Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
Find Federal Officials
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or Search by State

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Contact The Media
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Tuesday, August 09, 2005  
Where you at?
I know, I know, there’s nothing new here, a certain mobile phone network has garnered a lot of publicity from their billboards proclaiming their apparently now official trademarked tag line, “Where you at” I'm not going to mention the mobile company name because I don't want to give them any more publicity. You probably know who I'm talking about anyway.
 
For the uninitiated, no, I am not suddenly plagued by bad grammar. You read that correctly, “Where you at” is their tagline and now part of their trademarked logo.
 
A lot of people fought this mobile company about their use of bad grammar, especially on billboards "coincidentally" placed near schools. I applaud the efforts of those people who unsuccessfully tried to get them to stop the grammar insanity. But I knew they were fighting a losing battle.
 
Obviously this is aimed at a certain market segment. A specific demograph.

It's all marketing.
 
I’m part of the problem so, you know, I always feel like I need to stay quiet about this sort of thing. “Just let it run its course. And it will run its course. It’s only marketing and media hype. The best solution is to not buy the product.”

So even though every time I saw the tagline or read about the (albeit small) furor over the bad grammar and pandering to an audience rather than trying to raise the bar or, well, at least not treat them like idiots, I stayed quiet. Even though, I, too, was annoyed by the bigger issues behind the use of the bad grammar. The whole acceptance is actually denial issue bothers me. The theory goes like this: Accept that there are people who unknowingly use improper grammar, pander to them, thus reinforcing the bad speech habit and voila! denial that there is a problem and consequently anything incorrect with the phrase “where you at.”

I have a sneaking suspicion this mobile phone company will be using phrases like "who you is" and "what you got" in their ads before this plague of grammatical insanity runs its course. Don't worry, I'm sure I didn't give them any ideas. They pay people very good money to perform market research and analysis. Then they pay other people a lot more money to develop a marketing campaign based on that data. We can all sleep secure in the knowledge that somewhere in that mix "who you is" and "what you got," among others, were tested on a focus group.
 
I don’t like to get on a high grammatical horse because I am very well known for bending and twisting the rules of grammar and basically biting my thumb at Strunk, White and Webster. And swut knows I don’t go around speaking Queen’s English. That. Which. Whatever. However. I have never, at least to my knowledge, said, “where you at” Not even jokingly or mockingly. Maybe, maybe a few times when I was young and defiant and cruising for a chastisement from my parents, I said, “Where are you at?” But it felt wrong to say it, the “at” awkwardly tacked on at the end as a feeble attempt at defiance.
 
And as for the missing verb, sentences without verbs should only be used by trained professionals. And at that point in my life, I was not a trained anything. Subject, verb, predicate. Those are the rules and we followed the rules, yes, blindly, we followed the rules of our native tongue. Basically because we didn’t know any differently. We didn’t know how to speak improperly. (Yes. I had to learn how to write incorrectly.) We did this not because our parents were snobs (well, I mean, in most cases) but because communicating in a common language is crucial to functioning in a society. I'm all for bending or ignoring some rules. But when you deliberately bend rules of language for the sole purpose of marketing to a demograph who doesn't know any better, you're merely contributing to an already huge communication problem.
 
I know. I’m “lucky” to have grown up in a home where people spoke in sentences which never, ever ended in prepositions. I never had to overcome the common grammar issue of ending a sentence with at or with or on or in or about or from or before. My parents are united in their hatred for the word at. (ha ha mum, look what I just wrote! Got you with that one, it’s technically correct! Go ahead, diagram it, you’ll see!) Right up there with at is got, which I flagrantly flaunt. Yeah. I’m such a rebel. Right. I’m lucky a few basic communication rules were taught to me as I learned how to speak. I’m lucky I didn’t have bad grammar influences around me in my formative years. I’m lucky to have grown up around the “right sort” of people.
 
And don’t you dare get all in my face about being out of touch with “reality” and how most people live and speak. I’ve lived in swutting Detroit. I spent a lot of years on the West side of Chicago for the most part blending in – I can identify a gang by it’s tag, I am nearly fluent in Spanglish and I certainly do not look down on anyone who simply does not know they are speaking incorrectly. But not to the extent that I will try to pull a Slanglish. I know I’m white, I know I speak white, and I will not make a fool of myself or insult anyone by pandering my speech when I speak to them.

And I am not the mobile service company's target audience. They want to reach young, hip urbanites. And I'm just, you know, a middle aged, semi-hip person who lives firmly in the city limits. Even though I have an income and will be shopping for new mobile service in the near future, this mobile service provider feels it's wise to alienate me and basically turn me off with their marketing. That's okay. I'm sure they won't miss me and I would be embarrassed to tell anyone I use their service. We both walk away unscathed. I realize they have to sell their service by any means possible. I know there are some tough crowds out there. I understand their dilemma, really I do.
 
So no, much as I am not keen on the idea of reinforcing bad grammar, the where you at isn’t actually what’s bothering me about the mobile service provider's new commercials.
 
It’s about Fat Joe.
 
They call Joe fat throughout the entire commercial. Because the whole commercial is about Joe, a husky boy, growing up to become a larger than life, well, large guy. There's an involved series of events which all include his mobile phone which lead him to become an animal psychiatrist. He does well with his animal abilities and begins to live large. And this of course means getting a dope mobile phone service. Which is of course, the mobile service provider.

The selling point being made (I think) is that Joe made it. He chose an unconventional career path, followed his heart, believed in himself and voila! he’s successful. He drives a huge tricked out Cadillac and he’s obviously not missing any meals. And he uses the mobile service provider. He even mumbles "Where you at?" at the end of the commercial. No surprises there.

I realize “Fat Joe” is a metaphor. He’s fat, as in living large. His physical being is used to reinforce that concept. I hope that’s the intention. I can hear the pitch by some hot shot biz guys in a mobile service provider's board room. “Really, young people will identify with Joe while at same time think it’s funny he’s known as Fat Joe. Get it? There's a duality about Joe. They’ll want to be like Joe because he’s an underdog who makes it. He’s got a cool Caddy and chunky jewelry and everything! Underdogs and fat jokes always sell. We can’t lose! And if the fat sector gives us any backlash, we’ll just say Fat Joe is a metaphor for living large. Obviously the whole commercial’s a joke because he’s a pet psychiatrist! See! It’s all one big joke! And just to be safe, we’ll make sure it’s a guy because it’s (air quotes) okay (unairquotes) to make fun of large men because really, it’s okay to be a large man. It’s not okay to be a large woman. Hey, did anyone catch the Pixies? Did you see how big Kim Deal is? Man, she’s huge. Yech. But Frank, man, he’s awesome! Hey! Maybe we could get him to play Fat Joe! That would be really cool! That would give us an in to the alternative rock demograph! Oh wait, no, he’s too white. Maybe we can do a Fat Frank spot for the MTV crowd. And a Fat Kathy for the Lifetime crowd. Man, the ideas are just rollin’ today! See?  It’s all good! Everybody wins!”
 
And the mobile service provider went along with the idea. So now they are not only reinforcing improper grammar, they are now reinforcing making fun of large people while at the same time pandering to a racial stereotype through very thinly veiled livin’ large metaphors. If it weren't so offensive to, well, everyone, I would call it near genius. It will no doubt spark some continued controversy and hence get the mobile service provider's name out there.
 
And even that’s not what’s really bothering me enough to blog about it.
 
What’s bothering me most is that the mobile service provider spent a lot of money and effort to make the Fat Joe spot slick. It’s visually very well done. The wacky underdog finds success story and concept is basically good. Certainly a lot more interesting than “Can you hear me now?” They had something pretty darned good, different, and even interesting in terms of advertising mobile phone service. They had a shot at redemption.
 
And they wrecked it by pandering to a demograph. They Jerry Springered it. They sold out to the lowest common murk to sell their product to an audience who are already firmly entrenched in the mobile phone market. And yes, I realize that’s exactly why they felt the need for guerilla tactics. The mobile phone industry is cut throat and dog eat dog. But why not use this opportunity as a shot at redemption? I'm not saying have Judy Dench sell their service. (although...) I would just like to see them stop pandering and reinforcing negative and incorrect stereotypes. You're not helping the global community, you're helping the chasm grow larger. You've put yourself in the mix of racially divided issue. Why would you want to contribute to an already boiling over kettle of scalding water? Why, mobile service provider, why? Where you at? Who you is, mobile service provider, who you is?
 

View Fat Joe here

5:28 PM

 
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