You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2005.

In a way, what I can say is: it took them long enough (to go for the blogging vying the money/corporate bottomline/angle).

This is another good article on blogging developments (by Sarah E. Needleman, The Wall Street Journal)

In its short lifespan, blogging has largely been a freewheeling exercise in online self-expression. Now it is also becoming a corporate job.

A small but growing number of businesses are hiring people to write blogs, otherwise known as Web logs, or frequently updated online journals. Companies are looking for candidates who can write in a conversational style about timely topics that would appeal to customers, clients and potential recruits.

And look at the salary (!):

“It’s wonderful to write every day,” Ms. Halvorson says. “The only challenge is keeping up with this rapidly changing blogging technology, like audio and video blogging,” she adds. She earns an annual salary in the mid-$40,000s, she says.

Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield’s chief executive, says he plans to hire one or two additional full-time bloggers within the next two years. “The blogs give us what we call a handshake with consumers, a bond of loyalty and mutual trust that’s different than the typical selling relationship, where it’s all about price,” Mr. Hirshberg says. “With the blogs, we are giving a little bit more access to us as a people with a mission.”

Mr. Hirshberg says he looks for candidates “who are comfortable writing in a colloquial voice and who aren’t overly programmed in their approach to writing.” He adds, “You have to be conversational, and that sounds simple, but it’s not.”

Last paragraph, well said.

Heather Hamilton, who works for Microsoft Corp. as a staffing programs manager for marketing and finance, suggested that she write a blog to help in recruiting and has been doing it since last year. Hers is one of about 1,500 blogs written by Microsoft employees (available at Microsoft.com/community/blogs). She writes about what it is like to work at the company, jobs she is filling and hiring trends. “When I started my blog, I didn’t realize it would become part of my job,” she says. “I wanted to help people think about Microsoft as a career destination.”

Blogging as a job has emerged as companies of all stripes increasingly see the Web as an important communications venue. Blogs allow firms to assume a natural tone rather than the public-relations speak typical of some static Web pages, and readers are often invited to post comments. While some companies are hiring full-time bloggers, others are adding blogging duties to existing marketing or Web-editing positions.

But now we have already another problem – how to distinguish between real sincerity in blogs and the company shill?

Gone are those days…

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Today is ‘World No Tobacco Day,’ an annual observance started by the World Health Organization to detail the damage done by tobacco smoke worldwide and to discourage people from using tobacco.

According to the WHO, tobacco use kills approximately 3.5 million people worldwide per year. That equals 10,000 people per day.

In addition, the health related costs from tobacco use are $200 billion per year according to a study conducted by the World Bank.

The WHO also estimates that by 2020, tobacco will kill more than 10 million people annually worldwide. That would make it the leading cause of death and disability in the world, taking more lives than HIV, motor vehicle accidents, suicide, homicide and death in child birth combined.

The focus of this year’s ‘World No Tobacco Day’ is getting health care professionals to encourage people to stop smoking. Right now, only a small percentage of health care professionals are trained to get people to stop smoking. The WHO wants to raise awareness of this and increase the training doctors, nurses and other health care professionals get in this area.


More lives than AIDS? That is a lot. More power to the WHO. (I hate cigarettes and smoking).

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“Everything worth saying has already been said. The challenge is to say it again.”

From a thread at Ace.


Cool.

Goethe has some really great quotes. I will collect some later to put here.

I’ve never read Goethe, btw. When I started to read this comment, my first thought was, “Remember what Goethe said? And you think we have actually read Goethe to remember anything?”

πŸ˜‰

Can we ever have hope to someday have read a lot? Is it worth it?

I want to live.

Zorba, the Greek, comes to mind (complete with principal sound track music).

Trrrling… trrrllinng… (those are the beginning strumming chords of the Zorba film sound track, in case you didn’t listen carefully πŸ™‚

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You know that I should be working but am too tired to do so when I actually waste precious minutes of my life and soil my blog with anything to do with Paris Hilton… this apparently is her fiancΓ©. They seem to deserve each other in their moronicness. Ah, celebrity culture…

And a blond Greek.. yuck. Manly Greeks have dark hair with dark penetrating eyes… πŸ˜‰


Jack said (in the comments to this post):

Richard Cohen (whom I generally refuse to read) had a fairly good article in today’s Washington Post about America’s obsession with Paris Hilton. I wanted to tell him that no, America’s not obsessed with Paris Hilton, just the American media β€” until I saw your weblog entry.

I found the article. Here are my comments to what he wrote:

” that same utter indifference to being a spectacle. She is buoyed by our celebrity-obsessed culture, which in itself is just an adjunct of the need to sell. “

To the point. Why does she like to appear so much, to be a “vapid celebrity,” is a bit of a mystery so far. Most stupidly rich kids don’t. They have better sense, but she actually wants it and works hard to have the celebrity attention.

“The shows that feature the comings and goings of the famous β€” the riveting saga of Brad and Angelina β€” are merely trying in their own way to aggregate an audience so that they can sell products through commercials. The creation of celebrities β€” of national brands β€” is an essential part of that process.”

But it’s more as well, it’s not just on the consumerism side, it’s the circus in the bread and circus equation.

“It is of a man expressing the sentiments of his generation, the lost one,”

So much has been lost in just one generation. Debasing people, privacy, sex is now such a norm, such a legitimized way of behavior for society.


Jack said:
“Oh, well. In conclusion, you have to admit that this is a better comment than the one that just popped into my head: When’s the video?”

You know, it would be easy to call you “sick” for thinking that, but I did startle for a second when I realized, on second thought, that there is actually a real possibility of this happening, given Paris’ psychological profile.

“Since that stupid video came out, I haven’t been able to get away from that name. It’s like the entire country’s infected with a disgusting disease.”

Yep, the worst of capitalism with the worst of liberalism, that is the Paris Hilton cultural disease in a couple of words.


“I wanted to tell him that no, America’s not obsessed with Paris Hilton, just the American media β€” until I saw your weblog entry. “

Now how am I supposed to feel? πŸ™‚

What started as an inane and innocent way to blow off some stress after a hard day, by engaging in a little celebrity jab, turned out to be one more horrible contribution to this ocean of debased celebrity culture, eh? You think I have actually contributed to this idiot’s celebrity status? In my defense, I have to say, they are retarded, it’s not my fault. πŸ™‚

If everyone pointed out how retarded she is, she would not be a celebrity.

p.s. The funny thing is, I felt like expounding more on how retarted the couple is/looks, but I felt guilty attacking these kids when they haven’t done anything to me, personally. I doubt that they will ever have even 1/1000th of this consideration for anyone in the world, including me, but still, it seemed like anything more was just a cheapshot.

At the same time, the whole celebrity culture system is not innocuous. And how she debases sex in so many ways (including this new hamburger commercial, which I have not seen) isn’t innocuous either. Hilton is a more vapid variation of Madonna. Cohen was wrong when he said:

“You can be famous for being famous for a while, but ultimately you have to be famous for something. It’s a rule.”

He kind of meant “you have to be famous for some talent, some feat.” In our world, you can be famous for being simply rich. Not just menial rich, anyone obscenely rich can be very famous. And keep being famous.

There is also the pornographic aspect of Hilton. So many people in society crave debased sex, debased human behaviors. At the moment, there are strong currents to make that quite the norm in society. And anyone who objects is attacked as “prude, backwards” or something similar.

Just so much has been lost in this respect in a couple of decades.


On a tangent, yesterday I came across this article “Journalists must stop being in denial: bloggers are here to stay,” by John Naughton in the Guardian, which is a pretty good analysis of some blogsphere phenomena.

Large swathes of the journalistic profession (though not, I am glad to say, either The Observer or the Guardian ) are still in denial about blogging. In that sense, they resemble music industry executives circa 1999, denying the significance of online file- sharing. But the claim that blogging is a threat to journalism – that inside every blogger is a ‘journalist-wannabe’ trying to escape – is just daft.

What’s happening is a small but significant change in our media ecology. All journalists worth their salt have always known that out there are readers, listeners or viewers who know more about a story than they do. But until recently, there was no effective way for this erudition or scepticism to find public expression. Letters to the editor rarely attract public attention – or impinge on the consciousness of journalists.

Blogging changes all that. Ignorant, biased or lazy journalism is instantly exposed, dissected and flayed in a medium that has global reach. (If you doubt that, ask Dan Rather and CBS.)

Conversely, good reporting and intelligent commentary is passed from blog to blog and spreads like wildfire beyond the jurisdiction in which it was originally published. This can only be good for journalism in the long run, if only because, as my mother used to say, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

And I was thinking about the Cohen piece. If I took my content of observations about the Hilton phenomenum and polished the writing, I’m at the same level of writing that this Cohen piece is (which I don’t think is high, it’s not bad, but it’s not a difficult piece to write). I may not be able to market my article to even the jr. highschool newspaper, because of lack of expertise in journalism selling and marketing, but as far as writing level goes…

Please note, I am not implying that Cohen (or myself) are at the pinnacles of journalism or writing, but this is exactly what the Guardian piece is about. There is a lot of writing that is produced in journalism that is not particularly clever, well-researched or high-level writing, but the authors have a monopoly of the selling and distribution means. The blogosphere is starting to crack that monopoly.

p.s. I don’t know who had the terrible idea to institute the word “blogosphere”… It sounds awful with this “o” in the middle. People, the word is “blogs,” so it should be “blogsphere.” It doesn’t matter that there is this word “atmosphere,” “blogos” just sounds awful. I expect the world to change. Quickly. πŸ™‚

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you realize you haven’t checked Drudge Report for an entire 48 hours… πŸ™‚

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From Cantanima, the struggle for life of a little spider clinging to his windshield on his speeding car.

I also like spiders (well, not the big ones, I mean, they are fine on TV, but not next to you). But I don’t like to kill the little ones, the ones that pop into your house. So, unless their web is at a very inconvenient place, I just let them be and live happily making their little picnics on their webs. I don’t know much about them as well, but they do catch flying insects (and whatever else they like), so they are good for killing these other bugs naturally.

I know that in the Middle East, spiders are considered as bringing good luck.

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From Ace: Ten Minute Mega-Teaser for Batman Begins. Film promises to be dull, just like the majority of these recent super hero flicks.

I read a few of these superheroes comics when I was too young to understand anything more than the storyline. To give you an idea, I read Donald Duck at the same time and it was just as entertaining, but I don’t remember reading much Batman comics. So, my reference point for Batman is the great TV series, with the comics “POW” words exploding on screen when there was a fight and the classic “he will not be able to escape this certain death” ending that left you hanging for each weekly episode.

But today, the problem with all these mega-million super-hero Hollywood productions is that they have a lot of beautiful takes, fantastic special effects, a sprinkle of philosophy, but it’s ultra vapid as far as content goes. It’s flaky drama, predictable or insipid romance, stupid quests. Ugh.

AND… to really crash this Batman project as far as my enjoyment is concerned, if a movie is vapid, at least what the producers can do is fill it with gorgeous, charming men. At least the title role, but, what have they done? He is ugly!! Good God, if you are going to make a James Bond type movie, spy or super-hero or human-hero, it’s all the same, it’s just empty Hollywood glitz action, the very least these movie producers could do, is to cast a gorgeous guy to play Batman! I mean, it’s the role for a most handsome man, the suave millionaire who deep-down is your great hero and not your Enron filth or Trump puffed pastry.

It just has to be on the Pierce Brosnan level for the big screen. Even Adam West, who was not all that magnificently looking, did quite well as far as charming exuding wealth goes when dressed up as millionaire Bruce.

Also, I don’t even know what this female role is supposed to be, but it seemed just as uninteresting. The only Batman female character I have a reference for is Catgirl, which, given the stupid 60’s mentality about women, is all infused in the TV Catgirl, didn’t get any better on screen.

However, I would go see this Batman in a theater just because of the beautiful scenery, many of those shots will come alive on a big screen. But I’ll probably want to walk out the Batman theater and go right into a second film feature to remind myself that there are films out there with content, that leave you thrilled or emotionally satisfied or intrigued and not just this empty Hollywood fast action vacuum puff covered with glitter.

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In case my million of readers have been wondering, this will be a very busy week… so little or no blogging. I’ve been enjoying dropping around other blogs and participating in their threads these last couple of days. Haven’t come across any news that was that eye-catching for blogging either.

Later…
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Cute.

Gay men’s chorus ad pulled from newspaper

The Buffalo [N.Y.] Jewish Review newspaper has refused to run an advertisement featuring the Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus because it “might influence young people to experiment with a sexual lifestyle that could be harmful to their health,” says the newspaper’s editor, Rita Weiss.

“On a very practical basis, there is the possibility of influencing some young people whose sexual development is not yet complete,” she told the Buffalo News. “They could get AIDS. They could try out a lifestyle that is life-threatening.”

Weiss told the newspaper that she is also concerned about “the perpetuation of the Jewish people” in the face of demographic trends, including young Jews who stay in the gay lifestyle. “They can’t produce children,” she said. “And you can’t build a people with adoption.”

[…]

Temple Beth Zion rabbi Harry Rosenfeld and Stuart G. Lerman said that “to exclude or oppress members of our community because of their sexual orientation would be denying their humanity.”

“The reason given was that the paper did not want to condone homosexual behavior,” they wrote. “The editor made it clear that, in her opinion, publishing the ad would offend subscribers.”

A few things struck me about the above article, published in a pro-homo activist publication, the Advocate.

The major one is the attempt by pro-homos to frame every form of discernment and choice by society regarding what will be promoted as a healthy lifestyle as a form of discrimination. This attempt can only be achieved if pro-homos equate human sexuality and lifestyle with sexual orientation. The newspaper above did not discriminate based on sexual orientation, but on behavior, lifestyle, and sexuality. These are very different things. Pro-homos have made it one of the pillars of their political cult to disingenuously treat them all as equal.

As I have written before:

Human sexuality is the full aggregate of a personΒ΄s psychology (both conscious and unconscious), their intellectual thinking, their attitudes, their values, their desires, their dysfunctions, their emotions, and their behaviors about sex/body/intimacy. It is like equating a button on your computer to the entire computer. Human sexuality encompasses sexual orientation along with millions of other things and can never be equated.

The aggregate of sexuality/behavior/lifestyle is very different than the minimal, murky, dumbed-down concept of sexual orientation. If the paper had rejected an ad for a BDSM Choir, it would have been similar. People do not choose to have a violent sexual orientation, neither are they born with it. It is a dysfunctional development, just like some aspects of homosexuality. Therefore, to say that society can no longer discriminate based on behavior, lifestyle, political activism, and sexuality is to deny a most fundamental human right of discernment to society. This has nothing to do with discrimination that “denies someone their humanity.” And is that a sugary, melodramatic distortion of the paper’s reason to reject the ad or what?

Mainly what homo activists have done is to apply the following manipulative logic:

To discriminate based on sexual orientation is wrong, therefore society must accept homosexuals regarding their sexuality (not just sexual orientation), which includes all the behaviors and all the lifestyles and all the political activism of all homosexuals, otherwise you are discriminating against “the person and their humanity.”

This is absurd and a full violation of human agency, not to mention how it violates fundamental religious precepts.


Another issue that relates to the above article is regarding how society is panicky and uncomfortable with the reality of bisexuals. From personal observation, I have seen more bisexuals than homosexuals in society (and if researchers would ever get their act together regarding more precise stats on the issue, we would have the numbers confirmation), yet the media/political noise that homos are making far exceeds bisexuals. Not only that, bisexuals are currently made invisible while homos are propped up in the spotlight. One very clear explanation to this phenomenon is that society (meaning the bulk of heterosexuals) loves to think in terms of a “us versus them” category, with clean, very marked divisions. Which also explains why so many people are dying to believe in the homo gene theory. And why people usually brand all married folks as heterosexual and all single adults past a certain age who don’t have a partner as closeted homos.

As a recent example, at the gym I go to, I went to ask a (married) woman who has been going to the gym a long time if she knew what the marital status of a certain guy was. Her reply was, “No, I have never heard him talk about a wife, never, and… if someone here isn’t married then it’s obvious they’re homosexual. So that’s what he must be.”

After that second of shock in hearing exactly how most people stereotype others but usually don’t say it outloud, I said, “Well, he can’t be homosexual, at the most bisexual.” This is what I was able to mutter, being so struck and sickened with the possibility that the man in question might not be straight as I had been thinking. It was the first time the thought had crossed my mind.

She was totally puzzled, “Why do you say that?”

“Because he was flirting with me, a lot.” I replied.

And then she expressed total shock at my reply and I realized why. Guess what category she had dumped me in as well?

Good God, it’s like living in the Middle Ages with these retards and the grossest, most primitive stereotypical thinking humans can muster.

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