Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

“Is anybody really happy about this arrangement?”

November 30, 2008

“…it was while skipping through stations that I came across an image of Marilyn Monroe.

She was wearing a form-fitting dress that stopped at the calf. She was behaving in a playfully sexy manner. And I realized, if Marilyn were today to materialize in a bathing suit on a beach in Malibu, the next day her thighs would be on the cover of a tabloid. The photograph would be enlarged, showing where the tight line of the bathing suit cut into the flesh of her thigh. A headline would scream, “Mammoth Marilyn! Eating her way to the grave to be with her beloved J.F.K.?”

I realized with alarming clarity that Marilyn Monroe in the flesh would not be considered sexy by today’s bulimic standards. Marilyn would be seen as a woman in crisis. Somebody who belonged not on a movie poster but in an eating disorder hospital.”

Augusten Burroughs, author of Running with Scissors

Sunday Link Post

November 23, 2008
  • Here’s a short interview with lovely friend Jannese Davidson as she prepares to star in this season’s of Childplay‘s The Velvateen Rabbit. Running now through Dec 21st at Tempe Center for the Arts.
  • Friends Tom & Malora Mulhern discuss with the Calgary Herald their year-long (almost up!) quest to lead a compact life.
  • From David W. Dunlap of the New York Times; New York City 1978 vs. New York City 2008. My personal favorites are staple landmarks Grand Central Station & the now-missing Twin Towers (via kottke.)
  • While entering the Oval Office means Obama must give up his Blackberry (& email altogether!), for Bush, it means getting to send again. I’ll be honest: the latter be a tough transition for me, even if I’d still be connected to the world otherwise.
  • Don’t miss this unbelievable insight into the 2008 Presidential campaigns from Newsweek. I warn you – its long (7 “chapters”), but well worth the read.
  • Macworld’s 18 ways to protect your Mac – I’d emphasize using both built-in firewalls, ALWAYS installing Apple software/security updates, & not clicking links from email re: bank/sensitive accounts or even Facebook. (It’s just as easy to open another tab and go to the page directly on your own, and it can save you from phishing.)
  • If you are a fan of the insanely awesome “Caves” episode of Planet Earth, check out this from National Geographic: Crystal Palace. I think :O!!!!! sums it up quite nicely.

The impact of Walmart on a local scale

November 23, 2008

In PBS Frontline’s “Is Walmart Good for America?”, one particular part struck me hard:

HEDRICK SMITH: The impact of China’s export boom has been felt all across the U.S. in towns like Circleville, Ohio, population 13,000, a Norman Rockwell kind of town, with its farms and factories, a solid citadel of middle-class America. Former Republican mayor Ron Wunsch has lived in Circleville all his adult life.

RON WUNSCH, Former Mayor, Circleville: The community basically generated its livelihood off of the industry that came into the community, came in in the 1940s and 1950s. Thomson Consumer Electronics was the last large organization to join it. That came in in the 1970s.

HEDRICK SMITH: [on camera] So you had a good living standard, good jobs.

RON WUNSCH: Good jobs, good living standards and good people in the community.

HEDRICK SMITH: [voice-over] The French firm, Thomson, which manufactures TV sets, had the largest plant in town. And it was a top performer.

RANDY STRUTZ, Former Thomson Plant Manager: The Circleville plant, in its heyday, probably around 1999, 2000, was producing about 10 million pieces a year for the production of television sets. They made the glass components. About a thousand workers, highly motivated, highly productive, very efficient plants. And at the time, it was one of the most profitable contributors to Thomson’s corporate bottom line.

HEDRICK SMITH: Steve Ratcliff was among thousand workers who rode the economic wave with Thomson. As a machine operator, he made up to $59,000 a year with overtime.

STEVE RATCLIFF: I’ve done this job for the last 30, almost 31 years, and it’s become my life. And it’s the only thing I’ve ever known in my adult working career was that job.

HEDRICK SMITH: But from 2002 onward, the tide went out. Plants in Circleville started closing, and the big Thomson plant suddenly faced sharp foreign competition.

RANDY STRUTZ: We started to see more finished Chinese components coming into the market. A few brands come to mind, like Apex. They were selling at prices that most people couldn’t’ even manufacture out of the U.S., and they’re being sold at the same place we all buy TVs– Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart and Sears. And you know, all of a sudden, you had this end pressure on the retail price driven largely by the Chinese producers.

HEDRICK SMITH: And oddly, Mayor Wunsch says, the Thomson plant ran into big trouble, not just because of the Chinese but also an American company.

RON WUNSCH: In 2003, they lost a sizeable portion of their total production orders from a particular customer.

HEDRICK SMITH: [on camera] Sanyo?

RON WUNSCH: Sanyo, I believe.

HEDRICK SMITH: They lost the Sanyo contract because of what?

RON WUNSCH: My understanding, based on what I was told, was that an end-use retailer told the Sanyo people what they were going to pay for the TV.

HEDRICK SMITH: And who was that retailer?

RON WUNSCH: My understanding is that that was Wal-Mart.

RANDY STRUTZ: Wal-Mart’s going to say, “If you want our space, you’re going to have to match the price or figure something else to do.” And so it forces a supplier like Sanyo to go back upstream to the tube, and in our case, glass manufacturers, to look for price concessions. But sometimes they’re not there.

HEDRICK SMITH: So if they’re not there, then they go to China.

RANDY STRUTZ: Then they go to China, or wherever they can to compete.

The full transcript is available here, but you can also stream the entire episode online at the website linked above.

UPDATED: See also this attack ad for the holiday season. Will it have an impact, too? (Thanks Simon!)

Writing to Reach You

December 8, 2007

I’m still amazed at how people can have completely private and embarrassing conversations in public. Especially when one of said people has that loud voice which he/she is completely oblivious about. (For the record, this one’s about a rash down there.)

I went to the Travis show on the 25th, and my god, that was worth the 7-year wait. That was the last time they visit Arizona, which happened to be around the time I was getting into them. Fran was alittle shocked it had been that long. (Rightly so! Don’t deny us the T-love again!) I could write a review like this (which accurately wraps up the chain of events), but I’ll just sum it up by saying it was one the best shows I’ve ever seen, and you are sorely missing out if you don’t attend one in the near future. I don’t think a Scot has ever disappointed me, to tell you the future. They’re just.. fun. And chatty. It also felt nice to be at a show where I didn’t feel like the oldest person in the room. It was quite convenient that Fall Out Boy was playing across town – run, teenies, run!

Not that I hate the youth of America, or FOB (damn catchy tunes), but something about this wave of emo/rock/punk/gah music turns somewhat sane boys & girls into Philistines.

Here’s a few links that have been sitting in my “blog this with clever wit” file for a couple months. I’d update them to current wit, but I said what I said, so I’ll say it. (“Do what I say ’cause I said it.”):

This is exactly how I want my future kids to fight.

This possibly explains my fantastic memory – because damn was I a talkative child. For a long time, it was the only thing I ever got in trouble for in school. Every report card, it said, “talks alot”.

-And This both intrigues and disgusts me equally.

Almost There

May 21, 2007

Well, things are still sort of a mess, but that’s just going to take some time, I think.

It’s amazing how you can finish with one big thing in your life, like college, and somehow, your life doesn’t seem to be any less busy. It’s just a different kind of busy; the kind of busy you enjoy, because I’m finally able to work on things that had previously been put off, such as editing photos from Tombstone/Cochise county, further integrating files to the MacBook, and for the love of god, finishing High Fidelity. I’ve spent about two months on that book (not for a lack of trying).

If you liked 28 Days Later, then I’d highly recommend you see 28 Weeks Later. It’s more like a continuation than a sequal, and the ending will leave you just… yeah. Very nice indeed.