Drag Me to Hell

Before TMZ and online gossip sites, there was Star magazine Scandals. Noreen claims I speak like I’m in a 1950s low-end movie. This may be true. From what I’ve been told, “Swell,” is no longer used in everyday language. I’d much rather speak in Star magazine headlines, “I’m not under thirty. I’m not an alcoholic. I don’t need another Hollywood bar designer get-together.” The verbiage is matched only by the design. This is proof that modernism failed. Less is less here, and once is never enough.

Is there a grid? Who cares when Fergie romps topless with her Texas millionaire as her children watch? Are there typographic consistencies? “Princess Caroline’s husband zooms to his doom. Kiss Papa goodbye,” does not need a common type size. The Scandal issue is the design equivalent of “Shock and Awe.” Every page is a barrage of information screaming at the highest volume. Every fact is extreme.

This is how all copy should be written, regardless of the client. The exhibition, Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects, at MOMA should be renamed, “Stalker Machines Terrorize and Attack Innocent Hipsters.” The New York Times should reconsider headlines such as “Obama Administration Calls for Syrian President to Step Down” to “Pres Lashes Out in Furious Rage at Evil Tyrant.” See how much more exciting the news could be.

All the joy that love can bring

If you’ve ever seen the movie, The Sandpiper, you will recall Elizabeth Taylor playing an artist living at the beach at Big Sur. She spends her time making abstract seascape kinds of paintings. Her studio is cluttered with driftwood-like art. It sounds like fun to live at the beach on the California coast, feel moody, and collect driftwood. It must have been a wonderful time in 1965 when poor artists could buy beach houses and wander the dunes. In 1954, the Pasadena Art Museum held the first of a series of exhibitions celebrating design in California. Graphic design wasn’t included, and there seemed to be a prevalence of handcrafted ceramics, and woody furniture. It was all very natural in a California eco-friendly pre-hippie way. Of course, now I would love to own some of these items. Or I could move to the beach and begin making ceramics and driftwood mobiles.