Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, August 22, 2021

You can take the blog out of Blogger, but you can’t take Blogger out of the blog. Not out of this one, anyway.

Three months ago, I posted my admiration for “Eats, Shoots & Leaves”, Lynne Truss’ enjoyable screed against reckless punctuation. I failed to draw a direct relationship between the general subject of writing and blogging. I think it would have been a somewhat useless argument, given the rampant grammatical larceny within the blogosphere (and the Web in general).

It turns out I didn’t have to, because Jennifer Garrett did the job admirably in a guest essay for Blogger’s Knowledgebase. She also realizes it’s wishful thinking, but makes a good case nonetheless.

As a bonus, Garrett also points to a New Yorker magazine piece that jabs into Truss’ own punctuational peculiarities in her book. Nobody’s perfect!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/22/2004 10:06 PM
Category: Bloggin', Publishing
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scream blackula scream!
That should be the sound emanating from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture after Edvard Munch’s iconic painting “The Scream” was stolen today in broad daylight.

If you’re gonna steal a Munch painting, “The Scream” is the one to nab:

Munch made four versions of “The Scream”, an image that has fascinated experts and the general public for decades. Art historians and amateurs alike have pondered the meaning of the enigmatic, seemingly bleak image, which over the years has found fame in the popular culture in serious reproductions but also cartoons and novelty items.

Novelty items like the inflatable Scream figure doll, which I see almost every day in the art department of my magazine. Truly a sign of pop-cultural assimilation.

It seems the curators at the Munch Museum were trusting enough of the public to not install any sort of alarm system or other protections on the priceless artwork they’re displaying. Someone over there should be sprucing up their resume right now, because they’ll be on the streets soon.

I’m thinking that if the powers-that-be at the Salvador Dali Museum, here in Tampa Bay, don’t want a copycat crime, they’ll either install protective devices or doublecheck the ones they’ve got. Munch has only one painting that’s crossed into the pop culture landscape; Dali has a huge body of work that’s done so.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/22/2004 03:49 PM
Category: Celebrity, Pop Culture
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A couple of weeks ago, I commented on the icky impression that eHarmony.com’s television commercials left on me.

Over the past couple of days, I’ve seen a few new commercials for the online dating shop. Their presentation has been modified in subtle but significant ways, many of which address the things I disliked.

It looks like I wasn’t the only one who thought that twangy guitar music exuded a cheesy quality, because it’s been ditched in favor of some new-agey tonal sounds. I don’t particularly like the new sound, but it’s far less disingenuous than the previous background noise.

Amazingly, founder Neil Clark Warren’s role in these spots have been reduced significantly; in one of them, he doesn’t appear at all (although he still does the voiceovers). I think this only helps; to me, he doesn’t come across as particularly trustworthy.

To compensate for Warren’s decreased screen time, the focus has shifted even more to the testimonials of the happy couples who have hooked up through eHarmony.com. They still speak in the soundbites that they previously had, but they’re extended several seconds. There’s also more emphasis on showing the couples together, in loving poses, rather than separately. I still don’t buy any of it — I’m pretty sure they’re all actors — but it is effective imagery.

All told, I think the re-jiggered commercials are an improvement. They were probably a necessity in response to the increased competition from Match.com and True.com. Still, I wouldn’t touch any of them.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 08/22/2004 03:23 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet
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