Hannah Montana Wildhack

(apologies to the late Kurt Vonnegut for the latter part of the name)

Idea for a TV series: 15 year old female pop star lives large, graces the world's stages, and is managed by loving parents, both former country singers. Massive corporation has a line of toys based on her and millions of girls buy her records and dolls and read about her in the gossip mags. She has a secret identity, however, as an online Goth and troll, who makes extremely difficult techno "art" music and goes on "tech art" websites and debates with geek artists from all over the world. As the troll she rejects corporate values, "family values," and conspicuous consumption, and is a hero to a large number of alienated boys and girls and even adults who do not suspect her true age. Her online fans are not as great in number as her "push media" fans but the former are more intellectually influential. In the first year of the series she starts a viral campaign on the Net to ridicule and "weaken the brand" of her media self. Will her parents and company bosses find out who is behind the campaign?

Hannah Montana Wildhack: Catch the Buzz

Twitter-influenced dream

Had a Borgesian dream this morning. My day job was sitting around a table with a group of co-workers writing one sentence descriptions of every present and past employee of the company that had hired us. In addition to the descriptions we had to draw an accurate portrait of each employee's face. Working from photos was OK, and we had piles of those at our elbows. We were expected to produce about six text-and-picture combos a day, so it was kind of a sweatshop. Except no one was caught up on their quota; people were constantly getting up from the table and goofing off. During one such "break" I perused several of the file cabinets in the room (the cabinets stretched to infinity, natch). The cabinets were jammed with folders of past employee dossiers such as the ones we were producing. I was admiring the drawing styles, going back further and further in time from the present, with the styles becoming more and more archaic. Some looked like 1920s newspaper sketches, and before that, engravings. I felt I was learning something by looking at how the earlier faces were drawn.

"I Don't Watch These Things, I Just Study Them"

Ha ha, after reading about the Errol Morris non-controversy ginned up by New York Times, was checking out his Times-hosted blog, which is intermittent but extremely wordy. This installment includes a hilarious exchange between the filmmaker and "Dan Levin, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University" who has been studying continuity errors in movies. As a test case for such errors Levin points to Luis Bunuel's employment of two actresses to play the same woman in That Obscure Object of Desire. Some people evidently don't notice the switch. Although Levin has shown the film to experimental test subjects, he admits to Morris that he fast-forwarded through it himself "because he is generally not a Bunuel fan" and because "the male-female thing is so aggressive and negative." That's great--fast forward scholarship. Elsewhere in the post Morris tells us he prefers one of the film's actresses to the other, so the substitutions "drove him crazy" last time he watched it, but he coyly doesn't tell us which actress he prefers. (Carol Bouquet is the more magnetic and "obscure" of the two--the other, √Āngela Molina, looks like a last minute substitute, which she was. What's the big secret?)

History of Science (Corner)

Worth a look: a recombinant history of science told with science fiction book covers and poetically misinformative captions, by Molly Lambert at This Recording. Said misinformative captions are links to Lambert's previous musings on science, which occasionally devolve into musings on current celebrities.

(Had never seen this Wyndham Kraken cover before. The sublime, Rockwell Kent-ish illustration perfectly captures the first alien attack from the oceans. These Panther Lovecraft covers were also new to me and pretty cool. Seldom are Old Ones depicted with such jittery intensity as in the illustration on the left.