Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Points of Contention: Michael Jackson

Here at UncMo, we like to come up with new blogovations as much as we like to come up with thought-provoking, well-written posts, which is why this is only the second new recurring feature we've introduced in nearly four years, unless you count referring to oneself in the first-person plural.

Recently I was joking with someone that he should start a blog dedicated to his disagreements with another blogger. He was really going at it with this woman in the comments of her blog and feeling a little self-conscious about it. I suggested that instead of feeling bad about it, he should elevate it to the level of a whole new blog that would have a name alluding to how wrong she is.

Normally this type of idea would get left in the realm of the theoretical -- just an amusing notion. Most productive people would consider it a waste of time to publicly catalog one's petty disagreements. Not me! To me, this says, "I think we've got something here."

Therefore, here in "Points of Contention" I will chronicle various debates or disagreements as they come up.

Chances are you've had occasion to discuss Michael Jackson recently, in greater depth than you ever previously thought you would. If you didn't know before, you probably know now what camp you fall in regarding MJ: the "he was a child-molester" camp or the "he was crazy but innocent" camp.

The two best expressions of these differing viewpoints that I've seen are as follows:

"I don't give a fuck how good you can sing and dance. I got babies, you nasty motherfucker... Some of y'all lookin' at me like 'I can't believe you sayin' that. It's a setup.' Fuck a setup. Don't nobody say the same shit about you for 20 goddamn years, what the fuck is you talking about? If a motherfucker call you a crackhead for 20 years, bitch, you are smoking crack." -- Katt Williams

"I had started my investigation convinced that Jackson was guilty. By the end, I no longer believed that. I could not find a single shred of evidence suggesting that Jackson had molested a child. But I found significant evidence demonstrating that most, if not all, of his accusers lacked credibility and were motivated primarily by money." -- Ian Halperin

And there you have it: the MJ debate in a nutshell, excuse the pun.

Call me a sucker, but I am firmly in Ian Halperin's camp. He elaborates, "Jackson also deserved much of the blame, of course. Continuing to share a bed with children even after the suspicions surfaced bordered on criminal stupidity."

I believe that Jackson felt he was robbed of his childhood and tried to recapture it in his notorious sleepovers. I believe he was either conflicted about his sexuality, gay, or both. I do not believe he was a pedophile.

This is a bad position to be in around people who do believe the allegations. As far as they are concerned, Jackson was a nasty, sick person -- and who are you if you're defending such a person? I've gotten enough looks and dubious silences from others to wonder why I even bother making the argument. After all, I'm not a huge MJ fan. I like his music as much as anybody, but I never cared about him that much musically. As a person, I thought he seemed lost and crazy and sad and horrifically physically distorted. And I have to admit, Williams' riff gave me pause. Why defend him?

I don't have a particular need to be right in this case. I'm just saying what I really believe is true. In this case, since none of us were there, that's all we can do: speculate.

Please feel free to weigh in on this argument or share other debates you've been having lately.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


These ads have kind of worked on me lately. Well, I guess technically they haven't worked, because I haven't consumed any of these items. But I made a note of them for possible future consumption rather than ignoring the ad like I usually do.

1. McCafé. This campaign is everywhere -- TV, Internet banners, and print -- and it's making me strongly consider walking in to a MAC-Donald's and ordering a McCafé mocha. I don't know whether it's the boldly incongruous accent over the 'e,' the sassy cursive font, the relentless use of whipped cream in their promotions, or that I just want an excuse to walk into a McDonald's. Hell, I don't even entertain the notion of whipped cream on my beverages, as a rule. These ads are so skillfully rendered that they make me want the whipped cream, maybe more than the actual beverage.

2. Double Twist mascara. Two mascara wands -- one red and one black -- swirl together like a DNA molecule, suggesting that my eyelash genes may actually change if I use this product. Jessica Alba's lashes miraculously swell and elongate after she looks to the camera asking if another take is needed. It's just like what happens when I am on the set in front of my cameraman, by which I mean in my bathroom in front of my nicked rental-apartment mirror.

3. Nationwide. You know what, Jackie Walker, it's true. I do think that you insurance companies just take my money and then, when I have an accident, there's a problem. You say you have an accident-forgiveness policy? Thanks, Jackie. I do believe you are on my side.

4. Miami Social. I don't know what this is. I think it's on Bravo. But I saw an ad for it on the TV and any show named Miami Social sounds great to me.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Daily Feedback.

Every day when I open my work e-mail, there awaits a message entitled "Daily Feedback." The contents are pretty grim.

To be fair, the anger raging inside the Daily Feedback comes from a very small percentage of our customers, and much of it is not directed at my team. Still, it is a torrent of abuse that is disheartening to wade through. I have certainly felt this way about a company before and it makes me sad to think of people who have been moved to write us because they have THAT much hatred for what we do.

Here's a selective sampling from the best worst of the Daily Feedback.

what in the hell have you people done now?

you are getting worse every day

I think [you] are a terrible company.

Why is fabric so important to you?

Your service sucks more than ever

No matter what anyone else says you suck!

You have made things way more complicated than they need to be.

Turn your DOOM game off, put down your joysticks and get a clue.

Can't you people find normal things to print?

YOU PEOPLE ARE PATHETIC !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is awful

On the upside, we did get this positive feedback recently: