Posts from 9th June 2004

Jun 04

QuarkXPress 6 vs. InDesign CS: Taking Sides

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 274 views

QuarkXPress 6 vs. InDesign CS: Taking Sides
In the electronic-based graphic design biz everyone has their take on this conundrum that’s been rumbling on unresolved for years now. (InDesign v 1 came out in 1999). This is David Blatner’s latest (OK last December) response, and it’s a downhearted read for me.

I’m stuck in the middle between demanding quixotic designers and conservative slow-to-change print shops that take their work. The problem for me is not which is better – clearly InDesign is miles better, on functionality/usability but also, crucially, on typography. No, the problem is that the archive is sitting there mothballed in its Quark clothes, beyond that… if only we could all jump at the same time.

Also I sympathise with the print shops – there is good cause to be conservative at the point where mistakes are more expensive, and change increases the scope for mistakes to creep in. For various reasons designers seldom see the expense they cause at the printer/repro house. When they do, they rarely care – everyone get’s paid the same, right?

David B has written some great Quark guides so I respect his judgement on this, and I have to agree. Quark does feel like a relic. What used to be an old reliable friend is shaking, feeble, old and its quirks are starting to annoy. The slick newcomer can do it all so much better. It’s an old old story.

FT Top 100 Films 85: GALAXY QUEST

Do You SeePost a comment • 943 views

Galaxy Quest is a movie whose premise is born of a lot of cold drinks. Imagine the scene, a Tiki Bar in LA, a couple of jobbing screenwriters have had too many shots of tequila are annoyed by a bunch of bumbling Trekkies (I know) in full Kilngon outfit sniggering over a beer.

“Wouldn’t it be funny if like they were really aliens.”
“Yeah, and imagine if they were such big fans that they thought that Captain Kirk really existed.”
“And they kidnapped him to help them in an alien space war.”

Perhaps this is where this conversations should have ended. I am glad it didn’t though, because Galaxy Quest is a whole mess of fun. It is a whole mess too, but that is less important. Tim Allen is not sure if he is playing William Shatner playing Buzz Lightyear but it is about the only time he has been well cast. The satire is slight, on Star Trek, on 60’s TV and on the idea of obsessive fandom – but it also never forgets that it is an adventure movie, albeit a very silly one. Cleverly the knowingness that comes from the situation is internalised, the actors realise they can be crew just by doing what they did on screen. There is also yet another terrific turn from Tony Shaloub, not to mention Sam Rockwell’s as the nervous anonymous crewman who knows that in the rules laid down by the series he has to die.

Galaxy Quest might have been better as the final hurrah for the Star Trek team, but possibly like Wes Craven’s New Nightmare the identification between character and actor is just too late (we know Kirk, do we really know Shatner?). We have never seen an episode of the Galaxy Quest TV series, we just know it is mainly Star Trek (Alan Rickman makes a wonderfully po-faced mixture of Leaonard Ninoy and the appaled Alec Guinness post Star Wars). But in its denouement it also embraces the obsessive devotion. The fans save the day. It might be their only day in the sun, but its a funny one and one all that costume wearing, signature collecting and queuing up deserves.

(co-worker returns from holiday in ecuador, and has to be caught up news of momart fire)

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 251 views

(co-worker returns from holiday in ecuador, and has to be caught up news of momart fire)

co-worker 1: the tone of the press was pretty sneery: i guess it’s just TATE BRICKS all over again
co-worker 2: the bricks would have been fine! they were firebricks!!
co-worker 1: yes!! the headlines wd have been “hoax art saves the day!!”
co-worker 2: except the firemen wd just have chucked them all into the skip anyway!!


Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 340 views


The second pub on the trawl, the fourth of the evening is the one that we are not completely sure of the name of (was it the Hand In Hand, or was that the first one). Anyway, this pub was lightly populated, bright and had some Dean martin playing on the juker. There was a fella round the corner who seemed to be singing along to Mac The Knife. Then another Dean Martin track came on. And then it all went quiet.

Actually, that is not strictly true. The jukebox went quiet. Obviously the pub continued at its usual hum, we were chatting about the exact proximity of my Dad’s flat when a youth to this pub (withing two hundred yards I approximated). But a quiet jukebox has needs and I pumped a quid in. The Story of The Blues by one of the Wah!’s (Mighty I think) was an early choice.

This did not cause a stir, the tunes were audible but not battering anyone over the head. Quickly however our Mack The Knife since slipped back over tot he juker and pumped a few quid in. When the strains of my final song – Glen Campbell – finished Deano popped back up with ‘That’s Amore’. The message was clear. This bloke owned the jukebox and tonight Matthew he was going to be Dean Martin.

That said, he offered up much more comedy value by chatting to an old black couple who had just come in and defended himself to us as “Just being friendly like”, before one of them absoultely spanked him at pool. You know what, he was just being friendly.


FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,326 views

JANET JACKSON – “All Nite (Don’t Stop)”

It’s official; Janet Jackson is crazy.

This has nothing to do with her alleged exercise addiction, the plastic surgeies she’s had to make herself look like the world’s sexiest anthropomorphic cat, or even the Superbowl titflash-o-rama. This is all centered around her new single, a deeply sexy affair that weaves a gigantic bassline through a stutter-beat straight from the heavens, topped off with the most gorgeous whisper-voiced lyrics this side of the “let me throw my panties at you and call you Daddy” divide. The evidence of Janet’s (or perhaps her record label’s) advancing dementia is the fact that this was not the lead single off of Damita Jo.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This review is in no way influenced by the fact that the author first heard the song via the absurdly sexy video. Oh no.)