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Showing posts from August, 2007

Beauty Fades. Dumb is Forever.

The title of this post is a classic Judge Judy quote which, is really only half true. Dumb doesn't have to be forever. All over YouTube a debate is raging about Miss South Carolina's incoherent answer to a question at this years Miss Teen USA pageant. She was asked to give her opinion on why it is that recent polls show that one fifth of Americans can't find the USA on a map?

She started out by saying that many US Americans (as opposed to non US Americans?) don't have maps... and it all went down hill from there with a monologue that, at best, could be described as words that might have been a useful answer if they were arranged into their proper order. Watch the video below for the full story and Miss South Carolina's attempt to redeem herself two days later on the Today Show.


Now, I can accept that she was probably very nervous and we've all been in a situation where we can hear ourselves talking but have no idea if we're still making sense. Her answer on t…

Helium Features: Reflections on the Starving Artist.

Someone at Helium must like me because today they featured another of my articles, Reflections on the Starving Artist on their home page.

The article, which is currently rated number 1 out of 17 articles, looks at the challenges faced by emerging artists in relation to income and why the phrase 'starving artist' is still very relevant in todays society both literally and as a metaphor. There are many barriers to a successful career in the Arts and it is these barriers that can have a detrimental effect on both the artist and their ability to earn a living.

This is the second time Helium has featured my work on their home page and twice in one month no less! Previously An introduction to Video Blogging earned its day in the sun and even featured higher up on the page.

Now if I could only get featured on YouTube's home page I'd be really happy.

'Staffy' knocking at our door.

I've written before about how stray dogs seem to gravitate towards me when they're lost even though I do nothing to encourage it. Well perhaps some of my magical abilities have rubbed off onto my partner because on the weekend the most adorable, female, Staffordshire terrier came knocking at our door.

The dog could see in through our screen door so could clearly see my partner (who likes to use the online name of 'Enigma' so from now on I'll refer to her by name). Perhaps it was the 'I want a dog' vibes that she's been sending out of late? Unfortunately the two cats (Casper and Gizzy) and I outvote her so there's no chance of us getting a dog at the moment.

Anyway back to 'Staffy' (because I can't keep calling her 'the dog'). Staffy was pretty stressed about her situation but must have decided that our house looked pretty good because she really wanted to come inside and see if anyone she knew was home. Casper isn't a very soci…

The Trouble with Superman.

I'm probably one of the last Superman fans to see the latest movie Superman Returns. I missed it in the theatres and it's taken this long for me to see it on DVD. This isn't meant to be a review but my overall impression was that the movie got almost everything right.

Brandon Routh is perfectly cast. There's enough of Reeve in Brandon's performance to say this is the Superman we remember from the previous films. There has to be because this movie is a sequel not a re-imagining of the franchise like Batman Returns is.

Kate Bosworth has been criticised for being miscast as Lois Lane. Personally I always thought Margot Kidder was not only miscast but the weakest link in all the previous films. Whilst Kate may not be the ideal Lois, in my view she's an improvement on Margot for playing the whiny, pseudo independent female lead.

Kevin Spacey is the reason I wanted to see the film. More than anything else. His performance in the movie Se7en as the twisted, moralistic, …

Giant Lego Man Found in Sea.

"...and so sayeth, there will be one who shall come from the sea and he will taketh the land and call it... Lego Land?"

A curious occurrence indeed, with this giant Lego man being washed ashore in the Netherlands. No one seems to know exactly where it came from with some speculating that it might be a Trojan horse... (or is that Trojan Lego man) filled with tiny Lego men come to attack.

Wherever it came from it has to go down as one the strangest things ever to have washed up on a beach. For more details read the complete blog post about the giant Lego man in Spiegel Online.

Art in your couch.

It's a misconception that all art must be created.

There is an art style known a found objects where the artist simply 'finds' an object and presents it as art. French artist Marcel Duchamp started the concept with 'readymades' where he famously 'found' a mens urinal, signed someone else's name on it and called it art.

This opened the way for many artists to follow with all manor of objects from bricks to almost any item you can name being presented as art.

You too can join in this progressive style simply by looking down the back of your couch or underneath your teenagers bed. Who knows what artworks might be awaiting your discovery?

Fame and fortune is surely not far away.

Is being me good enough?

I wish I could articulate all the thoughts that have been running through my head.

I made the mistake of asking for constructive feedback on one of my videos and got well meaning comments like:

"You need to talk a bit quicker"

"You need to smile a bit more"

"You need to be more expressive"

"Maybe you shouldn't talk, let the art take centre stage"

"Maybe you should talk more like you were just talking to a friend"

I've taken this feedback on board and have been trying to change to be more like whatever it is that people feel I need to be more like. Maybe I should just hire an actor to be me since perhaps the real thing isn't up to scratch? Someone who knows how to talk expressively, well paced and can throw in the occasional smile.

Much of the time, it seems to me, that the majority miss the point of online video and why it isn't and never should be mistaken for television. Television is polished and filled with people who train…

Flat Light - I wish I'd thought of that!

Flat Light (pictured right), an artwork/design by Finn Magee, is one of those, oh so simple design ideas that you look at and think why didn't I think of that?

Essentially it's a picture of a desk lamp that is wired up so it lights up as if it was a real desk lamp. The designer also has a version of this concept featuring a digital clock with the possibility that both versions may become available as a consumer item. Currently Flat Light is in development with U.S. company Artemide.

I can't tell you much more about this but if you head over to my source We Make Money Not Art there is an interview with the designer and you can see the digital clock version.

Helium Features "An Introduction to Video Blogging" on Home Page.

It's an exciting day today as Helium has just featured my article An Introduction to Video Blogging on their home Page.

Whilst the article will only remain on the home page for a day, you have to remember that this is a site with millions of visitors and every click on my article is worth money. Home Page featured is the pinnacle of Helium writing on a par with being accepted by a partnered print publisher or being the winner of one of Helium's regular contests.


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