Posts tagged with #custom

Links to interesting articles I’ve read

For a brief time, there was one television drama about the other America

The escalating breakdown
of urban society across the US

Well, there are about 350 television shows about the affluent America, the comfortable America, the viable and cohesive nation where everyone gets what they want if they either work hard or know someone or have a pretty face or cheat like hell. That America is available every night […] For a brief time, there was one television drama about the other America.

Mr. President. I know you’ve said you’re a fan of The Wire…

I meant this, not that. But yeah, I meant it.

From the blog of David Simon, creator-writer-producer of The Wire

He might swallow hard, seize the moment and say something along the lines of, “Mr. President. I know you’ve said you’re a fan of The Wire. Well, one of that show’s basic critiques is that the drug war is amoral. More Americans are now in prison than ever before, and the percentage of violent offenders in prison is lower than ever. We are now the jailingest society in the world, incarcerating

more of each other than even totalitarian states. How can we go on supporting this?”

Balls out like that. Truth to power, brah. Get some.

Instead, to use a sportswriting cliché, Simmons choked, throwing up an ugly brick at the buzzer: “Who’s the best character in The Wire?”

The Wire’s War on the Drug War

What the drugs themselves have not destroyed, the warfare against them has.

If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented. Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged [...] No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens.

Fuck the average reader

Interview with David Simon, creator of The Wire

My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell.

Why so many colleges are teaching The Wire

Professors from Harvard, Berkeley, Middlebury, Duke, Syracuse, Loyola New Orleans & WSU Spokane offer courses based on the show.

The classes aren’t just in film studies or media studies departments; they’re turning up in social science disciplines [...] Some sociologists and social anthropologists, it turns out, believe The Wire has something to teach their students about poverty, class, bureaucracy, and the social ramifications of economic change.

Recaps for veteran viewers of The Wire, aimed at fans who have watched the entire series: Season 1, Season 2, Season 3

Spoiler alert. These reviews touch on how scenes connect to & impact future events on the show. An excerpt about the chess scene in Episode 3:

Bodie and Wallace using the chess board to play checkers — a fine game, but a simpler one [...] are standing in for every TV crime drama that preceded “The Wire.” They had the same pieces at their disposal, but they chose to play an easier game with more instant gratification.

During our post-finale interview, Simon and I talked about how all 3 characters in the chess scene eventually wound up dead — and at the hands of their employers, at that: “We knew that if we got a long enough run, all 3 of the chess players would be out of the game.

I’m sorry! I’m not really a drug dealer!

Cast, creators, writers & crew recall the making of The Wire

10 years after the series permiere. (Many spoilers in the article)

It was real to the point where crackheads would come up and try to cop [...] and I’d make the exchange. Then security would come around and be like, “No! No! No!” and break it up. I was like, “Oh, shit! That’s really a crack-head! I’m sorry! I’m not really a drug dealer!”

–30–

All you see’s
a bunch of “what the fucks”
Dude is dating so and so,
blabbering ‘bout such & such.
And that ain’t Jersey Shore.
Homie, that’s the news.
And these the same people
supposedly telling us the truth.

— Lupe Fiasco (“Words I Never Said”)

My travel plans for the fall. If I’m in a city near you, let’s hang out.

Sep 30

New York 9 days

Oct 8

Atlanta 10 days

Oct 17

Austin 7 days

Oct 23

Bay Area Many many days

Beginner’s luck done, now your buzz gone. You’re like a surgeon’s hands: Washed up, before you even put the gloves on.

Bender in a rap battle vs 24/7

Links to interesting articles I've read

The Women Behind 'Mad Men'

Not surprisingly, the most interesting characters for me are Peggy & Sally:

Behind the smooth-talking, chain-smoking, misogynist advertising executives on “Mad Men” is a group of women writers [creating] a world where the men are in control and the women are more complex than they seem, or than the male characters realize.

Profile of Sheryl Sandberg

COO of Facebook, a former Google VP, now on Obama's advisory council on jobs and the boards of Disney and Starbucks (though she's leaving this year as Facebook files for IPO.)

She neither flaunts nor hides her ambition, and she talks about her guilt at not being home more; she takes command in meetings, yet she’s comfortable describing Mark Zuckerberg as “my boss,” and as “the Steve Jobs of his generation.” She is emblematic, Gruenfeld thinks, of a post-feminist woman who believes that “when you blame someone else for keeping you back, you are accepting your powerlessness.”

There are also, of course, still remnants of “Mad Men”-era sexism. Dina Kaplan, the co-founder of Blip.tv, says that when she met with angel investors to raise funds she dressed nicely, and in a meeting with a potential funder he told her, “Here’s what we do, Dina. We’re going to spend half the meeting with you pitching me, and half the meeting with me hitting on you!”

“I felt nauseous,” she says. “I tried to laugh it off. I asked, ‘Of all the things you’re working on, what most excites you?’ He said, ‘Seeing you naked tonight.’ ”

I also recommend watching Sandberg's TED talk, Why we have too few women leaders

Sara Blakely becomes youngest self-made female billionaire

[The founder of Spanx] owns 100% of the private company, has zero debt, has never taken outside investment and hasn’t spent a nickel on advertising [...] The company is now run by a team of 125, only 16 of them men.

The Polgar Sisters, 3 of the most successful female chess champions

And their father who believes success is earned through hard work, not innate talent.

[Susan] dominated the New York Open chess competition. At 16 she crushed several adult opponents and landed on the front page of The New York Times. [...] Susan’s raven-haired sister Sophia, 11, swept most of the games in her section, too. But the pudgy baby of the family, 9-year-old Judit, drew the most gawkers of all. To onlookers’ delight, Judit took on five players simultaneously and beat them. She played blindfolded.

When Susan was 21, she became the first woman ever to earn the designation Grandmaster [...] Judit picked up the honor the same year, at age 15. She was a few months younger than Bobby Fischer was when he won the title.

Susan once said she never won against a healthy man. [...] men always had some excuse after losing a game to a woman: “It must have been my headache.”

New Yorker's 2003 Tina Fey profile, when she was the first woman head writer at SNL

In that comfort zone, we say the meanest kind of things,” she explained. “If you want to make an audience laugh, you dress a man up like an old lady and push her down the stairs. If you want to make comedy writers laugh, you push an actual old lady down the stairs.”

Offstage, Fey is playful but proper. On the air, her delivery is like a lash— “Hey, kids, it’s the great women of U.S. history! Collect all ten!” or “This is the hardest Bush has worked since that time he tried to walk home from Mardi Gras”—followed by a self-deprecating smile. Nearly all Fey’s colleagues mentioned her ability to be mean and disarming at the same time. I heard her humor variously described as “hard-edged,” “vicious,” and “cruel.”

Vanity Fair's 2009 profile, when she's known for 30 Rock and her Palin impressions

Fey saw an entertainment reporter on TV say [...] Fey hadn’t been gracious toward Palin. “[...] Who would ever go on the news and say, ‘Well, I thought it was sort of mean to Richard Nixon when Dan Aykroyd played him,’ and ‘That seemed awful mean to George Bush when Will Ferrell did it.’” “Mean,” we agreed, was a word that tends to get used on women who do satirical humor and, as she says, “gay guys.”

"Confessions of a Juggler" by Tina Fey

An essay she wrote in 2011 about impending career & life deadlines and the industry's view on aging women.

I have observed that women, at least in comedy, are labelled “crazy” after a certain age.

I know older men in comedy who can barely feed and clean themselves, and they still work. The women, though, they’re all “crazy.” [...] the definition of “crazy” in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.

The only person I can think of who has escaped the “crazy” moniker is Betty White, which, obviously, is because people still want to have sex with her.

If you sleep for too long, you could pass up your dreams.

Sonny Bamboo on the song, “Cinderella Man

I heard your CD dropped. The cashier picked it up and put it back on the shelf.

Real Deal in a rap battle vs Deffinition

You ain’t talkin to me.
You gotta have at least a thousand in your pocket if you want to talk to a G.

— Calicoe in a rap battle vs Heartless

You were a 70's baby? And you… 33 now?
You know where real good rappers careers should be when they 33 ? — Wow.
When Nas was 33 he premiered “Hip Hop Is Dead”
Now that Ness is 33 his career in hip hop is dead
When Jay was 33 Hov worked to build “The Blueprints”
When Em was 33 he’d sold 30 million units!
And Biggie Smalls’ status as a legend’s quite clear.
And when he was
33 HE’D BEEN DEAD FOR 9 YEARS!

— Iron Solomon in his rap battle vs E Ness

After browsing around Good Fucking Design Advice

Bought this.
Bought this.
Got this. (I approve)

My mom’s gonna ground me for sure. Thanks a lot, guys!

FYI: My avatar been blacked out since I joined Twitter in 2007. #SOPAhipster

Happy hour at Clyde Common in downtown Portland

Amanda enjoys her beverage from a tiny cup

Had an amazing time yesterday catching up with Caleb, who found his way to Portland for the first time.

During a 12 hour wandering tour of downtown, we got ourselves some coffee (Cloud Seven Cafe), lunch (Kenny & Zuke’s Deli) and drinks (Clyde Common, Bailey’s Tap Room, Portland City Grill and Life of Riley) while accumulating a posse, one straggler at a time. In order of appearance: Justin, Amanda, Jackie, Zack, Dorinda, Corey and Mary.

Now to share some out of context quotes for entertainment purposes only…

“I had no idea I was not going back to work today.”

— Justin

“I have a rule about prostitutes”

— Amanda

“Fuckin dubstepper stole it.”

— Jackie

“Pretty much everyone who gets their dick cut off deserves it.”

— Dorinda

“For my hipster statement of the day, I’d like to say…”

— Justin

“We are the 1%.”

— Justin

“It looks like a wet shit in a glass.”

— Amanda

“I already drank an entire pint of Santorum. DRINK IT!”

— Amanda

I went from the favorite
To the most hated

But would you rather be underpaid or overrated?

— Jay-Z (“So Appalled”)

Some profile photos from a popular social network…

Daisy

Shazia

Tim

Gabby

Jason

Inside joke + Too much free time = This.

A complete set of photos with an explanation (perhaps) will be coming in a few weeks… I’m waiting for everyone to get their package and send me a photo. Credit goes to JLee for creating the shirts and doing all the work. And Tonedeff gets the blame for starting this whole thing.

Also: Merry Christmas, everyone!

  • Daisy: Dear everybody... I need a sweet sweet distraction from life’s obligations. Tell me what to draw and I’ll make a quick little doodle for you.
  • Chris: A man wearing an exceptionally tailored herringbone suit, riding on top of a perplexed grizzly bear.