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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Off to New York City

I'm off to New York on Monday morning to present my show THE R.I.T. STUFF! at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art MOCCA Monday session. The poster is on an earlier blog entry, but I'll enclose it again anyway.

I'm flying down on Monday morning with one of the current seniors (who will speak to the audience) and staying in the Herald Square Hotel on 31st Street, a very appropriate one for cartoonists (but more about that later.)

I'll have a long entry once I'm back, so stay tuned. (I prefer this spelling.)

Friday, January 26, 2007

When you're up your up, and when you're down you're down...

And when you're only halfway up you're neither up nor down!

After some finagling and tweaking, the new site is up and running. You can view the shameless plug for PREPARE TO BOARD! here.

It doesn't run if you don't have Flash 8 installed, so I am going over it with my advisor Chris Jackson and reformatting in Flash 7.

The project was animated in After Effects 6.5. I've just bought AE7 since I have to make another movie to graduate, and the program's too different. I will be again working with Chris to make this thing look pretty good. Grand to hear that they have a 'fog setting' though I prefer to make my own in Painter and import the levels.

anyway, I'll have a good long post once I am back from New York next Tuesday. The "R.I.T STUFF" show premieres, and ends, on Monday night at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art. If anyone is reading this, and wants to come, the museum show is free that night and I guarantee that you will like what you see. I curated the show and picked funny and entertaining films from three years of the RIT animation program.

The only other real news is the shocking lack of a nomination for Joanna Quinn's DREAMS AND DESIRES for a short animation Oscar. The woman is a BRILLIANT filmmaker and animator, she is long overdue for an award, and her work is so obviously better than anything else out there...what can I say except that there's something pretty scwoowy going on awound here.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Goofing off today

Now if this works, something called "Meez" from will load here.

It was an interesting experience. Most of the animation is not very good. I liked this dance, especially the way she appears to 'brush off' the snake.

H. L. Mencken and the Smart Set

Henry Louis Mencken could never exist in the 21st century. He would not approve of it. But he'd be proud to see that his most cynical Twentieth Century comments and analysis of the behaviour of the 'booboisie' reached full fruition in the new millennium.

Mencken's best known for the (misquoted) "No one ever lost money by underestimating the taste of the American public."

(He originally did not specify a nationality.)

Here's a Mencken quote from the 1920s that needs no commentary:
"The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre -- the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron. "

One of Mencken's most famous articles proves George S. Kaufman's adage that 'satire is what closes on Saturday night'.
In 1917 a 'history of the bathtub' appeared in the NEW YORK EVENING MAIL. It was written by H. L. Mencken and intended as a humorous column.
It's still being quoted as fact ninety years later, despite all Mencken's protestations that he made everything up.

Satire today is on the level of Sascha Baron Cohen's Borat. This sort of ethnic satire is hardly new. Ethnic humor was popular in the early Twentieth Century as immigrants flooded the USA and attempted to learn American mores, manners, and the English language. Montague Glass' POTASH AND PERLMUTTER (1910) was an affectionate look at Jewish garment district workers, told in their own language by one who knew them. Finley Peter Dunne's Irish bartender MR. DOOLEY is still quoted by CNN a hundred years later.

Mr. Dunne/Dooley and Mr. Mencken would all have interesting things to say issues affecting the present century. It's instructive to note that so much of what they wrote about the last one still applies today.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose