Monthly Archives: August 2011

Is George RR Martin a creepy misogynist? Alyssa Rosenberg brings a big dose of perspective to the “debate” (plus some comments on Terry Pratchett, while we’re at it)

Last week, Sady Doyle published a protracted rant against George RR Martin’s Song of Ice & Fire series at TigerBeatdown.com. My initial reaction was that while her piece was certainly stylishly composed, the level of intellectual rigor informing it was lacking. Acacia Graddy-Gamel, commenting in an online discussion thread earlier this afternoon, put it this way: “the Doyle piece is everything I absolutely hate about feminist or postmodern critique in that it is just as insular, smug, narrow-minded and condescending as the hegemonic structures they’re railing against.” I don’t want to be that harsh, but I can understand her frustration.  Read more

SportSunday: an avowed hater explains why maybe, just maybe, Tim Tebow should be the starter for the Denver Broncos

I think my feelings about Tim Tebow – the man and the quarterback – are well established by now. It may therefore come as a surprise to hear me say this. But I believe the Denver Broncos should make #15 their starting quarterback for the 2011-12 season and should commit to sticking with him, no matter what happens. Here’s my reasoning.

Let’s begin with an assumption: it is the goal of an NFL franchise to win the Super Bowl. As quickly and frequently as possible. I think most of us who aren’t Mike Brown can agree on that. Given this assumption, the Doncs’ brain trust of John Elway, John Fox and Brian Xanders have a task that revolves around a lone consideration: How soon can they plausibly expect to compete for a title? Read more

Saturday Video Roundup: dead man partying

I’m heading out for a friend’s all-day bachelor party event here in a few minutes. Back when I was DJing I did a lot of wedding receptions, and I always made sure to play three songs. Somehow, I never got punched once. So in honor of my buddy’s upcoming nuptials, here’s a matrimonial threefer.

First, I knew the bride when she used to rock and roll.

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What CD have you listened to more than any other?

We all have our favorite artists and songs and albums. Even those of us who listen to a lot of different styles and have thousands of CDs in our collections undoubtedly have a few we keep coming back to more than others. While I have never really had this discussion with anyone, I imagine that there are all kinds of reasons why certain songs and collections draw us back.

The albums I have listened to the most would surprise most people, I suspect. Those who know me would probably think I’ve spun U2’s War or Unforgettable Fire the most, or REM’s Reckoning, or maybe one of the Police’s CDs. Maybe even something by Queen. And they’d be close, because I have in fact played the hell out of those albums. My original copy of A Night at the Opera – back in the days of the vinyl LP – was so worn I was expecting the needle to carve completely through the record at any moment.

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Time for some straight talk on the NFL’s top faith-based quarterback

This just in:

CBS Sports game analyst Randy Cross believes Tebow haters are bashing him for his outspoken Christian opinions.

“People, especially the media, root against him because of what he stands for,” said Cross.

The 3-time Super Bowl champ added: “My personal belief is there are people in the media, people in the stands, who are predisposed to see a guy like that fail…Just because he’s so public about the way he feels.”

My gut response is to mock Cross for being a barking gongbat. Read more

Time for some straight talk on the NFL’s top faith-based quarterback

This just in:

CBS Sports game analyst Randy Cross believes Tebow haters are bashing him for his outspoken Christian opinions.

“People, especially the media, root against him because of what he stands for,” said Cross.

The 3-time Super Bowl champ added: “My personal belief is there are people in the media, people in the stands, who are predisposed to see a guy like that fail…Just because he’s so public about the way he feels.”

My gut response is to mock Cross for being a barking gongbat. Read more

Why is God telling so many Republicans to run for president?

As Wufnik noted in his post last night, God has apparently advised Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, and maybe Rick Perry to run for president. Which leads us to an obvious question: what the hell is God smoking?

I did a bit of archival research and I think I have figured out what’s going on. This whole sequence is instructive, but the relevant part kicks in at around the 2:25 mark.

Hey PR professionals – thinking of representing a distressed brand? Six important things to consider before signing that retainer

Part two of two…

On Tuesday, I offered some thoughts on the sociopathic nature of some public relations agencies. Once we learn that American firms are lipsticking brutal despots and states that support terrorism it’s legitimate to wonder if there is anyone on Earth that they wouldn’t represent. I just heard a story this morning about a flak who went so far as to take on the remnants of the Khmer Rouge. So if Syria, Libya, Bahrain and the most notorious purveyors of genocide since World War 2 aren’t out of bounds, you have to figure somebody in the industry would gladly sign up Kim Jong-Il, Hitler, Stalin and the Khan boys (Genghis and Agha) for the right amount of money. Read more

Sociopathic PR Firms and the Clients They Serve

Part one of two…

I work in the world of marketing and corporate communications, and my track record of business-related posts (here and at my biz site, Black Dog Strategic) probably demonstrates how seriously I take ethical concerns. For instance, not long ago I made clear that I think understanding the truth of a bad news story aimed at a client comes before worrying about how to respond. Back in November, I took a hard look at the eroding credibility of public relations as a profession and suggested that maybe the behavior of PR practitioners had a lot to do with our slide into lawyer, hooker and used car salesman territory. At various points along the way I’ve ventured opinions on everything and everybody from Toyota to Tiger Woods (to Augusta National), BP to LBJ, Target to Dillard’s, and Rupert Murdoch to the Denver Post, which used to be a newspaper.

Sometimes I comment on what strike me as merely bad strategies. Read more

And now this: Colorado authorities are already tracking social media

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s post about UK Prime Minster David Cameron’s thoughts on shutting down social media in times of unrest, we hear this from Erik Sass at MediaPost:

Colorado’s Department of Public Safety is employing analysts at the Colorado Information Analysis Center to monitor sites like Twitter and Facebook with an eye to gleaning information about potentially disruptive events before they happen. By monitoring social media conversations in real time, the CDPS analysts hope to be able to identify emerging threats within minutes of the first discussion by online plotters — which should hopefully allow law enforcement to preempt, for example, apparently spontaneous outbursts of civil disorder. Read more

ANALYSIS: UK Prime Minister calls for social media clampdown; could the US be next?

Analystas are rushing in from all sides to examine the causes of the UK riots. Are they about politics and economics? Or is it merely an opportunity for thugs to steal stuff? All we know for sure is that it’s anarchy in the UK and that Saturday’s opening day match between Spurs and Everton has been postponed.

One sobering development, though, should make British citizens sit up and take notice. For that matter, those of us in America and in every other democracy in the world (to the extent that the US can be called a democracy) need to be paying very close attention to the latest move by Brit Prime Minister David Cameron, who is calling on Parliament to consider enacting social media bans. Read more