“Where’s Flat Daddy?” an excited Baylee asked as her stepmother, Jennifer Smith, pulled a large cardboard picture of Sergeant Smith, in his uniform, out of her Chevy Blazer and propped him on the bumper. The two, along with Ms. Smith’s young sons, Alec and Derek, posed for a picture with their Flat Daddy, who promptly fell down.
“Stop it Dad, that’s not funny. It’s not a joke,” Baylee said with a laugh.
The Maine National Guard is giving life-size from-the-waist-up pictures of soldiers to the families of deployed guard members. Guard officials and families say the cutouts, known as Flat Daddies or Flat Soldiers, connect families with a relative who is thousands of miles away. The Flat Daddies are toted everywhere from soccer practice to coffee shops to weddings.
“The response has been unbelievable,” said Sgt. First Class Barbara Claudel, director of the Maine National Guard’s family unit. “The families just miss people so much when they’re gone that they try to bring their soldier everywhere.”
Marmaduke spots a smaller dog being toted around the block while on his afternoon walk, envies its portability and general lifestyle, decides he is sick of walking, and demands that Owner-Lady suck it up and carry him. Owner-Lady balks.
One of my most talented friends, Dianna Tuckaberry, is getting ready for another season of witty children's theater in a ratty storefront in Brooklyn. To support this endeavor, her company will be having a fundraiser this Saturday. $10 (you wouldn't miss) to get in. $5 poker (cheap!). Learn all about it at the Tuckaberry Productions website.
Behold, one of the finest YouTube video I've seen in a while:
What I find so fascinating about this is the ramifications of such projects on my ability to be employed in a couple years. There are now literally thousands of kids, who, because of the popularity of YouTube are going on BitTorrent or Limewire and downloading FInal Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere or Avid Express and teaching themselves to edit. (Similar, admitedly, to what I did in the 8th grade when I dialed in to a BBS, stole Photoshop 2.5, and taught myself how to paste people's heads on other people's bodies.) The talent pool of "editors" is going to be huge. And, it's something, much like musical ability, that certain people (NB - not me!) have a natural talent for. It'll be pretty amazing when some underprivileged girl with an internet connection learns that she's just as good a storyteller as Thelma Schoonmaker or Dody Dorn or me.
On an even larger scale, the YouTube phenomon speaks to the eventual democratization of television -- something which I think nearly everybody can agree is long overdue. When everybody has an almost equal ability to be a content creator, where does the line between audience and producer get drawn? Look back at my post about the people who (for all intents and purposes) "defaced" the 9/11 conspiracy documentary Loose Change with catty comments about the theorists being idiots. How soon before that happens to 60 Minutes? The Daily Show? Rocketboom? It's certainly not hard to do with a computer and basic editing software.
But, back to Under Ice video -- something else interesting is the way anime is kind of becoming a shorthand. You see it on a lot of kid's MySpace pages. It actually leads me to wonder if anime will be the cultural shorthand of the next generation. Meaning, something you'll see mixed into mainstream programs to give an emotional cue (much the way music and color do now).
My angle is, though, as a professional, wondering how this aesthetic will be attainable in future entertainment legally. (I think this is the aesthetic that the kids feel is authentic -- remashed and remixed audio and video.) How are copyright rules going to keep up with this? Will they be able? And will professionally (and legally) created media be able to hold up to the media created on the edge of copyright legality?
Questions aside, I love this video. I think it's a weird little harbinger of the future -- a media universe which, for better or worse, we'll all have to live in.
(You can get a hi-res version here and an mp3 of the remix here)
Some Columbus radio stations have rejected as insensitive an advertisement for a car dealership that invokes Islamic references...In the spot, Keith Dennis of Dennis Mitsubishi talks about "launching a jihad on the automotive market."
Sales representatives "will be wearing burqas all weekend long," the ad says. One of the vehicles on sale "can comfortably seat up to 12 jihadists in the back."
"Our prices are lower than the evildoers’ every day. Just ask the pope! " the ad says. "Friday is fatwa Friday, with free rubber swords for the kiddies."
One of my common outbursts when technological things don't "just work" on the first try is, "It's 2006, they shoulda fixed that by now!"
Our friends in Cupertino just got around to fixing iTunes. In a feature that shoulda been there since, ohhh....say 2000...iTunes 7.0 now has gapless playback.
The problem is -- now I expect a millisecond of silence between Haiti and Rebellion (Lies) and when I don't hear it, I get thrown off. I've become too used to the vagrencies of digital music in it's infancy.
Today, CNN is streaming it's original 9/11 coverage here.
I watched the first two hours this morning and was struck by something. In 2006, when we see the Twin Towers or 9/11 footage, the focus is almost always on those who lost their lives. Everything is very reverent...and personal. The towers have become a very moving symbol of death and sacrifice.
However in 2001, at 9:50am on CNN, the prevailing sentiment is one of such shock and fear, that the notion of human lives being lost hasn't even sunk in yet. Aaron Brown reports about buildings being on fire and about buildings falling. It's so surreal -- especially considering the way 24 hour news usually revels in reporting death and human suffering. For those first few hours, everyone was so confused, the news couldn't even filter events through their normal angle.
And I think that's what I'll remember most from that morning.
The abstractness of it all. The sense of incompleteness -- you couldn't even begin to worry about those people downtown and in Washington because this giant "thing" wasn't even over yet. Actual thoughts I had within moments of each other: 1) Do I need to run out and buy water in case the drinking supply has been poisoned? 2) When I'm in the city, how will I know which way is south?
It was the afternoon when we all, as a country, snapped back to our senses and began wondering about the people in the towers. (Of course, I'm excluding everybody who knew a friend or relative who would definitely be at the WTC or Pentagon at the time. I, and many of my NYC peers, did not.) It was the afternoon when the standard "9/11 feeling" actually began -- the feeling of sadness and pity and mourning. The feeling that will be memorialized and remembered.
But it was the morning, around 10:30 eastern time, when one tower had collapsed, the Pentagon had been hit, the White House had been evacuated and rumors were that the Capital Building was on fire and the Sears Tower was targeted that is the "9/11 feeling" that no symbol or movie or memorial can reproduce. It is very internal and visceral. It's a throbbing pain in the front of your brain. It's knowing that your city is being attacked. Period. It's the feeling of reality falling into uncertainty...
Back when I started this little navel-gaze, I believe I promised "impolite Park Slope brunch reviews". (Or something to that effect.) There haven't really been many of those yet. That is about to change...somewhat.
Tonight, I went to the very yummy Yamato on 7th Ave. Bri and I, fresh off our Vegas King Crab GorgeTM, ordered the very yummy Red and White Roll (A dinner special only for this week -- hurry!). It's king crab bits with avocado, tuna and white tuna on top.
Seriously, it was very good.
...we wondered, what is this "white tuna"? Isn't the regular (red) tuna just plain old tuna? The only other tuna I know of is yellowtail. This white tuna is neither. Nevertheless, we contentedly ate our (Did I mention it was very yummy?) Red and White Roll.
Fast forward to five minutes ago. "Huh, I wonder what that white tuna is? I wonder how it's differant than normal tuna?" The answer came via the always (somewhat) reliable Wikipedia:
"White tuna" is Escolar, a snake mackerel found in deep (200–885 m) tropical and temperate waters around the world. It is also sold as "butterfish", "oilfish," and "Hawaiian butter fish".
Wow. A mackerel. The thing is -- I love mackerel. And in fact, I recognized the taste of the "white tuna" as something I love to get when I order an unidentifiable Sushi Deluxe assortment.
Imagine my surprise when I get to this part of the Wikipedia entry:
Like its relative the oilfish, Ruvettus pretiosus, the escolar is consumed in several European and Asian countries, as well as in the USA. Neither fish metabolises the wax esters (Gempylotoxin) naturally found in their diet, which causes an oil content in the muscle meat of the fish amounting to 18–21%. These wax esters may rapidly cause gastrointestinal symptoms following consumption; however, these effects are usually short lived. The gastrointestinal symptoms, called "keriorrhoea", caused by these wax esters may include oily orange diarrhea, discharge, or leakage from the rectum that may smell of mineral oil. The discharge can stain clothing and occur without warning 30 minutes to 36 hours after consuming the fish. The oil may pool in the rectum and cause frequent urges for bowel movements due to its lubricant qualities and may be accidentally discharged by the passing of gas. Symptoms may occur over a period of one or more days. Other symptoms may include stomach cramps, loose bowel movements, diarrhea, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. Some suggestions for avoiding the ruining of clothing and embarrassment, for both males and females, include use of strategically placed feminine hygiene products (e.g. panty liners) during the course of symptoms.