I recently unsubscribed from stupid newsletter sent by a company that I sometime don’t like hearing from. After having me go through two steps to unsubscribe (and I honestly don’t recall ever signing up in the first place), I got the following screen.
When I tried to “Click Here” nothing happened. What kind of crazy thing is this? A large company that loses an customer creates a screen like this? This is the best they could do? Here are some suggestions for what they could have done:

  • Say “We’re sorry to see you go. Sign up again any time!” and then have a link to subscribe again.
  • Show me something really cool that might make me interested in their future projects
  • Simply take me to a page that says “You are now unsubscribed. If you would like to reach us about anything, give us a shout-out.” And have a contact link around that shout-out.
  • How about a picture of a pretty man or woman waving goodbye to me?

I guess I’m thinking almost anything would be better than this. Then again, that’s not true. A picture of the inside of the Elephant Man’s intestines would not be so good.


Jim Holt, a newish writer I believe, wrote a very compelling piece eight days ago for the London Review of Books about the real logic behind the war in Iraq. I had to read it twice (nay, three times) because what he articulates is what every citizen of the world kind of already knows and what Alan Greenspan already spilled: “In terms of realpolitik, the invasion of Iraq is not a fiasco; it is a resounding success.”


I’m sitting here on our front porch, writing and watching. It’s an amazing 20 degrees Celsius (68 Farhenheit) here and the earth feels, for some and other reasons, sterling.
The light on the freshly mowed lawns look silver in the deep shadowed air. The horizon, from what little I can see of it, holds off far into the distance, a gray streak rising above the crowded trees out West. If I squint my eyes, I can almost see the sun, which is shining against the windows bright white with halos of summer gold. The breeze is barely perceptable, colored by the light of day. I love this feeling. The air uncirculating yet it’s unstifling and the stillness of the day is only cut by the traffic running on the busy street only doors down. On the tops of the cars there is a glint, a cover of brightness that stings the eyes for a moment and then falls away. This glint and glinting, it’s what dreams are made of.
The trees have lost their leaves so there’s no faking it now; this is not summer. It is Fall.
But it’s a Fall day that reminds of me of childhood days back East, or at least, college days in New England. There, the leaves would fall more slowly but, with a light jacket and a good book, the entire afternoon would feel this way. Calm with cars. Light given off grass. Certainty surrounding uncertainty and the aquisition of tainted knowledge.
And I realize now another reason why I’m relishing this moment and writing about this moment. It’s this: there is no moralizing, no mechanism or politics around the description of nature. It is and it will always will be. And it’s true.

Humble Arts.

Not only is this a beautifully designed site, but my friend, J.F., is in the recent Group Show, Number 19 in the series.
Looking through this site makes me very glad that people are continuing to curate art exhibitions online. Way back in 1997 (wow, 10 years ago!), I started The Site at MANOVERBOARD. (It used to be housed at the .com domain and is now at the .net one.) I’ve promised myself that I will update The Site someday but a sugar daddy would be of assistance. The site went through many, many versions. Nearly every page was designed and built by me. And I continue to stand by every single decision I made in featuring artists on The Site. Included were Jason Kottke, Ruth Root, Lynn Talbot, Melissa Gould, and Zbigniew LIbera.
Over the period of a little over five years, the site featured over 35 artists. At one point, probably in 2000 or so, I actually thought that I might be able to sell The Site to an investor or venture capitalist. The market for online properties was so hot. The Site, in my estimation, was worth approximately $500,000 back then.

Random Rots.

From my perch up in The North, the United States has been undergoing a tremendous upheaval politically, full of high crimes, misdemeanors, symptomatic illegalities, and impoverished will. But it’s been accompanied by, to my eyes, an American public that is more docile than I’ve ever witnessed. I’ve been in email conversations with some friends in the States about this and we’re trying to figure it out.
But I thought I’d make a list of some of the more, crazy, heinous or venal activities of the past year or so just so I’d have a record of it.

  • Darfur, despite the word “genocide” being uttered by some in the Bush administration, continues to be a word that describes “genocide.”
  • Democrats were elected to office recently in a fantastic “sweep” and it appears that the Congressional janitorial staff have done more in their offices than elected officials have.
  • Polls indicate that both Americans and Iraqis (by a large majority) want the U.S. to calmly and intelligently leave Iraq; despite this, there is neither calm nor intelligence in Iraq.
  • In nearby Iran, thumbing one’s dirty nose at the U.S. has become a national pasttime of the picking variety.
  • Taking responsibility global warming have become industrial design terms for large corporations, indicating that the message to them is loud and clear and that they’ll shout back in quiet advertising.
  • Michael Moore released a movie called “Sicko” a while ago. That was so cool that he made a movie again.


This was funny for the first one point five minutes. Andy Sanberg is quite brilliant, in the vein of othe American Jewish schtick actors starting from Moe Howard, Curly Howard, and Larry Fine. My prediction is that he’s on to very big things soon.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmpUB90sla8&rel=1]
Importantly, I can’t figure out how Andy’s fist connects so well with these willing participants. There must be a bit of filmic transitioning going on in the editing room.

% ! $.

I’m back.
I’ve been really enjoying the new ABC series Dirty Sexy Money. The show, about a fictional Darling family living (or perhaps residing) on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, have all of the flavor of cardboard flavored with cheese, cinnamon, and good dialogue. It’s as if the writers decided to have animated people speak great lines around a semi-fascinating torrid story about sex, lies, and videotape.
In fact, it’s completely pleasurable watching a group of spoiled characters screw each other into oblivion while the main character, a straight man strawman named Nick George (played by Peter Krause), tries to keep it all together at the price of a $10 million salary. The priest is positively awful and impossibly secular. The twin brother and sister act like lovers working out their petty jealousies and love lives in semi-public. The patriarch, played lovingly by Donald Sutherland, acts like menschy schmuck, bent on compassionate (moral) conservatism.
Underlying everything is a mystery about the untimely death of Nick George’s father that is slowly unraveled, a la Twin Peaks, a series that is almost as comparatively funny, dark, and sinister.