Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, October 03, 2021

Check it out: Tommy at Sticks of Fire is talking to himself. And amazingly, it got the desired result.

But in a sense, aren’t all bloggers really carrying on a public monologue? I guess you should only worry when the blog starts talking back (comments/trackbacks excepted — I think).

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/03/2021 11:38:55 PM
Category: Bloggin', Florida Livin'
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Back in January, I mentioned the imminent opening of a Greek consulate in Tampa.

It did open, in April, and Consul Andreas Psycharis is just now getting around to publicizing its existence. But hey, when the Greek government took ten years to lay the groundwork for finally opening a Tampa Bay outpost, I guess there’s no such thing as a fast-track approach.

It’s nice to have it nearby. I can’t imagine why I’d need it — my mom takes care of her Old Country business via the New York consulate — but at least the option’s there for me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/03/2021 11:12:12 PM
Category: Florida Livin'
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who's your dadaMax Ernst once said:

“To put the spirit of Dada on exhibition was no more than a weak illustration, like trying to capture the violence of an explosion by presenting the shrapnel.”

Roll out that shrapnel: The Pompidou Center in Paris is presenting a huge retrospective on the movement, featuring 1,000 works by some 100 artists, including heavy-hitters like Jean Arp, Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray.

As linked as Dadaism is with the zeitgeist of post-World War I Europe, the works produced from that period still have the power to make an impression today:

“When you look at these dadaist works of art, there is an explosive quality to each of them which in the end is contrary to a surrealist or cubist work of art,” [Pompidou curator Laurent] Le Bon told The Associated Press in an interview. “I think that within dada there is the idea that there is no separation between art and life.”

While the main show will be in Paris, a condensed version will be hitting MoMA starting in February ‘06. A good contributing reason to visit Manhattan.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/03/2021 10:40:09 PM
Category: Creative, Media
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Nowhere is China’s officially-sanctioned xenophobia more blatant than in Beijing’s strictures on foreign-owned and -orgined media. But the authorities have made a notable pop-cultural exception:

Vogue is not alone in its gamble, and in fact the race to create lucrative fashion and lifestyle magazine franchises based on successful Western publications has never been more crowded, with Elle, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire already bulging from vendors’ racks.

On the men’s side of the newsstand, grinning models baring rippling midriffs peer out from the cover of the Chinese edition of Men’s Health magazine, first published two years ago. Last May, the competition for the male fitness and lifestyle market was joined by FHM magazine, and there are persistent industry rumors here that two other foreign publications, Maxim and InStyle, will be introduced soon.

“How to pick the right tools and the right girls,” was how the editors of FHM described their magazine, which puts scantily clad women on its covers and features purportedly candid talk about sex and relationships from single women. “We court the metrosexual,” said Jun Jin, the editor. “That’s our reader target, 22 to 45, with high education and high salary. They are crazy about new technology, and they like dating pretty girls.”

By reputation, China is all but closed to foreign news media. After years of involvement with the country, Rupert Murdoch said recently that his efforts to expand in China had “hit a brick wall,” adding that Beijing was “quite paranoid about what gets through.” In August, China’s government announced a tightening of controls on foreign media, saying this was necessary to “safeguard national culture.”

But for now, it seems that Chinese authorities have decided that the fashion magazines, which promote whiter skin - a popular theme - Western styles and an obsession with brands, and the men’s magazines - which promote toned bodies and carry lifestyle and sex advice that would not be out of place on a newsstand in New York - are safe.

It’s a peculiar state of mind. You could surmise that China’s culture watchdogs don’t see a threat in these glossies, despite their decidedly pro-Western sensibility. It follows a general guarded openness that’s come with increased economic liberalization — especially in the development of consumerism as a microeconomic engine — but seems to be a curious exception.

By comparison, within the Western cultural sphere, places like France maintain rigid controls to avoid a flooding of outside (usually American and British) media from overwhelming native content. China’s position seems to assume that there’s a fundamental barrier between East and West anyway, and any cross-pollination won’t stick, and is therefore harmless.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/03/2021 09:41:22 PM
Category: Fashion, Publishing
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she's lovin' it
They said they were giving Ronald McDonald a healthier diet.

I guess this is what happens when you go cold-turkey off McFood: You turn into a gender-bended, faintly alluring woman.

Well, if you’re a corporately-owned clown, anyway. And you’re trying to convince Japanese people to come McHome:

Hidekazu Sato, known by his nickname Kazoo, the associate creative director at Beacon Communications - a joint venture of Leo Burnett and Dentsu - said the costume was so recognisable it was a mnemonic - a design that people would instantly associate with McDonald’s.

“We devised the costume and took the red and white stripes and the yellow, which were recognised and converted them into a stylish dress,” Kazoo said via a translator.

“We were assuming that even if we didn’t include the McDonald’s logo and even if the model was a beautiful caucasian just those colours of the mnemonic design would wake up people’s association with McDonald’s.”

“The important point is we didn’t change Ronald himself - we played around with his costume.”

You can check out the commercial here. And, bizarrely enough, there’s even a little something for the ladies.

Clowns as sex symbols? Well, it is Japan, and anyway, clown-based erotica is not unheard of.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/03/2021 08:59:27 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Food
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