I'm not a huge fan of Glenn Beck, but I really appreciated this discussion about the Common Core. The Common Core will dictate what every student in the United States should know at the end of each grade from Kindergarten through 12th grade. In this YouTube segment, it is implied that Bill Gates (Microsoft), Yahoo, and Google are dumping millions of dollars into funding for the Common Core Initiative so that students will be educated in the ways of working for Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and the like.
Students, under the direction of teachers who have been taught everything they need to know to prepare students for work in technology related fields, will be funneled into huge corporations as employees that push power to the higher ranks. This will ensure that competition in the form of new upstarts will cease, and these already powerful corporations will become more powerful, and are guaranteed that power for years to come.
This scares the hell out of me. Topics like this have been written about by authors for centuries, and the books they produce have been labeled as dystopian fiction. This isn't fictional, this is real. Welcome to the United Corporations of America.
Further reading: Common Core Initiative Page, Wikipedia Common Core Page
Last night, I was watching documentaries on Netflix with my boyfriend Corey. One of them was called "Park Avenue: Money, Power, and the American Dream," which features clips of Ayn Rand speaking about her vision of Laissez Faire Capitalism. This brought me into research mode, wanting to find out a little more about the Ayn Rand Institute. I have loved Ayn Rand and "Atlas Shrugged" for years, but I never knew that ARI was a political powerhouse. On my quest, I came across an article George Saunders had written for the New Yorker called "I Was Ayn Rand's Lover."
I had known about Ayn Rand's affair with Nathaniel Branden from reading her many biographies, in particular "The Passion of Ayn Rand." It creeped me out quite a bit back then, but now to see that she prowled on more than one innocent young man left me with a sour taste. If you know Ayn Rand and her philosophy of Objectivism, you wouldn't be too surprised that Nathaniel Branden was a target on her radar. To hear Saunders recount his having essentially been "raped" by her was a little off-putting to say the least, but his developing jealousy over Ayn having set her eyes on a young Paul Ryan disturbed me. It wasn't his feelings of jealousy that disturbed me, rather her voracious appetite for bedding young men in late puberty is what was particularly disturbing.
So, we now know of three men in their late teens who were successfully pursued by Ayn Rand. There are probably plenty more, but my interest stops there. Seeing Paul Ryan run wild with Ayn's version of Laissez Faire Capitalism as it pertains to our present day economy was like being punched in the gut by Ayn Rand herself. All of her theories sound good as just that -- a theory, but when put into practice as Paul Ryan has done as a congressman, they are truly frightening. I don't know what plagues me more: the affairs with young boys, or being disillusioned by Paul Ryan's crazy plans for American prosperity.
To understand what I'm talking about, you'll have to do a little research. Most of it can be done by watching the "Park Avenue" documentary, reading "Atlas Shrugged," "The Passion of Ayn Rand" (also a film), and then reading George Saunder's New Yorker piece (which is very well-written, I might add). It amounts to a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, I'll bet, because that's what I'm feeling right now. It can all be summed up in one word: UGH!
Watch the entire "Park Avenue" documentary:
Barbara Branden (Nathaniel Branden's wife) on The Passion of Ayn Rand:
PooPourri is a brilliantly marketed room spray designed to help with a very common problem. People usually poop at least once a day if they're healthy, so PouPourri is really a commodity item. Everyone is embarrassed by the bathroom smells they emit and naturally want to cover them up. PooPourri has filled that need using natural essential oils to create a layer over the waterline in your toilet bowl, trapping nasty odors in the water so they can be flushed without leaving a lingering brown smell. PouPourri is a product anyone could make, but it's the marketing that makes this product brilliant. Blunt bathroom humor delivered by a proper British lass in a dress. Hilarious. Elvis Duran featured it on his Q102 Philadelphia Morning Show, and the video itself has received in excess of 3 million views in just over a month. It was posted on September 10th, and as of today it has 3,693,298 views, and over 4 million units have been sold since its inception. Impressive.
This amazing new Chipotle Mexican Grill ad on YouTube depicts a scarecrow as a farmer who gets a glimpse into the world of corporate farming, genetically engineered foods, and inhumane treatment of farm animals for the purpose of maximizing profits in restaurant chains across the globe.
The short film is accompanied by a track of Fiona Apple singing "Pure Imagination", a cover of a song from the Willy Wonka movie soundtrack. Stunning. Visit their website for more information.
Logogate: the new Gap
The Watergate of the corporate identity and branding sector, "Logogate." is a real controversy as of late. Yahoo! just unveiled a new logo which the public deemed boring, the new Gap logo spawned a huge controversy, and sales of Tropicana products fell 20% after they revealed a new logo and new packaging. Even the University of California's new logo incurred huge backlash. That being said, it seems brand loyalty is closely tied to the branding and identity of the corporations who sell the products we buy. A new logo means a new image for the brands we choose to buy, therefore changing who we are as consumers. Judging by the backlash, or acceptance as is the case for Chiquita and Hot Topic, we as consumers do judge books by their covers and products by their packaging. So much so that both Gap and Tropicana went back to their old look based on the resulting consumer feedback and sales decline. Food for thought: do you buy into Logogate? You can decide by clicking on each text link above to see the logos, the stories behind them, how consumers received them, and ultimately what happened to them.
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My name is Nicholas Emeigh, but everyone calls me Nick, and I prefer it. I'm usually called Nicholas when I'm in trouble. I'm from the Philadelphia area, work in business, and fancy myself as a freelance graphic designer, writer, and artist. I have a passion for art in all its forms including music, but I restrict my singing to the shower and the car for the good of society. If you'd like to know more, just send me an e-mail. I really appreciate you stopping by.