Christmas Sale, Rye Lane, London SE15
Garudio Studiage photo of the week
SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK!!!!
I know that I’ve done this before, and I also know that mocking social media week is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, and that there’s a Tumblr down there (*gestures vaguely to the section all about Tumblrs) which highlights the idiocy of the whole thing better than I ever could, but my timelines were full of it this week (you can take the ‘it’ in that line to denote whatever you like, I won’t mind) and it’s hard not to get a little bit annoyed. It’s been over 4 years since I got a job that laughably put ‘digital’ in my title because I had an IQ in treble figures and appeared not to be terrified of the internet. In that time, guess how many useful / interesting things I have learned at industry events hosted by people who like to charge money for their expertise about digital? Oh, yes, that’s right – LITERALLY NONE. Simultaneously, I’ve had to suffer through endless presentations reiterating the same tired tropes; seemingly infinite meetings with people whose utterances I’m supposed to venerate due to their ability to use terms such as SoMoLo without vomiting up their ringpiece; countless wittering vacuities spouting their received wisdom about how to communicate using the internet and how cats and content are, like, really important…all of this, every year, without change. All that shifts slightly is the terminology and the seniority of those who I see are still touting themselves around conferences being experts about STUFF. Look, I’m boring myself here. Let me just leave you with a thought – if the people who are most vocal about this stuff, especially around social media week, are also the ones who are most often seen at conferences and on Twitter wanging on about it all, when are they getting the chance to put any of this theoretical expertise into practice? Just bear that in mind next time you see / hear a futility of social media consultants backslapping and quaffing free chardonnay. Editors’ Note: Imperica would like to point out that Matt was invited to speak at a grand total of zero events at Social Media Week this year. It is unclear whether his position of utter inconsequentiality in an industry he purports to despise but secretly craves the validation of is in any way connected to the above. But it seems likely, on balance. How sad.
|By Reuben Wu|
THE SECTION WHICH, IN DEfERENCE TO SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK, I AM THIS WEEK REFERRING TO AS THE MOST IMPORTANT STUFF IN THE WORLD; THE LODESTONE OF TRUTH! THE APOGEE OF EXISTENCE! THE CRUX OF THE HUMAN CONDITION! THE CURE FOR ALL THAT AILS US! THE UNIVERSAL PANACEA! YES, THAT’S RIGHT, SOME STUFF ABOUT S***** M****:
- Facebook Mobile Payments: Dull and practical but important, this is Facebook working with Paypal and others to introdduce one-click payments. Welcome to the future in which you neber need to leave Facebook for anything; coming next week, Facebook partners with Ocado to offer grocery shopping through The Social Network, complete with discounts for those who ‘Like’ bananas and Fray Bentos pies and the like. Probably, anyway. Go on, Fray Bentos, MAKE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO BE.
- Facebook AI: What would you do if you had access to possibly the greatest repository of data about human interests and behavoiur which has ever existed in the history of humanity? THAT’S RIGHT, you would build SkyNet. Which is effectively what FB announced this week, with their foray into advanced machine learning. Don’t worry, though, it’s only nascent tech and so you don’t yet have to be terrified about the fact that the banal utterings you spout on your timeline could be quite easily replicated by a server stack in Colorado (yet. Give it a year). My girlfriend and I were at a lecture this week about neuroscience and there was a lot of talk about human intelligence being, according to current thinking, largely due to the variety and density of neurons in our brains. There’s almost certainly a poorly thought-out analogy between groupings of individuals and the hive mind, and the sort of stuff Facebook could potentially do with the billion+ people on its books. Let’s be honest, this is almost certainly the beginning of the end. Enjoy it!
- Google Change Commenting FOREVER: This is really quite significant, not just from a Social Media point of view but actually socioculturally (no, really, come back). Google are looking to address the swampllike horror of the below-the-video area on YouTube by changing everything, and prioritising comments by people you know (and famouses, because that’s the world we live in). Also, obviously, they’re building G+ into the system; see Skynet quote passim, and all my previous cant about a universal online ID that I used to spout a few years back when I was young and interested. One big thing about this is that it gives brands – even the most risk-averse and unpopular – no reason at all to do the craven ‘no comments’ thing on YouTube anymore, and makes the service FAR more attractive to people who were previously put off by the whole ‘OMIGODBIGGAYFATDYKESCUMFAGYOLO’ horror which was the below-the-line YouTube environment. That, and the more general social point about us having (potentially) reached a tipping point in online culture where the absolute right to say anything you like is outweighed by the importance of not being an absolute tool. Maybe. Anyway, Google aren’t the only people to announce this sort of thing this week – online science journal Popular Science banned comments this week; their rationale is interesting and coherent and worth a read.
- Google Glass Banned Here: This is slightly crazy but also an amazing insight into the world in which we will live, like it or not, in approximately 3-5 years from now. Don’t fight it; just sink into dystopia with a wry smile and a sigh. It won’t hurt a bit.
- Free Background Music For Videos: Basically just that. Useful for brands, though, as at least it means you won’t have to have that awful conversation with the client where they ask for Pachebel’s Canon as a bed, and you say how much it will cost, and they make you play it on a Bontempi organ to provide the backing and you wonder how your life became this way and where your childhood went. Just me? Oh.
- Twitter Emergency Alerts: Actually really useful and an interesting development in Twitter’s increasingly core position at the heart of breaking news. This is a service which, although only available to US, Japanese and Korean organisations at the moment, will allow users to subscribe to mobile or email alerts from certain feeds – and then allow said feeds to tag tweets as ‘important’ and have them mailed / texted to aforementioned opt-in users. If you work with an environmental NGO this is potentially huge – also if you’re, say, the Metropolitan Police, or actually even local / regional police forces. Clever by Twitter not only functionally but strategically – make the service essential for globa infrastructure and it can NEVER DIE (hyperbole, but).
- Twitter Magicrecs: I’m slightly annoyed about this, in a Lord of the Flies ‘I FOUND THE CONCH’ sort of way. Magicrecs is an awesome little Twitter hack that has been running for a couple of months and which alerts you via DM to accounts or Tweets which you may find useful / interesting – effectively if x proportion of people you follow all start following a certain person, or read / RT a certain tweet, it tells you so that you don’t miss out. Clever, but I felt all smug about finding it and using it and now I have to let you all know about it and I no longer feel all special and privileged.
- Being a Vine ‘VJ’ is Now Apparently an ACTUAL JOB: Actually properly mad, but an interesting piece to reference when beating clients over the head about how vital it is that they pay you more money to make 6-second shorts about car insurance BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE KIDS WANT, YEAH?!
- Pinterest ‘Read Later’ Feature: Interesting largely as an indicator of what Pinterest could become (that is, the universal memory service). Were I the people behind the infinitely more powerful Evernote I would be a little concerned about this stuff.
- Netflix Spoilerfoiler: Smartest campaign-y thing of the week from Netflix around the finale of that bloody series about meth. Smart because a) it’s a good idea; and b) because it’s totally ripped off from this by some woman earlier in the year which I seem to recall I mentioned on Web Curios and which means that I am basically responsible for the Netflix thing on some level.
- Minecraft OS Maps: Second smartest thing of the week comes from Ordnance Survey, who used their map data to recreate the UK in Minecraft. Tapping into a massive geek phenomenon is helpful fashion (the maps are downloadable and playable for users who feel that way inclined)=massive internetgeeknews. LEARN.
- Not Really Internetty But Still Brilliant: So this really is wonderful. A vending machine-centric stunt by chocolate people Milka, whose vending machine which requires people to form human chains to activate is just *lovely*, and contains so much remarkable INSIGHT that somewhere a planner is reclining on cushions made of pure gold and being fed chocolate grapes for eternity.
- Remember What I Said About Buzzfeed and Politics Last Week?: No, of course you don’t, you weren’t paying attention. Anyway, this is what I meant.
Literally no idea who this is by, sorry
A Selection Of Finds From Across The Internet Which This Week I Am Writing Up In Slightly Hurried Fashion Due To Having A Lot Of Things To Do Including Another Wedding This Afternoon Which I Didn’t Mention Up There Because Even I’m Bored Of Me Whining About This Stuff But Really How Many Nuptials Must One Man Attend In A Year (Rhetorical), Pt 1:
- Sh1t PR Ideas: You will have seen this already, I am sure, but it is SO SO TRUE. Although possibly needs more social media wankery.
- The History Of The Internet In Timeline Form: More the techy stuff than the ‘oh look, so that’s when grumpy cat became famous’ stuff, but still interesting – a nicely arranged look at the major milestones in the development of the web, with reasonable annotations and links and stuff. I imagine if you are a teacher this might be useful, but also just generally interesting as a sort of ‘this is how we got where we are oh god how did it get so bleak after all our early optimism’ sort of way.
- Smart Christmas Lights: I am no particular fan of Christmas (I know, I know, but it’s organised fun and I abhor organised fun – yep, I really am that much of an horrendous curmudgeon), but these look BRILLIANT. Smart LED lighting, with companion app technology which lets you pick any colour from the spectrum at any point for them to display, allows programmable cycling, linking of multiple sets, and all that sort of geeky stuff which might make you care. They’re made in Australia and come out soon, and I really want to put some all over my house and cycle through the most upsetting colours in the spectrum whilst a choir of sinister children sing carols, backwards, at my flatmates. I won’t do that, though, largely as rereading that sentence has made me temporarily question my own sanity.
- Slowmo Video On The New iPhone: There was a new iPhone launched last week, in case you missed that fact (you didn’t). Apparently it now lets you shoot video in HD slowmo – this is a short video showcasing that, and should serve as an example to all community managers who can jazz up their moribund content calendars with some suitable and brand-linked slow-motion VT. How about this, Dulux – watch paint dry in slow motion! It’s brilliant, I know. That’ll be £500 – ta.
- Intel Is Bringing Us The Robot Companion We Have Longed For: This is still all very prototype-y, so may never come about at all, but the people at everyone’s favourite (the only one anyone’s ever heard of) chip manufacturer Intel are working on a modular robot which, the theory is, will be printable on home 3d printers and the software for which can be downloaded and manipulated. So, effectively, this is the first step in a process which will see any alienated, dysfunctional middle-class teen with access to the internet and 3d printing make their own army of semi-sentient killing machines in their basement. GREAT! Obviously I am being hyperbolic, and this is simply ushering in an era of us all having a ‘plastic pal who’s fun to be with‘ – you would be a fool and an alarmist communist to think anything other.
- A Map Of Female ‘Easyness’: Havcing done a bit of digging around this I *think* it might be ‘satire’, but nevertheless it’s sort of jaw-droppingly awful. The key did make me laugh, though, I must confess.
- Notezilla: Interactive, clickable sheet music. A very clever learning aid for anyone who’s looking to get their head around this sort of thing.
- The Command-Prompt Radio Player: completely pointless, as most of my favourite things are, this is a Soundcloud hack which replaces the traditional, modern, user-friendly interface with a command-line alternative straight out of 1993. No reason at all that I can see other than sheer bloody-mindedness, but if you’re of a certain age this will send powerful waves of nostalgia washing over you.
- PinSex: This may have been around for ages, I have no clue, but I stumbled across it this week (no, really, I did!) and it made me laugh (not a euphemism) – mainly due to the shameless nature of the way in which this Pinterest-for-pr0n (for that is what this is) is designed. Totally NSFW in any way shape or form – it is BONGO CENTRAL, ladies and gents. I am guessing that the user stats are probably skewed towards men rather more than Pinterest.
- Bicycle Built For 2000: 2,000 random internet users, recorded singing that ‘Daisy, Daisy’ song, and arranged online. INCREDIBLY creepy – but also interesting in terms of how they were recruited (via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service) and where they’re from and stuff. I wouldn’t play this as your children’s lullaby, mind.
- Sex Lexis: Basically Urban Dictionary but for sex, this is a website which collects information about the meaning of English-language terms for sexual acts in one place. In no way prurient, it’s strangely buttoned-up but also fascinating – 5 minutes on here and you will learn a lot of new phrases for things that you potentially didn’t even know that people actually did or said – feak, for example? Really?
- Postcards from Google Earth: I’m slightly in love with these. A gorgeous collection of glitched-out shots from Google Earth, arranged as hi-res screencaps in traditional postcard size. No real reason for them, but they please me immoderately.
- Morrissey Christmas Jumpers: I’m genuinely sorry for mentioning the C-word in September. Think of it as getting in early. Anyway, this is a website celebrating that annoying trope which is the HILARIOUSLY TASTELESS CHRISTMAS JUMPER (can you all just stop, please? It’s boring and mass-market and played out). but with Morrissey on them. They are available for sale. Some of you – you know who you are – will find this pant-wettingly brilliant.
- Another Week, Another Webcomic: This one’s called Decrypting Rita, it’s cyberpunky and rather nicely written, and the art-style is (I think) lovely. Enjoy.
- Spirograph!: This is brilliant (and a bit pointless). A little webtoy that does Spirograph except without the tedium and broken pencils and missing gears and the crying and inevitable feeling of disappointment when you just make a big smudgy mess. You can fiddle with the settings to make different stuff, and the results are strangely lovely. HB Pencils, or maybe Crayola – rip this off NOW and turn it into a Facebook app. Go on, do it.
- Genius Terrible Inventions: I have no idea who is behind this, but this they are a genius. The toothbrush alone is patent-worthy.
- What People Watch Where On YouTube: Very interesting tool to compare popular YouTube videos RIGHT NOW in different countries. This allows you to select a country and see what the most-watched videos of the moment are, which other countries have similar tastes to them, and which videos people there are watching that noone else is looking at. This is the sort of thing that will provide a near-bottomless repository of totally spurious ‘insights’ with which to persuade clients to spend money on a 90-second clip of a dancing cat or somesuch – you can thank me later.
- California Law Lets Kids Erase Their Digital History: This is potentially HUGE, and weirdly underreported. As of 2015, California law will require web companies to listen to and comply with requests from minors to remove content about them from the internet. OK, so it’s riddled with holes and flaws (how you do apply this if the servers are elsewhere? Oh, whoops, the people drafting this don’t actually understand the internet!), and it only applies to self-created content (so you can ask FB to take down that appalling status update about how high you were aged 15, but not the video of you self-penetrating with your ex’s toothbrush which your best friend kindly chucked on Vine), but as a test case this is very much worth watching.
- The Winners of the Google Science Fair: Read this and realise that there are teenagers now living who are smarter than you will ever be. Simultaneously brilliant and depressing; these kids are SO IMPRESSIVE, though, and will give you a momentary glow of hope for the future of the human race (until you realise that you will still die old and alone).
- Jurassic Park / Dr Seuss: Models of dinosaurs made up to look like characters from Dr Seuss. No real reason for this that I can see, but why would there be? JUST ENJOY IT!
- MapDive: This was presented by Google at one of their keynotes in May this year, but I don’t think was playable to the public until now (anyway, what do I care – the internet is not a race, after all (it totally is)). Anyway, this is a game/hack using Google Earth / Maps data to create a fun little playable sjydiving game which will be sort of familiar to anyone who ever played Pilotwings on the SNES. Enjoyable, and very nicely coded.
- The Naked Scare House: So ‘Haunted Houses’ have been a thing in the US for a few years now, and have yet to translate to the UK for reasons I don’t entireky understand but am actually sort of happy about. Basically the premise is that organisers create a sort of immersive theatrical experience for people who want to have a really, really deeply unpleasant evening – these can involve physical and verbal abuse, borderline torture scenarios, and, in one memorable account I read, being buried alive (do read that link, seriously – WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?!?!). Anyway, this lets you have all the scare-based fun in the world, but…er…naked. Because why not?
- 300 Sandwiches: This is a blog by a woman who a) has convinced herself that her boyfriend will propose to her after she has made 300 sandwiches for him; and b) obviously thinks there’s a book deal in this. I really, really hope that he ends their relationship when he’s done eating – the sandwiches look lovely though, and there’s a lot of good stuff in here for foodies – just don’t read the ‘about’ bit unless you want to get irrationally angry about all sorts of genderpolitical issues thrown up by the project.
- The National Selfie Gallery Comes To London: Art week is almost upon us – calloo, callay, etc. I do rather love art week – it’s actually lots better than Fashion Week for people watching, particularly at Frieze opening night which is the only place I’ve ever seen actual people wearing couture in the wild (so to speak). Anyway, this is one of the NYC galleries coming to London to flog their wares in mid-October who are presenting an exhibition based around the concept of the selfie – there are so many potential ideacues for certain brands here (anyone cosmetic-related, for example) that I can’t really be bothered to do your creative work for you. Just think., ok? Jesus.
- Hometown: A truly lovely photoproject from the New York Times, which collects pictures by American teenagers of life in their home towns. Gives a thumping reminder of how massively BIG the US is, and how culturally diverse – I would be fascinated to see this replicated for India, China, Russia and other megapopulous nations. The UK would, let’s be honest, just be a little less interesting.
- Another Colour Website For Designers: This is called ‘Colourhexa’, and gives information about colours – complementary shades, scales, etc. Probably only useful for designers / developers, but maybe also if you’re decorating the spare room and want to minimise the arguments you’ll have over the best match for that particular shade of duck egg blue you’ve chosen for the spare room (KILL ME NOW).
- Casual Misogyny On A Friday!: This website is called ‘Return of Kings’, and is a men’s interest ‘magazine’ for (as far as I can tell) the PUA community. It’s just HORRIBLE, but strangely compelling at the same time. I don’t really know why I’m linking to this other than to share the pain that I experienced when reading some of the stuff on here. It’s slightly embarrassing being a man sometimes.
By Jeremy Olson
A Selection Of Finds From Across The Internet Which This Week I Am Writing Up In Slightly Hurried Fashion Due To Having A Lot Of Things To Do Including Another Wedding This Afternoon Which I Didn’t Mention Up There Because Even I’m Bored Of Me Whining About This Stuff But Really How Many Nuptials Must One Man Attend In A Year (Rhetorical), Pt 2:
- I Love The Civil Service: I had a brief and very ill-fated/considered stint working at DWP a few years ago. Jesus, it was bleak. Anyway, this image, captured at the Foreign Office at Open House last weekend, neatly encapsulates the wonderment of our very own bureaucratic clusterfcuk.
- Minimalist Philosophy Designs: Philosophical precepts given the minimalist book cover treatment. Gorgeous designs, and if you too spent 3 years at university smoking marijuana and attending approximately 6 hours of tuition a week you will find these reminiscence-inducing.
- The Hackalizer: If you are an engineer or a DIY-er or just a bit of a construction geek, this will rapidly become your new favourite website. A new tip every day designed to make life easier – each of which requires a degree of effort and technical ability which is frankly baffling to me. My mate Tom will LOVE this (hello, Tom!).
- The 7 Deadly Sins, Visualised: By Spanish designer Jose Bernaba. I think ‘Lust’ is particularly fine.
- Buy Stuff Off That Meth Show: Blah blah blah best TV show EVER blah pinnacle of the medium blah blah blah. Anyway, if you’re into it you can bid for ACTUAL REAL-LIFE PROPS (is that an oxymoron?) from the programme to grace your very own home.
- Crowdfunded Funerals: Wow, this is actually a thing. You can, it transpires, submit your own or a loved one’s funeral or memorial service to this website and raise money for the send-off of dreams. I’m in two minds about this – on the one hand, I’m sort of glad that it exists; on the other, there’s something so, so sad about the fact that it has to. Not to mention the slightly distasteful nature of the vig placed on each fundraiser to pay the webmasters’ mortgages. Hey ho.
- The Woman Who Inspired Jessica Rabbit: No, not Veronica Lake – this lady. All the faded Golden Era glamour you will need today, and a salutory reminder of the transitory nature of the fame monkey. Hear that, Miley?
- Tintin In Scotch: Tintin’s first adventure, The Dark Isle, rewritten in the style of Irvine Welsh (not actually in the style of Irvine Welsh, obviously – there’s no asphyxosex or casual violence that I can see) with PROPER SCOTS VOICES. Kind of brilliant, and will give a warm glow to anyone who ever read Oor Wullie.
- Learn To Code (again) With Bentobox: Another week, another ‘hey, you too can make millions from your own revolutionary web-based project after just a few weeks of cursory nibbling at the edges of learning!’ website (clue: you can’t). Anyway, this one’s called Bentobox and is actually rather well put together- also links to loads of other stuff which is sueful in the same space, so worth checking out if it’s still on your list of ‘things I wanted to do in 2013 but didn’t quite get round to’.
- Pictures Of BodyBuilders: To those of you who have never met me, this is basically what I look like. Except less mahogany, obviously.
- Short Films Featuring Beautiful People: Beautiful series of short films (very short) featuring gorgeous people doing…things…It’s quite hard to describe, but there’s a series of Dogme-esque rules in play here which govern the composition of each short, and some rather nice animation / FX work going on around the beauty. Seriously, though, there’s something almost uncomfortable about looking so closely about people who look like this. It feels a bit odd.
- The 2013 Beard & Moustache Championships: These took place a few weeks ago in the US, and the photos are AMAZING. As a man whose ability to grow facial hair is comparable to that of a 13 year old, I am immoderately jealous of these men.
- The Constitutions Project: The constitutions of the world’s nations, searchable and comparable online. Interesting and useful and you could lose HOURS in here making up your own constitution for the governance of your theoretical nation state. Or maybe that’s just me – Mattistan will be a utopian paradise, though, should anyone with a spare island be reading.
- Misandrist Lullabies: These are brilliant – and, as a man, really quite unnerving. Gentlemen – read these and then imagine every single woman you interact with this weekend secretly thinking these lines and BE AFRAID.
- I Think We May Have Reached Peak HTML Page Design: I can’t quite work out whether this is technically impressive or just an awful, busy mess – probably both, to be honest.
- Where’s Your Money?: I occasionally do this thing, when I remember, of writing my phone number on banknotes with a bland exhortation to get in touch and tell me who you are. I now have a dozen or so Facebook ‘friends’ who I’ve met this way, and it’s curiously pleasing to have brief conversations on the phone with (inevitably drunk) strangers who just so happen to have handled the same currency as you. Anyway, this is a website that does much the same thing but with no need to hand out important personal information to a nation of strangers, which is probably better.
- Pen & Ink Drawings Of Muslim Prayer Carpets: Jonathan Bréchignac makes large drawings of Muslim prayer carpets using ballpoint pens. It takes him up to 8 months to finish one drawing. I think Jonathan may be a touch *strange*, but these are incredible.
- The Maddest Thing You Will See All Week: I don’t mean mad in the sort of ‘wacky’ way – I mean in the sort of gimlet-sharp, starey, lunatic way. Click on this link, and keep clicking and then have a think about how deep it goes and then get a little bit scared. Just mental.
- Mapping Country Metaphors: This website tracks metaphors people make about countries or regions – you know, Cumbria is the Syria of the UK and stuff like that. Not particularly well-made, but actually really interesting if you dig a little bit.
- The Best Worst Website I’ve Seen In Ages: RJ Greengard is an industrial painter and his website is Flash-heavy and quite incredible. It also quite possibly hasn’t been updated in a couple of decades.
- Games Part 1: Pong is like pinterest but for online games. It will EAT YOUR AFTERNOON. As will…
- Games Part 2: Retro games, again all browser-playable. An INCREDIBLE selection which includes Metal Slug and which cost me a large chunk of Tuesday. You’re welcome.
THE CIRCUS OF TUMBLRS:
- The Swinging 60s: Just a great collection of pics from the 60s. No more, no less.
- The 2 Heads Gallery: Curated by G Bernard, this is just a gorgeous collection of photography, mostly in black and white. Mildly NSFW in parts, but not in a way that should upset any but the most prudish of employers.
- Pr0n Comments On Instagram Pics: Juxtaposing the trenchant commentary of the commenters on the myriad of porn clip sites with the heavily-filtered photography of Instagram. Byturns amusing and just sort of sad, really. I do wonder what motivates people to write this sort of stuff after finishing a (one hopes) pleasing session of self-love.
- Newspaper Blackout: I love this so much. A tumblr collection of examples of blackout art – that is, works which take the printed page and their starting point and then black out the text leaving only a few remaining words visible and creating a sort of combined textual/visual poetry. I could read this stuff for HOURS. Also, they take submissions – go make your own.
- What The Hell, Facebook Ads?: Collecting the most WTF?-y examples of Facebook advertising. People choose to promote some very, very odd things.
- Windows High As Fcuk: I don’t really know what to make of this. It’s weird.
- Goppelldangers: Nell Frizzell dresses up as famous people and takes photos of the result.
- Carved Crayons: No, really, that’s exactly what these are. Seriously impressive work.
- This Is Not An Insight: As alluded to above, all the best insight and analysis from Social Media Week London in one place. All the better due to my friend Aden’s appearance on it. YOU GURU, ADEN!
By Meghan Howland
LONG THINGS WHICH ARE LONG BUT DUE TO THE WORRYINGLY RAPID PASSING OF TIME THIS MORNING ARE ONLY GOING TO GET A FLEETING EXPLANATION FOR WHICH SINCERE APOLOGIES BUT, YOU KNOW, I HAVE A SODDING WEDDING TO GET TO AS I MAY HAVE MENTIONED UP THERE:
- I Was A Hipster Meme: One man’s account of what it was like when a picture of him in Central Park became a popular culture shorthand for hipster douchery. Interesting and sad and may make you think a little more about who the person is in the funny picture that you are sharing with your friends for mockery purposes (it won’t though, will it? Jesus, you people).
- Cracking One Off On The Subway: I’m not sure if this is the sort of journalism Cosmo would have punted out a decade ago – I detect a certain ‘We Wish We Were Vice’ vibe (excuse the pun) about the piece. Anyway, this is a very funny account by Anna Breslaw of her attempt to masturbate on the NYC subway, as recommended by some rubbish self-help book or another. No idea about the finer points of this, what with being a man and all, but it made me laugh LOTS.
- Why Nickelback Are Rich: Noone likes them, they don’t care – BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALL THE MONEY. Contains the oh-so-depressing line “They have applied 100 percent corporate efficiency to rock ’n’ roll. It’s so cool to see.” This may well be the day on which the music died.
- Doing Your Kid’s Homework For A Week: As a childless (to the best of my knowledge, anyway) man I have no idea how accurate this is – nonetheless, this account of a parent’s attempt to do the same amount of at-home work as his daughter is frankly terrifying. Is this the same in the UK, parents? I never did homework as a kid (no really) and I turned out fi…oh.
- The Zero Hours Future: The best piece of writing I read all week, this is a scifi short imagining the day in the life of one zero hours labourer 10 years hence. Really well written and full of incredibly believable details – do read, please, it will make you think.
- Obligatory Reddit Thread of the Week: 60 year old Redditors dispense advice to the younger generations. Terrifying – from what I can tell, my future is going to be full of pain.
- Working At The Genius Bar: Helping people like you unfcuk their Apple devices sounds like no fun at all, frankly.
- What It’s Like Being On ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?’: Brilliant piece of writing about the experience of being on a high-stakes gameshow. You will get a bit sweaty-palmed just reading, I promise.
- Second Life After 10 Years: Jesus, it’s only been 10 years? Anyway, this is a look at Linden Labs’ oft-forgotten virtual world and the people who still hang out there. Interesting for a variety of reasons, and also contains a mention of LAMBDAMOO which made me happy and reminded me of this book, My Tiny Life, which is still by far and away the best piece of social research and analysis into the dynamics of online communities that I have ever read.
- A History of Myst: More nostalgia – for some of you I am sure that Myst brings back all sorts of memories. Get all nostalgic, go on.
- LONG Joss Whedon Interview: If you like the man’s work, you will LOVE this. Actually very interesting insight into the man’s creative inspirations, amongst other things.
- Horse_ebooks Fooled Us All: I think I first wrote about this in January 2012…and now the big reveal that it was an art project. Which frankly shouldn’t be seen as weird or upsetting, as this piece points out. Anyway, if you’re into internetty culturestuff this is all rather interesting, as is this chat with the people behind the whole thing. As is this, which is another one of their projects and which I can safely say after spending an hour with it last night is brain-fryingly odd an a lot deeper than it at first appears.
By Jessica Harrison
NOW, FINALLY, MOVING PICTURES AND SOUNDS!:
1) This is called Nuance – it’s a digitally enhanced dance project and it’s probably the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all week. Mesmerising:
2) Although this runs it a close second. It’s done the rounds quite a lot this week, and rightly so, so apologies if its old hat, but the combination of projection mapping and realtime movement is HUGELY impressive – the implications for theatre and dance and performance art overall are very exciting, and you can imagine Punchdrunk doing something really cool with this next time out (as an aside, if you’ve yet to see The Drowned Man yet then do get tickets – it’s wonderful):
3) This is The Smiths’ ‘Please, Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want’, cut with a selection of infomercials. It’s AMAZING, for reasons I can’t quite explain. You will either laugh or cry, but you won’t be left unmoved:
4) Sexual violence against women in India has been getting a lot of attention this year; this sketch by Indian comedy troupe AIB 365 looks at the attitudes behind it. Actually really quite horrible and sad, but it’s interesting to get a flavour for Indian society and culture and the way that intelligent women are reacting to culture:
5) I’m not a massive fan of this song – it’s fairly generic jump-up D’n;B with an uninspiring female vocal over the top (though I concede it’s earwormy). The video, though, laying out a 5 year relationship in statistics, is GENIUS and will be ripped off by advertisers in literally MINUTES (oh, ok, I know that it is itself a collation of ad tropes that ave been around for ages, but it’s very very well-observed and put together):
6) Mega Plush is the best piece of animation I saw all week. Technically faultless – someone give this man a big budget. Gang war between soft toys, in hyper-HD choreographed brilliance:
7) This is part music vid, part skate vid, and all lovely. It feels like the weekend when you watch it. Broke For Free’s song ‘Juparo’:
8) Another gorgeous piece of work, this time from long-term Web Curios favourites Keep Shelley In Athens (no, me neither). This is their video for ‘Recollections’ and it features gorgeous bubbles and is all ethereal and lovely:
9) Creepily weird thing of the week part 1. No idea WHAT this is, or indeed why it exists. OH JAPAN!:
10) Creepily weird thing of the week part 2. I’m slightly in two minds about this one, as there is a LOT of quite weird furry anime filth in here, but it’s also compellingly odd and upsetting, so that tips the balance in its favour. I first found it on YouTube where it lasted about 3 hours – let’s see how tolerant Vimeo is. This is called Betamale and it’s by Oneohtrix…and as I type, I realise that Vimeo have pulled it too. Oh well, possibly for the best. Anyway, have this instead which sounds a bit like Burial and is a good song with a decent cinematic video and is as good a way to close out as any, I suppose. Happy Friday, kids:
That’s it for now
See you next week. Please forward this onto as many people as your mail server can physically handle. If you’re reading this and have yet to subscribe, visit the Imperica newsletter page to do so.