zerode – a sensibility


film, music, text, city, spectacle, pleasure

From Hipster To Hippie, A Cautionary Tale

From Hipster To Hippie, A Cautionary Tale: “Hanah Snavely wrote about The Rise and Fall of Hippie Hill in San Francisco on The Bold Italic and included a wonderful graphic by Volume Inc. showing how a hipster might morph into a hippie.

(via Laughing Squid.)

Reminds me of a button I used to wear in high school: “Hippies with Haircuts.”

If you haven’t already, check out The Bold Italic from which this originated:

The Bold Italic is an experiment in local discovery.

Just when you thought you were a pretty savvy local, along came The Bold Italic. Our mission is to help people become better locals, equipping our members with rare local intel, backstory and potential adventures.

Our writers, the Bold Locals, find their way behind-the-scenes in San Francisco and come back with backstories of distinctive, offbeat local experiences.

(via About Us – The Bold Italic – San Francisco.)

Filed under: Humor, Interweb, San Francisco

Cycle Chic™ and Girl Watching

I often enjoy the entries over at Cycle Chic, and have been known to engage in girl-watching myself, but sometimes I think there is a bit too much girl-watching and not enough cycle chic over at Cycle Chic…

Two Ways to Turn in Style

Old-school straight-armed goodness.

Non-chalant coolness.

(via Cycle Chic™ – The Original from Copenhagen.: Two Ways to Turn in Style.)

What is so chic about these cycles, and cyclists? And anyway, isn’t the nonchalant woman signaling for a stop?

Filed under: Interweb, ,

Nerdware: Social Media Venn Diagram

Social Media Venn Diagram.

Filed under: Interweb, Nerdware, , , , , ,

The Asynchronous Life

I am still stuck here in the Antipodes, and Autumn is a-comin’ in – crisp nights with stars like diamonds, and frost beginning to outline the leaves in morning.

Meanwhile, my friends in the Northern Hemisphere write rapturously of Spring, and even Summer-like days of warmth and sun in Prospect Park (potato salad)…

Another asynchrony is forcing itself on me these days, and appropriately enough it involves a time traveler: the delay around new episodes of Doctor Who. In the United States, on BBC America new episodes are broadcast on Saturdays at 9pm. This Saturday, 8 May, they will be showing “The Time of Angels,” part 1 of a 2-parter featuring the return of one of the scarier monsters from one of the best episodes during the run of David Tennant’s Doctor, the Weeping Angels.

Meanwhile, over on the real BBC, home of Doctor Who, they have already shown the second part, “Flesh and Stone,” and Saturday will see a new episode, “Vampires of Venice.” BBC America is thus two episodes behind. Here in Australia, where for my sins I am currently staying, Doctor Who is broadcast by the ABC on Sundays at 7.30pm. This Sunday, 9 May, they will be broadcasting “The Time of Angels.” Thus, even though Australia comes first in the march of Helios across the heavens, it is the last to be visited by the last of the Time Lords. This is, bluntly, unacceptable.

Fortunately, on the internet, all things are manifest. The most recent episode can be found under a variety of awnings in the vasty digital souk, such as ONEDDL – One Stop Rapidshare Links | Doctor Who and DW – Doctor Who (a personal blog with streaming video, chat, and info).

Filed under: Interweb, TV, , , , ,

Blaxploitation, Kenya-Style

This video, for the song “Ha-He” by the Kenyan group Just A Band, has become a huge hit in Kenya, and is now going viral with a wider audience, in part thanks to, which is where I ran across it, and where it has been posted more than a half dozen times in the last couple of months.

The video draws on blaxploitation and kung fu movies for its plot and style. The subtitles seem like a strangely articulate but still bizarre parody of those crazy subtitles on 70s kung fu movies from Hong Kong (cf, the Shaw Brothers), and there is even a Matrix reference. Meanwhile, the hero’s name, Makemende, is a Swahili slang term that derives from a corruption of the classic Clint Eastwood line from Dirty Harry, “make my day.”

This is a fairly run-of-the-mill collection of enthusiasms and references for a North American fanboy, but what intrigued me was to see them cropping up in a Kenyan music video. I suspect I shouldn’t be surprised, and that the only real surprise is that I have allowed myself to remain ignorant of most cultural activity in Africa, beyond my long-running interest in the Nigerian musician Fela Kuti and more recent discovery of the Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré.

Perhaps, in the same way that Hong Kong filmmakers were able to take degenerate Hollywood tropes and styles and genres and reinvigorate them, largely due to the entirely uncynical and enthusiastic manner with which they approached them, African filmmakers can take the weirdly wonderful genre of blaxploitation films and reinvent them, hopefully with a subversive and critical edge. Perhaps they already have…

WikiPedia: “Makemende is a fictional Kenyan superhero character which has enjoyed a popular resurgence after an adoptation by Kenya’s musical group Just A Band in the music video for their song Ha-He on their second album, 82 (2009). The video became the first viral internet sensation in Kenya


The word Makmende is a sheng (Swahili slang) word which means “a hero”. The name supposedly originated from a mispronunciation of Clint Eastwood’s phrase “Go ahead, make my day” (Mek ma nday) from his 1983 movie Sudden Impact. The word made its way into Kenyan streets in the 1990s whereby the streets bad guy wannabe would be called out and asked “Who do you think you are? Makmende?”. Anyone who thought they could do the impossible or a particularly difficult task was always asked whether they thought they were Makmende since only Makmende could do or attempt to do the impossible. The character Makmende is associated with the fashion wear of the early 1980s. He is portrayed with long John Shaft-like afro hair and bell bottom trousers…” (via Wikipedia).

Filed under: Interweb, Movies, , ,

Just when you thought it was safe to go on the Internet…

Geocities-izer – Make Any Webpage Look Like It Was Made By A 13 Year-Old In 1996: “Type any URL in the box below and click Submit to see how it would look as a Geocities page.”

Be sure to check out the Geocities-ized New York Times site.

The horror, the horror.

Filed under: Interweb,

The art of the 404 page

It’s never a good experience to expect to see a webpage and to get a 404 error…

via Designer Daily.

Filed under: Interweb, ,

The Plan to Map Every Tree in San Francisco

The Plan to Map Every Tree in San Francisco: Every tree in San Francisco will soon be accounted for online, thanks to a new, Wikified project that aims to plot them all.

The Urban Forest Map will officially launch Wednesday, drawing on tree information collected by the city of San Francisco and Friends of the Urban Forest, a non-profit group. Though the project is getting its start in the Bay Area, the site will head to other major cities in the coming months.

“We’re going to publish the most up-to-date data from our data sources. Then, from that point on, we’re going to allow the community to add and edit and update that information,” said Amber Bieg, the project manager of the Urban Forest Map project. “It’ll become a tree census from the community and function like a Wiki.”

(via Wired Science |

I love this idea – the decentralized, anti-authoritarian aspect, the environmental focus, the whole thing. It is projects and ideas like this that make me so proud of San Francisco – we rock! – and hopeful for the social changes that computer technology might help bring about. It also suggested to me the possibility of taking more control over the urban forest, and perhaps switching some (more) of it to productive ends, to food and other resources we could all share.

Filed under: Interweb, San Francisco, ,

Isn’t It Ironic

A proper example of irony:

“Digital piracy. It’s a global war — and it’s just begun. Pirates of the Digital Millennium chronicles that war. All of it: media conglomerates vs. teenagers, tech companies vs. content providers, artists battling artists, nations vs. nations, law enforcement vs. organized crime.”

You can find a pirated copy of this book here: Pirates of the Digital Millennium: How the Intellectual Property Wars Damage Our Personal Freedoms in AvaxHome.

Filed under: Interweb, ,

I’m quitting the Internet. – Slate Magazine

“About a month ago, I started seriously thinking about going offline for an extended period of time. I weighed the pros and cons, and the pros came out on top. Yes, I want to be more present when I am around my kids and not be constantly jonesing to check my e-mail. But I also need to carve out some space for myself to make new work.”

get it while it’s hot at I’m quitting the Internet. Will I be liberated or left behind? (1) – By James Sturm – Slate Magazine.

Isn’t there something perverse about reading this online? and then blogging about it?

Filed under: Interweb

Pulitzer Prize for Online Cartoon

“Mark Fiore, whose animated political cartoons appear on, the Web site of the San Francisco Chronicle, won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning Monday.

It is the first time since the category of editorial cartooning was created in 1922 that the Pulitzer has gone to an artist whose work does not appear in print.”

via SFGate’s Mark Fiore wins Pulitzer Prize.

Brilliant stuff – funny and incisive. In addition to the one for which the Pulitzer was awarded – “Science-gate” – check out “The State of the Union We’d Like to See.” I liked these so much I just spent twenty minutes figuring out how to download and watch them offline.

Filed under: Interweb, Politics,

Web 2.0 Suicide Machine

The Web 2.0 Suicide Machine allows users of – among others – Facebook to commit ‘social network suicide’.

read the rest at Web 2.0 Suicide Machine .

Once again, I’m behind the curve – I just learned about the brilliant Web 2.0 Suicide Machine – which craftily deletes all your info across a number of Web 2.0 social networking platforms – a couple of months after FaceBook shut them down.

Filed under: Interweb



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zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

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