we’ll always have paris

November 22, 2010

i took to deactivating my facebook account last night after finally seeing the social network because i really bought into the narrative of the film that the creator of facebook is either mildly psychologically incapacitated or a total sociopath. those are the only two options, in my opinion. i do not think he’s a genius. at most, he’s a savant who can write a lot of code in a short period of time, who stumbled onto a marketing formula that worked best in its simplest, earliest form, and has, over time, devolved into a chaotic swarm of attention bait. there’s a line in the movie that facebook is “like fashion” in that it’s never complete. but such a concept is only interesting insofar as the thing itself is striving towards some idealized form. and i don’t think that that’s the case anymore. i think the website is an inchoate attempt to reduce social interactions into a system. this attracted me, for a time. but what makes “the facebook” profitable and hypnotically successful is the very thing that makes it problematic for me and you and everyone we know — it’s scalability. there is no need for me to continue to collect new “friends” who are going to invite me to their improv shows or tell me about the new blog they’re writing, or whatever arts and crafts side project they’re pimping at the time. (this absolutely does not apply to my friends who i talk to on the phone and see on a regular basis and have a personal relationship with, this applies to the glut of people i’ve met once or twice at a party and then substance of our relationship is basically based on them trying to “convert” me from a “friend” into a “customer.”)

this isn’t the first time i’ve “quit” facebook, and it probably won’t be the last, since their system leaves my “profile” dormant for me to reactivate for that moment when i’m weak-willed and lonely and desperate for some simulated social interaction. this will probably happen. and my will is likely to be weakened in the next few weeks as friends i haven’t talked to in a while suddenly notice i’ve disappeared from their friend box and email me or text me and ask me “where i went.” those messages will be nice and there is a part of me that hopes to get a few. but i also hope that there comes a time when it’s not a “shock” when people leave facebook, that it doesn’t come across as a departure from “the pack” — not that it’s a socially acceptable thing to do, but that it’s a totally unremarkable thing to do, that it’s not a form of rebellion, that facebook doesn’t have the power to make actions against it “rebellious.” i doubt that will ever be the case. but it’s a hope that comes directly from my reaction to the social network — that this website that was once a tool, a thing to aid and abet normal social interactions, has become too powerful of a force, measured in the amount of time i’ve spent/wasted refreshing its pages.




the 30 seconds beginning 30 seconds in.

from woody allen’s everything you always wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask. also, i wonder if the scientists who cloned that sheep named her after the one in this story.


October 9, 2010

via jdnmn

das münch

October 9, 2010

a pack of german motorcyclists roared up to the griffith park observatory on thursday evening on these very special german motorcycles called münch. i am not a bike aficianado, but one need not be an expert to see something amazing in that zeppelin-style sidecar. i walked over to them and tried to start a conversation. they were all dressed in black leather jump suits and were not very friendly and i could not help but think they might be nihilists hunting for mistah lebowski. but i did get a bit of info on the bikes. the one with the sidecar, by far the most beautiful of them, was built in 1965-66, and was one of just 400 ever made. the company was founded by a partnership between a german engineer and an american investor who wanted to put an indian engine into a finely crafted european bike. the result was the murch behemoth, a bike with 88 horsepower, more than a small european sportscar of that era. the sidecar is the only one of its kind ever made, according to the gentleman. these german road warriors were just finishing the american transcontinental journey, which has got to be one of the great dreams of many u.s.-loving germans of a certain era. it was sort of an honor to greet them and point them towards the bust of james dean at the observatory overlooking los feliz. although i’ve never been more tempted to clobber someone with a lead pipe and jack their ride.

here’s a photo of another murch i pilfered from another website. a work of art.

hold on

October 9, 2010

happy birthday john.

they inspire

October 8, 2010

bob dylan’s letter to the INS on behalf of john lennon and yoko ono.

“John and Yoko add a great voice and drive to the country’s so-called ART INSTITUTION. They inspire and transcend and stimulate and by doing so, only help others to see pure light and in doing that, put an end to this dull taste of petty commercialism which is being passed off as Artist Art by the overpowering mass media. Hurray for John and Yoko. Let them stay and live here and breathe. The country’s got plenty of room and space. Let John and Yoko stay!

i’ll keep it with mine

October 8, 2010

susanna hoffs, yes, of the bangles, singing the bob dylan-penned “i’ll keep it with mine.” from the rainy day project.


some day…

October 8, 2010

staff benda bilili

June 1, 2010

Staff Benda Bilili are a group of Congolese street musicians. They live around the grounds of the zoo in Kinshasa, and play music which is rooted in rumba, with elements of old-school rhythm’n’blues and reggae. The core of the band consists of four senior singers/guitarist, who are all disabled (they suffered from poliomyelitis when they were young) and move around in spectacularly customized tricycles. They are backed by a younger rhythm section consisting of ex-sheges, abandoned street kids who were taken under the protection of the older members of the band. The soloist is an 18 year-old boy who plays guitar-like solos on an electrified one-stringed lute he designed and built himself out of a tin can.



May 30, 2010

amazing artwork for the cover of the harry j all stars single “liquidator.” and check wikipedia for the harry j-skinhead-obama conspiracy theory!

This single became one of the anthems of the emerging skinhead youth subculture; together with other instrumental hits released in the UK through his own subdivision “Harry J” on Trojan Records, on a compilation album of the same name. During the 2008 United States presidential election, presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama campaign used the song “I’ll Take You There” by the The Staple Singers at the closing of his stump speeches on the campaign trail. The beginning of the song “I’ll take you there” features an introduction which was lifted from “The Liquidator”.