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Erik Stinson

http://erikstinson.com

I was born at a Seattle Washington hospital in December of the year 1987, to my mother, Julia, and father, William. At the time, my mother was a middle school biology teacher. My father was a mechanical engineer for an airplane manufacturer. For a time, we three lived in a small rented house situated in a wealthy Jewish neighborhood of Seattle known as Seward Park. My parents had friends in the area, from their baby group, and before that, when my father had gone to high school and college in the area. My mother had moved to Seattle only a couple years before, from Colorado. When my sister Kate was born in December 1989, we moved to a large suburban house in Redmond Washington. The house had a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. I would live in this house constantly until June 2006. I attended two public elementary schools, one public middle school, and one private high school. My earliest years were marked by serious sinus infections, an interest in books on tape, and various outdoor and athletic pursuits, including skiing, soccer, and cubscouts. I was enrolled in piano lessoned around the age of 7. My parents purchased a 32ft sailboat in 1996, which we took many family vacations on. I remember listening to terrestrial FM radio during this period, especially alternative music stations. In 2002, mys parents enrolled me (after much consideration) in The Overlake School in Redmond, where my mother taught math to 13 and 14-year-olds. I developed a mild sleep disorder, from stress related to high school, and an interest in news, politics, climate change, and punk rock. I enjoyed a high level of academic recognition and a low level of success with athletic pursuits. I quit school-sponsored sports (with the exception of golf) in 10th grade, after developing medical problems related to rapid growth spurts and an inadequate respitory system. I skateboarded outside of school supervision, with a friend named Bobby. We ended up making two skate videos, which are lost now, as far as I know. During my first year of high school, I hosted an exchange student from Zabok, Croatia, named Drazen. Drazen encouraged me to attend self-organized all-ages concerts on Seattle’s Eastside, including the Old Redmond Firehouse. Drazen played guitar in a metal band and had several girlfriends. A year or so later, I was encouraged to take figure-drawing classes by an art teacher, which I enjoyed. This represents some kind of clarity moment of my life’s direction. I seemed to be deviating from the culture of my high school (which seemed consequential at that point, and now seems essential, if not really that profound). After quitting sports, I also broke up with my first girlfriend, of several months, and began managing my sleep disorder by using earplugs, a strategy which proved successful until I was able to sleep peacefully again, a some point during college. I took a girl named Amy to the senior prom. I did not drink alcohol at the prom. My last high school project was a multi-media re-telling of The Great Gatsby, constructed most from home video illegally shot on the Microsoft campus. In June of that year, my parents took my sister and me to Paris. I felt, for the first time, like I needed to stop struggling against Americana. I attended the University of Washington in Seattle. I was on track to major in film theory, before realizing I couldn’t meet the foreign language requirement in Mandarin Chinese. I visited Beijing in summer 2007 to study post-socialist film, but settled on English Theory as a major, upon failing out of Chinese. While experimenting heavily with psychoactive drugs during most of my freshmen year, I sustained whatshould probably be considered permanent emotional effects and some mild form of PTSD, which I credit with calming my personality somewhat. I had, as they say, religious experiences. After moving out of student housing, I lived with friends in an apartment a block from where Lane Staley died in 2002. For what was probably a little over a year, I settled into the rhythm of college life. Theory papers, drinking, concerts, writing. My honors thesis was written on the use of the gaze by female directors in 1990s US capitalist cinema. I was able to finish my BA in 3 years. With the economy crashing down on all sides, and on the word of a friend who worked in Hollywood, I accepted my rejection letter from the UCLA screenwriting program as a sign from powerful forces at work beneath the surface of my impending vocation. I applied to advertising portfolio school, against the advice of many who wanted me to stay in academia. Professors - and my girlfriend at the time - were concerned that I would not be satisfied with the level of discourse in a corporate setting. I challenged them to think of a setting that deserved more theoretical consideration than the typical American corporation, and started packing my bags for San Francisco. In June 2009 I moved into a studio apartment in Oakland California, across the Bay Bridge from the local branch of Miami Ad School school. I spent nights in bars around my apartment. I made friends with numerous people, among them Eliseo, who I would make two no-budget films with. The nights in Downtown Oakland surpassed all of my expectations in terms of friends made, my ability to explore a part of America I knew nothing about, to be alone, confused, fucked up, and still mostly accepted, and OK. I worked a retail job and as a camera operator at a video production company. In portfolio school, I wasn’t very interested in the abstract aspects of advertising, though I enjoyed learning Photoshop and about the history of industry, directly from veterans. After a year in the Bay Area, I moved to Brooklyn to continue portfolio school. Around this time, I wrote the book of poetry called Futurism, partly based on my experience in Oakland and my interaction with the art community associated with the website dump.fm. That work also includes poems from as early as 2007. Upon arriving in New York, I stayed with artist Ryder Ripps for one night in his Queens apartment, before moving in for several days with distant family in the Upper East Side. My first night out in New York was at the Jane Hotel, where I saw artist Jeanette Hayes, who I knew from dump.fm, to some degree. That week, I moved into a hardcore warehouse space on Johnson Ave in Bushwick Brooklyn, where I lived until I could afford better accommodations. I met with Tao Lin who introduced me to Miles Ross at a birthday party for Justin Taylor, where I also turned down an unpaid internship for the New York Observer from Christian Lorentzen. I began writing for Thought Catalog and writing non-academic essays in 2010. While finishing advertising school in Brooklyn, I wrote And Then I Disappeared Again, which I was able to promote using a video directed by Adam Humphreys in early 2011. In fall 2011, I was asked to write some short pieces for the Atlantic’s website, which earned additional opportunities for publication. At the end of 2012 I released the poetry collection Do You Log In Here Often, based on my varied contact with advertising/cultural production organs, during and after graduating portfolio school, including DRAFT FCB, Huge, Mcgarrybowen, AKQA, McCann, Y&R, R/GA, Dirt Empire, W+K, Grey, G2 and DIS MAGAZINE. In spring 2013, I completed a small collection of short stories, Tropic Midtown.

On Coke Poetry

The well-respected, finically solvent and totally fun-to-chill-with advertising agency Droga 5 created these outdoor ads for the Coca-Cola Company, which recently appeared on the streets of New York City. They have a poetic quality, seeming to evoke certain characters and a unique Manhattan headspace. Longer than most written ads, and with an obvious, weighted subtext, they speak in a slippery psedo-literary voice.

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Craft Notes / 11 Comments
March 12th, 2014 / 9:00 am

Peacetime Nap

I can remember this thing happening before on HTML Giant, at least twice. There was a comment-less winter, recently. I also remember summer 2012 being pretty mellow and quiet. I remember posting about trains and like… annual reports.

Commenters and contributors get periodically underwealmed by the quality of what’s being written. Everyone checks out for a few months.

OK. Great. Rather than try to break this up and inject/ejaculate/energize the comments sections (something I don’t have the ability to do anyways), I’d like to lull HTML Giant into a deep and productive slumber: a lengthy hibernation induced by a lack of engaging or enraging content.

A bit about my week.

For readers who don’t know, which I hope is most, I live in Brooklyn and work in Midtown Manhattan. Sometimes this can be really pleasant and even convenient, but this week the Superbowl is being held in New Jersey and New York City is attempting to ensnare peripheral tourists as well as  thick swarm of media that constantly moves through the veins of the city.

I think it’s called “Super Bowl Avenue” or something but is really just this lengthy stretch of Broadway (the lurid and fun diagonal street Dickens called the best in the world, at one point), including all of Times Square,  that has been packed with a circus of giant logo-filled screens, satellite trucks, giant foam photo opportunities, military police patty wagons, children’s play areas, and maybe 50% more advertising than would be usual.

I get to walk through it on the way to and from my office, which is a lot like dropping acid for breakfast and dinner 5-days in a row. At this point, I’m able walk in the fetal position.

This morning we awoke to unforgiving gray everything. It was a little warmer, in the 30s, we hoped.

Been taking it easy at work. I might have stomach flu or something. Been feeling like shit, body-wise.

Last night, I watched The Hunger Games and cried. Never cried about anything written on this website.

So, I hope you like the Super Bowl, if you plan to watch.

It’s a lot like a Hunger Games, except that everyone dies at like… 50 instead of like.. 17. Oh and I guess it’s all-volunteer, instead of just one person volunteering. I wonder if the world would be more or less violent without the institutional application and transmission of national blood sports?

Today, I’m sort of feeling like blood sports are releasing more tension than causing… who knows.

Heard somebody say, in the last few days, that football is like a war that is possible to win: a grand national delusion of a win-able war. I keep turning that one over again on the room-tempurature BBQ of my mind. I was never personally aware of a war that was won.

At least literature is like… a war that everyone knows they will lose. That’s good.

I’ve been afternoon-dreaming about beaches and swimming pools.

I’ve been trying to remember the center of sleep.

 

Behind the Scenes / 1 Comment
January 31st, 2014 / 11:56 am

Film & Reviews

Dawson’s Creek Seasons 1-6 Netflix 2013 Cut

I should say that I’d never seen a full episode of Dawson’s Creek until 2013. This surprised my girlfriend Jackie, so she encouraged me to watch the series. Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to watch commercial network TV. I didn’t really start watching primetime soaps until early high school. Before that, I was only interested in The Sci-Fi Channel.

Maybe I was expecting something a lot more expansive, and a lot less safe? I was expecting The OC plus grunge plus Boston. What I got was Boston minus grunge.

Dawson himself looms largest in a full Netflix viewing of the series. His very personal, very idealized type of optimism bleeds over and across the typically 3-5 plot lines that run between and within each episode. Constantly craving a pure articulation of his artistic vision that could merge effortlessly with his romantic inner-life, he almost always fails to live in reality. His over-greased wide-angle-lens-POV on his hometown of “Capeside” Massachusetts, and particularly its high school experience, becomes charmingly narcissistic.

It is an old, mellow form of mass-culture narcissism. I sip video cuts to form a smooth, rich blend of teen longing, the residue of good parenting, and the nearly raceless, nearly classes, nearly Internet-less painting of a total herb who came-of-age in a 1990s New England TV land.

Meta-naivete. This is the best feature of the show. The slowness, the tween-camp and the scripts that seem to lay open the inner guts of the 1990s TV studio production mechanics.

The show is about a boy. And the boy seems to know that his life is worth being made into a show. The show supports this theory by continuing to be about him, long after the viewer has become exhausted by whatever small intricacies of character have been pummeled to meaninglessness sludge by endless waves of episodic plot.

And of course, Dawson is a young filmmaker, soaking in sappy meta narrative puddles. This plot ramps up slowly as high school ends and his directing career begins to take off.

His favorite director, stated repeatedly, is Steven Spielberg.

Dawson is not an interesting guy. He thrives under these odd, broad narrative circumstances. We, the 2013 adult audience of a vintage teen mass-media soap, are critically aware that this guy doesn’t deserve to be the center of the show, but, having maybe grown up in the 90s, also vaguely crave the easygoing jr executive male phallocentrism of Dawson’s bumbling tonality. He’s the harmless young hegemony we all looked to in our teen and pre-teen years. The tall handsome thinker. The class frown. His success isn’t surprising or remarkable, in the same way that the mega-success of an ensemble teen drama that slightly pre-dates the coming-of-age years of the millennials/echo boomers is almost destined to be. Huge audience. Mass-televised puberty.

Dawson: perhaps a very MTV form of pre-internet and early internet self-awareness, perhaps just a single character written for a booming tv teen audience, the size of which (proportion of total media mix on Wednesday nights during the school year?) may never be seen again.

Another series, The OC, was dramatically more artful and blissfully less New England. Having only lived on the East Coast for a few years, I’d venture to say Hollywood numbs the aesthetic and cultural disagreements between the eastern and western US, frequently casting brooding jews in California and bleached out surfers in Manhattan. The OC kind of blew up that balancing strategy to give California a naturalist primetime TV treatment. I watch The OC as a glossier, grittier, less-boring teen drama, aided greatly by an escape from the eastern (almost… bleakly European…? with a different orientation of class) middle-American malaise and successfully existing in the alien seascape-soundstage of Southern California dreams, a narrative location that Dawson’s Creek never tries to achieve, even as characters live briefly in Los Angeles.

Imagine dumpy, close interiors shot with old lenses, recorded on to worn magnetic tapes. Underwhelming vistas of what is supposed to look like coastal New England but is clearly someplace–a cheaper location–in the Carolinas. I guess what I’m trying to say is that Dawson’s Creek feels chained to some kind of older television convention, something sort of cheesy and safe, that The OC manages to shake off, for the better. Leave it to Dawson, I love Joey, The Capeside Bunch.

In addition to being trapped in greater-Boston-via-TV culturezone and within Dawson’s bland masculine show-running character, the tension of show rarely moves beyond the Dawson-Joey-Pacey love triangle. This triangle traps everything. Characters outside the triangle are vastly more insightful. The three other prominent roles make up maybe a third of underlying plot cycles, but are present in a much greater percentage of the really enjoyable scenes.

I guess.. even the designed-to-be-overlooked Pacey sometimes becomes interesting, in terms of his class position, especially. Dawson and Joey, the couple who are central in the first season, really paint a picture of zero personal growth. They, like a certain percentage of every generation, become trapped in a view of the world that pre-dates high school. They are barely-dynamic characters who, rather than learning something about themselves, just get older.

Joey, Dawson’s main love interest who evolves from a foil into the queen of her own universe of sappy, solopsistic femininity, is a huge problem for the show in terms of watchability. Her level of discomfort with nearly everything pushes the show slowly forward into the abyss of… longing for an ideal life that she never bothers to fully articulate? She wants everyone to read her mind and know what she wants before she does. Inexplicably (via the magic of TV writing), the entire world falls at her feet, begging for her affection.

She has almost no female friends.

She is an unrelenting downer, which is sometimes entertaining, but frequently just frustrating. She’s constantly running away from the present. But unlike Dawson, she apparently does this for personal rather than vocational reasons? Dawson has a dream and she has a choice to make between two high school suitors. Indecision, anxiety, a delusional work ethic. The big thing she wants in her life is to visit Paris, which she actually fails to do, initially – as if a single vacation could be a life’s goal. That’s basically what she has: a vague, unambitious desire to be a ‘study abroad’ person. The writers could have done a lot better.

I’m glad that I’ve finished the series. Jackie and I agreed that watching the whole thing probably wasn’t worth it. The first three episodes and the last three would suffice.

On a final negative note, on Netflix the entire series except the final two episodes features a replacement opening theme song. It goes something like “Heat is in the sky / head is on the ground / feet are in the air / my life is turning around… voice inside my head / telling me to run like mad…” it’s fucking awful. I assume that the Netflix-rights sale didn’t include or couldn’t afford the rights to a lot of the original music. The series would have been more entertaining with the original pop songs.

1 Comment
December 20th, 2013 / 11:38 am

The Strickland Dildo

 

Toy_Soldiers_British_Coldstream_Guards

 

Guest post by Emma Needleman

I.

The other day, I clicked a link to an essay called The Zambreno Doll, a prose poem by Garett Strickland. The essay—apparently inspired by the experience of Kate Zambreno unfriending him on Facebook—disgusted me. In it, Strickland accuses Zambreno of deliberately “occluding” him on the basis that he’s a white male, speculates that she needs to hatefucked by a real misogynist, and gleefully fantasizes about turning her into a doll.

Reading the piece infuriated me. I’m tired of seeing women I respect get treated like this. It made me so angry that I broke my New Year’s resolution to stop fighting with people on the Internet, and I left a series of comments calling Strickland a “dweeb” and a “loser.” I would like to take the opportunity to say that I stand by these statements. Later, I wrote longer comments calling attention to the gender dynamics of Strickland’s piece, and I also stand by these statements, although not to the same degree as my original assertions that he is a dweeb.

Garett wrote comments, too. They said things like:
“Ah yes right. Forgot I’m a man. Just a man. Not a person or a human or a life, but a man. Just a man. Way to put me in my place!”

“I just looked up the definition of misogyny to make sure. No, I don’t hate women. So I wouldn’t consider [my piece] misogynistic.”

I find all this cultural obsession with gender objectionable to the point of boredom.

Rather than simply keep my mouth shut regarding my opinions—or ghettoizing those opinions to conversations where I can make certain I’m only being agreed with, a la Zambreno—I’ve decided to share them out of an obligation I feel toward radical openness.”

::: :::

Like Strickland, I’m writing this piece because of an obligation I feel towards radical openness. I don’t want to restrict my conversation to places where I know my opinions will be agreed with, like among Mr. Strickland’s ex-girlfriends. That’s why I wanted to write The Strickland Dildo. It’s an exploration of the cultural forces that enable things like The Zambreno Doll to exist.

 

II.

Garett Strickland looks exactly how I would expect him to. His author photo shows him slumped in a chair, holding a (fake?) gun and looking stoned. He looks like ninety percent of my male friends: scruffy hipsters who earnestly think that people want to hear about their taste in music, dudes who smoke weed all day, and insist that being 1/16 Native American means they’re not “really” white.

I Google him and instantly regret it. It’s exactly what he wants me to do.

::: :::

The evening after The Zambreno Doll is published, my doorbell rings. When I open it, I see that a small, brown package has appeared on the porch. Could it be? The Strickland dildo? The phallus itself?

I bring the package inside quickly. If it’s the dildo, I already know what I’m going to do with it: take mocking photos of it and post them online. I have a whole series planned out. First, I’ll get my prettiest girlfriends to hold it up and make a face like they’re going to be sick. Then I’ll put a little Santa hat on top of it. Finally, I’ll feed it to my neighbor’s dog.

I tear open the package but find no phallus.  Insteadi, it’s a set of twelve toy soldiers, the old-fashioned metal kind. I’m disappointed. I didn’t ask for these. I wanted a doll, or its equivalent. Why should Garett get one and not me?

But I know why. Because he’s had it all along. Because he didn’t have to ask. Tears fill my eyes. This is confirmation of a terrible reality.

::: :::

Lately, I’ve been sitting in on an undergraduate class on 19th century German philosophy. The class begins with Kant and concludes with Nietzsche’s On The Genealogy of Morality. I like Nietzsche, maybe more than I care to admit. I certainly like him more than anyone else in the class, even though the other people in the class are all twenty-year-old boys, and twenty-year-old boys have historically been Nietzsche’s primary audience.

I like Nietzsche because he understands cruelty. He knows that we need to be cruel and that we need to know that we are cruel. If we don’t see the pain on the Other’s face, we will destroy ourselves. I believe this is true.

But I don’t think that this paradigm applies to Garett, who just wanted to “put Kate in her place”—to make her feel bad so he could feel powerful. He felt so entitled to that power that he became angry when she exercised even the tiniest bit of agency. He implied that she needed to be hurt, that she needed him to hurt her. That’s why I’m comfortable writing things like, “cry harder, dweebus” or “your dick is gross and bad.”

::: :::

After a few days, I take out the toy soldiers again. Maybe I can do something with them—give them to a thrift store or homeless shelter.  I open the box and notice that the soldiers look different, somehow. I squint and lean closer. Suddenly, I realize what it is: each of them has a distinct and highly detailed face. How did I not see it before?

I pick one up and examine it. It’s Garett Strickland. I pick up another one. It’s Sigmund Freud. I pick up another one. It’s the kid from my writing workshop who only wrote stories about women getting murdered. I pick up another one. It’s the man who grabbed my ass the first time I rode the subway by myself.

By now, my heart is pounding. I check the rest of the soldiers and confirm: yes, I recognize all of them. Yes, yes, they’re all here. It’s time. It’s finally time. I know what I have to do.

I go into my bedroom and put on my hiking boots. Then I line up the metal soldiers in two neat rows and crush each one under my feet. Like I said before, I find this cultural obsession with masculinity objectionable to the point of boredom.

Massive People / 22 Comments
December 13th, 2013 / 7:04 pm

Logue and its fatherbrain David Fishkind

Screen shot 2013-12-11 at 10.50.33 AM

I failed several times to organize an in-person interview with my friend, writer David Fishkind. We web-chatted at length about drinks in the East Village of Manhattan. In the past, we had sometimes gone to…

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Random / 2 Comments
December 11th, 2013 / 11:58 am

Speaking Through

Late 2013

This tribute to anti-office poet-burnout Slash Lovering–who died on this day in 2004–continues indefinitely.

Word Spaces / 2 Comments
November 13th, 2013 / 3:41 pm

Prominent Automobiles in Bushwick Brooklyn

The author drives is a series of articles about automobiles by Erik Stinson.

MERCEDES S SERIES COUPE 2012 

I SEE THIS SHIT ON BUSHWICK AVE; NOTICE THE V12(?) ENGINE DECAL AND HOW FUCKING SMOOTH IT HOVERS AT THE CURB BELOW THE OLD GREYSTONES NEAR MYRTLE. IS IT A DRUG THING OR JUST A BAVARIAN STEEL LOVER, WHO WENT ALL IN? WHO KNOWS? WHO CARES? – IT’S A HEAVY PUSHED-OUT RIDE. YOU IMAGINE THE STREETLIGHTS BOUNCING OFF THE BUBBLE GLASS EVEN WHEN IT’S STANDING STILL.

CHRYSLER 300 2006-2014 (Above)

EVERY DAMN MODEL YEAR THIS ONE GETS MORE LEGIT. PEOPLE LOVE THIS CAR FOR IT’S BULK, I GUESS. THE WHOLE THING LOOKS HEAVY, SERIOUS, AND A LITTLE BIT BAT MOBILE. YOU SEE EM WITH THE MATTE BLACK RIMS. YOU SEE EM WITH THE AFTERMARKET BENTLY GRILL. THEY ROLL REAL SLOW AND PARK REAL NICE. JOHN VARVATOS EDITION WHO? I GUESS PEOPLE ROLL THROUGH IN THE DODGE VERSION OF THIS, THE CHARGER, BUT IT’S NOT REALLY MY PREFERENCE AND SEEMS WAY WAY LESS EMPIRE STATE OF MIND.

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Craft Notes & Roundup & Technology / 2 Comments
September 30th, 2013 / 1:35 pm

Vote for your favorite experience

I guess this post is about the illusion of choice, and the anxiety of it.

The two big news stories of the day, aren’t really stories, and don’t really matter, unless you’re some kind of power player in NYC politics, or someone trying to make a living by manufacturing iPhones in an industrial park in China.

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Random / 1 Comment
September 10th, 2013 / 5:14 pm

Because you missed it, Zach German and Adam Humphreys’ disquieting short film “Baseball” is now streaming at portable.tv (scroll down to read a review by Jimmy Chen). See me in the credits and in the deleted scene, to be released never. Full disclosure, portable.tv is the former employer of my horrifically terrible [unnamed] ex-roommate, whose writing and alleged Australian work visa make me want burn New York City to the ground and fight to repeal the first amendment.

Every day that I don’t give up writing completely feels amazing

I’m not one of those people who feels the need to write all the time, as you may have guessed, from reading my other shit on this website.

I frequently turn over the possibility of permanently ceasing all writing outside of my job. It’s not unusual. I think other contributors have mentioned this impulse. I’ve considered announcing this in some kind of horrifically boring final post. It’s obviously not a palatable idea, because who gives a shit? Certainly not someone similar myself, the self-audience, who is probably too lazy to every submit a single piece of writing to micro-press, let alone establish a relationship with an agent or editor. It doesn’t fit with the frozen vibe. I don’t fear rejection at all. I fear wasting people’s time. I fear over-sharing. I fear talking to an empty room.

Th end of publishing is kind of like a party thrown by a really unpopular kid.

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Craft Notes / 5 Comments
August 13th, 2013 / 1:35 pm

The Merger Of Ghosts

Penguin and Random House aside, it’s not unusual to witness the merger of two large companies – Publicis and Omicom this week, if regulators approve. These things happen, between competitors, in market spaces where the norm is already collusion, diffusion and consultancy.

Media companies and advertising agencies don’t provide value in simple or easily counted ways, though we are told that the services they bill are common, reasonable, or even essential to the operations of their clients, who actually make and distribute products. Mom and pop and factory floor.

Actually, in some cases client companies are as vaporous and high-minded as the agencies that provide ‘creative services’ or ‘brand management.’

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Behind the Scenes & Technology / 1 Comment
July 29th, 2013 / 11:35 am

IRL by Grant Singer, Patrik Sandberg, others

http://www.irlfilm.com/

It isn’t reactive or responsive. That would be another segment of media, another bunch of freaks. You freaks, maybe.

It’s preservative. Like, poison chemicals, shrinkwrap, electrical tape. Cool dairy at a Manhattan bodega. Expired?

OPEN on the horror of being young in New York City in 2012.

OPEN on contemporary nightsweats.

OPEN on a young starlet, Sky Ferreira. Cold dead eyes, perfect skin, broken mind, numb boyfriends.

This film is 15 minutes of shameless, turnt up dread feelings. Photography by Jason McCormick. Hair by Darine Sengseevong. Patrik, who used to do a radio show I listened to before I moved to the Bay Area, wrote it. Grant Singer, with an eye for dark beauty work and terrifyingly empty places, directed.

It’s gross, unrelenting, bleak.

It doesn’t read like a temping short or a paced feature. It reads like a commercial for death. It’s up on your screen for a few minutes, blasting. And you half-conciously consider what is being sold: fucked youth, the unmoored hyper-metropolitan self, art world teen egos grinding up against imagined fame and power, hardened late-20s lust.

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Film & Random / No Comments
June 27th, 2013 / 12:39 pm

Pretty Little Truthers

Pretty Little Liars is a show about the relationships between women. They are young women, living in a small town in Pennsylvania, on a southern California set. It resembles the Gilmore Girls set.

Recently, I find myself uninterested in any other type of show.

There are a series of murders. The outfits are really bad and you can buy everything you see at Macy’s.

I just don’t feel like there is much merit in trying to make art about men.

It’s been done to death. My girlfriend encourages me to watch Mad Men. She wants to see the actors act. I feel like the parts about advertising are funny and sad, I’m a reflected nonsense, when I watch that show. It calms me.

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I Like __ A Lot / 6 Comments
June 17th, 2013 / 2:14 pm

“HIS LAST DAYS AS AN ARTIST”

“HIS LAST DAYS

AS AN ARTIST”

Slash Lovering

60 min

[2011, partial, unpublished bootleg - Erik Stinson, 2013]

 

Characters

 

CARL – male, 29

LINDA – female, 24

ROMAN – male, 29, work friend of Carl

SOPHIE – female, 22, a reveler

 

1 EXT Bushwick, Monday night, in the quiet of the early

work week, walking from the train, then INT at CARL’s

apartment.

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Excerpts & Film / 3 Comments
June 14th, 2013 / 5:06 pm

Does HTML Giant have eras? Did it? Periods of time where different kinds of writing or types of contributors dominate?

Alt Lit Blog Post

Web Hype / 5 Comments
May 20th, 2013 / 10:42 am

Do you want to write a book that becomes a 3D movie?

Cost Per Impression: Anti-history of The Persuaders

Nobody really gives a shit about the history of adveriting. This isn’t a complaint. It’s a thesis.

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Behind the Scenes & Technology / 5 Comments
April 23rd, 2013 / 2:39 pm

PR Today, 1928: Vice Magazine in The New Yorker

There is this all-consuming article in the New Yorker about the frequently confusing, possibly acceptable hipster-media-capitalism of Vice Magazine (the TV show), in the current cultural context. The talk of the town seems to be that Vice has sold out better than anyone else, that not selling out is failing, and that authenticity is for the poor or the soon-to-be-rich. Progressive political will, funded by corporations, and fueled by boring white-guy-Brooklyn hedonism, is the only mindgame in town.

Enter Edward Bernays: the man behind the men behind the reason you feel something when you buy something. The guy who sold soft Freud to hard markets.

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I Like __ A Lot / 6 Comments
April 1st, 2013 / 1:39 pm

STEEP DREAM

ALL OVER THE NEW GESTURAL POETRY.

The Internet taught children to design themselves in a white space. Now, they are to create in that space. This burden. Laughter.

Appropriation was the first mimetic. The late remix, post-DJ culture of the 20whatevers sidevolved into a romance of the weird and origin-less. Repeat, offend, react. Horse eBooks, PT Cruiser, drugs, fetishes about whispering, shitting, looking into a new blank digital void. But it lasted only as long a generational breath. Weird Twitter rose and fell like a bird in a harsh wind.

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Craft Notes & Vicarious MFA / No Comments
March 26th, 2013 / 2:55 pm