I try to never complain about the weather in New York, but it’s going to be 40 degrees and snowy tomorrow. Isn’t it like, uh, almost April, isn’t it? I have thoroughly not enjoyed this past winter. With five colds (1 regular, 2 flu-like, and 2 stomach viruses) and many aches and pains since October, it’s hard to believe we’re still all living in winter.
I’m sure that someone in the White House at one point nixed the idea of calling Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Iraqi Liberation, as the latter’s acronym is OIL. However, there are a few instances of the latter’s phraseology, including this one, which does provide a good synopsis of news on the war from the wires: The Daily News Transcript.
One of most favorite directors is Guy Maddin, who has recently been working on a movie called The Saddest Music in the World. Maddin is a Winnipeg-based filmmaker who produces eclectic tales based on an odd admixture of folk tales, sorry tastes, and sad themes, and he’s one artist that I can truly say is brilliant. I saw him about 6 years ago in Queens, New York, presenting his then latest movie, Twilight of the Ice Nympths. His work, often compared with David Lynch, is gorgeous on the side of outrageous, melancholic on the side of ridiculous, and honest on the side of absurdity. His work deserves to be adored.
CNN picked up on this story about soldier bloggers. I had a strong feeling that there were a number of soldiers in the war who were writing from the front, but the site were hard to find. Well, I guess no longer. Forget about blogs reporting their latest book purchases online (like this one); this is the real blog deal.
My apologies to all those who have been clicking on Deckchairs and finding nothing, nothing at all to read. Between a bad headcold, the war, and work in general, I’ve had little time to post.
I do want to focus on some good news, however. Pal Jake Dobkin and his Gothamist pals have redesigned and redeveloped the Web site (of which I am somewhat a part), which is a very fine group blog about New York City and its youthful, heavily linked culture. Jake also redeveloped his site Bluejake.com but more about that, and the technology behind it, later.
The stock market is up, the war in Iraq is up, the economy is up, President Bush’s ratings are up, morale in the armed forces is up, and still, the rest of the world loathes us. The real air war has begun, with psy-ops on radio, television, and the Web being carefully broadcast both here and abroad. It’s very hard to get a clear picture of the entire situation in Iraq but here’s hoping it’s all over by, say, tonight.
Right now I’m searching for anything and everything that is alternate to the base news coming off the TV, Internet, and Radio. This war, though I believe it’s justifiable (see today’s Salon article about those on the left who believe in the occasional use of the military for a few select values-based reasons), is going to be insane. Well, to get your mind off it for 2 minutes, check out Typophile’s project called “The Smaller Picture”, which is quite brilliantly allowing a collective of interested people to create a font from scratch. It must be one of the first examples of mass design, and it certainly must be the first example of collective type design. Perhaps most interesting visually, The Smaller Picture also allows you to see the timeline of the development of individual type characters. This is an amazingly sophisticated project, created by Kevan Davis.
I’ve noticed that very, very, very few websites use purple as a color for anything, including text, illustrations, navigation, design elements, background colors, animation … just about anything. I find this incredibly fascinating (this, as the country is going to war, I know). I’m not sure of the exact reasons but here are my suppositions:
1. Purple doesn’t have a “cool” factor, unless your name happens to be Prince.
2. Purple doesn’t read very well; it’s not legible for most people, in part because it’s so unused.
3. Purple is fey, and perhaps its use is considered too feminine for the male-focused Web.
4. Purple has a coyness about it, and a cheapness, that recalls bordellos, or overly permissive sexuality.
It was inevitable but Barbie and her friends now have their very own Web log. I know that many people are upset that now “blogs” have been thoroughly commercialized, but if anything, these new sites point out the design and communications potential and pitfalls of daily public diaries. (The writing is poor on the Barbie sites but they are thoughtfully constructed, unlike most blogs.) In fact, I’ve become quite tired of folks who are somehow persuaded that the Internet was created under the sign of liberty and individual speech … partly because I used to be one in 1996.