Now Cough

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ain't Fergettin'

"I'd like to come back down here in about two years and walk your streets and see how vital this part of the world is going to be." -- President Bush, Sept. 5, 2005, Poplarville, MS

Take a look at some of those streets in the Lower Ninth Ward on my Flickr site.

[photo: AP]

Monday, August 27, 2007

New Kid on the Bloch

If you have ever been puzzled about the 'art' in architecture, go to Kansas City. There, the new addition to the Nelson Atkins Museum -- the Bloch Building -- shows what can be done with light and space, in new ways. This isn't a cartoonish Bilbao from Frank Gehry (always seemed appropriate he did the Disney Hall in LA).

The Bloch works with dramatic white panes and panels, hidden and filtered light that creeps, illuminates, bends and surprises (yes, even in the men's room in the image above!) and creates quiet spaces to show off some incredible collections.

Want to begin understanding this amazing art museum/gallery/sanctuary? Check out the new, comprehensive work by designer/architect Jack Rees called The Sixth Surface: Steven Holl Lights the Nelson-Atkins Museum. (Holl is the brilliant architect behind the Bloch.)

Just as the museum offers multiple points of entry for visitors, the book offers multiple interpretations of the combined structures.
The Sixth Surface features a collection of poems, essays and artworks that helps translate the expanded Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
The Sixth Surface is named for the innermost surface of the innermost panel of glass that constitutes Steven Holl’s structure.

You can order The Sixth Surface online, too!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Not to be Missed!

Why Al Yankovic is a genius!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

1, 2, 3, 4...

Tag Cloud:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Internet vs. Radio

One measure of influence and impact...

Share of ad spending by medium.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


You know, I have often thought that gangsters and artists are the same in the eyes of the masses.

The word 'heist' feels so 1950s. And it is. Stanley Kubrick's The Killing captures what it felt like to live in that decade: black and white, a bit raw and uncivilized, unpaved roads, unshaven men, a world on the brink of modern but not yet there.

And this movie depicts a certain kind of man's world: raw with ambition, greedy, violent, a land of double crosses, right crosses to the jaw, betrayal, dames and booze, robbery and the open-air desperation of horse races.

This is a dark, cynical and methodical film noir. Kubrick joined forces with the crime novelist Jim Thompson on the script (ever read him? He is absolutely chilling: "The typical Jim Thompson anti-hero is a troubled, perhaps even schizophrenic, misogynist who drinks a lot and kills people when he feels like it," Meredith Brody has written...). Kubrick made The Killing just before Paths of Glory, perhaps the best anti-war film ever made.

Grab a bottle of Scotch and fire up the tube and watch The Killing.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Deception of Narrative

I struggle everyday with the false reality created by story archs: the push to make events and news and life understandable (a method of coping with chaos) in the context of telling tales.

Newscasts are one filter for this false structure. They start with hard news and end with the kicker. On almost any newscast today the natural tragedy of Peru's horrible earthquake is paired with the man-made murder of the bombings in Iraq(yesterday, or any day) and then we end, all tucked in, with the engagement of Jenna Bush.

This arch -- bad, hard news, but we end with a smile or an 'Awwww...' -- brings a structure to the world that it doesn't deserve.

Two years after Katrina, a new hurricane is forming in the Atlantic. The statement from the White House today is not about that, but about a wedding. A bombing in Iraq kills about as many people as nature did last night in Peru. Man cannot grasp the devastation or respond to stop either, apparently. In the end, those in New Orleans, those in Iraq, those in Peru and even Jenna Bush---you're on your own.

That's the way it is.

Is there a story that captures this? No. Is this too dark? I don't think so. I think the siutation is one of chaos and uncertainty. No order at all. In fact, no narrative that can accurately capture the real randomness.

Maybe this is why myths and religion are comforting. They offer tales and structure to help explain the chaos. And, perhaps, news is as much myth as information. Order, where there is none. But an order to help us grasp the craziness of it all.

The mind can only take too much reality.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Benito Giuliani

"Freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.” -- Rudy Giuliani

"The truth is that men are tired of liberty...Today’s youth are moved by other slogans…Order, Hierarchy, Discipline." -- Benito Mussolini

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Future of 'Radio'

I was at a Trader Joe's late tonight in Cambridge, and what would have been a simple transaction became a glimmer into the future of radio.

The woman at the checkout, with an orange gardenia in her hair, was in her 20s..and curious. After I explained what PRX does, she told me about her listening habits:

"I listened to KCLU today..."

Now, KCLU is a public radio station in Ventura County, CA. We were talking here in Cambridge, MA.

" In fact I was listening to Garrison Keillor..."

Why not listen on WGBH? A shrug...

"I just grabbed it on iTunes in the radio area, and I just kept it on. Streaming is what it's all about.'

She didn't say radio. She did say listening. Oh sure she knows WGBH, WBUR and even WFCR are out there. But if she is going to listen she is doing it online.