Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
After watching Superman II for the first time since the mid 1980's I noticed a few things:
1.Anybody notice anything funny about the DVD menu? (Obviously this is a flaw on the part of whoever designed the German DVD) Well, there are the twin towers there beneath the Man of Steel, and unless Metropolis has twin towers just like New York then this is the New York skyline NOT Metropolis, -where Superman lives and works.
2.In Superman II there are three "bad guys" from his home planet of Krypton who show-up on earth. They supposedly have the exact same superpowers as superman EXCEPT they also seem to use a white beam from their fingers (which is like a tractor-beam), which you never see Superman use. Also, in the final showdown at the Fortress of Solitude, all the Kryptonites are able to holographically/teleport, a superpower which was never featured before or again as far as I know- (confusing)
3.Superman, when showing Louis around the Fortress of Solitude, is unaffected by the piece of kryptonite he has there- he just casually carries it around- whereas in the first film (as well as others) it weakens him to the point of near-death.
Furthermore, the newest Superman film, Superman Returns (by Bryan Singer) is not so much a sequel of any of the first four films but more of a remix, like Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes. Lex Luthor's plan to become a real-estate supermogul is more or less the same... however, I will have to do some more research to continue this post...
Friday, September 28, 2007
I am copying this entire article because I think it is important, albeit biased:
"Master of deception
PR is a growing billion industry, primarily manipulating our perception of the world. The professionals from the industry are even assisting in staging wars.
In January “Brand Eins”, a Business magazine, published a report about the banana company Chiquita. The title of the story was “From an exploiter to a role model” and swarmed with compliments about the company. Chiquita was earlier called “The Octopus”, because the company established itself as the squire of Latin America. But now that is history. In 2001 the company successfully made a transition from “evil to good” – which for others came as a surprise.
In April 2002 the human rights organisation, Human Rights Watch, published a report, which stated that companies such as Chiquita, Del Monte and Dole used child labour on their plantations. Some of them were between 8 and 13 years old and were actually working while poisonous fungus remedy was being sprayed onto the plantations.
A short while ago, banana workers from one of the Chiquita daughter companies in Panama ditched their workplaces. Reason: the company refused to pay them wages.
This sort of information did not quite suite the “Brand Eins” report. Thorough research was conducted, “but even the evil can change”, - justified these mistakes the Editor in Chief, Gabriele Fischer.
Cornelia Kunze also liked the story. Kunze is the General Manager of Edelman Germany, the world’s biggest independent PR firm. Chiquita is her client. She has done a lot for these sorts of stories.
Edelman organised a big press conference last October. Chiquita’s commitment in the Rainforest Alliance was celebrated, which stood up “effectively for Man and Animal” in Latin America. The journalists were provided with all the necessary materials before the “PR campaign”, said Kunze. That is how such positive articles, as the one in “Brand-Eins”, were created.
“Contact to NGO’s plays a key role for the companies that have problems,” – says Kunze’s boss Richard Edelman from his office in New York’s Times Square. Edelman contrives such contacts. The agency is known for being an expert in sudden greening of companies.
“Greenwashing” – is how this technique is called - to appear as environment-friendly as possible. And that is just one of many instruments used by modern Public Relations.
The nurturing of these – literally speaking - public relationships – mean much more. It stands for the unleashing of a daily flood of messages about their own costumers – firms, churches, labour unions, countries, armies, animal rights and environmental agencies. Media experts say that at least 40 percent of information published in daily newspapers is distributed by PR agencies, marketing departments of offices, organisations and agencies. Often the “news” appears as alleged studies and therefore is not taken as PR. “Instead of discovering propaganda the media has become a new channel for propaganda”, - says John Stauber, founder of an independent news service PR Watch and author of a number of books about PR influence. 30,000 Business and Political magazines opposed to 15,000 to 18,000 PR professionals are now available in Germany, estimates Michael Haller, a media expert from Leipzig. In the US this relation has long been turned around to the benefit of PR experts.
In the following years the PR industry has a big chance of becoming “the leading communication discipline”, - believes Edelman, - “even before advertising”, whose simple selling slogans wear out faster than the strategic conspiracies of the PR experts: leaking stories to the media, staging incidents, placing interviews, creating positive reports – “that is something that advertising can not do”, - states Edelman with pride.
His agency even managed to get mentioned on a number of internet pages of famous web authors. This well networked scene, the so-called bloggers, is considered to be relatively autonomous and difficult to break into. Edelman hired a number of these authors. One of them shares joyful messages with his old colleagues about the retail giant Wal-Mart, one of Edelman clients. It takes only hours, until the positive “news” is spread.
Wal-Mart, the world’s biggest retail company with a yearly income of 322 billion dollars, hired Edelman last summer. The allegations from critics became more prominent: Wal-Mart does not pay for working overtime, denies lunch breaks and leaves 775 000 part-time workers without health insurance.
The mean company founder Sam Walton has always detested PR, but nowadays obviously nothing goes without it. The following Movie-accusation, “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price”, was shown in cinemas last autumn, in which Wal-Mart was accused of causing collateral damage, such as desolated towns, bankrupted middle-sized business and horrible working conditions.
The Campaign of the Critics was set by Edelman from a “war room” in Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Arkansas. Just like Wal-Mart-opponents, Edelman hired famous political Spin Doctors, such as Ronald Reagan's ex-adviser Michael Deaver. They are part of the “Rapid- Response-PR-Team” to help respond to any accusation made by the critics, “so that those fighting against the company do not become the ones defining it,” says Deaver. He talks about the so-called “swing voters” (undecided customers) and “true believers” (unshakeable customers).
It is like an election. Sometimes it is also like a war. And sometimes even wars are staged by PR experts. One (and by no means the only) film illustrating this practice is “Wag the Dog,” in which Dustin Hoffman plays an ageing Hollywood director who stages an alleged war somewhere in Eastern Europe in order to detract from the US President’s actual affair.
It is certain that PR specialists are also working on all fronts in the current war in the Middle East. But we will never notice it, or at least not until a few years from now, as was the case with the First Gulf War.
When American tanks rolled up to Kuwait City on 27th February 1991, hundreds of Kuwaitis were waiting for them, waving American flags. Some even had British flags with them. The Americans were being celebrated as liberators in the then First Gulf War. That, at least, is what the pictures would suggest.
“Have you ever asked yourselves how people from Kuwait City, after having endured seven long and painful months of being held hostage, could be capable of getting a hold of American flags?” John Rendon posed this question after the war in a speech to the National Security Council, and he added: “Yeah, you know the answer. That was one of my jobs.”
The man is the head of Rendon Group, a Washington-based PR agency who specialise in the field of media-supported mobilisation. According to documents from the Pentagon, Rendon entered into 35 contracts with the Department of Defense between 2000 and 2004 alone – for at least $50 million. In Rendon group’s offices on Washington’s Connecticut Avenue 1875, a company logo is to be found neither in the lobby nor at the main entrance. Ask one of the workers who are scurrying around about their boss and they react as if they were autistic.
In a way, Rendon is one of America’s war fixtures: wherever US troops were drafted in the past 17 years, Rendon came along too: in Panama he laid the ground for the US invasion.
In Afghanistan, he helped the world to see the sense in wide-range air raids. He was often on site in advance of the soldiers (i.e. 1991 in Kuwait) to distribute flags. He created news, manipulated scenes and dispersed doubt on the home front. He refers to himself as “Information Warrior.”
The Golden Rule of trade especially applies to people like him: the best PR is that which is not recognized as PR, and it has become a multi-billion dollar business.
One of the largest PR companies is WPP, of which Burton-Marsteller (see interview on page 76) and Hill & Knowlton are affiliates. Omnicon (among Fleishman-Hillard and Ketchum) is another one of the PR giants that dominates not only the US market, but has also spread its influence in Berlin and Brussels. In American fashion, they join forces with the top German law firms to act as political advisors and influence laws on behalf of their clients.
The sales figures of the PR industry do not even reach those of the advertising branch (USA: $174 billion per year), however PR has a much faster growth rate. The line between the two branches has always been blurred.
While advertising draws attention to the Nike brand, PR support makes sure that the consumers have a positive experience. And PR first sees to it that Nike appears humane through its sales of plastic armbands, which are designed to help against racism – all while Asian workers as of 2003 were still swallowing pills to help them work longer in Nike supply factories.
PR professionals are perception managers. “They test how elastic the truth can be," says communication expert, Klaus Merten, who has studied the industry for years.
Attacks on the sense of reality are often questioned in times of war and crisis. Then the demand for PR people rises precipitously. And in the meantime, crisis is permanent.
An especially memorable PR operation was managed by the Hill & Knowlton agency in October 1990. The firm was instructed by the American government to formulate a public opinion on the Gulf War. Before congressional lobbyists, a 15-year-old Kuwaiti nurse, Nayirah, tearfully reported how Iraqi soldiers had entered Kuwaiti hospitals and took babies out of their incubators and threw them on the floor. With its own camera crew, Hill & Knowlton made sure that the appearance reached nearly every television station in the country.
The then-President George Bush repeatedly incorporated the situation into his speech. There was just one problem: it was all a lie. In January 1992, it was revealed that Nayirah was the daughter of the Kuwaiti Ambassador in the U.S.A. A Hill & Knowlton manager had rehearsed the whole sob story with her beforehand.
“The real battleground is the publicity in our country,” stated Defense Minister Donald Rumsfeld. “We are selling a product,” said already ex-Secretary of State Colin Powell on the publicity efforts of the US government during the Gulf War.
To at least polish the image of the USA brand, PR warhorses such as Rendon Group and Hill & Knowlton were not the only ones to help in the most recent Iraq deployment. The then unknown Lincoln Group received several million dollars from the Pentagon to produce propaganda in Iraq. Up until two years ago, the firm worked in a half-renovated community center in Washington with Start-up firms as neighbours. In the meantime, they have moved into elegant rooms on Pennsylvania Avenue and appear as sponsors for Polo games.
Company founder, Paige Craig, a former sergeant in the Marines, engineered USA-friendly reports in the Iraqi newspapers. The Lincoln Group paid up to $2,000 per PR article.
Wal-Mart und Chiquita supporter, Edelman, appeared as if he was sick when the speech is over Rendon or Lincoln Group. “That is not PR. That is the Renegades,” he said. PR has to stop playing the defensive. At Edelman, it is about openness and not camouflage.
His office is a glass box on the 27th floor of an office complex overlooking New York’s Time Square. Behind his desk, the sunlight reflects off of peculiar-shaped sculptures – awards for many of his campaigns. He continuously receives awards. Recently, he received “Brand Campaign of the Year” from a PR magazine. For the energy giant General Electric, he created the motto “Ecomagination.”
In the ads for General Electric, a jet engine becomes a sunflower. “Green is green,” said Edelman, “that was a big idea.” Ecomagination. PR is often just a word.
PR people are always translators that try to obtain interpretation power over terms, make words fit, and dictate associations. Thus, the unemployed become the displaced, additional payments become sole responsibility and people become human capital. Anonymous companies are suddenly emotional beings.
The most sensitive of them all can attach themselves to the blue environment and social seal “Global Impact” from the United Nations. Uno-Secretary General Kofi Anan proposed this pact in 1999. Because injuries to principles are not punished, the seal is regarded among critics as “Bluewashing” for the heavyweight members of the organization, one of them being Bayer AG.
During Bayer’s membership in the pact, the German pharmaceutical company was accused of child labor by Indian suppliers. In addition, the company supposedly delayed compensation for poison victims at a South-African subsidiary, where the ground water was also contaminated. A company spokesperson didn’t know whether he should concern himself with past history. Another referred to the professional association. One should inquire at Bayer affiliate Lanxess, who is now responsible. So it continues.
Bayer is also a member of EuropaBio. Although the name makes you think otherwise, this group is not about biological products, but rather to help genetic engineering find a breakthrough in Europe.
With promises such as the reduction of hunger problems and massive job prospects, the scepticism of the Europeans was to be transformed into euphoria. Incorporations such as EuropaBio are regarded as “front groups” and a majority are steered by PR agencies. They are designed to neutralise critics and influence politicians. Over 160 of such organisations exist in the USA alone. Burson-Marsteller, one of the world’s largest PR agencies, positioned EuropaBio.
After a poisoning accident in Bhopal, India, whose consequences are still felt by 500 000 people today, Burson-Marsteller helped the chemical multinational Union Carbide to present itself as a caring company. Their PR experts were on hand for the oil multinational Exxon after the “Exxon Valdez” catastrophe of 1989. At the end of the 70s Burson-Marsteller worked for Argentina’s military junta. In the middle of the Cold War the spin doctors also saw to it that the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu improved his image.
These American giants have long since settled themselves in Brussels, the European Mecca of lobbying. With 15 000 stakeholders, however, the scene is not half as populated as that in Washington. Lobbying, the private exertion of influence on political decision makers, goes hand in hand perfectly with PR. An example: in the past, the industry used mostly substances containing bromine as a fire retardant – in electronics, car seats, computer cases and sofas. However the bromine, often compared to chemical poisons like DDT and PCB, began to accumulate in people. For this reason the use of bromine has been almost completely forbidden in the EU since 2004. Alternatives have long since been available on the market, which are already being used on products produced by from companies like Sony.
The last bromine product to be widely distributed, Deca-BDE, is going to be use primarily in Great Britain, where an industry-friendly fire protection law was passed. Because the Economic Commission of the EU expressed strong scepticism towards Deca-BDE in March 2005, an EU ban was placed on Deca-BDE in all new electric and electronic goods from July.
But then the PR experts from Burson-Marsteller turned up. The Brussels offices of the PR agency are to be found on the Avenue de Cortenbergh 118, a typical lobbyist mile in the shade of the AU Commission complex. The name board of the office block indicates not only the name of Burson-Marsteller, but also that of the “Bromine Science and Environmental Forum” (BSEF), a front group of the bromine industry.
The BSEF did not, until recently, have any workers there; the whole operation was run by PR managers. Their key role, according to the anti-lobbying organization “Corporate Europe Observatory,” is either vaguely hinted at or “simply hidden.” Two of the world’s largest bromine producers have also set up post boxes in the Avenude de Cortenbergh 118. From there Burson-Marsteller also controls the “Alliance for Consumer Fire Safety in Europe” (ACFSE), a group of concerned fire fighters, to whom bromine was of no particular importance.
The ACFSE was supposed to have been set up in 1998 by Robert Graham, a British fire brigade chief, according to Jeremy Galbraith of Burson-Marsteller. The retired fireman Graham remembers it differently: “They came to me, an agency, a Mr. Rapp, I don’t make a secret of that.” Rapp worked for Burson-Marsteller at the time. Graham knew that there were alternatives to bromine; however, for the new British fire protection laws, he learned, Deca-BDE was the most cost-effective product. Graham passed this message on.
Albrecht Brömme, County Chief of the Berlin Fire Department, says that he was first trained for interviews by Burson-Marsteller, “but I don’t need training anymore.” From time to time Brömme travels to Brussels, with the ACFSE picking up the tab. Then he puts on his uniform and talks about fire protection and the British example.
From a PR point-of-view, Brömme and Graham are direct hits: firemen whose primary interest is fire protection – it’s hard to get more credible than that.
For front groups such as the Bromine Forum to be leaders in their field is one of the oldest techniques in PR, and one that Edward Bernays (1891-1995), Sigmund Freud’s nephew, established. Bernays was working for Lucky Strike at the time. He asked a selection of journalists to the Easter parade on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Beforehand he had hired a number of famous women to smoke during the parade, something that was not permitted in public at the time. Bernays thus made the cigarettes into “torches of freedom,” and the smoking women into something like the beginning of the feminist movement in the US. Sales of Lucky Strike cigarettes skyrocketed.
Bernays finesse: he mostly focused not on the actual product, but on a change in attitude of the public. For another campaign he found doctors to recommend a “hearty breakfast”- eggs and ham, for instance. Bernays was at this point working with the meat industry, who was experiencing flagging sales at the time.
When the sociologist Stuart Ewan was researching the roots of mass manipulation for his book “PR! A Social History of Spin,” he became engrossed in Bernays’ books, “Propaganda” and “Crystallizing Public Opinion.” If you can understand the psyche of a particular group within the population, it becomes possible, according to Bernays, to “control the masses according to our will and to lead them without them noticing.” Bernays saw himself as someone who held the controls of society in his hand.
Ewan met the PR expert himself at the beginning of the 90s. Bernays was 98 and his house was filled with memento photographs that showed him with Winston Churchill, Henry Ford and at the Peace Conference of Versailles in 1919. “Goebbels had all my books in his library,” Bernays (who was Jewish) told Ewan.
As with thousands of other writers, teachers and artists, Bernays worked for the CPI (Committee on Public Information) during the First World War. The CPI’s job was to popularize the war at home – and, topically – “make the world safe for democracy,” according to a CPI slogan of the time. LIFE Magazine later counted Bernays to be among the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century.
In describing his job, the PR icon once said, “We don’t deal with images. We deal with reality.”
Interview with Harold Burson: “We support journalists”
SPIEGEL: Herr Burson, what is PR?
BURSON: PR is about doing good and being recognised for it. It also has a lot to do with perception. Perception can be controlled through PR, attitudes can be changed.
SPIEGEL: Perception management sounds sort of like propaganda.
BURSON: Propaganda is a form of PR. That said, it depends upon how far you would extend propaganda, and often it stops being PR. Propaganda is done by those who wish to misinform people.
SPIEGEL: Edward Bernays, who is considered the “father of misrepresentation,” saw PR as “trading with reality.” One of his most important books was called “Propaganda.”
BURSON: Bernays thought that he could control public opinion. His methodology, of course, was fundamental. Most of the things we do today were identified by Bernays 80 years ago. He had brilliant ideas. I met him a few times, but didn’t like him. He was one of the most egocentric people I have ever met.
SPIEGEL: The speciality of your agency Burson-Marsteller, which you set up in 1953, was crisis management. It seems that few jobs were too low for you. After the Bhopal chemical catastrophe of 1984, you tried to gloss the image of the chemical multinational Union Carbide.
BURSON: In Bhopal there was an accident with over 2000 deaths. We were called and asked, “Can you help?” We wanted to support journalists in bringing out the news.
SPIEGEL: And the journalists needed you, of all things?
BURSON: In such a chaotic situation it was hard to see exactly what had happened.
SPIEGEL: Some tanks in a ramshackle pesticide factory exploded. Union Carbide left behind a region that was to be contaminated for decades, something which now effects 500 000 inhabitants.
BURSON: Our first piece of advice was to hold a press conference every day, to be transmitted via satellite. Union Carbide reacted with understanding, the director Warren Anderson stood at the site and asked for forgiveness…
SPIEGEL: …and withdrew from an impending trial by fleeing to the USA. Are there companies or countries that you would not work for?
BURSON: We don’t work for what the State Department calls “rogue states.”
SPIEGEL: So working for the Argentinean Junta was not a problem?
BURSON: No, we even consulted the State Department. And we don’t work for the Junta directly, just for the Department of Trade. But when the Junta took over power, many saw it as a liberation.
SPIEGEL: A liberation? Are you doing PR now?
BURSON: No, after ten years of civil wars the country returned to normality for a while. Our job is to care for investment.
SPIEGEL: One of the Burson-Marsteller specialities is “grassrooting,” the generation of buzz among the masses. How does that work?
BURSON: That is something fundamental to the democratic process. People believe in things that happen in their neighbourhood, things that they can follow. If they hear a story on a localised level, its credibility increases. This is why we are so enthusiastic about it. Our spin-off company “Direct Impact” specialises in placing such stories.
SPIEGEL: Have you ever regretted a job?
BURSON: Had I known that I would still have to be defending our work in Argentina after thirty years, I wouldn’t have accepted the military government as a client."
just look how he starts the day: (6am Seattle time, 3pm my time)
DISCLAIMER: this is sort of a rant.
Post SUbtitled: (In reference to the following post- Somtimes the Post Title says more than the post itself.
When Davis Limbach aka "Confused" was visiting last month he took me to see Planet Prozess, which included many (I hesitate to call them graffiti) artists from all over the world. THEN- today- I check SIXTYSECONDVIEW, the blog of EDELMAN CEO EUROPE David Brain and there is a Youtube Video of an animation apparently made by BLU, one of Davis' favorites and now collaborators (I believe-?) anyhow, it was just an odd coincidence and a great video:
on the other hand, this sort of trickle-up aesthetics (or has it accelerated to leap-up or leap-on aesthetics?)has been going on for - how long? As long as Nike has been ripping things straight out of the bottom-drawer cultural obscurity (brewing away from the mainstream, then set to become the mainstream) to make itself look like the cutting-edge epitomy of cool. The same way sooo many companies do that, hire guys, artists, talent, people who are happy to finally make a bit of money doing what they love... flock to the cool, or their work results in a flocking to the cool, just like the Corporate world is (pitifully?) flocking to social media now- which is like the same damn thing as if I started ___ing or going to the ______ habitually just to build up business relationships, right? Maybe that is a thoughtless comparison, but the move is like SOMEthing- if I think of a better analogy I will add it later. -- ah, alas, just nothing surprising about a graffiti artists' video ends up in a CEO's blog... it is a "cool video" afterall- as is the SIXTYSECONDVIEW blog, which is why I read it-
In a way it is great that artists just get more exposure through platforms like YouTube- should just be happy about that at least.
To further illustrate my point, however, here is the NIKE commercial mentioned in the "MEET THE PROS" episode of This American Life- (aired last month) the post in Sixtysecondview just reminded me of it. luis "TRIKZ" da silva:
or nike eats hip for breakfast with this one:
" Illustrator Paul Huang, creator of Nanospore, teamed up with animators Chris Riehl and Sean Starkweather to create this playfully original, yet oddly familiar spot for part of Nike's new viral campaign to promote the Nike Free Trainer 7.0, which gives you the power of flight and exempts you from noodle-bowl lines.
this "Oggo Nike Art of Speed Project" is similar, but too long and wierd...
"An online campaign is calling for the release of Krek and Mers, two graffiti artists jailed for causing £13,000 of damage to railway trains and bridges..." from the Guardian- slightly related
HIER even if you don't know the name you will most likely recognise the drawings from his work with Roald Dahl.
another great Brit: Stephen Fry and his blog. joy to read, honestly. 100%.
here is Mr. Fry in-action (the one NOT in the tub)
in the past 24 hours or so google has been
and I can't figure out what happened. I keep getting redirected to www.google.de when all I want to do is go to .com, previously I had worked around this by bookmarking .com but that is no longer working, nor is my iGoogle... did they do something sly for their 9th birthday... igoogle is just-... not around.
ahh- but they did read my mind with blogger and finally add the "dashboard" option in the opper right when you are viewing others' blogs (there was previously no direct or clear route back to the dashboard- very clever)
on to other things- Helen found a video - a War Department film written by Dr. Seuss and directed by Frank Capra- and it is brilliant. I am not going to be able to walk down the street in quite the same way knowing what those Germans are truly capable of, feeling the invisible but teeming presence of their true purpose...
to help balance that out here is an essay called "Revenge is Sour" by Orwell
vaguely related: The Shock Doctrine by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Ripped outta TECHCRUNCH: "Yesterday a select group of fifteen or so industry luminaries attended a highly confidential meeting at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View to discuss the company’s upcoming plans to address the “Facebook issue.” ...Google’s goal - to fight Facebook by being even more open than the Facebook Platform. If Facebook is 98% open, Google wants to be 100%." FULL POST HERE
Admittedly, when Gmail came along, I dropped all my other puny email accounts for it... so, ... wait, does this already exist? Yes, it is called Orkut. I think I heard that in SOuth America Orkut, Google's social media networking platform, is essentially their MySpace/Facebook/Bebo, but maybe I am just imagining that. Telephone internat information shite.
OOh, wikipedia says: "Orkut is an Internet social network service run by Google and named after its creator, Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten"
""My father waited in line for Star Wars and Woodstock," Gunther said. "Halo 3 is like our Woodstock.""
-Carl Gunther, ex-Marine at the Best Buy in Manhattan for the midnight release of Halo 3 (ripped from Sean Peterson's WIRED blog
Post titled: NAZI stuff
Naval facility in San Diego found on Google Earth- DER SPIEGEL
ZARA withdraws swastika handbags the BBC
"Victoria Beckham looks like a Nazi - literally" - the superficial
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
One of these is a new mural in the Häsckischen Höfe and one of these is a school crrossguard sign, can you guess which is which?
smaller un-broken image of a recent drawing, ink on paper
not a whole lotta action in the blog today so I am posting a link to my odd del.icio.us links for the day... odd, eh?
Whitehouse Lobbied Against Schwartzenegger Environmental Inititative
(did they spell Arnold's name wrong?)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
FULL TRANSCRIPT HERE with biased headers.
Is President AHMADINEJAD's rhetoric really any more scary that any other major world leader? I mean- really and relatively-?
Ok ok, yea, it probably is-
Monday, September 24, 2007
Except the ones that can read that. anyhow, I will reference this post sometime in the future, but for the moment, -in a moment of still during the workday when coming across another corporate feelgood website I was reminded of the role of the Stock Photo in life itself- the stock photo pretty much plays the same role in ads and marketing campaigns as a movie extra plays in a film. In the words of David Rabe spoken by Sean Penn in the film Hurly Burly: "we need guys like you in Hollywood to make the bullshit look real. You're expendable. You do not matter." sure the individual is expendable, but the value of the extra or the stock photo is priceless. Think, so much of online content for products, services or companies is either comprised of stock photos which reprecent the situations and moods which the company wants to put forward as a part of its public image, OR these images are full of actors shot in scenes especially for the ad- all completely orechestrated adn fake... all a part of the global mass perception of what life is all about... with as much cred and foothold in reality as a sitcom... including laugh-track.
This is an iStockPhoto found in a search for "love":
SugarFrostedGoodness is the most pure-fun blog I have found in ages. Good for them.
On the set of Stephen Daldry's new film "the Reader" Berlin, September 20, 2007
me, aaron and andreas
Just talking about this yesterday with Paperpools author Helen and then voila! There they are back in the news! From the BBC:
"Computer enthusiasts in the developed world will soon be able to get their hands on the so-called "$100 laptop".
The organisation behind the project has launched the "give one, get one" scheme that will allow US residents to purchase two laptops for $399 (£198).
One laptop will be sent to the buyer whilst a child in the developing world will receive the second machine
The G1G1 scheme, as it is known, will offer the laptops for just two weeks, starting on the 12 November."
FULL STORY HERE
Sunday, September 23, 2007
NOTE: information has obviously been corrupted at the bottom, I'll have to fix that...
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
1.Sorry for the recent lack of images in the blog, there should be more, but my laptop with Photoshop on it is getting old...
2. I apologise ahead of time as I may or may not be posting for the next 4 days.. that would be an all-time record.
Question: I heard a new Talib Kweli song on a fairly mainstream German radio station of all places the other day- and as a Talib Kweli song it was barely even recognisable- so the question is:
A. What happened, did I miss something, Bubba, where are you on this one?
B. Did Kweli pulls a Q-Tip "Amplified" on us? it's ok, Amplified is fun... just wasn't expecting it...
if Kweli has/did/does achieve solid commercial sucess, I suppose he deserves it by now... but will it be "another one bites the dust?" and can he stop tucking his ear into his hat?-
oh, his site HERE, the song I heard plays automatically on the main page.
see also previous post: Jay-Z HP Re-Re-Revisited.
20 minutes later: ok, so the three songs looping on his site are pretty good... pretty catchy, hmpf.
Post Subtitled: might as well dedicate this to Vernon
Being away from Seattle there is simply no reason to be connected to the Strangersphere there anymore (the Stranger is a widely read culture/music/theatre/books/movies/resteraunts
/classifieds weekly bible of cynical and fun information of sorts, having literally stemmed from the same genepool as the Onion) BUT I did stop-by today and check in on Dan Savage's advice column Savage Love, and actually came across something slightly informative:
"I am addressing this to both ¡Ask a Mexican! and Savage Love, hoping one of you will have an answer to this: Why do Mexican chicks yell for their papi during sex?"
Daddy Del Diablo
"Dear Gabacho: Latinas calling men papi (daddy) during sex or in day-to-day conversation is really more of a Caribbean thing," says Gustavo Arellano, author of ¡Ask a Mexican!, "and my column isn't called ¡Ask J.Lo! Then again, there was that chilanga chula (hot-ass Mexico City chick) who'd whisper it whenever the Mexican slipped her the chorizo... so let's answer your pregunta. In Mexico, as in the rest of Latin America, fathers stand atop the machismo mountaintop. They're the hombres who allow or deny a daughter permission to marry or leave the household, the man who wives must tend to and sons respect, fear, and follow. Dads earned such a place in Mexico gracias to the cultures of Catholicism, the Conquest, and the Aztecs—all governed by males who considered women little more than birth canals. Mix the three societies together, add some Freudian and Oedipal impulses, and you're left with some fucked-up sexual mores that a half-century of Chicana feminism and modernity have yet to eradicate. But, hey: Better your brown lady yell 'papi' during coitus than '¡Ay, chiquito gabacho!' ¿Qué no?"
To read my response to Daddy Del Diablo's question, you'll have to swing over to www.ocweekly.com/columns/ask-a-mexican. Got a questions for Gustavo? You can e-mail him directly at email@example.com."
Ripped from David Byrne's Journal Online ("Don't call it a Blog")
"(Alan) Yentob is making a doc, for the BBC I guess, on “How To Get On In The Art World” — that's how he put it. I saw two camera operators elsewhere in the gallery. Yentob casually asked more questions and then I noticed he was wired — he had a mic clipped onto his jacket collar. I could see one of the distant cameras pointing at us. I began to feel a little uncomfortable. I commented on the fact that some UK artists get covered in the daily tabloid press over there — it would be like a Mike Kelly show here for example, getting big coverage in the news pages of the Post, which is not going to happen. But, I offered, the interest by the British tabloids in what Tracy and Damien are up to is not, in my opinion, a sign of arty interest on the behalf of the UK workingman. Instead, it is an effort by the Murdoch owned papers to reinforce the idea that artists are nothing but fucking nutters and crafty conmen to boot. It sells more papers if you can work up some class outrage at the shenanigans of the art world. Yentob remarked that Damien and Tracy earn so much they are crying about the press slagging them off all the way to the bank. I excused myself."
Pssst: We are still not entirely happy about the fact that DAvid Byrne does not allow for comments... but I guess that is one of the reasons why it can still be considered a "Journal" and not a "blog"
and and and
Perrrsonally,... after 10 years of them, I just don't know how I feel about art openings anymore. I dan#t get too terribly excited about them now... I think I prefer museums- they are (usually) less-crowded and more slow-paced. (Old man)
oh, yea, and the Streets have a free show tonight in Berlin:
The O2 World Berlin, (East Side Gallery Mühlenstraße) currently under construction near the Ostbahnhof, is celebrating its topping out ceremony (Richtfest) on September 20th. On the evening of the 19th there'll be a free concert - The Streets Open Air - from 7pm on the construction site featuring UK artist Mike Skinner.
Entry will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Seattle Hip-Hop Heroes Rappy McRapperson and The Bomb in a new video:
The Bomb and Rappy McRapperson performing "The Bombfather" from the album "Level X gangsta shit", free to download on www.rappymcrapperson.com
might I recommend number 7 on the album: "This is Why I'm Cold"
too bad this had to happen:
Post Subtitled: 2 news updates regarding recent posts
from the Guardian: OJ Simpson charged with kidnapping and robbery
University of Florida: Cops on leave after Taser incident, student's behavior under scrutiny. from CNN ...eew. CNN.
whew. that's all. wierdness!
per Regine Debatty:
In light of the current threat to t e s l a 's existence, we call upon artists, audience, and colleagues, to communicate to the state of berlin what the city risks to lose with this decision.
learn more about the current situation at tesla, write a letter or an email to mr andre schmitz, the state secretary for cultural affairs, and please remember to send a copy to t e s l a , as well, for our documentation. you will find the necessary addresses at the end of this post.
rather than generic protest letters, we particularly encourage qualified statements on the meaning and importance of media art, on the need for venues for artistic production, presentation, and reflection, on support for media art in berlin, and on t e s l a 's role in both a local and international context. in the coming months, we will increase our efforts to attain support from the state of berlin for this branch of the arts, and we hope that this action
will make it clear that a real need and a broad interest exists.
please address any questions to moritz von rappard (pr and press) at 030. 247 49 788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
andreas broeckmann, detlev schneider, carsten seiffarth
Herrn Staatssekretär André Schmitz
beim Regierenden Bürgermeister von Berlin
Senatskanzlei - Kulturelle Angelegenheiten
Brunnenstraße 188 - 190
from Der Spiegel "Mysteriöser Meteorit macht Peruaner krank"
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
actually I haven't had time to even watch it but there is a NEW OBAMA GIRL VIDEO
I recently discovered Homeless Frank on Twitter... who knows if it is real or not, but I can almost smell Pioneer Square in Seattle...
From Youtube, hunnybun523 says:
"As the person who filmed this event. I would like to say that although Andrew may appear to be a conspiracy theorist, he still was accosted by the police after Senator Kerry said he wanted to hear the question. If Accent Speakers Bureau had allowed all those standing in line to ask questions, this never would have happened. Unless of course the police would have stepped in anyway."
Monday, September 17, 2007
Ok, I posted this in my top-secret work blog earlier, but now after thinking about it all day really feel the need to say that, ok, -that I never feel pity for Microsoft... it is a big company, makes a lot of money, who cares, right-? err, so never have (usually, ever) felt pity -but in this particular instance I definitely wish Brussels would just shut the fuck up and go back to what it usually does best: repeatedly slam(ming) its own dick in the door.
Video from the BBC HERE
FROM Yahoo News:
"Microsoft loses its appeal of a European antitrust order Monday that obliges the technology giant to pay a record $613 million fine, share communications code with rivals and sell a copy of Windows without Media Player....
The ruling confirms more than ever that Microsoft must comply," said EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes. "I will not tolerate continued noncompliance."
Kroes said however that the victory did not yet mean that software customers have more choice than they did three years ago, when Microsoft was slapped with the original EU fine.
"The court has confirmed the Commission's view that consumers are suffering at the hands of Microsoft," she said. "
BULLSHIT. who is suffering. WHy is the EC wasting its time on this? who are these retards? Peer Hellstrom. yoideedoi. INdeed-. Who are you people and who the hell even USES Windows Media Player??? except people like me with ancient laptops that can't handle iTunes. Actually, I have grown to like Windows Media Player as I use it to rip cds from the library to my 160 gig external hard drive... it is useful... but not a goddamn antitrust juggernaut by any means...
as the article below implies this may become a bad EU habit... is Apple in their sites?
BUT as for the EC and these well-to-do do-gooder useless EuroFUCKTARDgoverningbodydisconnectedfromrealityandoperatingona1975level-types
where is that clip-? AH, there, Julianne Moore says it best:
and another article, also NYT:
Microsoft Ruling May Bode Ill for Other Companies
"Why the WSJ Exodus Is Good for MurdochThree additional Wall Street Journal journalists quit."
By Jack Shafer
I think I have perhaps already linked to the CORPORATION on Google Video - but there it is again.
and (gotta find-?) part 2
my currently posted facebook question (irnically) "Is Rupert Murdoch the Anti-Christ or just the DEvil?"
- just to take a break from the madnessOne of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies
O.J. whistles "If I only had a brain"
from Breitbart.tv HERE
Friday, September 14, 2007
Professor John Marburger, who advises President Bush, said it was more than 90% certain that greenhouse gas emissions from mankind are to blame." from the BBC here.
FALANDO A VERDADE!
Post Subtitled: Images that come to mind and their interpretations and re-interpretations throughout time...
Image stolen from the University of Waterloo
Firstly, I remember THIS Megaman (sort of), then I visit the OFFICAL MEGAMAN (Capcom) site and there is this Yu-Gi-Oh!-looking shite... tres depressing...
OR- completely normal...?
The ever-morphing incarmations of the images of popular figures or deities throughout history is probably just standard, right?
Post Titled: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
is the confirmed titled of the upcoming fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series.
U.S. Marines Take out a bus
"That's what you get when you loot!"
Dead U.S. Soldiers
Shooting Unarmed Iraqi Civilians
"KILL EVERYBODY" - US ARMY SPECIALIST DARRELL ANDERSON:
Pinky Show (23 min.)
I could do without the Alice in CHains here:
is MSNBC for effing retards or what? why is this (60% of their content) considered news???
I watch all their videos (and the ads you can't FF through) about twice monthly, in a true state of shock and awe... thinking... thinking:
America, you get louder and more pointless with each passing day...
Girl asked to leave Southwest Airline flight for skimpy outfit HERE
Crazed Britney Spears fan HERE (and above foto)
Oh, and just to make this post useful, here is a drug recall (I don#t know if it is true or not, but who cares-? Americans are a gazillion times too overmedicated anyhow:
All drugs containing PHENYLPROPANOLAMINE are being recalled.
STOP TAKING anything containing this ingredient. It has been
linked to increased hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in brain )
among women ages 18-49 in the three days after starting use
of medication. Problems were not found in men, but the FDA
recommended that everyone ( even children ) seek alternative
The following medications contain Phenylpropanolamine:
Acutrim Diet Gum Appetite Suppressant
Acutrim Plus Dietary Supplements
Acutrim Maximum Strength Appetite Control
Alka-Seltzer Plus Children's Cold Medi cine Effervescent
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold medicine (cherry or or ange)
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine Original
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold &Cough Medicine Effervescent
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold &Flu Medicine
Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold &Sinus Effervescent
Alka Seltzer Plus Night-Time Cold Medicine
BC Allergy Sinus Cold Powder
BC Sinus Cold Powder
Comtrex Flu Therapy &Fever Relief
Day &Night Contac 12-Hour Cold Capsules
Contac 12 Hour Caplets
Coricidin D Cold, Flu &Sinus
Dexatrim Caffeine Free
Dexatrim Extended Duration
Dexatrim Vitamin C/Caffeine Free
Dimetapp Cold &Allergy Chewa! ble Tablets
Dimetapp Cold &Cough Liqui-Gels
Di metapp DM Col d &Cough Elixir
Dimetapp ! 4 Hour L iquid Gels
Dimetapp 4 Hour Tablets
Dimetapp 12 Hour Extentabs Tablets
Naldecon DX Pediatric Drops
Tavist-D 12 Hour Relief of Sinus &Nasal Congestion
Triaminic DM Cough Rel! ief
Triaminic Expectorant Chest &Head
Triaminic Syrup Cold & Allergy
Triaminic Triaminicol Cold &Cough
I just found out and called the 800# on the container
for Triaminic and they informed me that they are voluntarily recalling the following medicines because of a certain ingredient that is causing strokes and seizures in children :
Orange 3D Cold &Allergy Cherry (Pink)
3D Cold &Cough Berry
3D Cough Relief Yellow 3D Expectorant
They are asking you to call them at 800-548-3708 with
the lot number on the box so they can send you postage for you to send it back to them, and they will also issue you a refund. If you know of anyone else with small children,
PLEASE PASS THIS ON. THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF!
To confirm these findings please take time to check the
PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO YOUR CHILDREN IN CASE THEY GIVE IT TO THEIR CHILDREN OR TO FRIENDS WHO HAVE CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
- Ronald Reagan
Because I was born about the same time as Ronald Reagan took office, I only remember him as being a nice old man... it wasn't until I went to college that I realized that some people actually thought his jellybeans were supplied directly by Satan, Price of Darkness himself... But -he could doodle... (Reagan, not Satan) (stolen from NPR.org)
...choosing a profile foto is always a silly self consciousprocess...
like. a symbol of your self - choose or find or make a symbol of yourself...
like digital cave-drawing practically.
The tagline for someone's blog the other day was "Blogging is easy, Commenting is hard."
WHich I found myself
totalllly agreeing with.
my comments are rarely much more than "dude, totally."
with the exception(s) of the paragraphs left on paperpools. perhaps.
but BUT bUt
isn#t that what this blog is supposed to be about- life "Post-Google" err, just "now"..?
the previous post (about Russians needing to have babies because of a dangerously low birthrate) was funny at first, ....but the more I thought about it- it is really tragic. Has the body of society lost its desire to reproduce- has the organism frogotten how to be? is it passive suicide on Russia's part? (and Europe to a lesser extent)...
mmmmmh. what happened to the lust for life?...
oh, and from the Guardian: Putin Dissolves Government
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
By Anne Applebaum HERE IN SLATE
Oh, and Japanese Prime Minister Abe stepped down, merely saying that he needs to "spend more time with young boys." Just kidding, that was dumb and in poor taste, I am sure honest Abe is straight as a whatever. I just miss the guy with the cooler hair. The former former PM who looked more like a movie director than a politican... anyhow, read all about it in French HERE in/on another european dive into the Le Web 2.0 2-years-too-late (recently launched Le Post BETA. Also, just kidding, I am sure the site is amazing. DAmn, wrong side of the bed. I am so GRUMPY. Pardon me.
Oh, and Castro is still ALIVE...
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Is Blogging Really just a 21st Century primate throwing its own POOP?
about Bill Gates' teenage mugshot
w/commentary courtesy Sam Forsythe
Monday, September 10, 2007
The German Bundestag works only 111 days a year, and considering they are sitting around pooping in their pants most of that time, I figure that equals about 11 days of actual really-real work...
Sitsungstage des Deutschen Bundestages: sie arbeiten laut meiner zählung 111 kalendertage pro jahr.
Who elects these people? Do they DO anything?
How funny is the New York Times Critique of 50 Cents' new album "Curtis"? Pretty darn funny.
Guess I just haven't read a critique of a pop-gangster-booty album in a major newspaper before... however I disagree with them referring to him as "hip-hop’s greatest troublemaker" - hip-hop? Where, exactly, is the hip-hop in Mr. Jackson's music?
Holy Sh*t, there was a real thunderdome at Burning Man this year-
Sunday, September 09, 2007
We walked to the Martin Gropius Bau for the Cindy Sherman show
-along the way:
Saturday, September 08, 2007
my first post for Electropeasant is to be found HERE
it is about Tommy Boy Records.
Friday, September 07, 2007
I have an Anne Geddes photo of the day thing on my iGoogle homepage because I think she is probably one of the weirdest photographers in the world, BUT today's photo of the day was:
a baby strung out in an opium poppy...
Nadine sent this from PEREZHILTON.com - Avril Lavigne's 10 Commandments. nuff said.
Well, amost. Let me also say that the only other time I might've written about her was when she didn't know who/mispronounced David Bowie's name at the music awards. Sooo, she will waste or grace no more of this blogspace. If teenage girls actually read my blog I'd say "worldwide boycott on the dumb ho."
rookie blogger Bubba posted a poem in his blog Tenfootman recently which I keep going back to read:
"Buy, Always Consume
Buy, buy more than you can
consume. Consume. Fuck over
Step on everything and always
buy everything up. Carry home
as much as you can.
Stuff, stuff yourself with greed.
Don't look anybody in
Surround yourself with high walls
so neither grass nor human
voices can reach you;
sink, sink into shit as deep
as you can go.
You must be on your guard;
buy away, carry it home
Look around, make sure
they're not robbing you;
Buy, always buy
more than you can carry;
sink, sink into the shit,
shit shit shit."
-Ferruccio Brugnaro (I assume it was translated from italian? keine ahnung)
The more I think about it, the more it reminds me of the last time I saw radiohead... at the White River Ampitheatre out in the middle of Auburn nowhere, Washington State... oh, wait, correction, it is on the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation, maybe my white guilt prevents me from ever enjoying anything there... even surrounded by good friends, going to see one of my favorite bands, but the absolute commercialisation of the venue and the faschist staff just put a huge damper on the whole thing. Not at all like the gorgeous Gorge in George, WA. Even if it is opressive and commercial in its own right, the location and view make-up for it, so that pretty muchis beautiful no matter what... even if you are seeing boring borrring ol' Dave Matthews... (blasphemy)
hmm... off topic:
Q: Is blogging really just 21st century poetry? (double blasphem!)
OH, and then to make this post even less depressing there are yesterday's word's of wisdom from our commander-in-chief:Bush on Iraq: "We're Kicking Ass." from CNN political ticker blog- (cnn uses wordpress? wierd)
I walk by this all the time on the magazine stands,
but have yet to pick it up... intrigued nevertheless:
DUMMY. Das Gesellschaftsmagazin main site HERE.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Helen's post on the attempted suicide of Owen Wilson (which is HERE and wonderful, yes, click that "HERE" -or that one) sparked a little comment thing... do read. and if any third grade class is mature enough to handle it please send him cards made with magic marker, if anyone has and adress... I'm still totally serious about that.
What I forgot to mention is that when we were lost and almost trapped for hours hundreds of feet below the earth in a series of caves called "Hell Hole" (just outside the University of California at Santa Cruz's campus) several years back, the only thing that kept us sane was singing songs from the Rushmore soundtrack which we had been listening to on the roatrip down the west coast... remember that, Vern? shoo'.
Labels: "Hell Hole" UC Santa Cruz paperpools helen dewitt Owen Wilson suicide attempt Tom Dey Shanghai Noon zoolander the Royal Tennenbaums the Darjeeling Express Rushmore Bottle Rocket the Wedding Crashers
Post Subtitled: Myspace, Facebook, (insert something here), aSmallWorld.net
Post SubSubTitled: Caste-ing Dat Ass! (as in Caste system)
A few months back Carrie E.A. Scott sent me an inneressin' little article ( look for article, where is goddamn article??) about the class divide between the university-based facebook addict-retards (ahem ahem, that is you- college students- who think the internet IS facebook) and the myspace anybodies (sorry, I treat facebook locked in the basement and malnourished like an unwanted/redheaded step-child of my internet ongoings)
dude, I am going babannas this morning- ouioui, worrrrk
Effing awesome Deutsch-English word realisation of the day...
LABOR aka "work"= Arbeit
ok obviously no great revelation, but... have I said this before? the absolue separation of word relations when it comes to German and English... so odd... how there must be a split in the mind... i.e. gift, die, and I#ll add more later when my brain works again, k?
POST WILL (might?) BE RE-WORKED LATER to actally say something and come to a conclusion about all this madness, no time at the moment, -p
What do we call him- Thriller Killer? Murder Mystery Murderer?
THe Guardian: Polish author jailed over killing he used as plot- "Police stumped until they read gruesome thriller"
by Ian Traynor in Warsaw
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I Can't say exactly how realistic it is that they might've inflicted a lot of damage on the Frankfurt airport, but chances are they wouldn'tve been able to get onto Ramstein Air Base, that place has been particularly well-guarded since the 2001 and even before that since there was a major attack on the USAFE HQ in 1981. I know this because I went to Jr. High and High School there.
full story HERE from SKY News.
Apparently, coincidentally through Nadine's agency, I am now booked as an extra in the new Stephen Daldry film "The Reader" for a beach scene to be filmed here near Berlin where i have to be an american GI in the 1950's. Initially, I didn't care much, but when I imdb'd Daldry and found that he had done Billy Elliott and is doing The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay I was completely adrenalinated and called the agency right back to confirm. I love Kavalier and Clay. (Sucker.) and even if I stopped acting in 2001 I still had a good time as an extra in Sherman Alexie's "The Business of Fancy Dancing"- hmm, we shall see.
Cate Blanchett as Bob Dylan??? in the Guardian HERE
best one credit bloggywood.se (featured below) aslo HERE
Oh, how shocking, another closet Gay Republican. Wow . Shock and Awe.
Shock shock sock awe awe awhh.
Here is my remix of the current Huffington Post banner foto: