From “he last person on this earth to speak with Tiffany Sedaris” before she killed herself:
In an interview on Dutch TV, given about a month after Tiffany’s suicide, David was asked, “What if you could ask her one question?” He replied, “Can I have the money back that I loaned you?” He laughed. “She borrowed all this money from me. She said, ‘I will pay you back in my lifetime.’ I can’t believe I fell for that.”
I already told you how rich David Sedaris is.
Few remember the performance (really a staged re-enactment) of Yann Martel’s short story “The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios” on CBC in 1996. It won Michael Riley a Gemini, but the actor who played the man dying of AIDS, Michael Mahonen, is also poorly remembered.
The production resembles some of the art videos, including music videos, created in that era, with blatant compositing, overly bright key, and direct address to the camera. It holds up well, though the captioning job, by the ever incompetent BCCS (the second-worst captioner Canada has ever known), was never good enough even on the air date.
I am still surprised at the untroubled and credible handling of the fact these men are not gay and are not lovers. I think that draws from the same reservoir that actors (not actresses) use when actually playing lovers. I know what chaste, ongoing care of a man with an illness really is like and I see more than enough points of commonality.
I have a suspicion there are fewer than five videotape copies of this short film in existence, and I have one of them. The most important of those copies – in all likelihood a Betacam submaster – sits in a vault at the Corpse waiting to be lost or accidentally taped over.
Frank editor Michael Bate, to Vit Wagner of the Star (2008.10.29): “The idea of working 12‑ to 15-hour days on a glorified blog didn’t appeal to me.”
Frank is back as a glorified blog. I tried to talk Bate out of it. We chatted, for not very long, on the phone this summer, and eventually I gave up on trying to do that again (he was at the cottage and suchlike) and simply sent him a mail explaining how the environment had changed.
If you publish in print, the same content can’t be online
It’s perfectly possible to publish a print magazine and make a go of it. Monocle does. Boring as shit, but it works, for two reasons. First, subscriptions cost much more than even the sum of single-copy prices, which is well more than the opposite of conventional pricing. Second, essentially no content from the magazine is online for free use. If you’re a subscriber, fine, you can read it, though I’m not persuaded that many people do. Monocle has quite a few radio streams (its own station, in fact), and video and audio podcasts, which live only online by definition.
Another model, one that’s so applicable you could almost copy it wholesale, is Private Eye’s. The Internet essentially never happened to Private Eye, which actually is still pasted up.
If you went this way, you would need to circumvent one of the phenomena that killed off ancien Frank – browsing in bookstores. This is why God gave us “polybags.” It’s actually a great opportunity for branding. What if you had your own colour, like urinous yellow?
You positively can make money online-only…
just not on the Web
What I am talking about here are iPad-only periodicals. (Uncommonly, iPad-and-iPhone-only.) The model you must not contemplate emulating is the Daily’s – $30 million down the hole and exactly the wrong production and staff structure. [...] You want to follow the small-iPad-magazine model of the Magazine (sic) and NSFW.
The Magazine was iOS developer Marco Arment’s homebrew magazine. (Arment also wrote Instapaper, which, as a new iPhone user, I can tell you right now you cannot live without.) It wasn’t just a technology magazine. It was general-interest in the 1970s-Esquire model. It had a real editor (whom I didn’t like), did real editing, licensed real photography. Within the last year, though, Arment sold Instapaper and the Magazine (separately).
There are quite a few small magazines in, say, the iTunes Store. Why did the Magazine work? First of all, because Arment is a big name in iOS development and tens of thousands of people use Instapaper. That’s effectively an installed base. While not the same thing, Frank also has an installed base.
Next, the unpleasant Paul Carr and his NSFW Corp. It’s a gonzo-investigative-journalism publication out of the city whose vulgarity matches Carr’s, Las Vegas. There are print and digital editions in configurations I do not really understand. At one point he had 3,000 paying subscribers. I suppose I could write and ask how many now. But I applied to edit the damned thing and was ignored, so maybe I’m not in a rush to follow up.
There are other wrinkles available in these models, like optional subscriptions that are simply voluntary donations of money.
So then: Yes, Frank nouveau is possibly viable
It has to be either print-only or iPad-only. You don’t need a large “team,” but you need actually qualified developers in the latter case, though perhaps you’d just license the Magazine’s CMS and platform.
I have a chequered history in satirical news reporting, but a lifetime’s experience reading it. If you can put some money together, I can work on it with you.
(Nothing significant elided.)
Paul Carr sold out and the Magazine has almost gone broke. So let’s say two of these models did not work out for the exemplars I used. But they’d never been tried in Canada. Why, then, just start a Web site with a paywall? Isn’t the only difference here that Bate isn’t using Flash to publish pictures of text anymore? Nobody seems to remember that phase of Frank’s history. (Just as they’ve forgotten Fabrice Taylor.)
I am not paying for Frank.
“Chequered history in satirical news reporting”
Does anyone seriously disagree now with John Cook about the structural timidity of the Canadian print media, which means the Toronto print media?
CBC’s loss of hockey rights would have been the second-biggest day ever for the Tea Makers.
Also, and not at all incidentally, no hard feelings, Dave. We were younger then.
Ten Years Ago in Spy.
I ask again: Who’s up for an oral history of Frank?
Greying ginger homosexualist graphic designer Patric(k) King on seven kinds of clients (via his Twitter [start]; copy-edited).
Client A will only discuss things that are problems to her. If she says nothing at all, I’ve knocked it out of the park.
Client B won’t discuss things she dislikes because she feels rude. I must watch for what she won’t comment upon, or she’ll get agitated.
Client C doesn’t know what he thinks and gets embarrassed by that. So I reassure him that he looks great while he focuses on content.
Client D refuses to communicate at all, so if he E-mails a request, he needs it right now.
Client E seems really high maintenance but in actuality just needs to talk visual problems out. She’ll accept work built upon our exchange.
Client F is insecure about his job position, so every visual decision needs to show value in a quantifiable way. (I nicknamed him Google.)
Client G, an athlete, hates final solutions. I trick him into decisions by describing what could change after he’s approved it.
“And that, motherfuckers, is the kind of intelligence you will never ever learn in your bullshit little college design program.”
Here we have Brand in the dog (not quite “puppy”) mask or hood he crafted himself. (Via his Facebook.)
This beautiful physical object beats the shit out of whatever “comp” you banged together in Photoshop. (I will excuse the use of leather in this case.) And really, they should be called hound masks or hound hoods.
I have read extensively about so-called puppy play. (Like grey goo, worried well, and bathroom bill, beware of cutesy alliterative neologisms. I suppose hound hood is one of those.) I have watched various of the videos, particularly those of Brand’s master, Jyan Delamotte (no relation). I breezed through Puppy Night at the Eagle last week – a dozen staph infections waiting to happen. I am not sold on the sexual aspect whatsoever. I also don’t disapprove. It’s a fetish, but so are a lot of things.
But I do respect the model demonstrated by Brand. Since Egypt, if not from time immemorial, donning a mask lets you forget about being yourself. Of course we know it’s still you, but that is exactly what you forget. I don’t think it’s about dissimulation or pretending or acting.
I see the advantage of Brand’s variant of puphood as being able at last to forget every single thing, to follow your leader, to be.
I would further commend Brand for his introduction video, its – his – touching honesty enabled by wearing another mask or hood of his own creation.