Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Conventional Stupidity
With New Orleans (a city below sea level) flooded, how is it that the conventional wisdom on Katrina is that the damage exposed evidence of racism, yet when trailer parks get wiped out by twisters conventional wisdom says that poor white trash should know better than to live in tornado alley?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Restroom at the End of the Universe
The public restroom has become one of the preeminent locations for implementing new technological innovations. Automated flush toilets, towel dispensers, and faucets. However, most of this stuff needs some fine tuning. I love how foolish you look waving your hand in front of the towel dispenser trying to get the stupid eye to "see" you and dole out the requisite hand towels. Or the automated faucet that shuts off before you've completely washed your hands. And more and more I see gel hand soap being replaced with some sort of wispy, airy mousse. Are these innovations supposed to keep us interested and on task when performing our Number Ones and Twos? Is the public bathroom the new entertainment delivery environment ripe for exploitation? If so, keep an eye out for signs of ClearChannel buying up public restroom space. That will signal that the trend is real.

Men's Wearhouse
So I attended the VON show down in Boston. As I have blogged about before I usually find these shows to be somewhat useless. Contrary to past experience, I found this show to be pretty good. What struck me though was how vast the uniformity of business attire collected under one roof. I think in the past days of air travel you'd see the same thing - many people dressed in formal business attire. Nowadays you're more likely to see most passengers in halter tops, cutoff jeans, drawstring pants, or Disney logo t-shirts than see someone in a suit and tie. However, stepping into VON was like falling into the printing press of a Brooks Brothers catalog. Blacks and Dark Blues everywhere. Occasionally you would see somebody in khakis and a company logo polo shirt (me) but for the most part the dry-cleaned set ruled the alleys. I wonder how the slate colored suits felt. Sure they dressed up above and beyond the polo people, but no doubt learned again the forgotten truth - grey is nobody's favorite color.

Business attire works great in small settings, but such large conglomerations weaken the power of said clothing. In an environment where one strives to stand out from the others, why dress in a manner mimicked by the next guy?

Friday, September 02, 2005

America's Frat Basement
It doesn't surprise me what's going on in New Orleans. There's so much incompetence and dereliction of duty going on there. Seriously, we shouldn't be surprised that this chaos is going in that city. New Orleans has been America's party destination for a long time. When have people been known to treat their party hangouts with respect? I seem to recall lots of broken glass, busted sheetrock walls, and floors flooded with mung at the various places known to host a party. Why should New Orleans be any different? The lack of responsibility to the community - by both the looters, helpless sorts, and whining do-nothing city officials is to be expected in a town that marks its accomplishments by the count of beads and breasts. I have no doubt that city officials have concerned themselves more with the business of making sure $2 Hurricanes flow on Bourbon Street rather than worry about the prospect of Bourbon Street flowing during a hurricane. I don't think I'm off the mark in thinking that beyond the Superdome, French Quarter, and the Convention center - and the chain of hotels that connects these all together - these officials didn't give a rat's ass about the levies, disaster plan, or what-if disaster scenarios. Maybe next Mardis Gras, when these clowns get around to designing their parade floats, they'll actually build that attribute into their mobile displays. It might help them pull through the next time the wind and waves pick up....