Curiosities, quirks, oddites, and items from around the Bay and beyond
"Talk about defining deviancy down. What beige days we live in, when mentioning Rilke, Warhol, and David Bowie are proof positive of edgy intelligence. Rilke isn’t exactly obscure, and Warhol and Bowie are two of the best-known brands in pop history. Gaga isn’t all that weird, despite her revisionist accounts of growing up feeling “like a freak,” as she told Barbara Walters." Thank you, Mark Dery, for articulating (albeit, rather longwindedly) my 99 problems with Lady GaGa.
William T Vollmann as a lady. 'Nuff said.
Never trust anyone over-beardy? (h/t The Slog)
"Performance journalism" isn't Anderson Cooper flexing his biceps in a hurricane. In fact, it happened just this last weekend here in SF when Pop-Up Magazine presented its third, live "issue" at the Herbst Theater for a sold-out audience. Boing Boing's Elisabeth Soep attended, and took away "five things Pop-Up does better than print." Now, I'm all for Pop-Up's attempts to invigorate journalism by thinking beyond the written word by reconfiguring the "publication" as an actual salon. And Soep has a point. Print media has often had difficulty putting across the qualities she admired about the event – its ephemerally, spontaneity, draftiness (a slightly awkward word choice which describes how some presenters shared works in progress or pieces that had been rejected by other publications, not the temperature in the Herbst), and its seamless, thematic segue into the after-party – relying on online content, blogs (heeeey!), coordinated parties or tie-in events, and a whole bunch of other Web 2.0 tricks to offset the time lag inherent to old school publishing. However, I would counter that the flipside to Pop-Up's in-the-moment uniqueness is its lack of accessibility. Not everyone who is interested in "reading" Pop-Up is able to. Would recording the proceedings and putting them up on online really ruin the moment? I don't think that the "unexpected shift from media to live" Soep recounts as being a highlight of one the presentations would lose all of its unexpectedness if I were able to watch it at a remove. Besides, most people know that watching a concert on Youtube isn't the same as being there. But more to the point: I want to hear the stories that are being told at Pop-Up. Would I love to hear Aimee Mullins speak in person? Of course. But I'm grateful that TED made what she had to say at their fancy thinking fest available to the public. Also, regarding "draftiness," all I will say is that sometimes all one wants for dinner is a delicious stir fry, and that, at other times, only a slow-roasted pork shoulder will do.
And speaking of local journalism: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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