Category Archives: Unhappy Media

Multimedia malaise: TV, movies, music, print.

OPEN LETTER TO: Restaurants and whoever runs their websites

Dear Restaurants and whoever runs their websites,

I do not want to read your menu in PDF.

I’d like to see what you offer. I want a sense of the price range. I need to know if there’s anything for my kosher/vegetarian/glutard friend. I don’t wish to be surprised by a sudden download, to wait for the opening of a new program on my computer, to save and attach it to an email in order to share it with my dining companion. Nor do I care if it looks better or is easier for you.

I’m not building an archive here; I’m just hungry. It’s time to 86 the PDFs.

Signed,
The Unhappy Mediator

On the Colorado Dark Knight Shooting: Are You an Actor? Then Shut Up.

If you ever find yourself typing #theatershooting, stop and ask yourself: “Do I really need to be writing this?”

What happened at the midnight Dark Knight Rises showing in Aurora, CO was horrendous and sad. But you don’t need me to tell you that. You know what else you don’t need to hear? Twitter commentary from actors and hacks.

The Huffington Post, however, has a story and slideshow dedicated to just that. You’re great, John Stamos, but I don’t give a fuck what you have to say about the shooting. Hailey Glassman? I don’t know who you are: Shut up.

Far be it from me to expect editorial discretion from HuffPo, or any kind of discretion from Hollywood personalities. But just because the attack took place at a movie doesn’t make this an issue for celebrity punditry. Yes, Barack Obama should be expected to comment. Ryan Seacrest, however vital he thinks himself to be in the national consciousness, does not need to say anything. Restraint can speak louder than comment.

I know I’m asking too much. I’ll ask anyway. Won’t someone, anyone, please, just shut the fuck up?

NYC Protests Get Real (Sexy)

While commuters and the news channels were gearing up for Occupy’s subway takeover┬áthis afternoon (sayeth the website: “Facing the most brutal assault on our Democracy since 9-11, New Yorkers must once again stand as one!” end quote), another storm was brewing outside the tony office towers of Manhattan’s 6th Avenue.

Protesters lined the street today in front of publishing powerhouse Time & Life, raising placards of dissent and voices in riotous chanting:

Bradley Cooper is just fine but Ryan Gosling is divine!

Following People Magazine’s contentious release of the Sexiest Man of Alive special issue, Ryan Gosling fans gathered to rally against the injustice of those responsible for putting Bradley Cooper, of The Hangover fame, at the top of the list of lust-worthy leading men. Donning Gosling masks, available for printing here, the small but boisterous crowd took a 99%-esque approach to the cause, minus spirit fingers and drums, plus unified message.

And like the Occupiers, the group railed against unfair banking practices. Spank banking practices, that is.

Notes from Underground (on the N/R/Q Line)

I’m sorry; since when do republicans tag?

 

…and 1-percenters ride the subway?

 

 


Why can’t this be real?

I truly believe this week’s New Yorker cover should be passed into law. It’s a pedestrian-traffic solution I’ve often dreamed about (while power walking in the middle of the street, fuming and muttering obscenities), but couldn’t summon the inner Swift to bring to light. Thank you, Bruce McCall, for doing in paint what I could never do in…well…anything.

The Unhappy Mediator, Sewing the Seeds of Innovation

A few months back I wrote a story for O, The Oprah Magazine about a designer in Long Beach, California with a bright idea to make a public sculpture that’s also a solar generator. His name is Darren Saravis and he calls his invention the SolarFlora.

I liked the idea enough to pitch it to O. O liked it enough to run the story. And someone liked the story enough to call Darren and invite him to give a TED talk at a local SoCal event. Well, the circle was completed when I got an email from Darren asking if I’d work with him to write his speech. He was having trouble putting his thoughts into words and hoped I could help. A big fan of both Darren and TED, I was more than happy to collaborate. We went back and forth for a few days and here’s what we came up with. Darren was nervous about the talk, but I think he pulled it off swimmingly.

This Show Is the Bomb (I mean, I hope it bombs)

Yesterday I was ushered out of Columbus Circle by NYPD officers while the bomb squad investigated a suspicious package left under a bench near the central fountain. Then I came home and saw on TV a commercial for a new Amazing Race-ish game show Take the Money and Run.

Call me prude, but in this if-you-see-something-say-something age is it really appropriate to produce a show that encourages contestants to hide a locked steel suitcase from investigators? Here, citizen, take this unmarked package and bury it somewhere. Stash it out of sight. And show America the best way to elude authorities while you do it. Moreover: Parody criminality for profit.

There’s a lot of value in that case. But what happened to values?