The Blipverts [60 sec video] from Max Headroom’s world (“20 minutes into the future”) grows more real every day:

“Today, the advertisement and entertainment industries are attacking the very foundations of our capacity for experience, drawing us into the vast and confusing media jungle. They are trying to rob us of as much of our scarce resource (attention) as possible, and they are doing so in ever more persistent and intelligent ways. Of course, they are increasingly making use of the new insights into the human mind offered by cognitive and brain science to achieve their goals (“neuromarketing” is one of the ugly new buzzwords). We can see the probable result in the epidemic of attention-deficit disorder in children and young adults, in midlife burnout, in rising levels of anxiety in large parts of the population.

New medial environments may create a new form of waking consciousness that resembles weakly subjective states — a mixture of dreaming, dementia, intoxication, and infantilization.”

From The Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzenger.

As I think and read more about attention and mindfulness, I have a growing appreciation for this precious (and scarce) state of consciousness.


Watchmen: Great music, great special effects and garter belts

Watchmen150I liked so many things about Watchmen, I’m not sure where to begin. Since it’s sure to be compared to other “super hero” films, I’ll start by saying it made Batman and Spiderman and X-Men and all the rest look like Saturday morning cartoons.

The movie critic for People Magazine called the dialogue stilted. I found it tongue-in-cheek David Mamet. A few of my favorite lines don’t do justice to the writing:

  • Hitler was a vegetarian. If you’re squeamish, leave him to me.
  • Only what can happen, does happen.
  • The existence of life is a highly overrated phenomenon.
  • I’m sorry, but you’re in the way of my revenge.
  • I’m not locked in here with you, you’re locked in here with me.
  • It’s too late. Always has been, always will be.
  • What happened to the American dream? It came true.

And the sex? One steamy scene was the hottest thing I’ve seen since Billy Bob did Halle in Monster’s Ball. And there were more garter belts than a 50’s porn movie. But it all worked.

There was lots of action. I thought the fight scenes were every bit as good as what we saw in The Matrix. And there was no shortage of gore. Very graphic. Like the language. This is the movie your mom didn’t want you to see but all the kids are talking about.

And the soundtrack alone was worth the six bucks. It opened with Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable and slid into Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changing. And before the nearly 3 hour film (2:40) was over, we hear Simon & Garfunkel, Janis Joplin, Billie Holiday, Leonard Cohen and Jimi Hendrix.

I spotted Matt Frewer (Max Headroom) in a small part but didn’t recognize Bill Crudup (Almost Famous) as Dr. Manhattan.

I really enjoyed this movie.

UPDATE: My friend Bob commented that he’s unfamiliar with David Mamet. Three of my favorites (he wrote the play/screenplay) are: The Verdict (Paul Newman); Glengarry Glen Ross (all-star cast); and House of Games. I just happen to like the way Mr. Mamet writes dialogue.


I feel like I should do some sort of year end post but I honest to god don’t know what to say. Or even what I think about the past year. The last couple of months are a little blurry and I’m too lazy to scroll my archives to see what happened before that.

I feel the need to make the coming year… different somehow. I have too few vices to give any up. It’s likely I’m already being the best person I’m capable of.

I think I need more real-time communication with friends. More time in meatspace, less time in cyberspace.

I need to spend more time in "now" and less in the past and the future. In a couple of months I’ll have gone zero to 60. That should be a "now" moment.

2007? Really nothing more than some neurons firing back and forth in my head. Imperfect memories at best. 2008? Same deal. Some brain chemistry fiction projected on the inside of my forehead.

To paraphrase the tag line from one of my favorite TV shows, Max Headroom… let’s take the future in 20 minute chunks.

Clear Channel considers :01 Blinks

In early 2005, I linked to an Adrants item about Cadillac trying out five second commercials (and made the obvious reference to Max Headroom). According to Advertising Age, Clear Channel is considering one-second commercials (called Blinks)

The Blinks could be used in a number of ways. Clear Channel’s Creative Services Group crafted a demonstration spot using the McDonald’s jingle, and placed it between one hip-hop song and another. The group also created a Blink for BMW’s Mini Cooper with a horn honking and man’s voice saying “Mini,” and placed it before miniaturized news reports. (Neither marketer has a deal with Clear Channel for Blinks.) Other audio mnemonics that could use Blinks are the Intel chime and the NBC bells.

Sounds like a publicity stunt but who knows. Not sure how this syncs with CC’s “less clutter” philosophy. If anybody has heard one of these (or, better still, could send me a wee air-check), gimme a shout. [Thanks, Jackie]

Blipvert finally here

Catering to the ever dwindling attention span and capitalizing on its name, One Second breath freshener has placed a one second commercial during every commercial break on every TV station in Belgium yesterday. I think the blipverts on Network 23 were 5 seconds.

“High-speed commercials condensed into a few seconds that prevent channel changing and embed themselves in viewer’s minds. Sometimes they cause the heads of viewers to explode.”

Cadillac to launch series of five second commercials

Max Headroom introduced us to Blipverts. “High-speed commercials condensed into a few seconds that prevent channel changing and embed themselves in viewer’s minds. Sometimes they cause the heads of viewers to explode. “

On January 15, Cadillac will launch a series of five second commercials to illustrate the speed of its cars which can accelerate from zero to 60 in that short time. The ads include a voiceover which says, “How fast? That Fast.” [Adrants]