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In 1997 Natalie Imbruglia, a preternaturally attractive Australian pop star, released "Torn", her only American hit. I first heard it when I found a promotional VHS of the video lying in the street. I assume it had been tossed there by an employee from a record store a block away.

This was the video.

A few things struck me about this video.

First, the moment which is clearly designed to encourage boys to kiss the screen in a mocking yet ultimately pathetic fashion. I tested it by showing it to a creepy nice guy colleague who responded exactly as anticipated. He then expressed mock rage over knowing such an unattainable perfect gamine hipster girl existed. Underneath the ironic fuming, however, was all too genuine resentment at women like that could be permitted to walk the earth without ever having to fuck him.

Second, the video occurred deep enough into the meta era that it deconstructs itself as it goes on, emphasizing how everything in it is a mere facade. By the end Natalie is the single genuine object, bopping around in the remains of a presentation which ended even before it was complete.

For Americans Imbruglia was a one hit wonder. In Australia, however, her career has spanned nearly two decades (mostly modeling and acting) and four albums.

In "Smoke" the last video off her first album Imbruglia was in a white void her very self struggling to remain tangible as the tune progressed.

In 2001, "That Day", the first single off her second album was advertised with this video:

As in the previous clips, Imbruglia addresses at the camera while the surround images are less than cooperative. This time, however, she is wandering down a dimly lit tunnel, vaguely menaced by faceless, shadowy forms who barely acknowledge her presence. It has a Stygian feel, a journey into the underworld, though at the end she walks into the light. Perhaps not the best imagery to use for a 2001 release, which may be why it was never shown stateside.

The first single off her third album, "Shiver" was visualized in a more dramatic fashion. With a spy themed action interrupting the direct camera address.

Again, however, the Imbruglia seems to be struggling against the video itself. She first appears burning her identity and wandering a field almost like a ghost, then engaged in an action packed escape from men who clearly mean her harm. By the end she is alone, pushing aside a box full of discarded personal documents in an apartment which vaguely resembles the one in her first video. As the camera pulls back, one thinks it's going to be another set, but it's just a doorway.

There's a video for her most recent hit single "Scars" in 2010, but it's not on YouTube as far as I can tell. This may be due to a contract dispute which has prevented the release of the album in the UK and US after the previous single tanked.

I'm imagining it starts a black screen in which Imbruglia's lips are briefly and barely sceen through a wash of static and digital glitches. Eventually the camera pulls back to reveal the black is a discarded leather jacket on the edge of some barren cliff. Nearby a few scuff marks that might be bootprints seem to lead off the edge.

POSTSCRIPT: The first unsuccessful single off her last album, Want, has a video in which Imbruglia picks up the camera and turns it on her self for sexytime rolling around, then casts it aside in gesture of meta-dismissal. Alas, it apparently did not work, despite having a one syllable title like nearly all her work.
24 April 2014 @ 12:04 pm
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24 April 2014 @ 12:02 pm
24 April 2014 @ 12:02 pm
24 April 2014 @ 09:25 am
That NY Time's reporter Adam Nagourney would not check when Cliven Bundy's family bought the ranch... Land deeds? Too tedious! Dusty! Irrelevant!
Mr. Bundy, whose family has grazed cattle here since they homesteaded in the 1870s, owes the government more than $1 million in grazing fees. He stopped paying after the bureau ordered him to restrict the periods when his herd roamed the 600,000-acre Gold Butte area as part of an effort to protect the endangered desert tortoise.

Would you believe "bought in 1948"?
24 April 2014 @ 07:29 am

bottom.jpgImage: Detail from Titania and Bottom by Fuseli

It's funny, I keep giving tarot readings where the Six of Coins plays a very pivotal role in someone's reading. It was the last card I wrote about for the Ohio Edit Reading the Tarot column, but it won't go to bed, the card keeps reappearing and making me think about it.

Here's how I described the card in my column:

Coins cards often have to do with money, but also simply value. Money is just one of the most obvious ways we express what we value. When I pull this card in someone else’s reading, I ask how they are expressing what they value. Do they value Chase Bank? If not, why are they putting their money there instead of in a local bank? Do they value the Christian fundamentalists who run Forever 21? If not, why do they have their clothing in their closets? Do they value the New Yorker worldview? If not, why are they subscribers?

The complaint comes, that it’s exhausting to think about where their money is going, the worthiness of the corporations they support, weeding through all of the other options that are out there. And yet, isn’t that why we are here? To live consciously? Not to zombie our ways through our entire existences? A Six of Coins card can draw our attention to our wallets, that place we shudder to contemplate, that place we want to be the most mindless because money pulls on our anxiety like nothing else. But it asks us — are our scales balanced?

And when I do readings now, it almost invariably shows up in the Advice position or in the Next Step position of my clients. And so I say to them: you have some accounting to do. Part of what the Six of Coins asks us is, who are we supporting with our money? How can we interrupt the flow of money to corporations we would rather not support? It's not about saving the world through shopping, it's about holding yourself accountable for your participation in the current system.

Six of Coins Reading List

Capital in the Twenty First Century by Thomas Piketty
A great book, an interesting thinker, and he deserves all of the attention he's been getting for this. I mean, you might need to interrupt your reading to vomit occasionally, when you realize that the reasonable modifications and regulations he's suggesting would never in a million years be enacted in the United States, not until Las Vegas turns into The Road from the lack of water and San Francisco resembles a field after a plague of locusts settle in, and maybe not even then. That's the downside of understanding a problem, though.

Gentrification of the Mind by Sarah Schulman
Schulman is very good not only on how cities are ruined by money but also by the aspiration for money, for marriage, for bland homogeneity. But I've written about this book before, extensively.

Monoculture by FS Michaels
Michaels lays down very simply how the only way we seem to express and measure value anymore is through money, and how that did not always used to be the case. Also, what that has done to our culture. It's a very brief book, one of those books that will take two days to read and then will change how you see everything in the world.

The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde
A lot of my friends right now are struggling. Their work isn't supporting them, and so they worry they are failures. Some are having to leave the cities where they live, because they've been priced out, and they don't know where to go. Hyde helps us to remember how to value our own work, even if the world is not valuing it in the form of cash. This is a lesson I have to personally learn over and over and over.

24 April 2014 @ 08:56 am
"Study of Pot Smokers' Brains Shows That MRIs Cause Bad Science Reporting"

(Warning, crank site, full of bad logic and counterrational leaps. And they also make one of the very same mistakes they are complaining about: How do they know the MRIs *cause* bad science reporting, instead of just being correlated with bad science reporting in at least one case? But still, very funny.)
24 April 2014 @ 07:35 am
Happy Birthday to daedala!
24 April 2014 @ 08:04 am
The Continuing Adventures of Mr and Ms House Finch. Mr House Finch says "I fart in your general direction!"

Tail Up
24 April 2014 @ 08:00 am
24 April 2014 @ 12:00 pm
24 April 2014 @ 12:00 pm
  • Wed, 13:19: Another hummingbird, doing an impression of a '70s desk toy: Ducking Bird
  • Wed, 13:44: Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and the usually vile Sun has come up with an amusing take on Shakespeare:
  • Wed, 13:56: RT @marypcbuk: 3.1% of users had Windows Phone 8.1 the first week it was available
  • Wed, 14:41: It's, it's... A cross between Flappy Bird and 2048? I don't even: (via @andrewducker)
  • Wed, 17:47: Tweaked colours for my Twitter profile to coordinate with the new hummingbird image header.
  • Wed, 18:48: Updating office server straight from Server 2012 to 2012 R2 Update. What could go wrong? :-)
  • Wed, 19:16: Thing I just found on the Surface touch keyboard: swipe up on a symbol to get its shifted state. Nifty.
  • Wed, 19:25: OK, that's my server back. Just a couple of minor permissions tweaks to handle.
  • Wed, 20:24: Microsoft missed a trick not calling WP8.1's new social features the Social Extensibility Library Framework Internet Enhancement Service.
  • Thu, 10:59: Updating a pen from a tablet. Oh, this living in the future gets so topsy-turvy at times.
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24 April 2014 @ 12:00 pm

Original post on Dreamwidth - there are comment count unavailable comments there.
24 April 2014 @ 06:14 am

You can get a translation by clicking the CC at the lower right.

Kazunori Asada created Chromatic Glass, an app which makes colors that some people have trouble seeing show up better.

Asada's Brighter and Bigger app, which uses a smart phone for magnification, doesn't seem to be well known in English, but it's available in English. A fast check turned up other magnifying apps, and I don't know whether his is better. This review doesn't mention any apps which have magnification for distant objects, which is something Asada's app does. Asada's app also has optimization for different vision diseases.

A while ago, I noticed that Japanese color printing was unusually good, and wondered whether color blindness was less common there. It turns out that it is, but the difference is 1 in 20 Japanese men have color-blindness vs. 1 in 12 Americans men, which doesn't seem like enough to affect a culture.

The video has a world-wide map of color-blindness prevalence (doesn't specify type) at 2:52. It's color-coded.

Asada wrote the piece about van Gogh possibly being color blind.

This entry was posted at Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.
24 April 2014 @ 05:39 am
Happy Birthday daedala & desert_vixen

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
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24 April 2014 @ 05:00 am
April 24 is Wetlands Day.

On this day in history:

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24 April 2014 @ 11:00 am
A woman on Jezebel is bragging about giving head for seven minutes. Meanwhile one of my readers once wrote in and said she gave head for two hours. This begs the question - at what point - if ever - do you give up on sucking cock or eating pussy if the person hasn't gotten off yet?

Poll #1965674 Head
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 38

What Is The Longest Amount Of Time You'd Give Head For Before Giving Up?

View Answers
Five minutes
3 (8.6%)
Seven minutes
0 (0.0%)
15 minutes
13 (37.1%)
Half hour
6 (17.1%)
9 (25.7%)
Two hours
1 (2.9%)
3 (8.6%)
24 April 2014 @ 12:00 am

"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
24 April 2014 @ 12:00 am

"Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do."