Daily Archives:August 16th, 2006

Quilt to live

It’s sometimes said that Americans have no sense of irony. Rose, who is one, and who does, points out that this is hardly a fair accusation to level against the country that created Woody Allen, or Frasier. I think she’s right.

But, as part of life’s rich tapestry, there are some people over here who will hang signs like this in fabric stores:

Live to quilt

What bothers me is not just that someone should actually display such a thing. It’s the number of people who must have been involved in its design, creation, printing, delivery, hanging… Did no one, in this whole process, ever think, “You can’t be serious! Come on, this is ridiculous! Live to quilt?” At which point everybody should have burst out laughing, admitted it was a joke, and sent it away.

I shouldn’t be too cynical, though. Sometimes these in-store displays can really reach out and help those in distress. I’m sure that many of us have lain awake at night, tossing and turning, with the following question spinnning endlessly through our minds:

How can I exfoliate at home?

The love duet

Larry Lessig, as always, gave a great keynote speech this morning at LinuxWorld, which touched on many topics, but a key focus was the following idea: that kids will always be creative in whatever medium is available to them. Nowadays, the medium is digital media, and playing with it and remixing it is what they will do, making use of previous creations in much the same way that jazz musicians have always played variations on older themes. It’s foolish, and counter-productive, to try and stop them.

As Hollywood, the RIAA, governments, and others try to stamp out unlicensed use of copyrighted materials, and copyright everything under the sun, in the vain hope of preventing piracy, they are also doing something more serious; they are turning the natural creativity of youth into a criminal act. What does this do, in the long term, to young peoples’ perception of the rule of law?

Anyway, as one of his examples of remixing, he played the rather nice ‘love duet’ between Bush & Blair created by ATMO as part of their ‘Read my lips’ series. It’s only a short clip – I recommend the 4M Quicktime Movie. Very clever.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser