On Monday night I launched another website – this one was a freelance project for a salon in York, Maine. Much of the work was done for this one a while back, but it was the final details that delayed this for a while. It’s good to get it out the door and have the clients able to take advantage of their new fully-Wordpress-integrated site.

I launched a website for the company I work for on Saturday night. This was a collaborative effort in-house and with an external company, but I’m pretty proud to say a lot of what you see – the images, responsive CSS, HTML, and JS functionality especially – is my handiwork.

“Instagram didn’t get the tone wrong”

Asbury & Asbury express(es?) exactly every single thought that went through my head when I read Instagram’s “clarification” earlier:

Again there’s that emphasis on ‘eliminating the confusion’, as though all this is down to the language being unclear. Then comes the massively patronising ‘Legal documents are easy to misinterpret’. The clear subtext is ‘You’re all getting het up because you don’t understand this complicated legal stuff – don’t worry, we’ll try and speak more slowly this time.’

The whole thing from Instagram is as condescending as anything I’ve read lately, with the added fact that there’s no ground for this condescension – no misunderstanding to correct. I’ve been the first person to roll my eyes at these “Facebook is going to ______” panics that go around every now and then. Sure, privacy is getting more and more scarce in the online world and there’s an argument to be made against that, but I think the difference between a lot of Facebook’s issues and Instagram’s latest push is one of knowing versus taking: with Facebook, my information might find its way into the hands of who knows who – but they’ve been pretty wary of crossing into the use of users’ content. With Instagram, my likeness, my art, my photos, whatever, could be used, appropriated.

And there’s no mistaking that that’s what Instagram’s privacy policy change said – it’s more crystal-clear than any of the other privacy policy scandals that have happened recently. So for the company to come out and just sneeringly say, “Look, obviously your pea-sized brains just didn’t get what we meant” … it’s so far from a good handling of a PR crisis that when it gets treated like one, I don’t even know what to think.


It’s not soccer, it’s fodbold

After hearing the “it’s not soccer, it’s football” argument for the umpteen-thousandth time, I’ve decided to put together a list of similar arguments that I’d like to hear made more often.

  • It’s not soccer, it’s “Association Football.”
  • It’s not soccer, it’s “nogomet.”
  • It’s not soccer, it’s “podosfairo.”
  • It’s not soccer, it’s “calcio.”
  • It’s not soccer, it’s “sokker.”
  • It’s not soccer, it’s “pop.”
  • It’s not soccer, it’s a “hoagie.”
  • It’s not soccer, it’s just a “theory.”
  • It’s not soccer, it’s “the War of Northern Aggression.”
  • It’s not soccer, it’s my brother.
  • It’s not soccer, it’s basketball, and frankly I’m concerned that you mistook the two for each other—do even you watch sports?
  • It’s not soccer, oh no wait my mistake, yes, that’s soccer. We are in agreement. Carry on.

The Haunting of “Homeland”

My friend Sean wrote a really great article for the LA Review of Books about my latest television obsession, Showtime’s Homeland. You should definitely watch the show, if you haven’t, and then once you have, read this piece.

For a time, the first season of Homeland uses these blank, unreadable spaces to great political and narrative effect. Because we cannot be certain whether Carrie is right or not — and consequently cannot be certain of Brody’s guilt — the boundary that separates the protector and the threat is confused. Within this indistinct place, Carrie the government agent tirelessly works to protect the country and acts out a paranoid fantasy, while Brody the soldier lives as both a damaged man and the American organ of an Islamist radical. By maintaining this suspended potential, the narrative plays it both ways, rendering the line between us and them indistinct.