Archive for the 'Media' Category

22
May
09

Facebook, and the amazing destruction of images.

I’ve been uploading some of my Photoshop/Illustrator work to Facebook lately. I find it to be the most efficient way to get people I know to see the stuff I’ve fashioned together, using only my inferior skills and less than acute sense of style. Getting people to pop on over to a blog every time I leave another brain dropping is not exactly easy. By plopping these things into an album on the FB (that’s what the cool kids are calling it, the FB. Or so I have been informed) I’m sort of forcing them to notice it. They can’t not see it. Cruel, I know.

Facebook does not seem to appreciate my artistic endeavors and chooses to utterly obliterate the image quality. Escalating what would have been a mild assault on the visual senses into a full scale ocular genocide. Is it not enough that I’m hampered by the cruel luck of the genetic draw? I have to get repeatedly molested by Facebook as well? Feast your eyes on this digital atrocity.

faceProbably not my best work ever.

Now, to some this might not seem like such an intrusive reduction in image quality. “Hey, that’s only slightly more artifacts.” a person might say. That person also doesn’t notice any difference between SD and HD television and will be wondering what all the hubbub is about. He is also 57 years old, loves sweater-vests and owns the collected works of Tom Clancy. This person needs to leave the room immediately.

The reason for the re-compression is in all likelihood storage space. Facebook deals with millions upon millions of photos after all. That is a lot of data and jiggabits and hardspace disks and whatnot. And how much larger is the already compressed “50% quality JPEG” file than its Facebook counterpart? The answer: about 8% smaller. Bare in mind this image consists of three colours. Facebook’s re-compression can’t handle the colour red? Seriously? I could understand if there was some gradient effect tripping up the algorithm here, but these are three clearly separated colours. Would I have crashed the servers with this image if it happened to be some blue in there? Should I stick to cubist black & white pictures?

I can only imagine what other optical horrors FB has in store.

Check out a reasonably well compressed version of the actual image over in the Flickr-stream to the right, or here.

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15
Mar
09

The Power of Imagination.

The economy does not actually exist. I know what you might be thinking now. “Hey, how deep of a hit did you just take from your opium bong? You godless hippie.” The short answer is: not that deep. The long answer is: An economy is just an agreed upon system of values and trade rules. It is no more set in stone than any other idea, and can be re-arranged or fundamentally revised any time we feel like it.

I know it seems as if economic systems, such as our pseudo-capitalist one, are quite real. As real as the buildings that house all of the institutions that prop up this concept. But it really isn’t. It’s “simply” a very elaborate system we have concocted in order to keep people producing goods and services that in the end benefit most of us. Motivated by greed. Punished by hunger. I will leave any further moral values and my own Utopian hopes out of it.

If this current model of incentives and punishment isn’t getting the job done let’s change it. Fine tune it to work better. Improve the social safety net for workers. Tax the rich bankers a little higher. Make sure stock trading is better regulated. Even out the peaks and valleys. We also have the short term option: Keep on buying stuff, you dumb shits.

A recession happens when people think a recession will happen. They stop buying and start saving. Industrialists stop producing the things that aren’t being bought anymore. The same people who stopped buying get fired and continue not buying (now for a different reason, lack of funds) and the downward spiral worsens. Do you want to keep your job? You want your friends to keep their jobs? Stop stuffing your mattress full of imaginary wealth printed on paper and purchase things that might be useful. Either sneakers with lights in the heals or a shotgun for fending off the mutants when this economic crisis hits apocalyptic proportions.

You think I am over-simplifying a very complex issue? Yes, I might be. Bare in mind though that economist’s seemingly elaborate hypotheses are not any more accurate. If these Oracles of Wall Street and Captains of Industry had any clue what pattern the market follows (if any) they’d be able to fix it. Instead they’re just throwing anything they can think of at the problem and seeing what sticks. So far, nothing is.

A system no-one understands isn’t a system, it’s chaos. So kick back, grab a beer you’ve just brewed in your own toilet and enjoy watching as these granite monoliths of capitalism crumble. Like that pension you had saved away. It’s much more fun watching something come crashing down. At least now you are not alone, standing in the rubble.

Also:

24
Feb
09

Pretend Heroism.

Am I the only one getting seriously tired of being told that athletes are heroes? Why am I constantly being reminded through the media and other people that I should take pause and admire these heroic feats of make believe?

Wow! He jumped over a rather high horizontal stick using nothing but his own two legs and a really silly technique? Did he do it while wearing a colourful but impractical hat? Nothing’s athletically awe inspiring unless ridiculous headgear is a involved. If you ask me.

What are our values?  Actual heroes put themselves at great personal risk in order to help others. A true hero might even face certain death to save another life. They do not retire at 40 and putter around strip clubs in Monaco, doing coke off of some skank’s snatch. Live the dream man, but don’t expect me to worship you for it.

Being the best at something non-sensical can be interesting, I’ll give you that. For instance – having the ability to masturbate over twenty times during the little drive to work is as impressive as it is daring. That type of stamina and speed and reckless disregard for traffic safety is outstanding. A hero however, you are not. Just sticky and exhausted.

Chasing a leather sphere around a field is as abhorrent a behaviour as many others frowned upon by society. (see example mentioned above) Add to this: Shimmying into a little outfit and squat-thrusting for hours in the name of fun and the entire thing seems borderline psychotic. Cheering them on feels almost cruel in such a context.

I understand why the media are farting out praises for these plastic heroes. There’s a profit to be made and airtime to be filled. Why in the world other people, many of whom could not care less about actual physical exercise, go on and on about sports I shall never understand.

Now, the joy of watching a sports injury unfold I can comprehend. Thank God these sportsmen aren’t discouraged by the fact that the laws of physics are working against them. Where would franchises like “World’s Worst Whatever” be? Out of business, that’s where. And in this economy we need all the profitable ventures we can get.

So gimme a jingle when the next NASCAR driver turns his torso into a modern work of art using nothing but the momentum of the vehicle. True heroes sacrifice their lives, after all. For my entertainment.

27
Nov
08

A Grande Gesture, please.

Take a gander at this ad from Starbucks. I think it’s just swell!

So you’re telling me that 5 cents from every espresso-latte-truffle-mocha-thingy is going towards some sort of charitable AIDS-related action? Holy jumpin’ coffee bean Batman, that’s like 2% of every order!

Rather than acting like human beings the people at Starbucks, like every other corporation it would seem, manage to morph charity into commerce. Brilliant. Instead of just buying more of the produce (which the company’s very existence depends upon) at reasonable and fair prices, they’re going to perform a public relations stunt. Another alternative would be to just give AIDS foundations in Africa a lump sum of money, but would that get the same amount of media exposure? I would applaud their impressive dedication to callousness if only my hands weren’t angrily clutching and shaking my keyboard.

Underpaying poor farmers in the third world. Overcharging the working class in the first. No java in either world is as dark as their souls.

30
Oct
08

Back to you in the studio.

Dear television humanoids, please stop showing me weather reports all the time. For the love of all that is holy please stop! Neither I nor anyone else living in the 21st century has any use for them. Also, I have no idea what those little  arrows and lines on the map really mean. Is that the direction the weather is moving in? Isn’t weather all around us all the time? Sort of like the Unitarian definition of God?

Weather used to play a huge part in the lives of everyday people. It dictated what you could do, and when you could do it. With little chance of escaping it. Man was subject to patterns of nature he couldn’t quite understand. Over time we have tried to develop new ways of understanding weather systems and their causes. Doppler radar and incredibly complex computer models have given us small advances in our knowledge of these phenomena. But a modern person has no use for this information.

What the hell does any of this mean?

We live in houses, drive cars, wear proper clothing and work in climate controlled office buildings. A normal person does not spend hours a day outside exposed to the elements. That only happens if something has gone awry. Besides, chances are they won’t remember what the weather man said this morning anyway. They were too busy trying to wash the vomits stains out of their dress socks. Big promotion coming up!

Unless it’s a huge hurricane of shit heading my way it won’t affect my life in any real way. And I think such an event would warrant a small segment of its own. Somewhere between the feel-good story of a kitten being rescued from a well and the sports results. I don’t need to know the possible weather four days from now. For most of us simply looking out the window before deciding for or against wearing a jacket should suffice.

What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? More or less like yesterday. The earth won’t suddenly start spinning backwards on its own axis. It’s not going to start raining upwards. Hot won’t be cold. And November is not going to be a pleasantly sunny month. Meteorology is mostly just guesswork in front of a green screen. Suit up and let’s roll.

18
Mar
08

5 People.

This is a list of five types of people I wouldn’t mind seeing dead.

5. Condescending Bisexuals
Have you ever run into these people? Bisexuals who seem to think that because they find both men and women sexually attractive they somehow, in some mysterious way, are more enlightened then the rest of us. You know, us common folk that only want to fuck one or the other. Truly they are the chosen people! Why? Well because they’ve seen past gender and appearance and found that you fall in love, not with the gender but with the person. Wow, isn’t that inspiring? Granted of course that this non-gender-specific person still conforms to our culture’s perception of beauty. I’m sorry but penises, to me, look horrendous. I wouldn’t want one anywhere near either my face or ass. In fact, the first time I saw my own I attacked it with a shoe.

Sexual preference does not equal moral superiority you smug bastards. Another thing; you don’t get more options because you’re “playing both sides”, so to speak. What it comes down to, in the end, is how attractive the other person finds you. Not just appearance wise although that is unfortunately the most important factor.

4. Young folk who act older than their age
This is especially prevalent among university students. People approaching their mid 20s that act as if they were in their late 40s. Wearing boring “adult” clothing, sipping lattes, conversing about what table napkins would be the best for their next couples get-together/dinner party. You’d think they’d be talking about something like “the Geo-political situation in eastern Africa” but no. They have so perfected this act since high school that they’ve realized that older people don’t actually talk about that stuff. More on shallow and stupid people in their 40s later on.

What happened to the energy of these people? All I wanted to do when I was in high school was to fuck on the floor and break shit. Thinking about it, that’s still all I want to do now. Alright, that may not be entirely true. I do like having a good deep, fervent and energetic conversation about an interesting subject-matter from time to time. But if you actually try this on these yuppie offspring you quickly notice they’re incapable of such thought. I suspect they’ve developed this intricate and boring lifestyle full of little fetishes like napkins, home decorating, couples dinners and other mind numbingly boring activities as a subterfuge for their lack of depth and intelligence. Crafty scoundrels!

3. People who grew up in the 60s and 70s getting tough on kids
This is as much an objection to the reasoning as it is to the rhetoric that these people use. I will grant them that kids are insufferable bastards and need to learn some discipline. Hasn’t that been true in every generation since the dawn of man though? And shouldn’t that be something for the parents to sort out? The schools can only do so much. The main problem with slipping grades in schools all over the western world lies not with the children but with the poor quality of the grownups, the teachers. How to improve that is a different rant entirely but suffice to say that improving the status of the teaching profession and holding them accountable for results may help.

What really makes me want to go into a self-induced coma is when these people who grew up in the 60s and 70s use harsh rhetoric and language. Words like grades, expectations, discipline, control and uniforms get thrown around. While they were handed everything in their youth. EVERYTHING!

So when these pampered to middle aged, fat, comparatively rich, white motherfuckers come along and say kids these days lack discipline I just want someone to invent cyborg warrior bodies. So that their 80 year old parents can rip their damn heads off! Call it a really really really late term retroactive abortion.

2. Subcultures
Stop letting your entire identity be dictated by things other people have created. Be it music, clothing, books, movies or video games. You’re being a shallow cunt, stop it.

1. Bloggers and the people who read them
Most blogs are about absolutely nothing of worth. They’re just some ramblings from some teenage girl (either physically or mentally) about what they did today. And I’m not even talking about exciting stuff like teenage sex and drugs. No, negative, denied. It’s always some meandering post about what they ate or what clothes they wore. I have friends who do this, if you’re one of them consider this my way of saying; I like you, but for fuck sake!

I know these pointless blogs have been an annoyance to many people over the years. I’m certainly not the first to bring this up. I did it however to set up a point. Could we please, please agree to stop reading these “celebrity” bloggers? These wannabe socialite journalists who live these fabulous lives revolving around gossip, fashion, parties and one has to assume rather boring sex. Mostly implied, naturally. They just seem too neat and well scrubbed to be having anything other than dull repetitive sex. In their luxurious penthouse apartments smelling equally as sterile and unnatural as their genitals. It’s bad enough that they can’t quite seem to string together a complete sentence, they make money doing so. These blogs are essentially the same thing as other personal blogs, only infinitely more sad. For all of us.

What sort of vapid, soulless, asinine existence is that? If you’re asking yourself how I can rail against this sort of thing and then myself slip in bits and pieces of my own life in this blog, well…you’re just going to have to figure that out on your own.

10
Jan
08

Plastic bags.

Returning to the topic of environmentalism. According to a poll in a Swedish evening newspaper (not the best source I know) 72.2% of people want to ban plastic bags. Apparently because they are bad for the environment. Why don’t just those 72.2% stop buying the damn things and we wouldn’t need a legislated ban. That even 1% of the population would want this is depressing. People in this godforsaken country really do want to be disciplined by the government. Like some stern father who lets them know what they may or may not do, in all aspects of life. I can only guess that they find some sense of security in that.

Bags
A menacing killer.



The scary thing is that people may actually believe in this sort of soft policy/journalism fluff. The planet will not go tits up because of some plastic bags, trust me. Maybe the fact that many industrialised nations still pump their sewage, mostly untreated, straight into the ocean should concern people a little bit more. Literally being up a shit creek some day doesn’t sound too exciting to me.