– Wacky report from the Guardian that even as the world supports our war we are losing support for our brands: “British consumers have become more distrustful of overtly American brands, according to research from a leading advertising agency. The survey found more than two-thirds of British consumers are concerned the world is becoming too Americanised, while 72% agreed with the statement: ‘Multinational corporations have grown too powerful.’ ”
It’s not fun… it’s not funny
– This war has been too entertaining. There are all the Geraldo games: Watch Geraldo dodge bullets. Watch Geraldo wear headdresses. Watch Geraldo say he’s on hallowed ground when he’s miles away. There are the smart, sexy, new Generation X war correspondents I shamelessly admired yesterday: Ashleigh Banfield and Nora O’Donnell to name a few. There are the very entertaining Donald Rumsfeld briefings, better than any talk show (who would give you better advice: Don or Oprah?). There is the sideshow of the incredibly stupid John The Rat Traitor Superdoofus Walker. There is is Osama show.
And look at what there is not: There is not the daily grind of Vietnam TV, of our own sons slogging through a swamp (of sand, in this case), not dodging bullets. There is not that daily dread that this killing could go on forever.
Let me quickly make it clear that I am not making some PC or anti-media or anti-war argument that we should do anything differently; obviously, we should not suffer more or win less or risk more reporters’ lives or even not find comic relief where we can.
It is what it is.
But I compare what children are watching today to what I watched on TV during Vietnam and how that will affect them and it’s apparent that there is a big difference. And I simply note that this difference will have an impact, one it’s too soon to define or measure. But it’s clear that we need to let our children know that war is, in the words of Billy Crystal [via Howard Stern] not fun…. not funny.
– You have to love it when Ken Layne unlocks himself from his writer’s prison and gets back to his blog. As I once indecorously [wow, just used the Blogger spellchecker for that one and it’s neat] put it, when he returns the posts come out like a satisfying sneeze. Lots of great posts today and Ken covers the blogwatches (that is, he blogs the blogs that blog the blogs) and the new Slate blog (my new ego need: I’ll know when I’ve arrived when I make it to Slate… probably didn’t help that I called Kinsley espresso breath the other day).
– Bravo to Slate for featuring two weblogs on the front page of its new weblog. I take back all my quibbles about emphasizing print.
– The other print-related weblog, the Wall Street Journal’s log by James Taranto on Opinion Journal, records an observation that has been weirding me out too: John The Rat Traitor Superdoofus Walker’s teeth. They’re so white, so even, so orthodonically correct. He’s a filthy, smelly, ratty mess but those teeth positively glisten. Let’s hear a patriotic cheer for American dentistry.
– Tony Blair’s blog of sorts, nya-nyaing at all the naysayers who turned out to be wrong about the quagmire war. Take that, Pilger you pud.
– And while we’re on this self-referential blogs-on-blogs kick, I should share one of my favorites, one of the first blogs, actually: Buzz. It’s a brilliant collection of great links every day. The log is all in Swedish (they abandoned their English version about a year ago) but that actually makes the linking all the better – it’s like a Christmas grab bag; you never know what you’re going to get before you get it. Some of the stuff is just silly, some just cool (but cool died about a year ago), some actually new (I drove my colleagues at work nuts with this, finding some great new thing and making them ask where the hell I’d found it). A few links today:
> Decorate your Snowman.
> The erotic Alphabet (sexual content).
> Guy auctions himself off to any rich, good-looking Lady.
> The Ghana national ice hockey Team.
Here come the year-end lists
– The year’s worst disasters, ranked by loss of life and loss of money.