Thursday, October 17, 2002
Real PornTerrence Real writes about porn in his new book, How Can I Get Through To You. First he does a devastating analysis of the movie, American Beauty and talks about the Kevin Spacey character, Lester, and his infantile sexual fantasies. He follows with this:
The essence of porn is a fantasy in which everything the man does is perfect, and the woman's sexual pleasure lies in the giving of pleasure. This archetype of male desire resonates with another. Who else in our culture is pictured as deriving pleasure in the giving of it? What Lester most yearns for, as do most of the men in my practice, indeed in my life, is the unstinting limitless nurturer, she who was untimely ripped from his arms as a little boy. I call this voluptuous pleasure-bestower the sexual mother; the caregiver boys did not get enough of, now transposed to manhood and eroticised.
Harvard Conference Rocks NYCWe rocked the town yesterday at the Four Seasons. Despite the most monsoon-like conditions, we got a killer audience of enthusiastic, smart folks who really are so eager to do business. If this is a dead economy, it sure looked lively yesterday. I feel so much pent-up energy in NYC and Boston. Good stuff coming down.
Halley's Comment's CommentsCertain parties are suggesting I add comments to my site. Okay, all right, already. Will do. But I'll be doing a bunch of upgrades, so give me a little time, hokay?
Monday, October 14, 2002
Show Me The MoneyThere has to be a way for bloggers to have sponsors, make money, share a percentage of that money with the people who build the blogging platforms, fully disclose who's paying whom AND keep their editorial integrity.
Magazines separate church and state by making editorial copy look like editorial and advertising copy look like advertising. The loathsome beast in print publications called "advertorial" is not an attractive animal. TV does it with commercials -- again the look and feel of commercials are different from "programs." Infomercials are that spooky grey area where editorial and marketing mingle, again, with embarrassing results.
I want Coke for a sponsor. I want to write about Coke because I like Coke. I have written about Coke, but have never received money or products or anything from them to influence my writing. So ... I get Coke as a sponsor and then ... what, I never write about them again to demonstrate they can't compromise my editorial integrity? Or I do something way more fun like get Rageboy to do some insane graphics for me and I make some trompe l'oeil wacky Coke ads, semi-naked goddesses imbibing Coke, as well as disclosing how much I paid him to help me get my new improved Coke ads up on my blog and how much Coke paid me?
Or maybe I get a new color hyperlink, that indicates an ad -- every time you see a blue link, you know it's not an ad, but every time you see a red link you know it's to one of my sponsors?
Let's Stay TogetherThis book I'm reading Terrence Real's How Can I Get Through To You makes a good case for staying together and even shows you how. But golly, maybe sometimes it's just not meant to be. I mean check out Al Green's bio -- and he wrote the big 1972 hit "Let's Stay Together". Gotta say "ouch" here!
Besides musical waves, Al Green made headlines on October 18, 1974, when a girlfriend, Mary E. Woodson, poured a pot of boiling grits over Al as he was getting out of his bathtub, because he refused her proposal of marriage.
Love's Small MurdersOnce again, this Terrence Real book, How Can I Get Through To You, on the psychology of partriarchy and how it kills passion, is amazing me.
So go love's small murders, tiny everyday escalations of injury, reacted to by disconnection, causing more injury, until one fast-forwards to a couple whose initial passion has become so 'encrusted' with disappointment that they barely function as a couple anymore.Still, it's one of the most optimistic books on staying together and working things out -- in radical new ways -- that I've ever read and he even gives you the tools to do it.
Friday, October 11, 2002
Stretching ThoughtsCool blog. Check it out. Nice stuff.
Deep Body TourTake it. The Deep Body Tour by Gatorade. Best news of all for those of us who don't drink alcohol much -- Gatorade cocktails available soon in a bar near you.
Digital ID @ HarvardCan't get away from these burning questions of digital identity. I've been asked to participate in Harvard's Emerging Digital Identity forum which should be very interesting. The forum discusses a broad range of issues, including concerns like how the University's many museums make their collections available online and to whom. Check this out.
Wednesday, October 09, 2002
Digital ID ConferenceWell, I sure could kick myself that I'm missing out on all the fun. Eric Norlin's throwing the event of the season, but I've got another Harvard event next week in New York and they do take a little work to put together. No one should understand that better than Eric. Thanks man for letting me off the hook.
Denise Howell per usual is doing killer coverage. Doc's blogging up a storm. David Weinberger is awash in words over at Joho. Chris Locke is never shy on his site, but I don't think he's too concerned with digital identity here. And I guilted AKMA into attending the show in Denver, last month when we were in the Boston Common and he told me he wouldn't be able to make it! Glad I pushed him. Thanks to all for the killer coverage.
Tuesday, October 08, 2002
This Working Out Thing Is Definately Not Working OutThis is one of SpongeBob's favorite things to say, as he weakly lifts barbells, sweats over push-ups and quickly gives up on his exercise session. Boy, can I understand that today. I had stopped working out for a few days and got back to it this morning and I was HORRIBLE. It's so hard to be patient with yourself and build back up to where you were. I can't imagine how it must be for someone who suffers a stroke or breaks a leg, if they are used to being physically fit and have to crawl their way back to their earlier level of wellness. Yikes.
SpongeBob Don't Ask Don't TellStrangely, the Wall Street Journal features SpongeBob SquarePants on the front page today, suggesting that his great popularity in shops which cater to a gay clientele, may suggest SpongeBob is not heterosexual. I thought they might have better things to write about -- crazy me.
Saturday, October 05, 2002
Simply ConnectTerence Real's new book has some great things to say about health and keeping connected to people. Maybe this is why meeting all the bloggers in person was so much fun this week.
...In another domain, research on resilience, both physical and mental, reveals that rich authentic connection is one of the most salient factors in continued good health, outweighting such decisive forces as nutrition, exercise, even the absence of smoking. We enter life whole and connected and we operate best when richly attached. Intimacy is our natural state as a species, our birthright. And yet, while the push away from genuine closeness occurs at different points in their development, and in critically different ways, neither boys nor girls are allowed to maintain healthy relatedness for very long. ... Instead of cultivating intimacy, turning nascent aptitudes into mature skills, we teach boys and girls, in complimentary ways, to bury their deepest selves, to stop speaking, or attending to, the truth, to hold in mistrust, or even in disdain, the state of closeness we all, by our natures, most crave... We live in an antirelational, vulnerability-despising culture, one that not only fails to nurture the skills of connection but actively fears them. .
Friday, October 04, 2002
What Sony DidYesterday, at our conference Clay Christensen was talking about how Sony put little cheap, crappy, transistor radios in the pockets of kids' bluejeans when rock and roll was new and their parents didn't want them listening to rock and roll or even wearing bluejeans. I remember listening to WABC and Cousin Brucie on a little radio like that. He was talking about competition. He was explaining how Sony sussed out the fact that they were competing against non-consumption. That is, they weren't getting these kids to replace a table top radio like their parents owned. They were getting these kids to buy something they really wanted that they'd never bought before and therefore, they were competing against nothing. Imagine the freedom you have when you are the only guy in the game and you've hit on something someone really wants and will pay you whatever price to own.
Then he talked about voice recognition software and the picture of an administrative assistant on the box, looking thrilled to wear a little headset and use this impossibly clumsy software, which instead of simply typing 80 words per minute with 99% accuracy, she could now learn to talk really SLOWLY and have a 60% accuracy rate and spend lots of time making the software work instead of using something that did work for her.
He said one thing that stuck with me. Maybe you should consider making a product that does something people really need to do and helps them do it easily. Maybe you should sell products people actually need.
Harvard Conference CoverageMy fellow bloggers Dan Gillmor, Denise Howell, Chris Locke, Kevin Mark, Robert Scoble and Dave Winer did such an incredible blogging job of the conference here in Cupertino, I don't know if I can add a thing. Our next conference is in NYC and called "Leaders In Value Creation" on October 16th. Any new yawk bloggers who want to attend, drop me an email.
Thursday, October 03, 2002
Deep Bloggery Going Down HereAm I dreaming? Did I die and go to heaven or maybe the Cote D'Azur? On a gorgeous blue sky day, I am sitting on a big stone fountain, lions heads spitting water into a pool next to me as the sun beats down, The Cypress Hotel is very Juan-les-Pins in style and who am I watching ... Rageboy and Dave Winer chatting, Denise Howell, Kevin Marks, Dan Gillmor and Robert Scoble blogging, me soaking up the sun.
Actually that was after the lunch break, now I've kidnapped Kevin's iBook, can't keep my hands off it. Microsoft guy talking about something. I'm thinking about this day -- very fun to get all these guys together in person. Best bandwidth there is. And Kevin tells me that Doc's emailed us to say how bummed he is that's he's not with us -- damned straight, we're bummed you're not here too!
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
Kevin Marks, My Hero!!!He's sitting right here right next to me blushing and choking as I write. But, really, my Wi-Fi holy grail quest is at an end. All you have to do is fly to Cupertino, walk over to Apple, eat one of the best pizzas you've ever had, drink some great coffee, talk about QuickTime, Douglas Adams, homeschooling, Clarence and Clarisse, go to the Apple Employee Store and drool over everything, buy an Airport, yank myself away from the iBooks which I really am jonsing for, walk back to The Cypress Hotel under a Mediterranean blue heavenly sky, ask Kevin to bring x zillion years of technical expertise along, plug it in and VOILA, we're cooking with gas ... WIRELESS GAS.
We're sitting here listening to the guys set up the room for tomorrow's conference and blogging wireless. Hell, it's almost as much fun as blogging topless!
Harvard Conference Sold OutLooks like we'll have them hanging from the rafters. A big surge in last minute registrations. Eric, did you hear that? If you're going to Eric's conference in Denver, Digital Identity World, for god's sakes, register today, not three minutes before it starts next week!
I Stand CorrectedOkay, I'm here at 1 Infinite Loop with Kevin Marks -- Apple HQ in Cupertino -- and he's told me the real fish story. "So a lady lands at Boston airport and gets in a cab and says to the driver, 'Take me somewhere I can get scrod!" And the driver says, "I've never heard anyone use the pluperfect participle before!"
Anyway, it the most sunny gorgeous day here and how fun to meet Kevin and (don't tell anyone) take advantage of his employee discount to get a Airport Base Station to call my own. And I can't get my hands off of these iBooks -- oh shit, they are lovely -- and boy would it be easy to plunk down some Yankee dollars and take one home. The company store looks very fun. Wish I could pull up a truck and empty most of the contents into the back of it.
I Got Scrod In Boston
I know there's some old joke about that -- two Boston Brahim ladies going into town to get scrod -- don't remember the rest, but really I got scrod at Legal Seafood's in Logan Airport yesterday and it was terrific. I'm still very thrown off by the fact that I got to the airport with enough time, had a great lunch, had a perfect flight -- yes, thank you United -- and got to SFO on time. Surely something was amiss!
Just joking, but I do expect most travel to get messed up one way or another. Everyone disses the airlines, but United's been great for me on more than one occasion. When my mom was dying of lung cancer in 1997 and I was living in LA and had to bounce between LAX and BOS a lot that year, United was amazingly helpful, flexible and kind. I really appreciated it.
I'd bought a ticket for Friday, September 26. 1997 with an arrival in Boston at 7:30pm and three days before was sitting at home in LA looking out the window and got a flash that I needed to GO right then and there -- not wait until Friday. I threw some clothes in a bag, dashed to LAX and United put me on their next flight to Logan. My mom had taken a turn for the worse that day and actually passed away three days later on Friday, September 26th around 7:30pm. Thanks United counter lady who helped me out and I'll never know your name.
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
Rageboy, Is Sex Necessary?Of course I refer to the classic text by James Thurber and E.B. White. They solved the mystery long ago. And they can steer you in a more positive direction than your current harem is likely to do.
The sexual revolution began with Man's discovery that he was not attractive to Woman, as such. The lion had his
mane, the peacock his gorgeous plumage, but Man found himself in a three-button sack suit. His masculine
appearance not only failed to excite Woman, but in many cases it only served to bore her. The result was that man
found it necessary to develop attractive personal traits to offset his dull appearance. He learned to say funny
things. He learned to smoke, and blow smoke rings. He learned to earn money. This would have been a solution to
his difficulty, but in the course of making himself attractive to Woman by developing himself mentally, he
inadvertently became so intelligent an animal that he saw how comical the whole situation was. [p. 92]
Their wisdom on marriage, nuptials and that sexy french word "fiancee" exceeds all bounds. And they came up with all of this in 1929 while Freud was still just some guy living in Vienna, visiting America and not finding enough public bathrooms. It was a golden epoch to be sure.
[A man delays marriage because he has] The suspicion that if he waited twenty-four hours, or possibly less, he would likely findAnd to hopefully lay to rest the musical question, "Is he really going out with her?" Let me say, "No! No! No! A thousand times No!" All bloggers in the know know that all I ever wanted was to BE Rageboy, not to DO Rageboy. My maidenly virtue now reestablished, can I sell my highly desirable slot on your blogroll on eBay? It should bring a few million Euros, dontcha think?
a lady even more ideally suited to his taste than his finacée. Every man entertained such a suspicion. Entertained it royally. He
was greatly strengthened in his belief by the fact that he kept catching a fleeting glimpse of this imaginary person -- in
restaurants, in stores, in trains. To deny the possibility of her existence would be, he felt, to do a grave injustice to her, to himself,
and to his financée. Man's unflinching desire to give himself and everybody else a square deal was the cause of much of his
disturbance. Man had become, you see, a thinking being. He had come to know enough about permutations and combinations to
realize that with millions of . . . females to choose from, the chances of his choosing the ideal mate were almost zero. [pp. 96, 99;
see also Lorenzo Da Ponte: "He who is faithful to one is cruel to the others." Don Giovanni ]
Monday, September 30, 2002
When Two Syllables Just Won't DoEver get so annoyed with someone, just so totally pissed off, that the old tried-and-true two syllable "Screw You" won't do? You need the new improved 4-syllable "Scre-Ew Ya-Ou!" Of course, this works delightfully well with Screw You's big brother Fuck You. Try it, it's a treat in 4 slow syllables. Fu-Uk Ya-Ou!
Saturday, September 28, 2002
Dervala AgainI know I mention Dervala on a regular basis and you might just be getting sick of hearing me say her name, but golly, she's a great writer and her trek through Thailand is really something to follow. I'm sure everyone in New York misses her there, her most recent home and surely everyone in Ireland misses her, that being her country of origin unless I've got it wrong, but the whole world is richer for her fine Baedeker-ing through the Far East and all. Go there and don't miss it.
Notes on Advanced Open Water Dive Course -- Diving has made me a diva. My warped city eyes parse underwater beauty as the lushest fashion spreads imaginable—and Fall fashions, too, tropical island or not. Ava Gardner would wear a coat with a collar of that rich, muted, swaying anemone. Coral reefs conjure Missoni knits, where the zig-zag openings occasionally swallow matching fish. Moray eels peek out of perfect pinkish funnel necks. The purity of a sea urchin in clear water would make Phillippe Starck pant to carve out a neat salt-shaker opening. Gorgonian fans wave as languidly as a front-row couture patron, accessorized by toning and contrasting fishies. And all the muted jewel colors--very Romeo Gigli.
I wanted to peel myself out of my wetsuit and order the deep to clothe me in the richness, the softness, the weightlessness, the boldness it hides from the surface. I wanted to glide down Fifth Avenue with the grace I have underwater, where I move through breath alone. I wanted to have an entourage of angelfish and parrotfish. I wanted to be the Coco Chanel of Koh Tao.
Even at 30 meters deep, I am shallow.
Friday, September 27, 2002
Several people gave me good pointers or just added some thoughts to my post about Audio Fonts a few days back. Shifted Librarian definately ran with the idea -- very cool. And I got a few more interesting pointers which I'll dig up from email and post here forthwith. For instance, Gary Turner had good stuff to say on voice here.
Piano Plinkety Plunkety
There's a little girl playing piano -- she's practicing -- I'm imagining it's a little girl, all I hear is the plinkety plunkety noise of it in a lovely light blue color. It's a sound that reminds me of water and the ocean and the whole world.
And on this rainy almost-autumn afternoon, I'm thinking about the whole world. I'm thinking about our big secret. We are busy living with this big secret and it's so transparent -- you can see right through it -- but we don't talk about it. The secret is: we all die.
And she is slowly plunking out the melody now, a pretty thing. And her mother's leaning over her, making sure she practices so some day when she grows up, she'll be a big girl who knows how to play the piano.
But really we all learning these different things -- how to play the piano, how to paint, how to tie our shoes, how to whatever -- for no good reason at all. We learn these things as if everything will just go along swimmingly, we'll all go on and on and won't it be lovely. But actually, did I mention, we all die. Everything the little girl's fingers learn about the ivory keys she's touching so gingerly today will go with her when she goes. Shouldn't someone tell her? No, I guess not. Her mother should tell her to keep practicing.
Thursday, September 26, 2002
Middlemonkey RocksCool new blog. Don't miss it. Check this out on the theme of the "curse of competence"
People with more of an attitude of "whatever it takes" wind up taking on more and more of the jobs no one wants and thus have less and less time for the jobs they really want to do. I call this the "curse of competence." Especially in times when support staff is being cut to the bone, the person who somehow manages to complete a project with a short-staffed team or under an impossible deadline is less often rewarded with more resources and more time for the next project. Instead, he or she becomes the one the organization looks to to take on the most difficult, hamstrung projects.
What Would You Do With A Brain If You Had One?
Dorothy allegedly says this to the Strawman. Can you imagine anyone coming up to you on the street, or even in the forest and saying that. It's rude and impertinent to say the least.
We Gotta Get Out Of This PlaceNot really. But I'm having a super intense day at work and suddenly realizing why people always read blogs during the M-F 9-5 window.
When I was freelancing, mostly not in an office on a regular basis, I so did not get it. Now I get it. I need a break. I've been calling people all morning to follow-up on stuff I sent out. You just need to give it a break sometimes. So the more interesting, irreverent, gossipy or just plain mind-expanding the blog the better. I really am beginning to get it.
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Watch The FishRelax. Breathe. Muse. Imagine. Sigh. Dream. Swim Along. This is the best kind of aquarium -- one you don't have to clean.
Okay, I'll come clean. There are some products I'm really hooked on for no good reason. Like these weird Listerine Pocket Paks which are also referred to as ORAL CARE STRIPS and they are ... how to describe them ... well, breath mints that look like tiny blue pieces of shiny rice paper -- they melt in your mouth. Check this gonzo marketing of theirs out.
Where did I come across them? My 7-year-old saw a display at Costco and had a hissy fit about them -- he wasn't going home without them. He'd already seen them on TV is all I can figure. Now this is killer marketing. Once you get my 7-year-old, I'm a goner.
Happy Birthday Jean!
Hey, call me -- believe it or not I don't think I've got your number. Hope you're having a swell day. Miss you. Hope the weather in Venice is wonderful.
One Man's Fish is Another Woman's WiFi Hub
Holy Moly -- Doc's had a UFO land at his house -- actually it was delivered by Fed-Ex. Kevin Marks was scouting around for a Wi-Fi hub for me and linked me to this and boy do I need what Doc's got. Kevin you're a logistical genius. Keep pulling rabbits out of your hat.
And now I need one more peripheral -- Doc -- he says he can't come to the conference because he's moving into a new house and needs to pack on that day, but I'm trying to persuade him to come up to the Cupertino Conference.
Maybe I could get all the LA bloggers to go over and help Doc pack the day after or before and then he's got no excuse -- anyone in the mood for a barn-raising?
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
Ask And Ye Shall Receive
Thanks for the stuff on audio fonts. There's more going down in that area than I expected. Still not as far along as I'd wish. I mean, for nstance, there's no Gary Turner audio font yet, but soon, soon. We must be patient.
Monday, September 23, 2002
Well Holy Heck -- Kevin Marks just called me and he's a Brit! Boy, did I get that wrong. When is someone going to create AUDIO FONTS for Christ's sake. I'd love to write email and then put a Katherine Hepburn audio font all over it, if I were in that mood. Or maybe Dolly Parton. Or, hell, go all the way and add a little Bridget Bardot.
If they had audio fonts, Kevin could highlight his email with a little bit of a Pierce Brosnan accent and a girl could get a clue. I mean Helvetica Bold is nice visually., but I need some audio enhancement.
The name is Bond ... James Bond.
I've been trying to call all the bloggers I'll be meeting next week at my conference to get friendly before the event. What if they all have weird accents I didn't expect? Maybe Denise Howell sounds like Greta Garbo. Maybe Doc sounds like John Wayne. Maybe Dan Gillmor has an Irish brogue. Wow!
Reporters Find New Outlet And Concerns in Web Logs
Okay, so how long did the NYTimes copy editors spend trying to decide if it's "Weblogs" or "Web Logs"? Today's paper takes a timid toe-dip into the big blog pond and makes some not so stunning assertions about big J Journalists running risks by blogging. Glad to see our friend Dan Gillmor mentioned there. As for the story all round, they really could have dug a little deeper for a more meaty piece.
Sunday, September 22, 2002
And In The End
And in the end the love you take / Is equal to the love you make. -- Beatles
Thinking of my dad's death today for some reason. Actually thinking of the exact moment he died -- the precise moment he drew his last breath. A precious, intimate, heart-stopping (mine) ... or should I say, heart-stopping (his) moment.
Like walking a child to school at some point, you reach the big door and you must let go of their hand.
And so, you could say I walked him to the end of a long hallway, a life, in fact. And strangely, the day before he died, more than half a dozen family members were there to do the same walk with him, but he wasn't ready to leave. Did he wait for me until the next morning? I can't know.
But I was there the next morning -- only me after long months with him in bitter weather, crunching through ice and snow many mornings to be with him bedside.
Yes, on that last morning, on that last walk, I wonder if he didn't wait for me, because he had a secret to tell me. He wanted to tell me about love. He wanted to teach me how to walk that walk, which I will walk someday.
This is what I was trying to explain to someone today, this strange walk with my dad, who, of course, could NOT walk on that day, but it felt as if we were strolling and he turned to me and he told me a joyous secret, that there would be great love coming my way, powerful love to envelope me and sustain me, an amazing thing and I turned quickly to look at him, I wanted to know more, I wanted to say, hey, wait a minute, give me the details, and I looked up quickly at his face and that sly guy ... he was gone. Just like that.
Going To Church, It's Big With Mercy
It's a lot like going to the gym to workout, if you haven't gone lately and then you go, you think, "why was I staying away?"
Today, I really got hit hard by this hymn and the words stuck with me, the small morsels like "You fearful saints, fresh courage take" and the phrase "He treasures up his bright design" seemed particularly sweet and sustaining:
GOD MOVES IN A MYSTERIOUS WAY
God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform; He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm.
You fearful saints, fresh courage take: The clouds you so much dread are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head.
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace; behind a frowning providence He hides a smiling face.
Deep in unfathomable mind of never failing skill He treasures up His bright design and works His sovereign will.
Blind unbelief is sure to err and scan His work in vain; God is His own interpreter, and He will make it plain.
- WILLIAM COWPER