The Ugly Cliche
I’ve been writing fiction since I was in second grade, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about it. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about the art of creation, it’s that your story has to be more real than reality is. And while the your audience may experience that magical suspension of disbelief if all or part of your plot is implausible, this effect is ruined when hollow, unrealistic characters highlight this so much that it’s impossible to get lost in your work.
That’s my major problem with The Ugly Truth. I’m sure this post will give away nothing, as the adverts tell you everything you need to know: the main female is hilariously neurotic and uptight, and it takes a crass, sexist, sexily unshaven man to loosen her up by turning her into the perfect object to land her dream guy! But lo, he has fallen for her! They almost admit their feelings, there is the misunderstanding that leads to an emotional scene, but finally (in a hot air balloon, for Christ’s sake) they embrace their love, and kiss while leaning dangerously out of the basket. (more…)
At first glance, it would appear that the worlds of fashion and technology rarely intersect. At the highest level of the craft, fashion focuses on form before function, while the reverse is true in tech companies. Yet determining both industries’ design choices is a very similar iconic, mercurial, innovative, and discerning force. In the case of technology, the decisions that make it past Steve Jobs’ discerning eye and into Apple’s product line define the industry. Meanwhile, it’s Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, who brings the fashion industry to its knees. While it’s clear that both of them rule their industries with intimidating and iron fists, Jobs and Wintour have even more in common than what meets the eye. (more…)
Last week saw the tragic shooting of members of Tel Aviv’s gay youth center, bringing on a period of mourning and sympathy throughout Israel. Previous to this tragedy, Tel Aviv had been seen as “the iconic big city into which anybody can integrate, or at least be tolerated.” Since Saturday, orthodox parties and MKs were quick to release statements condemning the murder, despite their disagreements over the gay community’s rights. Where Shas party leader Eli Yishay has referred to gays as “sick,” “perverse,” and “filth” in the past, one of their spokespeople has been quick to condemn the “murderous crime against the gay community.” However, political backtracking to cater to the hurt and mourning of the populace isn’t the same as a change of heart. And unlike what the above quote about Tel Aviv suggests, being “tolerated” isn’t the same as being accepted or supported. (more…)
Yesterday’s large scale DDoS attacks were certainly annoying. Between Twitter, LiveJournal and Facebook being down, it was hard to go through my day with any real normalcy. Like everyone else, I was left incommunicado. After my initial annoyance, I got to thinking: What happens when we only have the internet to turn to for our news?
As more and more people turn to social media for instant news, it makes it easier for malicious people to not only infect the stream with falsehoods, as we saw/still see with the Iran Election, but to completely block people from getting to the information in the first place. I don’t have any good solutions to this problem, but it is obviously something we should all be talking about a lot more.
Remarkably, it’s just been announced that elephants have passed the test for self-awareness. The Mirror Self Recognition (MSR) test is exactly what it sounds like, testing an elephant’s reaction to the one in the mirror. The Asian elephants tested by researchers at the Bronx Zoo responded to the placement of marks on their faces by attempts to remove them, after quickly ascertaining that the marks they saw were actually on their own skin. With behavior matching apes and dolphins, also self-aware animals, elephants have finally proved that having 14 pounds of brain has its benefits. Since the club of self-aware mammals is still pretty exclusive, I’m thinking we’d better get matching outfits and make a secret handshake before everybody tries to get in. While humans are pretty lonely in the meta-awareness club (being aware that we’re aware), at least it means no other species will start writing more bad lyrics about trying to find themselves.
Here I thought this move was just for ironic Wellesley girls who have had a bit too much to drink, but what do you know. For those of you who love C. Fish and the rest of the gang as much as I do, a goldmine of rare Star Wars photos awaits. As the poster points out,
The world would be a different place today if it weren’t for Star Wars. People wouldn’t walk around all day making Chewbacca noises for no apparent reason, the U.S. government wouldn’t secretly be in the process of making lightsabers and America’s first Death Star a reality and most people would still be afraid to make out with their sister. It would also be impossible for people to use the force and take people’s clothes off with their minds.
Truth. Keep it real, and may the Force be with you. (more…)
I’ve been doing what everyone else has: reading opinions about Apple, about how AT&T is comparable to Jack Nicholson‘s character in A Few Good Men, and how Google is a delicate flower in all of this. It is true: Apple’s policy of rejecting applications that duplicate services hasn’t been applied uniformly. Apple has approved VoIP and roundabout text messaging apps in the past, and applications using Google Voice didn’t appear so different. Although the service’s feature set is quite basic right now (the usual VoIP, 3rd-party text messaging, visual voicemail), the scope of Apple’s move suggests they wants to avoid being vulnerable to potential service upgrades. So, what service features could the Google backbone be key to producing? (more…)
So, the news is out that Eric Schmidt has resigned from Apple’s board. As soon as they announced Chrome OS it seemed like only a matter of time, but coming on the heels of the Google Voice debacle and even looking at Android, no one can claim surprise. What amazes me, though, is the naïve perspective some seem to have on the respective companies and their roles in this scenario (more…)
I would have written last night about what a horrible disappointment Funny People was, but it gave me such a headache I had to turn in immediately afterwards. Tossing and turning in bed, I was wracked with frustration over what a shitty film I’d sat through for two-and-a-half hours, one-and-a-half of which I wanted to get up and leave. Contrary to what its previews boast (Judd Apatow, Adam Sandler joining the Apatow Gang, a story of discovering life’s meaning, hilarity ensuing, and did we mention Judd Apatow?), this was a slow ride through moviegoer hell, designed to alienate any and all demographics. Considering that Apatow gems like Superbad are known for bringing nearly unanimous enjoyment, this is a huge, complete, and utter failure. (more…)