Friday, April 24, 2009

Soles'n'Bowls

  • I was just looking over the files, and I found an old quote from a former president: Torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere. We are committed to building a world where human rights are respected and protected by the rule of law. (George W. Bush, June 26, 2003. "In a statement issued on United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture June 26, the president called on all governments to join in prohibiting, investigating and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment.")
  • It's a complex world.
  • Is it my own skeptical, cynical, and discouraged imagination, or has everything on The Beach just gotten transparent?
  • I mean "transparent" like those anatomical models, where you can see all the gizzards and organs and such. There doesn't seem to be even a thought given to beautify or garnish or enhance or dress something up.
  • The marketing world. It's become too clear, too predictable, too common.
  • Take the celebration of Earth Day. Since 1970, when Wisconsin Democrat Gaylord Nelson dreamed up the commemoration of overpopulation, nobody was working very deliberately to turn it into an obnoxious Hallmark holiday that coincided with sales and sandwiches. In fact, most climate change deniers have used it as an excuse to make fun of earthy-crunchy-granola-hippie types.
  • Until this year.
  • When The Beach learns how to make a buck, it doesn't stop, and it teaches its young to do likewise. No matter what symptoms of ill-health capitalism is suffering these days.
  • "We saw everything today from a necklace made out of buttons to milk cartons for hats or soda tabs for ties. It helps to show them how everything doesn’t need to be tossed out, that everything has a purpose and can be reused,” said Gardner School "Green Day" coordinator Pat Daignault, who "coordinated" the school's Not-Earth Day festivities. (It's school vacation week, so they couldn't have Earth Day on Earth Day, so they co-opted the band's name for the occasion. Yeah, at first I thought it was like when their parents celebrate Mardi Gras on the Friday before. And they ripped off the band's name.)
  • The kids got to make and wear "fashions" forged from recycled items. The unfortunate part is that the whole "soda tabs for ties" concept is antithetical to the entire environmental focus, albeit clever.
  • See? You have to manufacture items that you can recycle and make into "fashion." Soon, kids will be gorging themselves to obesity and type-2 diabetes on high-fructose corn syrup-laden sodas in order to create the raw materials for their togs. Eventually, the market will turn on itself, as some distributor starts manufacturing those soda-tab ties in squalid third-world soda-tab tie sweatshops and underselling those very entrepreneurial Second Graders.
  • Maybe learning to do without things like soda-tab ties might help us avoid that next economic crisis.
  • I was sent a breathless e-mail notice urging me to pre-order the new Dan Brown book. I have never done so in the past, but -- like my inability to not look at the comments sections -- I am cursed with insatiable curiosity, so I looked at it. The cover (which was obviously a marketing mock-up thrown hurriedly together in just black and white) made me think of Umberto Eco.Really. This was in the e-mail.
  • Brown's books are Tom Hank movie scripts which usually pass as "great reads" primarily to folk who've never read Foucault's Pendulum, which covered all of this Angels & DaVinci ground. It actually looks like this: This is on my bookshelf. Right after 'Name of the Rose'
  • What's really cool for the conspiracy theorists among us: when I went back to find the Brown book cover at Barnes & Noble's BN.com, it had been changed to a more non-desciprt font and color scheme. Even with the obvious differences between the fonts, somebody -- however briefly -- served a subtle nod to the guy who wrote the book 20 years ago.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Umberto Eco? Too many vowels in that name! And all that Latin and those learned references!

Anonymous said...

But the Nazis are an afterthought, mostly.

Anonymous said...

http://contexts.org/socimages/2009/04/25/tasty-and-foreign/