Cider Press Hill

Desperately needs a meal

Monday, 4:43 pm

By Kate

Nov

13

2006

light rain

A couple of weeks ago I gave in and told the nice Boston Globe telephone salesperson that I’d subscribe to the Sunday Globe. With winter coming on, it might be nice to have the Globe no farther away than the end of my driveway. Especially on a snowy Sunday morning when the idea of going to the store to buy it won’t be attractive if I have to shovel the driveway first.

So, yesterday I enjoyed browsing through it—even the pile of store inserts. But when I came to the Macy’s insert, I was so tempted to go get a donut just out of sympathy. The trend for finding skinny models just this side of death seems to be growing worse. And I’m not sure I understand, because at least 97% of us don’t look like this, will never look like this, and probably don’t want to look like this—and will, obviously, never look like this wearing the same garment. For example:


larger drop down image

Someone needs to feed this woman.



 

Those Brits again

Thursday, 9:55 pm

By Kate

Nov

09

2006

Once again, the British press didn’t fail to do what the US press couldn’t, wouldn’t dare. Even if they believed it, of which I have some doubt.



 

Superman promotes fascism

Monday, 8:07 am

By Kate

Jul

03

2006

partly cloudy

Every few days I stop by WatchingAmerica to find out what the foreign press is saying about us. Sometimes they have nice things to say, sometimes not so much. The June 29th edition of Pakistan’s The Nation ran a column concerned with the overtly fascist nature of the Superman hero. The release of the new Superman movie proves, absolutely, that we’re being indoctrinated by this movie and the Superman hero is the creation of fascist minds to aid Bush’s fascist agenda. (I don’t know the personal politics of Superman’s creators, way back in 1933 before Bush was even a gleam in his daddy’s eyes, but they sounded harmless.) How else could it be, though? Superman fights evil-doers and breaks every law of physics and saves America, yet again. With force and violence. The columnist says, “It all boils down to the promotion of Bush’s fascist doctrine, both inside and outside America.”

It’s quite a read with mind bending leaps of mental derring-do. Sort of like Superman. There are enough points of fact in the column to tie the other crack pot ideas together into what might be mistaken for a sound argument.

We obviously don’t corner the market on misinformed columnists. Unfortunately, people read this stuff. And without a basis for understanding cultural concepts like...oh...fantasy or science fiction or super heroes or comic books...Pakistani people might even believe the columnist’s contention that Superman is our popularly embraced symbol of American fascism. Cultural complexities be damned. Much the same, I think, as what happens when some folks read columnists in the US expounding on the evils of a culture they know little about. Cuts both ways.



 

Here's an advertising clue

Monday, 11:26 am

By Kate

Jun

12

2006

sunny

On line ads are a fact of life. Mostly. With the advent of the ad blocker that Firefox provides, I can turn off most of the annoying ones that show up on various web sites. When I’m assaulted with a banner ad that flashes neon red lettering at me, I dive for the ad blocker button. I don’t care what it says or what it’s pitching. I just want it to stop. Now. Flashing neon red lettering gives me a wicked headache. The lime green ones follow close behind. And I figure that anyone with such a lousy eye for design probably has lousy taste in everything else, too. If companies want to appeal to us, why must they assault us with terrible design and hideous flashing colors?

When I see an ad that is pleasing to the eye—tastefully designed to actually add visual appeal to a page—I leave it alone. It is added value to the screen real estate. Often I’ll even go visit the site. An appealing ad is a draw. One that assaults my senses is not. Why is this such a difficult concept for ad designers to grasp? It is not difficult to design something even moderately attractive. Banner ad buyers already have a captive audience and, usually, prominent placement. Capitalize on it. I mean it. Really.



 

YearlyKos streams

Friday, 3:15 pm

By Kate

Jun

09

2006

cloudy

The YearlyKos convention is happening in Las Vegas right now. It’s a gathering of the liberal bloggers and netroots community along with elected officials and invited speakers. The first convention of its kind! Some of the events are being covered by C-SPAN, but there is continuous live feed available via AirAmerica. Costs $10 for the entire weekend and so worth it. It’s about the same cost as 5 cups of coffee. Pretty inexpensive for inspiring, informational, educational panels and conversation. These are very bright people who are speaking. Just smart, normal people who have to live the same way the rest of us do. I love listening. Senator Barbara Boxer from California just finished speaking. She was amazing. Straight talking, concise, and gracious.

I’d encourage signing up for the live streams. Fantastic way to hear what the liberal netroots people are doing and thinking and how they (we) are perceived by the media and Congress. And the difference they are making. Some of the stories might surprise you. It’s also great to put faces to the people, for those of us who frequent the liberal blogs, whose names we have grown to know and whose words/work we have come to admire, respect, and appreciate.



 

O'Reilly

Thursday, 10:49 am

By Kate

May

18

2006

sunny

My phone rang with an unidentified number, so I let the answering machine pick up. “Hello, this is Bill O’Reilly....” Yep, a voice recording of the No Spin Zone O’Reilly. He’s pitching his radio program(s) on a local talk radio station with a $1000 giveaway for the lucky caller who calls his show at precisely the right moment. Every day, I think he said.

I think I’ve only had one message on my machine, over the years, pitching a radio station—it was a new FM station in Boston. I wonder if wingnut talk radio is hurting a little these days. Or just O’Reilly’s show in particular. My answering machine feels dirty now.



 

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