Re: Presidential Physical Fitness Exam

1

And I can't even imagine the locker room etiquette implications.

If you see him in the locker room you must blog about it! (If it's too embarrassing you can go presidential.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:18 PM
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And I can't even imagine the locker room

But I'm sure your subconscious is working on it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:23 PM
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I'm envisioning a New Yorker cartoon with a bunch of Secret Service guys standing around a showering President.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:24 PM
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3: That couldn't possibly be a New Yorker cartoon because it is actually funny.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:34 PM
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If someone snaps a towel at the President's ass, can you take him out with a gun?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:34 PM
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Maybe I should upgrade my membership to the one that lets me use the clubs in other cities....


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:41 PM
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Serves me right for being to lazy to go to the gym on Friday morning.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:44 PM
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"Mr. President, you're rinsing on my leg."
"I know I am. Thats my prerogative."


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:44 PM
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3: One other guy in the shower looking hostile saying, "What are you staring at homos?"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:49 PM
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My favorite tavern went upscale on me a couple decades ago, and that ruined it for me. My bet is that if Obama has a regular gym it will become ruined.

I'd go to the bench press machine after he got off it. He doesn't look too husky.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:54 PM
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Probably the Secret Service will block out so no one can see the weight level, and then change the weight so no one can guess.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 4:55 PM
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When do we get the Winnipeg Hutterite Mongol carp thread.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 5:18 PM
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"Stop staring at my unitary executive."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 5:36 PM
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I used to go to the same gym as Senator Wellstone. He cheated on his pushups. He had MS, though, so I guess he had an excuse.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 5:39 PM
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14: he was a former college wrestler. He probably could have kicked your ass.

Not to mention kicking ass on reactionaries everywhere.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 5:42 PM
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Holy shit, Tyson Gay just ran 9.68 for 100 meters. That is really, really fast. The fastest anyone has ever run it, actually.

On-topic, because this is the fitness thread.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 6:03 PM
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The name "Tyson Gay" was focus-grouped, and it was found to to appeal to a wide range of young males, from the toughest tough guys to the metrosexuals.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 6:07 PM
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people trying to glance at his treadmill to see what level he's on and trying to match or exceed it.

I'm sure, I'm sure. I'd probably just offer him a V-8 or something. Actually, water. Solidarity, you know.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 7:45 PM
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13 is high-larious.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 7:45 PM
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Out this evening, I saw a hipster guy wearing an Obama t-shirt. Not an Obama campaign t-shirt, mind you, but a t-shirt with a stylized portrait of Obama on the front, something similar to the "Change" poster. The shirt looked homemade almost. Seeing it was a little exhilarating and a little weird. Since when do people wear their favorite candidate on a shirt like they would a favorite band?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 8:08 PM
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Since the land of desperation.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 8:18 PM
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Uh-huh. That's "The Land of Confusion".


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 8:26 PM
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A t-shirt like this?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 8:31 PM
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22: This from the introductory paragraph of the link is amusing:

The song was ... always transposed down a key to account for the deepening of Phil Collins's voice over the years.

Damn weird wikipedia contributors.

But yes. Good call.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 8:37 PM
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Is there any tangible evidence that Ogged really is a 30ish man? There's an article in today's NYTimes about a 41 year old woman swimmer who is trying out for the Olympics, and I wondered is she really could be Ogged?


Posted by: MiddleAgedMan | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 8:45 PM
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Bravo to the 41 year old woman. The legs ogged (pbuh) recently pictured seem close enough to tangible evidence of something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 8:49 PM
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Dara Torres is seriously so much more buff than I have ever been. What a beautiful woman.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 8:53 PM
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#23. No, on this shirt Obama was looking to his right. And the design was more pointillist. Google doesn't reveal anything similar. Maybe it was homemade. I didn't ask. Very cool, though.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 9:01 PM
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Oh good, I'm glad to see someone else linked to that article.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 9:19 PM
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27: Wow. I take it she's the 41 year old swimmer. That means something halfway like that is possible for us older types, in a coupla years, with work. (I knew that.) The idea makes me smile.

Halfway, mind. Not the six-pack abs.

Also: working on your body is about like working on your mind.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 9:24 PM
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28--This? It's everywhere in DC.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 9:36 PM
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20: street artists in DC are selling portraits of Obama, right next to Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix, Mike Tyson, and other pop culture deities.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 11:00 PM
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||
In checking to see if Thomas Kinkade had deified Obama yet (hadn't yet), I discovered that he had lent his talents to the greater glory of Boston sports and that possibly his Fenway Park interpretation will become its definitive rendering. Chip in today to get Tweety a souvenir he will always cherish.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 11:16 PM
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|>

The Painter of Light™ seems very conscientious about respecting other people's trademarks.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 11:18 PM
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3: That couldn't possibly be a New Yorker cartoon because it is actually funny.

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one around here who thinks lowly of New Yorker cartoons.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 06-29-08 11:19 PM
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31 - Does anyone else find that poster kinda repressively Soviet? Maybe I'm sensitized to it, I dunno.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:10 AM
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Wow. I take it she's the 41 year old swimmer. That means something halfway like that is possible for us older types, in a coupla years, with work. (I knew that.) The idea makes me smile.

Pardon me for being skeptical but I don't think she'd pass the Olympic drug test. I'd have to hear hear her voice to know for sure but I don't see how a woman can be that ripped without roids. Low bodyfat is one thing but that definition? I'm skeptical.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:14 AM
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Maybe I'm sensitized to it

You've been repressed by a Soviet lately?


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:18 AM
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Low bodyfat is one thing but that definition?

Nah, definition is harder to obtain for women, but very do-able. I've seen (differently structured) definition like that on dancers and gymnasts, particularly when you take into account that the photograph is staged and lit particularly to emphasize it. Sheer mass is what is really difficult for women to obtain.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:18 AM
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erm, first bit shoud have been quoted.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:18 AM
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37: Tripp, we've had conversations here before about women and six packs. You're all kinds of wrong.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:25 AM
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Does anyone else find that poster kinda repressively Soviet?

It's certainly taking part in a particularly stylized aesthetic. That's what I like about it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:27 AM
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She had a baby at age 40 just to prove the naysayers wrong. That's dedication.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:29 AM
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That's the poster, but this is the correct caption.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:30 AM
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Tripp, the artist is Shepard Fairey, who's been doing riffs on Soviet graphic style with Andre the Giant's face for nigh on fifteen years. He even has a line of clothing called "Obey". You're not wrong to pick up the theme, but I think for most people it comes across as safely pastiched.

Obey.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:32 AM
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Nah, definition is harder to obtain for women, but very do-able

Isn't this the swimmer that Ogged thought was doping because she was improving her performance so late in her career?


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:42 AM
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Yes, there are have questions about whether she is doping.

She has always been amazingly competitive and amazingly talented. But, she has bounced back from babies and injuries with remarkable speed.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:44 AM
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A little research says that yes it is.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:44 AM
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CJB: I don't know anything about that particualars. This particular women may be doping, or not. Tripp's claim that the photo is good evidence for that is inept though, and that's all I was going on.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:48 AM
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riffs on Soviet graphic style with Andre the Giant's face

Ohhh! Is that the same one that you see around cities as one of those stencil graffiti?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:54 AM
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Barack Obama has a posse.

(A while back, the American Movie Classics channel ran an ID during a broadcast of The Princess Bride which concluded with "Andre the Giant--we are your posse.")

#31. It wasn't the Fairey shirt that I saw, I'd recognize that. Maybe it was from Cafepress or Zazzle, etc. #20. I imagine that's pretty common in bigger cities, but there aren't as many street artists out in the sticks.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:55 AM
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You've been repressed by a Soviet lately?

No, but when you spend your formative years getting drilled on crouching under a desk with your hands over the back of your neck so the Russians won't fry you I guess it becomes ingrained.

Does anyone else even know what a conelrad is? Anyone else remember eating snow even when you were warned not to and thinking you would die from it?

Picturing a leader in the soviet style really rubs me the wrong way. It sends all the wrong messages.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:56 AM
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16, 17: early media coverage of Tyson Gay's amazing sprint


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:59 AM
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Maybe steroids should be prescribed to all post-partum women.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 10:00 AM
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Tripp's claim that the photo is good evidence for that is inept though, and that's all I was going on.

Let's say the photo makes me suspicious.

I know women can get a six pack without doping, and I actually like that look a lot. Women can get the extremely low body fat and that is cool too.

But - put that along with the very masculine face and the biceps and shoulders and, well, I'd be interested in hearing her voice.

And you can juice to get the effect and then stop for awhile and pass drug tests too, so a scheduled doping test doesn't really show all that much.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 10:01 AM
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Picturing a leader in the soviet style really rubs me the wrong way.

Kinky.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 10:05 AM
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Yeah, it's like couch-masturbation. It gets you off, but afterwards you have the leakage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 10:08 AM
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55: This is a professionally done shot that is explicitly trying to emphasize her definition. That makes a huge difference. She doesn't have an unusal amount of mass in her shoulders etc. for an elite athlete in her sport. In other words, there is absolutely nothing in that photo that should lead you to the question.

I'm not claiming she isn't a doper (or that she is), btw. It's just ridiculous to use that particular photo as evidence.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 10:12 AM
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No, but when you spend your formative years getting drilled on crouching under a desk with your hands over the back of your neck so the Russians won't fry you I guess it becomes ingrained.

In other news, propaganda works.

Art making you uncomfortable is usually a good thing (which doesn't mean a necessary thing). Reworking and discussing symbols is important.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 10:13 AM
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re: 45

Fender (or rather their Squier offshoot) make an 'Obey' telecaster.

http://www.squierguitars.com/products/prod_images/guitars/0325003550_xl.jpg


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 10:18 AM
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51: McManlyPants was there first.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 10:20 AM
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Hurrah! Gorby!

Currently, Gorbachev is the chief of the Union of Social-Democrats. His party has little to no influence in Russian politics, but they do have a LiveJournal blog. No love for Gorby indeed.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 10:40 AM
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This man would like you to know that he thinks Shepard Fairey is a big old plagiarist who rips off others' work without permission or credit.

The site's author clearly has an enormous ax to grind, but the evidence seems pretty compelling. (Or entirely made up. What do I know? And not that I have a dog in the fight anyway.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 11:11 AM
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46-48: I thought I remembered that we had talked about Torres earlier. She is battling back aggressively against the drug rumors. From articles and what I understand from folks who have been involved in national-level swimming she seems to keep the needle in the Red 24x7 in all aspects of her life, and as a result engenders many strong feelings both for and against (like many exeptional champions).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 11:13 AM
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52: Does anyone else even know what a conelrad is?

I'll again post a link to a site with the most comprehensive look at that era, Conelrad.com. FYI, A lot of it is presented somewhat ironically just as the culutural artifacts indicate it was somewhat received by the culture, despite (and because of) the clear menace.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 11:18 AM
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she seems to keep the needle in the Red

not helping with the drug rumors!

Hate to say it, but probably any athlete who can keep posting world-class performances in a major sport into their mid 40s is doping.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 11:24 AM
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Well, she's "only" 41, plus she took many years off...


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 11:26 AM
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63: On the other hand, A Richard Prince photo that rephotographed a Marlboro ad. went for $3.5 million this year.

Lots of artists will defend the picking and choosing of pieces of imagery for their cultural/social context etc. Reuse is part of the game; I'm don't think it's as clear cut as that page suggests.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 11:49 AM
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Speaking of conelrad, that (tangentially) reminds that this "On the Media" piece about Tony Schwartz is damn fascinating.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 11:54 AM
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Huh, the guy in 63 really seems to not get it, does he?

I mean, a couple of those examples strike me as shitty on Shepard Fairey's part (the Cuban poster that was printed on a tshirt with different colors, especially), but the vast majority of the artwork derives its entire point from the propaganda intentions of the original image. Fairey's work relies on what that guy calls plagarism in order to create the immediate propaganda connection in the audience's brain, while divorcing the image just enough from the original context so as to leave ambiguity as to its intentions. Hell, the guy even says so in the first paragraph or two of his tirade.

I think the final nail in the coffin was when he highlighted the FAP poster from the Great Depression advertising the ranger service for the recently-created and scenic Yellowstone National Park that Fairey expropriated into a poster advertising Iraq, which I think is now my favorite piece I've ever seen by Fairey, and certainly one of the most substantial, and then the guy says "There was no political point or ironic statement to be made by expropriating the FAP print - it was simply the act of an artist too lazy to come up with an original artwork."


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 11:57 AM
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Bleg! Bleg!

Please help me think of examples of a particular genre of twist ending. It goes like so: You, the reader, are lulled into believing that a certain action is not possible, or that a certain object (or kind of object) does not exist, or that something could not have happened the way it did. Then, at the end, it is revealed that your assumption was wrong, and the thing happens/has happened/does exist, after all.

To be a good example of this, you need to be able to look back and say that the author was playing fair, and the possibility that your assumption was wrong was left available all along.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:27 PM
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(a) Whoops, I should say, "To be a good example of this, the story should allow you to look back..."

(b) If you have a good example in mind, but feel compunctions about spoiling some extra good surprise for people who haven't read it yet, please email me. I've linked to my email in my "Posted by" information.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:29 PM
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e.g. No Way Out?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:29 PM
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The doctor was the boy's mother?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:30 PM
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71: The Sixth Sense is the first example that comes to mind.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:31 PM
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What about the ending of that R Kelly/Usher/Mimi/Flo video about messing with the same girl/dude?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:37 PM
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70: But Fairey should cite the original work, unless it's so well known as to be iconic. And now that he's making money hand over fist, he should get permission for using copyrighted works. When he was just putting posters up, it didn't matter, but it does now. (Same applies to Prince.)

The Mineshaft is on my side.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:39 PM
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What about the secret ending of Billy Jean where the kid really is his son?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:39 PM
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I haven't seen No Way Out. So maybe?

71: The Sixth Sense is the first example that comes to mind.

But no, that's a different kind of twist. I want examples where you, the reader or viewer, have been explicitly convinced that some turn of events cannot happen (I am under the impression that Joe is physically unable to speak -- oh shit! in a climactic moment he totally did! and looking back, I see that this was just me assuming too much all along). Or that something doesn't exist (Helen thinks that there are aliens in her attic, but everyone knows that aliens don't exist -- oh shit! she was right all along). Ideally, unlike these pretend examples, the surprise should have been genuinely neat and surprising.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:39 PM
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77: I'm not!

DESTROY ALL COPYRIGHT!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:40 PM
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76 made me laugh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:41 PM
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The Ring probably isn't quite right, but I totally, totally love this movie, anyway.

(SPOILER ALERT!)

Everyone who knew the little girl says, "She's fucking evil." But the lady tracking her down believes there's more going on to the story, and I totally did, too. And then at the end, the little girl is really just pure fucking evil. I loved it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:44 PM
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80 continued: dude that site is retarded. He should totally credit... THE NAZIS!

The guy works in repurposing of art, hi? He made his name with a sticker that photocopied andre the giant's image. His whole metier is adaptive reüse. Calling him a plagiarist is the same as calling Andy Warhol a plagiarist, literally exactly the same, as well as being embarrassingly unaware of, like, the past twenty or thirty years of creative endeavor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:46 PM
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Agathe Christie was big on this. Murder on the Orient Express for example. ACD as well, but maybe you're getting at something else.

Jonathan Carroll does somthing similar, while also blending modern literary fiction with supernatural themes. His resolutions are usually revealed gradually, though. Land of Laughs is his most popular.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:47 PM
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It's sorta like the old woman/young woman with a fancy hat picture thing, isn't it? That is to say, an optical illusion.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:48 PM
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81 made me blush, shuffle my feet, and say "aw shucks".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:49 PM
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79: Flightplan is not quite what you're looking for, but it goes in that direction for a while.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:51 PM
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86: made me look judgementally at the computer and say, "Say what? Talk about a joke gone too far."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:52 PM
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88 made me poop.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:53 PM
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79: I think those kind of twist endings almost always suck. The specific example I can remember is from Macbeth -- the prophechy says that he can't be killed by any man born of woman, and so he is fearless facing Macduff, and then Macduff anounces that he was born from a transsexual man and kills Macbeth.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:54 PM
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80, 83: Fuck Bill Gates and his intellectual property and the freaks who charge people for singing "Happy Birthday," but copyright matters to artists who are trying to make a living as artists.

(The Nazi skull thing is incredibly stupid.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:55 PM
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91: don't buy it. Destroy all copyright. It's a broken system. "Intellectual property" per se is a sham.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:56 PM
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89 made me aroused.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:56 PM
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For one thing, given the current state of effective prior restraint, it would basically be impossible for Shephard Fairey to do what he does if he paid strict attention to copyright as it is currently enforced.

For another, show me the artists who can't make a living because copyright is too loosely enforced, and then I'll show you the artists that can't make a living because they don't have distribution channels. We could meet in the middle, but I like my way better.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:57 PM
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90: You forgot the walking forest!

And you got the "of woman born" thing completely wrong, but the gist is the same.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:58 PM
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I'm not claiming she isn't a doper (or that she is), btw. It's just ridiculous to use that particular photo as evidence.

Pardon me but I'm not exactly following the logic here.

The photo was taken in such a way as to enhance the perception of juicing so that proves she is not juicing?

Or is it "she is not juicing but the photo only makes her look that way?"

To me she is intentionally projecting a masculine image and in real life that is only completely achieved by juicing.

I will counter your charge of "ridiculous" with my charge of "naiveté."


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:59 PM
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The Hong Kong movie Once a Thief is an example.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:59 PM
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93 made me reach for my camcorder.


Posted by: My Alter Ego | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:59 PM
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The Ring surprise is a great one. I got to extra specially enjoy it because we were watching it at home, and about five minutes before the reveal, I turned to Snark and said, "You know, these movies always presume that solving the mystery of what really happened is all it will take to fix the problem. But really, why the hell should it?" It did not for a second occur to me that the movie would agree with me.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 12:59 PM
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Macbeth! Good one.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:00 PM
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98 made me think of the ending of that R Kelly/Usher/Mimi/Flo video about messing with the same girl/dude.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:03 PM
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Art making you uncomfortable is usually a good thing (which doesn't mean a necessary thing).

Uncomfortable is OK. I'm just saying portraying Obama as Stalin is a negative point to me, because I see great differences and few similarities between the two.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:03 PM
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98 made me make this comment.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:04 PM
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101 made me feel pwnd.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:06 PM
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94: I'm not talking about Fairey getting busted for copyright violation. I'm talking about his not being an ass.

Agreed that distribution channels and other issues about access and resources are a problem, but there's got to be something akin to copyright. Otherwise, why isn't Random House free to publish my manuscript without paying me a dime?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:06 PM
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101 made me feel like filing a copyright suit.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:11 PM
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Obama and Stalin out their pants on the same way you do, Tripp -- one leg at a time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:12 PM
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105: There is a major difference between repurposing a piece of artwork and simply reprinting it. That's why I specifically singled out the Cuban poster art of the two riders as the one thing that really struck me as disingenuous by Fairey on that page, since it did virtually nothing to reposition the artwork. It simply printed it on a tshirt in slightly different colors (which may well have repurposing symbolism, but I didn't catch it).

That's also why it would be near impossible for Fairey to cite the previous works in an explicit way. The entire point is to separate the original work from the clear signifiers of its previous ideological cause, leaving only the general feel of propaganda about the piece. If you require a full citation, it makes the original signifiers crystal clear once again and ruins the effect.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:13 PM
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106 made me feel like a natural woman.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:16 PM
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105: I'm not talking about Fairey getting busted for copyright violation. I'm talking about his not being an ass.

Well, look, DJ Shadow has said in interviews that he'd like to credit the sources of his samples, and he's even figured out a way to pay them amounts relative to the importance of their samples to the songs, but the law is such that if you (a) admit culpability and (b) still go ahead with it, you can get your pants sued off and then have all your art destroyed by court order. The only smart thing to do is not to admit anything.

there's got to be something akin to copyright. Otherwise, why isn't Random House free to publish my manuscript without paying me a dime?

Yeah well, that's a problem, but copyright per se is unenforceable, and trying to figure out a way to make it so leads inevitably to draconian prior restraint. "Please don't instantly transfer an infinite number of perfect copies of my work everywhere on the planet" is not a proposition that easily lends itself to the stick.

I actually would be fine with going back to something akin to the original meaning of copyright, but until you make the legal options make sense in terms of the technology there's no incentive for anybody to do the right thing, and every incentive for big money copyright holders to go for the throat. It's not, at this point, about Random House stealing your book, it's about Winnie The Pooh making money for Disney into the indefinite future. If we somehow get to the point that your scenario does materialize, we can deal with the problem then.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:17 PM
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76, 101: Oh man, I kinda loved that R. Kelly video. I remember when it first came out, it seemed of a continuous flow with his previous pieces toward less and less effort, and closer and closer to R. Kelly just saying whatever terrible story came to mind over a bad R&B beat and calling it a single (see "Trapped in the Closet").

I was so convinced that within a couple years, R. Kelly would release a track that was just him phoning in a pizza order. When he discovers that the person taking his order is a sexy-sounding woman with a surprisingly decent Autotuned voice, they go into the chorus hook about "A large pepperoni with some coke". And I was further convinced that this single would hit #2 on the charts, at least.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:18 PM
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111.2: that sounds like an awesome song.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:19 PM
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If we somehow get to the point that your scenario does materialize, we can deal with the problem then.

I basically agree with you, but dude, then would probably be far far too late to deal with that problem.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:19 PM
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112: I know! I wish R. Kelly had just run with it, reached for the stars.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:21 PM
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113: well, okay, within distant view of then, then. It's so, so far from being the problem right now.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:21 PM
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To be a good example of this, you need to be able to look back and say that the author was playing fair, and the possibility that your assumption was wrong was left available all along.

The narrator was the murderer!

(some Agatha Christie story--Roger Ackroyd?)


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:22 PM
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110: The Winnie-the-Pooh© issue is huge, but it's about copyright renewal. Fixing that is relatively straightforward, except for the pesky corporate power problem.

The overlap between copyrighting and trademarking also needs to be straightened out.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:23 PM
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The narrator was the murderer!

Right! That's a related but different kind of twist than what I'm looking for (mainly because I already have tons of examples of that sort). The fair play constraint holds for any good twist ending, though.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:24 PM
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117: the narrowing of fair use, the applicability of prior restraint, the DMCA, the extension of copyright renewal: fix all of these things and what you have left is nothing like what people think of as "copyright", per se. And you still haven't figured out how you're going to enforce anything (hint: it's pretty much impossible unless you're a huge dollar corporation). So to hell with all of it, I say. Reproducible media as a commodifiable product is an idea who's time is done.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:26 PM
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Look for obeythisgiant.com coming soon, with half-priced versions of everything Fairey sells. Let the market decide who the real artist is!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:30 PM
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I'm all for it, Kraab.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:32 PM
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Yeah well, that's a problem, but copyright per se is unenforceable, and trying to figure out a way to make it so leads inevitably to draconian prior restraint.

The animation I put up on youtube with the pj harvey song soundtrack was flagged by her record company. All they did, though, was put an ad on the youtube page for pj harvey ringtones. Thanks, giant record company, for not suing me.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:34 PM
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I messed up my italics. So sue me.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:35 PM
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And you got the "of woman born" thing completely wrong, but the gist is the same.

Really? That reminds me of something on Standpipe's blog, but I can't find the link.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:35 PM
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122: yay! Smart record company! Really, if there were a way to make copyright law enforce "don't be a dick" rules all around, I'd be all for it. I actually think the early days of sampling -- where the onus was on the copyright holder to prove damages after the fact, but they couldn't get the record pulled -- was a perfectly okay system. But then, I'm not the RIAA.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:36 PM
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124: It was a hermaphrodite, not a transexual, dummy. Just like Cartman.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:39 PM
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Is The Usual Suspects the right sort of twist?


Posted by: fedward | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:42 PM
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124: It was a hermaphrodite, not a transexual, dummy.

During a solar eclipse!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:43 PM
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126: That's ridiculous! How would a dummy give birth?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:45 PM
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To reiterate, I'm not recommending anyone sue Fairey, but I do think he should credit the artists as an ethical matter. If he has to limit his citations to things in the public domain so he doesn't get sued, fine.

The sampling analogy doesn't quite work for me here, because it's pretty obvious when you're hearing a song what's sampled and what's not. Not so with Fairey.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:46 PM
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Is The Usual Suspects the right sort of twist?

Alas, it's a wrong sort. I should say explicitly that I am not looking for the following:

1. Person X is (also) actually Person Y!
2. Person X is (also) actually Type of Person Y! (e.g. murderer, ghost)
3. Planet X is (also) actually Planet Y!
4. Etc.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:46 PM
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Many great suggestions so far, by the way, thank you.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:47 PM
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131: Damn, I guess Scooby Doo's right out, then.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:48 PM
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133: Your suggestion would have worked too, if it hadn't been for those meddling teens!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:50 PM
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The sampling analogy doesn't quite work for me here, because it's pretty obvious when you're hearing a song what's sampled and what's not. Not so with Fairey.

Oh? Which parts of this song are sampled? What about this one?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:50 PM
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Oh! I know!

What about the end of Veronica Mars, season 2, where

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

you find out that contrary to what you've been told at the end of season 1, the Beav really did do it?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:50 PM
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135: Uncle!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:51 PM
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That's ridiculous! How would a dummy give birth?

Sussarian session. Duh.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:52 PM
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131: Guess that rules out The Man Who Was Thursday.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:53 PM
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Spoilers for Kraab.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:53 PM
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More spoilers for Kraab.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:54 PM
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130: Have we discussed this issue in relation to Roy Lichtenstein? I know there's a web-site out there that shows the actual comics panels that he copied for his paintings.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:57 PM
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Lichtenstein is possibly an even better example than Warhol, but he wasn't as focussed on exploring the commercial aspects of art.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 1:59 PM
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131: Guess that rules out The Man Who Was Thursday.

True, it does, but I would just like to take this opportunity to say: LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE to The Man Who Was Thursday.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:00 PM
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It's almost like you're looking for examples that play against genre, so that you can have characters saying bluntly, "The answer is X!" but the viewer just will not believe them, and then when the answer ends up being X, you realize that you're the only one who didn't get it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:03 PM
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144: I was hoping for a response like that.

Me, too!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:04 PM
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It's almost like you're looking for examples that play against genre, so that you can have characters saying bluntly, "The answer is X!" but the viewer just will not believe them, and then when the answer ends up being X, you realize that you're the only one who didn't get it.

Oh! I hadn't quite been looking for that exact variation, but that would indeed be extra super.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:07 PM
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Dude I totally rocked rfts's bleg. I'm so proud of myself.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:09 PM
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Dude I totally rocked rfts's bleg. I'm so proud of myself.

Excellent work. I also discovered that it's based on a novel, so I'm going to check that out as well.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:11 PM
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Really, the answer is Once a Thief. We could have started in on the dick jokes an hour ago. But no, we had to argue about copyright protection, which is awesome by the way. Samplers should be sent to Abu Ghraib.


Posted by: Rabbit | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:15 PM
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Fuck you, little Name box! Someday you'll get yours!


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:16 PM
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150: I actually don't quite follow why that would be. Because of the (I don't even really know if this is a spoiler) uncle's perfidy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:18 PM
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148, 149: Is this a secret ending that you don't want to spoil?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:20 PM
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150: the wheelchair subplot.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:30 PM
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154: ah. Iiiiiiii guess so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:32 PM
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The climax of Alan Moore's Watchmen does this at a very micro- level (playing with genre expectation more than anything else).

Some other things that I know she's interested are An Instance of the Fingerpost and A Maggot, which are not the same genre of thing, necessarily, that they initially represent themselves as being, and "The Fourth Point of the Compass" and Sleep and His Brother, which rely on the characters mistaking the genre of thing that they are dealing with.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:54 PM
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Reproducible media as a commodifiable product is an idea who's time is done.

This seems like a decent place to link to this video about the Amen Break. There's something amazingly perverse about the original artists not making a dime on all the reuse of the break, while some company 30 years later comes along, releases an identical break on a sample CD, and rakes in the cash.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 2:56 PM
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I also discovered that it's based on a novel, so I'm going to check that out as well.

Are we still talking about No Way Out here? If so, unlike the movie, the novel (Fearing's The Big Clock) is great (and recently back in print), as is the old Charles Laughton version of it. But aren't they just standard twist endings (of the "Person X is also Person Y" variety)?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 3:26 PM
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I quite liked the anti-Fairey website -- it impressed me with the range of Fairey's grasp, and I liked seeing the originals lined up with his appropriations.

This struck me as right, though perhaps from a perspective of etiquette more than law:

Lincoln Cushing, a co-researcher of this article, wants the debate on expropriated images to remain constructive, so he wrote a guide titled "Best practices for using the graphic artwork of others". One of the points in his guide for poster makers reads in part: "Give specific credit on the final piece. This is important for all items, including ones that have drifted into that giant grab-bag we call the 'public domain.' Don't contribute to our own historical amnesia and cultural imperialism. Say something about where it's from. This can be as simple as a credit line at the bottom in small type."

There are plenty of things you can criticize Fairey for -- I think the Mat Gleason line at the bottom of that page gets at it best, that it's a brand about promoting itself, and it evacuates meaning from lots of really important work in doing so. (It's hardly alone.) Plaigarism isn't, to me, the most interesting by far.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 3:38 PM
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If we somehow get to the point that your scenario does materialize, we can deal with the problem then.

Dude, smashing all copyright is basically an open invitation to that scenario coming about immediately. It was standard practice up to the 18th/19th century.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 3:54 PM
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It was standard practice up to the 18th/19th century.

Yes, but we aren't in the 18th/19th century any more. All I'm saying is that not dealing with the utter brokenness of "intellectual property" in the digital age because of what might happen later if the most extreme solution gets implemented is... well, it's dumb. And anyhoo, it's not like those rapacious media companies didn't figure out a way to rip off artists even with ever-expanding copyright protections, is it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 4:37 PM
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I think all of my examples are the wrong sort of twist (or too may twists), but ...
The pregnancy/cancer murder/suicide part of Rebecca. Subelements of Sleuth and Memento. (Twelve Monkeys also came to mind, but it is not played completely fairly.)

And flying right into the teeth of rtfs's "person x is y" prohibition, I will still suggest Body Heat. I fail.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 4:37 PM
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Science and academic writers already pay to get printed. Most popular content is distributed for free or nearly free to the end user, with media revenue from music dying fast. Why is popular writing the only reproducible cultural product that can be profitably sold?

A commercial publisher can't profitably steal a book because there's a race to the bottom, a competitor will print and undersell. This will be good for readers but make my personal book collection as ridiculous as a stack of LPs. If I had sense I'd sell my books now while they still have some value.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 4:59 PM
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Why is popular writing the only reproducible cultural product that can be profitably sold?

Because books are nice objects, and people take pleasure in owning them; and because they have yet to come up with a delivery method for long-form written content that works as well as books do.

The move from LP to CD really heralded the end, because CDs were never the nice object that LPs are.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 5:16 PM
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You guys are twistacular! Thank you, I now have buckets of new good examples to add to my pile.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:33 PM
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I do not know why my name disappeared. It is A MYSTERY!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-30-08 9:34 PM
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Uncomfortable is OK. I'm just saying portraying Obama as Stalin is a negative point to me, because I see great differences and few similarities between the two.

That poster doesn't portray Obama anything like Stalin. Aesthetic Stalinsim was definitionally anti-formalist/abstractionist.

Please don't forget that Soviet art and Socialist Realism aren't the same thing.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 12:39 AM
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167: Point taken.

The way I see it is if the artist was using the Socialist Realism style for an Obama poster to evoke an emotional response that is cool. If the response is "be careful what you wish for" or if the response is "I like it and I like him" or whatever I'm fine with the ambiguity too.

If the artist is instead saying "Wow, I can do the Socialist Realism style really well so I'm going to use that for everything topical whether it fits or not" then I am not cool with it.


Posted by: Tripp the Crazed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 8:25 AM
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Tripp has a point. If the artist is saying "Look--I can do the Socialist Realism style really well AND NOW I'M GOING TO GOUGE YOUR EYEBALLS OUT AND FEAST ON YOUR GONADS!!!" then I'm definitely not cool with it.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 07- 1-08 11:01 AM
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