhoods and convert them into lively parks and public spaces. For one day, Transportation Alternatives (T.A.), The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and more than a dozen community groups around New York City will convert 20 on-street parking spaces into "vest pocket" parks, bicycle parking, extended sidewalks and open air cafés to show the potential of city streets to do more than just store private cars.

"Less than half of NYC households even own cars, and yet we give over so much road space to parking them," says Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "What if one parking space on every block was converted into a greener public space that everyone could use? That’s the message behind Park(ing) Day."

"Every bit of green makes a difference," said Rose Harvey, Vice President of The Trust for Public Land, the organization putting on National Park(ing) Day. "In New York City, we have more than eight million residents dependent on our parks and open spaces. We need every community garden, every playground, every park that we can get."

Helvetica, The Movie

Great documentary! I left buzzing with the many threads and points of view shown in this film, plus it had an awesome soundtrack. It was interesting to be part of a geeked out, nearly full movie theatre of folks loving the fonts and laughing knowingly at references to "Arial, even worse than Helvetica" (Erik Spiekerman, who was hilarious in a dry teutonic way.)

Here is a clip, but it is worth seeing this film in a movie theatre.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

MAKE Video: How To Solder

Good video for those of you who have "open loops" of broken metal stuff in your life that needs to be soldered.

Teshuva Means To Turn

Even if you are not a believer, there is great pragmatic behavioral stuff in Torah. A reminder in this article from The Jerusalem Post.

'Hey, what are you doing with that tuna-and-pickle sandwich?" asked a puzzled Gerald Schwartz of the Arab prisoner. "I'm surprised you aren't keeping Ramadan," continued Schwartz, a bearded Orthodox social worker, referring to the the Muslim month of introspection and daytime daily fasting.

"I'm a secular Muslim," said Mahmoud, who was incarcerated for a misdemeanor unrelated to any political activity. "And also I am not capable of the daytime fast."

"You can't, or you think you can't?" challenged Schwartz and urged Mahmoud to try for one day.

Schwartz later recalled: "Mahmoud fasted one day, and went on to keep the entire month of daytime fasts. He was a nice guy. He found his own strength, began to believe in his ability to change, cleaned up his act, and never returned after being released. This principal applies to all."

bikes I want to see on the street in NYC

I see you and me on these:
Batavus available here:
Here is a CA company trying to do something similar, lacking a bit of style.

A general info page:

UPDATE: Too pricy still, but there is a FL company called Dutch Bicycle Co. that is importing some of these models. It's a start, anyhow.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Albert on Meditation

Ellis: We have lots of cognitive and emotive and behavioral techniques including that. But if you do meditation to extremes, an hour or two a day, then you just piss away a lot of your life. So you can meditate for 20 minutes while you're anxious and that will temporarily allay the anxiety since it's cognitive distraction. Then you go on to dispute your anxiety creating thoughts. Most of the people use meditation to stop their thinking and then they never rethink. So it does much more harm than good in some instances.

Heery: So you yourself never meditate?

Ellis: It's a fucking waste of time. Why should I meditate? I'm not anxious.

See here

Friday, September 14, 2007

"Jesus Christ, he whispered. I'm a Morlock"

Just burrowed through Junot Diaz's "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao". Ok, so I am one of the readers who will get all the Lee/Kirby references & will need help w the Spanish & Elvish passages.

Still feel like I o.d.'ed on words & oxygen. Wow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Shana Tovah 5768

I hereby forgive you all and sincerely apologize for the wrongs I have done both knowingly and unknowingly. To a sweet and healthy new year...

(Animated card here.)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

$200 is just a down payment on enlightenment!

Open Letter to Fake Steve Jobs:


What the media don't get is that the iPhone tech pricing was the followup to
your Stanford speech. You are transcending tech to administer a swift THWACK of
the bamboo stick to the shoulders of your grasshopper-disciples.

The iPhone release & pricing swap are at once performance art and an act of enlightening the faithful.

"The real function of a spiritual friend is to insult you"

The Myth of Freedom
Chogyam Trungpa

Namaste--I honor the place where I treasure my 1st gen Shuffle while watching
the newbie grasshoppers get burned, not without a certain nostalgia.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ugly MySpace by ZeFrank

This memorable episode/essay by Ze about "ugly design" came up in conversation with a friend.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wake UP circa 1993

I found myself telling a friend about the moment I first saw this cover in Tower Records on Mass Ave in Boston. It looks classic, even staid in a way today. But Frank Black as a human degenerated font...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tullycraft mp3 link

Twee for the people: Vacation in Christine, ND. If they had posted some Crayon songs (earlier incarnation of the band) I would have posted that b/c that band had guitars. But still worth considering on a 90 degree Saturday in stinky NYC.

Also: Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend's Too Stupid To Know About (though he slams The Breeders).

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Walt Whitman on the Subway

To You

STRANGER! if you, passing, meet me, and desire to speak to me,
why should you not speak to me?
And why should I not speak to you?

-Walt Whitman,
seen on B train 8/21/07 3:33 pm

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Jolt of Husker Du - New Day Rising

It's just the kind of day where I need a jolt of Husker Du.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Brunetti's Nancy (via Mike Lynch)

Ivan Brunetti, creator of Schizo, is a Bushmiller devotee and auditioned for the Nancy comic strip. Mike Lynch is a cartoonist who does a great blog which reprinted scans from an out of print zine that featured a characteristically blunt and honest self-assessment by Brunetti.

Even the "just getting started" wobbly strips are strong. It's great that Brunetti got his chops down and you can see the value of the woodshedding he did on this strip as he continues, but also how the rougher ones still deliver the goods.

Here's the link.

Sick in Bed with a Horrible Summer Cold?

I think I ate some anti-Steven nanobots or E-Coli Soup or something.

Anyway, it sucked, but I caught up on 1% of the 35 billion Charlie Rose shows that are now free online. He needs to change his meds (One suspects too much cough syrup in the mix right now)... But no question he chooses great guests and lets 'em roll.

Wes Anderson was one:

Bill Buford was another:

Paul Pope: as Good as Mazzuchelli

Just read Paul Pope's Batman Year 100. Newsflash: the guy is a killer cartoonist. Plus his take on Batman is just... so... NEAT!

He remembered something that the last 20 years of bad xeroxes of Miller and Moore missed: the damn book is FUN as well as having all the dystopic paranoid shit worked out so well. Gotta go out and find everything else this guy worked on now.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Young Albert Ellis in Action

Here is a video demo(c.30 minutes) of a youthful Albert Ellis therapy session with a young woman.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Terence Conran on Pencils

"Does the future look grim for the 6B pencil?"

"6B is a little on the soft side--I'm more of a 2B man myself.

"...I think it's now recognized that technology is no substitute for the quickness and efficiency with which the brain and hand can connect and demonstrate creative ideas via pencil and paper. The problem with technology is ... that it can become so addictive that it absorbs time and energy and crushes creativity. People become techno junkies rather than creative whizz kids. Rather than let technology gain the upper hand, designers need to allow more poetry and 2B pencils into their work.

"Thank God for the 2B pencil and the A4 layout pad."

from Q&A: A Sort of Autobiography by Terence Conran p.165

How To Meet Women

click on the comic to read

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Albert Ellis 1913-2007

Dr. Ellis made a big contribution for the positive in my life among the
many others he helped. His ornery, salty persona did not conceal the
idealism which underlay the mission statement on friday nights to "cure
every screwball in town, one at a time".

In fact, it enhanced its accessibility to this "Fallible Fucked Up

Obit from his official site

Also: New York Times obit

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Pilgrimage to Revere Beach

Lucky Star Bus -> South Station -> Revere Beach.

Why this much used beach means so much to me, I dunno. It's like a used bookstore book that has pencilled in annotations, marks of being much handled, lived in... All I know is that it is a summer ritual to take a walk along that concrete boardwalk and check out the scene, or scenes.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Mixer (Men and Women Together)

"He thinks he wants a conventional marriage with a compliant wife, but what he really wants is to be overwhelmed by the female life force. In the screwball comedies, the woman doesn’t ask her man to “grow up.” She wants to pull him into some sort of ridiculous adventure. She has to grow up, and he has to get loose—the opposite of the current pattern."

David Denby in this week's New Yorker.

I couldn't find the Jonathan Richman song I wanted to post here, but here is a Reason To Be Cheerful: J.R. doing an intro to Girlfren:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What is good design?

Like pornography, I know it when I see it.

Everytime I see info about Ettore Sotsass & the Olivetti Valentine
typewriter, my heart skips a beat.

This blog had a few sweet pix I want to link to:

The MOMA catalog cover is just gorgeous.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Give Paris One More Chance

This bike rental scheme is great and worth reading about if you missed it. The main idea is critical mass, only instead of a bunch of citizens getting clobbered by cops for "unlicensed parading" or whatever, it is the city of Paris actually helping to make it happen.

Shades of John Belushi screaming "AMSTERDAM!...HASH IN THE STREETS".

iPhone = Combat Rock or Born To Run?

Looking around at who has the first iPhones in Manhattan, I see duchebags of all stripes. Inevitably they have wrapped their new purchase in some lame "protector" instead of just letting cool industrial design be.

Pink leatherette cases? Ugh.

This is the moment when the band you love comes out with a record that the jocks like too. A friend said "Combat Rock" in answer to this formulation.

Of course this is better than being a "beleagured computer maker". And even after The Clash and Bruce Springsteen started playing arenas, they were still (insanely) great.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

BAD HOUSES or This Blog Is On Vacation

I will not post for awhile. Or maybe I will redo this blog.I couldn't find a YouTube link for Big Black performing "Bad Houses" or it would be posted here as some lateral reference point for internet addiction.

"I tell myself I will not go/Even as I drive there."

Back in a bit with either more pointers to Reasons To Be Cheerful or a new take on what blog move to make next.

Friday, June 22, 2007

If You're So Smart, Why Aren't You A Radical Innovator?

IQ Of Oldest is 3 Points higher on Average, But We're Not Radical Innovators.

Frank Sulloway is ecstatic, but I am not so sure that Norwegian family dynamics are the the same as my family (or anyone else I know) for some reason...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

My favorite eggtimer on the Mac- Minuteur

"Time = Life, Therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life." Alan Lakein.

I love Minuteur. It is a great way to do Now Habit timed project sprints as well as a way to keep track of billable time for freelancers. Freeware up through version 4, with a suggested donation of 8 euros (like, $12.25 or something).

A good cheat sheet on Neil Fiore's Now Habit is here, by the way.

I finally contributed since I use it so much and Philippe Galmel, the developer, sent me a link to the beta of version 5, which has some other cool, simple functions -- like being able to adjust the eggtimer ticking volume really LOUD when I need to be reminded that my Time Is My Life. Which, of course, is a reminder I need constantly.

I have put in a feature request for a cortex implant in version X for the rare occasions when I am away from my Mac.

Richard Serra interview on Leonard Lopate

I am going to see the Richard Serra retrospective at MOMA in the next week (like everyone else). I got to at least hear him at his book signing at the Strand last week and he was great. The primacy of work, the respect for the work and studio process of others, even when he was not sympathetic with their artistic orientation, the lack of horseshit... all came through even in a crowd so dense that I never actually got to see the man.

It was great to see a book launch at The Strand rather than Barnes and Noble. Also: thanks to friend Suzanne who relayed the info about the appearance from S.F.

Plans to edit & post my notes are taking a backseat to my own work (what's the point of getting inspired if you use the energy up in rabbit-trail detours?--Actually, I am unfortunately a lab rat in that experiment often enough.). Here is a pretty good Leonard Lopate interview with Serra to check out.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Chomsky on Sports

(via an aside on Jewschool):

"In fact, it's hard to imagine anything that contributes more fundamentally to authoritarian attitudes than this does, in addition to
the fact that it just engages a lot of intelligence and keeps people away from other things."

Wow, I always thought Chomsky was a turd for being a much harsher critic of Israel than other countries, but here is an interview about spectator sports I agree with. Well, Rush Limbaugh loves the Macintosh...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Hitler gets banned from XBox Live

This is so, so awesome that even though everyone is linking to it, I must as well.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Tell me the truth abt love WH Auden

I saw this on the N train as one of the "poetry in motion" ads.

When it comes, will it come without warning
Just as i'm picking my nose?
will it knock on my door in the morning
Or tread in the bus on my toes?
will it come like a change in the weather?
Will its greeting be courteous or rough?
will it alter my life altogether?
O tell me the truth about love.

WH Auden

"Tofu" text reader

This is neat, I haven't decided whether I will use it regularly. It is helpful for long articles online as well--you can save them as text, strip out line breaks (I use TextWrangler) and then drag and drop into Tofu and you have a much more readable text.

"Reading: Theres an awful lot of literature worth reading available for free on the web. Very recently I found a program called Tofu; all it does is takes selected text (or html) and puts it into justified columns of adjustable width. The upside of this is that theres no vertical scrolling, and its actually much easier to read long pieces of text. Its infectious; Im starting to wish that every piece of text that I have to read on my computer be formatted into a justified column. The program is a little touchy when it comes to preferences, but its a great tool."


Thursday, June 07, 2007

YouTube gets ugly but gives you a way out

Embedding your YouTube videos just got alot weirder with an overly busy viewer. You, the embedder, just have to know enough HTML to add "&rel=0" to the tag that embeds the video.

embed src="", for example, should be changed to:

embed src=""

It just doesn't get any user-friendlier than that! anyone?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Response to A Plea for the Horizontally Organized

Read this essay now:

The "Plea for the Horizontally Organized" is great stuff.I agree wholeheartedly with everything written there... I think the appropriate response is "AMEN"! There is a door on milkcrates in my workspace that I have been trying to "keep clear for work". Every once in awhile it gets cleared... because I have moved all the second tier projects onto a pile... on the floor. Eventually, I can't
walk around and all projects come to a screeching halt. A lazy Susan the size
of my workspace would be ideal.

Spread out!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Know Your Own Forms-Motherwell interview 1971

Meyer Shapiro to Robert Motherwell:
(There was one picture of Motherwell's that he liked.)

"Go home and make a lot of them. What it is to be an artist is to get to know your own forms."

The whole interview is here

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Banzai Institute?

Digressions on names and work...

Although the Albert Ellis Institute is currently hijacked by a bunch of jerks, I always loved when Albert would refer to his institute. If I had one, what would I call it? What should I call it? The repeated references to the Banzai Institute in all the support materials for Buckaroo Banzai reminded me of this. Steven Solomon Inc. or something is OK, but...

I am currently doing some text stuff, maybe feeling freed by the Bruce Nauman retrospective I saw in Berkeley this year, and also the wonderful
Miranda July (who I was just lucky enough to see do a reading/performance
at the NYPL last night).

Steven Solo or stevensolo is just a moniker of convenience, since I wanted a ".com" and is a "17 Year Old Professional Pianist
Jazzing Up Chicago's Music Scene".

Hey, he is a neat doppelganger and I have been following his career (sort of) since I realized he had snagged the domain.

Linking this blog to has had a chilling effect since
the persona connected to the comics-influenced painting has stagnated so
@#$% much.

I will be setting up some satellite identities this next 6 months, maybe
taking a cue from Hokusai. It is time for multiple secret identities,
movement in general. Art making as communication, directness, shedding the
skin, accepting The Me Of Now (Thanks Oblique Strategies).


Friday, May 25, 2007

Buckaroo Banzai!

I finally saw BB in english!

I saw it in french while travelling--needless to say I missed quite a bit back then. What a great movie. I would love to see it in a triple feature with Repo Man and The Life Aquatic. Add Liquid Sky as the
midnight feature, even. The persistence of the aliens in all three of the mid-eighties movies and their involvement in terran love affairs is pretty weird and interesting.

Great stuff.

Friday, May 18, 2007

One more YouTube link, really...

I know, enough with the YouTube. I need to resize a design and of course this is impetus to immediately go websurfing, do errands, anything but the 30 minutes that it would take to get the damn task rolling.

One more, damnit, one more...from the Helvetica documentary, touching on font fetishism, here it is:

Jor-El Vs. Uncle Ben!

The guy who makes these is 26 years old & is my new favorite filmmaker I think.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Spider-Man 3 links

As a public service, here is a link to Comic Book Resources for a knowledgeable review of Spider-Man 3 with links to good interviews with the principal creators of the film.

I liked Waitress much, much more (saw it on the same day) but since most comics-illiterate reviewers are fucking up so badly at writing about this film, this link is a corrective.

And the movies' version of Sandman just smells like 1963 pulp paper. (Even if they blew it by a dumb ret-con that is as bad as the crappy Jack Nicholson Joker.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

For The Money Hungry

For those obsessed with The Root Of All Evil, today's video:

"Laptop Like You" song

I have jumped on the Jonathan Coulton bandwagon. I _did_ know about him before the NYT article, thanks to Merlin Mann and Ze Frank. But you may
not, go check this article:

But, more importantly, check out his geek love song, "Laptop Like You". I
truly can say that, as an artist, he voiced my deepest emotions concerning
my MacBook Pro.

Go here, scroll to Other Experiments at
the bottom and click "Hear". Then click "Buy"!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

"Honour thy error as a hidden intention"

Oblique Strategies as an OS X Widget.

If you don't know about Oblique Strategies, here is the wiki.

No Mac available? Try this website instead.

Again, Brian Eno visualized the world we are now living in 22 years

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Quentin Crisp On Fashion

"Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are."

More here.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Completely Insane Fake Interview

This is Dave Gibbons (artist on Watchmen) doing a fake interview where he channels a golden age of comics inker persona. Amazing.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Political Science via Ted Rall

Whoops, it looks like my plan to syndicate cartoonists via this site was a bit hasty. Here is the comic.

Speaking of Israel and Iran

Here's 2 video links that have made the rounds but that give me some hope:

Hypernova, from Iran. "Stop The Madness" (Here is a cover of "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg" as well.

Teapacks, this year's Israeli Eurovision entry. "Push The Button"

Oh Well, Armageddon

Khatami tells Israeli reporters to 'go to hell'
So much for the "Jimmy Carter of Iran". At least Ahmadinejad (pretty much the Ronald Reagan model: inspiring rhetoric; high debts) has more integrity, fruitcake-wise. I say, if we have a dialogue with Iran, Marjane Satrapi is the one I want to talk to. (Of course, for official representation of the US, Art Spiegelman would cover state matters. )