Life isolated on islands adapts differently than those on continents. From Carlquist's Island Life.
Widely known to have beat the west into space, the Soviets could also claim another first: movies. Though buried from view during the cold-war, the first feature film on Earth about space travel is the U.S.S.R.'s Aelita: Queen of Mars. Filled with tools invented by Griffith, Aelita cross-cuts between planetary infidelity and socio-political contrasts. Clever touches are legion. A shimmering capitalist Martian city is reigned over by Aelita and ruled by elders who demand the refrigeration of one-third of their workers (they tell her: "you reign but we rule"). This Mars is a constructivist fantasy version of the west, its sets and costumes are an astounding series of vortexes and skeletal extensions. There's no doubt Aelita influenced Lang's Metropolis. Back home in a newly formed U.S.S.R., a scientist plans his trip to space with blueprints of a pod-shaped vessel. The film opens with a mysterious three word message heard round-the-world, and our communist hero plots his escape velocity. To hold court in the revolutionary atmosphere of Moscow, the film intercuts fidelity problems, secret balls of oligarchs in hiding, returning soldiers from the revolution and a police procedeural sub-plot to ensnare first an abuser of rationed sugar, then the murder of the heroine. Both ahead of its time and behind, weakened by needless but fascinating propaganda. Rarely projected, part of the Berlin Film Festival 2012 and MoMA's series built around the Soviet's first film studio: Mezhrabpom. A must-see for any student of sci-fi. Last showing is Friday April 20th at 7pm. Museum admission and films are free Fridays after 5.
Stare at it for a long, long time.
"The United States is the only developed nation without a visual literacy curriculum in its public education program."
paraphrased from Douglas Rushkoff's Coercion
A typical 18-24 year old week...
8 Hours: Visiting social networking sites.
8 Hours: Listening to music
7 Hours: Watching full-length television shows.
4 Hours: Watching full-length movies.
4 Hours: Watching video clips (e.g. YouTube)
4 Hours: Instant messaging
An excerpt from the New York Review of Books's We're more unequal than you think:
Using US Census reports, I estimate that since 1985, the lower 60 percent of households have lost $4 trillion, most of which has ascended to the top 5 percent, including a growing tier now taking in $1 million or more each year.1 Some of our founders foresaw this happening. “Society naturally divides itself,” Alexander Hamilton wrote in The Federalist, “into the very few and the many.” His coauthor, James Madison, identified the cause. “Unequal faculties of acquiring property,” he said, inhere in every human grouping. If affluence results from inner aptitudes, it might seem futile to try reining in the rich.