Farhad Manjoo asks the right question in a recent Slate article. Why is U2 endorsing the BlackBerry? Because they’re U2 I suppose. Why the hell wouldn’t they? But, as the article points out, U2′s really the only ones really winning here.
Still, at least U2 gets a concert tour out of the deal. The reward for RIM is much less clear. For one thing, celebrity endorsements are a terrible way to sell technology. Every tech company has tried it: Kevin Costner once shilled for Apple, Jerry Seinfeld and the Rolling Stones have pitched Microsoft. None of those efforts really moved the needle. In 2006, Slate‘s Seth Stevenson reviewed an HP campaign that marshaled Jay-Z, snowboarder Shaun White, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, and later Serena Williams to add some personality to the company’s staid line of notebooks. Stevenson liked the ads’ tone and visuals, but he worried that people wouldn’t remember the brand that the celebs were pitching. He was right. Ask your friends which notebook Jay-Z would use to lay down some tracks. I’ll bet most of them would say he’d reach for a MacBook.
“Soccer is running America into the ground, and there is very little anyone can do about it. Social critics have long observed that we live in a therapeutic society that treats young people as if they can do no wrong. Every kid is a winner, and nobody is ever left behind, no matter how many times they watch the ball going the other way. Whether the dumbing down of America or soccer came first is hard to say, but soccer is clearly an important means by which American energy, drive, and competitiveness is being undermined to the point of no return.
What other game, to put it bluntly, is so boring to watch? (Bowling and golf come to mind, but the sound of crashing pins and the sight of the well-attired strolling on perfectly kept greens are at least inherently pleasurable activities.) The linear, two-dimensional action of soccer is like the rocking of a boat but without any storm and while the boat has not even left the dock. Think of two posses pursuing their prey in opposite directions without any bullets in their guns. Soccer is the fluoridation of the American sporting scene.”
Quite a bit of buffoonery, this.
“The liturgy, therefore, wherever it has substance in the Gospel, is a living, political event. The very example of salvation, it is the festival of life which foretells the fulfillment and maturity of all of life for all of time in this time. The liturgy is social action because it is the characteristic style of life for human beings in this world.”
–William Stringfellow, Dissenter in a Great Soceity, 154.
H/T: Rod Dreher