Quantcast
 

The Artist Is Present and Also a Robot

Between 2004 and 2008, I worked as a video editor in Hollywood. This description comes with plenty of qualifiers: It wasn't a job with any artistry or excitement (it was, as I described it to curious/confused parties back then, "industrial editing"). The motto of the company I worked for was "Know Better," and its logo looked eerily like an Illuminati eye; it sold itself as a way for corporations/PR companies/freelancing-citizens-full-of-vanity to amass knowledge about their place in the business world through the monitoring of media. To do this, it recorded TV and radio broadcasts from around the country, and resold commercial-free chunks of said broadcasts to the as-yet uninformed. Need to see how your opposition is being perceived by CNBC's Jim Cramer? We got what you need. Want a shot of you catching that foul ball at the game? Give us a call. READ MORE

Books On Lego

BrickJest, a collaboration between Kevin Griffith, an English Professor at Capital University, and his eleven-year-old son, Sebastian, reenacts scenes from David Foster Wallace's most famous novel, even though Sebastian has not even read the book. I called them up to get a little background on their project. READ MORE

Voicemails From The Terrifying Future

In 2022, fires will destroy over 2,025 acres of Texas. In 2048, the Glacier Land Resort will open for people looking to see what life was like before the glaciers melted. In 2049, the Smithsonian—no longer open to the public—will feature a preserved hummingbird in their archives, the last proof of their species ever existing. READ MORE

Will The Real Zodiac Killer Please Stand Up?

On Wednesday, the identity of the Zodiac Killer was finally revealed: It was Louis Myers, only 17 when he began the killings, who confessed from his deathbed back in 2001. In 2012, the identity of the Zodiac Killer was finally revealed: It was George Russell Tucker, a pseudonym for a then-recently-diseased 91-year-old former real estate salesman from Fairfield, California. In 2009, the identity of the Zodiac Killer was finally revealed: It was Guy Ward Hendrickson, a carpenter who brought his 7-year-old along for the ride during the killings. READ MORE

Goodbye To The Best Show, Which Was "The Best Show on WFMU"

A few years ago, I changed cable providers. While the procedure's been streamlined over the years to where it's relatively painless, a sadistic remnant still remains: The vague installation time window. So one day, AT&T asked me to stay home for a six-hour period on a weekday. Luckily, I'd just quit my job. I had plenty of time to spare. READ MORE

"Gravity" Is A Transcendent Piece Of Crap

A couple of years ago, when a terrible break-up left me desperate to fill up all of my newfound free time with social interaction, I went over to a friend's house and watched him play Grand Theft Auto. After I saw him drive through a bunch of beautifully-designed streets, rob some girls with digits-in-all-the-right-places, and shoot a rocket launcher at a fleet of cop cars, I went home. I learned a valuable lesson that mind-numbing night: No matter how perfectly-orchestrated the sound, no matter how artistically-chiseled the graphics, no matter how hair-trigger the gameplay, watching someone else play a video game is boring. READ MORE

Weiner Takes All: A Panel Discussion of People Named Weiner and Wiener

I. On The Battle

Brett Weiner (WHY-ner), director/writer/producer: WEE-ner is a much more make-funable name than WHY-ner. WHY-ner is also not great. Because any time you complain, you get it used against you. But WEE-ner's like... it's a dick. So, your last name means “a dick.” READ MORE

Inside America's Ghost Tour Industry

If you're a man driving alone on a certain stretch of Archer Avenue on Chicago's South Side, you may see a teenage girl on the side of the road, thumb out, trying to hitch a ride. If you stop for her—which, being a concerned citizen, you'll consider—you'll notice her outfit's a bit dated: a white formal dress and the kind of dancing shoes you might find in the back of your grandma's closet. There's something a little bit off about her, but you can't quite place what it is. READ MORE

"Carnivàle" Broke My Heart

In my opinion, this is the most beautiful sequence ever aired on television: READ MORE

San Francisco's Baffling Jejune Institute Gets A Documentary

The toughest part of writing about San Francisco's Jejune Institute "thing" was trying to describe it, something I attempted to do for this site twice. In a first piece about the citywide game, which was put on by a group called Nonchalance, I went with "[p]art public-art installation, part scavenger hunt, part multimedia experiment, part narrative story." For the follow-up, I added "underground alternate reality game" to the mix. Both summaries missed the mark, partly because of my own inadequacies as a writer, but also a symptom of the project's sprawling originality—it wasn't like anything else out there, and that was part of what made it so fantastic. Thankfully, Spencer McCall went ahead and made The Institute, a 90-minute documentary about the project that neatly encapsulates what made this whole whatever-it-was so wonderful. READ MORE