“The contest was intended for writers at the bottom of the literary food chain and cynically directed at the section of the public most susceptible to the culture of hype. Remember the pagan ethos of the reality show world: Reality contests reproduce “reality” by intentionally making the contests less than fair. The final round in which the public demonstrates its critical acumen (which the contest has done nothing to sharpen) by voting amounts to a sarcastic egalitarian sham. American Idol is watched by millions of viewers. The Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award will never attract millions of readers, nor justify the fun and games by popularizing literacy, nor resolve the issue of a savvy contestant racking up dubious votes.”—Reality Publishing
“If carefully examined, the rebellious patina and ersatz activism of Shepard Fairey’s art gives way to reveal little in the way of political imagination. Ultimately his work is the very embodiment of “radical chic”, bereft of historical memory and offering only feeble gestures, babbling incoherencies, and obscurantism as a challenge to the deplorable state of the world. Such an artist cannot provide us with a critical assessment of where we stand today.”—Obey Plagiarist Shepard Fairey
“Those are bull. I told him that. He’s too tall to be taking charges. He needs to learn to play defense without using his chest. You don’t block a shot with your chest. Maybe Yao [Ming] is listening to Shane [Battier]. Maybe he wants to be a guard or something. Maybe he’s planning to lead the league in charges. So I have to stop him. I have to teach him to lead the league in blocked shots, not charges.”— Dikembe Mutombo, to the Houston Chronicle, expresses his disgust for Yao’s increasing habit of trying to draw charges.
“A 1956 memo to Playboy photographers listed Hefner’s criteria for the centerfolds. The model must be in a natural setting engaged in some activity “like reading, writing, mixing a drink.” She should have a “healthy, intelligent, American look—a young lady that looks like she might be a very efficient secretary or an undergrad at Vassar.” Many centerfolds feature the implied presence of a man: a flash of trouser leg in the corner, a pipe left on a table. These props transform the pinups into seduction scenarios. Their premise is simple: by identifying with the absent man, a viewer can enter the scene.”—
The web would be more interesting if people were willing to undertake real projects for no money. Creative people will waste umpteen hours letting us know what they think about cats or uploading their muesli to Flickr but as soon as the idea of making something real from scratch comes into play suddenly everyone has to have an earning model and salaries. That is probably the fundamental difference between the old and the new Internet.
I’m hoping the recession means folks are going to realise they aren’t going to get paid for their artistic enterprises online and then just go ahead and do them anyway. A shift backwards in expectations. I want: more magazines! More collaboration (real collaboration). More projects! Is that hopeless?
I want the Internet to be a funhouse where every room is something you couldn’t possibly have predicted. Do you realise how flexible this medium you’re paddling in is?
In another world and time, 8Asians.com would have no ads and would be similar to what my blog used to be - completely ad free.
What killed this? Jealousy. Jealousy in that you see other people around you doing similar stuff, and then you meet them at parties or social gatherings and they’re like, “I just booked a sponsor for $1,000 and I’m going to hang out in Asia for a week [true]” or “I just scored a sweet book deal with Random House and I’m only 20! [also true]” And you think your self, “girl, you’re like twelve years younger than me. Where’s my thousand bucks and book deal?”
And then you realize to your horror that you had a pretty successful site that has been around for years, and apart from random strangers recognizing you from Florida you don’t really have anything to show for it, besides your dad pissed that you’ve written about his business for the Internet to see. If my dad is going to be pissed at me, I might as well cash out from it.
Maybe that will change if I suddenly get laid off or fired, and free time is ample; but I feel like as I’m getting older I’m less creative, less funny and instead of having kids or a partner to spend it with, here I am, trying to do the hustle.
Grass is greener on the other side: It’s cliche, but it’s a human response to stuff and it applies to me just as it does to everyone else. It’s horrible to say, but it’s completely true.
To be enticed, as these writers were, by the credentials extended by an old-media publication is a source of hilarity at the Gawker offices, where, beneath a veneer of self-deprecation, the core belief is that bloggers are cutting-edge journalists—the new “anti-media.” No other form has lent itself so perfectly to capturing the current ethos of young New York, which is overwhelmingly tipped toward anger, envy, and resentment at those who control the culture and apartments.
“New York is a city for the rich by the rich, and all of us work at the mercy of rich people and their projects,” says Choire Sicha, Gawker’s top editor (he currently employs a staff of five full-time writers). “If you work at any publication in this town, you work for a millionaire or billionaire. In some ways, that’s functional, and it works as a feudal society. But what’s happened now, related to that, is that culture has dried up and blown away: The Weimar-resurgence baloney is hideous; the rock-band scene is completely unexciting; the young artists have a little more juice, but they’re just bleak intellectual kids; and I am really dissatisfied with young fiction writers.”
Sicha, a handsome ex-gallerist who spends his downtime gardening on Fire Island, is generally warm and even-tempered, but on this last point, he looks truly disgusted. “Not a week goes by I don’t want to quit this job,” he says, “because staring at New York this way makes me sick.”
The next few months will end an era that began six decades ago with a contraption called the Model 95 camera. That accordion-style machine delivered instant photography at a price tag equivalent to some $850 today. The SX-70, which spit out color prints, arrived in 1972. American life during the late 20th century had found its Boswell.
The demise of Polaroid’s instant film cameras has been coming for years. Digital technology did it in. The decision this year by the company that Edwin Land founded to stop manufacturing the film has left devotees who grew up with Polaroid’s palm-size white-bordered prints bereft. They have signed up in the thousands as members of SavePolaroid.com. Digital cameras that print instant pictures have materialized to fill the void, providing a practical substitute. But as in most affairs of the heart, logic is beside the point.