To those following the “Open Letter”

This is brilliant. She should write more – I’d buy it.

Open Letter to an Open Letter,

Seriously? What the FUUUUUCK? You stare at me with your blank page staring back at me like some milky white ass flaps twerking for dollars on the agitated propaganda machine crying out for attention while masquerading your plea for help as a publicity stunt; a call to arms, to legs, beckoning to what is panting between those latex clad gams, those powerful pussy pants that can be sold for so many pieces of silver, gold and Bitcoins on the open market and defiling our father’s house of prayer? Don’t be fooled! It’s a losing game! You think I’m going to fill up your empty void with self-righteous, self-promoting texting drivel, so much jaw-breaking jibber jabber, using this platform for a hectoring lecturing dickity dock to empower the pussy over the cock when all we’re really looking for is more ‘hits’, more eyeballs rolling in the back of heads and onto websites to move more product? Give me a fuckin’ break with your ‘look at me I know the score, I’ve been around the block Good Woman of motherfuckin’ Setzuan waiting all Godot-like for a royalty check that never shows because some industry spunk mogul spent it on a yacht in Anguilla’ BULLSHIT! Because if I even hear one lame-ass vocoder note of that siren song, I’ll fall for it and start trying to win at a losers game, getting my act together and taking it on the road, screwin’ my head on right and no one is gonna tell me it ain’t while running as fast as I can WHILE YOU continue to TAUNT with more whitespace to fill! This is a vortex THAT CAN NEVER BE FILLED; that oozing, gaping GOD SHAPED HOLE aching to be crammed full of cold hard plasmatic cash because it’s not like the old daze when we could use paper and a simple yellow No. 2 pencil and begin and end a good bowel movement of a punk rock riot grrl rant with a couple of well crafted paragraphs. Nooooooo! Now it’s all about fuckin’ word count and bullshit font size and patriarchal borders and shadings and template-tipped bullets and mind-numbing page numbering! Those ever-continuing pages that require the never-ending numbers; numbers that stretch beyond the edges of the known universe, beyond human comprehension, waaaay past the event horizon to drive us star raving mad! And the hashtags! For the sweet love of Jesus, The HASHTAGS! #fuckyouall NOOOOO, these days we don’t have time to sit at a simple wooden desk with our McGuffy Reader minding our P’s and Q’s, we have to PROSTITUTE OURSELVES on computers and iPhones and Humpty Dumpty Mumblety-peg Gadget Thingamajigs being thought up every day by Evil Game Changers in order to trick us into endless ‘upgrades’ and all the while we continue to be faced with one huge, theocratic mullah of a blank document that just goes on and on and on and on AND ON until the 12th of motherfuckin’ NEVER! No matter what I say, no matter how much I type, no matter how fast I spew my vitriol, projectile-vomit, no matter how well I craft this well justified bile that NEEDS TO BE SAID I am still faced with having to do MORE. MORE! MORE! MORE!!!! All because of YOU, you Damnable Open Letter! You who will endlessly taunt me with more empty and infinite GODDAMN white space!!!! This is why NO WOMAN can win at this game! Face the TRUTH: We’re being used. Sucked into the tar baby vacuum, used as pawns in the Entertainment Game, being jerked over by The Man in our vain attempt to WRITE OUR OWN SCRIPT. We think this is a way to TAKE BACK OUR POWER? EPIC FAIL! It’s all USELESS USELESS USELESS! So much cannon fodder grist for the mill like the sands through the hourglass these are the lies of our lives! Face the facts drones: There is always more to give, more to say, more to feed the insatiable beast, the one that weaves a deceitful web with our Facebook threads, our Tweetie Pie chicken shit cuneiform, our high horse hieroglyphics, our open wound expressionistic Esperanto; these walking shadow boxing matches full of sound and fury signifying not a heck of a lot when you get right down to it cuz all we are is dust in the wind. If – as our mother goddess role model Yoko Ono astutely sang- Woman is Nigger of the World, then You – YOU insidious Open Letter, are the White Supremacist Albino Dictator of The Internet and I say FIE! FIE ON THEE AND YOUR DEMON SPAWN!

With immense respect,
Ann Magnuson

 

 

Indesign Blunder

PROBLEM: “Failure to generate captions”

(Attempting to generate live captions for approximately 70 photos.)

Before entering a bunch of metadata into Adobe Bridge, I tested the caption function in Indesign. Worked perfectly, and the captions even updated when the metadata was updated. Amazing. Would significantly decrease time spent entering a million captions.

So I input all data into Bridge, set up all pages in indesign, crop and position all photos. Ready to click that magical insert captions button.

Fail fail fail. What?!?!!!

Search online, nothing about failed captions. Searching the actual error message yielded zero results. For lack of a better phrase, WTF mate.

After fiddling, searching, re-saving, searching, resetting preferences, copying pages to a new document, etc etc, I thought to myself, “Kendra, when your document is rotated a number of things stop working, ie, you can’t even align objects to the document margins.. maybe it’s messing with the ability to generate captions..”

Rotate my pages back to normal view, try captions, voila. Working.

Why, WHY, was I not able to find that solution online? Internet you have failed me. Indesign, sometimes I hate* you.

SOLUTION: To generate captions, make sure none of your spreads/pages are rotated.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 10.33.47

*I will always love you.

Sleep No More [NYC]

The most brilliant experience I have ever had with a play.

From the moment you stand on the street outside the seemingly abandoned hotel, until you leave for the night, you’re guided by actors whose elocution is sublime – like being in a lavish jazz-playing speakeasy. Contagious and addictive.

telegram

Ultimately, the darkness made me want to stay with my friends, but after 10 minutes I couldn’t help but feel the urge to drift off on my own – we were all made to wear the same theatrical white masks; I found a certain confidence in that anonymity.

We weren’t allowed words, nor were the actors; expression only through dance, movement, shouts, wails.

Losing your breath chasing actors through floors of an eery hotel – the chase, the prospect of losing sight of the actor(s), of your friends, only increasing the suspense.

Getting suddenly dragged from your group and brought into a locked cupboard by a random actor.

Drifting through hundreds of rooms with their dark decor, sometimes stumbling into a forest, sometimes into a graveyard. Always into something foreboding.

Standing by as a naked actress takes a bath, blood dripping from her hands, terror on her face.

Watching a ballroom of people dancing, giving you coy (and openly flirty) glances, making you feel as if you’re a part of their inebriated party; women with men with men with women.

Random unexplained scenes of people kissing in studies, people fighting in living rooms.

Walking into blasting electronic music and strobe lights on a gory scene of sexually charged, partially nude women, an entirely nude man wearing a bull’s head and a baby delivered from an alter of blood red jelly – everyone caressing and pressing. These people having no qualms about touching you, moving you, rushing into you.

It was all very mad.

Brunch

After the play, we ended up in a bar beneath the hotel. It was charged with all of that electricity from the “play”, and from the ridiculously exciting band that was playing (afros and Jesus hair meets indie electric soul, whatever that is). Some of the actors came down and it all culminated in this “Dirty Dancing” feel. Not to mention you could go all the way back to the top of the hotel and be surrounded by a gorgeous rooftop patio with trellises and vines and hundreds of people having fabulous food and amazing drinks.

The people in New York are so beautiful.

The play: Macbeth
The place: The McKittrick Hotel
The verdict: Must be experienced again. And again.

Let your Children Watch Anime

I am forever in admiration of Miyazaki’s team of creators. The beauty they extract from every scenario is simply overwhelming.

HowlsMovingCastle1_viaEden

HowlsMovingCastle3_viaEden

HowlsMovingCastle2_viaEden

HowlsMovingCastle4_viaEden

SpiritedAway_viaEden

Forgetting about beauty for a moment though..

Beyond its bizarre characters, outlandish outfits, and surreal scenarios, anime has the genuine capacity to grant children a vivid notion of inner strength and worth. Through the duration of any series, the protagonists often face various moments of clarity in which they learn of greater depths existing within themselves.

The characters are constantly building on their physical abilities, spiritual abilities and, often times, even their weapons’ abilities. This growth mirrors the personal development that any (real) person should go through during stages of significant change in their lives, namely childhood and young adult-hood.

This tendency doesn’t only exist in the more creative shows, it runs rampant through the majority of anime out there.

So, the next time you think it’s a violent waste of time for your child to watch anime, be glad they’re watching something that might make them consider what inner strength they themselves may possess. And really.. just be glad they aren’t watching something as soulless as SpongeBob Squarepants.

TIFF – 12 Years a Slave

Oh dear me, the cast of this film.

Steve McQueen today explained in more detail both the intentions and genesis of his film 12 Years a Slave, which has premiered to huge applause – and a smattering of appalled walkouts – at the Toronto film festival.

Guardian

I’m not one for the rehashing of slave narratives, but with a reaction like that how could you not want to watch it?

The Air went Out

“I don’t know who you think you are but before the night is through,

I wanna do bad things with you.”

 

6 years later and still finding these opening credits brilliant.

Just the right amounts of beautiful, creepy, Southern, naughty and contemporary.

One

You cannot bestow all your love onto one person alone.

IMG_2466

That kind of responsibility is too much pressure for the person on the other end.

We need to have connections with family, connections with friends.

It isn’t all about your one “life partner”.

Laurentina to Pyramide

Random memory brought on by an equally random YouTube clip.

IMG_3415

I stood in a moist subway car, catching my breath and adjusting the awkward luggage tugging at my shoulder. I watched yet another pair of buskers, beggars, handlers – whatever you call them – begin what was going to be a contrived performance of song and dance.. a dramatic re-enactment of their daily struggle.

These were two boys carrying a drum and an accordion. They were maybe 9 and 13, maybe brothers, maybe Middle Eastern – maybe just a good Roman street tan.  They looked more.. real.  There was a purposeful manner in the way they walked through the car, stopped, set up their equipment and began. They were here on business. No hand drawn signs, puppy dog eyes or lip-syncing loudspeakers. No take-pity-on-me-I’m-so-tired-and-sore-and-poor faces. Nothing most of these people dragged with them.

For a moment I was scared they would be awful. What would the people around them think? What sort of verbal abuse would the boys have to endure? More importantly, what displaced humiliation would *I* have to endure? What would I have to pretend not to see or hear?

To my surprise, and relief, the boys were genuinely good. And, they actually seemed to enjoy themselves – something every performer should take into consideration: your public will be more entertained, more willing to give, if they don’t feel bullied into obligatory enjoyment. (Don’t let them know you’d rather be elsewhere. God. Rookie mistake.)

Anyway, they must’ve been playing familiar Italian songs because every now and then I’d catch a glance of someone bobbing along with the tune, clapping in time, or just craning their necks to get a better look.

Nearing the end of their performance the younger of the two weaved around us collecting donations until, at the end of the car, a priest (or some other religiously dressed person) stopped him to strike up a conversation. It was such a light and playful exchange I felt like I was in an “urban” family movie.

Once the boy had done his rounds he brought his brother back to the other end of the car to speak with the priest. You could tell he was the type of religious person to joke around with the kids but gather vital life-sustaining information at the same time. He gave them more money than he needed to and, with cheers from the women collected around them, he got the brothers to play another song.

This time it was clearly a popular tune. The women clapped in unison, started singing the words and attempted what must’ve been the typical foot-stomping Italian dance that went with it – a wobbly subway dance, but still some choreography there.

The group continued this way for some time, bouncing in and out of tune, until an old woman, who’d been glaring for some time, finally stood up and shushed them. Only the priest seemed to notice.

Being a ‘man of the people’, he somehow turned the situation around with an, “Okay boys, big finish!” and created a perfect moment in which to end the song. I was amazed at the tact and ease with which he assuaged both groups.

The boys left the train at the next stop and, I’m sure, went on to do many other similar performances. But the air was buzzing, and you could really see the tenuous connections between people. Connections between complete strangers. It was heartbreaking – in an ecstatic joyful way.

What is that called?