Friday, January 05, 2007

the long metaphor home

Imagine you're the Gap.

(I recently went after the GAP as being sort of a sweatshop, etc. - Just want to clarify: in this instance, The Gap is a METAPHOR and not some kind of oblique attack on The GAP. I'll go after The Gap's throat when I want to go after the Gap. Got it? METAPHOR.)

As the Gap, you make a product called "sweatshirts."

A bunch of market feedback comes down the line that says: Gap sweatshirts SUCK. People are unhappy with the construction of these sweatshirts for many reasons - a major one being that the thread doesn't hold the damn thing together.

As the Gap, you decide to no longer market sweatshirts. Immediately you start engineering a product called "fleece" which will be the culmination of 30 years of technology from every resource at the Gap's disposal. "Fleece" will change the way people look at sweatshirts, and for good reason. It's made unlike any sweatshirt ever was before. It'll keep you warmer, it's ecologically more friendly, more durable, etc.

For reasons beyond Gap's control, fleece production gets pushed back, pending some technical approvals - but because the Gap has no sweatshirt product on the market, they decide to change the thread they were sewing together their sweatshirts with to a different, stronger thread - and they soft-release the newly threaded sweatshirts. As "fleece."

Several months later, The Gap gets technical approval and launches a major campaign: "FLEECE!" And - oh yeah - if you are REALLY big (XXXL and larger) "Fleece" is called "Custom Fleece!" They'll sew it together any shape you want it. And it'll be a heck of a lot more expensive than fleece - and not nearly as warm or durable - because it is still, in fact, a sweatshirt. Just with new thread.

As a Gap customer, are you like "What the FUCK is going on over at the Gap?"

Just curious.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thinly Veiled Communism

Red is back.

Whether it's Starbucks (thanks Bill)

Or another corporate scheme that awkwardly bends goodwill to the means of corporate hucksters.


And you, Joe red-ipod-sporting 24-50 year-old , go ahead and feel a little better about your new cell phone and your our red sweatshirt from the Gap, listening to Bono sing about dismantling an atomic bomb. That's right. As a valuable Gap consumer, you are MAKING A DIFFERENCE to the lives of millions of poor, suffering babies in Africa.

Brangelina, my tearing-up eye.

Dig into these brands and see just how concerned they are about social problems. Where's all that goodwill when it comes time to show a little bit of transparency with your manufacturing practices; your concern for the healthcare of the folks who screw together those Armani wrist watches and sew the little "I give a shit" tag into each one of those Converse sneakers.

That's not to say I'm some anti-GAP wearing hippie. Just someone who thinks all this buy-it-for-them crap is a little tired.

Buy the fucking iPod for YOU. And shut up.

Where's McCarthy when you need him?

(P.S. I know this is a little late in coming, what with Red's introduction in - uh -October? But I can really only bitch about so much stuff at a time.)

P Ro. knows

This is the look of a man who has heard, from the lips of God, that millions will meet their doom in 2007.

I'm sure Mr. (is he Dr?) Robertson means well, but can you really stand in front of people with a straight face (or as above) and say things like "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."


Pat goes on to say: "I have a relatively good track record," he said. "Sometimes I miss."

What kind of a track record does the Lord have, Pat? Assuming that's who is giving you all this inside info on the doom that faces all of us. Has this guy really turned "speaking with God" into the equivalent of an episode of "Medium"? If this is the case, I find Patricia Arquette much more appealing and compelling (again, see above) than a man who looks like George Bush after a couple belts of Jim Beam.

Of course I hope he's wrong. But I have this terrible feeling he's being put up to it by his Jim-Beam faced doppleganger in an attempt to reclaim the God-fearing red staters who just voted all the republicans out of city and county office around here.

Repent, Republicans! For the Democrats are nigh. And dry.

Monday, January 01, 2007

For the man who hates everything

One of my more meaningful Christmas presents this holiday was not peace, a tankless water heater or a barbecue smoker. Truth be told, I received none of those things (although the deaths of Saddam and James Brown have come close to delivering on peace. Now there's a statement that'll surely put me in hot water with someone. I'm not exactly drawing a parallel between these men - just their time of death. James Brown's passing means a lot less "HEY! God GOD!" - which, could be characterized as a kind of peace. And Saddam - well that one's less clear but probably more significant in the grand scheme of global peace.) I don't know what role Former President Ford plays in this whole thing, but he didn't seem to figure in near as much as the other two.)

No. It was a new pair of running sneakers. A pair of sneakers I actually bought myself, as part of my new year's resolution to A) get more exercise in an effort to destress myself and B) shrink what's fast becoming an honest-to-God beer belly. Just downloaded a training schedule: couch potato to 5K in 6 weeks.

Just today I joined my wife (also running/walking) and my son (riding his bike) on a two-miler that left me wheezing and sore for the first part of the afternoon.

(My other great gift this holiday was a couple tickets to see Robert Earl Keen whinney out a couple Texas ballads at Bass Hall. Actually beats the heck out of a tankless water heater, from what I've read.)