Democracy in action.

What can I say…

Ukrainian Parliment!

The political process in action!

It sounds like a great name for a TV show. Maybe a sitcom. I just want to hear “Ukrainian Parliament” enter the lexicon. Maybe it could be used in the same way people try to use the term, “Thunderdome,” I don’t know. It definitely sounds like a lethal finishing move in the bedroom.

The intimidating and impenetrable fog.

“Writers take words seriously – perhaps the last professional class that does – and they struggle to steer their own through the crosswinds of meddling editors and careless typesetters and obtuse and malevolent reviewers into the lap of the ideal reader.”

-John Updike

A few things for you:

1. Acoustic listening devices devised by the Dutch army…

…intended for use in air defense systems between the two World Wars.

2. Artist Lynda Barry who serialized her graphic novel ONE! HUNDRED! DEMONS!, a work of “Autobiofictionalography,” on Salon a while back, and had a famous story in it entitled “Head Lice and My Worst Boyfriend.” Anyway, the worst boyfriend of the title has finally been revealed

…to be Ira Glass. It makes a kind of sense.

3. One of my favorite quotes about the art of words and the artists who do damage and paint portraits with it is, unsurprisingly, by this man right here…

…and it goes something like this:

“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter — it’s the difference between a lightning bug and the lightning.”

-Mark Twain, in a letter to George Bainton in 1888.

4. The Man Men comic book…

that never was.

5. There is an old, abandoned town in the Kamchatka peninsula in Russia that one can only access by the sea or the air…

…and it’s called Bechyovinka, the submariner’s town.

Anyway. Something to think about on your Sunday night. Personally, I’m in a bit of a fog, if you couldn’t already tell…

“The purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure pure reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog!”

-Bill Watterson

Perennial with the Earth.

Speaking of America and advertising

I really like the commercial I saw the other day for the new Levi’s campaign, called “Go Forth.” The clip was essentially just some images of youthful abandon, half dressed, cavorting around with fireworks and in jeans, and was directed by Cary Fukunaga with an interesting visual flair. You can see it here:

The dialogue comes from an old wax sound recording of Walt Whitman reading four lines from his poem, “America.” Whitman has no problem singing the body electric with the young folks of today, it seems.

There’s another commercial from the from same campaign, entitled “O Pioneers!” It’s not as striking, but it’s still got a good visual style, courtesy of director M. Blash. I don’t know much about Blash, other than the trailer for his upcoming Chloë Sevigny/Jena Malone/Leelee Sobieski-starring indie film, Lying, which both bores and fascinates me, and features a great Joy Division-esque song by John Maus. Here’s Blash’s commerical:

The print aspects of the new campaign, and pretty much all of it except for that single commercial, don’t really interest me. Jeans are jeans and this is America – thanks for reminding me, Levi’s/Walt Whitman – not Russia, and I wonder again and again: How hard do you really have to advertise jeans? The same, I would think, could be said for beer, sodas, and potato chips, right? Whatever, I’m not a marketing major.

That said, I do give Levi’s a little more credit at the advertising game just because they seem to continuously go with a more interesting visual in their commercials. Their ad people keep it hip, keep it interesting. Though it aired easily ten years ago or more, to this day I still remember the levi’s commercial featuring Gael Garcia Bernal and “Playground Love” by Air. Good stuff.

Anyway, this new campaign for Levi’s comes from a firm apparently called Wieden & Kennedy. It’s funny, with all the absorbing of Mad Men and Don Draper speak I’ve been doing lately, I feel like I’m less amazed and blown away by the continuous “indomitable spirit” of this fine country and more by our want and desire to be wined and dined, to be performed to and for, to be good and properly sold on a thing. Our dominion, I’m starting to think, is the desire to conquer not new lands, but not ideals, and to think that we possess them.

Where there’s smoke…

from Boing Boing:

Alexey Titarenko’s “City of Shadows” is a series of haunting, gorgeous long-exposure shots of street-scenes in St Petersburg, Russia. The long exposure-times turn the people in the shots into ghosts and suggestions of motion.

And this is Titarenko’s site.

A stronger loving world.

Ugh. Lost is a repeat tonight . Wasn’t the whole point of these 24-style super runs in bunches that there would be a signifigant lack of repeats? Guess not (supposedly there’ll be another break week after episode 12). But now I can’t wait for next week’s episode, entitled “Namaste,” not so much for the reunion of Sawyer and Kate, but for the continuation of the 1970’s Geronimo Jackson dance party!

Medieval “vampire” skull found.

Former Nazi guard charged 29,000 times.

Like Lost? Like Watchmen (the book, or, sadly, the movie)? Well, then re-read Watchmen with Lost co-creator Damon Lindelof!

And then there’s Watchmen director Zack Snyder’s thoughts on Dr. Manhattan’s little blue cgi penis and the suspicious lack of giant fucking squid.

Russia is now the world’s top heroin consumer. I can’t wait for the version of The Wire.

A male chimp in a Swedish zoo recently “planned” hundreds of stone attacks on zoo visitors. I can’t wait for the Swedish zoo version of The Wire either. That monkey is totally Stringer Bell.

Nano-treatment set to torpedo cancer. Perfect. Robots kill and eat cancer!

NASA and Cisco are all set to bring to you “Planetary Skin.”

This story has just been called “off the charts weird” and “sick, sick, sick and dead wrong.” Do you want to know more?

Twittering encouraged in Seattle church. It’s going to be funny when everyone sees that twit about there being no God and it’s all about the money.

Not really news, but the two part pour is perfect to enjoying the perfect pint of Guinness.

(Clearly 9/11 changed everything.)

Talking about sex ain’t gonna get nobody to heaven.” I beg to differ.

And I’ll try to end this with some good news for everyone: Open air teenage gypsy bride market. Enjoy!

from here.

See you soon, kids.