Saturday, May 26, 2007

David Bowie interviews

[Update: Bowie was sharp at guerilla marketing from an early age. At 17 he founded the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-haired Men.]

"I'd love to be a film star [...] But you gotta do all this work to do that." - David Bowie

David Bowie interview on Dick Cavett 1974 (man, that's long ago).

He's more twitchy than I've ever been! Maybe I could do that.

Dick asks Bowie: "Did you ever try to picture yourself at sixty?"
Hey, Bowie just turned sixty in January!
I'm not sure what his young self would think of him, but I don't think he has anything to be ashamed of. (Granted, I don't care too much for his work in this millennium (!), but many people adore it, and it's certainly done with care and love.) He comments a bit on this here.

He's a lot more erudite in 2002.
Funny quote from that: "They fuck you up, your mom and dad/They may not mean to but they do/ They fill you full of faults they had/ And they add some extras just for you"
Bowie is quoting Philip Larkin:

They fuck you up, your mom and dad
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-stylen hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can
And don't have any kids yourself.

Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning

A commentator pointed out that the Emma/Fry video is actually about Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning.

Tom Rush - Remember Song

Tom Rush - Remember Song
A song about getting older.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


"I do not confuse what has not happened with what cannot happen, and in my heart, Time and Space are endlessly malleable, permeable, frangible." - Neil Gaiman

Nature of hits

We actually had this poster in our classroom in the seventh grade. Farrah earned $400,000 from it in one year! Most popular wall decoration in history up til then.

I've long been fascinated by "hits". What exactly is the quality of a work which makes it a hit?
Good marketing helps, for sure. But it is not an essential factor. For example, Oprah Winfrey made that movie Beloved, and it was a flop. I can't imagine a better promotional platform than the Oprah show, and yet it was a flop. It was probably a pretty good movie too.

No, I suspect that is some subtle quality that makes something a hit. You can sometimes feel it, a kind of excitement in your belly when watching a picture, movie, song, or whatever that's a hit, before you know if it is one or not. I have several times heard a song in a store (I don't listen to radio), and been captivated by a song, and later I found out it's a big hit too.

I suspect the hit quality is not definable in any physical terms. But nevertheless is real.

The images of woman

The images of woman.

New super-sensitive chip coming up

New super-sensitive chip coming up.

I almost put a question mark after that, because in my experience, when we hear about technologies not on the market yet, it's really not worth it to hold your breath waiting for them!

But if it arrives soon, especially in real cameras, it sounds really great.

And if it also has a much wider dynamic range (tolerance for contrast), then it's excellent. (Of course it will need to be competitive with current chips in image quality, speed, etc.)

In fact this is one of the reasons for my bitter comment in paragraph two: back in 2000, I read with excitement about a chip coming up which would radically increase the dynamic range of digital cameras. Well, where is it now? Huh? Huh? Huh? :)

Writing thingy

Writing on a web site.

Classic writing app for Mac.
And for Windows.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Gaffigan, upstanding comedian. Not my favorite, but pretty good. I posted this because one thing rang true for me: he talks about how New Yorkers will demand directions rather than ask them.
Many years ago, in Copenhagen, my way was suddenly blocked by a big, wide American man in shorts and a colorful shirt, and a camera on his belly, who said to me in a very forceful voice, without a "hello", "excuse me", or any other preample: "Where's the lakes?!"
He was not being aggressive, it was just that he had no regard for other people's space. Probably not even an idea of it.
It was very weird, it took me a couple moments to figure out even what was going on.

Pogue on Vista

In this 9.3MB audio interview, David Pogue talks about some less known aspects of Windows Vista. Found on Missing Manuals.

Monday, May 21, 2007

David Hyde Pierce

David Hyde Pierce (Niles on Frasier) in the Just for laughs festival. The Therapist Song at the end is pure brilliance, both musically and comedially. Just the idea of the whitest guy alive doing rap, backed by a chamber orchestra! And similarly his movements, excellent and dead funny at the same time.

The market value of art

A bit of thought on the market value of art.