You can choose compassion

Khoi Vinh: “Helvetica has been the standard system typeface for iOS since the beginning, and largely without complaint.” Oh?

  • Why Apple’s new font won’t work on your desktop

  • Designers explain why Apple’s new OS X typeface is a strange choice

  • Spiekermann:

    • “Apple font ‘beautiful as typeface, totally sucks as an interface’ ”

    • German; translation:

      I have been asked what I think about iOS 7. Until now I just saw it secondhand, via screenshots on my iPad or mobile. But there is already a small shitstorm on the net that Apple now uses a ultra-light font like Helvetica Ultra Light that was originally designed for big font sizes and therefore is way too narrow.

      If you see a continuous text in 13 px, it is a nice, smooth, plain but unreadable carpet. I think this is a phenomenon when young graphic artists or industrial designers deal with typography because they focus on good-looking grey levels/tones. This is because they don’t read – they only look and see surfaces.

      I told you that already, actually.

      So the way they think about how to make something with leather or out of metal, they also think about type. And you can see it’s really hard to read. It looks beautiful, and especially on the retina display will look great, but it’s useless.

      I hope they will change it. I’ve met Jony Ive a couple of times, and, when we spoke, told him to get rid of vertical lines. I saw that some of them did actually disappear, like in the calendar; perhaps that was my influence. I’ll keep on looking at this. It’s like a youthful folly that young graphic designers often [fall prey to], to use Helvetica Ultra Light.

Need I also mention the flowchart of system settings made available to overcome the illegibility of Helvetica, which, like all grotesk typefaces, is completely unsuited to screen use?

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.28 13:13. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/28/helvetikvetch/


The ginger bobsledder who is not Mr. HEATH SPENCE, Herr MANUEL MACHATA, and his team become the yellowest bobsledders.

Two yellow bobsleds, a yellow race BMW, a yellow enamel-panel building, two bobsledders and a driver

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.21 15:34. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/21/yellowbob/


BATIFOLE in ornate Art Deco letters on a vitrine that reflects a cloudy sky

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.18 15:13. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/18/batifole/

Duane Michals concludes his oddball war memoir The Lieutenant Who Loved His Platoon with this letter from one of his grunts. (Copy-edited.)

May 15, 1957

Duane,

Way back there you were faced with the choice for the first time (as were most of us) of going along with the gag or not. Unfortunately for you, you deliberately chose not to play the game and, therefore, became painfully aware of your own uniqueness – for after all, how can one feel other than pangs of guilt, he who has set another standard for himself apart from the sacred ideal of the holy elite of several score million philistines (for his very solitariness in the face of such a multitude of true believers ought to convince him of his error). The rest of us made our compromises early and we have since cooperated passively – and we hate ourselves for it. But you hate yourself for not having the capacity for easy ambivalence.

Is it worth it? Well, ponder this: On the way back in August ’55 half your old platoon including Schwartz and myself were on the ship together for the first time after being scattered but after the hellos the initial question among all was news of our lieutenant and the expression of the common hope that he got out all right without getting any more sticks with both ends dirty. Considering that the only thought among us then was getting off the boat, I think it’s surprising anybody bothered to remember about our jolly tour in that good old place, picturesquely situated in the hills. Is it too much to say that today twenty-odd people are somehow better off, if only with the memory, that in the midst of that humane horror someone made them still feel as if they were persons? There was nothing we would not have done for you then – and probably yet today.

You must excuse this let’s-try-to-flush-the-rabbit-by-beating-around-the-bush style I affect. For a number of reasons too tiresome to go into, but principally because all original composition is a highly torturous process for me, especially anything highly personal, this is the only type of thing I am capable of right now. What I should have baldly stated last time was that I came home apparently feeling the best way to readjust was to get busy at something “stimulating”; what I unconsciously really wanted to do was fine a hold to hide in. The contradiction took quite some time to become obvious but in the meantime the confusion and emotional turmoil of pursuing unrealized cross-purposes did nothing but compound a highly neurotic condition with an essentially antisocial, withdrawn, almost boorish attitude on my part for the time being. Well, anyway, it was touch and go for a while, and not the least among the unresolved little problems of moral cowardice was this fact of constantly taking, without making even a token effort of giving in return – of which the presence of your letter was a constant reminder. What good intentions there were never came out in a successful positive effort because they were negated by other disabilities. The passage of time has healed much, but maybe most should be credited to “maturity.”

This thing has again taken too long to write and finish so it probably won’t reach you before you take off. Anyway have fun.

DON

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.18 13:11. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/18/duanemichalsarmy/

The late Eric Rofes in Reviving the Tribe: Regenerating Gay Men’s Sexuality and Culture in the Ongoing Epidemic (1996, pp. 155–157, mildly edited):

We may be witnessing the creation of a new urban gay-male life cycle.

Hank Homo (primarily white, but not always; primarily middle class, though not always) spends his childhood in the Midwest (or the South, or New England, or Colorado) with a dawning sense of being “different” which blooms in adolescence into full-blown alienation. He fools around with guys in high school, sneaks out of his college dorm on Saturday night to visit the nearest gay bar, and, shortly after graduation, comes out of the closet at age 21. Hank spends the next few years exorcising demons of self-hatred and addiction, immersing himself in queer culture of the nearest small city, and trying on different kinds of gay identities. At 25, seeking to fulfill a seemingly unquenchable thirst for gay life and a heightened queer identity, he packs his bags and gets on a Trailways bus (or a plane, or in his used ’78 Chevy Nova) and heads for San Francisco (or New York, or Los Angeles, or Chicago). He finds a roommate situation in the Castro (or the East Village or West Hollywood or New Town), a gig as a barback at a neighbourhood bar, and a gym filled with hundreds of other mid-20s homo-migrants.

He knows what’s safe and what’s not safe and wears a red ribbon on his leather-jacket lapel. Hank throws himself into “the life” with gusto, good humour, and the best intentions. He discovers the dance clubs and the sex clubs, is jerked off in the showers at his gym (or the park at night, or the tearoom in the department store), and picks up men on subways, streetcorners, and at the corner market. He’s feeling good, he’s feeling hot – finally attractive and at home in his body. At 28 years old, he’s living the kind of life he’s always dreamed of: Out and proud as a gay man, immersed in a gay-positive environment, sharing in a communal culture of pleasure and freedom and affirmation.

One night (or day, or afternoon) he goes home with a man he’s dated a few times (or a man he met on the street, or his ex-lover, or his ex-lover’s new lover), and gets caught up in a moment of passion (or too much to drink, or wanting it so bad) and he engages in sex he knows he’s not supposed to engage in and never has before (or only has had a few times, or has had quite a bit lately). He frets about it for days (or weeks, or years) and before he knows it, he’s at the HIV test site, scared shitless, waiting to get the results.

At 30 he hears the news he’s feared for years (or expected to hear for years): He finds out he’s infected with HIV. From age 30 to 33, he’s in denial and tells himself HIV is “chronic and manageable” (or the test was wrong, or that there’ll be a cure soon). From 33 to 36, he’s mildly symptomatic, and learns to meditate and eat right (or begins taking AZT, or becomes religious, or joins ACT UP). At 37 he’s diagnosed with KS (must have been those poppers or the speed, or all the semen swallowed, or bad genes) and gets on several experimental treatments (or withdraws into severe depression, or writes a column for the local gay paper, or moves back to the Midwest, the South, or New England). He recovers his health for a while, joins a healing circle (or a 12-step program, or a phone-sex line, or a new compact-disc club) and tells the world he’s “gonna beat it!” His energy begins slipping away, he loses weight (or eyesight, or bowel control, or mental functioning), becomes increasingly debilitated and homebound.

Two months before his 40th birthday, Hank Homo succumbs to HIV disease, another soul caught up in a truncated life cycle increasingly prevalent in gay-male worlds.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.18 12:44. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/18/hankhomo/

Be a man in a dress, like:

  • Dana Contreras, who pled guilty to domestic violence and false imprisonment (this really means “sexual violation of my body,” according to his wife, the victim) and is not a woman, female, a lesbian, “Dana McCallum,” a convicted rapist, or an employee of Twitter anymore

  • “Meghan Stabler,” a “working mother of the year” despite being a man who impregnated the actual mother of his children

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2014.10.17 14:06. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:
http://blog.fawny.org/2014/10/17/contreras-stabler/

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