"a fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun"
for 28 March 1996. Updated every WEEKDAY.

Hit & Run XXVII



So you want to tell teens there's

an alternative to violence,

drugs, and promiscuity. It's,

um, well, you'll get to it in a

minute... Because first you've

got to get the kids' attention,

right? And even though your

message really is different than

the calculated chaos and

gimcrack distractions of pop

culture, well, the kids aren't

gonna listen unless it's dope.

So you give your message an "in

your face" name. And you set it

to a "catchy groove." And you

learn to bust a rhyme so strong,

it's pretty hard to tell you

from the real thing.

So the question remains:

how do you distinguish yourself

as a positive Christian

alternative? Well, how about not

charging any money for the

concerts you give? That way,

people can see you are indeed

committed to a higher purpose.

And it might be good for tax

purposes too.


[Big Yellow]

If Mark Pesce and the folks at

bigbook.com were feeling queasy

about Nynex's boisterous

back-page New York Times entry

into the digital commercialist

sandbox yesterday, we'd console

them with a pointer towards the

enlightening Personal Health

section of the same edition.

"When tested, bullies tend to

score high in self-esteem. Nor

are most bullies academic

failures or loners without

friends." In other words, Nynex

probably won't run away when

confronted with the inadequacy

of their value-flatlined

service, and neither will their

(still largely speculative)

users. We expect dignity and

poise from bigbook.com,

bigyellow.com, and all future

big[blank].coms of the would-be

lucrative listings subindustry -

after all, the immaturity

quotient is more than met by the

market itself.


[Endangered Feces]

If you thought peddling Madonna's

pap smear was wacked, get a load

of Endangered Feces, "fossilized

animal droppings, from dinosaurs

and their cretaceous

companions." Proving more

definitively than the Richard

Nixon Library that time can turn

crap to gold, these glistening

turds come attractively packaged

in gilded bags, just in case

you need a gift in a pinch for

that special someone life.

Aside from its domain name -

poop.com - and its

"unconditional guarantee" of,

uh, something, Endangered Feces

is most notable for what is sure

to be the most creative ad copy

ever written: "Life is strange -

and we need a talisman to get us

through these unsettling times

and assist us in keeping our

political and economic condition

in perspective." In other words,

this is (the) shit.



The future of design is written

in typography - or maybe we

mean that the other way around.

From whatever direction you

approach, it's clear that the

lines between text and design

have become impossibly blurred -

thus, the rebirth of typography

as the hipster's paradise. Both

confirmed font fiends and those

just beginning to shape their

textual personae would be wise

to dip their pens into the

newest well o' info housed at

Razorfish's design-porn

warehouse, The Blue Dot.

TypoGRAPHIC offers a history of

typography that probably only a

true graphics geek would

appreciate, but it also pushes

out interactive pages which give

the foundry foundling the

opportunity to see how kerning,

tracking, and italics affect the

meaning and/or legibility of a

word (budding David Carsons,

please take note). Also included

are links to font foundries on

the Web, some of which allow you

to download suitcases of cases.

Only our desire to appear cooler

than we actually are keeps us

from saying, "This site is


courtesy of the Sucksters