The Null Device
Cool Britannia et al. In this postmodern age of designer style over generic substance, nation-states are learning from corporations and redefining themselves as brands:
The British management consultant Peter York has even argued that Nike's "swooshffitick logo means precisely what the crucifix meant to an earlier generation in ghettos -- it promises redemption, vindication and a way out."
In Belgium, for example, Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt has hired a team of image-makers to rebuild the country's reputation after years of scandals involving government corruption, child pornography, and dioxin-polluted chickens. In an attempt to clear the air, Belgium has decided to introduce a new logo and hip colors and will sport the cool Internet suffix ".be" as its international symbol. The overall aim of the campaign is to emulate Virgin, which, according to one Belgian advertising expert, "isn't big, but you see it everywhere you look."
(from the Council on Foreign Relations, who may or may not be a front for the Bavarian Illuminati and/or secretly controlling everything fnord from behind the scenes.)
New on the market: Relationship management the Behaviourist way, aka the Boyfriend Training Kit.
Gold stars are given for good behaviour, while a relationship can be "terminated" with the single red sticker contained in the kit.
The owners of children's TV show Sesame Street are "outraged" over the appearance of Sesame Street character Bert on an Osama Bin Laden poster in Bangladesh and are considering legal action. (They can probably thank their lucky stars that the archaic legal doctrine of "fair use" does not apply to electronic media.) Meanwhile, the "Bert is Evil" website, where the image came from, has been taken down by its creator.
This week's Fontomas font is a potentially useful one, in a bitmap sort of way.
My spam trap just caught a spam advertising what purports to be a Bin Laden/Taliban-themed bestiality porn site:
BONUS You can get your revenge and get thrills at the same time!
Click here for EXCLUSIVE Osama Bin Laden ANIMAL SEX PICS Now
It seems that whatever happens, some scumbag will try to make a buck from it, usually in the worst possible taste.
I heard on 3RRR this morning something about the Punters Club being likely to close in January, with the tenants having failed to renegotiate the lease. No confirmation for this, but it's ominous, and doesn't bode well for Brunswick Street's cultural health. (Perhaps the Punters Club site is where the Brunswick St. Starbucks will go?)
The Church of the SubGenius' bulldada artists have not been silent since the WTC attack and the Death Of Irony; indeed, they have come up with two galleries of themed art/commentary, which ranges from anti-Bin Laden posters to subversive propaganda and just plain Bad Attitude; not to mention this suggestion for how to rebuild the WTC, and an eerie actual ad run in a Belgian magazine sometime before the WTC attack. All in all, it's heartening to know that the SubG movement hasn't devolved en masse into jingoistic flag-waving glorps like certain web sites we could name... Praise "Bob"! (Ta, Peter!)