Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Can anyone explain to me the continued existence of the pop-up advertisement? I can't think of a more effective way to discourage anyone from wanting my product than the pop-up ad. I can tolerate google's text-only border ads, and now that I've found Firefox's Flashblocker the number of ads that move, change color, and make noise on my desktop has diminished significantly. I recognize that advertisement is a necessary evil--the bills have to be paid somehow, and advertisers are willing to foot the bill for you so long as they can get something out of it too. Fine. But Haven't people figured out by now that absolutely no one is going to have a positive reaction to a pop-up ad?

Think about it--they get in the way. On some sites they actually block what you're trying to read and simply will not go away, even when you do click to close them. There are some that scroll down the page or slide out at random from corners. The pop-behind ad is just as bad--sometimes they are sensitive to your mouse clicks on the page in front and spin you into unending chains of garbage, one opening the moment you close another. Now AIM runs ads that spontaneously run video with sound, which occupies your network space and slows down your data transfer rate.

Who came up with this nuisance? And why? Did they honestly think it would be a good idea? Any legitimate company that resorts to pop-up advertisement is shooting itself in the foot--pop ups distinctly and invariably discourage consumers from wanting the product advertised. And anyone who hasn't been living in a cave since the 1990's has figured out how to spot the scam ads. If their effectiveness has been reduced to nil (or indeed, negative figures), what is perpetuating the existence of the pop-up ad?

On this line of thought, one is reminded of the controversy currently surrounding TiVo service. Consumers pay a considerable sum monthly for the ability to record shows and treat them like dvd videos, meaning they can fast forward through ads. Advertisers claim they have taken a blow in profits from this ('cos before TiVo, people apparently couldn't figure out how to change the channel, leave the room, or hit Mute) and have begun a huge, expensive campaign to undermine the viewer's clear message ("I don't want to watch ads")by going a step beyond product placement in television shows. Major companies are now paying tv producers to actively incorporate their product into the plot of the show. Now actors are not only holding the bag of Dorito's--they're talking about how much they like them, and using Dorito's brand seasoned tortilla chips to get into the heart of another character.

You know what this sounds like? Peer pressure. Advertisers are trying to convince viewers that they want their product by showing that all the really cool kids already have it. Y'know what? Anybody who falls for that sort of crap deserves the pile of artificially-scented plastic refuse they wind up with.

It just doesn't make sense. TiVo users PAY TO AVOID ADS, so advertisers make it so their crap can't be avoided. Meanwhile internet users and web developers spend heaps of money developing software to block popup and email advertisements, so advertisers spend even more money to circumvent adblocking software. It is a vicious and pointless cycle, as it means the average consumer becomes less and less likely to want products from or even respect companies that advertise to them in spite of their efforts to avoid just that. Consumers are literally being chased and hunted by advertisers these days. It is only a matter of time to see if the monster will be bested, or if it will feed.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Learn to Friggin...!

Good GRIEF nobody here can drive. I narrowly avoided no fewer than eight (8) accidents on my way back from the theatre today--its an eight-mile drive, two in the afternoon, clear skies for crying out loud. None of them would have been in any way my fault--i just drive along at (or often below, figuring traffic is a nightmare) the speed limit, have the obvious right of way (i.e. the other asshole has a STOP SIGN) and people just pull out inches in front of me like i'm not even there, causing me to slam on the brakes and even swerve to avoid hitting their Mercedes. Do i need to blow my horn constantly or something? By The Way there's other motorists on the road? Some bimbo in a very expensive foreign vehicle tried to merge straight into me--we were sitting, Stopped, at a red light, and she decides she's gonna change lanes--i wasn't in her blind spot, i could clearly see the dumb look on her face through her passenger window. I entertained the idea of letting the moron hit me but figured with a car like that she could probably hire a better lawyer than me. If this happened once a day i could say its just normal--people screw up. but this many times a day i'm really starting to think either new york should reassess their driving test or i should just stop hitting the brakes.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

about a month

i have worked at the theatre for a little over a month now, and i have had one day off. (which i spent completely hungover. It was the kind of hangover that makes your legs twitch, leaves you so dehydrated that you can't sweat and even your hair hurts. sad thing is i really didn't drink that much the night before--i just mixed my poisons. it is naughty and irresponsible to have wine and gin the same night.) but yes, one day off in a month--and that's not all. about a week of that has involved working over 18 hours a day, and one that went over 24.

i think i am justified now in saying that this is the most poorly-run theatre i have ever encountered. the administration's scheduling capacity is pathetic. they made no semblance of time accommodation for the biggest, heaviest, most technically involved show in the theatre's history, meaning we had to cram a month's worth of work into two weeks. it is very cool now, on the brink of its premiere, but nobody in the crew really appreciates it because we've spent too damn much time fighting with it. thousands of dollars and labor hours have gone into it, its full of high-tech mechanized lighting and pneumatic lifts...and for what? some really pathetic choreography, mediocre singing, boring direction, and a completely incomprehensible story. at least the band is good. the dancers are very talented but you'd never guess from what they're having to do. Its the highest-budget high school musical you'll ever see.

On a lighter note, i watched a sunset on the beach the other day. By myself, of course, figuring everyone who is remotely friendly toward me is currently about 700 miles away, but it was still beautiful. The iridescent sky opened and extended beyond the limits of my comprehension. I could see the curvature of the atmosphere. I looked so far out i could see behind me. The brevity of our solar system was thrown into sharp relief for the briefest of moments and I understood my place in the universe.

Then the sun dipped below the horizon and i snapped out of it. I picked up a couple of pretty stones, stretched, and drove away.