Archive for August, 2005


Rachel in Blade Runner Sharon in Battlestar Galactica

From the beginning, the new Battlestar Galactica has taken ideas from many sources (including its namesake, of course), but the most notable borrowing point for my money has been Philip Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. To put it simply: both feature robots that look like humans and explore the moral and practical implications of that notion. And, well, both feature some flesh and blood robots that want to help humans and some that want to kill them. In Electric Sheep, they’re called replicants; in Galactica, cylons.

What’s interesting in Galactica, though, is the way it has turned the tables on some of Dick’s ideas. For instance, it’s the robots who are on the run in Electric Sheep where the humans are the hunted in Galactica. In Dick’s book, the robots are individuals, each one different. In Galactica, the robots are copies of specific humans and each has hundreds of duplicates.

Another clever reversal takes place in the most recent Battlestar episode (207). Fans may recall a scene at the end of Blade Runner (the film adaptation of Electric Sheep) where human Rick Deckard looks to gather replicant Rachel and go on the run, hiding her from authorities who would “retire” her. Rick asks her: “Do you love me?” She nods. “Do you trust me?” She nods again. And they’re out the door.

In last week’s Battlestar, a similarly tense situation arises when cylon Sharon makes a disturbingly vague assertion about needing to take matters into her own hands. When Helo expresses concern, she asks him: “Do you love me?” He nods. “Do you trust me?” He nods again. And the new Sharon goes on to prove herself where the old Sharon failed.

Continue reading ‘Replicated’

Logo Limbo

Kobe Logo Vince Logo Tiger Logo Lebron Logo Mike Logo

Which of these things is not like the others? A few weeks back, Nike launched a line of Kobe Bryant-branded shoes with a spanking new logo (far left), putting him in elite company. Only Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, LeBron James and Vince Carter have attained similar stature at the king of sneakers. But, what of the logo itself?

To put it bluntly: not so much. Take a look at the logo compared to those of Kobe’s colleagues (red to right). Vince’s has sweeping strokes that say “bird” while at the same time evoking human shoulders and a body: man in flight. Tiger’s presents a refined flag — a prefect match for golf’s conservative image — with his initials cleverly inlaid. Lebron’s L23 isn’t quite as refined, but the pattern is pleasing enough and his moniker “King James” is clearly alluded to by the mini-crown. And, of course nobody can top Jordan. His logo is simply classic.

So, what again of Kobe? What exactly is his logo saying? One could argue that it has a kind of “iron man” torso thing going on; is the statement supposed to be strength? Some have compared it a certain male body part, which would be unfortunate for anyone but is particularly so for Bryant considering his recent history. The CCO of SME finds the logo to be “devoid of any specific Kobe characteristic.” Ouch. For me, somehow it brings to mind the Citgo logo and not much else. No matter how you look at it, though, this level of confusion isn’t exactly what you shoot for in a high profile logo. At this level, logos are supposed to communicate, and effortlessly.

With the clearly strong pool of talent at Nike, how could this happen? One might guess that Mr. Pigheaded insisted on a logo that appeals to him personally regardless of the public’s reaction. Another possibility is that Nike, annoyed when Kobe’s legal entanglements appeared almost the instant after they signed him to a huge shoe deal, didn’t put their best people on the project. A third option is that Nike is just slippin’ in the marketing department.

This final option seems unlikely, though, as Nike continues to turn out astonishing ads consistently. In an industry where products are so similar, the Nike marketing machine is impressively on point, and necessarily so. Surely their next anointed one will recieve a logo that’s not so, well, “devoid.”

For more, see the ESPN story on Kobe’s kicks, check out the ‘boards cache of hot Nike spots, and recall Nike’s seamy underbelly

images grabbed from

One Pissy Cloud

Shuttle landing scuttled by a single ornery cloud? A suspicious bomb on trial — was it acting alone? You’ve gotta work hard to find much humor in the headlines these days but, chopping up titles to save space on the front page, some overeager BBC web staff inadvertently gave us a couple reasons to giggle this afternoon.

image capped from bbc news: world

John Bolton Looks Freaky

Ah, Bolton — what a fine and storied name. In general, carrying that name ain’t nothin’ but goodness, but it’s hard not to notice that new UN ambassador John Bolton looks more than a little bizarre in this morning’s photos. In the first shot (above left), he looks like a man desperate to find the nearest men’s room or, worse, one who’s already soiled himself. In the second, he looks as vacant as the Bates Motel. Not exactly qualities you look for in your ambassador to the world governing body, eh?

You’d think Bush could do better than a constipated wax figure but then again maybe he’s looking for someone who will make him look less stupid. And, well, being an ultraconservative idiot can’t exactly hurt your chances, either.

Read more on John Bolton’s Congress-sidestepping appointment and chase it with some first-rate lyrics from another quality Bolton

images grabbed from AP

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