Sunday, July 27, 2008

North Korean Propaganda

"Let's give a bigger part to the advantages of the socialist treatment system through greater effort!" (The translation is maybe a bit too literal.)

"Look! The face of American imperialism!"

These are both from North Korean Posters: The David Heather Collection.

North Korea is no longer evil, according to the Bush administration. I loved Andy Rash's depiction of the meeting between Condi Rice and Pak Ui-chun. Did they actually look that upset? I can't find any photos to corroborate this (or Mr. Ui-chun's eyebrows).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Patti Smith - Genius

Patti Smith just did an interview for the NY Times Magazine. At one point the interviewer said, "You seem very sane for a punk rocker." I loved her response:

"I had a very good model. My mother had no end of tragedy in her life. She would make herself get up and take a deep breath and go out and do laundry. Hang up sheets. She told me that when she looked at the laundry, the sheets flowing in the wind, and the sun, it was like a fresh start."

The photo is by Annie Leibovitz. You can read the whole interview here. I also really like the part where she insists that she uses conditioner.

Friday, July 11, 2008

"Gamma Ray" by Beck

What's the story here? Who cares? We get to see some great shots of Beck in wayfarers. I envy people who can wear them, just like I envy people who can wear levi's and converses (and trust me, not everyone can).

The song is off of his new album, which I'm kind of lukewarm about - though I do love one song off of it called "Chemtrails," which is this trippy, sad Skip Spence-influenced reverie with lyrics that keep asking "So many people / Where do they go?" Where indeed.

I will post music videos for people other than Beck, I promise.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

America: Bigger and Badder (or at least bigger)

The Centers for Disease Control posted a slideshow that chronicles how obesity has spread in the past 20 years. Scary stuff.

One of my friends thinks that the prevalence of obesity in America is a sign of "late society" - decline brought on by our own success and consumption. She likens it to how the Ancient Romans needed vomitoriums because there was so much binging going on (supposedly, anyway).

Friday, July 4, 2008

"Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes" by Beck

I'm in love with this video. I wasn't even such a fan of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but it was beautiful to look at (Jim Carrey helped). Beck released a whole album of slow, sad songs in 2002, but none of them compare to this one.

The Korgis sang the original version of this song.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Men's Fashion - Spring 2009

Here's an obvious winner. It's from Junya Watanabe, who's been collaborating with Brooks Brothers lately. Of course, this kind of idealization of the stylish traveler is a little absurd (those tight pants will get motherfucking hot on safari, prettyboy) - still, I like it.

This is from Dolce & Gabbana. Try to ignore the face and glasses, and just focus on how freakishly well this suit fits. As someone who wears a dress shirt size that Brooks Brothers doesn't even make (15" neck, 35" arm), I'm impressed.

This is from Miharayasushiro. I'm just going to focus on the top and the bottom. First, I like imagining that a very dark rain cloud is descending over this fellow - that it has darkened not only the collar of his jacket, but also his mood. (The gloominess is just a little more interesting than most models' I think.)

And then there's whatever's on his feet. Is this what Romans used when somebody sprained their ankle? The outfit is strange, but not so much that I think it's beyond the realm of good or bad. I like it - I'm a fan.

Obviously she's not a man. Think of this as a bonus. That hair! Brilliant!
(The dress is Alexander McQueen.)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Somebody's gotta pay...

The US government is taking tips from Chairman Mao in conducting the War on Terror. Let's try to forget that for a moment, and focus instead on one of the more light-hearted (and less reprehensible) things I've come across in the NY Times recently. It'll replenish us for the rage ahead.

This is an article by Karen Karbo, in response to a query from the Times about the effects of rising gas prices. (The graph is courtesy of the National Retail Federation, and is actually pretty outdated. I just like the way it looks.)

By Karen Karbo

In Portland, Oregon, embracing alternative transportation is on par with recycling: everyone does it. Or at least thinks really hard about doing it.

Our family was in this latter, slackerish category. But when the price of gas hit $4.35 a gallon at our local pump, we knew we had to park the car and haul out the bikes, which also meant digging out the bike helmets. And here’s where our family fails to reach a consensus on saving money, not to mention the planet.

It’s not about the bike, it’s the bike helmet, specifically the helmet hair that results after even the least strenuous pedal to the video store.

Portland is almost as bicycle-friendly as Beijing. Businessmen wander the streets in broad daylight with bicycle clips on the pant legs of their expensive suits and no one blinks. But businessmen are not teenage girls who’ve made a minor religion of keeping their sheaves of flat-ironed hair plate straight at all times.

My 16-year-old daughter will bike to the grocery store or gym, but if she’s headed to a social event (school qualifies), she insists I drive her. She claims the few extra dollars spent on gas now will save many thousands of dollars in therapy bills later.

I say, but what about the planet? She says she’ll deal with the guilt. I say, a little helmet hair will not ruin a good time, and anyway, everyone has helmet hair these days. She snorts: not everyone.

Which is the crux of the problem: until helmet hair becomes universally chic, we will never be free of our dependency on mom chauffeuring us to the mall.