Monday, September 29, 2008

"no" was all he said

this is the best thing i've seen all day.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

comedians for world peace

ben wolfinsohn's film high school record is up on (one week only)
the gang's all here: no age, mika miko, becky stark and others from the smell scene - teenage teardrops crew make appearances

more info here

radio station giveaway

i wasn't all that impressed by chris rock's appearance on letterman, but his appearance on larry king live last night was fantastic. so lucid, plain spoken and logical. a really refreshing interview. plus he drops the line: "right, larry? you've been married twelve times."

what do we do now?

a great scene from one of asp's new favorite movies. the candidate (1972)

Friday, September 26, 2008

bohemians on bowery

these two probably aren't sweating the current financial crisis.

photographer jay maisel bought this 72-room abandoned german bank for $102,000 in 1966. Now it's worth at least $30 million, maybe as much as $70 million.

this "house" is crazy. this is just a hallway. the plastic sheeting is the air-conditioning system maisel fashioned for the building from the ventilation material used in greenhouses.

he currently lives in the building with his wife and daughter, who is pictured below on her awesome bookshelf/bed. she recently discovered a whole new room in the house that no one knew existed: a mezzanine between the first and second floors that is full of mirror pieces.

the elevator

read the article (and check out more pics) at NYMag: Is 190 Bowery the Greatest Real Estate Coup of All Time?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

oh the glory of it all

this sunday at book soup in w. hollywood, sean wilsey (mcsweeneys) and matt weiland (paris review) present a compilation of pieces for the 50 states, inspired by the WPA guide series.

some highlights from the list of contributors:

Alabama by George Packer
California by William T. Vollmann
Colorado by Benjamin Kunkel
Connecticut by Rick Moody
Florida by Joshua Ferris
Illinois by Dave Eggers
Maine by Heidi Julavits
Massachusetts by John Hodgman
Montana by Sarah Vowell

portland's powell's books made a short film featuring interviews with the authors

so, you know … I’m a little angry

by Aaron Sorkin, from the New York Times, Sept 20th:

BARACK OBAMA knocks on the front door of a 300-year-old New Hampshire farmhouse while his Secret Service detail waits in the driveway. The door opens and OBAMA is standing face to face with former President JED BARTLET.

BARTLET Senator.

OBAMA Mr. President.

BARTLET You seem startled.

OBAMA I didn’t expect you to answer the door yourself.

BARTLET I didn’t expect you to be getting beat by John McCain and a Lancôme rep who thinks “The Flintstones” was based on a true story, so let’s call it even.

OBAMA Yes, sir.

BARTLET Come on in.

BARTLET leads OBAMA into his study.

BARTLET That was a hell of a convention.

OBAMA Thank you, I was proud of it.

BARTLET I meant the Republicans. The Us versus Them-a-thon. As a Democrat I was surprised to learn that I don’t like small towns, God, people with jobs or America. I’ve been a little out of touch but is there a mandate that the vice president be skilled at field dressing a moose —

OBAMA Look —

BARTLET — and selling Air Force Two on eBay?

OBAMA Joke all you want, Mr. President, but it worked.

BARTLET Imagine my surprise. What can I do for you, kid?

OBAMA I’m interested in your advice.

BARTLET I can’t give it to you.

OBAMA Why not?

BARTLET I’m supporting McCain.


BARTLET He’s promised to eradicate evil and that was always on my “to do” list.


BARTLET And he’s surrounded himself, I think, with the best possible team to get us out of an economic crisis. Why, Sarah Palin just said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had “gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers.” Can you spot the error in that statement?

OBAMA Yes, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac aren’t funded by taxpayers.

BARTLET Well, at least they are now. Kind of reminds you of the time Bush said that Social Security wasn’t a government program. He was only off by a little — Social Security is the largest government program.

OBAMA I appreciate your sense of humor, sir, but I really could use your advice.

BARTLET Well, it seems to me your problem is a lot like the problem I had twice.

OBAMA Which was?

BARTLET A huge number of Americans thought I thought I was superior to them.



OBAMA I mean, how did you overcome that?

BARTLET I won’t lie to you, being fictional was a big advantage.

OBAMA What do you mean?

BARTLET I’m a fictional president. You’re dreaming right now, Senator.

OBAMA I’m asleep?

BARTLET Yes, and you’re losing a ton of white women.

OBAMA Yes, sir.

BARTLET I mean tons.

OBAMA I understand.

BARTLET I didn’t even think there were that many white women.

OBAMA I see the numbers, sir. What do they want from me?

BARTLET I’ve been married to a white woman for 40 years and I still don’t know what she wants from me.

OBAMA How did you do it?

BARTLET Well, I say I’m sorry a lot.

OBAMA I don’t mean your marriage, sir. I mean how did you get America on your side?

BARTLET There again, I didn’t have to be president of America, I just had to be president of the people who watched “The West Wing.”

OBAMA That would make it easier.

BARTLET You’d do very well on NBC. Thursday nights in the old “ER” time slot with “30 Rock” as your lead-in, you’d get seven, seven-five in the demo with a 20, 22 share — you’d be selling $450,000 minutes.

OBAMA What the hell does that mean?

BARTLET TV talk. I thought you’d be interested.

OBAMA I’m not. They pivoted off the argument that I was inexperienced to the criticism that I’m — wait for it — the Messiah, who, by the way, was a community organizer. When I speak I try to lead with inspiration and aptitude. How is that a liability?

BARTLET Because the idea of American exceptionalism doesn’t extend to Americans being exceptional. If you excelled academically and are able to casually use 690 SAT words then you might as well have the press shoot video of you giving the finger to the Statue of Liberty while the Dixie Chicks sing the University of the Taliban fight song. The people who want English to be the official language of the United States are uncomfortable with their leaders being fluent in it.

OBAMA You’re saying race doesn’t have anything to do with it?

BARTLET I wouldn’t go that far. Brains made me look arrogant but they make you look uppity. Plus, if you had a black daughter —

OBAMA I have two.

BARTLET — who was 17 and pregnant and unmarried and the father was a teenager hoping to launch a rap career with “Thug Life” inked across his chest, you’d come in fifth behind Bob Barr, Ralph Nader and a ficus.

OBAMA You’re not cheering me up.

BARTLET Is that what you came here for?

OBAMA No, but it wouldn’t kill you.

BARTLET Have you tried doing a two-hour special or a really good Christmas show?


BARTLET Hang on. Home run. Right here. Is there any chance you could get Michelle pregnant before the fall sweeps?

OBAMA The problem is we can’t appear angry. Bush called us the angry left. Did you see anyone in Denver who was angry?

BARTLET Well … let me think. …We went to war against the wrong country, Osama bin Laden just celebrated his seventh anniversary of not being caught either dead or alive, my family’s less safe than it was eight years ago, we’ve lost trillions of dollars, millions of jobs, thousands of lives and we lost an entire city due to bad weather. So, you know … I’m a little angry.

OBAMA What would you do?

BARTLET GET ANGRIER! Call them liars, because that’s what they are. Sarah Palin didn’t say “thanks but no thanks” to the Bridge to Nowhere. She just said “Thanks.” You were raised by a single mother on food stamps — where does a guy with eight houses who was legacied into Annapolis get off calling you an elitist? And by the way, if you do nothing else, take that word back. Elite is a good word, it means well above average. I’d ask them what their problem is with excellence. While you’re at it, I want the word “patriot” back. McCain can say that the transcendent issue of our time is the spread of Islamic fanaticism or he can choose a running mate who doesn’t know the Bush doctrine from the Monroe Doctrine, but he can’t do both at the same time and call it patriotic. They have to lie — the truth isn’t their friend right now. Get angry. Mock them mercilessly; they’ve earned it. McCain decried agents of intolerance, then chose a running mate who had to ask if she was allowed to ban books from a public library. It’s not bad enough she thinks the planet Earth was created in six days 6,000 years ago complete with a man, a woman and a talking snake, she wants schools to teach the rest of our kids to deny geology, anthropology, archaeology and common sense too? It’s not bad enough she’s forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood, she wants the rest of us to guide our daughters in that direction too? It’s not enough that a woman shouldn’t have the right to choose, it should be the law of the land that she has to carry and deliver her rapist’s baby too? I don’t know whether or not Governor Palin has the tenacity of a pit bull, but I know for sure she’s got the qualifications of one. And you’re worried about seeming angry? You could eat their lunch, make them cry and tell their mamas about it and God himself would call it restrained. There are times when you are simply required to be impolite. There are times when condescension is called for!

OBAMA Good to get that off your chest?

BARTLET Am I keeping you from something?

OBAMA Well, it’s not as if I didn’t know all of that and it took you like 20 minutes to say.

BARTLET I know, I have a problem, but admitting it is the first step.

OBAMA What’s the second step?

BARTLET I don’t care.

OBAMA So what about hope? Chuck it for outrage and put-downs?

BARTLET No. You’re elite, you can do both. Four weeks ago you had the best week of your campaign, followed — granted, inexplicably — by the worst week of your campaign. And you’re still in a statistical dead heat. You’re a 47-year-old black man with a foreign-sounding name who went to Harvard and thinks devotion to your country and lapel pins aren’t the same thing and you’re in a statistical tie with a war hero and a Cinemax heroine. To these aged eyes, Senator, that’s what progress looks like. You guys got four debates. Get out of my house and go back to work.

OBAMA Wait, what is it you always used to say? When you hit a bump on the show and your people were down and frustrated? You’d give them a pep talk and then you’d always end it with something. What was it …?

BARTLET “Break’s over.”

Monday, September 22, 2008

enfin ils peuvent rouler ensemble!

manquer, a short film by sean pecknold, brother to robin of fleet foxes

more videos (with fleet foxes soundtracks) here

i don't know what i have done

pictures from our big sur trip this weekend are forthcoming and while novel designs will be proud to present said photos of fleet foxes putting on a truly astounding show at the big sur spirit garden (seriously, best show of the year, topping even g. bear with la phil) i can't stop listening to the version of tiger mountain peasant song these two swedish kids belt out. what's incredible is not only do they nail every single note and two part harmony, but they manage to make some subtle melodic changes and reinvent the song as their own. to me this is exemplary of what a cover should be: an homage with a distinctly personal touch. i will listen to anything these "unga svenskar" contribute their talents to. enjoy.

gameboy dance beats

more press from a reliable news source about neon gold's passion pit. congrats sis. everyone else. get after the pit.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

the lomo amigos

this site, dedicated to the lomo lca, also archives the lomographic adventures of some stellar individuals. namely:

christopher taylor bear

zachary francis condon

jona bechtolt and claire l. evans

i think i like the pictures from yacht the most. and they clearly win for best interview.

INTERVIEWER: If you could be anywhere, doing anything,
right now > where would it be and what would you do?
YACHT: Probably something similar to what we're doing right now: nude, eating yogurt, and watching "Project
Runway." The funny thing is, this answer isn't even a joke.

INTERVIEWER: The one person (living or deceased) who you would most like to photograph
YACHT: J.S. Bach, straight up.

INTERVIEWER: Your advice to future LC-A+ shooters.
YACHT: If you live in the United States, vote for Barack Obama.

Friday, September 19, 2008

stone-sober clerics

alongside interviews with authors like faulkner, mailer, delillo, stoppard, and murakami, the paris review has pdf's of manuscript pages that offer an insight into each writer's creative process: (click on page to see larger)

from joan didion's a book of common prayer (i'm 2/3 of the way through this right now - highly recommended so far)

from an unpublished ginsberg poem

from hunter s. thompson's fear and loathing in los vegas

from jonathan lethem's fortress of solitude

while most of the full interview transcripts require a payment to the paris review website, the excerpts are entertaining enough. the feasibility of writing under the influence seems to be a recurring topic:

Did you ever feel that alcohol was in any way an inspiration? I’m thinking of your poem “Vodka,” published in Esquire.

My God, no! I hope I’ve made that clear. Cheever remarked that he could always recognize “an alcoholic line” in a writer’s work. I’m not exactly sure what be meant by this but I think I know. When we were teaching in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the fall semester of 1973, he and I did nothing but drink. I mean we met our classes, in a manner of speaking. But the entire time we were there—we were living in this hotel they have on campus, the Iowa House—I don’t think either of us ever took the covers off our typewriters. We made trips to a liquor store twice a week in my car.


Almost without exception writers we’ve interviewed over the years admit they cannot write under the influence of booze or drugs—or at the least what they’ve done has to be rewritten in the cool of the day. What’s your comment about this?

They lie. Or maybe you’ve been interviewing a very narrow spectrum of writers. It’s like saying, “Almost without exception women we’ve interviewed over the years swear that they never indulge in sodomy”—without saying that you did all your interviews in a nunnery. Did you interview Coleridge? Did you interview Poe? Or Scott Fitzgerald? Or Mark Twain? Or Fred Exley? Did Faulkner tell you that what he was drinking all the time was really iced tea, not whiskey? Please. Who the fuck do you think wrote the Book of Revelation? A bunch of stone-sober clerics?

windsurfing nation

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

down by the river

this weekend, asp and i are headed up to the big sur spirit garden to catch fleet foxes. i'm imagining it will be a latter-day version of this:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

the selby

i can't get enough of this site, which i discovered thanks to our friends over at madame lamb.

i think my favorite is bill gentle and fanny bostrom's brooklyn pad, for some obvious reasons that are depicted below:

i'm happy to say that i think the alamo totally merits this kind of homage.

no blinking

The NYTimes finally stepped up to the plate and told us how they really feel:

As we watched Sarah Palin on TV the last couple of days, we kept wondering what on earth John McCain was thinking.

If he seriously thought this first-term governor — with less than two years in office — was qualified to be president, if necessary, at such a dangerous time, it raises profound questions about his judgment. If the choice was, as we suspect, a tactical move, then it was shockingly irresponsible.

It was bad enough that Ms. Palin’s performance in the first televised interviews she has done since she joined the Republican ticket was so visibly scripted and lacking in awareness.

What made it so much worse is the strategy for which the Republicans have made Ms. Palin the frontwoman: win the White House not on ideas, but by denigrating experience, judgment and qualifications.

The idea that Americans want leaders who have none of those things — who are so blindly certain of what Ms. Palin calls “the mission” that they won’t even pause for reflection — shows a contempt for voters and raises frightening questions about how Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin plan to run this country.

One of the many bizarre moments in the questioning by ABC News’s Charles Gibson was when Ms. Palin, the governor of Alaska, excused her lack of international experience by sneering that Americans don’t want “somebody’s big fat résumé maybe that shows decades and decades in that Washington establishment where, yes, they’ve had opportunities to meet heads of state.”

We know we were all supposed to think of Joe Biden. But it sure sounded like a good description of Mr. McCain. Those decades of experience earned the Arizona senator the admiration of people in both parties. They are why he was our preferred candidate in the Republican primaries.

The interviews made clear why Americans should worry about Ms. Palin’s thin résumé and lack of experience. Consider her befuddlement when Mr. Gibson referred to President Bush’s “doctrine” and her remark about having insight into Russia because she can see it from her state.

But that is not what troubled us most about her remarks — and, remember, if they were scripted, that just means that they reflect Mr. McCain’s views all the more closely. Rather, it was the sense that thoughtfulness, knowledge and experience are handicaps for a president in a world populated by Al Qaeda terrorists, a rising China, epidemics of AIDS, poverty and fratricidal war in the developing world and deep economic distress at home.

Ms. Palin talked repeatedly about never blinking. When Mr. McCain asked her to run for vice president? “You have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission,” she said, that “you can’t blink.”

Fighting terrorism? “We must do whatever it takes, and we must not blink, Charlie, in making those tough decisions of where we go and even who we target.”

Her answers about why she had told her church that President Bush’s failed policy in Iraq was “God’s plan” did nothing to dispel our concerns about her confusion between faith and policy. Her claim that she was quoting a completely unrelated comment by Lincoln was absurd.

This nation has suffered through eight years of an ill-prepared and unblinkingly obstinate president. One who didn’t pause to think before he started a disastrous war of choice in Iraq. One who blithely looked the other way as the Taliban and Al Qaeda regrouped in Afghanistan. One who obstinately cut taxes and undercut all efforts at regulation, unleashing today’s profound economic crisis.

In a dangerous world, Americans need a president who knows that real strength requires serious thought and preparation.

Friday, September 12, 2008

diagram of a scam

wrapping up the week with some imagery

the original mad man

a 1977 interview with David Ogilvy

she had never seen traffic lights, lifts or escalators

i'm not even a big fujiya and miyagi fan, but this video is pretty easy on the eyes.

look it stopped snowing

polish film posters

let me break this down for you

Thursday, September 11, 2008

i'll see you at burning man

this post goes out to JMF who actually went to burning man this year. i am officially jealous. here are a lot of reasons why: