Tag Archives: tumblr

Tumblrweed: Hey Internet Girl

Aaron Sorkin, creator of the West Wing and other brilliant things, has written a new show called The Newsroom, if you’re not in Australia you can watch the whole first episode on YouTube.

Anyway, he’s doing a press run for the show, which is just kicking off. And he was a bit of a patronising jerk to a reviewer, Sarah Nicoll Prickett, who points out that the leads in Sorkin’s work are always men.

I reckon a) this is an odd criticism of Sorkin given he’s a guy, and by the look of the reuse of his material, puts a fair bit of himself into his writing, and b) he has produced some of the more memorable and powerful female characters in his major TV shows – so Dana in Sports Night, Abbie Bartlett and CJ in the West Wing, and Jordon in Studio 60…

The review praises the show but absolutely eviscerates Sorkin – the reviewer writes well and it’s a scintillating read.

“The great American dialectic – optimism and realism, faith and reason – is thrillingly animated onscreen, but hardly moreso than on the page. I had to watch the show twice just to believe (a) how good that script was and (b) how incredibly convinced of its goodness, in every sense of “good,” it was.

Hence, my first question starts, “I watched the pilot twice … ” But I don’t get to the question part because Sorkin looks as if he wants to say something. I invite him to do so, and he asks, “Because you liked it so much the first time, or because you didn’t understand it the first time?”

So huge is the hubris in thinking anyone smart enough to write about this show for a national newspaper might not be yet smart enough to understand it (should you fret about your own Sorkin-fathoming abilities, let me say that if you read Don Quixote in the ninth grade or studied American History in the 11th, you will be fine) that I just swallow and tell my own truth.”

And then…

“Sorkin doesn’t see this. He denies being either an ideologue or a modernist, agreeing only that the show is written in his voice, and that said voice is “authorial” (both my word and his). I’d posit that creating an authorial drama in a time of mumbling, precarious, voice-of-a-generation comedy almost absolutely constitutes an ideology, one both modernist and masculinist. But conveniently, at that moment, the interview’s over.

“Listen here, Internet girl,” he says, getting up. “It wouldn’t kill you to watch a film or pick up a newspaper once in a while.” I’m not sure how he’s forgotten that I am writing for a newspaper; looking over the publicist’s shoulder, I see that every reporter is from a print publication (do not see: Drew Magary). I remind him. I say also, factually, “I have a New York Times subscription and an HBO subscription. Any other advice?”

He looks surprised, then high-fives me. Being not a person who high-fives or generally makes physical contact with interview subjects, I look more surprised.

“I’m sick of girls who don’t know how to high-five,” he says. He makes me try to do it “properly,” six times.”

This interview spawned a tumblog. Hey Internet Girl.

The New Yorker has also panned the Newsroom and Sorkin’s ouvre generally

“There are plenty of terrific actors on this show, but they can’t do much with roles that amount to familiar Sorkinian archetypes. There is the Great Man, who is theoretically flawed, but really a primal truth-teller whom everyone should follow (or date). There are brilliant, accomplished women who are also irrational, high-strung lunatics—the dames and muses who pop their eyes and throw jealous fits when not urging the Great Man on. There are attractively suited young men, from cynical sharpies to idealistic sharpies, who glare and bond and say things like “This right here is always the swan song of the obsolete when they’re staring the future paradigm in the face.””

And earlier…

“Sorkin’s shows are the type that people who never watch TV are always claiming are better than anything else on TV. The shows’ air of defiant intellectual superiority is rarely backed up by what’s inside—all those Wagnerian rants, fingers poked in chests, palms slammed on desks, and so on. In fact, “The Newsroom” treats the audience as though we were extremely stupid. Characters describe events we’ve just witnessed. When a cast member gets a shtick (like an obsession with Bigfoot), he delivers it over and over. In episode four, there’s a flashback to episode three. In a recent interview, Sorkin spoke patronizingly of cop shows, but his Socratic flirtations are frequently just as formulaic, right down to the magical “Ask twice!” technique.”

Ouch. I’ll still watch it. Even if Sorkin’s characters, like his scripts, are rehashed series by series. Because they’re still the best characters and scripts going around.

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Tumblrweed: Fastest possible drawings of things

If there’s one thing I like about this particular tumblr, fastest possible, it’s that it shows its possible to build an audience for one’s art without actually being good at it. I’m horrible at drawing. Pictionary only works for me if I figure out subtle ways of cheating. One time I was playing pictionary online with some friends. We were all sitting in the same room, on different computers, playing against people from the other side of the world. And we’d just draw a bunch of random stuff and guess right, that memory still makes me laugh. Anyway. Fastest possible… the aim is to recognisably represent a thing in the fastest way possible. Perfectly fusing minimalism and pictionary. Some samples…

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Tumblrweed: Dear Photograph

This tumblr is kind of meta. The premise for content featured on Dear Photograph is summed up as: “take a picture of a picture from the past in the present.”

Tumblrweed would have to be one of my favourite blog tags. Some cool stuff there. Let me know if you have a favourite single serving tumblr in the comments.

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FacedType: Typecasting typefaces

I made a new blog. It’s very much a work in progress. Mostly because I need someone who can draw. I’m thinking that fonts are like actors. They’re perfect for playing some roles and obviously miscast in others. Which is great. Because the language of type lends itself to such an interpretation.

When I’m trying to pick a font I like to think of my publication/purpose in terms of a type of person or profession, and then I match the font to that. This is pretty much the premise driving FacedType.

e.g

Papyrus: A Vegas Casino Egyptian Character. Not really authentic, but what people think might be authentic.

If you can draw and would like to make me little cartoon caricatures for these fonts I’m sure we could make a book, or trading cards, or some sort of splash on the internet. If you can think of a two or three line description of the type of actor/role typified by a font. Let me know.

Check it out (I’ll be moving it over to facedtype.com at some point in the near future).

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Tumblrweed: Dads are the original hipsters

Hipsters. Love them, hate them, they’re here to stay. At least until something cooler comes along. But lets face it. Moustaches and tight clothes epitomise cool. I’d be a hipster if I could grow a mo. And if I didn’t want to mock them relentlessly. But I digress. Dads are the Original Hipsters demonstrates, photographically, that there is nothing original about our current generation of hipsters. They are just copying our dads.

The only difference is the lack of deliberate irony for most of these dads.

Tumblrweed: The back of a website

This is kind of clever, but at this stage only has a few sites up. Keep your eyes peeled (well, not literally). Back of a web page.

Twitter

Flickr

YouTube

A couple more there. Now, if you did the back of the back of a webpage tumblr that would be a bit too meta, and the internet would break.

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Tumblrweed: Sad Etsy boyfriends

This urlesque post about sad etsy boyfriends turned into its own single serving Tumblr pretty quickly. Because that’s how the Internet works.

For those scratching their heads trying to figure out what the nouns in that sentence mean, here’s a quick reference glossary…

urlesque – a blog collecting bits of the web.
etsy – a “sell your handcrafts” service where makers can sell their creations to the world.
sad etsy boyfriends – the male partners of etsy users who are, by appearance, forced by their other halves to model said creations.
tumblr – a blogging platform that lets you create and share content very quickly.

Tumblrweed is a series of posts where I share some of my favourite, or newly discovered, single serving tumblrs.

Tumblrweed: Who is Arcade Fire (also, some good music)

This performance apparently redeemed the Grammy Awards in many people’s eyes.

Though, many people were disappointed that Justin Bieber lost out to Arcade Fire. Many people. Not including me. So many people had not heard of Arcade Fire that this tumblr posting responses to their win was spawned (strong language warning over there).

There was a bit of confusion about the name of the band v the name of the album.