Thursday, June 24, 2010

iPhone Lines

As I rode my bike to work today I passed by the front of the Stonestown Mall in San Francisco. There was a line stretching from the front entrance to the Macy's building, a distance of at least two hundred yards. Several hundred people waiting outside in the drizzling fog, at 7:45 in the morning. I didn't have to ask what they were waiting for; I've seen such lines here whenever Apple releases something.

I know from the media blitz that the product they're waiting for is the new 4th generation iPhone. I know this despite the fact that I don't watch TV, don't read a major periodical, and don't listen to the radio. Apple's advertising tactics are so ubiquitous, and their actions so closely monitored by most major news sources, that it's practically impossible to remain in the dark of a new Apple gadget release.

Even though I've seen this same phenomenon several times during the past few years, it continues to surprise me. Why do people get so excited about an overpriced, unnecessary gadget that costs them well over a thousand dollars a year? And why are they willing to get up early and stand in line in the rain? And why do they keep doing this each and every time Apple releases a new product (which seems to be every eight months or so)?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fogged Clarity 1 in print

The online art (literature-music-painting-photography-film-etc.) site Fogged Clarity has finally released its first print edition, and it looks beautiful. I've received the great honor of having my story "Donald Mathison's Heart" included in this premier issue, and it might be the publication I'm most proud of in all my writing career. Fogged Clarity's editor Ben Evans has shown a remarkable level of dedication to the site, releasing a new issue online every month for the past 18 months, and I've got the feeling that this first print edition is a first step in a new area of achievement. I'm glad to be a part of it.

From the press release:

Whether it is Bruce Smith walking us through air thick with nostalgia, Benjamin Percy evoking compunction’s sting, Terese Svoboda posing a poignant question, Joe Meno exploring the remoteness of youth, Michael Tyrell decoding memories of origin, or Marcos Soriano appraising love and fragility, each one of the enclosed compositions tune the intricacies of existence to a resonant frequency. I believe them all to be reflections of the spirit in which Fogged Clarity was born and now breathes.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I'm still working on the Bhagavad Gita. I've given up on reading Prabhupada's "Purports" and have noticed that I am enjoying the work more because of that. The virtue of apathy/indifference seems to be a key concept.