Nostalgia has ruined the world, but what’s a world for if not ruining? That’s the question asked by Cat Frazier, a 23-year-old graphic designer who runs Animated Text, a website capturing the beautiful life of the young Internet, a life which has been flattened and Helvetica-d to death. Her mission is a noble one, and so has been briefly catapulted to “famous for the Coastal few who still read the New York Times” status with this gloriously pre-millennial layout.
The Internet was at first the playground for young people with too much time on their hands and very little design savvy — the real designers were busy chaos-ifying magazines and crying about Arial to bother noticing that the world of layout was shifting digitally. That changed, eventually, and so, too, did web design, leading to the trend of simplicity-as-minimalism that currently rules the Web — and all “good” design. The real world has taken notice (art mimics life mimics art) and so now we have Kanye West and his performances of “Only One,” which find him clad entirely in black and bathed in pure white light. His latest performance, for Norwegian-Swedish show Skevlan, is perhaps his best yet.
That’s an odd phrase: “best yet.” When it comes down to it, the world has become entirely about being the “best yet,” whether it’s the best rapper, the best designer, or the best phone. The best phone, right now, might not even be available in America. Which, design and functionality aside, might just rule it out. Is something ever “the best” if you haven’t been able to use it for yourself? Or, further, is anything only “the best” before you’ve tried it and dispelled its supposed greatness?
Low expectations are really the key to living a good, fulfilling life, and I’ve mastered that, which is why the news of a “fold down toilet desk” has not shattered my faith in humanity. Mostly because, while humanity often makes me shake my head, it sometimes, too, makes me nod my head, thinking, “Yes, yes, this is human ingenuity at its finest.” (It is, far more often than one would expect, something toilet-related that makes me ponder the value of our kind.)
And then there is this, the case of Dell’s Maraschino Cherry plant, and its owner who was driven to suicide when investigators began to suspect that he was growing marijuana underneath his Redhook facilities. As the linked article states, the marijuana-growing facilities were severely hidden, requiring entrance through a “Bat Cave-esque” tunnel, and they also held up to “120,000 plants.”
Maraschino cherries and marijuana plants are, to anyone with a brain, a match made in heaven. How many stoned fools would kill for a jar of sweet maraschinos after blazing up on a hot Friday night? A lot, probably — but they don’t own maraschino cherry plants.