December 23, 2008
In my file cabinet I have several folders dedicated to letters. There is a section for letters received, a section for unsent letters, another for half-finished letters, and one labeled 'unwritten letters' containing fragments of letter ideas.
In the spirit of the Unwritten Letter file here are a few of the unwritten blog entries I started over the last two years... partial ideas for posts. Here are a few I wish I had fleshed out. I can't recall writing most of these and have no idea how I was planning to finish them off.
You're directing Clash by Night, a B movie but things could be worse. Marilyn Monroe is starring. No need to push her down the stairs as you had done to Peter Lorre.
It's been twenty years since M, seventeen years since defying Goebbels and losing your wife to the Nazis. The Americans will come to know you for The Big Heat, but that's two years away and eight years after that you'll direct your last movie. A horror flick. For the next 16 years after that you'll try to make another film but will never will.
guy bullet pants: I'm gonna call that bitch Happy Meal.
guy puffy jacket: Grins is fine enough for me.
guy bullet pants: I got it. We call him Emoticon.
A modest proposal. It's not a stretch to say that museum websites are generally, terrible. They are over-designed or under-designed, are often overproduced, and generally lack the very thing people are coming to find within them- pictures, audio, and video of the items within the said museums. Instead of all the Smithsonian and MOMA and everyone else reinventing the wheel with each website, why not spend some money to license a version of flickr that can be customized for all museums. Include all the normal flickr-like features substituting institutions for users, but with organizational levels beyond mere commenting and single institution-set making. Give it depth. Allow for scholarly documents to be attached to images. Allow wiki-style editing of explanatory text as well as official texts. And allow connections to be made between objects/images. Allow users to curate collections, and allow any and all organizations that play by certain rules to join.
The best images I think are sensual, not sensual in the libidinous modern sense of the word, but in the original meaning of the word... that they provoke the senses and give us shorthand for experience... (Aside: Milton coined sensuous to avoid the sexual overtones that were attached to sensual, but sensuous was also soon co-opted as shorthand for infused w/ sex)... Sometimes all I need to get through the day is one great image, something to hang onto before I close my eyes at night. Here is today's image:
[there was no image]
I walked into the kitchen tonight and found my wife sitting alone at the table and upset. "What's the matter?" I asked. She tells me the story of 3 young friends of friends who died in a car accident, one was killed on impact, 2 others were burned alive while people tried in vain to rescue them. I noticed she was holding our new baby's socks. "You raise a child for twenty years and then THAT?" she said quietly.
Sometimes it takes half a lifetime to think of a retort. Twenty years ago today after a longish hike in the Welsh countryside I walked into a pub and met a man who said