A couple weeks ago my buddy James Gulliver Hancock sent me a book he illustrated called Obselete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By. The book is a funny look into how quickly things are becoming obsolete, everything from body hair to lickable stamps, hotel keys to tonsillectomies. The author, Anna Jane Grossman, is really funny and gives you a little history on each of these things, how they fared and ultimately why they’re going away. James also provides some really great illustrations for some of the stories as well. Here are a couple of passages which made me giggle.
Here she writes about Privacy:
In the late 90s in Japan, the assumption that people would be lucky to have their private lives publicized was taken one ste further when a weekly “reality” show called Denpa Shonen featured a naked man locked in a room where he had to subsist ob only what he could win from sweepstakes advertised in a pile of magazines he was given. His place in the room was the prize he received after winning a raffle; he wasn’t told he’d be filmed. He went long stretches of time crying and eating nothing but rice cooked in a tin can. The crew left him inthere for more than a year before they told him that his confinement was being broadcast all over the country.
The show received stellar ratings.
And one more part about Eating for Pleasure:
Sara Moulton, Gourmet magazine’s longtime executive chef, has watched wholesomeness challenge convenience – while pleasure sits on the bench.
“It’s gotten to an extreme, and I could without the snobbishness. At the end of the day, food should be fun and tasty and that’s what maters more than anything else,” she says. “The plus side of the so called ‘locavore’ movement – getting food from local sources – is that that food tastes better because it’s not being grown with the purpose of holding up during shipping, it’s being grown for taste and not sturdiness. But a side effect is that it’s made some people view food as a religion, which is ridiculous. Food is first and foremost there to nurture us. It should never be this intellectual, psychological, crazy thing. To get so obsessed about where thing on your plate came from and what’s in season – it’s admirable but also elitist.” Indeed, the poorest people in this country are also the most obese, largely because they can’t afford to shop at local farmers’ markets or Whole Foods. They’re instead trying to get enjoyment from fast-food burgers, “which to be honest, don’t taste as good as they used to if they’re not made with trans fats!” Ms. Moulton says. “So on the one hand, you have the elitists who are worshipping their food instead of enjoying it – those who just assume that because something is organic it automatically means it’ll taste better – and on theother you have those who are craving sugars and salts and fatty things because it’s what they’re used to and what they can afford”
Definitely pick up a copy of yourself by clicking here.
Richard Hogg is a British illustrator who does some really simple and fun illustrations. The piece above is my favorite, which is a textile design he did for Labour of Love, a boutique in London. Al of the imagery is so rad and old time-y like the cameo, ship in a bottle and the aviary under a bell jar. The colors are also quite fitting. Richard also has a Downloads section where you can snag a couple cool wallpapers and a Shop in case you want a cute print.
Karin Andersson, better know as one half of The Knife and her own solo work Fever Ray, has a new video out and it continues her creepy but amazing streak. The song is a cover of Nick Cave’s Stranger Than Kindness and it’s a pretty good version of, though with some characteristically Fever Ray instrumentals behind it. The video was directed by frequent collaborator Andreas Nilsson who also did the video for If I Had a Heart.
The video features Karin looking like an old woman and there’s a whole bunch of lasers shooting everywhere. Of course it has a really dark ambience to it all or it wouldn’t be a Fever Ray video.Really great song with a really crazy looking music video.
Found through Gorilla vs. Bear
The awesome Andy Smith was nice enough to send me a copy of his new book Blue Inks. The story is about a family of blue folks and their day to day life, all drawn in Andy’s great style. The book comes in a limited editinof 200, all silkscreened, which gives it such a nice tactile quality. This is definitely recommended for kids who will get a kick out of all the weird things the blue inks do, but adults will enjoy it just as much for it’s craftsmanship.
You can pick up your own copy here.
The video above is a glimpse into the new Microsoft Store, Microsoft’s attempt at trying to out-do Apple. It’s only a minute long but I think it gives plenty of insight into these new spaces. In the beginning of the video you see a kiosk through the window with 14 different versions of Windows, which makes me giggle some. After that there’s the cheering mob of cheering people, who we can guess are Microsoft Store employees. This whole parade just sort of reeks of trying to hard, I can’t imagine anyone but a 10 year old (and there are 10 year olds in the video) getting a kick out of such a welcome.
Looking around the store you see the floor to ceiling glass in the front, a la Apple, but really that’s all the Apple-ness I see. On every inch of wall there are displays which seem to display a landscape (maybe?) but then shifts color. I can’t imagine that being a good way to sell computers, distracting people from looking at the products by some Las Vegas-style visuals. The wood in the space is about 14 different colors, so there’s really no consistency there. It looks like the might be selling luggage in there as well.
It also looks like they’re selling about a thousand things in there, which if you look at an Apple store, is about the exact opposite thing you can do. Apple stores are easy because they have a limited number of products for you to try and there’s no nonsense. I cant imagine walking into this store and trying to figure out all the differences between so many computers. I also didn’t see any Zunes which is kind of weird, but I probably just missed them.
I think they’ve totally missed the mark on what a modern technology store is. More than anything this reminds me of a Sony Style store, which is just a ton of random products all thrown together. Yes, people still shop there, but I doubt it’s anything like the business Apple is doing.
This is another post where if you want to comment, please be constructive about it. Yes I know I’m ragging on this store, but I’ve given plenty of reasons why I think it’s crap. If you don’t then I’ll delete it, easy peasy. Thanks for understanding.