Tag Archives: art

Comedy

Friggin everyone loves to laugh. Even observatory domes.

Friggin everyone loves to laugh. Even observatory domes.

Dear readers, you all know I love to laugh. Almost as much as “hanging out with friends.” I’m fascinated by comedians; they occupy an extra special place in my heart of hearts. Let me share a thought I had about them.

Observation

There are virtually no good comedians under the age of 35.

I can’t find a single widely-known comedian whom I admire that is not 12 years older than I. I was in first grade, they were in their senior year of high school, if not already graduated. A sample (this also serves as an abridged list of my comedy heroes):

I could go on. Notice that even the “young” comedians — comedians whose primary audience tends to be young — are at the very least entering middle age.

Why?

What gives with the 19-year-old doctors, CEOs, and pop stars? The media love these wunderkind and dangle their success before us like we should have worked harder in school. But there is a difference. I think there is something intrinsic to comedy that is much more resistant to this kind of fluke. In no way, shape, or form can the media make a comedian. Enough plays on the radio will make any song with a beat catchy. But a joke just gets older and more stale. Something about humor demands perception and experience. Practice and study of the mechanics of the craft can only augment talent and exposure to life.

What really strikes me about these specialists who have been writing and thinking for years, is the material that actually makes it to our ears is relatively very limited. As if all those years attempting original, humorous thought netted only a few hours of stories worthy of public presentation. Presented and appreciated so casually! A joke, a laff. No wonder comedians are so humble; some part of them is aware of this brutal inefficiency.

And so I think it must go with any experience-driven occupation. Building on this post, youth does not favor the designer, the producer, the director.

Appendix

As with all claims, there are exceptions. Dave Chappelle had an early break with Half Baked. Tim and Eric are 34. Aziz Ansari is only 27 and he is a little past up-and-coming. Maybe it’s just a matter of getting discovered. Maybe it’s because the comedian stands alone, whereas the pop star is almost always backed by a team of producers and creative staff. Or maybe it’s because there’s just no rushing a good joke.

SILT: Canvas/SVG, jQuery, LESS update

Cover art for my latest mix on boroboro.com. Instead of just photos I'll probably do more stuff like this, as it is fun and enticing.

Whew, a little bit longer than expected between updates, but the reasons for this are soon to be told. First, some things:

  • For my next work project, I’m having to visualize and lay out semi-complex graphs (DAGs, as far as I can discern). I started looking at a Flash-based kit for a similar project in 2008, but these days Canvas-based solutions like the Javascript InfoVis Toolkit are popping up.
    But, as I soon learned, Canvas isn’t really the right tool for this job. the right way to go seems to be SVG, despite iffy browser support. This fantastic article by the Opera browser team has me thinking I’ll use Graphviz+dot+SVG+jQuery. I’m excited and I’ll probably write about it again the future.
  • Speaking of jQuery, I’m learning me all the JavaScript tricks by looking directly at the jQuery source. Nothing like a lean, mean piece of code to teach oneself The Right Way. Reminder: don’t forget to update to jQuery 1.4, which has been a dream so far.
  • LESS is still treating me right; did some rapid development recently, and it worked gloriously. Some observations:
    • One issue I had with LESS recently was getting the mixin syntax working with IE’s filter syntax. The equal signs throw the compiler off. I was doing terrible IE things because I was doing cross-browser pure CSS gradients.
    • I use the LESS –watch option to achieve incron-like effects when dealing with small CSS projects. Unfortunately the –watch option means having to start lessc before doing work (not a big deal) and having to monitor it for when you have errors in your file (it pauses and waits for a return key, kind of a big deal).
    • I just read about less.js, a javascript implentation done by the LESS dudes for on-the-fly, in-browser LESS action, and plenty of new features. Here’s the github page. It’s due the end of this month, but I’m in no hurry.

And if you’ve been missing me, listen to more mixes. Two up since the last Superdrivel edit, a downtempo one and an uptempo one.

Photography Hosting Strife

I realized with disgust that, having written a post about photography, I was more obligated than ever to find a picture to attach to this post. This is a totally random shot I got from the PayPal X Innovate conference, currently available on my Flickr account.

I take pictures. Normally, I process them, and stash them away on hard drives, only to post a few select shots some weeks later. But lately people have been wanting me to take pictures and put them up for public viewing post haste. Facebook is utterly unmentionable, that goes without saying; butchering photos with a sickening amount of compression and resizing to 614px on the long side. I have a Flickr account (it feels way cleaner and more respectable than DeviantArt), but I really dislike Flickr’s interface when it comes to sets (and the “All Sizes”/sizing thing is horrid). SmugMug is better but still not that good for my purposes. Flickr has a nice community and clean, if not very usable, interface. I just feel bad using it for an all-purpose photodump.

So I’ve been thinking about starting to use Picasa Web as my photodump for large sets of images. To me, Picasa feels pretty amateur, but at least others can easily navigate forward/backward, zoom-in, do other NORMAL things. I have frequently had to show others how to do this stuff with Flickr. What solutions have you all found? Anyone else run into the angst of diluting their portfolio with obligatory images? Does my Flickr portfolio/Picasa photodump solution sound sound?

New Mix on boroboro

For those of you who haven’t caught on, or don’t love music/me enough to subscribe, I put a new mix on boroboro.com.

It is undoubtedly my best one so far, which doesn’t say much, but I can definitely say that it is the most cleverly named.

I drew some pictures

Here they are.