"indecision may or may not be my problem."
At night, exultant and wounding dreams thrilled and tormented him. He wept on scarlet beaches, the waves climbing in front of him until they hid the sun. He saw cities crumble, mountains slide away, continents crack. He steered a dying world out into the friendly heat of space. He held planets in his hands. Denton staggered down terminal arcades, watched by familiar, hooded figures in dark doorways. Little flying girls with jagged predatory teeth swung through the air toward him at impossible, meandering speed. He came across his younger self in distress and brought him food but an eagle stole it. Often Denton awoke stretched diagonally across the bed, his cheeks wet with exhausted tears.
in my dream today, i was watching a video in which benjamin bernake was posing an economics challenge to his students. he explained a lot, and wrote down a lot of equations, but it was too complicated for me to follow.
which made me think how strage it is that my brain can produce information that's too complicated for myself to understand. and in real-time, no less.
a friend of mine said that it reminded him of descartes's argument for the existence of god.
I love how people treat me with respect in America. Sir this and sir that. I'm 33 but I look like I'm fifty so when I walk into a store, service people practically get down on their knees and beg me to share my old man's wealth. I can live with that.
it's one thing that a fucking recap of a regurgitation of a four-year-old side skit from a tv show becomes the must-see movie of the season even in so-called intellectual circles. i mean - go watch 'borat' if you truly feel that this is an essential big-screen experience. it's your money.
and i'm not even saying that i don't like borat. he's funny. i've watched him on youtube on many a bored night in the past, and i wouldn't even mind downloading this movie eventually if it wouldn't take so long.
but -- even as i appreciate and respect baron-cohen's incentive to milk this cash cow to its last drop (being as he seems a pretty smart person, i can't imagine that he enjoys it for anything but the money and the fame) -- i am really getting sick and tired of obnoxiously loud harvard types who after a few too many beers feel the incontrollable urge to shout 'izz naaahhys' and 'ahhh laaahhhhhyk' on mount auburn street, and subsequently double over in laughter at their original and refined sense of humor.
funny how time changes things. there's this old thing i once did. more of an aborted experiment than a project.
but today i found it again, and i really liked it.
i guess the lesson is - hold on to your bad sketches.
brilliant. ok, maybe i'm biased because i did some studies involving tangram puzzles. but still. tangram shelves, think about it. via popgadget.
yours truly has a piece in this small but eclectic show, which spans the spectrum from unsettling, through mesmerizing, to blindingly bright. my video projection is not quite fully debugged yet, but hopefully it will cause some interesting interaction with the audience.
so if you're in the area, the main event is tonight, thursday, between 6-9pm. 130 bishop allen dr., cambridge, ma. come have some wine and mingle with the local geek-art scene.
hard to believe (for me) - massachusetts voters voted 'no' on a law proposition that would allow local towns to give permits to supermarkets to sell wine.
since there are obviously few more dangerous issues in the world, this was also the most expensive ballot question campaign in state history breaking the record held since 1988, when the state voted on nuclear power plants.
supermarkets shelled out $7 million on trying to get the law passed, while liquor store and beer distributors paid $4.5 million to stop the law from being passed.
at the end of the day, this is a common story of legislation.
a stupid-ass law is in place, protecting some economic special interest of a small group. this lobby-propelled law has over the years thoroughly been twisted into some heap of moralistic bullshit related to 'protecting our children', just about the most hipocritical thing you can imagine from liquor stores. and now some other special interest group wants to get in. so both groups shell out millions to make up campaigns tarteting some deeply emotional decision centers in our brains, making the decision about 'consumer choice' or 'teenage drinking'. yeah, right.
trying to appease the traditionally alcohol-spooked american voter, the law in question was phrased so carefully, that i couldn't believe anyone in their right mind would reject it. it basically allowed towns to hand out a limited number of permits to grocery stores to sell wine, and only wine. towns could of course not grant permits if they didn't want to.
but at the end the scare campaign funded by the liquor companies ("foreign owned grocery stores", "190 additional drunk driving fatalities per year", "fail to stop underage buyers"), worked. astonishingly, even very liberal voters that i've talked to, were flailing on election day on how to vote on this question. when pressed to explain why exactly they oppose it, they couldn't muster any good explanations, which is not surprising, since the campaign was mainly emotional and not rational. they usually said something like: "i mean, i'm for consumer choice, but...hmm.. i don't know something.... hmmm.... don't know if it's a good idea, really."
much has been written about the difference between campaigns of hope vs. campaigns of fear. but it really comes down to the emotional response at the ballot box - when you're all alone there with the pen in your hand, and something inside you that you can't quite explain is making you uneasy about a question, it's always a little more comfortable to vote with your fear than with your hope.
When you look up the age ladder, you look at strangers; when you look down the age ladder, you are always looking at versions of yourself.
mark greif, from 'afternoon of the sex children', published in this month's harper's magazine.
it's quite interesting to note that this is only the second script of william monahan (his first, 'kingdom of heaven', was produced in 2005). i've commented before about newcomer screenwriters, and recently i had another thought about that: anyone's first script (or first couple of scripts) is brewing in the writer's head for years. if he ends up writing a blockbuster, he needs to come up with just as many good ideas in one year. no wonder later scripts are not as great.
but last night i also thought how screenwriting is practically the only profession in hollywood where you can truly start at the top. i mean, what other cinematic trade can get you a blockbuster as your first project?
as another curiosity, this very local bostonian story was co-written by siu fai mak, a hong kong writer/director, who can count this as his first american movie.
so how does a hong kong native write a tale about tensions in south boston? this reminds me of a story james schamus once told an audience in jerusalem, describing the production of 'eat drunk man woman'. while schamus was struggling to get into the heads and culture of the chinese family he was writing, director ang lee gave the 'good machine' (now 'focus films') partner the following advice:
just find/replace all the names in the script with jewish american names, and write the story about a jewish family. it's exactly the same, trust me. then find/replace all the names back into the script.
schamus allegedly followed this advice and said it totally worked. i guess families are globally fucked up in exactly the same way everywhere.
too bad he accidentally forgot to change one of the names back to chinese - the youngest girl's friend at the fast food restaurant is, to this day, called 'rachel'.
having just bought ljova's debut album on cd baby, i was quite enchanted with that website's cute, informal, but efficient and professional registration and check-out procedure. even the bad graphics sort of work with the overall feel.
i should remember to vote for them on some web award thing.
also - i hear that cd baby is 'a kind middleman', so if you produce music independently, you might want to consider them for distribution.
update: just got their shipping confirmation, and what can i say... cute.
Your CD has been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.
A team of 50 employees inspected your CD and polished it to make sure it was in the best possible condition before mailing.
Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CD into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.
We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved 'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Thursday, November 2nd.
I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as 'Customer of the Year'. We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!
as compact as it gets, the ultimate list of web 2.0 websites.
em, whatever web 2.0 even means, if anything.
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content here by guy hoffman .. as seen times since march 2004