The dog who is so angry he cannot move. He cannot eat. He cannot sleep. He can just barely growl. ... Bound so tightly with tension and anger, he approaches the state of rigor mortis.
After that: four panels of this little dog in the same exact position. The only changes from week to week were to the dialogue balloons, which contained random, usually innocuous conversations coming from the window of a nearby house. Seeing that angry little pup straining at his leash each week, well, I knew how he felt.
Lately I've gotten e-mail from readers suggesting that I'm the Angriest Media Guy in the World, given my recent columns. But really, I'm not! Some things -- even some things in the media world -- make me happy. Honest!
So this week, a brief break from my recent rants, so that I can praise some Simple Media Pleasures.
The instantly huge viral-video-sharing service that actually works. I like it not only because there's a ton of deeply entertaining stuff on it (in addition to plenty of idiocy, of course), but because it's much better executed than Google Video. And at this point, what's not to like about a chink in Google's armor?
Salon.com's Video Dog
Speaking of video, for a tastefully curated (wait, make that tastelessly curated -- in a good way!) selection of must-see viral video, bookmark Salon's new Video Dog feature (salon.com/ent/ video_dog). If there's a video that everyone's talking about -- like the recent, insanely funny "Brokeback to the Future" parody -- you'll find it on Salon's shortlist.
The 'NYT' podcasts
The new, free New York Times podcasts are pretty perfect -- brief hits of solid information presented in recordings generally less than five minutes long -- and they deserve their instant-hit status on iTunes. I'm particularly fond of "Front Page" and "Most E-mailed."
'Fly Fishing in Salt Waters'
I get tons of useless press releases, but none made me happier than the one recently that began, "World Publications Fishing Group Publisher Glenn Hughes announced today the appointment of Ted Lund to Editor of Fly Fishing in Salt Waters magazine. Lund moves to his new position from another World title, Sport Fishing, where he was managing editor." I don't fish -- I barely ever step off of concrete -- but for some reason I just love the idea that Ted has moved from Sports Fishing to Fly Fishing in Salt Waters. Not only because, clearly, Ted's hard work has paid off, but I now have hope that some day I might be able to move on to, say, Advertising Age in Resort Jacuzzi.
'The New Yorker' Jr., please?
Filter, a five-times-a-year alternative music magazine (Cat Power and The Flaming Lips have been recent cover subjects), does this promo product called Filter Mini -- basically a shrunk-down, pamphlet-ish version of Filter (about the trim size of the old TV Guide) -- that it distributes for free seven times a year at concerts and other events, plus retails stores like Urban Outfitters. It's not only a clever editorial sampling program, but a new revenue stream for the Filter brand. Now I'm holding out for Conde Nast to distribute an adorable little New Yorker Jr. at cafes.
Speaking of alternative music -- and alternatives in general -- I love eMusic.com's business and creative models. eMusic reps have been signing deals with indie record labels around the world, giving un-corporate music a much better chance of finding audiences. Cool.
Web-based applications like Bla-Bla List -- a sharable to-do list manager that you can access from any computer -- are, of course, the future of software. (Go to blablalist.com and sign up for free.) Every time I use simple, elegant, hassle-free Web-based services like Bla-Bla List, I get closer to envisioning the imminent post-Microsoft era.
My favorite "American Idol" contestant so far -- who, I believe, will single-handedly redeem the given name "Paris," which has been so tragically sullied the past few years by a certain someone. Godspeed, Ms. Bennett!
Send me your own SMPs and I may quote you in an upcoming column -- and reward you with some official MGS (Media Guy Swag).
The Media Guy's column appears weekly on AdAge.com and in the print edition of Advertising Age. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org