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Friday, March 05, 2010

A Little of the Old In And Out

In: Geeks. For centuries, the Byronic artist was the hero of the romantic imagination. Now, curiously, it is a tech geek moment. Beethoven and his like not tackling malaria; Bill and Melinda Gates are, with a practical, intelligent response backed by a fortune gained from technological innovation. Not stormy poetry.

As the American economy stumbles, Silicon Valley is the bright spot. Apple is transforming the publishing industry. Increasingly, Silicon Valley is influencing our politics. And the film industry -- the most glamorous of the glamorous -- is duly influenced by those bright California geeks. From Bloomberg:

No matter which film gets the Oscar for best visual effects at the Academy Awards this weekend, it’s a guaranteed win for Autodesk Inc. and Nvidia Corp.

The San Francisco Bay area companies provided the technology for all three of the category’s nominees: 'Avatar,' 'District 9' and 'Star Trek.' As movies rely more on digital effects, Hollywood is looking north to Silicon Valley to enhance scenery, bring characters to life and even render whole worlds from scratch.

'Avatar,' the highest-grossing film of all time, was also the most technologically demanding. Creating the effects required 35,000 computer processing cores and gobbled up as much storage as the three 'Lord of the Rings' movies combined. The goal: make it look so real that viewers wouldn’t think about the technology involved.

'Traditional filmmaking started in Hollywood, but digital filmmaking started in the Bay area,' said Richard Kerris, chief technology officer of San Francisco’s Lucasfilm Ltd., the production company behind the 'Star Wars' and 'Indiana Jones' movies."

Revenge of the nerds! We knew something was up when the gorgeous Laura Harring started fucking the spectacularly squidly Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft. Ladies and gentlemen of the Jury, the stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. We live now in a Bizarro universe where comic books are contemporary art. Last night I attended an opening reception for The Bible Illuminated- Book of Genesis by comic book artist R. Crumb at the David Zwirner Gallery. Let's face it, the Geek has inherited the Earth.

Out: Governor David Paterson. Gag him with a fork, the man is done! Awkward! My Twitter friend Raquel Cepada Tweeted: "By this day next week, NY Governor Patterson will resign. I bet you $5.00! What say you @harryallen @madvision @bevysmith, new yorkers?" I wouldn't take her up on that bet.

Even SNL is doubling down on the poking fun. It is becoming painfully sad to watch the governor cling to power when it is obvious to everybody -- certainly every editor in this town -- that he will not finish out his term.

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