Are you tired? Tired of the imposed drive to be somewhere or something more? Then welcome. You are safe here to be perfectly average without qualms or inhibitions.
If you’ve opened this email, likely torn it asunder vying for the wisdom inside, seeking wisdom about goals and becoming a better you…you’ve come to exactly the wrong place.
Read or Die
You read that right. You need to read all of this random assortment of blog posts I wrote.
Feel free to hit that big, ole Reply button. On the other side I can promise you nothing less than riches beyond your wildest imagination.
- I have large, unrealistic and unreasonable plans for this newsletter as a platform for my artistic meanderings. I think I just jinxed it.
- I’ve apparently been parting my hair on the wrong side for decades. I’ve already spoken with the UN Security Council about appropriate actions.
- I’m available for psychic readings from next month.
Covid out of Context
Wait, how many days do I have to do this? The line is super faint, what does that mean again? How many seconds do I have to almost gag with this thing in my already perpetually messed sinuses? The weirdest part is that the panic is over, and that one forgets very quickly. You realise how much it all meant then and how much it doesn’t now.
Failure in 3d
Not awful heavy metal logo with what just might be a better solution as to how to treat the F. Check. Not great looking fire or incredibly cheesy, but fire, yes FIRE, simulation nonetheless. Check. Learning Blender for the fourth time in over a decade. Check. Now that I look at what I was trying to do and how far I’ve gotten - headshakingly terrible disappointment tempered with satisfaction that I fucking did some 3d after decades. Check. Don’t worry, the sword and way better fire is coming.
Opinions, Reckons, Misconstruing, etc.
Sans vs The World
Sure, this guy Walked All 1,114 Blocks of My ZIP Code Just to Catalog How People Style Their House Numbers and sure, it’s pointlessly beautiful and actually scientific at the same time.
Does serif vs sans tell us anything? America, you have a kerning problem
More sans fun with Johnson & Johnson who claim ditching the script don’t was that kids not only don’t write cursive anymore they won’t be able to read it either.
In some of the most innovative graffiti I've seen in a while, the author here has gone with a serif font for his sprayed insult. A frigging serif font. I mean you never see this and you love it as much as I do. What is that Garamond? It's awesome is what it is. Brave wall type innovator in Ljubljana, we love you.
Web and architectures
Reading architecture critique is generally as entertaining as being poked in the eye, but there are some good examples, namely this Holes in Buildings. However recently there’s been some thinking about the links between the web and the built environment, namely Web Design as Architecture which points to some interesting concepts and commonalities and some damn nostalgic early 2000’s web and indie web thinking. Which I like and you should to. The link in aesthetics though is something I never really thought about till someone threw up this Brutalist Websites website.
What about bookmarks then? Do they have an architectural or built environment equivalent? Of course they do, signage. And oh yeah, you can read my screed on that Bookmarks and the Falling Leaves of Uniform Resource Locator Best Intentions.
Paying for the Internets
Twitter/X states/indicates they may start charging all users for use of the platform. I’m amongst many in that I read more about Twitter than ever reading anything actually on it, but also think this is insane. But then on second thought maybe not.
One of the biggest problems we have on and with the Internet in general is just about all of it is free. Granted, in this case a user would be paying a fee to post on it (publishing fee let’s say) but then also to read (buying the newspaper). This is likely doomed but it does make you think maybe we should be paying for all these internets, because otherwise we continue with the alternative which is the surveillance world in which we we’re just waking up in the ice bath the next morning with new incisions and one less organ and not remembering how the hell we got there.
Jim’s Vulnerability Corner
I don’t like to admit this but I owe you Dear Reader to open up, to be vulnerable.
There are certain Sammy Hagar era Van Halen songs that I think rock, in particular this gem “Best of Both Worlds.”
It’s true, and I now admit it. But we all need to bear our souls from time to time to salve and save ourselves from ourselves. Your mouth has dropped and now you find yourself in an otherwise unseemly position and frame of mind. But in my vulnerability I hope you find some for yourself. You’re welcome.
Fear as Play
Somehow I don’t work at the Aarhus Recreational Fear Lab, but I would be happy to talk to them about data, design and monsters. With paper titles such as “The Psychological Benefits of Scary Play in Three Types of Horror Fans,” and being someone who can’t handle horror films, I wonder if the best way of dismantling a fear is to make it work, thereby potentially making it just something you do during the day and thus not scary at all.
…many art schools are now little more than community theatre for the upper-middle classes
Have no idea where I found this nugget, but true? I’ve had lots of ideas about the system of art school and how it just perpetuates nepotism, but this is one super good metaphor.
Oh and have artists forgotten how to draw? Have I forgotten to draw? In some respects I have. I blame phones, not as some sort of demonic distraction device, but for having a really good camera in it. Why sketch something out when you can just take a really good photo for free in seconds.
How We Are Collectively Screwed as a Species: The September edition
The real problem of humanity is the following: We have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and godlike technology. And it is terrifically dangerous, and it is now approaching a point of crisis overall.
(Edward O. Wilson)
The sad fact is that a lot of regressive bullshit is seen as progress. If you would have told someone in 1985 that in 2023 they would have a computer+TV+phone+everything in their pocket they would be super excited. Then when you would go on to explain that you now have to actively try not to have your life taken over by it and how needy it is they would wonder what is the point.
The Dub Siren
Bad Brains and Cleveland college radio in the 90’s pulled me into reggae and in particular dub reggae decades ago. Sure, everyone’s heard Marley before just like everyone’s also eaten cornflakes before, but once I started hearing not only just dudes speaking patois over music with no immediately clear sense of timing or reason and even more random blasts of horns, sirens and alerts over all of it - I was f’ing hooked for good.
A cursory search shows that not only are there loads of people building metal boxes that do nothing except make noises over dub reggae, but there seems to be no consensus as to what the real dub siren is beyond a certain set of noises. There are threads on junglist forums breaking it down by even the brand of the air horn. The Building Blocks Of Jungle: 10 Samples That Sculpted The UK Sound investigates where it led to more recently in other forms like UK Jungle, but nobody no matter where I look explains why.
There are alerts, this is clear. But to what? To the listen to pay attention to what, especially if they are all over the place. Is it just laid down when it feels right? There is something my white ass just isn’t getting, and it could very well be because of the white ass. I get that. I need answers.
If you have a choice between Arial and Helvetica, choose Helvetica, it’s a lot better.
If you need to do a thing with type, such as a flyer, etc., go with Helvetica Bold and just make sure you tighten up the space between letters and it will look way better.
If you were wondering about urban design and the shopping mall
It is largely true I have to say. I’ve seen The Mall die in less than a decade in the US, and yet they keep on making them in Europe, albeit smaller and better thought out. They are still shit, albeit less shit.
Text as artistic device and ML Wizardry Worth Looking At
While looking very “creative agency slush fund,” Google TextFX takes a fairly good look at rap as a textual form and exercise. In particular they look into the actual primitives of rap and taking down and ripping apart language, all the while being gushingly sensitive to the author. Damn.
What I believe they’ve done is actually figured out ways of working with language and thinking about collaboration instead of just replacing it with machines. Nuff respek innit. There is a definitive awareness of the rapper’s struggle and how to play with it, not trying to solve it or engineer ways of out if. This actually complicates things more which is great. Anyhow, damn good use of ML/AI/whateveryouwanttocallitthesedays.
Corrosion of Conformity, Heaters (band), paté, Dale Hawkins, 90’s box cuts, cabbage, Randy Rhoads, walks in the park before work, Everything Bagel Seasoning.
The thing we need to remember is that maybe no matter how clever we think we’ve become, in the end, we live in fear and die just like people did hundreds and thousands of years before us. This is not a depressing thing though. Or wait, is it? No, it’s not. Carpe something or other.
Thanks for reading. Jah bless. Keep it real.
- Jim Love X