Retina Favicons & Jungian Archetypes: A Pair of Updates

Two recent posts saw sub­stan­tial updates today:

King Crim­son Album Art: In the Wake of Poseidon
A com­menter got in touch with some very inter­est­ing details regard­ing Tammo de Jongh’s paint­ing for King Crimson’s In the Wake of Posei­don… or should I say twelve paint­ings? If this sounds inter­est­ing to you too, well, what are you wait­ing for? Read all about it in our revised visual essay.

Fav­i­con & Apple Touch Icon Adobe Fire­works Template
The scin­til­lat­ing topic of retina-ready fav­i­cons burst back into the world’s con­scious­ness recently when it became the topic of dis­cus­sion on Dar­ing Fire­ball and CSS Tricks. If you’re in the micro-infinitesimal sliver of soci­ety that finds any of this inter­est­ing and uses Adobe Fire­works, don’t miss this updated tem­plate file.

Exclusive! The Expendables 3 Poster

Carter. Grier. Hamilton. Jolie. Jovovich. Thurman. Weaver. Yeoh. The Expendables 3 movie poster

Com­ing sum­mer 2014 — The Expend­ables 3! Star­ring Lynda Carter, Pam Grier, Linda Hamil­ton, Angelina Jolie, Milla Jovovich, Uma Thur­man, Sigour­ney Weaver, and Michelle Yeoh.

This movie does not exist, but should. Hol­ly­wood, call me.

Based On a True Story: Mike Daisey

I agree 99% with the pop­u­lar con­sen­sus regard­ing Mike Daisey: he lied. But the tiny 1% nobody seems to be talk­ing about is both­er­ing the hell out of me: if his now infa­mous mono­logue The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs is a work of fic­tion, why can’t we talk about it as a work of fiction?

Until recently, Daisey was forg­ing a rep­u­ta­tion as a pop­u­lar monolo­gist in the tra­di­tion of the late Spald­ing Gray: fus­ing the mechan­ics of auto­bi­og­ra­phy, jour­nal­ism, and the­ater to tell sto­ries with the power to move indi­vid­u­als and sway pop­u­lar opin­ion. That is, he was, before his enor­mously pop­u­lar show The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs was dra­mat­i­cally revealed to be largely com­prised of half-truths and fab­ri­ca­tions. Daisey ini­tially required the­aters to adver­tise it as “a work of non-fiction”. When he began to feel the heat, he ini­tially claimed he had merely taken dra­matic license, but finally issued an actual apol­ogy.

The imbroglio has been Tweeted, blogged, pod­casted, and ana­lyzed to death over the past two weeks, but here are the key inci­dents: Daisey’s orig­i­nal stage mono­logue (with a free tran­script on his web­site), an episode of the ven­er­a­ble radio pro­gram This Amer­i­can Life fea­tur­ing a ver­sion of it, fol­lowed by their aston­ish­ingly grip­ping retrac­tion. My favorite analy­ses of the ensu­ing fall­out came from Dar­ing Fire­ball (Sep­a­rat­ing the Baby From the Bath Water) and Derek Powazek (How to Spot a Liar).

The gen­eral con­sen­sus among the cognoscenti, digerati and NPR set alike, is that Daisey made a fatal error in pre­sent­ing his piece as jour­nal­is­tic report. I agree. But most of these ana­lysts go on to express hor­ror and out­rage that Daisey’s show goes on. The mono­logue inspired a pop­u­lar peti­tion on (now there’s a peti­tion against the peti­tion). The­aters are not can­cel­ing Daisey’s future shows and are refus­ing refunds for past show­ings. Gru­ber, in an episode of his pod­cast The Talk Show, attrib­utes this to the the­ater busi­ness run­ning on a tight mar­gin, as if it were sim­ply a mat­ter of eco­nom­ics. Inter­est­ingly, The Under­state­ment reports that many the­aters are also dar­ing to defend the “essen­tial truth” of Daisey’s work.

Mike DaiseyMike Daisey went to great lengths to pre­serve the fic­tion that “The Agony and Ecstacy of Steve Jobs” was non­fic­tion (photo credit:

Which brings me to the tiny sliver of this whole story that I believe needs to be addressed: there is a mas­sive dis­con­nect between jour­nal­ists and, for lack of a sin­gle term, artists/writers/performers/monologists/etc. So Mike Daisey largely lied about what he saw in China; so what? Should his admit­tedly pow­er­ful mono­logue be wiped from the record? Can we not talk about it as a work of lit­er­a­ture? Here is the point where, per­haps, the Eng­lish majors of the world ought to take over from the journalists.

Ira Glass states in the This Amer­i­can Life retrac­tion that Daisey’s use of the lit­er­ary device of speak­ing in the first per­son trig­gered his brain to reg­is­ter it as truth. Other out­raged jour­nal­ists seem to not want to even enter­tain the idea that Daisey’s work might be an effec­tive work of fic­tion on its own terms. Daisey was free to present his first-person account as truth (or as Stephen Col­bert might term it, “truthy”) within the con­text of his play itself, but he erred by also doing so on This Amer­i­can Life, Real Time With Bill Maher, CBS News, and other news venues. He deceived accred­ited jour­nal­ists with hard-earned rep­u­ta­tions in order to pre­serve the fic­tion that his piece was nonfiction.

But what if he hadn’t? What if he had, from the begin­ning, pitched The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs as what it actu­ally is: a fic­tion­al­ized dra­matic account, told in the first per­son but, to use a famil­iar phrase, based on a true story. Most of what Daisey claims he per­son­ally wit­nessed are actual ongo­ing events at Fox­conn and other fac­to­ries in China. Work­ers’ con­di­tions are harsh and unjust, not only to west­ern sen­si­bil­i­ties, but also in vio­la­tion of Chi­nese reg­u­la­tions. Many com­menters have mused on how Apple Inc. may have been harmed by Daisey, both finan­cially and in terms of rep­u­ta­tion. It most likely has to some mea­sur­able degree, but no mat­ter how much I may per­son­ally use and like many of their prod­ucts, I don’t believe Apple is any more pos­sessed of sen­si­tive feel­ings than any other multi­na­tional cor­po­ra­tion. Apple is no more deserv­ing of pro­tec­tion from a work of fic­tion than — to fab­ri­cate a hypo­thet­i­cal exam­ple — Exxon might be if a writer were to pub­lish a novel telling the story of an envi­ron­men­tal activist vis­it­ing the 1989 Valdez spill.

The cur­rent refusal to con­sider that Daisey’s dis­cred­ited work might still have merit as a piece of lit­er­a­ture smacks to me of two things:

  1. Exces­sive apolo­gia to Apple. Apple is justly beloved for design­ing great prod­ucts and seems to be mak­ing a great effort to improve its envi­ron­men­tal impact and sup­plier respon­si­bil­ity. But no one needs to worry about their feel­ings being hurt.
  2. A gen­eral dis­trust and fear of fic­tion and lit­er­a­ture. On a grand scale, you often see this when video games are blamed for school vio­lence, rock lyrics for drug use, or comic books for juve­nile delin­quency. When a prob­lem is too big to deal with, often the eas­i­est thing to do is ban or burn a book. Now, of course those are extreme cases, and all that’s hap­pen­ing here is a few jour­nal­ists dis­cred­it­ing one man’s dra­matic mono­logue. Per­haps jour­nal­ists spend too much of their careers deal­ing with ver­i­fi­able facts, and are ill-equipped to deal with the some­times messy busi­ness of ana­lyz­ing literature.

Daisey is not a jour­nal­ist, and his sit­u­a­tion right now is not the same as that of Jayson Blair, who was rightly run out of town for his numer­ous fab­ri­ca­tions pub­lished by the New York Times up until being dis­cov­ered as a fraud in 2003. He’s more akin to James Frey, whose sup­posed mem­oir A Mil­lion Lit­tle Pieces was revealed in 2006 to have been bet­ter clas­si­fied as a novel. Had it not been mar­keted as his true life’s story, it prob­a­bly would have been lost in the fray of book­stores’ crowded fic­tion aisles. Daisey’s medium is the the­ater, worlds away from the media jour­nal­ists work in. No the­ater­goer or novel reader expects absolute ver­i­fi­able truth from lit­er­a­ture. The tools of lit­er­a­ture have the power to enter­tain, instill a sense of cathar­sis in the audi­ence, to illu­mi­nate, and per­haps even to move peo­ple to action. All of these goals seem to have moti­vated Daisey to do what he did.

It’s now near-impossible to appraise the merit of Daisey’s work on its own terms. Inter­viewed by Ira Glass in the This Amer­i­can Life episode Retrac­tion, he stated that The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs is the “best thing I’ve done.” Clearly, he knew he had really hit on some­thing that touched a nerve in his audi­ences, and it brought him a great deal of acclaim that later cur­dled into noto­ri­ety. He wrongly felt that the notion his work was fac­tu­ally true was essen­tial to its con­tin­u­ing pop­u­lar­ity, which pro­vided him many ben­e­fits: larger audi­ences, fame, and likely a greater income than the vast major­ity of strug­gling the­ater artists are ever likely to glean from their work. I think it’s clear now that had he pre­sented his work as fic­tion, it would have reached far fewer peo­ple, but still have had its unde­ni­able impact on those that did expe­ri­ence it. The shame is that now we’ll never know.

The sil­ver lin­ing is he con­tributed to an ever increas­ing spot­light on the com­plex issue of China’s labor prac­tices, and a grow­ing aware­ness that the con­sumer elec­tron­ics indus­try could not exist as we know it today with­out it.

Don’t Panic! Turn your iPhone into The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy free wallpaper Don't Panic

Don’t you wish you could turn your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch into The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as seen in the epony­mous series of nov­els by Dou­glas Adams? Of course you do! Install these free wall­pa­pers, open up The Guide, grab your towel, stick out your Elec­tronic Thumb, and hit the space­ways. But do try to avoid Vogon vessels…

iPad with retina display iPad iPhone 4 iPhone 3 & iPod Touch

iPad 3
with retina display

iPad 1 & 2
1st or 2nd generation

iPhone 4
with retina display

iPhone 3
3G, 3Gs, or iPod Touch

Need help? The Icon­fac­tory has an excel­lent FAQ.

Buy any of these fine prod­ucts from Ama­zon and kick back a few pen­nies to The Dork Report:

The Big Word Project

For a mere 8 dol­lars (sent whizzing vir­tu­ally through the inter­webs to The Big Word Project), I have rede­fined two words in the Eng­lish dic­tio­nary. All in the name of pro­mot­ing The Blog That Few Read The Dork Report.

Every­one, take out your pens and scratch out the fol­low­ing two words from your dic­tio­nar­ies: CHAD and DORK, ’cause they belong to me now, fools.

via Dar­ing Fireball

Paul Muni: Original Gangsta

Paul Muni Scarface Original Gangsta

Paul Muni Scarface Original Gangsta

The Onion AV Club’s How’d it get burned? 22 film remakes dra­mat­i­cally dif­fer­ent from the orig­i­nals piece points out that while Al Pacino’s Scar­face has become a mod­ern gangsta icon, nobody slaps the orig­i­nal Paul Muni incar­na­tion from 1930 onto t-shirts, posters, and cheezy mir­rors for sale by street ven­dors. A quick Googling con­firmed that there are no 1930/1983 Scar­face mashups to be found. So I set out to rec­tify that with some quickie Pho­to­shop jobs.

It has crossed my mind that the rea­son no one seems to have posted this sort of thing on the inter­tubes yet is that it’s prob­a­bly semi-illegal. If not against the movie stu­dios own­ing the rights to the prop­erty, then at least to the estate of Paul Muni. But this is just for fun, and I’m not try­ing to sell t-shirts or anything.

UPDATE: I took another spin through Google after fin­ish­ing the above post, and found a few exam­ples of prior art:

Keep it Gangsta T-Shirt” on Café Press: one of the only “gangsta” graph­ics I could find that used 1930s imagery. exactly what it sounds like.

The Dork Report for Feburary 3, 2007

Kids-in-Mind is my new favorite site, boldly mak­ing no dis­tinc­tion between par­ents (look­ing for infor­ma­tion about the lat­est piece of crap their kids are beg­ging to see) and right-wing cul­tural war­riors (look­ing for some­thing else upon which to blame soci­ety). Accord­ing to my non-scientific sur­vey of the site con­tents, Scary Movie is pos­si­bly the most offen­sive, child-warping movie ever made, out-raunching even Borat. Hon­or­able men­tion: a sur­pris­ingly strong show­ing by Pride & Prej­u­dice with a Sex/Nudity score of 3 out of a pos­si­ble 10. Excerpt: “A woman kisses a man’s hand and they hug. A man and a woman argue, and then they come close to kiss­ing each other but do not.” (fea­tur­ing guest report­ing by Andrea)

A fas­ci­nat­ing scrap of Hol­ly­wood his­tory is uncov­ered by the New York Post: learn not only that Hitch­cock snubbed Speil­berg, but more inter­est­ingly, why! (guest sub­mis­sion from Andrea)

Smash­ing Mag­a­zine inspires us with 50 wee 16x16 fav­i­con mas­ter­pieces, orga­nized into Web 2.0-cliché cat­e­gories like “Petal.” Also linked: another huge fav­i­con col­lec­tion at Delta Tango Bravo.