Posts tagged as:

things you should know



Or you can watch her in action.


Or you can read her words in plain text:

There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did. Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.


Have you ever seen mean comments left by irate YouTubers for people who videotapes the television as a show was going on and uploaded the footage of that onto YouTube?

“Hey loser. Why are you taping your own TV and then put that on YouTube?!”


I am a loser so I take pictures of magazines that I read and I post them on the Interweb…


Rarely did I take one look at The Economist and burst out laughing...



The Economist can be raunchy, and it has a sense of humor. Who knew?!


Hey, at least they refrained from using the picture of the now famous "bulge"... The ending of this article titled, The Weiner War, (of course), once again showed The Economist can be raunchy, IF they want to.


"THE earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident that struck Japan three months ago have revealed something important about the country: a seam of strength and composure in the bedrock of society that has surprised even the Japanese themselves."

“THE earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident that struck Japan three months ago have revealed something important about the country: a seam of strength and composure in the bedrock of society that has surprised even the Japanese themselves.”

To me, this picture chosen by The Economist to accompany this article, says so much about what is quintessential and unique about Japan. From the “light-hearted” (as much as one could in this situation) reference to the ubiquitous 7 Eleven, to a quiet, subtle display of the much-vaunted attention to efficiency, adaptability, cleanliness, orderliness, and personal appearances (Notice how the mother looks much more put together than I am on a daily basis, and in such chaos and under such duress…)

And then read these two stories of exemplary spirits:

24-year-old Miki Endo, who used the loudspeaker system in Minamisanriku, a fishing port close to the focus of the 9.0 earthquake, to urge residents to do what they could to escape the incoming tsunami. She drowned at her post. Television footage shows the rising sea approaching, with her haunting voice echoing over the waves…

One fisherman tells of the four days he spent clearing the wreckage of his village, with no knowledge of the whereabouts of his eldest son. When his son eventually appeared, walking down off the mountain after a long cross-country trek to reach his parents, the two wiped tears from their eyes but did not say a word to each other. The son did not wish to disturb his father’s toil.


All the world is watching, holding their breath, especially their neighbors in Asia, because, as some commentators in the news media in China, India and Taiwan have said, If the Japanese people, with all their disciplines, their perseverance, their technological know-hows, their attention to details and rules, cannot pull through, we are all doomed when the same thing happens on our soil.


I suspect that you have been seeing this picture popping up on your Facebook and/or Twitter stream this week. I did. Like you, I had a visceral response to it.


Was exactly what I said to the monitor as I responded to the plea on Facebook “This was an ad made by bodyshop. But Barbie INC. found out about it and now it’s banned. Repost if you think this ad deserves to be seen,” and hit the SHARE button before I could say “Happy National Donut Day!”

Then my inner Cyber Sleuth / Internet Meme Historian took over. “I wonder whether this is yet another hoax?” Ok. Fine. It was also my inner cynic’s doing. I googled it.

Good news (or is it in fact bad news?) : This is for realz. The Body Shop did wage such a brilliant war against The Barbie.

Bad news (or does it really matter?) : It was from 1998.

The late Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, wrote in 2001:

In 1998, The Body Shop debuted its self-esteem campaign, featuring the generously proportioned doll we dubbed “Ruby.” … …

Ruby was a fun idea, but she carried a serious message. She was intended to challenge stereotypes of beauty and counter the pervasive influence of the cosmetics industry, of which we understood we were a part. Perhaps more than we had even hoped, Ruby kick-started a worldwide debate about body image and self-esteem.

But Ruby was not universally loved. In the United States, the toy company Mattel sent us a cease-and-desist order, demanding we pull the images of Ruby from American shop windows. Their reason: Ruby was making Barbie look bad, presumably by mocking the plastic twig-like bestseller (Barbie dolls sell at a rate of two per second; it’s hard to see how our Ruby could have done any meaningful damage.) I was ecstatic that Mattel thought Ruby was insulting to Barbie — the idea of one inanimate piece of molded plastic hurting another’s feelings was absolutely mind-blowing.

In 2002, Ms. Roddick again wrote about Ruby when the Danish pop band Aqua was sued by Mattel for their song “Barbie Girl”. In the same post, she also mentioned how an American artist, Tom Forsythe, had been engaged in lengthy legal battle against Mattel when Mattel sued him for his photographic project “Food Chain Barbie“. (You’d be happy to know that in 2004, after five years and millions of dollars in legal expenses, Mattel was ordered by court to pay $1.8 million in legal fees for Mr. Forsythe.)

Googling also led me to believe that every year or so, this poster of daring and clever protest by The Body Shop would resurface to the Internet’s attention but then the buzz would die down as fast as it started. For example, this article in Mother Jones from 2007.

It seems that more and more people are being outraged on Twitter and Facebook asking people, “It is banned by Mattel. OMG! RETWEET IF YOU WANT THIS POSTER TO BE SEEN!” It has caught on like a bad rumor. (It has now appeared on BuzzFeed with no historical context).

At first I wanted to “set the record straight” by shouting from the mountain top: This was from 1998, people. Case closed!

Then I thought about what Ms. Roddick wrote:

It makes me angry, not only because it is a male-dominated industry built on creating needs that don’t exist, but because it seems to have decided that it needs to make women unhappy about their appearances. It plays on self-doubt and insecurity about image and ageing by projecting impossible ideals of youth and beauty.

Things have not changed much since 1998 when the world first met Ruby. And yes, the world needs to be reminded of Ruby once in a while. We are a forgetful people with short attention spans which seem to get shorter with each new generation.

Ruby, who still watches us from posters throughout The Body Shop’s offices, won’t let us forget.                                     — Dame Anita Roddick


The Real American Idols

May 30, 2011 mark my word: twitter will doom us all

Source: I saw this cartoon via Paul Rieckhoff today.   My 13-year-old is working on a debate project for school. His topic? Support for Death Penalty. (He has turned in a written article against death penalty last week. The teacher wants them to be able to argue from both sides for the topic they are […]


National Jukebox

May 28, 2011 random

Did you hear about the National Jukebox project unveiled by the Library of Congress earlier this month? When I heard it on NPR, I was so excited I almost crashed my car into the truck with a Calvin peeing sticker in front of me. The National Jukebox is, according to NPR, “the largest collection of […]


Arms akimbo in the land of lotus eaters

April 16, 2011 therapy in session

This paragraph from A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, which won the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award (ETA: AND the 2011 Pulitzer Prize!) for fiction, is one of the most hauntingly vivid descriptions of a marriage that I have ever read. At the same time the description sounds clinical, meticulous, it strikes me […]


Things You Should Read

April 15, 2011 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

Instead of reading my blog, here are two things I came across today that you should read over the weekend: From the New York Times, A Gay Former N.B.A. Player Responds to Kobe Bryant, by John Amaechi, who in 2007 was the first NBA player to come out. We have all heard that Kobe called […]