"I have no patience for contemporary handlebar mustaches. They anger me. They look indulgent and ridiculous. If you have a handlebar mustache, that is pretty much all you are. You are a delivery system for a handlebar mustache." Marc Maron goes shopping for denim.
posted by four panels
on May 5, 2013 -
Frequently dismissed as trivial or unimportant because untrue, rumors are a potent in the information war that characterizes contemporary conflicts, and they participate in significant ways in the struggle for the consent of the governed. As narrative forms, rumors are suitable to a wide range of political expression, from citizens, insurgents, and governments alike. The authors make a compelling argument for understanding rumors in these contexts as "narrative IEDs," low-cost, low-tech weapons that can successfully counter elaborate and expansive government initiatives of outreach campaigns or strategic communication efforts. Narrative Landmines - The Explosive Effects of Rumors in Syria and Insurgencies Around the World [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 4, 2013 -
With cities, it is as with dreams: everything imaginable can be dreamed, but even the most unexpected dream is a rebus that conceals a desire or, its reverse, a fear. Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.
December 2012 marks the 40th anniversary of Invisible Cities
-- the sublime metaphysical travelogue by author-journalist Italo Calvino
. In a series of pensive dialogues with jaded emperor Kublai Khan
, the explorer Marco Polo
describes a meandering litany of visionary and impossible places, dozens of surreal, fantastical cities
, each poetically reifying ideas vital to language, philosophy, and the human spirit. This gracefully written love letter to urban life has inspired countless tributes
, but it's just the most accessible of Calvino's fascinating literary catalogue. Look inside for a closer look at his most remarkable works, links to English translations of his magical prose, and collections of artistic interpretations from around the web -- including this treasure trove of essays, excerpts, articles, and recommended reading
. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 30, 2012 -
What really concerns librarians; what do they discuss
when they self-organise and decide for themselves? After the inaugural UK event
, the second
UK Librarycamp, with around 200 attendees, was recently held; reflections by Frank Norman
, Carolin Schneider  
, Sarah Wolfenden
, Amy Faye Finnegan
, Shambrarian Knights
, Jennifer Yellin
, Jenni Hughes
, Bookshelf Guardian
, Amy Cross-Menzies
and Simon Barron
, and by one of the organisers
. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Nov 1, 2012 -
is a simple tool for telling stories
, and a public library of human experience
, incorporating text
, and characters
. These are the Sagas so far.
posted by Potomac Avenue
on Jun 13, 2012 -
So if I'm thinking about this talk, I'm wondering, of course, what is it you take away from this talk? What story do you take away from Tyler Cowen? One story you might take away is the story of the quest. "Tyler came here, and he told us not to think so much in terms of stories." That would be a story you could tell about this talk. It would fit a pretty well-known pattern. You might remember it. You could tell it to other people. "This weird guy came, and he said not to think in terms of stories. Let me tell you what happened today!" and you tell your story. Another possibility is you might tell a story of rebirth. You might say, "I used to think too much in terms of stories, but then I heard Tyler Cowen, and now I think less in terms of stories!" That too, is a narrative you will remember, you can tell to other people, and it may stick. You also could tell a story of deep tragedy. "This guy Tyler Cowen came and he told us not to think in terms of stories, but all he could do was tell us stories about how other people think too much in terms of stories."
Tyler Cowen's TED talk on the danger of storytelling.
posted by storybored
on Dec 26, 2011 -
James Gurney answers
"What inspired you really to create Dinotopia?"."Myths and stories ARE real, I tried to tell her. And they're enduring. They're the one thing that lives on through the years as the physical monuments of old civilizations crumble into dust... The key to inventing Dinotopia was believing that it already existed beyond the confines of my own mind. Even if I couldn’t tell the the latitude and longitude, I believed it was out there somewhere beyond the reach of my senses. To engage readers with that reality I had to pay attention to the spaces between the paintings, the moments poised across the page turn, which each reader conjures anew." [more inside]
posted by flex
on Dec 20, 2011 -
Two Aussie psychologists studied the 66-year-old testimony
of 70 German sailors rescued after their boat sank. The ship which sank it, the HMAS Sydney, also sank ... taking 645 sailors with it.
After analyzing the stories the shrinks - knowledgeable in the vagaries of storytelling - found that the Germans weren't lying. They crowdsourced the stories, sat down together with a map of the Indian Ocean and ...
posted by Twang
on Oct 1, 2011 -
"I was really excited to get the chance to finally meet these pandas, but when I asked to see them, I was told (after a lengthy pause) that they had grown too big, and her mum had sent them back to the zoo only the week before." Billy Bullshit
celebrates the tall tales that we all pretend to swallow until the teller is well out of earshot.
posted by mippy
on Dec 7, 2010 -
Since the very beginning, PRI's This American Life has (every few years) commemorated Thanksgiving in the US with episodes about the exotic mysteries of turkeys, chicken and other fowl. They call it Poultry Slam
and episodes from 1995
are all available for your turkey day and I-refuse-to-even-look-at-a-Walmart day enjoyment.
posted by l33tpolicywonk
on Nov 24, 2010 -
After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark Hogancamp built a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populated the town he dubbed "Marwencol
" with dolls representing his friends and family and created life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helped Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds from the attack. [more inside]
posted by dobbs
on Mar 16, 2010 -
On December 24th
, 1979, radio personality Alan Maitland started a tradition on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
's program As It Happens
. That Christmas Eve, Maitland read a Frederick Forsyth story that featured the unlikely meeting of a Vampire
and a Mosquito
. His telling has been re-aired every year since. [more inside]
posted by Decimask
on Dec 25, 2009 -
A second Edgar Oliver
story was posted [mp3]
on The Moth Podcast yesterday. Recorded in January, 2006, he calls it The Apron Strings of Savannah but the Moth people call it The Story of How Edgar Became Edgar.
posted by morganw
on Dec 15, 2009 -
A man whose bravery and fame is matched only by his commitment to truth, the great Baron Münchhausen
has permeated all artistic mediums of any worth: books (on
), cartoons (french
), an animated short film
, an online graphic novel
, even a game
-- if you are so despicable a person as to, for no other reason than the amusement of yourself and your fellows, slander the Baron's name with lies of your own invention. Though a similarly-named syndrome
would falsely imply otherwise, he is an entirely honest man who exaggerates as little as he boasts, and as to the latter I have assurances from no less a personage than the Baron himself that his humility is without equal in the 7 earth continents, and 2 out of 3 of the moon's.
posted by TimeTravelSpeed
on Feb 27, 2009 -
In 1974 - or 1976, depending who you ask - Armistead Maupin
began writing "an extended love letter to a magical San Francisco” in the form of a serialized, fictional drama published originally in the Pacific Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, originally called "The Serial"
which then became collectively known as Tales of The City
It is a suprisingly beautiful, deep, emotional, cosmopolitan and lasting
tale about life in San Francisco in the turbulent, heady days of the 1970s and 1980s. Widely credited with and cherished for helping spread a little of the openess, tolerance and acceptance that San Francisco is now famous for
. It then became a series of books - Tales of the City
, More Tales of the City
, Further Tales of the City
, Significant Others
, Sure of You
- and lastly, the spin-off tale of Michael Tolliver Lives
. Almost exactly twenty years after first publishing, it then became an excellent miniseries
from the United Kingdom's Channel 4, which aired in the United States on PBS
, but not without protest or limitations
. [more inside]
posted by loquacious
on May 4, 2008 -
(arguably better known as 'The Dreamtime') is more than just the story of how the world was created as told by Aboriginal Australians. It is also the basis for their way of life and death, their source of power in life and it tells of the life and influence of their ancestors on their culture. It was so important to Aboriginal Australians in the time before the white invasion of Australia that it was the one commonly held belief amongst a culture that consisted of over 500 different tribes (discussion of Dreamtime beliefs here
). Thought to be the oldest continuously maintained cultural history on Earth, it is often presented as a series of inter-related stories explaining Aboriginal Australian origins and culture, such as how the Australian landscape was created or how the Mimi spirits taught them how to paint these stories on the walls of caves more than 40,000 years ago
And what better way to learn of several of the many different Dreamtime stories than to listen and watch them being told by Aboriginal Australians elders themselves
? And if that isn't enough Dreamtime mythology for you, here's some links to various sites
which allow you to view Aboriginal rock art to see how these stories were translated into a form of artistic expression which is now five times older than the Egyptian Pyramids themselves.
posted by Effigy2000
on Dec 23, 2006 -
What is it
with the London Underground
and the internet? As many MeFi posts have noted before
, no other subway system in the world has quite as many websites and applications devoted to it (why is this?). Until now the bulk of these applications have been based around maps, but the 'tube' has just got an independent site that is story-based. The brand new site at www.yourstation.co.uk
wants you to write stories about the networks famous stations. Each gets its own homepage, you fill it with stories or simply read those that have gone before. Want to know how Mudchute
got its name? You now know where to look.
posted by MrMerlot
on Apr 5, 2005 -
, no monoguing
, and no ex machina
. Brad Bird's 'The Incredibles
' notched the clichés of the superhero genre - if not all action/adventure movies - with a thick red marker. These lists have apparently been circulating since 1994. Why do (bad) writers persist in using these plot devices?
posted by vhsiv
on Mar 11, 2005 -
At what point did the muse disappear and become replaced by the dramaturg? "Scripts aren't written, they're rewritten", goes the cry from all the script gurus - all the literary managers, editors, producers, dramaturgs - not just in theatre but film, too. Why do they say this? Because their jobs depend on it. If scripts were left alone, what would they do?
Dominic Dromgoole writes about playwriting in the UK.
posted by Panfilo
on Dec 19, 2004 -
I've been having a great time exploring the maze that is Musarium
, wandering about and peeking into into various nooks and crannies to find such exotica as the wonderfully bizarre birdhand book
, and absorbing cultural artifacts and musings, including the poetic Visions and Icons
(I really love the way the text works with the images on this), the atmospheric Familiar Ghosts
(the texts will cue you on clicking through this somewhat dream-like landscape), the time-capsule imagery of Balkan Portraits
(1906-1910), the breathtaking portraits
of photographer Steve McCurry (famous for his National Geographic portait of the Afghani girl), the subterranean monologue of Grand Central
: the View Down Under, and the shocking and heartbreaking Without Sanctuary
: Lynching Photography in America. There's a lot more, so take your time. You can use this page
to access archived material.
posted by taz
on Aug 8, 2004 -
Immersive Online Content.
The first in a series on digital storytelling techniques, from the Poynter Institute. Examples include stories on baggage inspection, water conservation, the Florida 2000 election and touch screen voting.
posted by sheauga
on Jun 6, 2002 -