Archive for April, 2008
Well, that was a fantastic weekend for your humble correspondent — shown here at the feet of industry wise men Charles Brownstein and (off screen) Larry Marder. Thanks to Steve Lieber for the photo. for Not much time to recover (and bask in the glory of Sunday night’s karaoke tour de force, featuring Carolyn Main and a duet between myself and Tim Sievert), as there’s piles of exciting work to be done ahead.
Including — hey, what’s this exciting announcement?
- Tim in his Clark Kently studness
- Brett looking surprised to be awake
- Nick Gurewitch, probably the star of the show
- Panorama! (Top Shelf is unfortunately out of sight on the other side of the hall)
- Corey Lewis, who totally could have brought the commissioned piece he drew for me months ago BUT DID NOT
- The impossibly photogenic Erika Moen, triply a winner this weekend
- Actually, just check out this fantastic set of photos by Lori Matsumoto
- It’s true. Everyone in Portland is beautiful.
Note to self: for future shows, schedule time in the mornings to, like, shower and stuff.
Via Boingboing, another interesting new project from the chaps at Penguin UK — easily the most classy and innovative big-money publisher that I know of, full of great designs (Fairey on Orwell! Why did no one think of this earlier!?) and new ideas (sometimes combining both at once).
It’s We Tell Stories, a project in which “six authors are telling six stories in ways that are completely original to the web.” To formalist readers like me, this stuff is like candy. Unfortunately, the latest story — “Hard Times” by Matt Mason and Nicholas Felton — is not nearly as impressive as it could be. Mason’s layout seems pretty clearly derivative of Chris Ware, which would be fine except that it’s a dozen times more confusing than anything Ware’s ever done. At least once per page I found myself uncertain whether I was supposed to go down or across, and sometimes I finished the page still uncertain.
More fundamentally, there are much more interesting ways of presenting statistics visually. Especially if you’re trying to be all formalist and groundbreaking. H5’s video for “Remind Me” by Röyksopp remains my favorite piece of infographics-gone-wild. Imagine if all those graphs in the video actually meant something.
“Hard Times” still has some compelling things to say, as in the screen shot above. 86 percent?!
What a rotten idea to spend millions destroying
This masterful tale kids spent decades enjoying!
The Onion has a nice tribute to the greatest versifier of the 20th century — although they inadvertently highlight his genius by making some pretty clumsy errors in rhythm. Writing that stuff’s not as easy as it looks, folks.
Seuss is a joy to read. Here’s one of my favorite bits:
What’s more, snapped the Lorax (his dander was up),
Let me say a few words about Gluppity-Glupp.
Your machinery chugs on, day and night without stop
making Gluppity-Glup. Also Schloppity-Schlopp.
And what do you do with this leftover goo?…
I’ll show you. You dirty old Once-ler man, you!
Now that’s tasty.
An early draft of my undergraduate thesis contained a bizarre little digression on the nature of free verse vs. rhyming couplets:
It’s the difference between a Japanese sword routine and a juggling act. A free verse performance may be forceful and affecting, but ultimately it consists of waving words about in the air with no resistance. The couplet form is fundamentally different, incorporating countless small crescendoes and denouements, risks, recoveries, tensions and releases. The inevitability of rhyme, like gravity, can lend force and weight to one’s statements. A couplet, nicely put, is stunning in its audacity: a clever phrase seems more clever, almost inhumanly clever, when executed within such a restricted format.
Ah, I see some similarly-snooty editor at Wikipedia is with me: “Geisel generally maintained this meter quite strictly, until late in his career, when he no longer maintained strict rhythm in all lines. The consistency of his meter was one of his hallmarks; the many imitators and parodists of Geisel are often unable to write in strict anapestic tetrameter, or are unaware that they should, and thus sound clumsy in comparison with the original.”
It’s an outrage, I tell you! A horrible shame!
That these trite, tacky tentpoles should taint his good name!
Might the sacks of cash raked in by film adaptations
At least fund improvements in verse education?