Archives: 2010 August

Archive for August, 2010

Double Double Down: A Tale of Two Friday Posts: The Plastic Bag Mockumentary Experience

In recent years, the world of bio-documentary has achieved new levels of informative, insightful programming. Recent projects, such as Planet Earth, have illuminated mysteries of the deep sea, the harsh Sahara, and the freezing Arctic. Now, the world of bio-documentary turns its watchful gaze to that wayward rogue, that wandering son, the plastic bag.

First, for your viewing pleasure, we bring you The Majestic Plastic Bag.

Breathtaking. Next, we present Plastic Bag by Ramin Bahrani. This emotional exploration of the life of a bag is narrated by none other than Werner Herzog himself. Enjoy.

What will the future researchers and documentary filmmakers discover about the not-so-elusive plastic bag and what will these revelations tell us about ourselves? I don’t know but I hope that Werner Herzog narrates it.

Two Bads Make A Good


Double Down: Superclogger

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who could say something good about traffic, especially the Los Angeles variety. The City of Angels is home to some of the world’s biggest parking lots, including the 405–the most congested and traveled piece of pavement in these United States. While dreams of bullet trains and congestion-free arteries remain piped, Angelenos have been left to their own devices to stress, fester, and fuss about the inescapable rush hour routine…or enjoy a puppet show.

Joel Kayak, an MFA from USC, has been voluntarily braving LA traffic with puppets on hand and a radio transmitter in truck. He hangs out a sign telling people to tune into 89.5 FM and when they do, they’re taken from spirit-crushing congestion to appreciating a large-scale public art project: Superclogger.

Dave’s great.

Kayak is a creature of chaos. Evidently, he thrives on it, “I like things that are moving in and out of control, like negotiations of agency and resignation. And for me, the traffic jam is that.” Word. Kayak may want commuters to reflect on the unquestioned bedlam in their lives, but even if his formula fails, his anthropomorphic shrub is surely going to provide a well-earned escape:

Sans Mascot

This guy, has become a staple in the 8th inning of Dodger’s home games:

I don’t know if this more democratic, raw artform will eventually replace the venerable institution that is team mascots, but Dodgers fans really love dude’s heartfelt rendition of Journey’s opus- “Don’t Stop Believing“. And to be honest, Dodgers fans need something to celebrate right now.

If you’re lucky enough to live within traveling distance of a city that has any kind of a professional sports team, maybe you have someone who does something similar. I don’t get around to other ball parks and stadiums much- could it be that these guys are everywhere? If your team has someone like this then show your pride.

Good Bird, Bad Reflexes

Some good-spirited ribbing courtesy of the BBC.

Double Down: Life, Liberty, And That Pursuit

Happiness. What is it? A warm gun? A subversive comedy? An elusive knave?

I say nay. Happiness is everywhere, everyday, though Morley will argue there’s a higher concentration in Denmark, where Great Danes are paid to go to school, paid to take maternity and paternity leave, and don’t worry about bills when they’re ill. Some years back, Denmark — where income taxes are at about 50% — was rated the happiest country in the world. These Untied States came in at 23–below Canada and Costa Rica, but above Iraq and Pakistan. Morley finds that some of the unhappiest zip codes in America are the wealthiest–a product, he says, of the “more is better” psychology. As he puts it, “Wanting it all is a bacterium that stays with us from youth to old age. Wanting: a bigger house, a fancier car, more stuff. And when we get more, there’s always someone with more stuff who’s more unhappy.”

Evidently, realistic expectations, friends, and family are the stuff of happiness. Who would’ve thunk?

Actually, I feel like it’s common knowledge. Just as we all know that the American Dream is a saucy mistress, deep down we’re all aware that happiness has little to nothing to do with that $. It’s just hard to realign our lives to the pursuit of happiness when you look out your window and mostly see the pursuit of cash money. We need to be reminded.

Recently, a couple of non-pretentious academic types took to the PBS NewsHour to do just that. As it were, both husband and wife recently published books on the prime pursuit–not the dubious self-help variety, but the empirical stuff:

Adorable, aren’t they? Hansel and Gretel make the same argument as Morley: The American Dream is making everybody miserable. They also propose a sea change of thought: What if government used a different yardstick to measure a nation’s well-being? What if we had a GHI (Gross Happiness Index) instead of a GNP (Gross National Product).

Laughable, right?

Tell that to Bhutan.

The folk out there in the little landlocked-nation-that-could had a king that proclaimed, “Gross national happiness is more important than gross national product.” He said it, he believed it, and no one Louis XVIed him for it. His mostly Buddhist Himalayan kingdom, sandwiched between India and China, has taken to the plan swimmingly–unsurprisingly emphasizing family, friends, and some wicked zen meditation.

Boyd Matson visited the “Land of the Thunder Dragon” on assignment for National Geographic (probably a happy dude) and spoke to a Bhutanese brother who broke it down,

“In our most beautiful places, we build temples and monasteries and everybody goes there. In your most beautiful places, you build five-star resorts and only the very rich go there.”

Goodosphere in no way endorses this pinko-speak, but that whole inclusive, family-based, pastoralism may be working out in Bhutan. They’re the happiest nation in Asia, and among the happiest people in the world. There’s no way we’re reverting back whence we came anytime soon, but maybe it would be good to just reflect on what matters most everyday, prioritize.

As my man Isaac put it, “My friends, my habits, my family, they mean so much to me.”

Retro Good: Can't Tell Me Nothing

Can’t Tell Me Nothing by one Mr. West, featuring Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Zach Galifianakis.

Broken Social Slap

A most appropriate fan video for a song off an album called Forgiveness Rock Record. Made by San Francisco’s Strike Anywhere as a lark, the production–that wears its influences on its slaps–was adopted by Broken Social Scene an official video. Kiss and make up:

The Science of Slap from Strike Anywhere on Vimeo.


Strange things are happening at a zoo in Tyler, Tejas.

Thanks to M.B.

A Silent Guardian. A Watchful Protector. A Charles Knight.

As mentioned recently, we love our animal posts here at the Goodosphere. But rarely is the question asked… is our animals good judge of character?

Let this post also show the value of the awesome things you can find at garage sales.