Big Blot on Broadway

Filed under: Rants, Stop Defacing Rochester! — olivander August 10, 2010 @ 11:35 am

I sort of wish I still had up my old Stop Defacing Rochester! blog, because I would certainly be blowing digital raspberries at this sacrilege.

Clearly, the people behind Big Brad’s on Broadway (not to be confused with any of the other nonexistent Big Brad’s locations) put zero consideration into the grand, historic 110-year-old building that for over a century housed the Paine Furniture store.

Big Brad's on Broadway

Big Brad's on Broadway

The cheap brick façade, tiny rectangular window, and cartoonish handpainted sign make it look less like an upscale bar and more like the kind of place that you would want to slip into unobserved.

I’m sure neon beer signs galore can be expected to emanate their gaudy countenance upon what remains of a once proud building.

Intrinsic Value

Filed under: Rants, Typecast, photography — olivander August 3, 2010 @ 3:59 pm

Typecast 8/1/2010

Typed on a 1940 Corona Sterling.

March of the SOOCheads

Filed under: Rants, Typecast, photography — olivander February 13, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

Typewriter: 1940 Remington Model 1

How Illegal Immigration Saved My Life

Filed under: Project 88, Rants, Typecast, politics — olivander August 21, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

Typewriter: Fritz, a 1903 Remington Standard No.7

Typing about Typing

Filed under: Rants, Typecast, typewriters — olivander August 2, 2009 @ 10:42 am

Click to view larger.

Typewriter: 1965 Olivetti-Underwood Studio 44

Fishing for meaning

Filed under: Nuages, Rants, Typecast — olivander June 1, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

Relics from the Golden Age

Typewriter: Julieta, a 1956 Underwood De Luxe Quiet Tab


Filed under: Musings, Rants — olivander April 14, 2009 @ 9:29 am

For those who missed it, the UK’s Guardian ran a pretty good April 1 leg-puller along the same vein.

I’m not the first to speculate on possible intellectual damage from text messaging*, but I tend to agree that today’s instant, stream-of-consciousness forms of communication are harming our ability to think. Twitter’s entire premise not only reinforces blurting out minimalist, choppy thoughts, it actively discourages taking the time to form full, well-rounded ideas. It also conditions the brain to quickly abandon its previous thought and immediately move on to the next, popping (and pooping) ideas with the mental length of enjoyment and nutritional value of jelly beans.

I realize that the same complaints were made about MTV in the 1980s, and about television in general for years before that (anyone remember “Television, the Drug of a Nation“?). The lamentation that Interstates destroyed our appreciation for roadside America began almost the moment the system’s ribbon was cut. I do believe that this has been an ongoing, accelerating process for quite some time. A daylong road trip cut down to a race from Point A to Point B; storytelling reduced from four-hour epic films to one-hour television dramas to 3 1/2-minute music videos. Today, I fear that the ever-reducing drain on our attention spans has minimalized them to the point where our world view has exploded into fragments, and as a result we’re now seeing the wholesale erosion of  this generation’s critical-thinking skills and ability to process ideas.

* “Texting”: not a verb. Knock it off.

Biggest marketing backfire since New Coke

Filed under: Newsworthy, Rants — olivander March 17, 2009 @ 10:29 am

“Siffy”? You’ve got to be frakking kidding me.

SCI FI Channel to become Syfy; “Imagine Greater” is new message

Building on 16 years of water-cooler programming and soaring ratings growth following its most-watched year ever, SCI FI Channel is evolving into Syfy, beginning this summer, Dave Howe, president, SCI FI, announced today.

By changing the name to Syfy, which remains phonetically identical, the new brand broadens perceptions and embraces a wider range of current and future imagination-based entertainment beyond just the traditional sci-fi genre, including fantasy, supernatural, paranormal, reality, mystery, action and adventure. It also positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and nonlinear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.

If you can get past the buzzword BS, it says, “We’ll be rerunning all of NBC’s shows that have failed to syndicate to TBS, TNT and A&E, and maybe Wife Swap. And we’re gonna license the fuck out of ‘em.”

“Imagine Greater” will become the new brand message and tagline, inviting both consumers and advertisers into a new era of unlimited imagination, exceptional experiences and greater entertainment.

What? That doesn’t even mean anything. It makes “Think Different” sound positively Shakespearean.

“Without abandoning our legacy or our core audience…”

Wanna bet?

Syfy—unlike the generic entertainment category “sci-fi”—firmly establishes a uniquely ownable trademark that is portable across all nonlinear digital platforms and beyond, from Hulu to iTunes. Syfy also creates an umbrella brand name that can extend into new adjacent businesses under the Syfy Ventures banner, including Syfy Games, Syfy Films and Syfy Kids.

Corporatespeak gobbledygook. Translation: We could care less about our audience so long as we can get kids to buy our logo-emblazoned shit.

We all understood that the Sci-Fi Channel as we knew it was dead the moment they inexplicably canceled “Farscape” and began airing pro wrestling. This only proves that the marketing droids have taken over completely and are burning the last vestiges of what once was a great channel.

Letter to Mayor Daley

Filed under: Rants, Typecast — olivander March 13, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

See here for what triggered this letter.

Typewriter: Sears Tower Challenger

A letter to Renga Arts

Filed under: Newsworthy, Rants, Typecast, typewriters — olivander January 19, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

Renga Arts was featured in a “Small Business Success” segment on CNN this weekend as “trash to treasures” recyclers. Disappointingly, one of the first items shown was…typewriter key jewelry. This is the letter I wrote them in response. Click the letter for a larger version if it’s too hard to read.

Incidentally, this was typed on a 1941 Olivetti Studio 42 .

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