Thursday, May 28, 2009

Not Anonymous

Yes friends, my ship has come in.

The words of this otherwise anonymous blogger graced the hallowed pantheon of the "I, Anonymous" column today.

I just picked up a copy of this week's Portland Mercury, still hot off 'em, and turned immediately to the back page. Much to my delight, there I found last week's rant about the paper towel chucker in the bathroom at work. They changed the title and a few words. And the illustration (right) is pathetic, but that's ok. I've finally made it.

Just remember - you heard it here, first.

Carry on.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

All the ads fit to print

With the daily edition of your local fishwrap getting thinner, fluffier or just stopping the presses once and for all, it's not exactly news to say, content is suffering.

I don't pretend to be one of these newspaper purists who believes we must protect the printed edition of every major periodical at all costs, including those that only affect the shareholders. I say, if the online edition has a growing audience, while printed subscription rates drop, the newspapers ought to figure out a new business model. One that compensates journalists for solid reporting, regardless of how it appears - ink or pixelated form. In fact, I tend to favor a move toward digital news, if for no other reason than to save a few trees, but that's an entirely different conversation.

Online or traditional newsprint, the great dailies of this country - The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal - must remain credible and reputable sources of news. At all costs.

It pains me to log into any of these pillars of printed word and find anything Brittany-Octomom-
Jon-and-Kate-plus-eight-related. And yet, the only chance these organizations have at survival, the only way for them to compete with the trash that really moves product, like the people magazines and the Perez Hiltons, is to enter the gossip game. I've come to terms with the idea that if I really want to know who Jennifer Aniston is fucking these days, or what Amy Winehouse is sniffing, I'm just as likely to find that out from the Cincinnati Enquirer as I am, The National Enquirer.

As someone who makes their livliehood from the advertising industry, I'm especially ok with the idea of more ads. It's just the price of doing business. Especially if they're entertaining ads. Let's face it. Newspapers have gone into, as we all know, the business of entertainment.

Boards >> Screening Room >> Apple - Second Opinion

Sure, it brings into question how objectively a newspaper might report on one of their larger corporate sponsors, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Where I draw the line is at the New York Times and what they've sacrificed in return for the almighty Apple dollar.

For anyone who reads the New York Times online
, the ultimate media whores have given up approximately 2/3 of their front page (the majority of it, for all you math-letes out there) to feature the humorous stylings of Apple's bumbling PC man and his foil, the young, hip mac guy. Entertaining? Perhaps. But two fucking thirds. That's no longer news. That's just a few headlines squished between a big, fat, corporate shill. What happened to America's most trusted (albeit liberal) rag?

And the newspaper industry wonders why nobody cares about them anymore.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I, Anonymous (Part 2)

A while back, I posted a rant which I had also sent into the local alternative weekly, The Portland Mercury, in hopes of making it to their column, I, Anonymous. It never did get published in the paper - just on their site. Their loss.

I'm at it again. And rather than wait to see if it ever get's posted, I'll simply share it with you, my loyalists, in this exclusive preview to what will hopefully be coming soon to an I, Anonymous column near you.

Bathroom Savages
Hey Germ Freak working on the second floor of my office building - I feel ya. I don’t like touching bathroom door handles, either. And though you waste an obscene amount of paper managing this disorder, I’ll even forgive you that, too. But after you use the paper towel to open the door, so that you’re precious little hands never make indirect contact with some other dude’s dirty dong, could you please stop throwing crumpled wads of paper on the floor. Besides, don’t you have to open the door to your office after you leave the bathroom? The same door all those filthy cock fondlers also handle? This is a place of business, but where is it ok to drop your detritus into a mounting pile on the floor? Apparently where only people with very clean penises live.
- Anonymous

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nike retread

I love Nike hoops ads. I look forward to them with every NBA playoffs.
The original, Mars Blackman with his main man Michael Jordan.
Barber shop smack talk between C. Webb and Spree.
The LeBrons.
I love what Nike and their ad agency, Wieden and Kennedy have done together. But I gotta say, this...this is disappointing, if not incredibly annoying.

Some jackass (SNL's Keenan Thompson?) making Bron look like a tool:


Chris Rock making Penny Hardaway look smooth:



The other jackass (Kobe's voice) is David Allen Grier, just confirmed by ESPN announcers as the puppets were trotted out for more on-air hijinx. And the charade soldiers on with three, new, equally uninspired, flat falling spots. Perhaps the most interesting part of it all, is the director, Stacy Wall, an old Wieden vet, most likely had a hand in the little Penny campaign that got so egregiously bit.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Have an opinion, please

You know why I love Miss California, Carrie Prejean? Not because she's a walking hypocrisy - playing the family values card while naked photos of her pop up all over the internet. But that is all fantastic.

No, I love Miss Prejean because she has an opinion. And as unpopular as her opinion may have been (probably not very among Miss USA audiences), she stood by it.

A couple nights ago, I went out for dinner and asked my server whether he preferred the berry cobbler or the bread pudding. Without skipping a beat, he answered "berry cobbler." I ordered it and I realized at that moment just how much I loathe a server who won't indulge me in this simple exercise.

Invariably, when I go out to eat, I engage in this little ritual while ordering, regardless of how dissimilar the two menu items I'm deliberating on may be. The discourse has become some kind of subconscious habit for me and while it drives my less confrontational co-diners to cringe, I really don't really care. I figure nobody at my table knows the kitchen better than our server and I want to hear what they have to say.

Too often, the response is "it depends on what you're in the mood for." I'm not a fucking moron. I understand that the bacon-wrapped pork loin is very different than the tofu sprout salad and that someone who may be in the mood for one, probably isn't in the mood for the other. But if I'm asking which you prefer, than I care to know your opinion. Take that as a compliment. You, my server, strike me as someone who I can trust, and, unless you have non-functioning taste buds, I'm pretty sure you have an opinion to give.

You either like cilantro or you don't. You either prefer chocolate over vanilla, or you're a frigid, angry person. And if you
spend a decent part of your life working in a kitchen, you most certainly have some idea of what you'd order from it.*

Today's workplace is full of answers like "
it depends on what you're in the mood for." That's the safe answer. That's the answer that gets you invited to lots of meetings and slapped on the back. That's the answer that keeps you firmly rooted in middle management with no where to go but down. That's not the answer that gained a Miss USA contestant 15 minutes of national hoopla.

Mind you, I don't ask everyone what they think. And frankly, I have no interest in what Miss Prejean has to say about same sex marriage. But, if I do ask for your opinion, whether you're serving me dinner or selling me insurance, make sure you have one. I might just buy it.

*If the server is a vegetarian, or has some other dietary restrictions, their response comes with inherent limitations. I can live with that and even account for it in making my decision. But to not have an opinion at all is complete and utter bullshit.