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Quote of the Day

“Writing should always be exploratory. There shouldn’t be the assumption that you know ahead of time what you want to express.”

That’s Marilynne Robinson in today’s New York Times. The rest of her brief essay is worth reading—as is pretty much everything she writes.

The Death of Criticism?

The other day I said some disparaging things about The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird—something about them being overrated, if I remember correctly. The baby boomer in the room responded with something to the effect that, when I get something published, I can weigh in on the literary merits of the two books in question.

A couple of observations.

First, I should have known better. Boomers—like any generation, really—are protective of their cultural totems. I also happen to think that the Beatles are overrated. And that Jimi Hendrix is not, in fact, the greatest guitarist who ever lived. Both statements are easily defensible, yet anathema to just about anyone who grew up in the 1960s.

Second, is it really necessary to publish a novel to be critical of another? If so, then it surely must be true that that experience is also necessary if one is to praise a novel. And if that’s the case, then don’t bother arguing with me about the merits of Jimi Hendrix unless you’ve released an album. You can see how this approach quickly falls apart.

I don’t bring up any of this to disparage the boomer. He’s one of the sharpest people I know, not to mention a witty raconteur. Rather, it’s to point out that we seem to have lost our ability—or, at the very least, our willingness—to criticize.

Is this unwillingness due to a lack of knowledge? Maybe. Is it because we’re afraid we might cause offense? Probably. Is it because it’s just easier to use sales figures as the primary barometer of artistic merit? Almost certainly. (On this, however, I think Schoenberg got it right when he said, “If it is art, it is not for all, and if it is for all, it is not art.”)

These are things worth fighting for. Or fighting over, at the very least. Otherwise, what’s the point? When we challenge each other to defend deeply held positions, we grow stronger and more confident in our own convictions—not to mention a whole lot smarter. And the art itself? It keeps getting better.

Goodbye, Mr. Rogers

This past weekend I read about the passing of Jack C. Rogers. He was a design instructor when I attended Spokane Falls Community College. In fact, he helped start the SFCC design department in 1963 and taught there for 26 years.

A soft-spoken, kind, and gentle person, Mr. Rogers touched the lives of many graphic designers working in Spokane today. I remember him quietly teaching the basic methods of ad layouts, composition, and typography. He also taught illustration courses and was a very good watercolorist in his own right.

I never saw or spoke to Mr. Rogers after graduating 36 years ago. But I’ve never forgotten him. He was a World War II vet and an avid runner, and he loved peanut butter sandwiches. He had a heart for teaching. And, up until recently, he continued as a volunteer teaching aspiring artists.

Thank you, Mr. Rogers. You’ll be missed.

Sounds About Right

“I miss the English,” says Martin Amis from his home in Manhattan. “I miss Londoners. I miss the wit.” So what’s wrong with Americans?

[T]hey’re very, well, de Tocqueville saw this coming in about 1850 – he said, it’s a marvellous thing, American democracy, but don’t they know how it’s going to end up? It’s going to be so mushy that no one will dare say anything for fear of offending someone else. That’s why Americans aren’t as witty as Brits, because humour is about giving a little bit of offence. It’s an assertion of intellectual superiority. Americans are just as friendly and tolerant as Londoners, but they flinch from mocking someone’s background or education.

It’s too bad, really, if only because humility—a characteristic that’s in rather short supply these days—is bred out of mockery.

Monday Miscellany

So, basically, Pow! was Brian Epstein. Or George Martin. Or Pete Best. Or Stuart Sutcliffe

“Playful urination practices—from seeing how high you can pee to games such as Peeball (where men compete using their urine to destroy a ball placed in a urinal)—may give boys an advantage over girls when it comes to physics.” Ed. note: Um…Peeball??? I feel like I’m missing out on some quality male bonding time here.*

Nic Rowan attended Satruday’s Juggalo March on Washington and lived to tell about it: “There was free Little Caesar’s pizza. Friendly Faygo spray battles. I shared cigarettes with complete strangers and it felt right. Everywhere, Juggalos were acting like a loving family, ambling around the area in front of the Lincoln Memorial and embracing each other in ‘huggalos.'”

While weighing in on the standard definition of nonplussed, the OED reminds us of the perils of unchecked stupidity.

And finally, a cool new video from Anathema:

*I had to look it up. Here are the official rules of Peeball. Just remember, “the use of penile siphons or any other artificial urinary aids is strictly forbidden.”

Who Painted the First Abstract Painting?

In a 1935 letter to his New York gallerist, Wassily Kandinsky made a bold claim: “Indeed,” he wrote of a 1911 work, “it’s the world’s first ever abstract picture, because back then not one single painter was painting in an abstract style. A ‘historic painting’, in other words.”

But is it true? Probably not. Swedish painter Hilma af Klint “worked with abstract imagery as early as 1906, arguably several years before Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich, Robert Delaunay and Frantisek Kupka, long considered the trailblazers of the movement”:

“Kandinsky was actively campaigning for himself as being the first abstract artist, constantly writing his gallery and saying, ‘Hey, you know, I was the first! I painted the first abstract painting in 1911!'” said Julia Voss, an art historian and art critic for the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. “He was obviously successful, as he’s widely considered the father of 20th-century abstraction. But all the while, af Klint, much more privately, had already been creating these striking, abstract visuals for years.”

Stockholm’s Moderna Museet is featuring 230 of her works in the exhibition Hilma af Klint—A Pioneer of Abstraction. You know, if you find yourself in Sweden any time soon.

Thanks for Clearing the Air for Me

On Sunday, September 3, the missus and I pointed our trusty Subaru southeast toward Greeley, Colorado for a week-long series of client meetings. To be honest, we weren’t sure we’d ever escape the smoke. Ash was falling like snowflakes in Butte; though it was less severe where we camped that night in the Tobacco Root Mountains near Pony, Montana, a layer of gray covered our tent when we awoke the following morning. It wasn’t until we approached Cheyenne Monday evening that we were finally out of the worst of it—and even then, northern Colorado was under a dull haze all week.

Imagine my surprise when, last night, I descended Lookout Pass to find this glorious sight.

Did my eyes deceive me? I got out of the car, cautiously sniffed the air, then breathed in one lungful after another of fresh, untainted mountain air. It was as good a “welcome home” as I could have wished for. Glad to have you (somewhat) back to normal, PNW.

Miscellany

Someone has finally deciphered the Voynich manuscript! Or…has he?

“Long ago, in the ancient city of Cyrene, there was a herb called silphium. It didn’t look like much—with stout roots, stumpy leaves and bunches of small yellow flowers—but it oozed with an odiferous sap that was so delicious and useful, the plant was eventually worth its weight in gold.” So what happened to it?

David Ferry has given us a new translation of the Aeneid. At 93 years of age.

Don’t tell your hippy-dippy baby boomer friends, but “the 1950s were among the most intellectually and creatively provocative periods of the twentieth century.”

A history of victimhood.

Free will or fait accompli?

Whether buying a house or auditioning potential mates, Goethe has some advice for you: “Choose well. Your choice is brief and yet endless.”

So how do you order from a menu? Simple:

If you want to experience more pleasure before the meal, order something you have had before; you can access your memory of that pleasure. But if you want to create new memories—more pleasure in the future—order something new. And don’t think too much about the meal beforehand. Research has shown that merely thinking about a certain food can invoke the phenomenon of “sensory-specific satiety,” whereby our liking for that food begins to decline the moment it is in our mouth (and apparently beforehand).

Tom Vanderbilt has more on the “barrage of choice” we face these days.

On Location in Greeley, Colorado

Echo is on display at the University of Northern Colorado’s Mariana Gallery—and it’s pretty amazing. Artist Dylan Gebbia-Richards covered the walls of an enclosed room with layers of wax so dense that it actually absorbs sound. According to the press release, “[t]he lack of ambient noise within the chamber deliberately reduces the auditory stimuli in effort to focus on the visual senses.” Apparently, the effect has something to do with what’s called chromesthesia:

The title of the exhibition references the acoustic effect that occurs when sound reflects off of bare, close fitting walls and distantly repeats. Gebbia-Richards explores the possibility of inverting this principal into a “visual echo,” by encompassing the viewer in a 30′ x 20.5′, double ellipse room. The sloped, wave-like walls of what the artist calls “the chamber,” immerses the viewer in a life-size, textured painting made from 4,128 pounds of melted wax.

The exhibition runs through December 11. If you’re anywhere even remotely near Greeley, you really ought to check it out.

Walter Becker, RIP

I returned from a camping trip this weekend to learn of Walter Becker’s untimely death. For a certain kind of nerdy* kid growing up in the 70s (like, oh, I dunno…me), Becker served as a patron saint: he was an intellectual, a great musician, and a bitingly sarcastic lyricist. In other words, pretty much exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up.

By the time I was out of junior high school—which corresponded with the breakup of Steely Dan—I had stopped listening. I figured that, like most things that strike your fancy at that age, I had outgrown Becker’s music. A few years ago, though, I bought Aja—followed quickly by everything else in Steely Dan’s catalogue. It was like I’d been reintroduced to an old friend, this time with a full understanding of the group’s musical genius and studio precision, rather than simply the camaraderie one feels for fellow “creatures of the margin and of alienation.”

My favorite of their albums is probably Aja, but, for some reason, I put on Pretzel Logic when I heard the news of Becker’s death, followed by Katy Lied and The Royal Scam. But it doesn’t really matter. Pick any Steely Dan record and listen—I mean really listen. If you’re unfamiliar with their oeuvre, you’ll be surprised by their depth and range; if, like me, you’d sort of forgotten about them, you’re in for a treat.

*I mean actual nerds, not today’s hipster nerd wannabes.

Miscellany: Special Curmudgeonly Edition!

When Skooch told me about this, I didn’t believe him. Nobody, I said, is that dumb—nobody. Turns out I grossly underestimated humanity’s capacity for stupidity.

Speaking of stupidity, our ruthless pursuit of self-aggrandizement appears to have reached a whole new level.

About time someone put the final nail in the coffin of “emotional intelligence.”

The world is going to hell: first came the hurricane, then the flooding, then the floating colonies of fire ants. And now this. Next up, probably: rivers of blood and a plague of locusts.

And when it’s all said and done, civilization will look pretty much like this.

“One Last Time over Georgia”

Georgia is apparently one of the least-restrictive countries when it comes to drone photography. But that’s all changing a week from today. So Amos Chapple, “one of the early pioneers of drone photography,” headed there “to make one last aerial record of Georgia’s mountains, lowlands, and cities before the new rules come into force.” The results are stunning.

We’re Huge in the UK

Clearly, the good folks over at the Guardian read this blog. I mean, how else would you explain this, published just three days after I posted this? Let’s just say that it’s getting increasingly difficult to type these days, what with one finger on the pulse of international popular culture.

Oh—and do buy Mr. Wilson’s album, would you? It really is quite good. Be prepared to make some room in your music library, though (you do have one of those, right?), because you’ll be wanting everything he’s ever done.

Quote of the Day

From Frank L. Cioffi’s indispensable One Day in the Life of the English Language: A Microcosmic Usage Handbook (2015), comes this sage advice:

The “rules of English” that we were taught, still remember, and even live by provided guidelines for grade-school students, namely, children who were gradually acquiring an understanding of formal English, and who had to be weaned from their childish language. For example, we were taught not to start sentences with conjunctions such as and or so or but. We were taught not to end sentences with prepositions and not to split infinitives. As far more sophisticated users of language, we understand why these rules were created, and though we don’t invariably break them, we also understand that it’s not necessary to blindly or mechanically obey them. In fact, we realize how important it is to routinely question these rules, and to discover their margins and limits.

New Music

Went hiking last week with a couple of old friends. And, as middle-aged guys are wont to do, we spent some time complaining about the current state of affairs re politics, education, and pretty much anyone younger than us.

At one point during a conversation about music, someone asked, “Is anyone even making good pop music anymore?” (I should mention here that, at one point in our lives, we were all professional musicians; the other two still have careers in music.) “As a matter of fact,” I began…then told them both about my long-time love affair with the work of Steven Wilson.

Wilson released a new album last Friday—To the Bone—and it’s exquisite. I’d go on in greater detail, but Daniel Cordova over at Metal Injection says it all in just a single paragraph:

This record reminds me a lot of another prog giant that also dabbled in pop. Fight me if you want, but that dude’s name is Peter Gabriel. Like WilsonGabriel started out in a progressive band before going solo. Each of his solo albums expanded his sonic pallet with a variety of instrumentation, influences, and effects. Peter Gabriel tapped Tony Levin and Robert Fripp (King Crimson) and Kate Bush to play on various releases. Over the years, Wilson recruited Marco Minneman, Guthrie Goven, Nick Beggs (Kajagoogoo), Adam Holzman and recently Craig Blundell and David Killar. In 1986, Peter Gabriel dropped the goliath album So which featured tracks like “Red Rain,” “Sledgehammer,” “In Your Eyes,” and many more great proggy and poppy tracks. It took a while to get here, but the point is that To The Bone is Steven Wilson’s So. Albeit, the state of music as a whole is in an entirely different place than it was when So dropped. To The Bone doesn’t have the chance to be the international best seller So is, but it is on the same creative level.

Be sure to check out Cordova’s entire review. Then go over to Wilson’s YouTube channel, where he’s uploaded three videos from the new album. Then, of course, buy the damn record.

TGIF

It’s been a long week. A tough one, if I can be honest. So rather than hit you over the head with an annoying grammar quibble or bore you with a personal anecdote, here’s something fun: a four-minute time-lapse video showing the construction of a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Have a swell weekend, y’all.

Mid-Week Break

Thanks to a drier than normal summer, the huckleberries weren’t nearly as big—nor as plentiful—as in years past. And for a Wednesday, there was a surprising number of people on the trail. But Harrison Lake was still its usual glorious self, and the huckleberries were still tasty.

Side note: Yes, the water looks refreshing after a fairly steep climb. No, it’s not warm. Not at all. The feeling returned to my extremities some time around 3:00 this morning.

I Give Up

Even as 2017 seems hell-bent on making 2016 look positively sane by comparison—no mean feat, that—a story like this gives me faith in our species.

Like an idiot, however, I also read this. So…one step forward, two steps back. Maybe I should just quit reading altogether.

Happy Monday…

For no reason whatsoever, here are some random bits of completely useless trivia. Feel free to astound your friends with any or all of them.

Your odds of either winning the lottery or becoming an astronaut are roughly the same (~13 million : 1).

Casu marzu, a sheep’s milk cheese enjoyed by Sardinians, is mostly rotten—and includes live insect larvae for added flavor.

While more people speak Mandarin, English is the most widely spoken, in that more countries have declared it their official language.

There are only two Shakers left in the world.

A Korean superstition holds that, if you eat damaged or asymmetrical food while pregnant, your baby will be ugly.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a Welsh railway station. The name translates to “St. Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near to the rapid whirlpooland the church of St. Tysilio of the red cave.”

Basic Principals

After being out of college for more than five years, I have homework. Homework. Thankfully it’s fun, interesting, and awesome homework.

My one-year-old Shiba Inu, Remi, just advanced to the intermediate level of obedience school, and I couldn’t be more stoked. We adore the trainers, they have a great reputation in Spokane, and I – hands down– would recommend them to anyone with a dog. Every class feels like you’re watching a kid learn to read, or seeing a baby take its first steps. It’s THE GREATESTWhich makes the idea of homework great, too—because you get to bond with, learn from, and teach your furry BFF.

It wasn’t until I actually downloaded the homework that I got discouraged.

Great design is everywhere. So’s good design, mediocre design, and…bad design. But bad design somehow SCREAMS at you. It refuses to be ignored.

As a designer, I have the privilege to be able to correct bad design and point out how good design – even just basic principals – can elevate any piece. Take the below single page from Remi’s homework packet.

Technically, there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s all the same typeface, the body copy is consistent, and the header is larger and bolder to set it off. But click to the next image and see what happens when I take that same copy and apply hierarchy and comfortable spacing (both in the margins and in the leading).

Don’t your eyes instantly feel more comfortable? The left and right margins give a visual break while your eye tracks from one line to the next. They can rest and read at the same time without straining. Which means you actually want to read it. And if you want to read it, there’s a better chance you actually will, right?

 

diamond1diamond2

 

“Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.”
– Jared Spool

 

Not All Progress Is Good

Jean M. Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, has been analyzing generational data going back to the 1930s. In a thoughtful—and thought-provoking—article in the September issue of the Atlantic, she turns her gaze on today’s teens. “The aim of generational study,” she writes, “is not to succumb to nostalgia for the way things used to be; it’s to understand how they are now.” And how are they? Not good:

Even when a seismic event—a war, a technological leap, a free concert in the mud—plays an outsize role in shaping a group of young people, no single factor ever defines a generation. Parenting styles continue to change, as do school curricula and culture, and these things matter. But the twin rise of the smartphone and social media has caused an earthquake of a magnitude we’ve not seen in a very long time, if ever. There is compelling evidence that the devices we’ve placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives—and making them seriously unhappy.

The “lonely, dislocated generation” is in trouble. But Twenge sees some hopeful signs. Read the whole thing.

OMG That Cake is SRSLY Mondrian.

A pattern of vertical and horizontal black lines.

Primary colors.

Straight-sided geometric shapes.

Asymmetric balance.

Simple enough composition, yet in the early 20th century, when Piet Mondrian – one of the founders of the Dutch De Stijl movement – applied his aesthetic of total abstraction as a model for harmony and order into his paintings, it shook up a Western world just emerging from the thicket of Art Nouveau. It signified a radical shift towards abstraction and rationalism. Mondrian’s compositions would be crucial in the development of Modernism throughout the century. His work to this day permeates our culture, its influence appearing in decor, cakes, Katy Perry, Nike, the White Stripes, Yves Saint Laurent, and even in the meticulously designed coasters of a certain design firm.

 

Explore his life and work at this superbly designed digital archive.

 

Word of the Day

hipster  (noun)  a person who follows the latest trends and fashions, especially those regarded as being outside the cultural mainstream.

I have a serious issue with this word. As you can see, the dictionary definition describes a hipster as being one who follows the trends outside of mainstream culture. I look around now, however, and in my “culture,” what used to be considered hipster is becoming mainstream. So, by definition, these individuals are no longer hipster. My problem with this is that, without changing anything about myself, I have, by definition, become a hipster.

 

I’ll Be Brief

Ah brevity, the silver stag we chase through the woods; the tightrope we walk between too much and too little. It’s like the sound of a chord as a few choice words intertwine. Whatever comparison suits your caffeine-addled mind, it’s that elegant economy, written or verbal, we strive for when searching for what to say.

Which brings me to Hemingway, who, despite being dead, turned 118 a couple weeks ago. Some of us have visited his grave, others, read his books; all of us, however, should take some time out of our day to read his famous six-word story:

 

For sale,

Baby shoes,

Never worn. 

 

Here’s to you brevity, you cheeky eel.

 

Skooch’s Movie Pick of the Week

Just like in Seinfeld, I’m going to provide you with a movie pick of the week ­– but with a couple of key differences. First, I’m not going to send you a package in the mail with the play button from my VCR. Mainly because I no longer have a VCR. And second, the movie pick is terrible. So terrible, in fact, that it holds the record for lowest grossing film of all time at a whopping $30. And that’s if you don’t count the $10 worth of refunds.

The movie is called Zyzzyx Road. Find it. Watch it. You’re welcome.

 

Those Stuffy Museums

It’s always interesting to visit museums, especially when traveling to a city you’re experiencing for the first time. On a recent trip to the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, we came across Fatigues by Toronto-based artist Abbas Akhavan.

Is that really a deer?

The whitetail buck was lying on a wooden floor, carefully placed in a corner near large white walls, and, of course, well-lit. I began to read the artist’s statement: “Fatiques consists of a series of animals stuffed and laid right on the floor in different locations around the exhibition gallery.”

Hmmm…okay.

There was also a screech owl, a gray wolf, a red fox, a black bear, and a North American porcupine, among others. “While taxidermy animals are most often exhibited in posture suggestive of their grace or agility in their natural state,” the statement continues, “those of Abbas Akhavan are mounted in positions that evoke their vulnerability and show them as inanimate creatures, consigned to a state of perpetual silence. By avoiding giving them narratives or prominent displays, the work hopes to avoid dramatizing their deaths in order to prompt consideration of the precariousness of life.”

All right, I wondered, what constitutes art? And what might a first-time visitor be thinking? Will he ever come back? And why isn’t the tongue hanging out of the deer’s mouth?

I’ve seen plenty of dead deer in my lifetime, but they’re usually on the side of the road. (And when they’re stuffed, they’re positioned upright.) But seeing animals sprinkled about inside the museum was unexpected. Imagine the conversation between the artist and the curator…

Perhaps author Joyce Carol Oates put it best. “My belief is that art should not be comforting,” she wrote. “For comfort, we have mass entertainment and one another. Art should provoke, disturb, arouse our emotions, expand our sympathies in directions we may not anticipate and may not even wish.”

Which explains why, two weeks later, I’m still thinking about it.

Monday Musings

I came across the following Latin phrase in my weekend reading: esse quam videri.

Loosely translated, it means “to be rather than to seem.” If Wikipedia is to be believed, the phrase originates with Cicero’s essay “On Friendship,” in which he writes Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt (“Few are those who wish to be endowed with virtue rather than to seem so”).

Was Cicero right? I dunno. He was writing more than 2,000 years ago in Italy. But with the “fake it till you make it” mindset that’s so prevalent—and so inexplicably valued—these days, I’d say he pretty much nailed 2017 America.

Speaking of Boxing

­Around here, we do words as well as we can. And sometimes we do them pretty well, though we try not to brag about it (pun intended). Yet for all our wit and repartee, it’s unlikely, in any event, that we could have out-quipped Muhammed Ali – also known as the “Louisville Lip.”

Ali passed away a little over a year ago. He was only 74. One of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, he also had a way with words that few athletes (or design firms) have ever been able to rival. Ali was known for hurling insults and boasts at lightning speed, shutting reporters down in the first round, and mincing his opponents at press.

Here are some of his memorable quotes, all of them reasons to have avoided going toe-to-toe with the legend in a battle of wits.

 

On boxing and life:

“If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.”

“I’m not the greatest. I’m the double greatest. Not only do I knock ’em out, I pick the round. I’m the boldest, the prettiest, the most superior, most scientific, most skillfullest fighter in the ring today.”

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

“I should be a postage stamp. That’s the only way I’ll get licked.”

“It’s just a job. Grass grows, birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.”

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

 

Before fighting Sonny Liston in 1964, he even wrote a poem:

“…now Clay swings with a right, what a beautiful swing
And raises the bear straight out of the ring;
Liston is rising and the ref wears a frown
For he can’t start counting ’til Liston comes down;
Now Liston disappears from view, the crowd is getting frantic
But our radar stations have picked him up somewhere over the Atlantic;
Who would have thought when they came to the fight
That they’d witness the launching of a human satellite?
Yes the crowd did not dream when they laid down their money
That they would see a total eclipse of the Sonny.”

 

Leading up to and following “The Rumble in the Jungle,” his 1974 fight against George Foreman:

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.”

“I done something new for this fight. I wrestled with an alligator. I tussled with a whale. I handcuffed lightning, I thrown thunder in jail. Only last week I murdered a rock, injured a stone, hospitalized a brick. I’m so mean I make medicine sick.”

“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them: a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have last-minute stamina, they have to be a little faster, they have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”

“I’m so fast that last night I turned off the light switch in my hotel room and got into bed before the room was dark.”

 

“The Thrilla in Manilla,” 1975,  his third and final bout with Joe Frazier:

“I saw your wife. You’re not as dumb as you look.” 

“It will be a killer and a chiller and a thriller, when I get the gorilla in Manilla.”

 

Later in life:

“People say I talk so slow today. That’s no surprise. I calculated I’ve taken 29,000 punches. But I earned $57m and I saved half of it. So I took a few hard knocks. Do you know how many black men are killed every year by guns and knives without a penny to their names? I may talk slow, but my mind is OK.”

“What I suffered physically was worth what I’ve accomplished in life. A man who is not courageous enough to take risks will never accomplish anything in life.”

“I’m not afraid of dying. I have faith; I do everything I can to live my life right; and I believe that dying will bring me closer to God.”

“Live every day like it’s your last, because someday you’re going to be right.”

Badassery

When it comes to focus areas, designers have a lot of choices: layout, typography, web design, and more. Some are good at one; fewer at many. But to be able to add illustration to your “I’m great at this” toolkit—I mean real, honest, soul- and style-baring illustration—that, to me, is the unicorn talent to beat all others.

Like this dribbble tab, which has been open in my browser for more than three weeks now. I’m obsessed. Andy J. Miller is rocking my world with his bright, spot-on designs that pair with his SoundCloud episodes.

Check all three links out. You will not be disappointed.

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