Stuff to look at and Think About, if only for a short time

• The Cotton Revolution

This shop in Amsterdam, called Mensocks, is devoted to men’s socks. Not just any socks though, extremely colouful ones that represent a challenge to the blue/black/grey orthodox. Happy Socks were there in abundance, but also Falke, Pantherella and Burlington. The open-minded, socially progressive Dutch have obviously spotted that socks can be radical, joyous and life-affirming elements of the contemporary wardrobe, and should be celebrated; men should not be afraid of colourful ankles, seems to be the message.

Various modes of sock-wearing catered for 

• Freedom & Sweary Solidarity
Here is a badge picked up at the exciting Design for Freedom exhibition curently open on Torstrasse in Berlin, which celebrates 30 years of Polish graphic design. As you can see, the badge subverts the iconic Solidarity trade union logo and repurposes it so as to express the popular, global post-political sentiment, “WTF”. The brochure for the exhibition is pictured below:
• MacLuhanite Hi-Viz
Corroborating Manzine’s intuition that hi-viz is steadily coming into vogue as an aspirational aesthetic, this gilet, found in the Droog Design shop in Amsterdam, goes one further by invoking MacLuhanite messages on the nature of modern media (Clay Shirky's aperçus are also included). Perhaps it should be the mandatory outfit for all media workers who wish to be perceived as “men at work” (or women, of course), roadmending the media traffic channels, or plumbing new visual-textual systems.
The viz is the message.
• Wasted German Stickers
Paul Snowden’s Wasted German Youth has recently launched a sticker book for fans of the brand to collect the stickers he publishes in regular installments. As the blurb in the book says “the stickers capture one-word truths of the modern rave experience…”, which sounds a bit intellectual really (discalimer: the Manzine wrote it), but is probably true. The stickers are a lot of fun, there’s no doubt about that. 
A picture of the cover of the sticker book
Not sure what R2D2 has to do with techno/raving
An apposite commentary on life and fast food
Amen: the final word

• Two magazines worth buying
There aren’t many magazines around today which are worth their cover prices, but here are two. 032c is run by Joerg and Sandy in Berlin, offering a title which “fiercely believes in the intelligence of its readers”. The latest issue includes a lengthy piece on Dr. Hubert Burda, the German publishing magnate and former Warhol associate, along with a challenging photo essay by Juergen Teller featuring the model Kristen McMenamy in various states of undress. The shoot apparently caused controversy among some of the magazine’s more conservative distributors and it’s true that it summons to mind Francis Bacon paintings as much as a conventional fashion story.
The sixth edition of Will Hudson and Alex Bec’s It’s Nice That includes and fascinating interview with the artist Asger Carlsen, whose cannibalised depictions of the human body are similarly Baconesque. 
Bodies: odd
There’s an altogether lighter interview with the art director George Lois who seems to be extremely hip these days. It’s a good read, and let’s face it, magazines with vivid pink (or red, like 032c) covers are to be lauded, surely. 
That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Manzine Muscle Building Tips No.567: Extreme Muscle Gain

1. Buy a 15lb bag of Mutant Mass.
2. Lift it up ten times.
3. Repeat 100 times.
4. Eat it.


Weirdness in a man's life. By Simon Mills
Coincidences can really give a chap the shivers. I mean really mind-bogglingly unlikely occurrences of logistical and statistical improbability, not just bumping into one of your friends in your local boozer. There have been quite a few in my life and all fairly entertaining in their own way.
Deepak Chopra, the celebrity spiritualist, likes to attach profound significance to apparently random events like, say, a falling baby saved two times by the same man.
“When you live your life with an appreciation of coincidences and their meanings, you connect with the underlying field of infinite possibilities,” he muses. “This is a state I call synchrodestiny, in which it becomes possible to achieve the spontaneous fulfillment of our every desire.” Blimey.
Now, I am not the sort of person who reads too much into these moments of inexplicable implausibility, but I do enjoy them immensely and see them more as little gifts of anecdotal ammo from above than life-changing interludes. So much so that I have devoted a great deal of time to eating up the complete works of Paul Auster, the master of coincidence. I mention Auster here not just because I want to prove how erudite I am, but because he stars in one of my greatest ever coincidences…
• The year is 2002. My friend Alex and I have taken a trip to New York. A hike in the Adirondacks, followed by a short luxuriation in an Upper East Side hotel. At this point in my life my obsession with Paul Auster is peaking. I am devouring his books, starting one as soon as the previous one is done. Because we are in New York, I am boring my friend Alex to death with constant references to Auster. Alex just wants to eat.  The hotel concierge recommends a nearby restaurant, Montrachet. It is a lousy, rain-sodden night, and when we get there it is just about empty. The maître d’ takes our coats and does that weird restauranty thing of seating us right next to the only other occupied table. As the menus are proffered, I glance at the fast-talking, urbane and evidently cultured threesome to our right, one of whom is, yep… Paul Auster. WTF!
• I am early to meet my friend (Alex again) for a drink at the pub. I park my car, turn off the engine and sit thinking in silence for a minute; work stuff mainly. Suddenly a silly, Chris Morris-ish notion enters my head. Is it possible for the internet to get totally full up and, like, burst?This daffy idea makes me smile.With 10 minutes still to kill I tune the car stereo to Radio 4. It’s a science programme. The subject being discussed? “Is it possible for the internet to ever get over full with information?” INCROYABLE!
• I go out for an bike ride with Kev, the editor of Manzine, careering round the narrow East End streets and along the towpaths. Kev overcooks it on a slippery cobble and falls off, banging his arm. He looks peaky pale. “I think it might be broken,” he says. We go our separate ways; me home, Kev to A&E. Turns out his arm is broken. He has it put in a pot. The doctor treating him is called “Simon Mills” – the same name as the guy he has just been out bike riding with. MAD!
• I get a new job at a national newspaper. It’s not a particularly friendly working environment and on the first day I don’t even have my own desk. The editor’s secretary tells me to hot-desk at an unspecific work station for the time being. I sit down opposite a man and says, “Hi, I am Simon.”
“I am Simon, too,” he replies, mildly amused.
“Simon Mills,” I offer, by way of difference. The other Simon looks confused. “Is this a wind up?” he says. His name is Simon Mills, also. BIZARRE!
 • I am at home fiddling around with my daughter’s new iPad. She’s downloaded a teen movie called Easy A, so with not much else to do, I watch it.  It’s really good, and I especially like the guy playing the super cool, wisecracking dad of the young female lead – a hardworking, bald fella called Stanley Tucci, whom I’ve vaguely noticed in few other movies. Then I go out – to the High Street Kensington branch of Argos to buy a kettle. As I stroll along, I almost bump into a guy coming out of the fashionable clothes  shop Cos. It is the actor Stanley Tucci. SPOOKY!
From Manzine No.5. 
Information on parking in Russia. Photo: Mischa Gilbert

Dead Bikes

A short photographic essay on the melancholia of deceased bicycles; those seen in advanced states of disprepair, dismemberment and mechanical finality, as often witnessed on the streets of major conurbations, in this case Berlin.
Pronounced Dead At The Scene
 Meet Thy Maker
 Game Over
 Heading Six Feet Under
 Pushing Up Daisies 
 Is There Hope, Doctor?
 All Things Must pass
Rest In Peace
Out Of Its Misery
 The Big Sleep
 Lay Down All Thoughts, Surrender To The Void
*Consult medical staff for explanation on this acronym

Manzine Sunshine Edition No.1: A picture of some young ladies urging you NOT to do it*

Dude, the picture was like taken at the like US Open of like Surf?
Ten things not to do, in case you are stuck for ideas:
• Go for that one last drink
• Buy flowers/do other impulsive things at the end of a relationship
• Order off-menu
• Combine black and navy blue knitwear
• Leave the loo seat up
• Have high expectations about TRON: Legacy
• Try and engage in philosophical conversations with young, scantily clad women on beaches in Southern California
• Take it all so seriously
• Believe everything you read in newspapers
• Believe everything you read on blogs
* whatever "it" is

Manzine Sunshine Edition No.2: Mutt Of the Month, August 2011

Photo: @TheManzine
Name: Hollow. Type: adopted crossbreed beach dog. Location: Shore Break Hotel, Huntington, CA. Is the Dog Being Modelled By The Buff Surf Dude Kelly Slater? YES. Can I also adopt a dog? YES, go to Can I Get As Buff As Kelly Slater? PROBABLY NOT. SORRY.

Manzine Parrot Of The Month, August

Parrot: Fashion
Name: Lola • Type: African Grey • Location: Chez Boris, Berlin • Chilled outness: 10/10