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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

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America's addiction

This week I noticed that Edgy Mama's blog features a Blog Ads advertisment for a Glen Beck exposé on porn in America.

I don't know how the Blog Ads system works. Most likely an company places web ads based on demographic studies and market research. I don't know if a blog owner has control regarding what ads to accept or decline. Most print magazines have a legal safety net allowing them the right to accept or decline an advertiser based on the magazine's own discretion. But I don't know how Blog Ads works. Any-whoo...


the blog ad
Whatever the case, I think Glen Beck is wrong to say porn is America's addiction. I know, I know, Wired reported that "Internet pornography is the new crack cocaine..." But I think they are both wrong.

Google has provided something much worse than anything Glen Beck or Wired can discuss and/or report. Those of you who have gmail accounts know what I am talking about.

It starts out all innocent.

First, you get a gmail address and check your email obsessively. Then you realize your google account has much more--like a calendar and weather and date & time. And then there is the link just above the date & time feature that reads "Add stuff." Oh, there's more, you think to yourself. And you click and find out Google has Joke of the Day, Quotes of the Day, To-Do list and other cool internet features and services. And this is all fine and fair until you see they have...

PacMan v2.0.


America's Google Addiction
And you click on it and it appears on your Google account page everytime you log in. And you play a game and can't make it to level two. So you play it again and this time the phone rings and you ignore it because you're almost to level 2 with both "lifes" still available.

Okay level 2 is working well, and the incoming email sound announces someone is trying to contact you and the phone is ringing again and Clyde (the orange ghost) gets you. How can this happen? You hit the keyboard in frustration because the ringing phone distracted you and you lost a PacMan life. So you pick up the ringing phone and shout at the poor person on the other end who is shouting back at you because you are supposed to be in a marketing meeting. You can't make, you tell the co-worker and terminate the call.

Pretty soon hours go by and you've skipped lunch and you are now crossing your legs because you really have to use the toilet but you've made it to level 10 and can't leave. Internet porn addiction is bad, but what Google has done is much worse. Men and women across America are addicted to PacMan v2.0. Homeland Security is investigating this with great concern. White House staffers have not left their offices in weeks. All America is trying to beat Stefan's record score: 312,190! People are losing sleep, causing traffic accidents on the way to the office or internet cafés. How does Stefan do it, they all ask as the log into their Google account.

  1. Blogger Edgy Mama | 8:41 PM, October 27, 2006 |  

    Matt,
    I approved the ad but then regretted it. I agree with you. In fact, I'm not really anti-porn. There definitely are worse addictions. But once you've approved an ad, it's hard to take it down. Next time, I'll actually look at the ad before I approve it. Which I think a lot of folks forget to do.

    Example: Technorati has the same Glenn Beck ad up this week AND one of their hot picks (right next to the ad) is Violet Blue's blog. Violet is a sex educator and S&M model!

  2. Anonymous michael | 9:25 PM, October 27, 2006 |  

    Hmm. Wonder if EM knows that someone was was being sardonic/sarcastic?

  3. Blogger Brian | 12:15 AM, October 28, 2006 |  

    Matt,
    I think you might be on to something. There definitely is an addiction with entertainment in the US. We're one of the very few nations in the world that can afford to be entertained.
    And its not limited to secular entertainment. We have to entertain the youth to get them to come to church. We even have to entertain the adults with our music, drama, etc.
    Some directories of public worship indicate that during the reformation and puritan worship services, a couple chapters from each Testament were read, then a prayer that included approximately everything the Bible ever recommended for prayer, followed by the minister's sermon, and closing with a Psalm. Try that in an Evangelical church today.

  4. Blogger 1000 black lines | 1:09 PM, October 28, 2006 |  

    Edgy Mama,
    Now that is funny; regarding Technorati bringing Glen Beck and Violet Blue together for the sake of commerce. Blogging is a beautiful thing; ripe with irony and information. I've considered running Blog Ads on 1000 Black Lines, but wasn't sure how it worked. Would you recommend it?

    Michael,
    Yes, sarcasm was used to illustrate a point Brian identified. It is difficult to convey that without vocal intonations and facial expressions that make me marvel at well-written satirists.

    Brian,
    Entertainment and consumerism, in an increasingly post-literate society, go hand in hand. Whether sacred or secular, the desire of people to escape reality and responsibilities is a side effect of an affluent culture; economists refer to it as the law of diminishing return. The more people are able to afford the greater desire they have for something more. Sadly, finding true contentment eludes most people.

    The Hedgehog Review recently hypothesized certain contemporary trends early this year by claiming "that religion gradually ceases to be a guiding authority in the lives of individuals..." in an exploration on the topic "After Secularization." Earlier this week Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, stated in The Times, "[T]he ideal of a society where no visible public signs of religion would be seen... is a politically dangerous one. It assumes that what comes first in society is the central political 'licensing authority', which has all the resource it needs to create a workable public morality." Entertainment and consumerism (whether porn or PacMan) attempts to fill a void and appears more attractive than expressions and traditions of faith.

  5. Blogger Edgy Mama | 8:10 AM, October 30, 2006 |  

    Matt,
    I like Blogads. It's by invite only, but I think I can recommend your bloggie for invitation if you are interested. They prefer that you get a minimum of 1,000 hits per day. E-mail me if you want to talk about it or you can go to Blogads website to learn more.

  6. Blogger 1000 black lines | 6:33 PM, October 30, 2006 |  

    EM,
    Thanks for the Blogads tip. 1000 Black Lines doesn't get close to 1000 hits a day... closer to 1000 hits a month.

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