debbie millman

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kathleen Parker on Why Palin Should Quit The Race

From The National Review

If at one time women were considered heretical for swimming upstream against feminist orthodoxy, they now face condemnation for swimming downstream — away from Sarah Palin.

To express reservations about her qualifications to be vice president — and possibly president — is to risk being labeled anti-woman.

Or, as I am guilty of charging her early critics, supporting only a certain kind of woman.

Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick — what a difference a financial crisis makes — and a more complicated picture has emerged.

As we’ve seen and heard more from John McCain’s running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.

Yes, she recently met and turned several heads of state as the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York. She was gracious, charming and disarming. Men swooned. Pakistan’s president wanted to hug her. (Perhaps Osama bin Laden is dying to meet her?)

And, yes, she has common sense, something we value. And she’s had executive experience as a mayor and a governor, though of relatively small constituencies (about 6,000 and 680,000, respectively).

Finally, Palin’s narrative is fun, inspiring and all-American in that frontier way we seem to admire. When Palin first emerged as John McCain’s running mate, I confess I was delighted. She was the antithesis and nemesis of the hirsute, Birkenstock-wearing sisterhood — a refreshing feminist of a different order who personified the modern successful working mother.

Palin didn’t make a mess cracking the glass ceiling. She simply glided through it.

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there. Here’s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: “Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we’re talking about today. And that’s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.”

When Couric pointed to polls showing that the financial crisis had boosted Obama’s numbers, Palin blustered wordily: “I’m not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans at the end of the day are going to be able to go back and look at track records and see who’s more apt to be talking about solutions and wishing for and hoping for solutions for some opportunity to change, and who’s actually done it?”

If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.

If Palin were a man, we’d all be guffawing, just as we do every time Joe Biden tickles the back of his throat with his toes. But because she’s a woman — and the first ever on a Republican presidential ticket — we are reluctant to say what is painfully true.

What to do?

McCain can’t repudiate his choice for running mate. He not only risks the wrath of the GOP’s unforgiving base, but he invites others to second-guess his executive decision-making ability. Barack Obama faces the same problem with Biden.

Only Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country she loves. She can bow out for personal reasons, perhaps because she wants to spend more time with her newborn. No one would criticize a mother who puts her family first.

Do it for your country.

A Bad Disney Movie

The Great Schlep

Oh. My. God.


Watch CBS Videos Online

Go here if you want to be cheered up: FiveThirtyEight and Michael Seitzman on HuffPo.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Taking A Wee Break...

...be back in a bit.

Monday, September 15, 2008

1,500 at Anti-Palin Protest in Anchorage, Alaska

McCain Can't Get His Story Straight

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Drill, Drill, Drill

Essay by the brilliant Eve Ensler
September 5, 2008

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, o pening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is20here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task from God."

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move to wards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

***********

The New York Times has an important article abotu Palin in today's paper. It can be found here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sarah Palin interviewd by Charles Gibson

Lost Horizon by Edward Ruscha

Photograph by Ed Ruscha

This article and photograph by Edward Ruscha appears in print today, on September 11, 2008, on page A25 of the New York Times.

When the 9/11 attacks took place, I thought of this photograph. I’d taken it many years before — on my first visit to New York, in 1961, in fact — but I looked for it anyway. It reminded me of Lower Manhattan, the twin towers, and then, of course, of their absence.

he view is from the back of the Staten Island Ferry. I remember it as the first all-American moment of my life, looking at the Statue of Liberty while eating a hot dog. I also remember the Financial District skyline, which appeared to me to be forlorn and empty, as if you could feel the buildings that were supposed to be there but weren’t.

I’d come to the city from Oklahoma and I was on my way to Europe. Then, as now, New York seemed a delicious place to visit, but not somewhere I could live. It was too big, too expensive, too accelerated. There was no way I could carry a two-by-four across town.

But it was an inspiration. I walked around with my Yashica camera, filled with black and white film, shooting whatever interested me: bricks, the street in front of my hotel on 34th Street, the old-fashioned scissor fence in this picture.

For me, it’s that scissor-gate on the back of the ferry that dates the image. It comes from another time. A slice of history that goes way back.

But everything else seems modern, up-to-date. When I look at the picture, which is over my desk in Los Angeles, I look for the towers, even though I know it’s impossible for them to be there. It’s hard to look at a photograph of that part of the city, no matter when it was taken, and not want to see them.

Edward Ruscha is an artist and the author of "Leave Any Information at the Signal.”

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ten Questions for Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is due to give her first interview since being named the GOP vice presidential nominee to ABC News' Charles Gibson tomorrow and Friday. Here are a dozen questions she’s yet to answer:

1. How much does your religious faith guide your official decision-making?

2. Without any foreign policy experience, are you ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?

3. How would you rate President Bush's tenure in the White House?

4. Given your disagreement with Hillary Clinton on so many issues — abortion, the Iraq war, the economy — why should her supporters vote for you?

5. Former Mayor Giuliani, a fan of yours, was a strong gun-control advocate. Should cities like New York be allowed to maintain tougher gun laws than wilderness states like Alaska?

6. Democrats say it is dishonest to claim credit for stopping the "Bridge to Nowhere" when you supported it as a candidate for governor and switched sides just as Congress prepared to torpedo it. Your response?

7. President Bush said he looked into Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s eyes and saw his soul. Hillary Clinton said Putin doesn’t have a soul. Who’s right?

8. Was your attempt to have your ex-brother-in-law fired from the state police a personal vendetta? And did you force out the state police chief for failing to go along?

9. Has your daughter's pregnancy influenced your thinking on educating public school students about contraception and abstinence?

10. When will you hold a no-holds-barred news conference instead of picking and choosing your interviewers?

Via The New York Daily News

Recreating The Moment That Created Everything In Existence



Today, our understanding of the Universe will change.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a gigantic scientific instrument buried 100 meters below the countryside on the outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland. In it, high-energy protons in two counter-rotating beams will be smashed together in a search for signatures of supersymmetry, dark matter and the origins of mass. This particle accelerator will used by physicists to study the smallest known particles – the fundamental building blocks of all things. It will revolutionize our understanding, from the minuscule world deep within atoms to the vastness of the Universe.

The LHC is funded and was built in collaboration with over eight thousand physicists from over eighty-five countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories. Today, after weeks of cooling down the machine to −271.25° Centigrade, the Collider will begin to smash protons moving at 99.999999% of the speed of light into each other in order to recreate conditions a fraction of a second after the big bang. In essence, the Large Hadron Collider is a big-bang machine.

Two beams of subatomic particles called 'hadrons' – either protons or lead ions – will travel in opposite directions inside the circular accelerator, gaining energy with every lap until the two beams collide, head-on at very high energy. Teams of physicists from around the world will analyse the particles created in the collisions using special detectors in a number of experiments dedicated to the LHC.

There are many theories as to what will result from these collisions, but what is certain is this: a brave new world of physics will emerge from the new accelerator, as knowledge in particle physics goes on to describe the workings of the Universe. For decades, the Standard Model of particle physics has served physicists well as a means of understanding the fundamental laws of Nature, but it does not tell the whole story. Only experimental data using the higher energies reached by the LHC can push knowledge forward, challenging those who seek confirmation of established knowledge, and those who dare to dream beyond the paradigm.

My favorite line from the entire video, said by a young scientist brimming with excitement as he shows off the tubes of the LHC, "Look at this blue--it's even an exciting color."

For more information, visit the official site of the LHC.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Calling All Women Against Sarah Palin

Women Against Sarah Palin

From this important new website:
We are writing to you because of the fury and dread we have felt since the announcement of Sarah Palin as the Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republican Party. We believe that this terrible decision has surpassed mere partisanship, and that it is a dangerous farce-on the part of a pandering and rudderless Presidential candidate-that has a real possibility of becoming fact. GO THERE NOW AND PARTICIPATE, please!

More on why Palin is a terrible decision from my hero, Gloria Steinem, in the LA Times:

"Here's the good news: Women have become so politically powerful that even the anti-feminist right wing -- the folks with a headlock on the Republican Party -- are trying to appease the gender gap with a first-ever female vice president. We owe this to women -- and to many men too -- who have picketed, gone on hunger strikes or confronted violence at the polls so women can vote. We owe it to Shirley Chisholm, who first took the "white-male-only" sign off the White House, and to Hillary Rodham Clinton, who hung in there through ridicule and misogyny to win 18 million votes.

But here is even better news: It won't work. This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.

Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."

This is not to beat up on Palin. I defend her right to be wrong, even on issues that matter most to me. I regret that people say she can't do the job because she has children in need of care, especially if they wouldn't say the same about a father. I get no pleasure from imagining her in the spotlight on national and foreign policy issues about which she has zero background, with one month to learn to compete with Sen. Joe Biden's 37 years' experience.

Palin has been honest about what she doesn't know. When asked last month about the vice presidency, she said, "I still can't answer that question until someone answers for me: What is it exactly that the VP does every day?" When asked about Iraq, she said, "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq."

She was elected governor largely because the incumbent was unpopular, and she's won over Alaskans mostly by using unprecedented oil wealth to give a $1,200 rebate to every resident. Now she is being praised by McCain's campaign as a tax cutter, despite the fact that Alaska has no state income or sales tax. Perhaps McCain has opposed affirmative action for so long that he doesn't know it's about inviting more people to meet standards, not lowering them. Or perhaps McCain is following the Bush administration habit, as in the Justice Department, of putting a job candidate's views on "God, guns and gays" ahead of competence. The difference is that McCain is filling a job one 72-year-old heartbeat away from the presidency.

So let's be clear: The culprit is John McCain. He may have chosen Palin out of change-envy, or a belief that women can't tell the difference between form and content, but the main motive was to please right-wing ideologues; the same ones who nixed anyone who is now or ever has been a supporter of reproductive freedom. If that were not the case, McCain could have chosen a woman who knows what a vice president does and who has thought about Iraq; someone like Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison or Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. McCain could have taken a baby step away from right-wing patriarchs who determine his actions, right down to opposing the Violence Against Women Act.

Palin's value to those patriarchs is clear: She opposes just about every issue that women support by a majority or plurality. She believes that creationism should be taught in public schools but disbelieves global warming; she opposes gun control but supports government control of women's wombs; she opposes stem cell research but approves "abstinence-only" programs, which increase unwanted births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortions; she tried to use taxpayers' millions for a state program to shoot wolves from the air but didn't spend enough money to fix a state school system with the lowest high-school graduation rate in the nation; she runs with a candidate who opposes the Fair Pay Act but supports $500 million in subsidies for a natural gas pipeline across Alaska; she supports drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve, though even McCain has opted for the lesser evil of offshore drilling. She is Phyllis Schlafly, only younger.

I don't doubt her sincerity. As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Assn., she doesn't just support killing animals from helicopters, she does it herself. She doesn't just talk about increasing the use of fossil fuels but puts a coal-burning power plant in her own small town. She doesn't just echo McCain's pledge to criminalize abortion by overturning Roe vs. Wade, she says that if one of her daughters were impregnated by rape or incest, she should bear the child. She not only opposes reproductive freedom as a human right but implies that it dictates abortion, without saying that it also protects the right to have a child.

So far, the major new McCain supporter that Palin has attracted is James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Of course, for Dobson, "women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership," so he may be voting for Palin's husband.

Being a hope-a-holic, however, I can see two long-term bipartisan gains from this contest.

Republicans may learn they can't appeal to right-wing patriarchs and most women at the same time. A loss in November could cause the centrist majority of Republicans to take back their party, which was the first to support the Equal Rights Amendment and should be the last to want to invite government into the wombs of women.

And American women, who suffer more because of having two full-time jobs than from any other single injustice, finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can't be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are campaigning on their belief that men should be, can be and want to be at home for their children.

This could be huge."

Corpoetics

Awesomeness

Corpoetics is a collection of ‘found’ poetry from the websites of well-known brands and corporations created by the fabulous Asbury & Asbury. They visited various company websites, found the closest thing to a Corporate Overview, and then set about rearranging the words into poetry.

Two marvelous examples:

KPMG

I am strong.
I am vibrant.
I am committed to a vision.

I am tremendous.
I am quality.
I will lead people to excellence.

I am delighted.
I am respected.
I am greatly valued.

What am I?
I am the best.

Pot Noodle

The boy that amazed you.
The date that got you.
The hands that shared you.
The tears that burst you.

The wonder you shared –
now the public eat it,
using spoons, forks, hands.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Back in Business



Three VMA's, and fastest "comeback" in history. Welcome Back, Brit Brit.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Authoritative Trig Palin Conspiracy Time Line

From the online issue of Vanity Fair comes an awesome timeline.

The McCain campaign won’t countenance it, and Barack Obama has even declared it off-limits, but the question of Trig Palin’s parentage—whether his real mom is Sarah Palin or her five-months pregnant, 17-year-old daughter Bristol—has transfixed the blogosphere. To settle the matter once and for all, VF.com presents this handy timeline juxtaposing both the official narrative and the wingnut conspiracy theories.

Timeline Top
Timeline Bottom

And remember to pick up the newstand issue, the one with Marilyn on the cover; it is awesome.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Discussion About Nominating A Woman Of No Particular Distinction



Joshua Cohen, left, of Stanford and Glenn Loury of Brown debate how Sarah Palin's relative inexperience will play out politically.

From Bloggingheads: The Palin Ploy

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Not Funny In Real Life

Not Funny In Real Life

I am looking forward to the possibility of hearing this during the first VP Debate:

Joe Biden to Sarah Palin:
Governor, I served with Hillary Clinton: I know Hillary Clinton; Hillary Clinton is a friend of mine. Governor, you're no Hillary Clinton.
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Location: new york city, United States

Debbie Millman has worked in the design business for over 25 years. She is President of the design division at Sterling Brands. She has been there for nearly 15 years and in that time she has worked on the redesign of global brands for Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, Campbell’s, Colgate, Nestle and Hasbro. Prior to Sterling, she was a Senior Vice President at Interbrand and a Marketing Director at Frankfurt Balkind. Debbie is President of the AIGA, the largest professional association for design. She is a contributing editor at Print Magazine, a design writer at FastCompany.com and Brand New and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. In 2005, she began hosting the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet. The show is titled “Design Matters with Debbie Millman” and it is now featured on DesignObserver.com. In addition to “Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design,” (HOW Books, 2009, she is the author of "How To Think Like A Great Graphic Designer" (Allworth Press, 2007) and “The Essential Principles of Graphic Design” (Rotovision, 2008).

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