Monday, October 03, 2005

Linkatharsis: Hate hate hate

What I hate right now:
    My hair

    I hate to be vain, but since I'm not blessed with Brad Pitt's jaw or Tom Cruise's knowledge of psychiatry, I need to bring my A-game every time if I want to impress the ladies. Right now, my hair is at that awkward stage between shaved and normal. It's not quite a minifro and not quite a mullet. Either would be preferable.

What I don't hate right now:
    Friendster's Stalker Tracker

    Yes, it's super creepy and there's so much potential for misunderstanding, tragic or otherwise. But it was nice to be able to look at who had sneaked a peak at my profile and their connection to me.

    Was I not concerned that I was showing up in other people's Viewed By pages? No, not a bit. Mind you, it's not because I don't sit at night furious typing in names of ex's and secret crushes. It's because I discovered the feature two days before it went live. I was changing my settings so only my friends and their friends could contact me, as I was getting swamped with spam. Which was when I saw the "Anonymous Browsing" option. Confused, I did some searching around and discovered that the "Viewed By" thing would show up sometime in the future. Figured I should be safe than sorry, I turned Anonymous Browsing on. Last Friday, the sky fell.

  • I never thought that the DeLay scandal was much to get worked up about because as John Dickerson explains, it's going to be more of the same; the Dems like having a villain to point to on the other side of the aisle while DeLay still holds so much sway within the GOP, Majority Leader or not.

    There ain't no Mr. Smith going to Washington to bring the corrupt motherfuckers down, that's for sure. This country is still, and will always be run by the kingmakers.

  • Which gets us to Douglas Rushkoff's latest post:
    2) Oy. I don't know when I've ever experienced as much doubt about America's immediate future as I do now.

    Couldn't agree more. And this is where I hoped Rushkoff would follow up with something optimistic like how history is cyclical or that the American people would simply not allow tyranny through ignorance.
    Let's not call it a Bush thing, please, because this will be going on after he's gone. We've moved into a different phase of American history, folks, and we may just be on the wrong side of the border this time.

    I was afraid he'd say that. I've talked about this recently, but I'm dismayed by the priority placed on winning over the collective good, and outshouting the opposition over finding a middle ground.

    The idea that political discourse has to fall into an X vs Y is absurd, yet it is the most marketable way for the 24-hour cable news nets to sell their personalities. We miss the forest for the bear shit, basically, spending so much time debating the merits of the crap spewed by Bennett, Coulter and Moore - there, I said it, Michael Moore.

    It's not that he doesn't have good ideas or ask good questions, and it's absurd to think Coulter is somehow an equivalent of Moore. It's that he frames his arguments in such a way that he ends up alienating anyone who isn't already in the choir, and the distaste for his personality ends up extending to his rhetoric and ideology as well. Why does he do that? Because ultimately, he's looking out for #1, just like O'Reilly, Coulter, Pat Robertson, whoever. And the media is happy to let him be the Most Visible Liberal because outsized personalities are an easier sell than thoughtful, measured ones.

    And it's easy to blame the media (and they are responsible to a large extent). But readers and viewers allow themselves to be fooled because they believe these multinational media conglomerates somehow answer to the consumers, while disapproving when journalists actually try to do the fourth estate thing, just as social conservatives are under the illusion that neocons aren't simply using their votes as part of a faustian bargain.

    I'd like to think there's going to be a sea change in the political discourse in the near future, but honestly, I don't know where it's going to come from. Certainly not the blogosphere.

  • So Army recruiters are posting on Craigslist and the National Guard is giving 3 iTunes tracks to anyone who gives up a phone number to a recruiter (that's 2 more than Gap gave you for trying on their jeans!).

    That should take care of the recruiting shortfall.

  • Ugh. GEICO Gecko, along with Juan Valdez, voted favorite ad icons. From the press release:
    "The Gecko," said Ted Ward, vice president of GEICO marketing, "is truly the only 21st century advertising icon to have reached such enormous popularity with the public so quickly. It's an honor that he was recognized so early in his career."

    Kinda sad, isn't it? Here's an "ad icon" that has absolutely jackpoopoo to do with the brand except that "Gecko" sounds vaguely like "Geico" if you try hard enough. The stupid lizard is the ultimate non-sequitur in a ad campaign with nothing but non-sequiturs for a company whose service is so poorly rated that its price is the only selling point...

    Wait, maybe that is the genius. What better symbol for a company that can't adequately provide is core service than an empty ad icon, targeted to no one in particular, that offers no insight to or connection with the brand? I can't think of a better match.

    Baby Bob, on the other hand... who happens to be played by a baby girl...

  • MTA says thanks, but no thanks to subway bomb sniffing dogs.
    "We do not turn down federal grants without a very good reason," Mr. Kelly said. "It was felt, in this instance, that it was not advantageous for us at this point."

    Right. Besides the fact that the above quote contains no fewer than five examples of things that I hate about PR-speak, how are free bomb sniffing dogs not advantageous to a transit system that is arguably the most likely to be attacked by terrorists?

    Are they afraid that dog urine would messy up the sparkling clean platforms? I don't know, that's about the most logical explanation I could come up with. Though admittedly, I'm working on about 30 minutes of decent REM sleep since I kept waking up last night.

  • Creepy, but some people like this kind of stuff, I guess: celebrities as anime characters (via Best Week Ever Blog). I gotta say, the Anime Uma Thurman looks just like the real thing, which is to say, cartoonish.

  • Kwame Brown might be insane in the membrane. Thank goodness Cuddly Kobe's going to be mentoring him.

  • Straight Bangin' Joey hits the nail on the Sports Guy's decline:
    I'd just reiterate that while the Sports Guy is likely the archetype for many everyday-fan sites that discuss sports and culture at length and on the regular (I'd add that those two things are large components in what most of we layfolk call 'life,' so it's not too hard to write about those things), he has become older, self-absorbed, and so alarmingly out of touch that it seems like he has, in effect, gone JoePa on us.

  • Pumpkin ale, I approve of. Assinchair, got it.
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