Archive for the Rage Blackout Category

Banana Republic: Too Mad For Mad Men

Posted in Advertisements, Found Item, In the News, Photos, Rag Mags, Rage Blackout, Soul-Crushing Materialism, Stylez, TEEVee, Vintage with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 20, 2011 by effingjro

I was enjoying my normal Saturday routine: G&Ts on the lounge chair in the back yard with the latest men’s mags, when I came across this Banana Republic ad in GQ.

OK, fine, Mad Men. I dig that just as much as any of human being out there. I love the show, I LOVE the costumes – I even went so far as to download the characters’ individual playlists on iTunes – that’s how taken I am with a mid-century modern lifestyle (no, I didn’t not craft a personal Mad Men avatar, but I was tempted).

The thing is, Banana Republic has been going Mad  for three years now. They started out with a ‘casting call’ promo in 2009. Then they rolled out their capsule collection in 2010 (I remember this in particular because I urged a straight friend to glean his whole wardrobe here). And now, in 2011, they’re putting out a third collection, even though the next season of Mad Men likely won’t materialize until 2012.

This show caused a bit of a style revolution, and I’m totally in favor of gents getting more dapper. The looks – a few of which I’m posting below – are still great, if extremely grey.

No arguments here, even if they are eschewing some of the preppier, Pete Campbell flourishes for The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit-style tailoring and homogeneity.

I just think it’s a bit lame that BR hasn’t come up with anything more exciting for the past three years than Mad Men. If I think your novelty capsule collection is starting to look familiar, maybe it’s time to change it up.

And for those of you trying to cultivate a little MM panache – try a vintage shop. It’ll be a whole lot more fun.

Commercials: Making Me Nervous

Posted in Advertisements, Babies!, In the News, Rage Blackout, TEEVee with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2010 by effingjro

If you’re anything at all like me, you probably already watch too  much TV and have seen these commercials. People hate commercials, right? Why would you watch one when you’re online and you’ve already navigated past the pop-ups?

But I guess kids these days like their commercials as much as they like their regularly scheduled programming. I do, anyway. These ones in particular are fun to watch. And sort of disturbing.

While I’m thrilled that this toddler has a set of high-powered wheels, watching him weave through traffic has me convinced he’s one accidental nap time away from a serious collision. I’m guessing he doesn’t have his license yet (to be fair, neither do I).

Now for something more obviously problematic, and less tied to my overactive anxiety problem:

Really? They can run this on TV? Because this is some serious Red Scare throwback ish and it’s far from OK. I never put this kind of veiled racism past Republican Tea Baggers, but it looks like the Democrats are equally OK with China-bashing. I’ve seen a few off-color fortune cookie jokes and way too many gold stars lately.

If campaign ads are any indication, the scariest thing you could be this Halloween is a Chinese person.

All Work, No Play

Posted in Abandoned Buildings, ART, Authors, Films, Man Appreciation Post, Photos, Rage Blackout, Reading Rainbow, Vintage, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by effingjro

You guys. The Shining is on TV right now.

Here’s a better shot of Jack’s typewriter:

I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t happy to see he smokes Marlboro Reds.

Once upon a time I was in a writing class and we were reading Stephen King’s guide to writing, cleverly named: On Writing. Turns out he’s hardcore in terms of discipline: “Read and write four to six hours a day,” he says. “If you cannot find the time for that, you can’t expect to become a good writer.”Sounds like ‘all work, no play’ is pretty much Mr. King’s mantra.

But here’s the thing, in this class, one of the students started hating on Stephen King. Hating on him hard. As in “I didn’t think the advice in this book was all that good. And it’s not like Stephen King is  exactly a literary genius.”

Whoa. Minor rage blackout there.

Now I’m not saying he’s the modern-day Homer, but Stephen King is not to be sniffed at. Dude has sold a LOT of books. Over 500 million. And you know what? They scare the crap out of me. I’ll never forget staying up until 4am my freshman year reading The Shining and getting too scared to go to the bathroom. I succeeded eventually, but  only after I stopped reading for a bit. I think King’s an easy target because he happens to be really commercially successful, but so was Dickens, and he’s aged pretty well.

Which is sort of what I said to that kid in my writing class. Except I probably was bitchier about it. My bad. I was on a big Stephen King kick at the time. I was moving through The Shining, Salem’s Lot, and Carrie at an alarming rate, plus I got a copy of Danse Macabre, another one of his non-fiction books, which deals with the horror genre and features a purple lumberjack on the cover.

I recommend it! At the time I hadn’t read a lot of authors King credits as big influences: peeps like H.P. Lovecraft, Richard Matheson and Shirley Jackson. Since then I’ve gotten to like them all, which goes to show that if you want good book advice ask a writer.

This post wouldn’t be complete without another picture of Shelly Duvall. Joyce Carol Oates doppelganger and generally ugly actress.

And some iconic carpeting.

How to Score an Unpaid Internship

Posted in In the News, Rage Blackout with tags , , on August 9, 2009 by effingjro


The New York Times had an informative/bleak article about how internships are now the hot ticket to career success. This isn’t necessarily news. What IS new is the wealth of internship placement agencies that are popping up, usually charging around $5,000, and guaranteeing their clients an internship (and often housing, seminars, etc.). Since the recession, internship applications have shot up around 30% – the Times attributes this to an increased number of unemployed graduates jockeying for the positions college juniors usually apply for.

Now you can pay to be employed!

Now you can pay to be employed!

This makes me feel a little better about not scoring the internship of my dreams this summer. On the bright side, my non-dream internship is actually paying me for the work I do, so uh, no complaints on this dream deferred.

Obviously: this is shitty. It ensures that kids without an extra $5,000 to spare will have a much harder time getting the spots they deserve, and kids with wealthy parents won’t ever learn how to get a job based off of their own merits. Of course that’s not always the case, and lots of other, equally unfair factor impact your likelihood of securing an internship. I think I got my internship last year partly because a Vassar alumnus worked in the office: not exactly nepotism, but not exactly blameless, maybe.

If you want a look at what these powerhouses of financial disparity can offer, check out (also known as the University of Dreams! Dreams, people! How can it be bad?):

Exploit me!

Did you go rafting during your internship?

“University of Dreams is a fee-based internship program offering travel, education, and work experience. We make it possible for you to work in a big-city internship without the headache of trying to coordinate such an adventure on your own. Tuition varies by program and is located on the Tuition page of each program’s web site.”

Phew. Thanks for taking care of that ‘headache’, and making sure privileged kids continue to have no sense of reality.

Check out the Times article, which was written by a paid intern.


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