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Photo: flickr/Lord Jim
| May 7, 2014

What Mad Men can tell us about a bygone era of advertising

Mad Men starts its final season on Sunday. It's a victory lap for one of TV's most successful products. It's ironic (like the show) that its triumph happened on cable, which is the TV form not dependent on ads alone, and that it happens at a time of serious decline for advertising itself, which for over a century was the linchpin of the capitalist system.

At least that's Jeremy Rifkin's claim in his latest hosanna to the virtues of the Internet: The Zero Marginal Cost Society. Advertising belonged to a capital-heavy, hierarchical, vertically integrated era passing away, being replaced by a co-operative, horizontal, networked culture. So consumer reviews, directly accessed, supplant expensive ad campaigns from corporate HQs.

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| December 11, 2012

Tracking the financing of U.S. election ads

Times Square on the morning of election day 2008. Photo: Herve Boinay/Flickr

May Day, Murdoch and the murder of Milly Dowler. What do they have to do with the 2012 U.S. general election? This year's election will undoubtedly be the most expensive in U.S. history, with some projections topping $5 billion. Not only has the amount of spending increased, but its nature has as well, following the 2010 U.S.

| April 17, 2012

Girls fight back against media sexualization

March 20, 2012
| SPARK is a new organization that gives girls a place online where they can speak their minds about how they are seeing themselves represented in the media.
Length: 17:07

Heartwarming video: Little girl rails against pink stuff -- and gender stereotyping

A little girl questions why girls are encouraged to want and buy "all this pink stuff."

| September 12, 2011
| July 8, 2011

What's in a name?

What's in a name? Take socialism.

When I see how opinion leaders all agree the NDP should erase it from party documents, I start thinking they should keep it. Anything that irritates so many sententious people must have a secret ingredient.

The word itself is malleable. It doesn't carry specific historical baggage like communism, Stalinism or fascism. It's more like newspaper, which used to have a lot to do with news and paper. Now it's harder to figure out what's news and it isn't always paper. Newspapers are often out there in the ether, another word that used to mean something else.

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