Attack Ads! The Podcast (general)

Ever notice how some words get used interchangeably in any situation? That's because many are not as they sound, positive declarations, but are rather negations of several different bad situations. Unless one is specific, the word lacks meaning.

Direct download: Scarequotes_Required.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:54am EDT

What fun are odometer moments if you don't make them fun? I have included attempts at humor to bring sarcasm and parody, hopefully to leaven that darned persistent message. Thanks to collaborators Mila and (especially) Kevin!

Direct download: Cry_Quits_On_The_Deal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06am EDT

In this Bonus Episode, I read for you what I consider to be one of the most important documents in recent US political history. I plan to address this document in my usual style in the near future, complete with as many jokes as I can muster.

Direct download: The_Powell_Memo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42am EDT

Remember when I accused NPR podcasters of parading themselves inappropriately in front of would-be ad buyers like cheap prostitutes? I'm still not over that, it seems. I have that idea, and I'm sticking to it.

Direct download: Product_or_Packaging.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:49am EDT

Something happened late last April which has been bugging me ever since. Here I cover the insult not just in the event itself, but in the name given such events, which I feel is indeed an insult.

Direct download: The_Affront_Of_An_Upfront.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43am EDT

Ah, games. What's not to love? How about games being interrupted by constant appeals for money, either from ads or, perhaps worse, the game itself? Here I explore just such, some of them insidious, others merely irritating, some downright deplorable.

Direct download: Ludus_Interruptus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:41am EDT

Along with the calendar change every year, too many people take the opportunity to look back on the year, and perhaps to look forward with promises and platitudes. I thought, Why not join them?

Direct download: The_Calendrical_Imperative.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47am EDT

I here introduce you to Kevin M. Kruse's "One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America", a book about the money and effort that went into redefining American religious tradition into one that proved more business-friendly.

Direct download: A_Season_Stuffed_With_Reasons.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43am EDT

What happens when warring parties place full efforts on winning their personal battles, but not a lot of attention to a third party? What if that third party is the prize to be won? And what if that third party gets rightly pissed off?

Direct download: Total_Annihilation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22pm EDT

Thanks to a listener comment, I here realize that we are judged by the quality not of our character, but of how we project that character. Does a ragged voice ruin my message any more than any "bad" words I might sometimes use? Yes, but…

Direct download: Profundity__Profanity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:40pm EDT

Today's episode deals with the historic divide between the upper and lower classes, specifically the prohibitions on what tasks anyone in the upper classes could perform without denigrating themselves into beings that are less than genteel.

Direct download: More_Self_Evidence_Less_Mud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:35am EDT

Today's episode deals with the historic divide between the upper and lower classes, specifically the prohibitions on what tasks anyone in the upper classes could perform without denigrating themselves into beings that are less than genteel.

Direct download: Self-Evident_As_Mud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:07pm EDT

Here are three beliefs—and the actions they precipitate—that are just plain incorrect, and in the long run, perhaps very, very dangerous.

Direct download: Three_Heaping_Scoops_of_Irony.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:17pm EDT

Here I use the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall to note how our assumptions that the way things have been in our lifetime often prove to be ephemeral. Today’s newspaper industry struggles under the same delusion of future permanence.

Direct download: Challenging_Assumptions_of_Permanence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:08pm EDT

While I appreciate podcaster Jesse Brown’s attention to my correspondence, I must limit my financial support and attention to those media producers more inclined to my views concerning ad-funded media. I give reasons for that decision.

Direct download: Postscript.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11pm EDT

I take a peek at four entities that are doing something right, but not right enough to truly applaud their efforts. In each instance, the entities’ accomplishment is less clap-worthy than head-scratch-worthy. So, why bother using both hands to clap?

Direct download: The_Sound_of_One_Hand_Applauding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:51pm EDT

Since I discussed the twin phenomena of the Repetition Effect and Source Amnesia, I consider a comment listener L33t left concerning research on how interruptions may increase the enjoyment of media, even if those interruptions are commercial in nature.

Direct download: From_GAB_To_FNA.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:18pm EDT

It was only a brief two episodes ago that I attempted to coin a new Named Bit o' Wisdom, one from Upton Sinclair. That was so much fun, I'm doing it again in this episode, "The McQuiston Test." I'll explain what I mean in the episode.

Direct download: The_McQuiston_Test.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:39pm EDT

This episode concerns me asking the eternal question: Why do advertisers run the same damned ads again and again and again? Won't we get sick of them, and maybe just avoid those media outlets resorting to such echoing?

Direct download: Redundantly_Reiterative_Repetition.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:15pm EDT

Here I dive into the bothersome wrongness of the NPR podcast Planet Money. The title (and new show theme) refers to an Upton Sinclair quote, details of which can be found in his 1934 book, "I, Candidate for Governor, And How I got Licked."

Direct download: The_Sinclair_Maxim.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:02pm EDT

Here I finish the look into “smart” televisions and appliances I started in Smile! Though many would invoke Orwell’s Big Brother to describe them, I find a better comparison the more insidious threat posed by Little Brothers everywhere.

Direct download: Little_Brothers_Are_Watching_You.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33am EDT

Smile! starts my look into a quiet but insidious threat to our privacy: the new "smart" televisions and other appliances. These TVs have built within them the tools of inappropriate surveillance, and seemingly, the only reason for them is to promote ads.

Direct download: Smile.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:19pm EDT

Here, I'm taking a yak at how business is not only done, but how many would prefer it continues to be done, no matter how many existing alternatives could be explored. And most of that maintenance is done through commercially sponsored media.

Direct download: Maintaining_Business_As_Usual.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:11pm EDT

A sad delay announced here.

Direct download: An_Announcement_of_Some_Significance.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:17pm EDT

Which poses a greater threat: money collected; or money spent? Answering that simple question should guide action when it comes to addressing—and perhaps reversing—the harm caused by any harmful practice, in this case political advertising.

Direct download: Drinking_Yourself_Sober.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:44pm EDT

While I really don't like the ads any CPB outlet run, their other funding mechanisms are also worthy of attention, if not scorn. This episode uses three PBS telly shows to illustrate problems with three funding sources other than enhanced sponsorship.

Direct download: Showing_What_The_Shows_Show.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:20pm EDT

This episode is mostly a dramatic reading of the science fiction short story that inspired the creation of Attack Ads! I bring it to you with the kind permission of both author Ferrett Steinmetz and the editor of the Escape Pod podcast, Norm Sherman.

Direct download: Dead_Merchandise.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10am EDT

As the title Dear Jesse implies, I've decided to turn twenty-plus minutes of the Attack Ads! Podcast into an open letter to Canadaland creator and host Jesse Brown. This is my plea for offering a zero-ads environment for listeners who wish one.

Direct download: Dear_Jesse.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23am EDT

I dive here a bit into our human tendency to socially conform to the opinions of our peers. Further, I note why outrageous statements can be effective to discussion and debate. This reason is called the Overton Window, which is rarely discussed openly.

Direct download: Shifting_That_Window.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:17pm EDT

I review here what has become one of the only ways modern commercial news has been able to pay for their continued financial existence: sponsored or branded content. For a fee, an interested party "helps" add content to "news," often with no disclosure.

Direct download: Sponsored_Discontent.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:30am EDT

I am not a fan of the commercialism that has metastasized and spread well beyond this seasonal holiday’s calendrical bounds. I am going to vent quite harshly in Xmas' general direction. Remember: you've been warned.

Direct download: Apologies_In_Advance.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20pm EDT

Behind the obvious advertising with which pharmaceutical companies deluge us, there is a mostly-hidden cadre of sales representatives stalking our doctor offices and getting directly in the doctors’ faces. And these reps are, mostly, quite… hot.

Direct download: Attack_of_the_Pharma_Barbies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:34pm EDT

I wrap up all this political economy non-sense and reveal what happens when assumptions leak into the real world, causing otherwise intelligent reporters to make suggestions without realizing how disastrous the consequences might really be.

Direct download: From_GIGO_To_MEGO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:50pm EDT

This continues the primer on neoclassical economics, focusing on a few structural buffers that protect the orthodoxy from the heterodox threats that occasionally develop. Moneyed interests used advertising to protect their privileged positions.

Direct download: Non-Heterodox_Scientificity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:44pm EDT

I present Part I of a primer concerning the history of economics as an academic discipline. I read from Henry George's "Progress and Poverty", an 1879 book that had far more of an impact on the United States and abroad than most people realize today.

Direct download: By_George.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

In my last episode, I confessed ignorance about how colleges and universities were funded, let alone founded. Filled in on at least some of the particulars, I dive into the veto power money has over everything on campus not friendly to money.

Direct download: Interlocking_Directorates_of_Control.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:47pm EDT

Remember Mike Daisey? Remember the This American Life episode that featured him, and the later episode that denounced him? I revisit the Daisey kerfuffle to note what was completely ignored: journalistic ethics, and who is required to have them.

Direct download: Liars_Honest_and_Otherwise.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm EDT

This is mostly a rant from an old man witnessing changes to the campus he once attended as a student, specifically how sponsorship and egalitarianism might be in conflict in higher education.

Direct download: Fast_Track_Education.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21pm EDT

Our perception of the world hinges on assumptions. I take a brief look at what happens when reporters assume the experts they consult on our economy are correct, and by so assuming, fail to critically question those experts.

Direct download: When_We_Assume.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:33pm EDT

Bullshit comes in two flavors. The first are beliefs held with no basis in fact. The second are emotional appeals to the non-rational brain made to drive our behaviors. Commercial media, though, one may not question bullshit ads use to pay the bills.

Direct download: Thwarting_Disbelief.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:54pm EDT

Today's big idea is one of hope. Why not let the public media donors decide how many ads they care to hear by allowing donations to offset ad revenue needs? This hope is sadly dashed: it would pose an existential threat to those selling ads.

Direct download: Whats_the_Big_Idea.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:20pm EDT

This episode considers tenets of good journalism, touchstones like—most of all—accuracy. What happens when the media's priority is profit?  Could this increasingly inaccurate commercial press of ours be failing in its implicit duty of care?

Direct download: Care_Through_Correction.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:35pm EDT

Here, I decided to create another theme that I hope to pursue: the influence commercial money exerts on news gathering and dissemination. In this specific case, it doesn't pay to be a business too small to buy television advertising.

Direct download: Breaking_News.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm EDT

Here I question the many advertisements aired on public radio and television in the United States. Aren't these a violation of definition? After all, the CPB was originally formed for programs that would not be commercially possible.

Direct download: Defined_By_Absence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:23pm EDT

Not all commercial messages are confined to normal boundaries. I consider the fate of two movies: a bad one obviously underwritten by a beverage manufacturer; and a good one that, though not so financially bound, raised a brand into a cultural icon.

Direct download: Carve__Polish.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:02pm EDT

Here, I hope to blow a few minds with a tidbit about the functioning of our capitalist system… some say the core function that defines capitalism itself. How money actually works, though, has become so completely obscured as to sound ludicrous.

Direct download: The_Buck_Starts_Here.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:41pm EDT

I consider Slow Television, content that refuses to be contained and constrained by the manic and incessant pace of commercial advertising. Really, why shouldn't someone have a channel that shows nothing but puppies without commercial interruption?

Direct download: Longer_Slower_Uncut.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53pm EDT

I muse on the tribal drives that cause us to join with others in supporting certain endeavors, and note how this is often hijacked and used as a means of spreading commercial messages through our very clothing, sometimes without our notice.

Direct download: We_Branded_Bipedal_Billboards.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:28pm EDT

For those suffering personally in this economic downturn, author and proud cheapskate Jeff Yeager's advice can help greatly. Good luck getting it on our commercially funded media without denigrations designed to make people like him look like freaks.

Direct download: Freak_Show_Porn.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:26pm EDT

What happens when advertising dogma creeps into civic life? We've seen all too much of this corruption of our common spaces. I examine failed attempt shove commercial branding across my home state, and my dream response to those who proposed it.

Direct download: Tools_and_Their_Boxes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58pm EDT

Under a commercial advertising supported media regime, certain topics must be avoided lest these topics contradict the message and intent of the advertisers. I put forth a home furnishings analogy between content and sponsor.

Direct download: The_Drapes_Must_Not_Clash.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:23pm EDT

In this episode, we review the recent scandal revealed by Canadaland Podcaster Jesse Brown about the conflicts of interest between CBC personalities Rex Murphy and The Nation host Peter Mansbridge, and Alberta oil sands interests that hired them for private speaking engagements.  Though considered reporter's ethics "Disclosure 101", according to Brown, why are these two—at least—not disclosing the money they earn from these private events?  And what lesson can be extrapolated from this scandal to the fact that private money funds all commercial news gathering and presentation?

Direct download: Conslicked_of_Interest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

In Episode 1, "Smelling the Wet Dog," I introduce my the motivation behind this project.

Direct download: Smelling_The_Wet_Dog.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:12pm EDT