Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I hate this font.

And I see it everywhere. On the billboard for a suburban real estate company. On a cheesy photo Christmas card. Law offices, business cards, and trendy boutiques.

Does it come standard with all editions of Microsoft Office? And is it on every template in Publisher?

Maybe it's because it really adds that extra touch of worn, antiquated authenticity that you're looking for. It definitely adds a little style and flair to your typography and really brings the already crappy design full circle.

You know it would look really good on a restaurant menu... maybe Italian cuisine.

I know. It's an unusual roman typeface that effectively merges the elegance of a traditional roman letterform with the hand-crafted look of highly skilled calligraphy.

Next time, let's try something different. Anything.
(Before Papyrus becomes overused.)

Monday, December 24, 2007

stand-up comedy

Are all comics infatuated with telling racial jokes?

The external differences we have are the most obvious so maybe they are the easiest to exploit when you're trying to think quick. But it feels like so many comics are making a living by capitalizing on these differences for petty, shallow laughs.

Or do these jokes serve a greater purpose? Humor does help unite people. But can it help us actually understand someone who is different? Break down barriers?

People seem more amiable, approachable and non-threatening when they're laughing. And when people are sharing in the same joke it humanizes them. The unfamiliarities and diversities between the individuals don't matter. Everyone is human and everyone is laughing. Everyone shares something in common.

I think the above is true, but I think that too many comedians resort to jokes using stereotypes and race. Why is this so prevalent? Are we really required to have stereotypes to understand our world?

Here are some I heard recently at comedy club: blacks guys have big dicks, people from the Middle East wear turbans, Asians have suped-up cars but drive slow, or all white people are middle class suburbanites. And why assume that two guys sitting together at a table are always gay? And almost every other joke involved sex and race... in the most elementary of terms.

So is this phenomena progression and changing attitudes, or is it regression? Are we still just boiling things down to offensive yet comical stereotypes? And in doing so, are we creating a negative conscious or subconscious mentality among those who tell and hear them? Do we have to continue the trend of highlighting our differences rather than discussing the things we have in common?

Maybe humor can teach us, but it is the comics' responsibility to enable our learning. Comics must be smart enough, savvy enough, and clever enough to really tap into culture and society and avoid resorting to lowbrow, ignorant and insensible humor. Try talking about universal truths, feelings, thoughts, relationships... things we all share in common. How about a Muslim who identifies with Woody Allen?

Talk about differences but remember we still share so many things. We're both still human. We still share a laugh.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

strike at the cracker factory

With all the hub-bub about the Writer's Guild strike, I have heard nothing about the under publicized strike in the cracker industry. But I have seen evidence that it's happening.

For a while now, I've been questioning the reputation of Cheez-Its. I think their quality control guy took off months ago. Those little baked orange goodies have been showing up brown on the underside. Someone is letting those wee suckers cook too long and that leaves a foul, burnt taste in my mouth.

And now even the uppity, "melt-in-your-mouth" gourmet crackers by Breton were a tad too toasty on the backside.

The proof is in the boxes ladies and gentlemen. And it's not going to get solved on its own. Write your senator. We've got to fix this dilemma before it gets any worse.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

cool ny times content

The New York Times' website has been reinventing how we read the news, and lately it has featured plenty of cool, alternative, and interactive content, including this awesome piece of animation.

Done by Jeff Scher, check out more on his NY Times blog.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

maxïmo brown ale

Maxïmo Park was just honored by Newcastle Brown Ale with this label.

Pretty sweet honor considering that the only other person to get it was Alan Shearer upon his retirement from Newcastle United. Check out the Park... they're poppy, high-energy rock and put on a good live show.

soda, milk and cigarettes

Part of a complete breakfast. These were the top 3 items in terms of retail sales in 2007: soft drinks ($17.6 billion), milk, cigarettes ($7.8 billion), according to Nielsen's latest numbers.

And let's not forget the top 10 packaged goods (in order): fresh bread, milk, toilet paper, eggs, cookies, ready-to-eat cereal, canned soup, chocolate candy, potato chips, and batteries.

Good thing that cookies, cereal, chocolate, and potato chips beat out fresh fruit, vegetables, and any other thing remotely healthy. Maybe this is why America is so fat.

Among other things I'm not proud of, see more of the list here... but don't get too excited for this year's most popular ringtone.

Monday, December 10, 2007


You know, every few months I just seem to come back to this video. When the world has thrown you out, kicked you to the curb, and you're down on your luck.

You may feel like everyone has turned their backs on you and forgotten. But just remember, you'll always have this. Thank you and goodnight.

Friday, December 7, 2007

burnt out letters

Burnt out letters on store signs are tacky. You'd think that as soon as one of those lights go out, it'd be a top priority to get it back up and running. Besides, it's all about the first impression. And those missing letters just make you look sad and rundown.

I'm all for the shabby look when we're talking about crappy, old motels next to Jack In The Box because those places are ailing anyways.

But on Hollywood Video. C'mon. It just looks bad. You're in a sleek, urban shopping center sandwiched between an up-scale, all natural grocery store and a Starbucks. And your sign reads "Hollywood Vid."

Get your shit together.