Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Merlin Redeems TV. Also: The Delmore Effect!

Merlin Mann does a video podcast that is actually good. This is the first interview of The Merlin Show. Mann's interest in creativity and how to get there informs most of his work (with the dark side represented as well).

It is not a coincidence that Paul Sas turned me onto Merlin, since his own work on goal setting and The Delmore Effect is a motherlode of insight.

In his words: "...most people tend to set much more explicit goals for low priority domains than for their most important ambitions. (This lapse is labeled the Delmore Effect, after the failed poet, Delmore Schwartz).

Holy goofing off, Batman, I have to get offline RIGHT NOW!

Friday, February 23, 2007

On Bob Mould

Quotes from the Wiki:

Another strength was Mould's unique, resonant guitar sound, described by a critic at the time as "molten metal pouring from the speakers."

Mould reports that they liked (the name) Husker Du's somewhat mysterious qualities, which set them apart from other hardcore punk groups with names like "Social Red Youth Dynasty Brigade Distortion".

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Reasons to Be Cheerful 2/14/07

Time to clear the decks with a "shopping list" post in no particular order. The nature of this blog is that I might not develop all ideas or lists but part of the experiment is the simple act of posting.

Lots of quotes rambling around my head today...

-The Search by John Battalle - (book) Think of an act we have always been engaged in, now refined to the point where it is a new context for hunting and gathering. The Tesla connection, aka "The lessons of Tesla":

"I wanted to invent things, but I also wanted to change the world. I wanted to get them out there, get them into people's hands so they can use them, because that's what really matters." Larry Page p.66

This is another interation of "Real artists ship" (Steve Jobs).

Bill Gross' IdeaLab story is also worth reading.

"...he was fascinated with the way Spielberg ran movie sets. 'He walks around all day long using his brainpower to creatively enhance things around him...

'I'd always thought you had to take the good with the bad. How audacious to think your job could be perfect all day long.' " Bill Gross p. 99

-Bruce Nauman at the Berklee Art Center-What would I be doing today if I had seen this stuff instead of the Giacometti in Dec. 1979?Manipulating the T-Bar, Get Out of My Mind, Abstracting the Shoe, Legal Size all very, very good.

-Guston, Lichtenstein and modern posters at SF MOMA. Guston Red Sea, The Swell, Blue Light. Paintings hung together like comics panels. Man, this is it.

The Lichtensteins look hard and brittle, but just right. Mirror, 1970 hits me now in a way that the Rothko and Giacometti there don't. I feel far away from those masters right now.

Too Much to Take: Cornuto! or How it all feels a little too Fassbinder in here. (If there were a link to Elvis Costello's version of The Specials' "What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend" I would definitely list it here.)

-Shadows and Fog quote, "Like our illusions? No, they NEED our illusions!"

-Steven Shaw Turning The Tables (book). Great critiques and expertise-oriented understanding of the food business. Shaw got turned onto fine dining while being wined and dined by law firms in NYC. (Will cite page when I get my copy back.) Right on critique of the "cult of authenticity". Even though I appreciate Saveur/Slow Food for their contributions, this is a handy bit of sharp thinking from the FatGuy aka eGullet.com guy.

-Tickle Me Almo (dovar):Here is a Pete Townsend quote I would throw at the reverential NYRB reviewer who likes "Cinema master" Almodovar more than "speed freak" Almo. Just substitute "Pedro" for "Pop" in the quote below.

"Pop has become solemn, irrelevant, and boring. What it needs now ismore noise, more size, more sex, more violence, more gimmickry, more vulgarity. Above all it desperately needs a new messiah who will take things right back to the glamour, power, and insanity of the Elvis Presley age."

-Shit testsOK, it is ridiculous to rationalize all clumsy conversational moves as intentional. But hey, being ridiculous is not so bad. I can keep it up for awhile longer.

"Hey baby/I'm out of favor/Can't always be/The right flavor" Graham Parker Nobody Hurts You (Harder Than Yourself)

OTOH, as a waiter I can talk to people, why is it that as ME I cannot? There are a few rules, I am selling something, it is a work interaction. Imagine giving someone free cookies if they don't like your flip comment about feminism, the war, your swearing habit, your love, your hate, your indifference... Maybe I need to carry a few "comps" in my backpack and just treat everyone, everywhere as if they were my "customers".

-Marvelmania, or just mania as an aesthetic. Or an anaesthetic? I notice that many posts are about creating a state of mania. Art that triggers this is GOOD. Everything else is just OK.

Anyhow, I liked that Brice Marden show, didn't I? But even then I was drugging myself on Sweet and ignoring museum guards who were in my face...

My comment to Grey's Anatomy creator

(Alas, I got hooked on a TV show while hanging out with my Mom. Worse, I actually posted on the blog of this nighttime soap opera. Well, one mission of this blog and of mine is the SHAME ATTACKING EXERCISE, and this is one. I am publically admitting that I am a fan of "Grey's Anatomy", and not just the Spaulding Grey one!)

I will not be happy until you have Burke french kiss a man to make up for his bonehead offensive remarks. I agree that bouncing Isiah Washington and replacing him with another African American actor would be racist. But Mc "Gay, I love Gay" needs to kiss a man on TV.

He has done your wonderful show and the great character you & he have created a great disservice with his homophobia.

You can say "trust the art, not the artist" but this is more than someone having offensive politics, it is someone giving voice to hate and then playing a subtle theatrical role. Everytime Washington's character shows up, I expect him to say "f**g*t", he just destroyed Burke with his unprofessional behavior.

The bottom line, as someone said, is that if T.R. Knight had dropped the "N" word he would be off the show. This is no different.

I wouldn't write if I weren't a fan. Let Burke get a nice wet one, linger on the shot and all will be well.

Shortlist of Finder fixes for OS X

(email to a friend who works for a consulting firm.)

Since we talked I have kept thinking about it. For what it is worth, here are some bugs/fixes/hacks for Finder and some lower level OS issues I wish Apple would address.

First, the positive: I am using 10.3.9 on a Pismo, G3 laptop and it boots faster than 9 did and is more stable. Amazing for a year 2000 laptop in 2007! I have a GB of RAM and a 60 GB 7200 rpm HD, but since I killed my 1st Pismo, I actually traded down to a 400 mhz machine and can still design and update webpages (I don't do video editing professionally) so this used old laptop paid for itself in very short order.

Issues: Preview should be better than the Windows equivalent at browsing photo folders and viewing as slideshow. I use Graphic Converter and PicturePopPro2, but this functionality should be easy and "Mac-like", not a hassle... Column view is not competitive and iPhoto is bloatware for just photo viewing. Picassa is way better for tagging and routine image management.

File view needs to remember preferences, I don't want to collapse column view every single goddamn time.

Why does the Terminal app flake out on my SSH connection and why is it so lousy at telnetting to my shell when 10.2.8 was reasonably good at it and, again, Windows is more reliable here, ugh!

Macros for keystroke shortcuts, if they exist, are buried. I use Keyboard Maestro, but this should be built in and easily apparent.

Why can't I lock items into the Dock after all this time? Accidentally removing a Dock item is retarded. (This could be a control-click option on the item.)

Also, a ghost image of a live window in the Dock to allow easier file management FROM the Dock would be an improvement. This is one area where the Windows start bar is superior. OS X can implement this in a more usable way, as I hint, by making it visually clear that it is a "ghost icon". Since the "desktop metaphor" is morphing, why pretend that the consistency of "moving a file" is not already violated in OS X and provide this improvement?

Hiding and showing the Dock with option-cmd-D is still flakey. I want more reliable control and more responsiveness. I know I am using an old machine, but I don't think that is the issue here. When I have 2 open windows and work to do, I don't need to futz with the Dock!

Why isn't there a key combo shortcut for Secure Empty Trash?

I use Windowshade, this hack revives a very useful OS 9 feature which should be re-implemented. I don't always want to completely minimize a doc/window I am working on.

For what it is worth...!!!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

While I am waiting for my notes to dry...

I just came back from Berkeley, former home of Beserkeley Records and new home of Beckett and Yair. I filled a notebook with stuff and am contemplating the uses of this blog now that I have too much unformulated stuff that needs to get to my studio more than the Halfway House of Ideas aka Blogista!

While I ponder this, ponder Jonathan Lethem's essay on copyright, The Ecstasy of Influence, in Harper's here.