Wednesday, September 29, 2010

september to october


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Osborn Design

Not buying a pair of Osborn shoes at BK Flea is my biggest regret of the summer...okay, maybe that's a bit melodramatic but I passed up getting a pair of the raddest shoes I've ever seen!

Osborn Design is located in Guatemala. The shoes are completely handmade with fair trade and locally sourced materials. The company has strong ethics rooted in the belief that it is important to know where your materials are coming from. The co-founder Aaron Osborn's family actually owns and runs the biggest orphanage in Guatemala.

"Osborn's vertically integrated manufacturing practice sets them apart, establishing a work environment that is sweat-shop free, worker driven and brand focused. Each shoe is signed by its maker, as a testament to the sense of pride for the maker, as well as its wearer."

Early birthday present to me?

Agas & Tamar

I fell completely in love with Agas & Tamar's rings this summer when unassumingly walking by their Mott Street store. The chunky, somewhat unfinished roughness of the metal with the smooth stones is funky, yet classy.

The Social Network

Originally published by The Johns Hopkins University News-Letter

The concept of Facebook is known by everybody today. But how the addicting Internet community came to infiltrate nearly everyone’s lives is mostly unknown. The Social Network, directed by David Fincher, aims to reveal the story behind the birth of Facebook and uncover the creator of it all, Mark Zuckerberg.

Though the film was heavily advertised before its release, and the trailer seems to promise a melodramatic story of fame, money and their consequences, The Social Network delivers far more than just that. Instead of an over glamorized account of Zuckerberg’s rise to Internet monopoly, the film offers a darker, sympathetic portrait of the world’s youngest billionaire, albeit not the most flattering depiction. Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Zuckerberg, finally breaks his character mold of an awkward but funny teenager, and performs as a snarky, socially inept genius.

As a sophomore at Harvard, Zuckerberg gets attention for being an incredible computer programmer, and three upperclassmen ask him for his help on a website idea they have – a site that allows Harvard students to create profiles and connect with one another. Zuckerberg agrees to help them but delays their project and creates instead. With the help of his best friend, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) they launch a website that grows faster and becomes more popular than they could have hoped for. It’s the coolest thing there is.

Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin’s Zuckerberg isn’t concerned with the money the site could make, but instead with its social popularity. From the beginning of the film Zuckerberg has a tunnel vision obsession with Harvard’s “Final Clubs” and belonging to a higher social echelon. Eisenberg’s eyes widen at the idea of becoming popular and his few smiles (really they’re more like smirks) are seen only when he knows he’s “made it.” He’s ready and willing to become famous. Enter Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), the creator of Napster, who with appletinis and stories of stardom and billions of dollars sells Zuckerberg, whisking him away from Harvard and into Silicon Valley.

Just as the audience is being swept away with the clubs, music, and promise of success, Fincher takes them back to reality, more precisely into one of three conference rooms where Zuckerberg is in the midst legal deposition and being sued. Within these scenes lies the heart and tragedy of the film. Here it is learned that Zuckerberg has betrayed his best (and only friend), Eduardo. Here Eisenberg is stone cold, answers questions with brutal honesty and haughtiness. Garfield looks at him pleadingly with wet eyes, but Zuckerberg remains in a darker light, devoid of emotion, an almost expressionless face.

Is it surprising though that a person so completely disengaged created a website that both connects and isolates people?

The pacing of the film is extraordinarily zippy, never lagging too long on one scene, and often cutting quickly to juxtapose Zuckerberg’s computer programming fixation with the world that surrounds him. Take an early scene in the movie that cuts between Zuckerberg creating a website that rates Harvard women’s “hotness” and a party of booze, bowties, and half-naked women at one of the University’s clubs. This is the world he ultimately wants to belong to, but never really can.

Sorkin’s writing is quick, biting, and smart. The dialogue moves from the lofty tones of Harvard students to the manipulative monologues of Parker to the bitter, hateful Eduardo to sardonic Zuckerberg seamlessly. Sorkin displays great emotion in his writing, which is often performed subtly but powerfully by the actors.

The film is actually so well paced that the two hours go by as fast as one. The audience is struck by the ending and epilogue so quickly that it comes across as far too abrupt and even disconcerting. There is hardly any resolution. And maybe that’s the point. Given the popularity and expansion Facebook is still experiencing there is no clear ending.

This is not a cautionary tale and is free of moralistic undertones. It is instead an open-ended commentary on the role that online social networks play in life today. There is an inherent power and danger within the Internet, but how it will manifests itself is unknown. Perhaps it is a question too great for Fincher, so he leaves the viewer refreshing their webpage waiting to see what’s next.

The Social Network releases nationally on Friday October 1st.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants.”
Bob Dylan

(the sunday club)

Evolution of the Man Bag

First it was the man purse, then the messenger bag. Sometimes even a duffle bag. The idea of a bag for a man who carries more than his wallet and cell has created numerous complications and discussions. When a briefcase is out of the question, men struggle to find the proper accessory to compliment their style while maintaining some semblance of masculinity. Which brings me to the newest trend: man totes. Women all cherish their totes and usually have a favorite. They're great for using as grocery bags, gym bags, beach bags, everyday bags, or even as school bags. But when a man hikes up his canvas tote around his shoulder and struts around I get a bit confused. Have straight men embraced the utilitarian ease of the tote too? Has the man purse gained a hipster flair? And is American Apparel responsible for creating this unisex wave?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dumb Bandz

Possibly the most annoying and dumbfounding trend of the summer that has pushed its way into September is undoubtedly "Silly Bandz." Silly Bandz are simply thin rubber bands that resemble animals, words, and an assortment of other shapes. At some point these neon bands of plastic became extremely popular for kids to collect and wear on their wrists. Soon children were trying to collect them all, wear as many as possible, and even trade some with their friends.

The point of rubber bands in different shapes though makes no sense because when stretched to wrap around something (remember, their original function is utilitarian) they lose all design. But kids will be kids, and we all remember our own generation's bizarre and pointless trends. Yet somehow Silly Bandz climbed the age ladder, something most trends that start with children don't end up doing.

Now teenagers, 20-somethings, and even adults wear these bands (even more than one at a time!). Why!? They don't look good and are far too childish. Should we go back to collecting stickers too? Can someone please tell me what is going on with this fad? Where did it come from and when will it go away? And with more and more research showing the dangerous effects of low-grade plastic is really a good idea that people are covering their wrists in this cheap excuse for a cultural wave?



Back from my August hiatus with a goodie from DJ Tiesto.
More more more to come this week!