2007 – The Year in Review

My Canon camera, like most, has a “movie” setting. Half the time I use it intentionally, and half the time I flip it on by mistake. Either way, over the year I have grabbed 5 seconds here and there, sometimes longer (but not that much). The above compilation doesn’t make any narrative sense and is completely random. So enjoy!! (Warning: Includes mature language, i.e. swearing).
Bonus! 2006 Year in Review also uploaded: Part One and Part Two.
And!! I have uploaded a Flickr photoset for 2007, one photo representing each month.

Rickstones Yearbook 1986

I have scanned and uploaded to Flickr the complete Rickstones Yearbook I created in 1986 when I was a wee scruffian. Contains my attempt to be Bill Elder. From my Flickr intro:

In 1986 I was the only American student in Rickstones Secondary School in Witham, Essex, UK. And being so, I thought we ought to have a yearbook, which is a foreign concept to the Brits. So along with a friend of mine, Dave Seacombe, we petitioned in March, convinced the Headmistress, who then found a printer for us. I guess they thought, well as long as he leaves us alone…

As usual, the larger versions are the best, so be sure to click on them.

Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere (1985)

If we’re gonna go out, let’s go out like this song, joyous in the face of un-knowledge and un-certainty.

There’s a city in my mind
Come along and take that ride
And it’s alright, baby it’s alright
And it’s very far away
But it’s growing day by day
And it’s alright , baby it’s alright
Would you like to come along
You can help me sing this song
And it’s alright, baby it’s alright
They can tell you what to do
But they’ll make a fool of you
And it’s alright, baby it’s alright

I think we all need that comforting feeling in that repeated last line…

Louis Menand (and myself) on Diary Keeping

A photo of Louis Menand all chillin’ out ‘n’ shit. In front of books.
I have kept a diary on and off (but pretty much on, full on) since 1985. Holy Christ! That’s pretty much all my formative years and then some. So I’m always interested to read others’ diaries, or in this case a lengthy New Yorker article by Louis Menand on diary keeping. Here’s some choice passages:

And the superego theory, of course, is the theory that diaries are really written for the eyes of others. They are exercises in self-justification. When we describe the day’s events and our management of them, we have in mind a wise and benevolent reader who will someday see that we played, on the whole, and despite the best efforts of selfish and unworthy colleagues and relations, a creditable game with the hand we were dealt. If we speak frankly about our own missteps and shortcomings, it is only to gain this reader’s trust. We write to appease the father. People abandon their diaries when they realize that the task is hopeless.

Read More

Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe

A recent BoingBoing post reminded me to check out Charlie Brooker on YouTube, although the clips it linked to were some of his less brilliant. Brooker does not just sit on a couch and insult twats on TV (as the original link showed), but his deconstruction of the way television manipulates our emotions is some of the best media studies-turned-comedy I’ve seen. The closest the U.S. has is the duo of Colbert and Stewart, but their focus is mostly on politics. (One of my students reminded me that ZeFrank does some of this too). Instead Brooker assaults the entire apparatus. For more on the series, here’s a Wikipedia thingy and the official BBC Four site. Here’s a selection of the best moments I could find on YouTube:

Brooker looks at how Reality TV is edited, and how narratives can be manipulated out of raw footage.
Here’s his overview on the dreadful Celebrity Big Brother that I had the misfortune of seeing when I was in Liverpool.
“Aspirational TV” pretty much deconstructs everything that’s wrong with not only television but capitalism in general. Brilliant!
He also takes on the X Factor, known in the US by our similarly crap version, American Idol.
Brooker doesn’t always slag things off–here he praises the series The Wire, and rightly so, because it is one of the best shows ever.

Want more? Here’s some full all four seasons plus two holiday specials!:
Charlie Brooker’s ScreenWipe Season One (March 2006):
Episode One: 1 2 3
Episode Two: 1 2 3
Episode Three: 1 2 3

Charlie Brooker’s ScreenWipe Season Two (July-Aug 2006):
Episode One: 1 2 3
Episode Two: 1 2 3
Episode Three: 1 2 3 (Severely Edited b/c of YouTube, but here’s the real deal)
Episode Four: 1 2 3
Episode Five (Screenwipe USA): 1 2 3 4 5 6

Charlie Brooker’s ScreenWipe Specials (December 2006):
Christmas 2006 1 2 3 4
2006 Year in Review 1 2 3

Charlie Brooker’s ScreenWipe Season Three (February 2007):
Episode One: 1 2 3
Episode Two: 1 2 3
Episode Three: 1 2 3
Episode Four: 1 2 3

Charlie Brooker’s ScreenWipe Season Four (September 2007):
Episode One: 1 2 3
Episode Two: 1 2 3
Episode Three:
1 2 3
Episode Four: 1 2 3
Episode Five: 1 2 3

Denki Groove’s new video

I’m back from Hawaii (didn’t you know I’d gone?) and I’ve been sorting through blogs and mail and such. And this new video from Denki Groove is TEH COOLNIZ. It starts awesome and continues through several variations on awesome. To be more coherent, it is steady zooms on ’80s style Japanese girls. It’s cute and creepy at the same time, and the hair! the hair!!
Credit where credit’s due to Chipple for pointing this out.
(Hawaii photos coming soon…)

Bradford Noble does Vertigo

Through a link from a friend I came across this “Vertigo”-themed fashion spread for “OutTravel” Magazine, featuring drag queen Miss Brini Maxwell sporting some very Kim Novak outfits. No direct link to this spread (and the other six photos) but they are all ace. (It’s in the “Fashion” section). I’m a sucker for anything “Vertigo,” esp. as the Criterion Edition of La Jetee/Sans Soleil came in the mail.