Magical Random Wonderfulness

A Monkey Washing a Cat

It’s a monkey washing a cat.

Design = Strategy

A position paper I wrote back in the day about the purpose and process of graphic design.

From the Upanishads

At one of the great Court banquets where everyone sat according to his rank while awaiting the appearance of the King, a plain, shabbily dressed man entered the hall and took a seat above everyone else.His boldness angered the Prime Minister who demanded that he identify himself and acknowledge if he were a vizier. The stranger replied that he ranked above a vizier. The astonished Prime Minister then asked if he were a prime minister. Again the man replied that he was above that position. When asked if he were the King himself he answered that he was above that too. “Then you must be a Prophet”, declared the Prime Minister; to which the man again asserted that he ranked above that position. Angrily, the Prime Minister shouted, “Are you then God?” to which the man calmly replied, “I am above that too”. Contemptuously, the Prime Minister declared, “There is nothing above God”.In reply the man said, “Now you know my identity. That nothing is me”- A. Reza Arasteh, “Rumi The Persian”

Pulp Fiction Typography

Cool animation. Naughty language.

Clive Barker, from The Hellbound Heart

The seasons long for each other, like men and women, in order that they may be cured of their excesses. Spring, if it lingers more than a week beyond its span, starts to hunger for summer to end the days of perpetual promise. Summer in its turn soon begins to sweat for something to quench its heat, and the mellowest of autumns will tire of gentility at last, and ache for a quick sharp frost to kill its fruitfulness. Even winter — the hardest season, the most implacable — dreams, as February creeps on, of the flame that will presently melt it away. Everything tires with time, and starts to seek some opposition, to save it from itself. So August gave way to September, and there were few complaints.

The Funniest TV Spot Ever Made, Ever

Witness the Swear Jar.

A Song for All Designer Types

For everyone who’s ever been told to Make the Logo Bigger.

Original Star Wars Trailer

Why did anyone see this piece of crap?

Three Filmmakers Take on Normandy

Let’s say you work with some people. And they tell you “It can’t be done,” and/or “we don’t have the budget for it.” Show them this incredible video.

A Life of Few Options, Men of Few Words

This great little quote from Ridley Scott’s GLADIATOR:

Maximus: How do you do your job, Cicero? Cicero: Sometimes I do what I want to do. The rest of the time, I do what I have to.

Amen, brother.

Unhappiness

Many men, perhaps even most, are unhappy in their souls. We burn so hard yet shed so little light, it makes us crazy and sad.

- Clive (again)

Catastrophic Climate Catastrophe! Run!!!

Gotta love The Onion.

That Awful Gas That Deforms Ya

As I understand it, a series of public service announcements were supposed to teach our parents and grandparents about the horrors of nuclear war. Here’s an excerpt, featuring two idiotic teens at a soda shop.

The Two Modes of Silence

My mythology professor presented a very thoughtful argument. He suggested that there were two modes of silence, “The Silence of Obedience” and “The Silence of Expectation.”The Silence of Obedience is a silence that is demanded of you by another - you’d recognize this in your own life as someone saying “shut up,” or who is actively ignoring you. He went on to say that this is a destructive silence, that we are who we present ourselves to be, and that by establishing dominion over us and demanding a halt to our expression, that the demander has destroyed our being. You may be sitting in your car, having an epiphony, or the worst day of your life, or a baby, but the fire engine doesn’t care. It rages by, sirens blaring, as if to say “I am the only thing that matters.” But the destructive quality doesn’t end there, as you, the silenced, close down to the negative experience. You don’t appreciate being yelled at, nor do you admire the fire engine. You close yourself down and wait for the experience to be over, killing, in turn, the demander.But there is another mode of silence, he says, The Silence of Expectation. This is an offered silence that you’ll recognize in your life as the moment you open a book, or the lights go down in a movie theatre, or you give your attention to an old friend. You offer the silence so that the author can express herself, so that her characters can exist. He suggests that this is a creative silence because it offers space, a time, and a witness for someone’s expression, someone’s being. The professor who offered this argument has since retired from his long and celebrated career at NYU. His name is James Carse and this discussion is mentioned briefly in his book The Silence of God, Meditations on Prayer. And while I’m at it, Breakfast at the Victory is the book I return to for inspiration.

Monkeys Control Robots with Their Minds

This is simply the most awesome sentence ever written.Think it’s a movie premise? A joke headline from The Onion? Nope. It’s a SCIENTIFIC FACT.

In a World… Where I Totally RULE…

You know the guy who narrates all of the movie trailers and says “In a world where…” That deep, gravelly voice? His name is Hal Douglas and I had the pleasure of hiring him once to do some voice-over work, introducing some very important clients. So I added my name to the list.

Steve Martin on Love

“Why is it we don’t always recognize the moment when love begins, but we always know when it ends?”

  • from LA Story

My Own Musing - Malice Versus Carelessness

Many would say that “malice” is the worst human condition. That the worst act one could perpetrate would be one of malice - demeaning, impeding, harming, mutilating, or killing another intentionally, purposefully, angrily.

But I submit that there is something a hundred-fold worse than malice: carelessness. You can carelessly break someone’s heart, absently insult a person (or dismiss an entire people), thoughtlessly pollute the environment and accidentally kill someone.

And, while the outcome of malice is always harmful, the purposeful aspect of it makes it at least somewhat recognizable, predictable, avoidable, and, in some cases, treatable. There is a social connection about it. Not so with carelessness. It is random, unpredictable, unavoidable, unconnected to the world around it, and untreatable because the perpetrator isn’t even aware that an action has taken place. There is no preventing the harmful effects of carelessness.

And the danger is: there are many more people in the world acting carelessly than there are acting maliciously.

I would invite malice to my supper table a hundred times before I ever let carelessness in the door. Deep inside our core, as a people, we must find this thesis to be true - that carelessness is worse than malice - because when we leave eachother for the unknown, we don’t say “watch out for malice” or “keep an eye out for evil-doers.” We tell each other to be the opposite of careless.

We say “be careful.”

Nice

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” - G.K. Chesterton.

“We are perishing for want of wonder, not for want of wonders.” - G.K. Chesterton.

Probably the Funniest Movie Scene Ever

This clip is from “B.C. Rock,” an R-rated, feature length animation from the late 70’s. In it, Stuey Babcock, the first man, is introduced to fire by a foul-mouthed dragon voiced by Bill Murray. I laugh so hard I cry every time.

Dude, I’m in National Geographic!

This link will take you to NationalGeographic.com, where a photo of mine of lava, dried in the shape of an eye, appears toward the end of the video - how cool is that? My name is even in the credits!

An old, delightful Arabian story:

A dying man left, to his 3 sons, 17 camels. He left half of the camels to his first son, a third to his second-oldest, and a ninth of the camels to his youngest.

A debate immediately ensued, as 17 doesn’t evenly divide in half, nor by 3, nor by 9! Unable to resolve their dispute, they sought the help of a wise, old woman. She said “Well, no, I cannot solve that, but you can have one of my camels, if you’d like.”

When they added her gift to their inheritance, it totaled 18 camels. The oldest son took half of the camels (9), the middle son took his third (6) and the youngest took his ninth (2). In all, 17 camels were distributed to the sons, in accordance with their father’s will. They then returned the 18th camel to the wise old woman.

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