Monday, January 14, 2008

Typfaces, nut-jobs, books, and other

I just discovered that my Netflix account (Unlimited Rentals 1 out at a time for $9/mo) now allows me unlimited viewing of Netflix's On-demand movie service. While not as complete as their general inventory there are still some interesting things to be seen.

For example, I am currently watching the documentary "Helvetica" which is about the creation of the type-face it's impact on the world and various designers take on it. For example I did not know that it was invented in the 1950's as a Modern design as rebellion against the more stodgy traditional typefaces. It also means, literally, "The type of Switzerland" in Latin.

Thus far it's fascinating, if you have any interest in how such things work.


However, it reminded me of something I wanted to address. I have friends (bless their little Democrat hearts) who have from time to time expressed great concern at the irrational behavior of Neo-cons, while seemingly oblivious or at least dismissive of equally irrational behavior in their own party.

In this documentary they are interviewing a rather famous designer who's name I recognized, but had never seen her before. During the course of filming she proudly announces that she has never used Helvetica in her career because large corporations use it, and they were sponsors of the Vietnam war, so if you use Helvetica you are in fact supporting the war.

This is such completely irrational viewpoint I can't even begin to address it. (Not just because I forgot which logical fallacy this was nope...)

I see and hear this this sort of thing all the time and I never heard a liberal call other liberals on it.

You should.

I think zealots on both sides should not be tolerated, as ultimately people stop listening to what you are saying because the nut-jobs (be they Pat Buchanen or Cindy Sheehan) are tarring by association.

Lastly (as a dear friend pointed out) not all Conservatives are Neo-cons and you aren't winning friends or arguments by assuming that because I don't agree with you on issue X, that I'm a foam-at-the mouth bible-thumping zealot. Or... conversely that I'm a dope-smoking pinko commie bastard.

We and the issue's are more complex then that and if you let the members of your party polarize the argument so strongly there can be no discussion.


I have been watching a lot of movies, but I have also been reading a lot of books over this break. Sadly not enough hard sci-fi.

But I have gotten a couple of e-mails asking me if I have given up reading for movies. I haven't... and I suppose I should start including of the books I read too.

Assuming I have time to read in the new semester. We'll see.


Something else was supposed to go here... I've delayed posting for 20 minutes and I still don't remember what was supposed to go here... ah well.


  1. ;-P Hey now, there's no need to be hatin' yo!

    I *could* presume that you're talking about my blessed little heart (if I had a heart)...

    As for democratic heart...not so. It is an unaffiliated because I think it's unfair to define, well at least my sociopolitical beliefs as either or. I vote the way my conscience dictates and in the past that conscience has aligned with both democrats and republicans.

    But that's just presuming that you're talking about me ;-)

    Because it is all about me, you know.

  2. And I'm not saying that YOU were trying to define my sociopolitical beliefs. I think I was just. trying. to... Oh whatever.

    It all hurts my brain anymore.

    Anyways, as you can see, I've been working hard to mellow out and see beyond the media hype/polarization of democrats and republicans. and the same with folks who are spiritual or religious, to see that the majority of people are just average folks, but it's the loudest, most outspoken people on all sides that seem to get the most press and it is detrimental to the listening process (as you were saying).

  3. You know I can't resist commenting when you mention politics.
    1. Where you draw the the line between extreme right wing and nut job or extreme left wing and nut job is such a moving target. For example I draw the line on the left that includes Hillary, Edwards and Algore on the nutjob side. I'm sure I put the line on the right a lot farther to the right that most of your friends.
    2. Where those lines fall varies, as you implied, from issue to issue. Even Hillary has been right a couple of times. Algore... not so much.
    Of course now that Hillary has to attract the crowd she lies and denies everything.