Sunday, April 24, 2016

Autographs going away because of selfies

Years ago when people met a celebrity, they’d want to get his or her autograph. But no more. Selfies are the memento of choice today.
After all, why get a squiggly line of barely legible ink when you could get a photograph with a celebrity and quickly post it to social media?
A photo with a celebrity shows a more personal connection to that person than a signature on a piece of paper.
Also, everyone has a smartphone on them, but few carry a pen and paper these days.
Singer Taylor Swift noted in 2014 that autographs have become “obsolete.”
“I haven’t been asked for an autograph since the invention of the iPhone with a front-facing camera,” Swift said in a Wall Street Journal column.
Recently a 12-year-old girl was invited on stage by singer Adele for a selfie after holding up a sign written on a napkin for nearly two hours, the Daily Mail reported.
Another recent article showed how fans will try to take selfies with celebrities even when the subjects resist.
And President Barack Obama said earlier this year that he’s “fed up” with posing for selfies.
Just like some celebrities refused to sign autographs in the old days, some today will likely say no to selfies.

Photo: President Barack Obama poses for a selfie with several YouTube video stars in January. (See articles by CNN and the Huffington Post.)

Donald Trump surpasses Barack Obama in porn parodies

Since announcing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has been parodied in five porn movies.
Most recently, Hustler released “The Donald” starring Evan Stone. According to the synopsis, the X-rated film also contains fictionalized portrayals of wife Melania Trump, ex-wife Ivana Trump and politicians Sarah Palin, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Trey Gowdy.
Trump previously was pilloried in “Donald Tramp: The XXX Parody” (2015), “Megyn Gets Trumped” (2015), “Latinas Play Their Trump Cards” (2015) and “Republican Candidate Wife Swap” (2016).
Including depictions of Trump in two porn parodies of “Celebrity Apprentice,” the Donald has been parodied in seven porn movies. That compares with just five porn parodies for President Barack Obama and three for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
If he wins the presidency, Trump could be “yuge” for the porn parody sector.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Kanye West is right about CDs being marked for death

Last month, hip-hop artist Kanye West announced that he would not issue his new album on compact disc. His decision might not make good business sense, since CDs still generate a lot of revenue. But it’s another indication that music sold on physical media is on the wane.
Last year, music on physical media accounted for 28.8% of U.S. music sales. It trailed streaming (34.3%) and digital downloads (34%), according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Music on physical formats generated $2.02 billion in 2015, down 10% from the prior year. Most of that ($1.52 billion) came from album CDs. Unit sales of album CDs dropped 13.9% to 122.9 million in the U.S. last year, RIAA said.
Only streaming music services are showing growth right now, which is why West is focused on delivering his new album “The Life of Pablo” through Tidal.
“No more CDs from me,” West wrote on Twitter on March 7. (See articles by NBC and Engadget.)
Of course, the mercurial West could always change his mind.

Photo: Cover of Kanye West album “The Life of Pablo.”

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Nostalgia for things that are obsolete

Many people like to reminisce about the way things used to be and how some things they once used have gone the way of the dodo bird.
The subject has been fodder for many click-bait articles online. (I’ve included a few examples below.) Often they’re presented as a list of changes that “will make you feel old.”
Among the first to mine this territory was Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, with its Mindset List. Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List, which provides a summary of cultural touchstones that shaped the lives of students entering college that year.
More recently, YouTube producers Ben and Rafi Fine, aka the Fine Brothers, have made a video series where they expose kids to the technology their parents probably used. (For example, see “Kids React To Typewriters” and “Kids React to VCRs.”)

The following are some listicles about obsolete items:

Update (Sept. 3, 2016): I added a couple new ones:

10 Things That Will Soon Disappear Forever (Kiplinger; July 2016)

19 Forgotten Relics We’re Still Nostalgic For (Cracked; June 16, 2016)

5 Awesome Things That’ll Be Gone Forever By, Like, Soon (Cracked; May 24, 2016)

17 Things From Your Life That Your Kids Would Never Recognize (Good Housekeeping; Nov. 2, 2015)

23 Things Your Kids Will Never Understand (The Huffington Post; Aug. 26, 2013)

11 “Modern Antiques” Today’s Kids Have Probably Never Seen (Mental Floss; April 11, 2012)

Hand-cast cement “modern fossils” by artist Christopher Locke of Austin, Texas (top);
Cover of “The Lonely Phonebooth” (2010) by Peter Ackerman (author) and Max Dalton (illustrator). The two also did “The Lonely Typewriter” (2014).