Bons mots

Slips of my tongue

The more things change, the more they stay the g*ddamn same

Meet Lizzie Miller.


Lizzie is a 20-year-old model who appears in the current September issue of Glamour magazine. Lizzie has created a buzzstorm on the Interweb because she LOOKS LIKE EVERY WOMAN YOU KNOW. A size 12-14, she is described in the accompanying article as “curvy”, “plus-size” and “normal”.

The mag’s website has been inundated with readers’ comments praising Glamour for (briefly) veering away from the supermodels that usually grace their pages. I, myself, posted a article about this rare occurance on Facebook and Twitter and the reaction was pretty huge.

It was all great – the sun was shining, the weekend is near and there is a beautiful woman with a belly in the pages of a lady mag.

I wanted to show my support and buy the issue, breaking my two-years-and-counting moratorium on lady mags. I wanted to help boost Glamour’s revenue for the issue to reinforce the notion that real women like seeing other real women in print.

When I went to the local newsstand and picked up the issue, to what did my disbelieving eyes should appear?


It wasn’t Jessica Simpson on the cover, the former pop/reality star who has her own weight issues to contend with and seems to be in her “photoshopped skinny” phase.

It was the headline on the right: 3 FLAT BELLY SECRETS.

I didn’t buy the magazine. I put it back on the rack and walked away, slowly shaking my head.

Fuck you, Glamour.


August 21, 2009 Posted by | FAIL, Why the world is going to hell in a handbasket | , , , , | 8 Comments

Rage against the machine

I read this interesting post in a blog on last week:

People over 30 hate cell phones

By Mike Egan

A research firm has found that people over 30 use just 12 percent of the features on their cell phones and feel frustrated and overwhelmed by cell phone complexity. And it’s not just exotic features adults struggle with, but even basics like checking voice mail, using address books and dialing.

The firm, Half Moon Bay Calif.-based Bowen Research, found that people under the age of 30 use about half of their phones’ features. 

More than one third of the people over 30 surveyed by Bowen Research expressed “deep frustration” about their cell phones.

Here are a few quotes from the study published in a Bowen press release:

“I never quite know what I’m doing after a year and a half.”
“If it’s too complicated, it just really isn’t worth it.”
“Not intuitive at all.”
“To this day, I don’t know how to check voicemail.”

Multiple respondents said many cell phone features are “impossible to learn” and that cell phones are “out of your control.”

Where did they find these luddites survey participants? Living under rocks?

As someone who is – ahem – over 30, I want to dispel any notion that the majority of us are technologically retarded (or “e-tarded”.) I am pretty savvy when it comes to technology. I can figure things out within minutes, even without an instruction manual. While I love the scratchy sounds of a needle hitting vinyl, I just love my iPod. My Laserdisc player and VCR are collecting dust while I fawn over my PVR. I’m definitely not “old school” when it comes to technology.

But I do hate cell phones, and not for the reasons noted in the article.

I grew up in a time before cell phones, when there were moments you were actually unreachable. You didn’t know the minutiae of stranger’s lives when you rode the bus. When the company you were with wouldn’t ignore you to read their latest text message.


Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy and take advantage of the conveniences technology has given me.  It has come into my life gradually, however, and I have been able to choose which tools fit my life. Future generations will come into this world completely connected to technology. They will know no other way of life. They will communicate more through technology and interpersonal relationships will become…well, less personal.

Having a cell phone is something I chose to buy; it wasn’t forced on me. The cost is minimal and it provides me with some benefits and efficiencies. But it does not rule my life. I have friends whose lives would be turned upside down if they lost their cell phones. Me? I still keep an address book. I choose face-to-face conversations over those conducted by text messaging. I use my cell phone to facilitate get-togethers, not replace them.

I hate cell phones because they encroach on a way of life where we interact with each other in person. Humans evolve over time to adapt to their environments, but were we failing as a species before the advent of cell phones? I don’t think so.

Or maybe I’ve never been much of a phone person to begin with.

September 5, 2008 Posted by | Why the world is going to hell in a handbasket | , , , | 9 Comments

The apocalypse is nigh…

The Hills was a topic on Jeopardy recently. Does anyone else find this horribly disturbing?

Source: (Yes, I am aware of the irony.)

Has Jeopardy run out of topics? Could they not come up with any more Survivor questions? I don’t mind the inclusion of pop culture into the show. In this case, reality television has made an impact on the entertainment industry, whether you like the genre or not. But a “reality show” that is obviously scripted? One that has given us the most vapid, hollow celebrities ever to grace Hollywood (aside from Paris Hilton)? At this rate, future contestants will have to be well-versed on Flavor of Love or Celebrity Rehab.

Oh Alex, why have you forsaken us?

July 12, 2008 Posted by | Why the world is going to hell in a handbasket | , , | 9 Comments

Spin this! I challenge you.

Being a student of PR I now see life through a different perspective. For example, if I came across something so deranged and unbelievable, I would have simply laughed and e-mailed it to all my friends, creating a viral joke that would have lasted, oh, perhaps a day and led to a few minutes of decreased work flow. Then I would have forgotten about it and moved on to the daily Dilbert or the Will Ferrell video with the cussing baby.

But now I see something like this and I think to myself, who’s the poor sap who has to do PR for this?

Introducing the Breast Massage Robot. Created by one misguided Dr. Wang Wei, who saw a greater need in the world for this than, say, a cure for cancer.

After I laughed and e-mailed it to all my friends (some things never change) I started thinking about possible media plans for the Breast Massage Robot. What would the objective be? To increase sales? Attract investors? Make all women very, very afraid?

We are currently learning about media plans in one of our classes so I’ve come up with possible key messages for the Breast Massage Robot. Feel free to contribute your own.

Key message #1: You must, you must, you must increase your bust! (Apologies to Judy Blume.)

Key message #2: I, Robot. You, keep very still.

Key message #3: Klaatu barada nikto!

Dr. Wei’s business proposal is included after the jump, for those investors interested in “corporating” with him. (Source:

Continue reading

February 27, 2008 Posted by | Why the world is going to hell in a handbasket | , , , | 8 Comments

R.I.P. Suspect Video, Duke’s, National Sound

A massive fire broke out this morning on Queen Street West.

Fire on Queen West

I initially found out about the fire on a friend’s Facebook status update. The above photo came from BlogTO, one of my primary resources for news on my city. The Star’s website even refers its readers to Flickr for more coverage of the fire. Our friends and neighbours were able to supply us with first-hand accounts, photos and video that traditional channels were unable to.

Social networking sites are becoming the “go to” sources for breaking news. I remember a time when I would have to watch the evening news to know what was happening. Now we know about it minutes after it happens. Is this a good thing? I think it is. Information is always good to have; nowadays, you just get it sooner.

February 20, 2008 Posted by | Why the world is going to hell in a handbasket | , , , , | 2 Comments


Last week the blogosphere picked up a story about a PR Newswire employee who was fired for slugging a release inappropriately. (If you are unfamiliar with the industry, a “slug” is a short label which helps editors figure out at a glance what the story is about (CP Stylebook). For example, “Leafs-win-Cup” would be a slug for a story about the Leafs winning the Stanley Cup (like that would ever happen).

Anyhow, this employee was formatting a release about a rally taking place in Philadelphia to raise political awareness of mental illness and homelessness. She slugged the release “loony-bin-rally”. 

Something like this would typically go unnoticed by the public, since a news release slug would only be seen by the news media in their wire terminals. However, one intrepid reporter spotted the insensitive slug and notified PR Newswire about it. And it must have been a slow day in the newsroom because he then wrote about it. And like all good stories about complete and utter stupidity, it spread like a virus.

PR Newswire responded with an official public apology and the employee was terminated for exhibiting “very poor judgement.” (Ya think?) Personally, I think they handled it the only way they could. Keep in mind that PR Newswire distributes thousands of news releases a day and it would be logistically difficult to vet each release before it is sent out. They must rely on their employees to practice good judgement and this comes from having faith in their staff and hiring practices. However, it just takes one bad apple to spoil the entire barrel. And in this case, they got rid of it.

This wasn’t a case of some poorly-trained employee making a small mistake. It was an act of pure ignorance and insensitivity. If someone believes it is perfectly acceptable to refer to the mentally ill as “loonies” it wouldn’t be a huge assumption to think this same person would ascribe offensive labels to other minority groups. Could they have given the employee a second chance? I wouldn’t. Having worked in a newswire service, you can train a person on where a slug is placed but you cannot train them on what to put in there. That comes from common sense. And that, my friends, is incredibly hard to teach.

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Why the world is going to hell in a handbasket | , , , | 1 Comment

Playing with dolls

I was procrastinating in setting up this blog until I saw this item:

My Fake Baby: Living Doll

(Click on the link above to view the clip and see if your jaw doesn’t drop.)

This a new British documentary about adult women who buy handcrafted dolls (called “Re-Borns”) and treat them like real infants. Sort of like men who buy those Real Dolls (see Lars and the Real Girl) and treat them like sex toys girlfriends.

As a single woman who dodges the same questions over and over again (“Why aren’t you married yet?” or “Why no kids?” My answer: Just lucky, I guess) my take is this:

Are you kidding me?

Does anyone think to perhaps steer these women to therapy? There must be a huge, gaping emotional hole in their lives for them to PLAYING WITH DOLLS. Yes, even though they must cost a small fortune (I’m guessing half the cost of a Real Doll) they are no better than the “lifelike” Thumbelina doll I had when I was seven years old.

Why is it that a single woman cannot feel complete unless they shoot out a kid? I especially like the reactions of their parters. Not only are these women childless they will soon become divorced, too.

To my dearest friends: if I ever become mad and buy one of these, and if you do care deeply about me, shoot me in the head. Please.

Note: School- and industry-related posts will begin next week.

January 2, 2008 Posted by | Why the world is going to hell in a handbasket | , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: