Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

A Postcard from San Francisco

I joined the line at Blue Bottle in Mint Plaza in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood at 8:40 a.m., on the dot. Despite the early hour, the temperature was already in the eighties. The light and sky were big and empty in the way that the light and sky are only in the West. When I moved here, in the nineties, everyone used to debate whether or not “SOMA” was a real thing. Once largely empty warehouses and live-work lofts, it's now full of excellent restaurants and soaring apartments and there’s even a Whole Foods on 4th street, and so, we've all arrived at the conclusion that it does [...]


The End of Lou Reed: HP's "Everybody On" Ad

HP's new "Everybody On" campaign is just about the least cool thing I've ever seen. And I was an Eagle Scout! And I'm a birder! And I was on the debate team! And I went to debate camp!

Did you miss those lyrics? Here's a transcription!


An Interview With @Vincent_Gallo

Vincent Gallo says it wasn’t him. The New York Post quotes the actor-cum-director-cum-musician venting frustrations about fake Twitter accounts using his identity, lamenting “it is embarrassing having anyone believe I would sign up for and communicate with Twitter.” It sure is!

Yet since April of 2009, someone claiming to be Gallo has been writing weird, vitriolic, perverted and syrup-obsessed tweets as @Vincent_Gallo. In other words, it’s a rather convincing portrayal. And despite Gallo’s protests, the account remains live and continues to plead for maple syrup. But storm clouds on the horizon! Twitter just kicked Fake Gary Busey off the set [...]


We Are More Excited about Girl Talk on Everything than the Beatles on iTunes

Crazy technologist Anil Dash likes to talk about the end of the canon, as it applies to everything from Lady Gaga remixes to forked software on GitHub. Meaning: Increasingly we experience slightly different versions of the same thing. There is no more canonical version.

This is especially true of media. My favorite version of “Paper Planes” may be different than yours. (Yours sucks.) You’re rocking the DFA remix and I’m all about the Afrikan Boy & Rye Rye version. Even live media events are fractured, splintered through the lens of FoxNews or MSNBC or Autotune the News. It takes something huge to crash [...]


The First Interview: Meet Josh Simpson, the Man Behind Twitter's @BPGlobalPR

On May 19, @BPGlobalPR started sending out messages about the Gulf oil spill to Twitter. The parody account took on the persona of an inept and insensitive public relations pro working at BP-and it viciously skewered BP's messaging attempts from behind a veil of anonymity. Within a week, it ate Twitter.

The writer's identity became the guessing game of the summer, one that I became deeply enmeshed in after a reporter incorrectly wrote that I had outed Twitter provocateur Mike Monteiro as the account's author. (I had not.) Ironically, however, the erroneous story eventually led me to the 26 year-old prankster behind the account who, after [...]


Yours is a Very Bad Press Release

Hi! We're the media. We get a lot of press releases. Press releases are almost always bad. Especially those that come to our personal email inboxes. Here's a better idea: write an email to someone you know will care. Or don't! You could just blindly send out a bunch of crap and then bill your client for it. I mean, why not, right? It's not like some snarky asshole will publish your press release online, with derogatory inline notes. Oh wait.


A Note from California: This Governor's Race Is Excruciating Torment

It's a glorious goddamned day in San Francisco right now. The temperature is mild, just warm enough to be comforting; just cool enough to keep you from sweating. The sky so blue it almost looks to have been choked to death. And from where I'm sitting, I can look out my window across the Bay, over to Oakland and Berkeley and the rolling hills of the East Bay. It's not a bad view.

It's the kind of day that makes me realize why I'm still here, and why I'll likely never leave. I arrived a dozen years ago, intending for San Francisco to be but a brief stop on [...]