Thursday, July 31, 2014

Tonight is my last night in an apartment I do not like. I have, as I suspect most people do, underestimated how much work moving is. Even taking it room by room, I am not sure if I will sleep tonight. 

I’m passing the time by organizing my things, as I am long past moving them into boxes. Chief of my frustrations was my aquarium, which is hard to clean, because things live in it. The last time I moved, my fish survived a cross country road trip in four cereal containers that are just big enough to keep three or four of them alive, if not happy, for a limited period. The bettas, I have two, get their own containers; Snoopy (who we call the pup) and Tywin (he’s red with silver scales and he’s cagey; the name is oddly appropriate) are the fish I love the most, yes, but they’re also the most likely to eat my other fish. So they get their own mobile homes, as they get their own tanks. 

I do not like this apartment, although I don’t quite hate it. It has its baggage. I will be happy to be living alone, again. Still, I’m intermittently stopping to wonder if I am going to miss it, something which, even a few hours ago, seemed impossible. I’m listening to old episodes of This American Life as I organize, and in particular I’ve reached out two old favorites; “20 Acts in 60 Minutes” and “Our Friend David,” both of which remind me of the places I first heard them. I have a weirdly clear memory of hearing “20 Acts” while on an elliptical machine at Bard’s gym, pre-renovation. I was in my last apartment, in New York, when I first heard “Our Friend David.” I loved that apartment. I cannot shake the feeling that everything will be alright, if I just manage to bring my fish and my own self back to the house next to the church, with its peeling blue paint and its unfortunate tendency to wake me up with its bell on Sunday morning. I do not know if I will ever love a place as much as I loved that one. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

kettle-o-fish:

maze drawings in progress

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Somedays I want to build Snoopy’s dog house, so I can lie on the top and look at the sky.

Sunday, July 27, 2014
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Over at Frontier Psychiatrist, I wrote a thing about Perfect Pussy’s set at last weekend’s Pitchfork Festival:

Here’s what I know: The kids in the mosh pit had a great time. A couple of them lost their glasses, or a water bottle, but everyone seemed to recover the things that were most important. A few of them got up on top of the crowd, and stayed up. On the edge of the pit, where I was, the energy was jolting, if not violent; people kept revolving through the collapsable pocket of empty space that separated the two groups, stomping in, stricken with determination, stumbling out, catching their breath, and plastered with enormous smiles. Perfect Pussy was the engine of all of this, and they played tight music that was filthy with fuzz. Their combustion had to come from somewhere else—the stage was quiet before they showed up, and it was quiet again when they left—but wherever they found it, it was draining. It was hot out, and the set was short. At one point, lead singer Meredith Graves, who spent most of the show throwing all of herself into her microphone, seemed to cry. We were moving, and then we were still. Only as we turned to go did I realize that I couldn’t remember, or simply, never actually heard a single one of the words that Graves had put out into the world. 

Over at Frontier Psychiatrist, I wrote a thing about Perfect Pussy’s set at last weekend’s Pitchfork Festival:

Here’s what I know: The kids in the mosh pit had a great time. A couple of them lost their glasses, or a water bottle, but everyone seemed to recover the things that were most important. A few of them got up on top of the crowd, and stayed up. On the edge of the pit, where I was, the energy was jolting, if not violent; people kept revolving through the collapsable pocket of empty space that separated the two groups, stomping in, stricken with determination, stumbling out, catching their breath, and plastered with enormous smiles. Perfect Pussy was the engine of all of this, and they played tight music that was filthy with fuzz. Their combustion had to come from somewhere else—the stage was quiet before they showed up, and it was quiet again when they left—but wherever they found it, it was draining. It was hot out, and the set was short. At one point, lead singer Meredith Graves, who spent most of the show throwing all of herself into her microphone, seemed to cry. We were moving, and then we were still. Only as we turned to go did I realize that I couldn’t remember, or simply, never actually heard a single one of the words that Graves had put out into the world. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

(Source: cazuiyo)

Monday, July 21, 2014
voxsart:

Yuhei Yamamoto.
Tailor Caid.

voxsart:

Yuhei Yamamoto.

Tailor Caid.

Saturday, July 19, 2014
I see you, too.

I see you, too.

Friday, July 18, 2014

likeafieldmouse:

Rembrandt van Rijn - The Three Trees (1643)

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Stop Whining About Zach Braff

jessethorn:

I will start with this: I don’t know Zach Braff, and I have no idea if he’s a nice guy or a heel. I saw Garden State and wasn’t nuts about it, and I’m not a huge Scrubs fan. I’m also jealous of his New York apartment which I once saw in maybe the New York Times? It was beautiful. So basically overall I’m the kind of guy who is complaining a lot about Zach Braff right now.

But seriously, people like me: quit complaining about Zach Braff. Especially his Kickstarter. You’re being dicks.

As someone who does a lot of work that’s supported by its consumers, I have strong feelings about this. And frankly, those feelings are pro-Braff.

Here is the transaction that Zach Braff offered fans of his work in the Kickstarter for Wish I Was Here: you put up some money, I will make a movie you want to see. Why is that bad?

He didn’t even ask people to put up all the money. He managed to secure financing for a significant portion of the budget, and a loan to keep things moving, but needed a final piece. Which his fans were happy to provide him. Because they wanted to see the movie.

In fact, his fans so wanted to see it, that they kept giving to the project even after the goal was met, to the tune of over a million bucks. Because they wanted to directly support a guy whose work they loved.

Look - I don’t love his work. Maybe you don’t either. But why shouldn’t people who like something pay to get it made? What the hell’s wrong with that?

Here are some complaints I’ve heard:

But he’s a Hollywood insider! Couldn’t he just get the money himself?

I don’t think people understand how hard it is to make any showbusiness project happen. The truth is that he tried, and he couldn’t. The best he could do was a version where he (the director) gave up final cut, and he didn’t want to give up final cut on a project that was very personal to him. So he wondered if people who wanted to see his version would want to pay for it. And they did.

Isn’t he a millionaire?

Sure. I mean, I saw his apartment in that magazine, that’s gotta be worth a million bucks easy. That doesn’t mean he can make a movie out of pocket, though, or that he should. The truth of movie-making is that most projects lose money. Only by amortizing across a lot of projects does the investment make any sense, and as you can see by the franchise-ation of moviedom, there’s so much risk in small adult dramas that people with real money don’t even bother with them any more. Why should he risk losing everything he has? Why is that expected of him?

Kickstarter’s for the little guy!

Well, for one thing - this is the little guy. Five million bucks for a feature film with lots of semi-famous people and a full crew and shooting schedule and several significant effects sequences is the little guy. Not the littlest guy, but the little guy. Movies are expensive. Trust me.

For another thing… why? Why shouldn’t a medium-sized guy use this method to raise money for a creative project? This isn’t a charitable endeavor. People are paying for something they want to see in the world.

He’s manipulating his fans!

His fans are grown ups. They can decide for themselves whether getting a movie made and seeing it in an advance screening is worth thirty bucks to them. Or if getting a movie made and seeing it in a regular movie theater is worth them kicking in ten bucks beyond the regular ticket price. Just because their tastes are different from yours doesn’t make them idiots. Which brings me to…

But he’s so lame!

This has nothing and everything to do with it. Are you being a dick about this because you don’t like how he raised the money, or because you didn’t like Garden State? Or because you did like Garden State and now you’re embarrassed about that because the world changed around you and/or you grew up and now you know you’re not supposed to like Garden State?

Look…

This movie isn’t for me. But it is for someone. 46,000 someones.

More importantly: directly audience-funded creative work is by far a net positive for society. It fosters deeper and more important work - there’s a big difference between your relationship to something you voluntary give money to and something you’re willing to show up to a theater with friends for. It reduces the risk inherent in any creative undertaking for the creative people. It makes it so that folks can spend more of their time making and less begging big corporations for money. It gives creative people control, with the backing of people who like their work, rather than giving that control to someone who wants to sell stuff. All of these are good, good things.

Let’s break the idea that this is a matter of charity. No one pities Zach Braff. He’s rich and handsome and doing well for himself. But tens of thousands of people love his work, and they want more of it. They’re willing to pay for it. And you don’t have to go see it. So what the heck’s wrong with that?

Right on.