: High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

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Cope: Ruminations on the New Year

My ruminations on the New Year lead to this take-off of the iconic Shepard Fairey image of Obama, which in turn inspired the image on the home page. This is not a statement on my part. If it is, I’m not sure what it’s saying.

It seems, I think, more cynical than intended. Cycles are inevitable and to be desired. While to some degree the current economic downturn was the result of stupidity, greed and unfounded optimism, I believe these things to be a symptom rather than a cause. We are entering a period of winnowing where the excesses of our exuberance are corrected, our outlook is sobered.

My fear is that the agenda of the new year will be driven by fear – that the same hyperbole that drove the inflation of our housing and investment markets will be employed to ‘correct’ the economic downturn, that drastic measures will be called for, that our excesses will now be ones of regulation and intervention and yes… bailouts. Many have spoken of the Obama presidency with ‘messianic’ overtones – they will be disappointed. I know of only one Messiah. I suspect President-elect Obama would readily admit that it’s not him.

By placing myself in the image I take responsibility for my future, not with any particular talent, but because only I can.


Cope [kohp]: to face and deal with responsibilities, problems, or difficulties, esp. successfully or in a calm or adequate manner.

My mantra for the new year: let us cope.

Geek Humor: The Condom Explained in HTML

via Make Use Of

Note to Self: This is Why You No Longer Live in Maine (an Ode to Warmth)

Video: Braving the Snow Storm

Video: Dog Makes Off with Christmas Bone from Grocery Store

Video: Dog Robs Store for Bone On Christmas(Dog Steals a Bone)

Charlie Rose Interviews Malcolm Gladwell on Outliers

Video: Charlie Rose interviews Malcolm Gladwell, who recently published the book Outliers

Does Happiness have a Price Tag?

Video: Benjamin Wallace at TED Talks: Does happiness have a price tag?

Video: Wonderfully Terrible Christmas Movies

Bonus: 10 Terrible Life Lessons from Your Favorite Christmas Movies

XKCD on Flow Charts

Hilarious. View it in all its entirety: XKCD on Flow Charts (via Boing Boing)

David Holt, Old Time Music and Storytelling

I stumbled across the video above of David Holt presenting at the TED Conference in 2004. David comes out of the southern vein of the folk tradition that I grew up in, which conceives of music as a genealogy of sorts – songs and styles evolve across generations, mutating across original Irish and Scottish tunes into something wholly different but intimately connected.

Folk musician and storyteller David Holt plays the banjo and shares photographs and old wisdom from the Appalachian Mountains. He also demonstrates some unusual instruments like the mouth bow — and a surprising electric drum kit he calls “thunderwear.”

David did a series of interviews with the legendary Doc Watson. I was working for Grove Norwood at the time, who knew David from North Carolina and got me a copy autographed by both Doc and David. It remains a treasured possession. It illustrates the unique place David holds as both a practitioner and a documentarian of the the music.

David Holt interviews Doc Watson

David Holt and Doc Watson, New River Train, Philadelphia Folk Festival (2007)

David Holt on washboard

Oh Brother Where Art Thou

Appropriately enough, David might be best known from a bit part in O Brother Where Art Thou?, the Coen Bros. film that reintroduced American roots music to the mainstream.

Music Video on Nikon D90

DFW-based cinematographer Jon Todd Collins has a video up of musician Doug Burr‘s “Should’ve Known” on Vimeo. See below.

Doug Burr’s “Should’ve Known” from Jon Todd Collins on Vimeo.

It’s gorgeous. Even more impressive, it was shot on a thousand-dollar Nikon D90, nominally a traditional digital SLR still-camera which just happens to have the added capability to record 24fps 720p HD video. Oh dear, my budget didn’t need to see that…..

Behind the Scenes of Doug Burr’s “Should’ve Known” Music Video from Jon Todd Collins on Vimeo.

If you look closely you can catch a glimpse of the camera in there amongst the matte box and video monitor apparatus. For somebody that used to drop a lot of money on renting Super 16 equipment and squirreling away film stock for stuff that didn’t look half that good this just blows my mind.