Archive for May, 2009
There needs to be a name for writer’s block when it’s not regarding writing. Creative block? Sounds too pompous… Whatever you wanna call it, I’ve got it going on. Had it for a while now. Mentally constipated. I’ve been trying to get away from Photoshop and have taken to scribbling on a legal pad, and playing with Sculpey polymer clay just to be doing something.
Nine days ago, Matt and I were told the Minipops iPhone application that we’d submitted to Apple for approval had been rejected. They said it was because “it contains content that ridicules public figures.” Because of the rather vague email, we assumed that the text that I’d written to go with every Minipop was the reason why. I’d expressed opinions, and sometimes they weren’t entirely flattering. So we stripped the app of all the text, sorted out a couple of bugs, and resubmitted a couple of days ago.
The Minipops app has been rejected AGAIN.
This time it has become a little clearer that it’s the images that they have a problem with. I am flabbergasted. And I’m fucking angry. These are the three examples they attached. As with the previous rejection, we have know idea if these are the offending images or just examples. I’m inclined to think the latter considering there were different images last time. Anyway, they object to these:
Alanis Morissette depicted naked, like in her video for “Thank U.” She even dressed in a nude suit to present the Juno Awards. Not sure how my drawing of her, with one brown pixel of bush, is ridiculing Alanis Morissette.
Arnold Schwarzenegger flexing his muscles. So his past no longer exists now he’s the governor in Apple’s home state, then? He’s been governor of California for five-and-a-half years; he was a bodybuilder for twelve years.
The Obama family depicted as they looked on the evening he won the election. Oh for fuck’s sake, come on! How on earth is this ridiculing any of them? Look in every newspaper every day, and more than likely – in this country, at least – there’ll be a cartoon of the president which will, I’m guessing, be drawn exaggerating his ears.
Angry, angry, angry.
Matt is trying to enter into a more illuminating email conversation with one of the faceless judges at Apple. But if this continues, the next music player I will buy will be a Zune.
You know how sometimes you can have a thought about something but it’ll take ages to actually come out? Well, today I realised that after months of looking at the icon and having this thought fleetingly in my head, maybe the reason I listen to Coldplay so much on the bus might be because the little “Artists” icon on my iPod looks like Chris Martin. Am I alone? Do you think it looks like Chris Martin? Or am I stupid and, duh, of course it’s Chris Martin?
Screenshot of the icon I’m talking about:
And yes, I do have Aqua on my iPod, and I’m buggered if I’m ever gonna be ashamed about it, because “Cartoon Heroes” is a bloody magnificent song.
We gave Ghostface a bath the other day. She wasn’t amused. This morning, for a moment, I thought it was amusing to see her frantically trying to work herself free from my grip as I held her over the bath. Her legs were all over the place, it was kinda cute. Then she got serious, and when one of her feet found my shoulder to leap off, she stuck out her other foot and…
The people who run sport, market sport, and present sport to us via TVs, radios, and newspapers often like to overlook something absolutely crucial to our enjoyment of sport: hating your rivals. To me, and to most of my friends, hating Manchester United if you’re a Liverpool fan, Spurs if you’re an Arsenal fan, Rangers if you’re a Celtic fan is integral to your life as a fan.
It’s one of the few areas of my life where being irrational is acceptable, too. Some clodhopper happens to clip Fernando Torres heels near the box, it should be a penalty and the clodhopper should be sent off FOREVER. If Cristiano Ronaldo is cynically ploughed into, studs up, stretchered off, I’m writing to the Queen, asking to see Sir Clodhopper in the New Year’s Honours, and Ronaldo to be sent off for faking injury.
Last night we went down to Seattle to see the Mariners play the Red Sox. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve gone to a game to actively root against a team. Claire’s a Mariners fan, and I’m guessing that a game against the Red Sox is the only time where I’m gonna be totally on her side with that.
We got into town mid-afternoon, and walking down the street, looking for somewhere to eat, we passed a guy in a Red Sox shirt. He pointed at my Montreal Expos cap, and shouted “Cool cap!” I pointed at his shirt, smiled, and gave him the thumbs down. He laughed, we laughed, a funny moment for all.
We pottered around for a while, seeing a fair few Red Sox fans along the way. It was during the afternoon that I realised the possible conflict that could come from me putting on a red sweatshirt in the morning, so we went into the Mariners store and I bought a cap from a 1930s Seattle team, the Seattle Rainiers, so my potentially vociferous support for the Mariners could have at least a modicum of the appearance of sincerity, even though it was entirely the support of a Yankees fan wanting to see Boston lose.
Inside the stadium, there were loads of Red Sox fans. Apart from Canadians in Seattle on Canada Day to watch the Toronto Blue Jays last summer, it’s the most away team fans I’ve seen at a baseball game. They were loud, too. It was horrible. Every so often, I’d see someone who particularly took my dis-fancy, and I’d snarl at Claire, “Look at that cunt with the cunty face and cunty cap and cunty Pedroia t-shirt.” She’d look at me like I was nuts and say, “She’s about six years old, Craig!”
We had a go on the pitching speed gun thingy they have in the stadium. The batter mannequin was dressed in a Yankees shirt, and I watched as a couple of men my age deliberately hit the mannequin with their throws. For one thing, what the flip are the Mariners doing, clearly pandering to the away team’s supporters in their own stadium? Claire kicked my ass at pitching speed, by the way: she threw a 53 mph pitch, my best was 43 mph. Still, that’s two miles per hour faster than I did two years ago at the Durham Bulls stadium.
We sat in the sun in the outfield for a while before the game. I continued chuntering, making for a fun experience for Claire, I’m sure. Finally, took our seats for the game. I booed the announcement of the Red Sox line-up and cheered the Mariners line-up. I saved my biggest boos for the Boston catcher, the least like-able human this side of, oh I dunno… Hitler?
One eye was on the out-of-town scoreboard, where I could see the Yankees were losing 4-2 to the Twins. Things got worse, with a Red Sox run in both the first and second innings, then another two in the third. The Red Sox fans were making all the noise. The out-of-town scoreboard showed that it was 4-3 now in New York and the ninth inning over there seemed to be taking ages. Eventually, the scoreboard changed to show a final score: Yankees had won 5-4. At that point, it became easier to write off a 4-0 Boston lead as one of those things, knowing that the good guys had won in New York.
Then things changed. Ichiro hit a home run in the fifth, then an inning later, after another couple of Mariners runs, he hit another. Mariners were winning. An obscenely gobby Red Sox fan in the section in front of ours did his best to shout over the “Let’s go Mariners” chants, but found himself a bit more outnumbered than when his team were winning 4-0.
Some fine pitching from the Mariners bullpen later, and the ball game was over. Mariners win. Being a twat, I demanded we leave the stadium via one of the least-used exits, against the main flow of traffic. My vocal reason for this was it was closest to where the car was parked, but really, I just wanted to see lots of unsmiling Red Sox fans walking in the opposite direction. I got my wish, and O! how joyful it was to see.
In the car park, things got better when a particularly loud dude was sat in his car with the door open barking into a phone about how he’d just watched the Red Sox lose and how pissed off he was. I sat there with a smug grin on my face. And, waiting at traffic lights outside the stadium, we watched a clearly drunk and unhappy fan leaning against a tree. I got my camera out just in time to get a blurry photo of him beginning to lose his footing, just before he fell on his Red Sox-supporting ass.
Aaah, the joy of hating your rivals, it can’t be beat. Of course, when the Yankees come to Seattle in August, I’ll be one of those obnoxious away team fans, and there’ll be a Red Sox fan passive-aggressively wearing a Rainiers cap moaning to his wife about that horrible, hateful, bearded, speccy bloke in the Yankees cap…
I got an old wheat cent in my change yesterday. I love how Lincoln’s head looks, all worn down. And the date seems to be 1919. Not often you get a ninety-year-old coin in your pocket, is it?
Sometimes, things are so big you don’t notice them. I’ve walked the same route to the bus stop many times, and until yesterday, I’d never noticed something that I walk across every single time. A huge cock on the road.
And while we’re on the topic of cocks on public thoroughfares:
As someone who likes riding a bicycle, I hate it when other cyclists do stupid things that afford motorists the opportunity to deprecate us. Cycling on the pavement is one of those. Riding in a dangerous-looking manner is another (even if you the cyclist think you’re riding safe, if you don’t look safe, everyone hates you). This dude smiled at me as he passed me on the pavement, like, “Yep, I know, I’m the wackiest dude you’ve seen all day LOL!” You’re riding a unicycle as big as a penny farthing! That’s circus stuff, buddy, not public highway stuff. Anyway, I smiled back, whipped out my camera, and sneakily blogged about it a couple of days later.
That’s a rather self-absorbed way of saying thank you thank you thank you for visiting Flip Flop Flyin’ for the last ten years.
So, the Minipops application. When Matt and I began sending emails regarding making the application, we agreed that some extra content should be added; basically because we’d be asking you if you wanted to buy something that you can look at for free on the Web site. So, I decided to write a little bit about each of the one thousand people represented as Minipops. I said that without really thinking about how much work that’d be. Then one day, smoking in the garden I added up what it would be if I wrote fifteen words about each Minipop. 15,000 words. Gulp.
I set to it, and powered through the letters of the alphabet. It took about a month, on and off, to do. (It ended up being around 21,000 words.) Towards the end of the writing, we discussed that maybe I should make it clear in certain entries, the things said are my opinions, not facts. Those which were particularly scathing were changed to words along the lines of “[Band X] aren’t my cup of tea.” Still, these entries didn’t occur too often, and along the way, there were a fair few funny things written even if I do say so myself.
The Minipops application has been rejected.
The iPhone Developer Program email says:
Thank you for submitting Minipops 0.9 to the App Store. We’ve reviewed Minipops 0.9 and determined that we cannot post this version of your iPhone application to the App Store because it contains content that ridicules public figures and is in violation of Section 3.3.12 from the iPhone SDK Agreement which states:
“Applications must not contain any obscene, pornographic, offensive or defamatory content or materials of any kind (text, graphics, images, photographs, etc.), or other content or materials that in Apple’s reasonable judgement may be found objectionable by iPhone or iPod touch users.”
Please see examples attached.
If you believe that you can make the necessary changes so that Minipops 0.9 does not violate the iPhone SDK Agreement we encourage you to do so and resubmit it for review.
iPhone Developer Program
You wanna see a couple of the examples they attached? Here you go.
Now, let’s look at those one by one:
I’ve essentially typed words that represent a sigh for the Condoleezza Rice entry.
For the Obama entry, I’ve complimented the president’s family.
I’ve just asked a question about human nature under the Kim Jong-il Minipop. (Okay, I said he was a bad egg, but what’s gonna he gonna do? Sue Apple?).
And, well, the Hitler one… being charitable to Apple, I guess not mentioning all the horrible things that Hitler did may be offensive to Jewish people, but, y’know… (Off topic, here’s a link to Mel Brooks’ “Hitler Rap” on YouTube.) Or maybe they don’t want any of Adolf’s remaining relatives (are there any?) to be tarred with an accusation that states that one of their forefathers tainted a style of moustache.
Right now I’m pretty angry about this. Our guess is that these are just examples of what they find offensive, so tomorrow, we’ll be stripping the app of all the text, and re-submitting it. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Update: Derick mentioned Trent Reznor’s beef with Apple in the comments. Link to Rolling Stone article. Let us not forget that this is the same iTunes Store that is happily selling a song with the lyrics “Do I look like a muthafuckin’ role model?/To a kid lookin’ up to me/Life ain’t nothin’ but bitches and money/Cause I’m the type of nigga that’s built to last/If ya fuck with me I’ll put a foot in ya ass.” Now, I just plucked that song off the top of my head; I’m no Tipper Gore, and don’t think that Apple should stop selling N.W.A. albums, but c’mon: in for a muthafuckin’ penny…
There’s a bar in town, fairly run of the mill place. Cheap booze, opens early, middle-aged bar tenders and clientele, lots of TVs. I’ve been there a couple of times. They do a mean clam chowder. It’s called the Waterfront.
There’s a sign behind the bar saying that no photos are allowed. I asked Claire why this might be, and she said it’s because the Waterfront the bar where Ted Bundy used to drink. And John Muhammad, the Washington sniper dude from a few years ago. Plus a couple of other killers. Bellingham seems to attract weirdos (…) possibly because it’s the last town on the way to Canada or Alaska.
Here’s a 2002 New York Times article about the Waterfront should you wanna find out more.