Archive for the ‘Pop Culture’ Category

Feeling the Force

September 30, 2006

Am back in Chennai, India and have about a month of free time to do whatever I please, before I head off and spin the account planning turntable at McCann Erickson Singapore. What better time to catch up on things that you have been planning to do for sometime, but never got to do. And for me one of those things was watching the Star Wars series from Episode I to ‘The Return of the Jedi’. It’s the right time to recapture the technological and storytelling grandeur of the sci-fi epic saga by watching it in chronological order.

I just finished Episode I: The Phantom Menace and in fact sort of liked it way better than I did when I first watched it on the big screen back in 1999. I think the superb DVD quality and getting to watch it plonked in the comforts of your brand new lazy boy chair gives it a new dimension. And you can put subtitles on (when Jar-Jar Bings opens his mouth) and go back and forth between scenes at your own whim and fancy. Catch bits of dialogue you missed, get to watch the podracing sequence three times in a row and catch up on some amazing behind the scenes featurettes.

And before I sign off here’s some Star Wars wisdom from the hero and mentor of Episode I, Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn.

Feel

Focus

And last but not the least…

Force

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Nerd Defined

September 30, 2006

Nerd Defined

[Source: John Leland’s book ‘Hip: The History’]

Keep on Trekking

August 27, 2006

Star Trek Vegas Celebration
The Trekkies are celebrating their 40th year of existence on this planet. According to a Washigton Post article, it has gone from its original mandate of “To boldly go where no man has gone before,” to capture the hearts and minds of some 250 million souls out there through six television series and 10 movies. It was first aired on Spetember 8, 1966.

The biggest celebration was a 3-day gala event at the Las Vegas Hilton. For three days, Elvis got sidelined as one thousand and one flying Spocks descended down on Vegas.

Across the Atlantic there’s this intriguing Star Trek crop maze in York, England.

Star Trek Maze

Creepiest Advertising Icons

August 11, 2006

FedEx GuyThe cock n’ bull pun-intending guys at the hilarious YesButNoButYes.com has all sorts of wierd n’ creepy top ten listings. For starters here’s the top ten creepiest advertising icons of all time. My personal favorite is the FedEx man who is ranked #6. Check out the site and please beware of content of the nature of tasteless nudity and explicit verbal fecundity. Of course what else do you expect from a site that promotes itself as a place “where good taste and humour are a contradiction in terms, like a chaste whore”.

More Comic Sans Hatred

August 7, 2006

Comic Sans Strip
Apparently there is more hatred towards the font Comic Sans than we thought. Previously, I had blogged about a Flickr pool dedicated to preventing the ugliness of comic sans usage in public places. Today, I stumbled on this whole site dedicated to the movement of putting comic sans to rest.

Jessica Helfand at the Design Observer has this interesting piece aptly called ‘The Global Curse of Comic Sans’.

Art I’d like to make…

July 29, 2006

Floppy Space Invader

Being a Space Invader fan myself, this art piece of the Invader made from old 5″ floppy disks is what I would have enjoyed or looked forward to making by myself. Alas the idea didn’t occur to me, but to this dude in Berlin. Besides I trashed away all my old floppies ages back. Two damn lousy reasons why I’m confined to sit and admire someone else’s creativity.

Dave Chappelle’s Block Party Posters

July 20, 2006

The Michel Gondry directed live show hip-hop comic masterpiece of Dave Chappelle and his buddies on-stage Brooklyn repertoire is out on DVD (and I’ve been scrounging like a maniac through the video stores of Chennai to get my hands on one. No luck yet!!).

Went to the funky site for the movie and they have these cool posters, which are a part of a poster design contest put by the movie promoters. What a brilliant idea to tap into and showcase some of the raw design talent out there. Here’s my top three favorites from the funky poster bunch.

Block Party 2

Block Party 1

Block Party 3

Four Lads and a Coincidence

July 6, 2006

Beatles - Let It Be

Blur - Best of Blur

Gorillaz - Demon Days
Is this a coincidence or what? Or absolute album cover design plagiarism?

But I kind of like the three covers. They are brilliant in their own way for the era of music they depict. It sort of shows a musical as well as technological and design evolution of sorts. The Beatles from the swinging sixties era to Blur’s Britpop blurs to Gorillaz remix animation gung-ho. As a matter of fact I like all three covers for whatever reasons it may be. One instance where plagiarism or the magic of borrowed ideas does work.

Matryoshka Revival

March 10, 2006

The Matryoshka doll is a cultural Russian export to the world. I saw a whole shelf of various Matryoshka’s for sale at the Princeton University Art Center Store. Kind of made me rewind to other instances when I had come across the Matryoshka theme lately. The Matryoshka seems to pop in different settings. Here are three instances of them from mainstream culture that I’ve seen.

The Matryoshka doll concept was the main theme in the brilliantly concepted Smirnoff vodka ads done by JWT London. The whole campaign based on the Smirnoff Triple Distill theme is one of the most exciting and brilliantly executed TV ad campiagns I can recall from the last two years.

Secondly, and more surprising bit was how the Matryoshka popped up on skateboards from the British skateboard company Blueprint Skateboards. It’s a splendid collection of boards as you can see below.

matryoska-boards

Here’s my Princeton University Matryoshka sighting.

Matryoshka

The Killer Gerbil

March 5, 2006

gerbil1

gerbil2

gerbil3

All the way from Singapore comes these kick ass Killer Gerbil character called Munny. Killer Gerbil is a graffiti artist based in Singapore who’s done some amazing work based on the Killer Gerbil, Munny and other themes. I found these guys quite wicked and enticing. Munny is for sale and part of the proceeds goes to a charity in Singapore.