Five Cool Things 1.16.11

Five Cool Things


In a roundabout way, this week’s issue of Five Cool Things centers around the world of work — creative work, wrangling up “bad guys” work, designing work, writing work, visual work. First, a guy who works as a fashion photographer but who never assisted, and, an artist/copywriter who now works as an artist/cartoonist. Then, three photojournalists who worked to document the Spanish Civil War. Also, a  journalist who quit to write books followed by a company who designs books. Finally, a business that helps people learn – online – to do the work they yearn to do. True or False: The world beats a path to people who do work that they love. My favorite moment in True Grit was when Mattie said this: “I will see the thing done!” Was there any doubt in your mind that she would?  May the thing you wish to get done, get done.


1. The Sartorialist at Work | The Visually Smart Ad Campaign

The Sartorialist makes a second FCT appearance for two reasons. This is a very smooth – and cool – documentary film made by none other than — Intel? Yes, Intel working with ad agency Amsterdam Worldwide. It’s part of a campaign they’re running called, Visual Life. They’ve hooked up with the Sartorialist along with cartoonist Hugh MacLeod – who’s created a series of cartoons of computer processors. Call it the new advertising: Global technology company tunes in to the cultural moment, to the way that technology has changed everything and beats a path to several path-breaking creatives to celebrate art and technology and connection. Everyone links arms. What a moment we are in. Cool.

Hugh MacLeod


2.The Mexican Suitcase | The Secret Archive at the Nation


From an amazing story at the Nation: “In the spring of 1942, Gen. Francisco Aguilar González, the Mexican ambassador to the Vichy government, left France to return to Mexico with his wife, Maria. The couple traveled through newly Fascist Spain to Lisbon, where she boarded a steamer bound for New York, with twenty trunks of their belongings, while the general made his way back across Spain, through France and then to London, eventually flying to New York for their rendezvous. In New York they boarded a passenger train with their belongings and traveled across the United States and Mexico before finally arriving at their home in Mexico City. Tucked away in one of the trunks and kept hidden for nearly seventy years were three small cardboard boxes given to Aguilar for safekeeping. They contained an archive of 4,500 negatives of photographs of the Spanish Civil War taken by three extraordinary photojournalists: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour (known as Chim).”


3. Like Cormac McCarthy, But Funny | Charles Portis

"I will see the thing done."

The reason that you and everyone you know is talking True Grit — “How about Mattie! Those snakes! That mad dash under a star filled sky!” — is due solely to the pen of cult novelist, Charles McColl Portis. Mr. Portis is full of surprises, not the least of which is that he was born in El Dorado, Arkansas. It turns out that before he quit journalism to became a novelist, he held exactly the same job that Karl Marx once held in London — both men were London bureau chiefs for the now deceased New York Herald Tribune. Karl held the post in the 1850’s, Charles in the 1960’s. And there’s this: Along the way, Portis shared a newsroom with Lewis Lapham (Harper’s) and Tom Wolfe. All this comes by way of an exhaustive and beautifully written (in 2003!) paean to Portis, Like Cormac McCarthy, But Funny, by the former Village Voice writer, Ed Clark. It’s a whopper of a piece, clocking in at over 6,000 words and lives at The Believer, a print/online magazine project that looks to be a part of Dave Eggers’ world. What a joy to watch one beautiful writer do a long, slow motion swan dive over the work of another writer. Set aside a bit of time, print it out and read it.


4. Judging by the Cover | Abbate Book Design

From the Abbate Design website

Last weeks jewel of book, Hint Fiction – An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Less, was designed by Judith Abbate of Abbate Design of Doylestown, PA. Ms. Abbate found Five Cool Things via Twitter (I think) where we now follow each other. I thought it would be cool to share her (award-winning) book design world with you, because, well, her firm does very beautiful work and isn’t it good to know who makes the books that we love so much, so beautiful? Based on the story just above this one, I have a proposition to make: Will Overlook Press please reissue the Charles Portis masterpiece,True Grit, and then hand the project over to Abbate Design for a brand new edition? I’m happy to make the introductions.


5. Continuing Ed | Creative Edge

Creative Edge - Distance Learning for Creatives

Creative Edge – Videos and Books for Creative People looks to be a very powerful online resource for distance learning on a whole range of topics including, but not limited too: Digital Photography, WordPress, Adobe Lightroom, all things Apple,  home networking, video production and on and on and on. The cost is $20.00 a month. They offer (much too small) samples of what you get when you pay, but this site looks to be a vast, helpful repository of knowledge and information. Visit the site here>>

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