For me, holding a grudge is like expecting the world to conform to my view of it. So I don’t hold them. But everybody encounters the stuff that grudges are made of, and when I do it always leaves me with a sense that a mystery is hovering at the edge of my vision. My impulse always is to make things right, but experience has shown me that my desire for that is not always sufficient cause to make it happen. For me, moving on can often just mean becoming very good at looking away, and away, and away.
I like to urge designers to always ask themselves: “Does this logo look like a penis?” The answer has to be a resounding “No”. If there is just a slight hesitation, then it probably does look like a penis.
via Paul Kafasis
Korehira Watanabe is one of the last remaining Japanese swordsmiths. He has spent 40 years honing his craft in an attempt to recreate Koto, a type of sword that dates back to the Heian and Kamakura periods (794-1333 AD). No documents remain to provide context for Watanabe’s quest, but he believes he has come close to creating a replica of this mythical samurai sword.
(via Product by Process)
I figured it out. Time is short. We’re getting older. I’m resorting to violence first.
I really struggled trying to pick which images to post from this collection of vintage Tokyo subway manner posters. I feel remiss not including the Santa Says You’re Probably Drunk poster. Or the Hitler Is Inconsiderate of Others’ Personal Space poster. Or the These Sumo Wrestlers Are Basically Just Fucking poster.
There’s a real obsession with left-behind umbrellas here. And chewing gum, which can apparently fell even the superest of superheroes.
Frank Chimero posted the talk he gave at the AIGA National Conference in Phoenix:
There is a reach to knowledge and skill. You know what you know, and through time and effort and diligent focus, you’ve also come to realize a few of the things that you don’t know. You begin to understand that those unknowns are within reach if you stretch a bit. That’s learning. And then the thought occurs to you that puts the fear of God in your bones: there are things out of your reach, (Important things! Crucial things!) that you will never know that you don’t know. It’s a darkness too dark to pierce.
Don’t worry, it’s hopeful too.
Van Dyke Parks’s Arrangements, Volume 1, released this past week, highlights 1960s and 1970s collaborations with Arlo Guthrie, Lowell George, Bonnie Raitt. And: Dean Martin’s son Dino. And: Beau Brummels/Stoneground frontman Sal Valentino. And: other wonders. I love it.
I also love it that in recent years Van Dyle Parks’s collaborators have included Rufus Wainwright, Joanna Newsom, and Skrillex.
“I notice that so many of my peers, aging ingénues, rock stars, are moving along in life into their wrinkles with an adoring audience that’s aging as well, and the plain truth is that I wasn’t condemned by that because I’ve never had to be somebody to do something,” says Parks. “I don’t have a five year-plan. I just hope the phone will ring and it will bring an opportunity to dominate my life.
(Thanks to Ju Ju Pongo for hipping me to Michael Slenske’s Interview interview with Parks.)
I found Roger Ebert’s essay on mortality (excerpted from his new book) to be quite a lovely catalyst for reflection.
I believe it is possible to love others more than one’s self. Is that healthy? Perhaps not, but if it isn’t I have no idea of how one might define such health. The fact that I might long to die as quickly as possible doesn’t mean that I therefore long for everybody to join me. Knowing I am loved, I would set aside my choice (if able to do so). If I believed my presence burdened others in a way that outweighed potential pain caused, I would go.
A sad feature of suicide is that it can come to appear in one’s mind as an inviting doorway. A person can even begin to rely on the comfort that doorway represents. No bad thing in one’s life, then, is ever larger than those few steps required to reach that passageway. It’s seductive, and it generates a kind of empty courage — an ability to go blank in the face of danger. But sometimes that ability to be fearless generates, ironically, a pleasure in life that makes one want to hold onto it for a while. Hence my reference to Dostoyevsky’s story.
Via Alan Phelan, who wrote: 21.40 Matthew Moore, the Telegraph’s assistant news editor, filmed this extraordinary speech by a fearless West Indian woman in Hackney, East London. Contains obscene language.
That’s the trouble with democracy, huh? The wrong people are always voting.
Best Stevie Wonder song.
Regardless of context, John Gruber speaks the truth:
Why do we put bylines on stories in the first place? Because writers deserve credit, obviously. But bylines also serve the reader. All work is better when it is signed by its creators. Edward Tufte says:
Agencies, departments, and organizations don’t do things — people do things. People’s names should be on things to foster both accountability and pride.
I just finished The Call of Stories:Teaching and the Moral Imagination, and I recommend it.
I love this passage:
At one point he (William Carlos Williams) reminded us that an important part of our lives would be spent “listening to people tell you their stories”; and in return, “they will want to hear your story of what their story means.”
I know I’m like a cheerleader for John Waters here on clusterflock, but I really do love the man and I love the way his mind works and what he says. This is one of a series.
I always wanted a brother, and I wish John Waters had been my big brother.
(Thanks to Juanito for tipping me to this.)
’76 – ’79-ish.
1) Mrs. Carroll (Editor of the weekly she inherited it from relatives before her, sold it to the the publisher in Corning, a decade before I started working there)l: Rick, you’re fired!
Me: Again! Why this time?
She: You turned the air conditioner thermostat up to 78. (This in the middle of the gas crisis in the late 70′s when we were trying to conserve.) Read more
This is not going to be a good essay. This is going to be a terrible essay, which you should not read, for two reasons.
Part of my distrust of terms comes from a funny experience I had coming out of college. Allow me a brief digression: I went to a liberal west coast school. The kind of school where many of the kids manage to be oppressed and wealthy and socialist all at the same time. A frequent topic of discussion was the “inherent sexism” of the English language. There were two main lines of argument – 1) in English, the default pronoun is “he” 2) English contains a number of words, such as “bitch” and “pussy” that combine an insult with femaleness. So as not to digress too far, suffice it to say that I think these arguments are unconvincing. At the least, they require a lot of nuanced (even statistical) explanation in order to claim them as true. That said, this sort of thing was my impression of how “sexism” worked in society.
Then I moved to LA to get into the film business. In LA, it is considered acceptable to ask a potential secretary to send headshots. In LA, it is acceptable for a casting director to say “could you play that role blacker” as a way to say “act loud and dumb.” In LA, you hear people describe homosexuals who’ve died of AIDS as having “died of assfucking.” In LA, you hear even nice people say “women can’t be funny.” These aren’t exaggerations – these are things I experienced. Having seen these things, it was incredible for me to look back at the way that, in college, we’d parse the tiny details of language to try to locate some sexism. In Hollywood, it was real sexism, without doubt or hesitation. It was people holding back women (and other groups) actively and overtly.
It occurred to me what a bizarre thing it is that “sexism” blankets both the experience I had in college AND the experience I had in LA.
Olfuctory has some fucumference to it, word-wise.
…you might become a believer. So certainly NSFW.