Thursday, July 31, 2008

An Announcement

TheMediaDude is now brought to you by Jen Simon.

She provides me with enough material to allow me to not worry about new and interesting content. The only conflict we have is that I don't like Bruce Springsteen. By announcing this, we are probably now in a fight. But come on, Jen. Heebs like us were born to run.

Guess the Movie

Claire Standish: You know why guys like you knock everything?
John Bender: Oh, this should be stunning.
Claire Standish: It's because you're afraid.
John Bender: Oh God, you richies are so smart, that's exactly why I'm not heavy into activities.
Claire Standish: You're a big coward.
Brian Johnson: I'm in the math club.
Claire Standish: See, you're afraid that they won't take you, you don't belong, so you have to just dump all over it.
John Bender: Well, it wouldn't have anything to do with you activities people being assholes, now would it?
Claire Standish: Well, you wouldn't know, you don't even know any of us.
John Bender: Well, I don't know any lepers, but I'm not going to run out and join one of their fucking clubs.
Andrew Clark: Hey. Let's watch the mouth, huh?
Brian Johnson: I'm in the physics club too.
John Bender: Excuse me a sec. What are you babbling about?
Brian Johnson: Well, what I had said was I'm in the math club, uh, the Latin, and the physics club... physics club.
John Bender: Hey, Cherry. Do you belong to the physics club?
Claire Standish: That's an academic club.
John Bender: So?
Claire Standish: So academic clubs aren't the same as other kinds of clubs.
John Bender: Ah... but to dorks like him, they are. What do you guys do in your club?
Brian Johnson: Well, in physics we... we talk about physics, properties of physics.
John Bender: So it's sorta social, demented and sad, but social. Right?

There's a reason this movie is still relevant 20 years after it's release. This scene jumped off the page when I read it.

Inappropriate Work Conversation

Andrew: Know what's the best part about Obama?

Jen: He's not GWB.

A: No.

J: What?

A: His giant cock.

J: When did you see o's cock?

A: I can't really talk about it. I signed something

J: Circumcised?

A: Let's just say, he likes kosher white meat.

J: Eww.

A: His code name is "the horseman."

J: **silence**

A: I have to go to my 1pm call now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An Issue Very Close to My Heart

I don't know who Barney Frank is, but he has my vote. Full story here.

I can guarantee that Harley is not happy with this posting. But in the words of Braveheart:


Aww, Look at the Kitty!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Those Old Guys Rock

Guitar Player Magazine has once again justified the $12 annual subscription. I am now familiar with these amazing guitar players. They're all famous in Nasville and the world of country music but somehow escaped my attention until now.

Chet Atkins
A sensitve take on the old ragtime theme that takes my breath away. This is how I've always imagined I'd play the guitar someday. Click here and watch Chet make cheesy 50's country sound amazing.

Merle Travis
If you don't know what amazing guitar playing sounds like, listen to this. He makes complex fingering and sophisticated right hand techniques sound effortless. This is a compilation of some instrumental work. Click here to get a short song that shows off his voice.

Jerry Reed And Chet Atkins
Jerry takes the first solo, which is amazing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Design Process

This would be funny if it weren't so true. It's like Spinal Tap for designers. By the way, I'm the guy on the phone who has to smile and say "yes" while everyone internally says "no." It's a joy.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama Everywhere

Besides being everywhere on all the TV news channels, Obama has been on the cover of Rolling Stone. Now the whole family is the cover story of People magazine. It's about damn time he goes on the Daily Show. Or is that not as sophisticated as People?

Does anyone else think that's the wrong forum for a potential leader of the free world? I know he's "working the media" better than any political candidate in recent history. This is not a criticism of him. I could actually add a paragraph about how he's showing people how to campaign in the new millennium. But what does this say about politics in this country? That personality and image trumps everything? I fear I know the answer, but I was hoping I was wrong.

I've said it before (at least once) so I'll say it again: I like my politicians boring. I want them so aware of the impact of their decisions and so weighed down with all the details they need to know to make the right decision that they don't have the patience for image maintenance. They can have people to manage that, but the issues come first. Policies should be such a priority that the media-politics of today should look like nothing but a hollow circus.

There is one trait I value in politicians: sarcasm. I love it. Not only does it tell me that someone is funny (to me, sense of humor = intelligence) but that they can put things in perspective, which helps them make the right decision. But that's just me.

Maybe that's why I want Obama to go on the Daily Show. In the world of all mainstream media outlets looking alike, blatantly partisan coverage and ubiquitous blogs, these satirical, sarcastic shows are one of the only places that don't have a message to sell (to a point).

People magazine. It just seems beneath him and the office he's running for!! I hope we're going to learn the important details, like "does he put the toilet seat down," "can he cook," and "what china Michelle would pick if she were First Lady?" What are we, the voters, getting out of this? We're getting to know who he is on a personal level, what values he has, and how he thinks. I get that, but it starts to get close to the "vote for the guy you'd rather have a beer with" politics that gave us 8 years of the f*cknut.


After proofreading this (I do it sometimes), I realize that Obama is in campaign mode. He HAS to reach as many people as possible, and People magazine will help him achieve that goal. Once elected, I hope he is able to move past the image and focus on issues. REPEAT: this is not a criticism of Obama but of the superficiality inherent in today's sound-bite politics.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Speaking of Salieri...

Check out this blog posting on Obama's website (not written by Obama). Itcompares Hillary to Salieri, the old guard who things traditionally, and Barack as Mozart, the young natural with little respect for how the older generation thinks things should be done.

How nice for Obama and sad for Hill. Not sure I buy it, though. Composing music is very much an solo effort (at least for these composers). Politics is all about teamwork. That's my concern with Obama. Change is slow in Washington because of bureaucracy, and bureaucracy is how democracy is done.

I'm not on the Obama bandwagon, but I recognize that he is the best hope this country has right now. He's the guy! Democrats that aren't sure if they will vote for him really need to suck it up and vote for the guy who's policies are almost identical to Hillary's.

Please, no comments about how awesome Obama is. Yes, Obama is awesome. We know.

My Tuesday Obsession

The Two Coreys. That's right, I am now obsessed with The Two Coreys. It's the reality show that follows Corey Haim and Corey Feldman around LA, seeing how they've grown and changed over the years. The first season was awful. It had goofy music and tried to make them look like good friends with nothing but laughs. I stopped watching after 2 episodes. Then a miracle happened.

At the end of the first season, Feldman and Haim (tey go by their last names) had a mega fight, with Haim calling Feldman's super-hot wife a "f*@king bitch" and Feldman getting physical with Haim. What was a lame, dying reality show turned into TV gold.

Season Two, available on YouTube, starts with them not having spoken for 6 months. They meet in a diner in LA and start discussing serious issues from their past, including Haim's blaming Feldman for being molested when he was 14 yrs old. Yeah, it gets intense. The rest of the episodes are much darker than the first season, and it is facinating.

I watched episodes 5 and 6 last night and 1-4 during lunch today. I don't know why I like this, but if Brian can like Jon & Kate + 8, I think this is acceptable.
Here's a quick snippet of the blowout at the diner. Reality TV - when you're good, you are GOOD.

P.S. The line "Then a miracle happened." is a quote from the movie Amadeus, when Salieri's father, who wouldn't let him pursue music, choked and died. It's cold, and that's why I remembered it.

Thank You, Wikipedia

Thank You, Wikipedia, for giving me the plotlines to Sandworms of Dune and Hunters of Dune, the final 2 chapters of the Dune series. They were written by Frank Herbert's son and some other guy and are awful. The dialogue is cheesy, the plot is predictable, campy, and has none of the subtleties or sophistication of the original. They make science fiction unbelievable.

But Wikipedia, my love, you have given me an out. I can read all about what happens after Chapterhouse, the final book of the original series. Now I know who the Honored Matres are, what the enemy from the Scattering is, and all that good stuff. All this, and I didn't have to suffer through their terrible books.
The stories were supposedly based on Frank Herbert's original outlines, but I don't buy it. Everything comes a little too full circle for me to believe that. It's unsatisfying closure, but it's closure nonetheless.

Wikipedia, you make me an instant expert on any subject you tell me about. My blind faith that what you tells me is true is disconcerting, naive, and goes shamefully unchallenged. May we always have such a good relationship.

Earth as Art

Check out this amazing site courtesy of Jen Simon. Here are images of Earth taken form space. "From 400 miles away, the earth transforms into abstract art. The global landscape is impressionist, cubist and pointillist. Mother Nature is an abstract artist."

The images you see below were taken at the turn of the Millennium, when NASA’s scientists had a brilliant idea: to scan through 400,000 images taken by the Landsat 7 satellite and display only the most the most beautiful. A handful of the best were painstakingly chosen and then displayed at the Library of Congress in 2000.

Ocean Sands, Bahamas

Garden City, Kansas, USA

Mayn River, Siberia, Russia

Guinea-Bissau, West Africa

Monday, July 21, 2008

Quick Recap of the Vacation

An email I sent earlier today, published here out of sheer laziness:

Sorry I've been out of touch. The vacation was amazing. Really great for me. Woke up early everyday to go to the beach. It was basically a private beach, with only a few people there. The sand was soft and the water clean. Dolphins swam just off shore everyday. Apparently, they live there all year. I would stay on the beach about 2 hours, just watching the tide go out in the morning and the dolphins go back and forth just off the beach. Afternoons I'd spend with Harley and Lilah, then back to the beach to watch high tide come in.

Lilah got really sick our first day there. First a fever, then bad breath, bleeding gums and fever blisters and sores all over her mouth. Really bad. Poor little girl. Luckily, tylenol made everything better and she was her happy little self. But when it wore off she was miserable. She hated the beach. Too bright for her, and she didn't feel good to begin with. She still had a great time with everyone. I think she was scared of Harley's brothers, but she got better after some time. Paula and Neil had a great time. Harley liked it, even though she isn't a beach person. I am now!

I have a nice tan now and am completely depressed to be at work. The house we were at was amazing. Google map "208 Lincoln Avenue, Cap May Point, NJ" and you'll see where we were. It wasn't in town where all the action was, which was perfect. the Beach was empty and you could hear the birds as you walked home (which took 5 minutes). Perfect, sunny weather with just enough sun to make the cold water refreshing. I miss it. One day back at work and it's like I never went away.

So Sad to Be At Work

Maybe this will cheer me up...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Don't Want to go Back to Work

I don't want to go back to work tomorrow. At all. Been in a bad mood all day. I miss the beach. Life sucks.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Vacation, Bitches!

We're going to Cape May, NJ with the in-laws for a week. Not sure if I'll be blogging, but I'll definitely be drinking.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Interested in Shit?

Check out the Poop Report. It's "your #1 sources for your #2 business." No joke.

Other titles for this post:
- Who Gives a Crap?
- Full of Shit? Not For Long!
- The Lowdown on the Big Brown
- Hard Squeezing
- The Constipation Proclamation: Freedom!
- The Anal-is-His
- It's Your Doody
- Steamy Freshness
- The Brown Milkshake: Chunky or Smooth?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Response to Mary

First, read this post on Mary's blog.

First off, I love it. I totally respect what you're doing. My favorite line is "I know Lukey, it's terrible." The word you used was perfect: addiction. America is addicted to TV. We don't need and can live without it. It's a great idea to give TV a rest every once in a while.

But, as you probably know, it's a losing battle. TV is too powerful. If it's not on in your home, your kids will get influenced by their friends on what toys they should want and which characters belong on their lunch box. It's not their fault, it's not yours. As a capitalist society, we saw $$ and went with it. America very willingly gave over control of the most powerful medium the world has ever known to corporate interests that want to tell you what to wear/eat/drive/watch/hear/be.

This in many ways made America the greatest nation on Earth. We grew, we innovated, we prospered. We showed the world what progress meant. it culminated (in my opinion) with the Moon landing, where we as a nation truly achieved something grand. Ever since then, it's been about consumerism. We lost something that hasn't come back.

I just read Neil Postman's Amusing Ourselves to Death. He's the man who started the media program I'm enrolled in NYU. His thesis is that TV's sole purpose, it's only purpose by design, is for entertainment. You only watch it for enjoyment. You may read for pleasure, but it is (in our culture) the primary medium for learning, rational discourse, and exposition (considering all sides and truly understanding an issue).

Look at the Lincoln Douglas debates. They were 2 hours long and communicated solely via newspaper. The issues were discussed in depth and at length, and the nation was hooked. Today, TV is the primary medium for information. Issues are communicated in 30 second sound bites, reflections of commercials, the most populous form in the airwaves today. (He goes more in depth about the world before TV and how the Age of Reason fit perfectly with the development of the printing press. But that's another blog.)

Issues aren't discussed in depth. When they are, it's boring, usually on PBS or CSPAN. The evening news is bits of information from around the world thrown together for the sole purpose of entertainment. Maybe the weather means something to you, and sports is interesting. But hearing about events gives a sense of knowing what's going on without any understanding of why. Can anyone explain the Darfur genocide to me in detail? If yes, you probably didn't learn about it on TV.

The current election is a clear example. The press loved Obama's "rock concert" rally's, while McCain seemed like an AARP convention. Obama got people excited, while Hillary looked like a school marm. I'm all for Barack, but connecting rock concerts and politics does not sit well with me. I want politics substantive and boring, which tells me that all aspects are considered. Big, sweeping statements mean nothing; the details are everything. (I know Brian & Nilda loves them some Olberman and Hardball. I am not in that camp. Please, not comments about how awesome Obama is. We know)

My point is, TV is everywhere and isn't going anywhere. Nor should it. We've built our culture around it. Everyone talks about the Internet and TV merging, not having the on-line world take over (at least not yet). Trying to keep away from it is futile. But teaching moderation and making people understand the power of the medium itself, not just the program, is the answer. We need to break TV's spell by questioning its power.

Mary, what your doing is rad. Force them to live without TV for a little. But teach them to make TV a part of a balanced media diet. Get info from newspapers and other sources. I just don't think our family is ready for that sacrifice. Not while Tori & Dean is on.

New Walmart Logo

WalMart has redesigned their logo. It's good, not great. Well, let's just say that anything is better than the current. That brand needs a facelift, so even a bad one is good. I can see the creative brief now: smart, upbeat, proud, keep the star. It's generic, but so is WalMart!

Here's a really cool summary of the evolution of the brand mark:

Cool! Cool Whip!

Kraft has finally extended there Cool Whip brand into canned bottles. No longer limited to a plastic tub in the freezer section, it's now going head to head with ReddiWip, who has exclusively owned this format for years.

It's good packaging. I love the lid, which is elegant in its simplicity and brings me back to what I love about the product. (Note: that lid is custom, which means it's not easy to make and expensive!) The label differentiates the variants well and creates a nice block of blue at shelf. Cool Whip was redesigned years ago but still looks good. My guess is some designer had a lot of fun with this, but the client went the safe route. I don't blame them.)

But man, it's about time, Kraft! I guess it takes being sold from your parent company for being unprofitable to make this expected, welcomed, and obvious move. Innovation never felt so stubborn.


Harley woke me up at 2am saying she smelled smoke. We look outside and there's a fire truck hosing down the cars right in front of our building. I surveyed the damage this morning; this is what I saw:
The Super (who has to clean this up and was not happy) said some jackass set the garbage on fire. That spread to the cars, which blew out the back of one and burned a whole in the hood of the other. Apparently, another fire was set just a little further away on 2nd Avenue. Crazy!

Monday, July 07, 2008


YouTube has reawaken the guitar geek inside me. They have these videos of amazing guitar players showing them at their best and giving tutorials on how they do what they do. I've watched the tutorials. I've tried to replicate what they do. It's just not happening. I will never play like they do. I just don't have the patience. Besides, who has time to practice when my TiVo needs me?

Here are a few of the highlights from my recent exploration:

Paul Gilbert - you would know him from a band called Mr. Big and their hit "I'm the One Who Wants to Be With You". Little did I know he was an amazing guitar player. He's been teaching for years and is in all the guitar magazines. Now I know why. For those with longer attention spans, check this out.

Mattias "IA" Eklundh - some guy from Sweden that has built up a following thanks to YouTube. Unbelievable. he makes sounds come out of nowhere and has speed like no one else. Plus, he's funny!!! A pleasure to watch (at least for me). This is a long video, but the first 90 seconds give you the idea. His band is called Freak Kitchen.

This guy - who knows, but it is awesome. Note that he is using a Paul Gilbert signature guitar.

I know it's not in fashion, but these shredders f*@kin' rule. I've done some research, and all these shredders have footage of performances in Japan. Turns out the Japanese have a hug appetite for heavy metal guitar players. All these guys end up over there for some period of time to make a living. Same is true for Ultimate Fighters.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Be Kanye

A new infomercial by Kanye West. It's really weird, really funny, and totally fits with Kanye's egotistical-but-talented persona. Check out the website too,

This is a great piece of viral marketing. Can you guess who is sponsoring it?? I'm absolutly certain come one will (spelling error was intentional).