Friday, June 26, 2009

My Latest Carnal Lust

Stuck in traffic on the way home from Venice, NPR nattering on, as always, I heard wonderful music from this great British chorale group, Stile Antico (which means 'ancient style').It was from their latest album, Song of Songs.

In general I love Renaissance and Medieval chants, but what makes this album extra wonderful/delicious/rapturous is that all of songs are renditions of the Biblical book, Songs of Solomon. For those of you who don't know, this "controversial" book is a collection of love poems from King Solomon to . . . a woman. Scholar and scriptorians love to intellectualize this book, justifying it with allegory and sexual politics, but really, it is the pretty explicit, wanton poetry of a hot-blooded man. Isn't it great?!!

So Jews and Christians read it in church and synagogue, sing songs about it, etc.

The songs Stile Antico has chosen are particularly wanton and beautiful, engaging in wonderful "conversation" through song.

What is special about Stile Antico is they don't use a conductor! They stand in a semi circle and look to each other and listen to each other for cues! What a wonderful parallelism to the subject matter they are singing about . . . .

I just love this music! It is this wonderful marriage of the ether of spirituality with the earthiness of carnal/aural pleasure (aural being auditory). I can think of few things more sublime than to perhaps make love to this beautiful music (overshare?). Sigh I will have to settle for some dark chocolate and wine for now, but I am definitely going to get this album!!

Check it here, yo.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

. . . but Women Find New Ways To Rock It

I wanted to share this video, the AdAge site makes it a bitch to embed, much less link videos. So you can click here to link to the story that links you to the video (lame, I know!).

The first half is a little yawn-tastic, but the second half Carrie really talks about how we can dimensionalize Twitter in a great way to really create a conversation and community.

Basically what she did was assume the identity of Peggy (from the hit TV show MadMen) on Twitter and started tweeting about "her life" as Peggy. It was great! People with interest in the show started following her and she started to pick up the identities of other characters and micro blog about their lives, creating heightened drama and interactivity with the show.

The idea is not exactly crazy new. It's basically fan fiction, and it takes that kind of fan fervor to invest in it to make an interesting feed.

What Carrie is trying to do is capitalize on this by starting up an agency and offering similar services for other shows and entertainment clients. She started out as an enthusiastic fan and is looking at making this into a sellable product.

Women. Always so brill and creative. Always coming up with such great new ideas to bring human dimension to really dry stuff.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Men Tweet Loudest . . .

. . . territorial claim? Attracting female-feathered-friends?

In a Harvard Business School study this month, HBS found that men seem to be much more vigorous users of Twitter than women, going against the "long-standing" social media tradition of women as the power players.

This actually makes perfect sense to me, and is something I assumed already, because of three big reasons:

1) Nature of content

Twitter is not about really elaborate connections that women favor on Facebook/MySpace where you can see dynamic pages of photo and story content, they're terse updates and generally connections to news.

According to HBS "the top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets . . . on a typical online social network, the top 10% of users account for 30% of all production".

Why? Because typical social networking is about sharing, having a conversation, which is appealing to women. Twitter does not really foster a "conversation", it is very alpha-male driven; "I am an expert, listen to me."

Which leads me to . . .

2) Twitter is used more by industry windbags

This fits in part with the inherent difference between the two platforms. Business people aren't very interested in tagging people in photos, taking part in cute surveys, etc., but they are very used to the veritable ticker-tape flow of information present on Twitter. While one platform is seen as meaningful social connection, the other has very streamlined value as focused information-mining.

This actually reminds of an experience I recently had: I was at a Sunday brunch populated mostly by young Hollywood artists, writers, and socialites (?). The topic of social networking came up and this circle of mostly women expressed confusion at the real use/benefit of Twitter, meanwhile one of the other men and I kept trumpeting its wonderful use for business, marketing, information-gathering, and trend-following. This other gentleman was the owner of a prominent downtown LA restaurant. We eventually went off on our own to relish in each other's social media genius and merrily discuss business strategy in the developing downtown LA area.

So business people like Twitter, and as we know, in spite of increased gender equality, the world of business is still dominated by men, especially when we are thinking of the main Tweeters as being source of information/authority, so it makes sense that Twitter is dominated by men.

To further propel this idea that Twitter is for business people (aka men) is the median age of Twitter users, which according to Pew Internet is 31, and this other article which shows us an even more in-depth picture of Twitter use across age. So users are not kids posting about parties. They're grown-ups talking shop.

3) Everyone's experiences are just like mine!

I looked over the people that I follow on Twitter and realized they were almost all male.

Friday, June 12, 2009

G.O. Pink?

I think one of the Republicans makes a very strong point in the last minute of this clip.

He contends that gays should be interested in having their interests represented/courted by both parties, rather than having their support taken for granted by one party and ignored by the other.

Ultimately, I am suspicious of hegemonies of thought in any direction. I believe that this is the path to ignorance, intolerance, and ineffective solutions.

This is one of the reasons why I initially registered as a Democrat when I lived in Utah. I considered myself an Independent, but I was frustrated by the preponderance of Republicans in Utah that made the interests of Utah completely marginalized in the national political scheme.

A great example of this is the controversial establishment of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996. Democrats (Clinton in particular) knew they could make this "bold" move for the environment on Utah land because they had nothing to lose. Utahns elect Republicans and that is that. Republicans failed to rally behind dissident Utahns because they know that no matter what, Utah votes with the GOP.

*photo courtesy

It is interesting to have lived in two places of extreme self-righteousness and moralism: Utah and San Francisco. I wonder if both Utah Mormons and gays are wedding themselves to a political ideology based on one or two social issues rather than considering whole platforms based on fiscal policy, foreign policy, and educational agendas.

While I, personally, consider myself a Democrat and find the present state of the GOP to be morally and ideologically repugnant, I would value seeing more gay Republicans. I know that in the diverse community that is the LGBT community, we cannot all possibly think the same way on education, taxation, state's rights, etc.

As for the GOP, I would expect them to welcome LGBT members. Any true Republican would find this Bush-Cheney era of invasive government and evangelical moralizing bizarre. As long as you're for free-market big business "capitalism", against big government, and love guns why should they care who you fuck?

So this weekend of L.A. Pride I am going to be on the look out for these Log Cabins dudes and dudettes (sic?). I really want to include some of them in my social circle. Maybe I'll invite some of them over for dinner. I am just glad we don't believe in having guns in the house, because Shane is going to be pissed!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Vera Wang Cutting A Rug?

I know I am past-due on blogging on my recent trip back East, but as I was thumbing through my on-line version of New York Magazine this morning, I came across this story that made me stop dead in my tracks and rush to my office du blogging (the couch by our terrace).

full article click here

Apparently the fashion designer famous for must-have wedding gowns, Vera Wang, is going to take a serious scissor-stab at her brand by competing on the D(C?)-List celebrity dance show, Dancing with the Stars.

My fellow fashionista foil, Tai, and I were aghast.

It's not that Dancing with the Stars is really THAT awful. It has brought back to our pop-culture consciousness such greats as Mario Lopez

Marie Osmond.

It's just that Vera is SO wrong for DWTS! She probably has the chops to do it. I mean, the woman was a competitive figure skater, for heaven's sake. The thing is, Vera's designs are known for intelligent simplicity and sophistication. As you can see from the above pictures DWTS is anything but. This really makes Vera step against brand message.

I also question whether the woman is even capable of the wide-grinning showmanship that is often required of contestants to keep viewers voting to keep them on the show. If you have ever seen Vera in interviews one word comes to mind: deadpan.

I seriously hope Marc Malkin is wrong on this one. While it would be a fascinating watch, I think it would ultimately rather undermine the strong brand that Vera has crafted over the years.

Dead-pan delivery