Who even designs this stuff?

Sometimes I am just amazed at People. Sprint, which is a phone company I used to have (which I kept way past the point of deep frustration just because I like that you can press 1 to leave a message), has released the most Chinatown-ass, Parda-bag-ass, discount-looking fake iPhone I have ever seen. Feast your eyes on this monstrosity:

Yikes! Baby, what it DO!? If you are so compelled can click on this insane website, which is “” Instinct the Phone Dott Comm, following in the grand grammatical tradition of “Pizza the Hutt.” If you click there, you can watch a lot of bad movies and stuff, too. Work with me here for a minute: open up that picture of the phone in a new window and let’s go through this. What appalls me about something like this is the number of people who worked on this entire advertising campaign. At no point did anybody say, this looks like the most janky, broke-down, iPhone that ever there was. Some poor designer had to design that mushroom-head home button at the bottom: is that even stylized or is that just existing in a land outside of style? The “phone” icon on the bottom right looks like one of those clamps they try to sell you in the in-flight magazine so you don’t fall out the tub. Then, there are the angles of the icons in the navigation buttons. Beloved, I am Vertiginous! Why is “photo” in the singular? Look at the kerning on TV/Video. I’m not saying that I’m William Caslon up in here, but somebody “” at least one human being “” must have seen that. And that person must have said, yes! This is a good idea! Let us sell this to people, for cash money! This kind of stuff breaks my heart, though, because it is so hideous to behold, and took so many hours of people’s most precious time: smart kids, who went to RISD or whatever and have to stay up all night splitting Adderall with each other just to flesh out this sad campaign that presumably some dude in an Ugg Boot thought up and jotted down in a Moleskine.

Ugh. Whenever I get down, I put trust in my iPhone alway to soothe with its ability to pick just the right music. Yesterday, it offered me John Adams’s Shaker Loops, which is one of those pieces with which I enjoy a scary intimacy. I totally worship a Shaker Loop. Sometimes, if I start listening to it, and then take off the headphones, I’m not sure if the music has stopped because I can keep it going in my face all the way to the end. The piece is organized in four sections, the first of which I offer below just as an incentive to buy the rest. Shaker Loops is a piece that banks on simultaneous quick motion (the ecstatic bowstrokes of a string orchestra) and a glacial harmonic motion. The result is sort of Google Earthy, where you can move from a wide shot of Asia to a detailed view of your friend’s house instantaneously. It is also painfully, twitchingly emotional. Buy on it here, and read what the composer has to say about it on his website here.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


John Adams Shaker Loops Part 1: Shaking & Trembling
San Francisco Symphony / Edo de Waart

My phone also decided that I wanted to listen to a Rachmaninof Vesper (just the one), which was pleasant unto the ear.