I first knew of Hiroshi Fujiwara though his work on old school Japanese hip-hop label Major Force. He was cited as an influence in Bomb The Bass’ first album Into The Dragon. His influence has been much bigger in terms of streetwear and Harajuku culture that fuelled fashion and culture of the past two decades. He is now collaborating Moncler and did some media interviews :
Thailand is famous for emotion-filled adverts and this Sunsilk film is no exception, dealing with family acceptance of Kathoei (กะเทย). Its a beautiful piece of work by JWT’s Bangkok office.
I’ve never worn Doctor Martens myself but they were often seen in the school yard and during my early working life. They are as British as Marks & Spencers chicken tikka masala. I thought product had been moved offshore as part of globalisation, but it seems that there is still a small production facility in the UK. The process of how the shoes are made is fascinating.
The application of machine learning in the criminal justice system is something of concern. The natural inclination of authority is to inflate itself with every tool that progress provides.
Great documentary on Chinese wealthy migration away from China. The move to Vancouver was pioneered in the early 1970s with wealthy Hong Kongers preparing for its handover in the decades to come. They’ve been followed families who got rich on the mainland following the opening up of the economy.
It reflects the reality of major cities around the world now as capital flight out of China continues. Non-domestic earnings (like that from Russia and Middle East) is a factor driving unaffordability of housing. The experience of Mau and the opening up founded a culture of ‘now’. This has manifested itself in different ways: capital flight, having a bolt hole abroad and a foreign passport in case things go suddenly bad. It also explains historic product quality issues as entrepreneurs think about the now and let the future take care of itself, preferably while you have gone abroad to live a comfortable life.
Whether it’s Brexit or Bremain, the UK is in long-term economic decline | South China Morning Post – Either way, the outlook is grim. With or without Brexit, Britain is still an ailing industrial nation. So any short-term relief about Bremain must be blunted by the reality that Britain is stuck in the grip of longer-term economic decline. The shock Brexit vote two years ago simply accelerated the process. The jolt to confidence has ripped a big hole in investment and spending, and started unravelling many of the lifelines propping up the economy. Britain may never fully recover – Hong Kong op-ed on Brexit says a lot about how foreigners are viewing it
Canceling Roseanne wasn’t the only possible decision, but it was the right one. | Slate – I was trying to articulate what has always been so tricky about the reboot, which was the utility of its immorality. Trump voters could watch Roseanne and feel seen, heard, and flattered. It allowed them to imagine themselves, like Roseanne Conner, as smart, tough, funny, and not racist.* And as false and mendacious as this fantasy is, it was, also, perhaps efficacious for our schisming America, a pressure release valve for Trump voters, while also being a relatively nontoxic way for progressives to observe said Trump voters. It was a way for us to see each other without actually having to speak, a way to exist in the same space without having to fight. – I was going to blog about Roseanne but this Slate op-ed nailed it
The top thing would be catching up with old friends. ‘Old is gold’ as they say. I got to go to the Bicester Village outlet centre (as guide rather than shopper) and the contrast between the restaurants just outside the village was an eye-opener to my foreign guests. My key take away on their reaction: China isn’t going to be jumping up and down to invest in a post-Brexit UK. Bicester Village’s owner has already hedged its bets; it has twin outlet villages in Barcelona, Dublin, Madrid, Milan, Paris Shuzhou and Shanghai – all competing for global luxury buyer spending. They are either in nicer climes or more convenient for East Asian shoppers. They’ve been changing the way Chinese consumers buy luxury and Bicester may not reap the full rewards now.
This documentary on genre defying Chinese group Re-Tros and their first European tour in support of Depeche Mode. People often use the descriptor post-punk. They’re style definitely has a jazz or progressive rock-style improvisation feel to it. The 1980s descriptor ‘electronic body music’ applied to the likes of Front 242 seems to be as good a descriptor as any.
In what has become an internet tradition, Mary Meeker presents her annual trends presentation
If Mary Meeker hadn’t convinced you about the robust state of innovation in the Chinese technology eco-system then this presentation by George S Yip may do the trick.
I started using the Usenet for the first time in years for a research project. I wanted to go back and understand longer term trends. The Usenet archives were a handy primer. The Usenet served a similar purpose to the likes of Reddit. I wanted a native application and this was the best Usenet client that I found. NZBVortex | Simply the best Usenet client for Mac. Many old favourites were no longer in development or supported by the latest version of macOS.
River Elegy (河殇) is a six-part documentary broadcast on China’s largest TV station CCTV1, in 1988. It is a landmark documentary, a more innocent naive Chinese viewpoint that emerged as the country opened up. China had started to open up to the world after the cultural revolution and intellectuals started to learn about how different the west was. The documentary compares the old ways and Chinese gains in civilisation over thousands of years, with the modern world. In retrospect the attacks on traditional culture and Confucianism mirror the rejection of tradition in the cultural revolution. The series spurred debate and was seen to also criticise what the creators perceived to be a slow-moving communist party.
At the time, intellectuals in China were avidly reading the works of western thinkers like John Naisbitt and Alvin Toffler who provided a vision of a rollercoaster centrist techno-utopian future. I get the attraction to young intellectuals. In the 1980s, the future looked bright and technocratic.
The thing that I find most interesting about it is the use of music, imagery and editing is almost psychedelic in its effect. It must have been mind blowing for the audience who tuned into it.
A couple of people involved in the production of River Elegy whore about how it was created in Deathsong of the River – which is a great read. It is interesting to reflect how far this series is from the China of today. It overs an interesting contrast to Xi Thought in both content and presentation style.
Maestro – BOILER ROOM – great documentary about DJ/producer Larry Levan and the Paradise Garage. Levan is one of the people who shaped the modern dance sound. The film does a really good job of setting up the context from disco to house and goes on about other New York clubs like The Loft and The Gallery. It has a great soundtrack and some of the interviewees are fierce.