Two of my favorite comic creators, Ryan North and David Maliki have defeated Glenn Beck in Amazonian combat. Their book being number one on Amazon and not his pissed off the Paranoia Artist to the point that he attacked the book. This included the hilariously egocentric statement that his books are always #1. Man, if that guy ever falls off the map, he’s gonna fall hard. What I love about this is that it basically casts Beck in the role he usually assigns to the Dems, complaining that a media insurgent with no gravitas is spewing about stuff that has a negative impact on society. North and Maliki are in the Beck role of making money just because the bigger entity has taken the time to attack. This is not to say that I think North and Maliki are crazy like Beck, just that they’ve turned the tables on him.

Transcript of the Beck stuff from the Machine of Death website: Sound and Fury

Perhaps not a major motion picture. Perhaps more of a small documentary with interesting personalities. I had not realized, up until watching Helvetica, a documentary about the typeface of the same name, that there were people who viewed typeface as the forefront of modern culture war. They exist.

While I was in college several of my friends majored in graphic design. I would see them over the summer, while the grumbled about having to go to class to learn about typefaces. But slowly their hatred of the subject seemed to turn into something else, perhaps awe, it has been a long time, and I don’t want to speak for them.

And that is where my knowledge of typefaces ended, until recently. I had a preference for garamond, which I could not explain, but caused me to pick it for a very long time for all of my drafts of anything. Then I read a cutting comment about creative writing majors always using garamond, and I became leery of it, though I did not know where else to turn. My to do list on the computer was in futura for a long time, probably because I was watching a lot of Wes Anderson in the same period.

Beyond the pleasure of hearing people get way too passionate about fonts (one person claims [only half joking] that helvetica caused the Vietnam war), watching this documentary was very visually satisfying. There were all sorts of interesting uses of fonts, and the footage did a little work explicating the various styles at work by designers. I find I notice them more now, though not as much as the interviewees do. I also have a little better sense of why I like this or that font. I haven’t switched to helvetica though. After watching the film, I almost feel that it is a dangerous tool, fit only for the hands of those capable of using it properly.

But I still don’t know what font I want to see when I’m typing something out.

Boinging

June 1st, 2009

Despite my resolution of last night, there has been some unavoidable poddling around, in part because I left Boing Boing on my RSS feed.

Boing Boing is a double edged sword by its very nature, one day bringing a surfeit of internet riches, while the next plunging you into boredom when one of the posters has an ax to grind. Mind you, I am not saying that they don’t grind good axes, almost all of their causes are ones that more people should be getting very angry about, many of which involve attempting to counter powerful lobbying efforts regarding copyright. But sometimes I just can’t take the sheer weight of how much big media is bearing down on things like that.

Today has been a good day though. It would be a good day if there were only two posts, the first two posts I saw.

One post links to this LA Weekly blog post with video of a loop of Shatner’s famous “Khaaan!” dissected and reassembled into a film that lets you examine every twitch of the face. It is nothing short of amazing, and I wish I could see the whole thing.

The other was this post linking a post on plagiarism by the president of Jacksonville State University. The Wikipedia article seems to imply that the scandal has passed, but I take that with a grain of salt where plagiarism is implied. Sadly, with cases of plagiarism, it is often not the gatekeepers, but the victim that must police the crime. Because the amount of text out there is so large, I’m fairly certain that large portions of the plagiarism that goes on these days goes uncaught. My father once found someone having plagiarized a part of his dissertation, and got the person’s degree revoked, but it was mere chance that he happened upon it. He saw it in a list of dissertations and thought it would be interesting to see what it had to say about a topic related to the book he had written. Part way through he felt it seemed familiar. A little farther he realized that it was using part of an interview he had used (I think with Norman Mailer? Not his own interview, but sighted.) with all of the pronouns and names changed.

When I was younger, I was always worried that I would somehow accidentally plagiarize something. Then I read Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote I calmed down a bit.

Our Messed Up Society

July 25th, 2008

While randomly moving around the internet today, I found this lovely littler article about brides and the ‘beauty’ industry. Asking your bridesmaids to get breast implants? Very tacky. I am glad to be well and done with the wedding industry. There were some nice people, like our photographer and the woman who made the cake, but there are always those people who want to elevate their bridal experience to that of a J-Horror film.

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