I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book. - Groucho Marx

TODAY IN NETWORK AWESOME MAGAZINE


by Daniel Creahan
April 17, 2018
Ever wonder why videos like this are up online?  You see these relatively high-quality, well-produced ehow videos in the suggested videos bar every now and again, offering any sort of title like “how to unclog your sink,” “how to back up your email,” etc. ad inifinitum.  And every once in a while, the video ends up actually being pretty helpful.  I know I’ve used a few user-submitted videos to back myself out of a hole using sound recording programs or Photoshop.  They’re pretty helpful most of the time...
Daniel Creahan currently spends his days in Brooklyn, NY, dividing time between music, writing, and questionable photoshop collaging.  He prefers any and all of these while slamming 3-5 cups of coffee and wearing a warm pair of slippers.  You can read him complaining about Rihanna on his Twitter (@SupposedGhosts), or check out some music at his label (prisonartcatalog.com).

by Jessie Brown
April 3, 2018

Flick through any glossy fashion magazine today and more-than-likely, you’ll be faced with the legacy of Guy Bourdin. This maverick French photographer was no stranger to controversy both in his work and private life, and he singlehandedly changed the face of fashion advertising due to his uncompromising and highly innovative style.

Working for French Vogue from 1955 to 1987 where he was given complete editorial control of his work, Bourdin developed his own unique style that would forever more shift the benchmark for fashion photography. As a protégé of Man Ray and a fan of the surrealists, Bourdin irrevocably altered what commercial photography was capable of through hinting at a hidden narrative behind each image rather than merely focusing on the product within it. When looking at a Bourdin photograph, you’re made to feel that you’ve stumbled into a scene that’s part of a much bigger story. More often than not, this story is likely to be simultaneously erotic and morbid. Death and an undercurrent of violence were common motifs whilst the perfect positioning of everything within the shot was no doubt done with the intention of making the shot as highly charged as possible...

Jessie Brown is an east London refugee currently residing in Berlin.  At any given moment she is likely to be planning for, experiencing or writing about music festivals, clubbing, or travelling. She enjoys flea markets and gets overly-enthusiastic about obscure techno records.

by Cory Gross
April 3, 2018

Though never overwhelming popular during his lifetime and sadly a virtual unknown today, Winsor McCay occupies a sainted position as one of the best illustrators of the early 20th century. Even the most cursory viewing of his comic strips Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend and Little Nemo in Slumberland reveal a draftsman with an enviable talent for clean, expressive figures and beautiful fantasy settings. A viewing of his early animated films also reveal a keen and technologically progressive mind.

His accomplishments are even more remarkable considering that the only formal art education he received as a side-project with John Goodison of Michigan State Normal College while McCay was studying business. He had wanted to study art more fully at the Art Institute of Chicago but was confounded by money, or more accurately the lack thereof...

For Cory Gross, the past is a lifestyle choice. Native to the ranchlands of Western Canada, he works as a museums and heritage professional in Calgary, Alberta, teaching science, nature, history and art. He also volunteers with a number of science and history organizations in the city, holds a graduate degree in theology, and enjoys travelling at home and abroad. His love of Victorian science fiction and antiquated adventure stories is on display at his blog Voyages Extraordinaires: Scientific Romances in a Bygone Age


by Joe DeMartino
April 2, 2018
In his exceptionally interesting and occasionally pseudoscientific* book The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell devotes a large chunk of text to analyzing what makes a children’s television show “sticky” -- as in, what kids would pay the most attention to despite the constant threat of shiny objects and low-level attempts to accidentally injure themselves. Gladwell compared Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues, and found that, while Sesame Street had segments that varied greatly in their ability to grab a kid’s attention, Blue’s Clues would captivate children for the duration of the show.

*Dude LOVES anecdotes as an explanatory device for overarching social phenomena. I would have liked to have seen more hard data. But then again, I like to see hard data about baseball games, so maybe I just really like hard data.

This tells us two very important things:

1) Children and pre-teens in general are idiots and don’t know what’s good for them.

2) What if Sesame Street isn’t actually an educational television show?

I don’t need to belabor the first point overly much -- it’s well-know and beyond dispute that kids make terrible decisions all the time. As I’m writing this, there are at least three trending topics* on Twitter related to Justin Bieber, and I can’t believe that more than 25% of people referencing these topics are doing so for irritatingly ironic or creepily predatory purposes. That leaves millions and millions of idiot children who channel the bulk of their creative energies into a suicide vortex of praise for a personally harmless but culturally devastating teenage pop star. These are not people whom we should allow to make their own decisions about what is and isn’t good for them, you know? Blue's Clues is a charming show and no doubt created some fabulous memories for its massive audience, but it's sad fare compared to...

Joe DeMartino is a Connecticut-based writer who grew up wanting to be Ted Williams, but you would not BELIEVE how hard it is to hit a baseball, so he gave that up because he writes words OK. He talks about exploding suns, video games, karaoke, and other cool shit at his blog. He can be emailed at jddemartino@gmail.com and tweeted at @thetoycannon. He writes about sports elsewhere. The sports sells better.


by Cory Gross
April 1, 2018

Though it seems like the current rash of remakes, reboots, reimagining and re-whatevers is a wholly new phenomenon, cinema has always relied on established properties. From its very infancy it looked to render already popular books and stage plays in celluloid. The more dramatic they were, and the more opportunity they afforded to pioneering special effects artists, the better.

In 1902, French filmmaker Georges Méliès pulled from Jules Verne, Jacques Offenbach and H.G. Wells to create the silent screens first great Science Fiction epic, A Trip to the Moon. This effects laden fantasy was phenomenally popular and demonstrated the viability of trick photography for convincing audiences of the impossible and making a nice profit doing so. British filmmaker Cecil Hepworth combed his native land's own literary heritage for a suitable franchise and found it in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland...

For Cory Gross, the past is a lifestyle choice. Native to the ranchlands of Western Canada, he works as a museums and heritage professional in Calgary, Alberta, teaching science, nature, history and art. He also volunteers with a number of science and history organizations in the city, holds a graduate degree in theology, and enjoys travelling at home and abroad. His love of Victorian science fiction and antiquated adventure stories is on display at his blog Voyages Extraordinaires: Scientific Romances in a Bygone Age