Can we be those people? Not the ones they paint in sappy movie scenes, or happy bright novels of perfect hair and solid smiles. I’m talking about the ones in faded black and white pictures with ink stains seeping from the sides. Worry lines, and bullet wounds; Stitched scars and messy tattoos; Darkness, but sunlight peeking through the curtains. Morning hair, cigarette breath, crumpled sheets, and music dancing in the back drop. Dirty needles and empty bottles. Trickling canvases and gentle brushes. Tongues and teeth instead of kisses and hugs. Raw and real, not light and bright. Fingers tracing bare skin with an elbow propping your head up while we talk into the night. A backpack and a book- and nothing else to offer the world. Subway stations and rainy window panes. Only one blanket to share, and pockets too empty to bare. Duets on street corners with a guitar and a voice, and a hat to hold our fortunes. Yesterday’s french toast topped with today’s french kiss, and a little bit of coffee. Shoe souls that have traced smiles, miles, and milestones of forever. Broken parts spewed across the floor- a screw driver and glue to fix it all. Candle light dinners when the bills are overdue. Gazing at sharpie stars on an already leaking ceiling (we call it our personal rain). The melody of our hearts when the radio breaks down. Hand written letters, and hands intertwined. Sitting too close, holding too tight, touching too much- electricity of its own. Bonfires in our bed, the moon by our books. Tally marks etched into the wall, and a mirror for our memories. Beanies and dreads and haircuts in the bathroom. Typewriters and dead plants and colours that dried out. Whiskey and rolls and promising to quit every time. Eye contact and abysses in irises. Smiles that reach those hemispheres and light up the galaxies. Barbed wires, missing fliers, and papermache wings. Black hearts and lost parts, and unkept things. Pawn shops. and motel rooms, and Chinese takeout for dinner. Dark movie theaters in foreign tongues. Lost souls, incomplete wholes, puzzle pieces that don’t fit. The opposite of right, the embodiment of love, and a leap of faith. Four hundred and twelve bones, two hearts, one existence. Can we be those people?
Art is un-hard (an antithesis)
Technique is the test of sincerity,
so far, so Ezra Pound, damning his chisel
faced with obstinate marble. The writer is on a quest
to sculpt a throne from a dream, any dream,
and professors want students to explicate
or summarize a piece so that they may feel it
once the jumbled words fall away and the
piece shines its naked message to the reborn plain eye.
Can we breach what has been conditioned
through tradition? Some learn, some teach.
And this is where the fun starts. Smithing
cufflinks into into chains to adorn our brides
of the mind, as our thoughts fly freeeeeeee
requires passion and we have it as we make it ours,
our freedom (is) the creed to inflict a blunt-force
trauma by way of the pen unto the down-trodden
overly worn paths that would be used to fence us in
and we deliberately offend the nay-sayers
and potential swayers of our minds:
The point is: These are our words, as trained
or un-trained as we see fit, from our mouths
flung into the faces of our beholders;
This Is We: Raw, Un-Cut.
Art is un-hard: our words -> our art
Reading Quietly. HTC says Shhhh!
Quietly Brilliant? What do they mean? Is HTC perhaps secretly outstanding? Are we to think that HTC mobiles are sparklingly average? Or possibly they look glitteringly inconspicuous? What does the antithesis in this HTC tagline tell us about HTC and how does it help to understand how HTC wants to communicate its brand? As I un-knit my eyebrows I wonder, how do you read HTC?
Smartphone advertising is prone to smugness, knowing that it’s got a willing audience for the latest toy. But mobile marketeers mistakenly assume that we’re as fascinated with the product as the industry is fixated with itself. Not so, not for many of us anyway. What HTC seems to be selling is not a mouthy little monster that’s constantly squawking at us to feed it attention pellets, but a serene little gizmo that hums Mogwai-like, patiently awaiting the next time we wish to be served. HTC is apparently about humility and putting people, not technology first.
This brand positioning pops up in another piece of textbook copywriting for HTCs YOU campaign: “You don’t need to get a phone, you need a phone that gets you.” Another antithesis: a clear contrast of the HTC philosophy with the how the other guy thinks. Brilliant! Mobile technology that’s an expression of you rather than fascinated with itself.
We hear the voiceover say: “Because in the end, innovation doesn’t really matter, unless it does something that really matters to you” (at this point, I’m starting to recognise a pattern in how the HTC copywriter works out what words would work, when she’s working with words). This user-centered design, we’re told, cuts-the-consumer-mustard because your self-effacing little HTC phone only wants to do what you want to do. Bless it!
The idea of empowering people comes through in the copy and in the HTC script font and matching doodles. The pen is a tactile, intuitive tool which we wield with dexterity and ease. Like all simple tools, the pen is a powerful extension of the hand. And when things are simple, when we intuitively understand something, “It just makes HTC sense” (note the less-than-humble appropriation of the word sense). By extending this notion, HTC can make what appears to be an entirely reasonable series of appeals to our common sense, rather than marketing claims for a product; such as, “You shouldn’t have to wait ages for the internet” or “You can hear it in your bag because it automatically rings louder”. Clever, clever! Being intuitive and seeming reasonable then are all part of being Quietly Brilliant.
So, has the HTC brand totally killed the noise? Well, if you visit www.htc.com you certainly get a lot of clean, white space. Dig a little deeper and HTC doesn’t sound quite so modest. Claims like: “Want to be entertained like never before?” and “impressive from every angle” don’t seem consistent with the Quietly Brilliant tone of voice. And what about those product names? If HTC really want us to believe that they are Quietly Brilliant then okay, but from now on the HTC Sensation becomes the HTC Serene, the HTC Incredible becomes the HTC Nice, and the HTC Desire turns into the HTC Don’t-Mind-If-I-Do.