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A Dyna Moe model of media

in Media/PopCult

My Mad Men totem, cruising through the offices of Sterling Cooper
My Mad Men totem, cruising through the offices of Sterling Cooper

One of the first posts ever on this blog was a recognition of work by a New York artist and actress who was making weekly stylized desktop images based on episodes of Mad Men.
The artist, Dyna Moe, started doing the illustrations after doing a Christmas card for a friend in the cast of the show. I discovered her illustrations via a fansite towards the end of Season 1. We started looking forward to them every Monday during season two; quietly thrilled for her as she met the show creators when star Jon Hamm was on SNL ; and are now ecstatic to see her creations turned into the instantly-popular Mad Men Yourself” tool on the show’s official website.
I see this as a textbook example of how the new New Media should work: A fan / friend starts creating an homage to a brand. That brand does not sue or discourage the fan doing unofficial work, even though she might be making a few paltry bucks. Nor does it jump in and try to co-opt, compete or take over. It lets the homage play out. Once it becomes clear that the homage is successful and additive to the brand, it embraces that homage. It then hires the fan / friend to extend that homage in an official way that is true to the brand and the artist.
Everybody wins. Imagine that.

Top 10 shocking moments on Mad Men

in PopCult

Our favorite show returns next month. Here’s a nice refresher video series:

16 Emmy noms too.

Teenage brits will save us all

in Media/PopCult

Save us, young Britons!
Save us, young Britons!

It appears that when you climb to the top of the mountain of media enlightenment, you’re likely to find a teenage boy from England. Whether you find nirvana or fools gold depends on which young man you find.
Last week, the world was aTwitter about young Scott Campbell giving up his iPod for an original-model Sony Walkman. He wrote an article that was, well, articulate, funny and nostalgic all at once. Keep Reading

Hidden truth in Star Trek: Sarek and Pike are the same dude. And he's a Nazi.

in Media/PopCult

Live long and prosper by pretending not to be Bruce Greenwood?
Live long and prosper by pretending not to be Bruce Greenwood?

I dragged my sainted wife to the new Star Trek flick on Friday and as usual, she found the secret hidden gem that no one else ever would.
In the morass of explosions and makeup, she was initially confused over the actor-character match-ups between Sarek (Ben Cross) and Captain Pike (Bruce Greenwood). Now neither looks much like the other, but that’s precisely what lays at the root of the strange (dis)connection. Keep Reading

Guilty pleasure: Allman and Woman

in Music/PopCult

Candid, unposed photography generally makes for the best covers.
Candid, unposed photography generally makes for the best covers.

Time prohibits this being as fleshed out as my last Guilty Pleasures post, but a Twitter debate with my pal Houston last night compels me to make a brief case for this album as a horrible, wonderful gem.
The album, actually called Two the Hard Way, is billed to “Allman and Woman,” ie: Greg Allman and Cher, during their brief marriage. It was a critical and commercial flop.
But it had an wonderfully terrible airbrushed cover. Allman looks like a intellectually challenged dog who caught a car and doesn’t know what to do with it. Cher looks like, well, Cher. Keep Reading

Social media in-justice

in Media/Politickin'/PopCult

From one of my attorney friends, posted from Facebook with the name changed to protect the honest:

“Chelsea” offers a secret to my FB friends. We look up your FB pages during jury selection. Just sayin… 2:58pmComment

Like all things, can be used for good or evil. I like.

Trailer: A Face in the Crowd

in Media/PopCult

For those who’ve asked about my Facebook icon:

Was Simpsons' genius skewering of Apple an advertising D'oh?

in Media/PopCult

"Look! It's so sterile!"
"Look! It's so sterile!"

Whether you’re an Apple fanboy (like me) or a hater, you had to enjoy the skewering delivered by The Simpsons last night. It was some of the sharper satire we’ve seen out of the show in a while. (See video clips after the jump).
But for all the merriment rampant in Apple’s Mac/PC ad campaigns, Steve Jobs isn’t known for his sense of humor on such matters. Especially when the first ad of the first commercial break was for the MacbookKeep Reading

Preview: Elvis Costello's Spectacle

in Music/PopCult


I do loves me some Elvis Costello, particularly when he stretches himself by mixing genres, going symphonic or starting a talk show that looks to be much more in-depth and interesting than your average gabfest. I may have to bump the DirecTV subscription a level on the basis of this show alone. And the upcoming episode with Lou Reed may well make my head explode with fanboy glee.
Preview videos of episode 1 with Sir Reginald:
Keep Reading

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