Before Anything, We Need a Free Media

Robert McChesney and John Nichols were part of a panel on February 3 at the Ethical Culture Society in New York City. McChesney and Nichols have just completed a book called "The Death and LIfe of American Journalism" (NationBooks), which is a fascinating, engaging read. David Carr of "The New York Times" and Pamela Newkirk from the NYU Journalism School were also on the panel. GRIT TV's Laura Flanders and "The Nation" editor Katrina vanden Heuvel introduced the event. The room was packed and … [Read more...]

Being Original in 2010

Being original is not really fun. I think we worship it in our culture so that we keep it at a distance from our own personal experience. Unfolding our own originality is a struggle and it really isn't glamorous. It's uncomfortable actually because you don't have any guideposts as you make your way through territory that doesn't seem to make sense at first. If you've ever done this, you know it takes a lot of courage to do what you feel from your own heart, to make or say something without any … [Read more...]

Advice to Designers and Young Lovers (Pt 2): It doesn’t matter who you thought you were!

A friend shows up here today and tells me that there's a new trend in "shrink talk". Recently laid-off Vice Presidents – the upper management crew of America–are talking to their psychiatrists about the meaning (or lack of it) in their lives now that they no longer have a job: What were they doing all this time? This is particularly poignant in the financial sector as you can imagine. If Wall Street is really a bunch of numbers disappearing in mid-air, then what the hell were these people doing … [Read more...]

Money Can’t Buy You Love: The Problem with Non-Profits

The saddest thing to me about non-profit organizations is that so many have the classic victim mentality. Of course, not the big successful, national ones, but this attitude is pretty common in smaller, local groups. Many don't get beyond "startup" mode because of it. When most people think of non-profit, they think of stuff that's free, stuff that's really discounted, or stuff for a very good cause. But I guess they don't really think of the rest of it: that somehow everyone thinks good cause … [Read more...]

9/11 and Another Short Attention Span Tragedy:

I spent some time yesterday listening to all the buzz around Charlie Sheen, his 20 questions to the president about 9/11, and all the misunderstanding and anger this seemed to create for the sleeping masses and the controlled media. I don't watch "Two and a Half Men" but it's rare for any celebrity to care about anything more than their hairstyle. And it's rare for anyone in the public to care about a celebrity unless they're adopting African kids or found drunk in a bathroom so no matter … [Read more...]

Digital Television, Embroidered Kittens and The Second Coming

I doubt that any of you reading this are not digitally hooked up yet, meaning your TV watching is either digital or you're not watching TV, right? There's NOTHING ON TV unless you get Cable or Satellite, (or have the converter, or watch on your computer)....right? Wrong! You don't need digital TV to be saved! There are three channels working perfectly on the little TV in one of my bedrooms, the little TV that has no cable, no digital converter, nothing but a really low tech antenna (and I … [Read more...]

From Texting to Telepathy in 8 Easy Steps

So I have this new theory that text messaging will lead to a global need for mental telepathy. The way I see it, abbreviating words and sentences as a normal way to communicate will lead to abbreviating entire paragraphs until eventually we won't have to "write" anything at all. (I created a chart/comic strip that illustrates this theory at the end of this blog...please see if you read nothing else.) A Ridiculously Brief History of Message Making First, a really long time ago, we had to make … [Read more...]

Remember when we were all really stupid? A future Earth Day celebration

Maybe not too far into the future, we would celebrate Earth Day by making fun of all the things we did before we got smart and I'm counting on the fact that we get smart pretty fast. I would call this special Earth Day event in my future: Remember When We Were All Really Stupid? and it would be a series of images and taglines, all over YouTube, Facebook, MySpace (and whatever thing we invent in the future so we can talk to strangers "safely"). Oh, and it would be a big celebrity thing too. … [Read more...]

“Cradle to Cradle” and Graphic Designers

Discouraged by my own efforts to make design "green" I have come to a point of near cynicism about the whole thing. And my friend Susi Schropp of Diva Design gave me a very interesting present that I am reading called "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" by William McDonough (of "Hannover Principles" fame) and Michael Braungart, a chemist. I think (maybe I hope) everyone is reading this book these days. If you're any kind of a designer, it's pretty sobering, but anyone who uses … [Read more...]

Best Wishes for a Longer Attention Span in 2009

So it's a new year, and once again, the days grow longer, unlike our attention spans. I have one wish for everyone, everywhere in 2009: May your attention span grow. In fact, if it did, you might end up being smarter at the end of this year than you were at the end of the last one. Our short (and growing shorter) ability to focus our mind isn't helping us one bit. Makes it easier for all the bad guys to take advantage of us and doesn't help you find your keys either. If it's true that the … [Read more...]