Showing posts from July, 2009

Commercials and the New Nostalgia

While watching television last night, I ran across a commercial that I initially found hilarious. The snippet using in this laundry detergent commercial is from the group Digable Planets . The group has tried an on again, off again resurgence that hasn't seen much success. They have toured in the recent past and found some notoriety, but they're still that one group with that one song . Now, me being me, I found this commercial hilarious once I started extrapolating how this happened. An ad executive wanted to talk about how effective Tide is in cool water and needed something to highlight this functionality. Sure, you could show everyone setting their washers to cold but something needs to tie it together. How about a song? Yeah, a song would do the trick. So now, Ishmael "Butterfly" Butler, Craig "Doodlebug" Irving, and Mary Ann "Ladybug Mecca" Vieira are getting a royalty check from this. Just another tiny supplement to their income that

Follow Up: More on Un-Universal Nerd Culture

I'd like to follow up with a prior post I made on redefining nerd and geekdom. I don't have much else to add to my point and I stand by what I've said. I just have some more evidence to back up my claims. Last week, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu appeared on The Daily Show and addressed the emmisions bill coming down the pike. While it's a great interview in general, take note at 5:15. The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c Steven Chu Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Joke of the Day The interview begins with Secretary Chu noting Stewart's nerdy attributes. Stewart, in return, talks about Chu's Nobel Prize. But at 5:15, Chu does something that according to prior definitions of geekdom makes him lose credibility. Stewart alludes to Secretary Chu becoming the Incredible Hulk and Chu completely misinterprets the joke and think Stewart is talking about Superman. Stewart tries immediately afterward, as a good comed

President Obama's Should-a, Would-a, Could-a

I'm pretty sure everyone has weighed in on how they feel about the Dr. Henry Louis Gates story and about whether or not Sgt. Crowley is a racist. The more I read into this, the more I believe both parties were actually being stupid. I chose the word stupid and I chose it deliberately. So did the president. That's what I'm going to talk about right now. Embedded video from CNN Video If you watch him speak, note exactly what he said. The CNN story on this statement elucidates matters further. But I want to highlight a specific part. "I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sgt. Crowley specifically," Obama told reporters. "I could have calibrated those words differently, and I told this to Sgt. Crowley." The last two days about President Obama's statements have been about word choice. Last night, the president said Cambridge Police Department acted stupidly. They did. A man was arrested in his

The Beastie Boys, Cancer, and the Importance of Internet Response

I was reading through Twitter this afternoon and ran across a story about The Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch's cancer diagnosis . I'm not a Beastie Boys fan but I'm familiar with their work and find it to be good, it's just not compelling enough for me to intently follow them. Still, I remain prayerful for Yauch's recovery and I'm glad to hear things will be alright. A friend and colleague of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer and she received excellent treatment and is recovering well. I can understand how important something like this is. But I'm here not to talk about The Beastie Boys or even specifically about cancer. I'm talking about sentiment. Take note, I hyperlinked their YouTube video instead of embedded it for a very specific reason. I want you to see directly beneath the video window. You'll note that ratings for the video have been disabled. Some may ask why ratings were disabled for this video. None of the other videos on t

Un-Universal Nerd Culture and the Death of Iconography

The 21 st Century has somehow made it acceptable and even cool to be a nerd. I'm not sure anyone knew specifically when it happened but there's been a pride movement that's spread popular culture all about geek advocacy. In 2009, the signs are everywhere. Humorist John Hodgman declared the current President of the United States, Barack Obama, the first nerd president . The nerd cause has icons of various appeal. We have the ringleader of Web 2.0, Kevin Rose . We have the genuine superpower nerd of Bill Gates (he who needs no hyperlink). We have the self-proclaimed musical Hip-Hop nerd, Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson . San Antonio has its own local geek celeb (if you consider celebrity he who has a blog on a daily newspaper's website), René A. Guzman . And we have our lifelong geek who somehow became a spectacular phoenix, rising from the ashes of a career charred in the hate of lower geeks to become our paragon: Wil Wheaton . Geek culture has had ups and

What Your City’s Walkability Says about Your Possibilities

My pants don't fit right. I noticed it this past Sunday when I was getting ready for church. I was putting on my pants for my suit and they felt a little snug. My weight has fluctuated here and there over the last couple of years. I've been worse before and I was able to gauge quickly that fact as I tucked in my shirt this time out. Yes, the pants are snug, but I didn't have to inhale sharply to zip them up. There is still hope. It happens to the best of us. We get older; our metabolisms slow down. Although with me, I'm home a lot so I'm not out and about and moving my weight to something manageable. Friends suggest I get out of the house and go places, but there's a certain problem with that idea. I don't particularly live in a walkable city . The ability to get around is very important in a metropolitan area. It defines a people's mentality. It defines what they believe they are capable of doing. It either encourages or discourages a popul

Journalism Will Be Okay

Today, a friend of mine sent me an article on the steady death of investigative journalism . As a retort, I told him about an article I read some weeks prior about how hubris and journalists' quest for awards killed newspapers. I can't find the article right now, which is why it wasn't hyperlinked, but a Google of what killed newspapers will show you there isn't really a consensus on what is causing the death of the medium. Many are saying the Internet (specifically blogs, perish the thought) is at the forefront on the death of journalism. If that's the case, it's amazingly ironic that I'm using this medium to try to get my foot in the door of journalism since I would be slitting my wrists and signing the paperwork in the emergency room of the hospital simultaneously. But apparently, the internet has only stolen away 3% of newspaper readership . More so, people do read the newspaper the same way they surf the internet. I most certainly don't read