Saturday, February 28, 2009

art: Jhane Barnes on Facebook, going digital

Jhane Barnes now has a Facebook page! Finally a reason to visit Facebook, though not as good as an RSS feed.

I'll struggle to resist the super-fan's temptation to monopolize the page and take it over with self-involved hermetic rambling.

It has a preview of her Fall 2009 menswear collection, with some crazy digital ink stuff that might tempt me away from her superlative textiles.Jhane Barnes 'Incandescent' digital T-shirt from upcoming Fall 2009 collection

The video for this T-shirt reminds me of Jeremy Blake's work (RIP).


Monday, February 9, 2009

web: Dear John...

The [Ignore] button on Facebook's ridiculously-named "Friend requests" seems so harsh but I realized I was ignoring them anyway, so here's the Dear John letter I've started sending:

I'll always treasure the "Subject from obscure technical workplace e-mail from years ago" messages from you, but I don't hang out on Facebook much and the mismatch between Real Life and the 30 friends that Facebook claims I already have is too weird for me.


Facebook leaves it unclear what [Ignore] does, so I think I'll just leave them in my Friend Request, the pic is a useful reminder.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

cars: BMW's disgusting anti-utility attitude

A boxy shape is the most sensible and practical car for more than 4 adults and their stuff. Focus on the people's comfort and you get a minivan, focus on compactness and you get a cube car like the original Scion xB, blend the two and you get a station wagon.

USA car marketers believe they have turned "minivan" and "station wagon" into the kiss of death. BMW admits they have to deliberately screw up their design for a new "car for more than 4 adults and their stuff" that they call a Progressive Activity Sedan; they even have the gall to tell us 0:38 into this concept sketch video
"A sedan isn't roomy enough.
A station wagon could be the best solution... (contemptuously) noeeeuuuuww that has too much utility character.
Maybe we could build it higher. It's just more impressive."
Worse aerodynamics, worse handling, more weight, worse gas mileage, and blocks everyone else's view of the road (which doesn't matter if you're a selfish self-centered oblivious asshole). The opposite of utility is frivolity and stupidity.

I love some of Chris Bangle's BMW designs and admire nearly all of them, but this just makes me hate, Hate, HATE BMW and anyone who will drive this particular model.

In the comments MR42HH provides pics of the Europeans making practical handsome cars like the Renault Avantime, Ford Galaxy, and Citroen Picasso when they're not afraid of "utility" (none of these are available in the USA):

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

food: HobNobs 1984 - present

I just learned that McVitiie's introduced the indescribably wonderful HobNobs biscuits in 1984, as if any more proof was needed that it was the high point of Western civilization.

Did I learn this from the McVitie's web site? No. Is there even a McVitie's site? No, all they have is an awful bland page within United Biscuits' site with no lore, no excitement, and an incomprehensible URL http://www.unitedbiscuits.com/our-brands.php?rnd=EbQhEkgzYcOl1w1pnvjdM7hfOvapCXl3reedTJwN5JTyfuLJw0jfd8CbAtDrSnZ1. Maybe that's why this page is far down the list of search results when you Google for McVities biscuits.

There is a seemingly fun Japanese-language McVitie's site, though the 12-second repeating jingle could drive you insane.

United Biscuits need to hire me to market McVitie's. They had one good idea with the slogan "One nibble and you're nobbled" (it's not a promise, it's a threat), and then nothing.

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food: an open letter to McVitie's biscuits

Hello, I am blissfully eating dark chocolate HobNobs and Rich Tea biscuits kindly sent me from the UK.

You may not realize that your biscuits are almost unobtainable in the biggest consumer market in the world. In Northern California one has to go to Ye Olde British Shoppe and pay 5 dollars to a crotchety expat selling expired dusty stock from their garage. WHY does McVitie's not sell its product far and wide in America? While you were sleeping, LU Biscuits has snuck in and is now selling Petit Beurre and Le Petit Ecolier biscuits in volume in every supermarket, despite these buttery euro concoctions being a pale effete echo of the real thing. Meanwhile when I bestow Digestives and HobNobs on my friends many say "I remember loving these when I was in Britain, but when I returned to America I couldn't find them."

It is AWFUL that the greatest biscuit manufacturer in the world has ceded the American market to the bloody French! Have you no shame?!

I demand that McVities launch a massive assault on the USA market, otherwise I shall present LU Biscuits' shocking promotional claim "America's number one premium imported cookies" to Queen Elizabeth II and suggest that Her Majesty strip McVitie & Price Ltd of their royal warrant on account of Not Jolly Well Trying Hard Enough.

Awaiting your most considered reply, I remain
Yours faithfully,

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