Archive for March, 2008

Battlestar Galactica starts back up on Friday. If you’re not a fan, you’re missing out.

The opposite of consumption is production. It takes far more time and energy to create something than to consume something. It takes a novelist a year to write a book that someone can read in a few days…[often] our only recreational activities are actions of consumption.
— Albert Hsu, The Suburban Christian: Finding Spiritual Vitality in the Land of Plenty

TED Talk demonstration of Photosynth, an acquired project from Microsoft that allows users to zoom, magnify, arrange, and organize photos (and other media like text, ads, full novels, etc.) in multiple, intuitive user interfaces. Pretty incredible stuff.

I work in an office. I have worked in offices, both large and small, non-profit and for-profit, for the majority of the last 5 and a half years. I enjoy the consistency of a fulltime job, the regular paychecks, and the team environment. I do not enjoy being on an imposed schedule that rarely lines up with my most productive, creative hours. To wit:

The corporate world rewards based on perceived productivity rather than accomplishment. People who arrive at work at 8am, take a 30 minute lunch break (at their desk), and leave at 6pm are usually congratulated regardless of their real accomplishments, while those who struggle with corporate schedules but produce brilliant work (delivered on time) are often penalized.
— Dan Benjamin, Offices and The Creativity Zone (emphasis mine)

Story of my life. Anyone else struggle with this?

Sleeping At Last is playing a show on April 11th in Greenville at the aforementioned Channel.

You know They? Well, They say 60—70% of conversations are non-verbal but I wonder if they need to…
A Conversation I Can’t Seem to Wrap My Head Around

Tonight, I’ll be reading some poetry opening for the lovely and talented Lee McDerment and Tara Leigh Cobble at the horribly-named Channel Venue in Greenville around 8:00pm.

1. Foo Fighters
2. Vigilantes of Love
3. The Beatles
4. Queens of the Stone Age
5. U2

*I suppose there’s hope; if I had written this two years ago it might have included Wilco, Radiohead, Cat Power, or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

I fixed some bugs for Firefox 3 yesterday, and that’s apparently thrown Firefox 2 for a loop today. I’m having an odd WordPress bug where my first post isn’t styling correctly. I’m trying to track it down. Apologies for that.

CreativeMYK, “a place for… free shared Christian graphics from artists around the world”, has launched what amounts to another social network (and a sort of potential job board) called Creative Space(s).

Specific to the web, I don’t understand why everyone is trying to reinvent the wheel by creating their own proprietary social network; my online life gets more and more fragmented with every new account. We’re getting one foot deep and a thousand miles wide (so to speak) every time we try to recreate a digital representation of ourselves with a new profile on a new site. For that reason, I don’t think I’ll be signing up for an account.

Specific to the theological ramifications of it, I’m torn. On one hand, it feels like yet another way for Christians to remove themselves from any kind of global conversation about creative endeavors. One more ghetto for us to hide in. (What the heck are “Christian graphics” anyway? How do you define that? “These stock photos have, in fact, been redeemed by the blood of Jesus the Nazarene. Those over there, not so much. They’re like… goat photos.” I fail to see the logic in that.) The more we huddle away from what’s happening in the industries we try to artistically emulate, the less in touch with the pulse of the culture we’ll be. The more our work will start to look like everyone else.

It is very probable that the very best ways of visually communicating the Gospel haven’t been discovered yet; they exist in non-Christians, in non-predominantly-white cultures, and in other countries (have you seen the art in China right now? It’s INCREDIBLE what’s happening artistically in the wake of communism unraveling.) Our art and design will suffer from a cultural disconnect and it will repeatedly fail to connect in the ways that it should as long as we perpetuate a cycle of looking to the same sources for inspiration and ideas.

On the other hand, I’m currently looking for an Art Director to add to our team here at NewSpring Church, and it’s difficult to gauge whether a designer would be a good fit for our team based solely on their work. There are, obviously, other factors of faith and lifestyle that play into the decision. Perhaps these Creative Spaces can be a good initial filter. Perhaps.

Plus, Mike Cina‘s profile picture is hysterical.

I’ve been enjoying listening to the following Muxtapes lately: Cloois (Justice remix ft. Mos Def and the Lupe Fiasco track back-to-back), Camerons (Grace Jones did a Tom Petty cover?), General Lee (you had me at “Bowie”), Kangster, Goldenfiddle, and Thao.

Zach Klein bought an apartment. I like it lots. (When we finish paying off our debt, I look forward to acquiring an urban-ish space with some lovely brick walls and hardwood floors. Lots.)

Even if Muxtape gets completely shut down, I’ve discovered more new music in the past day than I have in the last year. Change the paradigm!
twitter.com/blankenship

When you are choosing your words for pagination, please choose carefully and with a brain.

The previous/next dichotomy apparently throws some of you for a space/time continuum loop. “Previous” means “before.” You’re posting chronologically. So chronologically, if I click on “previous” at the bottom of your page, it should take me to PREVIOUS (e.g. older) POSTS, not to the page I was previous-ly on (full of posts I have already read.)

Please fix this,
Joshua

P.S. You could try the classic older/newer dichotomy if this is too much for you. Or just add “posts” or “entries” into the mix. Whatever you do, stop confusing the internet.

Wilhelm Staehle’s Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre is flat out amazing. It’s hard to beat images like Hi, Bear, Bye, Bear and Mrs. Mix-A-Lot.

Also be sure to visit Staehle’s other site The Dollar Dreadful Family Library — a collection of exciting, thrilling, and ghastly short stories with exquisite vintage illustrations.

Tom Waits performing Step Right Up on West German television show Rockpalast in 1977. This whole 15 song set is on YouTube.

Thread is a no-caps display typeface from designer Peter Skwiot Smith. There’s some beautiful letterforms in there (specifically the As, Gs, and Ys.) Free for download. Great work, Peter!

I need your help. I received the following via electronic mail this week:

This is your last chance to renew your domain name(s)! YOU MUST RENEW BY Mar. 29, 2008 OR THE DOMAINS LISTED BELOW WILL BE CANCELLED.

BASTARDBEAR.COM

Should I renew it? Please comment with a firm “yes” or “no” and any reasons why you feel so.

Muxtape is a mixtape website that let’s you make an online mix tape.

It took me less than ten minutes to set-up blankenship.muxtape.com and populate it with some tasty tracks for you to listen to.

Muxtape is using Tumblr as a changelog and a way to release new features, which are multiple and apparently quickly forthcoming.

Kudos to Justin Oullette for all his work in getting this going. I think it’s an awesome project, I love being able to find new music in new ways, and I look forward to features for browsing other mixes more easily.

Update: Justin reports 1000 sign-ups in 4.5 hours.

Marverous is a new blog from Cameron and Shannon Daigle. It’s pretty to look at, nice to read, and not a link blog (which is always a welcome change of pace in my web reading.)