May your holidays be filled with love and be as warm and slightly 'off' as this video, or touched by the honesty of this one.
The commercial above for the iPhone 5 has been garnering some critique. As you've seen it's a typical teenager, moping about...but not really, turns out said mopey-teen has been documenting family celebrations after all and has used amazing editing chops, great music and his life-altering mobile device to create a moving chronicle of his families Christmas. One of the critiques I read complained that the boy had to 'adopt an anthropological remove,' to be outside all the events he recorded, and would have been better off participating. This is a critique I hear a lot about technology, 'it stops people from being present...they aren't participating etc.' While I'm sure there are valid shades to that argument, mostly I think its stretched a little too far, and fits too nicely into a preconceived view of things.
The funny thing about many of the critiques of the ad is that the critics are completely caught up in the creators web--they immediately identify with the bored, mopey teen, and tun immediately to their arguments about voyeurism, obsessive disconnection etc., except that on this particular occasion, said teen is playing a role, and is, in fact, paying attention to the larger story going on around him, and he is fully present.
I think the moral of the story is twofold. Firstly, I resist the idea that one cannot be present and capturing moments at the same time (which, of course, is the point of the video, well that and selling you a device!), I do it all the time. People who know me give me Moleskine notebooks because I always carry one and make notes, write down ideas, quotes I'm hearing etc. and in order to do that I pause, and I often 'sit slightly outside' events, it's part of who I am--there is a fine line between voyeurism and observation.
Secondly, I do agree with the old exhortation to moderation in all things, and there are times when particiaption and engagment should be prioritized and anthropological remove negated, but sometimes I think the naysayers are just a bit too quick to critique and are in fact, not in the moment themselves, they are standing outside in a posture of anthropological remove with a preconceived idea ready to lay over whatever comes before them, just like mopey teens.
"The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations which we seek to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is planted deep within each of us." Audre Lorde
The lost/found equation, like most binary oppositions, precludes other options on the continuum, and freedom as the opposit of lost is a nice option. The image came from here, one of Bruce Sterling's always interesting spots on the old interweb thingy.
I was watching Ray Donovan, a series on Showtime and this played as a closeout number--this was a favourite of a friend of mine and a visit to his house wasn't complete without hearing this--I used to spend time playing that little guitar solo, striving for the right tone and feel...as you do. Everybody needs a little falsetto driven soul music once in a while. This wasn't thier only thing though, they were pioneers in the funk and 'black rock' movements of the 70s.
I'm a little bit of a magazine junkie--fashion and interior design are big choices, as are cultural mags like Laphams. Esopus is New York based, twice yearly magazine, that covers the whole spectrum of culture in what they term an 'unmediated' enivorment, i.e. no ads or commercially driven editorial material. The latest issue is their 20th magazine and celebrates their decade of publishing. It is essentially 20 separate magazines, plus a music cd, collected in cool cover-packaging created from marbled paper. It's $20 and for that money you get a world of interesting things to look at and read about, from Matthew Weiner's Mad Men notes to reflections on Claude Monets inspirational gardens, and everything in between those two things.
Brian Rea was the Op-Ed page illustrator for The New York Times and began to put together a list of his fears and anxieties in a sketchbook. He did this for a long time and eventually began to divided them into various lists which resulted in an exhibit of a mural called Fears, at the Joan Miro Foundation in Barcelona. Since then he has created a couple more murals, one listing his pains, both internal and external and another more recently focused on his anger. He now works for Good magazine which is where I came across his work. His site is worth a visit.