Will Wright’s Stupid Fun Club Manifesto

I've written about Stupid Fun Club before. I still don't know what they do, but they are at the very top of the list of places that I would love to work if I wouldn't ruin them.


Across a land hardened of past, Before the hazy cloud of future, We state to you, the artists, creators, consumers, deciders, technologists, and sentient ones, our words of stupidity, our ideas of fun, and our intentions of club.

The world is an ever expanding sphere of knowledge with paths going in every direction like lightning splitting infinitely into the black universe. As animals we choose our path, consciously or not, causing reactions that effect ourselves, other beings, the economy, the environment and ultimately the universe. Every choice that is made has mammoth consequences, given time, and as humans one can only assume responsibility for certain somatic outcomes. Checking email, going to work, eating dinner, spending time with family, and participating in hobbies are basic goals that many humans share. These goals, though they may seem minute in relation to the universe, are humanly possible, for humans can only be humans and nothing more while operating unassisted.

Technology (computers, robots, and science) has advanced quite rapidly in the past 50 years and will continue to grow exponentially. It is difficult for most to keep up; this will only get harder as time passes. Therefore, as a company, and more importantly as a club, the Stupid Fun Club (SFC) strives to work for the human and for the robot in creating complete symbiotic unity between the two. It is paramount that the SFC and it's members (cadets) complete this goal as it is necessary for the survival of the Earth-centric universe; including human, animal, plant, rock, soil, water, gas and atmosphere. We therefore attest the following:

FIRST: Robots are our friends.
SECOND: Cadets and robots make an alert decision to work in unity.
THIRD: Cadets attain the following characteristics; stupidity, funness, and club solidarity.
FOURTH: Stay above and beyond the evolution of technology.
FIFTH: All forms of technology, no matter how old, are treated with respect.
SIXTH: Use technology consciously to spare the environment any unnecessary stress.
SEVENTH: Form an anonymous army; perpetuating SFC ideals, not promoting them.
EIGHTH: Provides products not opinions, and shall be kept from public controversy. 

To the unity of man and machine.- Stupid Fun Club

via www.stupidfunclub.com

The Flaming Lips are embracing the freedom of digital content (HT @joshcarlton)


Though some haven't received the memo (looking at you, iPad magazine publishers), digital distribution is changing the conventions of how content can be released to customers. It's no longer necessary to save up enough material to release at the same time simply for cost efficiencies. This is good for a number of reasons: it allows creators more flexibility in the work they create, customers more flexibility in what they steal…er…download, and also enables people to expand what they create beyond the narrow limitations that were necessary in the time when distribution depended on huge organizations with lots of cash. 

You know all of this.

But I was excited to see that the Flaming Lips are fully embracing this new freedom by planning to record and release one song a month, rather than recording and releasing an entire album at once. 

"We'll start in late January, though I'm not sure if we'll get together exactly by then," Coyne says, adding that the band will convene in Oklahoma with longtime producer Dave Fridmann. "With this new thing, we're going to spend a lot of time recording at our houses or wherever we are at. We'll try to release a song a month and document the song in the making, whether it takes us three or five days or a week. It's gonna be, 'We're working on a song and it's gonna be up by Friday.' We just want to [release material] some other way."

"Not that I think the old way was boring, but to spend another two years with the same 13 songs, it's just like fuck," Coyne says. "I think we're going to just start to do things and put it out. Once we get 11 or 12 songs together, maybe we'll do something else with it. We want to try to live through our music as we create it instead of it being a collection of the last couple years of our lives."

They're also totally rethinking the conventions of how music is released and what constitutes the product:

"The dilemma is whether we're going to release it on vinyl, cereal boxes or some of it on toys that we make," Coyne says, explaining that the band is planning on offering additional items to fans at the same time as downloads. "Sometimes, the music is the simplest part of any of these things. We'll be making these little videos that connect in the end to a bigger movie we'll be making next year as well. It sounds like a bunch of fuckin' work, but it's different way of thinking about songs than just holing up."

I'm excited to see how this goes, as I think it could eventually make music back into a personal, natural, flowing thing, instead of the overly polished and packaged consumer good that it's become. I love the notion of living through their music as they create it. Experiment, see what works, grow as artists, push the definition of what modern music is and will eventually become. Make the music experience better for people who love music and open the doors creatively for those who make music…that sort of thing. 

Saul Bass: Why Man Creates

At this morning's agency meeting, John Norman showed this clip from Saul Bass' Oscar winning short film "Why Man Creates." I thought it was interesting, especially when imagining what the addendum of the information age would look like at the end.

(You can buy the full version here.)