Thursday, August 30, 2007

some sad, sad shit

really. i am on the internet, looking at kids paying sick amounts for track bike stuff listening to hall and fucking oats and saying "I can't go for that". no.

worse still was I had "rich girl" stuck in my head on the motorcycle ride home.

sad, sad, sad.

burning it at both ends

okay, so I've been nutso busy lately, but it's been good despite that.

but it turns out that I'm not the only one that's been burning it at both ends - yes, so has the burning man operation.

i think the whole thing is so funny - what a great piece of conceptual art. people that think he did something wrong are missing the whole point of burning man. to me the question of what is the purpose of burning man if the man is burnt already is incredible.

i wonder what will happen in light of the charges given that it's supposed to be burned anyway and that the entire premise of the gathering is a non-monetary event celebrating creation and destruction.

bolsinga said it best when he said "now I don't have to go"

burning man has always been a weird subject for me - joe winston invited me out to help with filming his never happened third burning man documentary back in the late 90s. Watching how the organization's old guard exploded/imploded/grossed out during that time period made me pretty sure the point was not the point any more (if it ever was). Similarly the dispute over creative commons issues related to the burning man name and image as logo has been likewise pretty enlightening.

I've no personal experience, but from Joe's first film trip to burning man in 1995 John Law always seemed to have a good head on his shoulders. I only learned recently that's he's part of laughing squid.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

stealing the moon with a stolen camera

well, I woke up either early or late and stole mary's camera. here is the proof:











maybe I was tired or maybe I don't know how to use mary's camera, but I wish I had messed with a lot more stuff after the fact. despite that, I'm pretty happy with what I got. except for the not sleep part.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

in case you were wondering why youtube sucks

well there are myriad examples, but i would like to point out that there is ABSOLUTELY no way to actually communicate with them if there is a problem. what's worse, they lie (yes, actually lie) about how to contact them.

now, I know that getting something for free pretty much limits one's rights to complain about stuff, but if doing no evil is your goal, one could certainly start by being honest that there is no mechanism for addressing complaints rather than pretending that you do. I get the impression that youtube just lies about stuff, I wonder if a judge would get the same.

for a little background: i tried to put an html link in a video description on youtube - well, i wondered if I could since there was nothing where one would enter the description saying "no html" or anything - so i searched their help center for html description html tags html links and a few other terms without finding ANY useful information.

rare that I ask for permission rather than forgiveness though it is, I simply did not get an answer of any sort. so i have it a try. whichever moron was actually responsible for the code didn't even have basic knowledge of the UI tenent: "first thing you learn in a gui class common sense is to tell people why something doesn't work so they don't do it again" this is called a feedback loop. and despite the fact that youtube does not want any feedback from anyone except advertisers, they're not actually going to get any feedback if they handle this step right.

but of course they don't. instead there's a message saying "check your description" with the old description in there (not the updated version with the link) - which of course there is nothing wrong with in the first place.

given the fact that I wasted about 10 minutes trying to figure all of this out I thought I'd suggest including that information somewhere would be helpful. good luck. youtube doesn't even have a possible way to inform them that a law is being violated unless it's copyright law.

If I may be so bold, the reason Google has problems with child safety laws in various states is because they don't actually care about them enough to make reasonable efforts to address them. frankly, I don't understand how a company can spend that much money on fancy free lunches for their employees but can't have a mechanism in place to interact with their customers at all and still honestly tell people their moto is "don't be evil".

when I think about these sorts of things I think google needs to be aware of 1 very interesting person - jesse the body ventura. yes. the wrestler/governor. why? because he became famous by pretending to be cavalier, vain and holier than though - he was despised for it as a fictional character, but he was aware of what it meant to the public. when he ran for governor, he was sure to appear as the exact opposite. google runs the risk of not being able to separate these two elements; in fact it already has this problem at the federal level but got lucky with the timing of the shift in power in the house and senate.

google needs to be smarter about how it frames itself in these ways or it will find itself needing a lot more than revenue for lobbying dollars.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

quartz composer examples

so, i've decided to up the number of blogs i'm wasting time on by 1 (or 2) by more formally make quartzdecomposer.com the home for decomposition in quartz, the quartz composer blog i started a few months back. hopefully someone out there will find it useful, but even if no one does, it's been good for me to hunker down and get some of this stuff ready for sharing outside of the format of actual live performance. feel free to contact me with any questions here or there.

why i like the nytimes

i want to thank the nytimes for being so great for cinema lovers. as i've posted before it's been a bad past month for folks that like great cinema, but the times has done something i very much care about and they've done it is a rather perfectly new york way - by taking two great new york filmmakers and having them talk about their relationships to these great, recently deceased filmmakers from other places (other worlds almost).

the end result has been as fitting a tribute to greatness as a newspaper should (or frankly could) produce. scorcese's piece of antonioni and allen's piece of bergman are perfect homages to these great filmmakers, but they're also perfect homages to people who love great films - and I suppose to cinema itself. the otherworldly quality of the great auteurs has been brought to a real and personal level that everyone can understand simply by showing that great and otherworldly auteurs think and feel the same way the rest of us rabble feel about great and otherworldly auteurs - they are amazed at how well they move us with their craft. and of course, they are so moved.

there - i've gone and had my annie hall moment for the weekend; now i'm going to stalk mia farrow.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

maximum roachitude

max roach is one of those players who always always pushed. i think that is so rad.

it maybe be impossible now, but hey - you should know that i really appreciate it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

can i get a list of t-shirts that are okay for arabic speakers?

Slim sends this link the same day the nytimes blogs on a similar story.

Look, t-shirts have become personal billboards - where's the rub? Oh, I see - only darkies aren't allowed to express themselves on t-shirts. Because it scares people? No. That is in fact the excuse, the reason is of course because the self expression is dangerous. great. thanks for the heads up on that massa. is the next step to worry about miscegenation? you know, i hear that's how they will eventually win - taking our daughters and making half breed sons that can pass.

The whole problem with the forced resignation of Almontaser is that the message being sent is one that can never, ever be won: we control your language. guess what whitey? you don't - you never will either.

Lost on everyone (at least apparently everyone in nyc) and certainly those who hope to take the word away from those who created this particular use of it is that the word becomes even more someone else's by right.

To try and stop language is as impossible as stopping thought.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

bliss for the unaware

"I've fallen and I can't get up"

The song "falynn" is pretty awesome.

it doesn't matter how shallow you are

i'll still get wet if i jump in

reading a very entertaining blog on apple's enmity toward not friendly enough reporters and publications created the fake steve jobs. happened to be listening to the rather perfect pop song "piecework" by clyde federal, a sadly disappeared chicago pop band (mike bulington!). the line "it doesn't matter how shallow you are/i'll still get wet if i jump in" right as i read the line about lobbing water balloons in from the window outside in the blog. i know not much about the band (even how i discovered them) but this song is so good, better than any of the other stuff by them i've heard.

"36 cents at a time tends to dollars over hours" it's a very wordy song, but they're so well placed and quite well chosen. it's become one of my sleeper hits of 2007.

frachetti on non-conforming geo-politics

“I think some of our foreign policy complications derive from our inability to locate a nomadic dynamic within contemporary political structures.”

clearly geared toward contemporary ME military struggles (which may be as much driven by grant dollars as the thoughts themselves) but it does raise issues of benedict anderson's imagined communities worthy discussion - how does the poltical nation state interact with a culture and the political structure around it when the very state building mechanisms the nation states depend on for existence do not exist?

we see this in the comical attempts of the US to create street cred worthy arabic news sources that spin they way the US wants, but in even the most positive possible outcome, this scenario does more for a unified arab nation state than the baaths of the 40s (and later). Most importantly, in a world less dependent on the press to inform the dominant political space, the policy appears flailing and misguided, albeit potentially necessary for some segment of the arab street. This is necessarily a post-colonial construct of the street. It is also a construct of the street that never had sight (or at least concern, possibly even understanding) of the politics on the ground.

Quite literally, the street was where order was maintained by colonists, when and where popular dissent manifested itself in public display of anger; as the cults of personality and interpersonal loyalty of the corrupted baathists are destroyed or fall apart from old age (or death) we see what I think of as post-Tito-esque explosion - and we will likely see the same kind of partial failure at traditional nation building. Where the street is sufficiently similar to the kind we are equipped to deal with, there will be success (who knows to what extent) but where there is no street, we are no better or different than the ottomans El Orance was so disgusted with, but there are at least three generations of experience with modern colonial warfare to struggle against now. That and a whole lot of history.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

a lot of people are wondering

so I'll just lay it on the line here:

"if a 36 year old apple dork is your hipster connection...."

sheesh.

I am so not hip.


it is incredibly liberating to know that, for what that's worth. now what am I going to do with all these ben sherman shirts?

a very special thanks

to the driver of the shit brown, shithead filled Ford F150 pickup with the CA license plate 7YO3638 who brightened my morning by waiting until the very end of the golden gate bridge, underneath the flock of pellicans to flick his cigarette out into the ocean. really heartwarming.

Monday, August 06, 2007

none of my friends are normal - or gabba gabba hey, carlos

but it still impresses me as remarkable when the ultrahip scenesters such as carlos d (of interpol fame) goes and says something that makes me think "he's one of us". so this would have been a moment, between stages on the tour de france when current tv had a little snippit with him where he spoke highly of Lautner's design for the Chemosphere (which is what the Current TV folks call their "LA studio" which is what most of us would call "a soundstage make to look like a studio".

So, I myself probably could not have resisted the temptation to riff on the fact that it's not what it appears, but I also probably could not play bass that well, so 'los and I are even. Needless to say, Lautner is awesomely weird, though not curvey enough for me. I learned today that he only died in the 90s. not carlos, he's still alive, don't let the whole goth aesthetic fool you.

RIP barton lee hazlewood

sure, boots is a great song, but come on, the dude had some serious songwriting chops - so much so that focusing on one song is like talking about what a great right front tire a car has.

lee hazlewood died saturday, maybe that's why I slept so long.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

this is a public service announcement

with guitars!!!

today I rocked out to pere ubu and my bloody valentine. so bloody there, pops.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

is it that i root for the underdog?

or that i love the spectacular failure more than sucess?

i've long (well, a good decade or so) thought edsels were cool cars. I remember the first time I fell in love with one though, on some sierra drive with mary, not long after we met, rounded a corner coming down into a beautiful opening at the head of a valley. wow. there in the sun and the hot, wet air sat a totally beautiful red edsel. I got about 1/4 of mile past it before I couldn't restrain myself and turned around to go back and take a closer look. man. totally awesome.

the nytimes has an enjoyable piece on a fan who had a birthday party for his. (it's not red)