Hello Cruel World
Friday, March 26, 2004
... arrived in UK, met Steve Jones and signed lots of bookplates for him for his Dark Delicacies signing of the new edition of the Mammoth Book of Vampires (or possibly the Vampire Book of Mammoths)
Susan Shapiro Barash is interviewed ( www.nerve.com/screeningroom/books/ interview_shapirobarish/ ) at Nerve about her book The New Wife: The Evolving Role of the American Wife. As someone who never planned out her dream wedding at the age of ten, and who has trouble saying "Congratulations" instead of "I'm sorry" when friends announce engagements, I don't know what the fuck she's on about.
The twenty-first-century wife is someone who finally has taken a look at the examples. There's her grandmother, who's probably still married to her grandfather. There's her mother, the baby boomer, who's disillusioned. There's her aunt who's forty and has a great job as a lawyer, but is dealing with fertility clinics. The new wife wants the self-confidence that her mother had in the workplace, the education that the '80s and '90s made a necessity, and the glamour and nourishment her grandmother had. She wants to get married younger, she wants to be available to her husband. She'll be well-educated, but doesn't feel this pull of right or wrong over missing one beat in the workplace. Her attitude is "I'll have children young, I'll go back to work and use my degree as I see fit." Women have never said that before.
Why do I have the feeling this woman will show up on Oprah pretty damn soon?
Posted by Jessa Crispin link
Gail Rebuck is going against the doomsayers of the publishing industry. As the world gets more chaotic, she proposes, people will crave less chaotic media.
The qualities that brands and institutions want are trust, authenticity, emotion, respect, personalisation and empowerment. Presentations outlined the exponential increase in the media, with individuals having to contend with a bewildering amount of messages: hundreds of TV channels, millions of websites, 250 commercial radio stations, 8,000 magazines, third-generation mobile phones, text messaging. Every Saturday or Sunday broadsheet newspaper contains more information than the average person in the 17th century would have been exposed to in a lifetime.
The result is the ever-increasing necessity to shout louder to get heard. The accent is on the sensational, the personal, the controversial, anything to stand out from the crowd. It means that seriousness, reflection, and balance are squeezed out. And one of the effects is a spiralling crisis in the relationship between media, politics and the people. The media is accused of distortion and cynicism, the government is accused of spin in its attempts to get over its message and the public ends up confused, disillusioned and often angry. This relationship is near breaking point. This is the world of inauthentic communication; communication that is losing trust. Both media and politicians need to step back and rethink the relationship.
Yet people crave moments of authenticity. And so as I listened to those marketing presentations, as speaker after speaker outlined the attributes of successful products and campaigns, one word kept coming into my mind: books. What the marketeers believed to be desirable in every product were the very characteristics of the industry I had been part of all my life. The oldest of all the media, ironically, is the one most in tune with the times.
Something in the dihydrogen monoxide
Health-obsessed California's latest environmental scare exposed dangerously high levels of gullibility, reports Dan Glaister
Wednesday March 24, 2004
The city councillors of Aliso Viejo in Orange County, California, are well-meaning, socially responsible people. And when they came across the huge threat posed to their constituents by dihydrogen monoxide they did what any elected official should do: they took steps to protect their community. A motion due to go before the city legislature proposed banning the potentially deadly substance from within the city boundaries ...
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