You Look Nice Today

My first – and until yesterday only – interaction or knowledge of the phrase “You Look Nice Today” comes from a podcast of that name. Since I don’t live or work in the East Atlanta Village I’m unfamiliar with the sign that is now at the center of a controversy.

Then Dave Coustan posted something yesterday.

Then Nick Ayres.
And Austin L. Ray.
And James Staubes.

If you haven’t been around the Atlanta internet today, read the Regretsy post, visit H&M’s Facebook page and join me in some righteous indignation that a corporation would steal the work of a local artist.

The Artist vs. The H&M

From Regretsy's post: The Artist vs. The H&M

Feel free to comment on that post, bug H&M on Twitter or leave a comment on their wall. A million Redditors have Tori LaConsay’s back. You should too.

Also, subscribe to that podcast. Near as I can tell, they actually got the phrase first, but their logo doesn’t use the same font or heart.

First!

I’m going to indulge in my man-crush/obsession with Merlin Mann a little bit by linking to two of his related, prescient bits regarding community and the internet: via Twitter and one of his podcasts, Quotidian Public Radio.

Here’s a shot of Merlin’s wit, for those too lazy to click:

Merlin Mann's takedown of drive-by commentary on the internet. Also: FIRST!

Merlin Mann's takedown of drive-by commentary on the internet. Also: FIRST!

For whatever reason’s Merlin’s rapier wit (and it is sharp, you should follow him on twitter, read his blog or listen/watch his podcasts. Really funny guy) made me draw the following conclusion: Old Spice is stealing its ideas from porn.

You heard me right (technically you didn’t hear me, you read me): Old Spice and its centaur-centric ad campaign is taking its cues from a weird online fetish image manipulation/fanfic community.

I realize the campaign is old (I get that I’m not nearly “first” on this one), but I just saw it again in the paper or a magazine at the gym yesterday so it’s top-of-mind.

I don’t know why I’ve drawn this connection but such is the internet and also, apparently, the darker recesses of my mind.

It’s this kind of internet meme recycling that is simultaneously the lifeblood of the internet, the snipe-hunting goal of most “advertising” and the reason why non-digital-natives hate the online space.

Also, it’s a bit of a simulacrum for real creativity which it seems is actually a very scarce resource.

Anyhow, I’m going to get off my soapbox now. Feel free to be the first to leave a comment, but please don’t confuse me with Andrew Keen, I’m just feeling cranky today.

Just to heap some more praise on Merlin, here’s my SAT comparison:

Alton Brown::Food as Merlin Mann::Internet

He’s that good folks. I’d steal from him any day.

Enjoy your Good Friday and Easter/Passover weekend.

99 Problems

After reading this horrific story of parental abuse, neglect and inhumanity, I felt a horrible chill go through my spine. How could a human being, especially a parent, do this to another human being, specifically their own child.

Please read the story – The girl in the window – and try to keep your stomach from turning or your eyes from welling up with tears over the feral state in which “Dani” was originally raised to the young lady she will hopefully become. Sobering stuff, especially for a parent.

This post is all about saying how grateful I am for the wonderful children I have and humble at the responsibility that is placed on my shoulders. Serious stuff, to be sure, but also really cool. Without getting too sappy (too late) I really feel like a great link in a very long chain, extending backwards to the greatness of the past and forwards to the potential and promise of the future? BLAH! The fact that I believe that, let alone typed it, is more than a little frightening.

In that haughty context, blogging about child’s names and beer podcasting seems less important than ever. Whatever first-world problems I have they’re nothing when compared to the suffering of the young girl in the article above or any number of other more worldly issues.

But then I think that the world will always be cruel and stupid and defiant against the fact that it shouldn’t exist at all. Witness all the fools vying for Darwin Awards and you’ll realize that the whole human race is just one raging all-nighter away from going right down the crapper, if it hasn’t already.

More importantly it makes me think I still ought to go on being as shallow and narrow and selfish as I’ve always been here on the blog. Enough people cover the truly wretched and the truly first-world/minutae (but still very scary) that I’ve got a nice spot staked out just being myself.

Which, on that front, hasn’t been all wine & roses.

Rae started Kindergarten last week and while she’s doing OK during class she’s been quite the terror about bed-time and behavior for us. Nothing we can’t handle but a definite shift that’s obviously been brought on by the stress of a new routine and environment.

We’ll all be fine but I think it shows that perspective isn’t always a good thing or a necessity. While it’s good to break out of your daily doldrums and acknowledge, understand and connect to the greater world, sometimes your problems are more important by virtue of the fact that they’re your problems.

In the end, I think I’ve caught the bug to do something that feels more helpful, inspiring and positive. As the blog is just some vanity (ha!) goof where I get to brain-dump, I’d really like to do a podcast, be it audio or video.

I’m thinking a parenting podcast – not to vent my spleen or rant (enough of that here) but to hopefully provide perspective where it’s necessary for others. In that case, it’d be more like support or camaraderie, a validation that all parents have issues and we’re all trying as hard as we can each and every day, and that we need each other (it takes a village).

More to come.