Monthly Archives: July 2008

Bang, bang, my baby shot me down…*

I was walking home today and happened to pass a Norman Rockwell-esque family moment: a hot and hazy mid-summer evening; a young boy (around five or six) is playfully chasing his slightly older sister; her mock screams, a sound like enjoyment. What makes this scene a touch disturbing (to me, at least) is the fact that the boy is holding a cap gun and firing off rounds at his sister. Bang, bang. It’s something I almost never see anymore. And so I was a bit surprised that it made me feel mildly anxious. As if the image I saw was…

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The next best thing

I remember an ad campaign from many years ago that used to proclaim long distance as ‘the next best thing to being there’ – pre-fibre optics. I think the same epithet could be used to describe blogging and social media (except without the exhorbitant rates and busy signals). For instance, you don’t have to call someone, wait for them to get back, wonder if enough time has elapsed so you can try again. You just start writing/talking and see who jumps in. You can discover interesting tidbits of gossip and news (especially who’s feuding with whom). You can add your…

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A tempest in a blogspot

For nearly a month now, there’s been an uneasy truce with Israel. I’m talking Shel Israel and his feud with Loren Feldman over the sock puppet incident. And now that the dust has settled, I think this is a good time to offer my (Canadian) two cents. To be transparent, I briefly met and corresponded with Shel Israel and quite like him, find him kind, smart and thoroughly enjoyed Naked Conversations. I have never met Loren Feldman, but I was entertained by him during one of the panel sessions at Mesh 2007 in Toronto. First off I have a question:…

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Insult spam

For the past several weeks, my spam filter has been blocking emails I’m calling insult spam. The New York Times wrote about them in June, around the time I started receiving them. (Oh, how wonderful it is to be an early adopter!) Basically, these messages have a customized subject header that says things like: ‘You look stupid mwaxman’ or ‘You look like a moron mwaxman’. At first glance, I was taken aback. I mean who are these people to tell me I’m a moron? But then I had to laugh at the the absurdity of the situation. I mean, here…

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Dispatch from the front lines

Yesterday, I was trying to call a former business associate who had recently changed jobs. So I went to his new company’s website, dialed the contact number and instead of the usual if-you-know-the-extension-press-it-now greeting, I reached the customer help line. The woman was effusively polite and requested my name; and I was happy to oblige. She then asked me what the problem was and I said I don’t have a problem, I’m just trying to reach John Hancock (minor reference for anyone who’s seen the movie), who works at the company. It was then I realized I’d made an error…

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