Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Things I See, part three

I'm just going to post this photo right here.

I realize what they were trying to do; impede cars from driving the wrong way on a one-way street, which is to my right; and to protect people crossing said busy street in front of me. There would be lots of pedestrians as there is a university across the street from these pylons.

Still, no one reviewed the final design and thought, "Ya know, this bears a not-so-similar profile to a piece of male anatomy. Maybe we should rethink this?"?

Ah yes. The things I see.

Beverage:  Orange Juice


Things I See, part two.

There is a sign on the northwest side of Chicago, near Albany Park.

I seem to remember a billboard campaign utilizing this opening line from Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged. I have never read that particular book. Rand doesn't interest me. But this tattered billboard has me trying to remember the ad campaign.

It may also have been a reaction by someone with a political motive. Atlas Shrugged has been co-opted by a number of people and used as an example of anti-government writings. Protests against banking institutions; the Tea Party; and Congressman Ron Paul; have all used this phrase, or referenced it.

In my travels, I've seen a lot of vacant billboards along the highway. The churn rate for advertising along Interstates must be rather large. This area of Chicago, while slightly busy in the morning and at night, is not the place urging the protest of government would be effective. It's incredibly easy to miss seeing this. The other billboard you see just off center, also says, "Who is John Galt?" but because that billboard faces the sun, it's very weathered. I wonder who is paying for these or if that detail has been lost to the winds.

Who is John Galt indeed?

Beverage:  Orange Juice


Things I See

"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's Party'!" 

--Robin Williams. 

Beverage:  Orange Juice


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Well, That's Awkward

Last year, I bought a long sleeved tee from Teespring, a web site which advertised heavily on Facebook.

Long sleeved tees are valuable because they are so versatile in spring and fall with the ability to push up the sleeves if I get too warm. Plus, under layers, they keep my arms warm and aren't as heavy as a sweater.

This is a Discworld image. That's the Great A'Tuin, the ultimate turtle on which the four elephants holding up the world stand. In the cold of space, there's ice on A'Tuin and the elephants. The Discworld spins around the cone in the center, The Hub, and the seas fall off the sides in long cascading tendrils of water and ice. I could get this image on any color tee I wanted. This is my favorite color.

But, at the end of February, a rather large controversy arose centered around Teespring. I can't find the actual start of it but accusations were made suggesting Teespring ripped off the artists whose designs were on the clothing they sold. Friends who are artists said this was "well known" within the artistic community.

It's a very double-edged sword. You want people to see what you do because the way to make money is to have people buy your stuff. The Internet makes it very easy to reach a world-wide audience you never would have reached before. With that visibility comes those who don't care if you spent 382 hours working on something. They are going to steal your design and slap it on a tee shirt and sell it for $14.

I know this is a huge problem in the comic world. Comic conventions have given space to "artists" who print other people's stuff and sell it as their own. Names are tossed about. Videos of confrontations abound and calls for boycotting certain conventions until they weed out the imposters happen every convention season.

I've purchased things from Teespring before. Witness this tee shirt, one of my favorites.

I have a red shirt with a black cat slogan on it which is not as high quality. I have to admit, I don't know the original artist. Hearing people who have more knowledge than me rail against a web site made me wonder if my purchase ever did anything for the artist. Am I perpetuating a fraud? I adore both shirts. The tee part is comfortable and exceptional quality. I love the designs, obviously, or I wouldn't have purchased them.

Since the conversation at the end of February, I have seen zero advertising on my Facebook feed from Teespring. Reviews are not favorable. When you poke around a bit, supposedly Teespring was created as a means for artists to get their work out to the public, but a lot of people are saying this isn't happening. So I feel guilty.

In reality, I need more tee shirts like I need bubonic plague, regardless of their design. My conscience now won't let me order anything from this company and will force me to see if I can track down a shirt designer unless I'm getting it from some place like Disney. I guess the cautionary take away is that if I want to support artists, I need to start frequenting arts and crafts shows. That probably wouldn't be such a bad idea. It would get me out of the house.

Beverage:  Scottish Breakfast Tea