"Page Morton Black, the cabaret singer whose sprightly rendition of [the Chock Full o’Nuts jingle] in radio and television ads was indelibly engraved on New Yorkers’ brains at midcentury, died on Sunday at her home in the Premium Point enclave of New Rochelle, N.Y. She was 97." —I am NOT from midcentury, although some days it feels as if I am, and I can assure you that even those of us who grew up in this area as late as the nineteen hundred and eighties still have this song stamped indelibly on their brains. I imagine 30 years from now people will be feeling a twinge of nostalgia [...]
"The information economy that we are currently building doesn't really embrace capitalism, but rather a new form of feudalism," writes Jaron Lanier, in Who Owns the Future? That book is published today, and you can order it from all the usual places. (Indiebound; Amazon; McNally Jackson; Barnes & Noble; Powell's. See what I did there?)
Jaron Lanier is the author of You Are Not a Gadget, and is a "scholar-at-large" at Microsoft Research. LOL he's also working on an alternative to the space elevator.
But right now, he's looking at how things have come to work on the web. "The primary business of [...]
The NRA has responded to the Mike Bloomberg-backed Mayors Against Illegal Guns by casting doubts on whether or not the "curious" man in the group's latest pro-background checks ad is who he says he is—or AN ACTOR. Despite MAIG's insistence that he's a real West Virginia gun owner, one blog has offered $500 for anyone who can prove he is (or isn't).
One of the NRA's key questions is how a real gun owner would have such terrible "trigger discipline," meaning, placing a finger on the trigger at any time before the exact second a shot is to be taken. "The NRA recommends Mayor Bloomberg use some [...]
If someone had tapped you on the shoulder in 1994 and said, "I am from the future. Twenty years from now the president will be black, David Spade will still be on TV and Courtney Love will be selling electronic cigarettes," you would have assumed they meant "in person, on the street," with that last one, right?
This is the New Republic's ad strategy from 1940. I wonder which Supreme Court justices were readers! I hope it was that dreamy and probably gay Frank Murphy, then just-confirmed!
Adjusted for inflation, by the way, $5 a year is $82.92 in 2013 money. Not terrible news: then it really was a weekly, and now it's 20 issues a year, for a subscription price of $34.97.
40 East 49th Street is 425 Madison Avenue, built in 1927. It has a lot of doctors and dentists, and it's where I get my eye exams. Also there's a Starbucks, go figure.
On the night after the Heaven's Gate UFO cultists were discovered dead by mass suicide in a San Diego suburban McMansion, I was standing in a dark patch of the Presidio, watching the Hale-Bopp comet and its forked tail over the Marin Headlands. Someone passed around binoculars, somebody else passed a little pipe around, and after a half hour everyone was cold and bored and we drifted back to the battleship-gray Victorian on Haight Street that I shared with a rotating group of five or six pals.
My bedroom was just a large closet on the upper floor, with enough room for a narrow mattress and a chest [...]
That is a pretty remarkable thing: From propaganda vehicle Act of Valor to propaganda vehicle Argo, Mercedes product placement dominated the 34 number-one box office flicks of last year, appearing in ten of them. (The big winner last year was Apple, with appearances in 42% of #1 films.) Don't you want to drive a Mercedes now. And drink human blood. What will become of our children. When we are all pressed into service of the brands and industrial entertainment war complex. They will fight each other in the streets and then get into their Mercedes car-robots and zoom away to their abandoned buildings. So sad.
Come Visit South Australia, Where We Will Chop You Up And Turn You Into Sausage For Our Demonic Feast
"Just thought you might enjoy this singularly creepy tourism ad for the Barossa Valley in South Australia," writes a correspondent from Down Under. "The Barossa is a famous wine-growing and foodie area, so I can understand why someone thought 'Be consumed' was a killer line. Unfortunately when it's paired with Nick Cave's 'Red Right Hand' and South Australia's reputation as the serial killer state… well. 'You know you're never coming back', indeed." I kind of like this, but I am also of the opinion that pretty much anywhere you go in Australia you have even odds of ending up as the filling for a meat pie, so I guess [...]
"Amid a global rollout of its new mini-SUV, General Motors is pulling an international television commercial for its Chevrolet Trax — an ad featuring a song including the lyric 'ching ching, chop suey,' plus other references that offended Asian viewers as well as dated depictions of the Middle East. Perhaps the strangest part of the scandal is that each of those references offended different markets in the rollout in a different way… The lyrics include references to China as 'the land of Fu Manchu' where girls say 'ching, ching, chop-suey, swing some more!' The song also references racial stereotypes of Arabs, Gypsies and Japanese."
"There was such a purity of thought at the time with people who were involved… We believed if we could create something useful we could be successful. By and large a lot of companies thought we were inventing something good and help people." —Guess what they invented! GUESS!
My office was the living room closet in a huge one-bedroom in a 1920s East Hollywood apartment court, across the street from the big blue Scientology headquarters in the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. There were built-in bookshelves and just enough space for a chair and a laptop and an ashtray. The neighbor lady's rescued pit bulls romped outside in the overgrown garden, and that electric L.A. sunlight came filtered through the grimy old French windows to the hardwood floors. It was a very pleasant place to work, my friends lived within walking distance in other cheap apartments in Los Feliz, and I had a bad case of being in [...]
"New Yorkers are just so busy. We’re embedding that seed of 'Hey, maybe I’ve never considered Scottsdale before.'"
"Employment of full-time professional editorial staff peaked at 56,900 in 1989. By the end of 2011, the last year for which data are available, employment had fallen by 24%, according to the American Society of News Editors. When figures for 2012 are compiled, newsroom workforce will likely be below 40,000." —Of the many bits in this survey of the current American news business—the cable news audience is stalled forever at 1.9 million people! TIME's newsstand sales dropped 27% in a year!—the 24% drop in newspaper editorial employees is the most instructive for those of you young people thinking about a major. (Journalism is always a terrible major.)
Patch.com was launched in 2007 when Tim Armstrong, the man who turned Google into an advertising company, noticed his very wealthy Connecticut bedroom community lacked a local paper with an events calendar. When Armstrong became head of AOL in 2009 with the mission of transforming the company from a fading dial-up service to a media brand, he sold Patch to his new employers. There are 850 Patch sites, supposedly hyperlocal news operations run by modestly paid newspaper journalists and supposedly supported by neighborhood advertising.
Because the Internet is mostly a garbage factory and AOL produces a great deal of Internet content, it stands to reason that much of AOL's content [...]
Comments sections are "some of the darkest places online," says a guy from 'Today,' and social media is "the new Ku Klux Klan white hood," a lady agrees, and you know what, when you realize how upset some people appeared to get over a Cheerios ad, you can sort of see their point.
Here's the new Beyonce video, which is also an H&M commercial, part of their Beyonce as Mrs. Carter campaign. It's pretty much like any other Beyonce video, except with far less expensive costumes.
A "serial entrepreneur" is in "stealth mode" for his "new blog" which, he reveals, is going to "target female readers," because "so much of the new media publishing focus is still on men" and "there is a massive market failure going on right now" and "so few new media properties have tried to capture the demographic ." No, I've actually cherry-picked the good sentences
I know, it's so crazy, absolutely no one has touched the market for women online, now maybe finally someone will build a web publishing company that "targets female readers" and then take it public, because what an amaaaaazingly good [...]
From time to time, The Awl offers its space to everyday citizens with something to say.
Another day, another battle between some country with publishing laws and America's top advertising company, Google. Now it's Portugal complaining about Google being an Internet business—the same Portugal that is usually in the news for causing the latest worldwide financial panic. Whenever I see stocks are plunging these days, I pretty much know without checking CNBC that Portugal is up to no good again. The other day my boss made a joke and said, "What is this Cyprus place, anyway? Some breakaway autonomous zone of Portugal?" And he might be right, who even [...]
"Blacks and whites, on many measures, see the world in quite different ways. And this has direct implications on how we advertise."
A spot about a father suffering from Alzheimer's is the most popular of a new series of ads that has young people on China's social networks talking—or better put, it has them talking about crying. "Every time I see it I cry," writes one Weibo user. Hers is a typical reaction. Filial piety might seem a laughable topic for a public-service campaign in the west, but in China, it's the basis for a campaign aimed to guilt kids into thinking about the elderly. Making China's youth cry is not enough, though; China needs the new generation to act on that guilt, to buy into the Confucian ideal [...]