Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

25 July 2006

Over Your Anorak? Trash It.

UEG clothing designed with Tyvek

Polish fashion designer Ania Kucznska and graphic designer Michal Lojewski have paired up to create the UEG project, a visually titillating brand whose fruits are intended to play on the idea of consumption. Using symbols and icons, UEG clothing reminds the wearer of the inconsistency of today's existence.

The clothing line, made from a paper-like fabric called Tyvek, is as inconstant as you can possibly imagine. Based on the premise of "desirable objects designed to deteriorate," its curious and attractive designs are intended to fade, then wash away completely after a certain amount of wear. And when you're finished with the 'fit, you trash it.

Desirable they most certainly are. Available in the US, they most certainly are not. You can currently only purchase UEG designs in Warsaw, Berlin and Tokyo.

Rich with its own worldview, UEG loves to tote manifestos. It's clear they totally ran away with this. "Usa e getta" is the running slogan, and it's Italian for "use and throw away." The product even comes with rules of engagement: unification, unisex, uniseasons.

Cute. Too bad I can't swing by my local boutique to pick up a deteriorating dress. I wonder what one would pay for something they expect to throw away?

A friend who's more fashionable than I: "Um, you're paying for what the product stands for, man."


22 July 2006

My Dirty Jenna

Some disgruntled character has posted a series of flyers all over Oakland, CA with the contact information for his ex-girlfriend, a girl affectionately called "My dirty Jenna" or sometimes "Jenna the soul eater." The flyers suggest a degree of promiscuity that must, at the least, be mortifying (or liberating?) for the Jenna in question: "Call this number for free phone sex," "Jenna the dirty whore," "DIRTY JENNA lives at..." They also feature monstrous illustrations, generally of an oversized monstrous female (a la South Park's rendition of Sally Struthers) absorbing other people in one of her cavities.

God damn, everybody's a marketer. That's got to be one of the most amusing methods I've ever seen used to defame a person in the private arena. Ogilvy, meet your next guerrilla.

13 July 2006

PSP Goes White

Running with the sentiment that white is Germany's new black, PSP has decided to rev up its image to accommodate a more fashionable audience. A sample of the ad creative for the consequent campaign (photographed by Alexander Gn├Ądinger) is featured above. Chic, right? The caption translates to "Now available in white."

The dominatrix made me do an eyebrow-raise, but whatever, I've seen "Run Lola Run" and am willing to believe that all Germans (including their children) have embraced the art of the domina as mainstream and don't even look twice at one. Maybe she is Deutschland's response to our own All-American girl-next-door coquettes (Kirsten, Scarlett, Lindsay).

"Yes, the dominatrix idea is mature, but so is the PSP," which is marketed to a broad demographic, explains Ulrich Proeschel, marketing director for TBWA Group in Germany. "It talks to kids, young adults and real grownups."

Something interesting to note: I don't generally think of a dominatrix in white. I normally think black or red, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this sentiment. PSP's ad forces me to transition my traditional ideas about the colours typically associated with BDSM, just as we'll all have to transition our ideas about the PSP going from tech-darling black to stark trendy white. Alienating? Possibly. Revolutionary? I'm open to it. I certainly dig the juxtaposition.

11 July 2006

Gnarls Barkley's "Smiley Faces" Video

I'm sure all or most of you have experience with some kind of online messenger program. You'll definitely appreciate this:

Far from just an interesting (and probably cheap) music video concept, I think it comments on how internet communication has changed the way we court and develop romantic relationships. I mean, how often have you popped at the MySpace of the cat you're trying to talk to?

Additionally, AIM's taken most of the sweat out of carrying on the requisite getting-to-know-you banter. Some of us are just better writers than we are talkers. In defense of traditional methods, though, charm's a lot harder to feel through a monitor.

Edit, August 4, 2006. Aw, looks like they took down the nifty IM video. That sucks. But here's another cool video for "Smiley Faces" - more a vanity faire for Cee-lo and Dangermouse than anything else, but I can still dig it.

10 July 2006

Italy Nails the World Cup

Who'd have guessed?

Me: "See? That's why we need to implement siesta. Countries who siesta pull ahead. So too will our company."

My boss: "When you have your own company, you can implement siesta and hire me."

Me: "Fine. I will." Long pause. "Meanwhile, we flounder and long for naptime."

My boss: "Finally Americans and the French have something in common: a shared despise."

Me: "And a shared sleeplessness."

Ha. Ha. Ha.

01 July 2006

Farmers Market

farmer hands

Image courtesy of Michael Ableman

A few months ago I took a business trip out to Texas. On the way home I found myself sitting next to a kindly-faced older man named Mike Wright, who engaged me in conversation about the agricultural state of Austin. Mike explained that he owned a farm and was going to California to attend a seminar on how to plant a special bacteria in his soil that would encourage the growth of the crops he wanted.

"My second wife and I love the country," he said. "I never been to California. We ain't been separated more'n five days at once."

This naturally led to a conversation about his life and past. I was particularly intrigued by his use of "second wife" - he didn't seem much like the divorce type. At some point he began talking about his first wife, a woman to whom he had been married perhaps 25 years, give or take a little.

"We were so happy ... and so different," he mused sadly. His eyes watered slightly and he elaborated a bit on their life together. She liked to play the piano, and they lived next door to their respective best friends, another longtime married couple.

"If anything ever happens to me, you ought to marry [my best friend]," she often said. "You two are so alike."

One day a wildcard took them both by surprise and changed their quiet, happy lives. I didn't know much about Lou Gehrig's disease until gentle Mike began his painstaking elaboration of what it was like to see it overtake the person you love.

"It disables the muscles you use the most, to start," he said slowly. "So for her ... it was her hands, her piano-playing hands, that first went. So for us, Lou Gehrig's announced its arrival when the music stopped."

Lou Gehrig's crept over and across other vital muscles, slowly disabling and eventually asphyxiating the vibrant woman he loved. In six months she was gone. In so short an amount of time between complete happiness and total desolation, it must have been like the wind just up and took her one day.

"Sometimes it's slower, it can take years," he said. "I'm glad it didn't take years. I couldn't see her suffer like that."

This was probably the tragedy of Mike Wright's life. He moved away from the home they shared and their two best friends, then vanished for awhile. Then one day, years later, he ran into his former next door neighbor's wife, the woman his wife once joked would be his perfect match.

"She divorced," he said. "And we found we are very much alike! We married soon after that." His smile was bittersweet. "We do everything together - we're very outdoorsy. Neither of us like to be apart. And we both miss my first wife very much."

The talk with Mike Wright made the plane trip a short one. After a pause during which the plane began to descend, he took my ticket stub and wrote out, "When the Music Stopped - Mike Wright."

"That's the book I wrote about my wife," he said with the gentle, arresting smile I'd become familiar with. "Look it up on Amazon - read it and see if you like it. If you don't, you let me know and I'll send you your money back."

We shook hands, and he asked me to give him a call next time I find myself in Austin and crave a fresh-farmed meal.

Talk about organic marketing.

If his is the kind of story that moves you, here's where you can pick up a copy of his work: