Short cuts, looong entries:Beverly Mann puts what may be her longest post ever in the ChatterBox Fray—she offers a detailed refutation of Gregg Easterbrook's detailed defense of a joke about the 2000 electoral mess in Florida. Over in the Best of the Fray Fray, Tempo starts an extremely long contest, soliciting American towns and cities with funny names, most of which seem to be in Texas.
Conjugate this!Fraywatch-watchers will note that entries are now in the more dynamic present tense! Just part of the branding strategy … 9:40 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2002
IKEA idea: The Ad Report Card Fray was back to its usual incandescent self as it thought about Rob Walker's glowing review of the Spike Jonze-directed IKEA ad. Scipio raised the stakes when he asked if there was a common "totalitarian" tendency to both Spike Jonze and Ikea. A piece of his post:
By totalitarian art, I mean art that forces you to follow the numbers, walk on the golden path, until you reach the desired end. …
Jonze's IKEA commercial is a really neat piece of work, but I think the reason that the punchline works so well is because Jonze really toys with your emotions, forces you to sympathize with the lamp, and then punctures your sympathy quite forcefully. It's artful, but a bit pushy.
As for totalitarian stores, ever been to an IKEA? I've been in them in four or five countries, and they are all the same. You walk in the door, follow little yellow arrows on the floor, and enjoy the store the way the Swedes running the place want you to enjoy it.
There were a number of good responses, but check out socalchango's here (and his(?) pun-filled post here). (There are also lots of posts kicking around in The Fray from the previous Report Card, on SoBe drinks.)
Oprah, Uma; Tempo, Otto: Boob tubers responded to Virginia Heffernan's Emmys roundup in force. The best Emmys' thread was not RoyJaruk's perpetual kvetch that Buffy got the shaft, but Tempo and Otto's exchange about classy older women that began here. (Otto was busy, handing Dartman his lunch here and professing a certain Lutheran self-loathing here.)
Earle grade: Josh Daniel thoroughly trashed Steve Earle's new album, Jerusalem, and got a much bigger rise out of the Music Box Fray than Gerald Marzorati's positive review of Beck's Sea Change. Sarvis asked "Where have all the protest singers gone?" and offered some possible explanations. There were several shrill attacks on Daniel; the best of these was Emu's defense of Earle's "interestingness."
Asked and answered: Leftover from yesterday's blog: Who wrote the National Security Strategy? Condoleezza Rice? Paul Wolfowitz? Nah, Military Guy (see why here). And the Runyon story seems to be "Blood Pressure" (thanks to Red here, and Jimmy the Celt here) … 11:05 a.m.
Monday, Sept. 23, 2002
A good manifesto is hard to find: William Saletan's analysis of the Bush administration's new national security manifesto encouraged readers to offer their own, usually highly critical, manifesto-ish responses. While LS' response had the stand-out image—"I believe our collective American arrogance has finally reached its zenith, and Bush's manifesto is the ready-to-pop zit coming to a head"—TC3 (here), James N. Ackerman (here), and The Bell (here)all offered well-crafted posts. (You can also find them all beneath Saletan's article.) Some clips:
TODAY IN SLATE
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore
And schools are getting worried.
Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War
Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough
So they added a little self-immolation.
Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem
Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology.