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Friday July 13, 2012

Pride, Greed, Sloth, and general incompetence

7 Deadly Sins This week in local cultural malice, incompetence, and shoddiness, sung to the tune of the seven deadly sins. I’ve only got four this week, so I guess we’re not doing so bad


I am sure that the Florida Cultural Alliance does important work, and deserves all the support we can muster for them. But when I saw the email they sent out yesterday, I just had to share it as an example of the worst kind of corporospeak, and the worst in online interaction design. Try — just try — to have any sense of what the purpose of the email is and what they want you to do after reading it just once. Not possible. I’ve ready if about a half donzen times and I get it now, and it’s stark. The FCA has apparently submitted SUGGESTIONS to a Florida State government entity. They want you to familiarize yourself with the state program they’re addressing, read their dense PDF suggestions, write a letter indicating your support for their suggestions and fax (Yes. Fax. In 2012.) it to the number provided TODAY BY 5 PM. Doesn’t say who you’re faxing it to, and doesn’t say why it has to be today. But hey — this was dated 1:25 pm, so they’re giving you more than three hours. Get on it.

Oh! And as an afterthought, yeah, you can submit your suggestions for the Five-Year Strategic Plan. Oh wait no, that’s for the Six-Pillar Framework. You do it by clicking into a PDF (this one created by the State) that takes your comments and has a “email this form” button which to me looked suspiciously like just a text box with no functionality.


It’s not in my nature to wipe lipstick off a pig, but the Jewish Museum of Florida couldn’t hack it anymore and signed it’s buildings and collection to FIU. And that’s fine. The Wolfsonian certainly seems to be thriving under FIU’s wing. But tacking the initials of the university to the organization’s name, which henceforth will be “Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU”, is galling. It makes perfect sense from the institutional ego perspective, but would have been overruled by typographic aesthetics and all-around sanity at a classier organization.


While Googling around for the previous article, I perchanced to click on a link to a Sun Sentinel article. You will probably not get it, but here’s what I saw:

sun sentinel screenshot

“Hey, you found a link to one of our articles in a search engine! Can we interest you in a home-delivery subscription to our newspaper?” Look at your statistics Sun Sentinel — this is not helping your subscription rates. And I guarantee you that it’s hurting your readership and credibility. And while we’re on it: I understand why your pages need to be choked with ads, but spam popover links? Really?


Next February, the Arsht Center is hosting a concert tribute to Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane. It’s part of a series of six concerts, half of which are these condescending “tributes” to Jazz Names You Recognize, which in my opinion are demeaning to the performer, the legendary figure, and the audience. But something (and I’m assuming it’s actually not the Arsht Center’s people) has sunk to a particularly odious level with this, which I received in yesterday’s email:

thelonious monk

Thelonious Monk is died in 1982 after a heartbreaking final few years. He is a hero to musicians and creative people everywhere. And while this concert does include his son, using the man’s name and image like this is repugnant. There is a special place in hell for the people that did this, where they can hang out with the folks behind the John Lennon shirts


Friday July 11, 2008

What's up with Norman Braman's lawsuit?

Quick recap: Norman Braman is suing the city of Miami to try to stop the “megaplan,” which includes the port tunnel, museum park, marlins stadium, and a couple of other multimillion projects. Most recently, a judge ordered the parties to try to work out their differences out of court.

Braman’s argument, that some of the money the city is planning to use for the plan is intended to fight “slum and blight,” is not without merit. But honestly, why does he care so much? Does anybody else suspect that maybe he’s doing this as a publicity stunt? Here’s a guy who’s name is very closely associated with his business — every time he gets it out in the news, it helps his bottom line. And to the extent that at least one element of the city’s plan is seen as wasteful/unnecessary/stupid by almost everyone, he’s ostensibly fighting a pretty popular fight. How does the cost of his legal fees compare to the cost of running a series of those tv ads? Is this a win for Braman regardless of which way the court case goes?


Thursday April 24, 2008

Goofy Sony foam commercial shot in downtown. (via Miami Nights/All Purpose Dark)


Wednesday March 12, 2008

Coppertone Girl

Coppertone girl miami

In the Biscayne Times last from week, Margaret Griffis has an article about the search for a new home for the Coppertone girl, above (not the first time she’s written about this). The gist is that the original location doesn’t want her anymore, so they’re looking for a new spot, possibly the MiMo area of Biscayne, and also the sign needs serious restoration. Which is all fine, but do any old-timers out there remember the much cooler, much bigger, and mechanized version of this sign that hung over the Golden Glades exit onto 163rd Street in the 80s? Can’t seem to find a photo or reference to it anywhere…

Image: fucking useless.


Thursday October 11, 2007

I have to tell you — I saw a few people riding these Segways covered with cheesy billboards on Lincold Road the other day, and the ads just strip away whatever sliver of grace those machines had. It’s like riding around in a big plastic shopping cart with an electric motor.


Wednesday September 12, 2007

History-based Sprint ad

Sprint ad

The trend in cell phone marketing seems to be local flavor (there’s an AT&T ad with four palm trees as signal graphs making the rounds), and Spring comes in with this handsome entry, bearing the headline “Our signal is way caliente.” And featuring a light painting made on South Beach. I dig. But.

See the problem? Let me give you a hint. That’s right — the lifeguard stand in the photo was removed after last year’s hurricane season. I don’t think this particularly diminishes the ad (it does give a glimpse into the time-lines that go into producing things like this). But it sure gives lie to the idiot officials that claim the new lifeguard stands are as popular as the old ones. Picture this in the background of that image. Not so much, eh?


Monday September 10, 2007


The Herald and others are making a big deal out of the stupid new logo for “rebranding downtown.” Don’t worry people: we’re almost never going to see this. It’ll appear on printed pieces here and there, usually very small, and it’s safe to ignore. Fun to see the choices they had, though. See also: the hated London Olypics logo and why it’s good: 1, 2. Update: Fraud on the Herald’s poll. Talk about embarrassment.


Tuesday August 21, 2007

Advertise! (on the walls of Fredric Snitzer Gallery)

Snitzer walls for rent

Our pal Bert Rodriguez is having his solo show at Snitzer in October, and he’s decided to sell the wall space for advertising. Behold the lavish PDF spec sheet Package.pdf (and really do try to download and check it out — it’s a pretty central component of the project). Now, art has drawn on the world of advertising for decades. What’s interesting about this project is that it takes the idea to a it’s logical extreme.

This is spelled out most clearly in the pricing structure: it’s not cheap. Anyone buying ads in the show will have to mean it, because they’re spending real money on a real ad. It’ll be real interesting to see what ends up in the show — more art-leaning interests? Liquor? Clothing? Obviously Snitzer is a very prestigious location, and I have no doubt of their 5,700 visitors/month (plus media exposure) claims, but this is a highly unusual proposition, and most advertisers like to play it safe most of the time. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens.


Thursday July 19, 2007

“Second quarter earnings for [Miami Herald] publisher McClatchy Co. fell 9.3 percent, a drop the company attributed to weak advertising sales.” The real-estate slump gets a big share of the blame.



Fun with the Coconut Grove billboard

Coconut Grove Grapevine, July 14.

Transit Miami, July 19.

Wannabe Yuppies, Rich Hippies

— Critical Miami.

Update: Another one.


Monday March 5, 2007

What's up with new billboards?


This is southbound on I-95, just south of the Golden Glades. There are at least four of these billboards in a row, all currently painted black. Brook Dorsch claims that these are all brand new (like, in the past year). Can anyone confirm or deny, and if so, wtf, we have too many billboards already?

Speaking of Dorsch, he was just profiled in OceanDrive magazine. And another thing: Subtropics was hosted at the gallery last year, before the Carnival Center opened. This year the festival was in the center’s studio theater. Does that make Dorsch Gallery the second best venue for experimental music in town?


Friday January 5, 2007

What's up with the Art Miami ad?

Art Miami ad is a photo of a lifeguard stand.
Click for larger.

How do I dislike the Art Miami ad that’s running everywhere? Let me count the ways:

  1. Not a real Miami lifeguard stand. I have no idea where this is from, but not anywhere in driving distance.
  2. Not the real Miami ocean. Give me a break; we’ve seen the ocean here, and it’s never been this color. Ever. This is probably in the Caribbean, and then color-tweaked with an eye toward absurdity.
  3. Not a real Miami beach. It isn’t this color. It doesn’t look like that.
  4. Even with all that, those three elements are all assembled in photoshop — note the wishy-washy hand-painted shadow. Look where the legs and ladder meet the sand. They didn’t even try. In fact, I’m not even sure the sand and water are from the same photo.
  5. Text not really stenciled. More photoshop, and again not well done.
  6. Absurd cloud-collages are de-rigeur these days (see here), but this one is particularly laughable. I detect pieces from maybe 5 different photos.
  7. Actually, the typography’s not bad. I kind of like this part.


Wednesday November 15, 2006

Google Bench ads

Google bench ads. Apparently a real thing. Spotted in Broward county.


Friday August 11, 2006

I hate billboards. You hate billboards. Now we can do something about them. Go download the petition [PDF] and distribute far and wide. (via Transit Miami)