KAGOY – (kids are getting old younger) a phenomena observed by toy industry experts. Where a few years ago children of eight years-old were willing to use their imagination and play with action figures, now the action figures would be aimed at three-to-five year olds. Toys for older children have to battle against the Internet, multi-channel television and games consoles. In addition, toys for younger children have to get ‘smarter’ including basic voice recognition for instance, in order to hold their imaginations. Courtesy of the FT.
This posting started off after I read this Media Hack column by Adam Penenberg for Wired on the growing irrelevance of the Wall Street Journal. The gist of the column is that taste makers like blogs are not recommending the WJS to their peers, since they would only be able to read a linked article if they were a subscriber. Consequently, there was a conditioning behaviour that was developing resulting in the WSJ becoming irrelevant. My first reaction was that the article lacked the full picture. Popularity does not necessarily equate to relevance. Take the ultimate online subscription media, a Bloomberg terminal, or even a high brow magazine like the New Republic. Both of these media have an impact that way way beyond their thousands of subscribers. Then it occured to me that it was like as if they banned you from talking about them. For the WSJ, you could easily insert the Financial Times or The Economist instead.
What really annoys me about the FT more than the Wall Street Journal is where they will publish content only in the online or offline edition and they point you to it. Its like saying, you bought your paper, but we’re still going to try and squeeze you even more. Its mean spirited marketing that even Dow Jones hasn’t stooped to yet…
At Gloucester Road there is a series of self portraits by a photographer who has desguised himself in each picture. It is part of London Underground’s Platform Art series.
I boought the tenth anniversary reissue of the original Renaissance mix album by Sasha and John Digweed. Renaissance is hailed by many clubbers as being revolutionary. I thought I would comment on some of the innovations:
– Renaissance was the birth of progressive house: no it wasn’t you can hear a natural progression between early Renaissance and Sasha’s sets before the club was formed. Renaissance was built on the back of the reputation that Sasha had earned at Shelly’s in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. Progressive house had been put out for a fair while by artists, most
notably the Italian acts Sueno Latino and Last Rhythm. Fabi Paras had championed the sound in London.
– Renaissance changed the visual language of clubbing: kind of. Renaissance got its name from borrowing fromrenaissance paintings, which were deconstructed and repurposed, however from the early days of house, many club flyers and imagery was borrowed from the cheesier ‘catholic’ religious art.
– Renaissance was a life changing experience: It depends where your head was at. Renaissance was a good club, they managed to get all the ingredients right: the security, the staff, the clubbers, the venue, the ambience, the music and the DJs. People had a great time, but then
in club culture during the early 1990s there was a lot of great times to be had every weekend all over the country.
– Renaissance revived clubbing: Don’t believe the hype. Renaissance caught the top of the clubbing wave. It was one of a number of clubs that issued in a glitzy waye: straight lads wearning Versace shirts and leather trousers. Another trend to benefit was the mixed gay straight clubs like Vague in Leeds. The reasons why this came about was as much to do with getting a licence as baggy clothes for dancing meant wholesale drug use and possible dealer rumbles. Mincing around the club in clothes you would be afraid to sweat in was supposed to prevent it, it didn’t it just heralded the arrival of wholesale cocaine use. It replaced the egalitarian nature of house and rave with snobbishness.
My recollections of Renaissance
It was towards the end of 1992, a friend of mine had got a gig on a Friday night at the Venue 44 in Mansfield playing what would now be termed drum and bass. I knew him as we used to play house sets together. He had met a couple in some ski resort where he had gone to play for a couple of months. The couple were involved in putting club flyers in shops and bars throughout the Midlands and the North of England. When he came back, he got in touch with the couple and they got him the gig.
I turned up to a half empty night decked out in decorations. After I made some enquiries, I got into Renaissance for free a few weeks later. I remember having a nightmare parking the Austin Metro I had at the time and stiff legs from the two-hour drive that did not welcome the stairs I had to climb to the front door. The building looked anonymous and whitewashed on the outside.
The main dance floor had the DJ booth well above it and there was a chill out area between the front door and the barn like dance floor with bench seating and some sort of trellices. Most of the lads going there looked like rugby league players and the girls like night wear models. The club had a buzz, but it was not the raw electric feel of Shellys, The Hacienda or the Quadrant Park.
The Evening Standard media page in Wednesday’s paper (February 23, 2005) explained to its readers in the meejah sector what gonzo journalism actually meant: surely a case of selling snow to the eskimos? The works of the fast living writer were allready well-known in recreation chemically-minded Islington.
Thompson’s gonzo legacy
What exactly is ‘gonzo’ or outlaw journalism, invented by Hunter S. Thompson, the great American writer, who committed suicide on Sunday at the age of 67? There are few things you can say for certain, other than that it was a product of the 1960s and describes a form of writing where the reporter becomes a central character in the story.
Gonzo is based on William Faulkner’s dictum that “fiction is often the best fact’. The gonzo reporter lives what he writes.
Gonzo journalism is now everywhere. The film-maker Michael Moore used the technique in Fahrenheit 9/11 as dis Morgan Spurlock in his documentary Super Size Me. Robert Fisk’s coverage in The Independent of the killing of Rafik Hariri, former prime minister of Lebanon, by car bomb, in Beirut last week, was a good example. As Mr Fisk’s flat is only a few hundred years (sic) away from the site of the explosion, he was able to give an account that recorded his own emotions as he ran towards the black smoke.
“Hariri, I kept repeating. I had sat with him many times…” And so on.
Writing personal webistes or blogs is a further extension of the technique. It is a self-indulgent, even narcissistic, but it is also vivid. And, at its best, it can catch readers up in a story beter than any other style: that is Thompson’s real legacy.
Motorolan – an employee of Motorola. Apparently goes back to a more innocent time when the sci-fi genre was populated by B-movies like Plan 9 From Outter Space, IBM employees used to have a company song book and abortions were a back-street affair.