Friday, October 29, 2010

There is no Parallel between Islamophobia and Homphobia

Robert Wright in The New York Times bemoans the wave of islamophobia and compares it the homophobia a generation ago.  His angle is the recent Juan Williams affair.  If I was gay, I'd have taken offense.

Write accurately points out: "Over the past nine years about 90 million flights have taken off from American airports, and not one has been brought down by a Muslim terrorist. Even in 2001, no flights were brought down by people in 'Muslim garb.'"

But, Wright's logic completely fails when you consider the following fact: homophobia, ridiculous as it is, is not the result of some sort of global gay agenda to destroy "The Infidel," murder civilians and impose a religion on others. 

I'm curious, how many murders or terrorist attacks have been perpetrated in the name of homosexuality? Perhaps the convicted Times Square bomber is secretly gay.  Nidal Hassan might be gay, too.

Juan Williams should likely not have said what he did.  But Wright's position reveals simple ignorance of recent history.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Of Urban Legends and Parental Behavior

Never, in the United States, has a child died from eating poisoned candy on Halloween.  (No, I didn't do my own research; I'm relying on The Wall Street Journal.)

Why then, the insanity around this relatively harmless holiday?

Lenore Skenazy has her own theories.  I think it's just a great case study for effective public relations and communications.  Consider:
  • The overwhelming opinion seems to be that Halloween is a dangerous time for kids.  
  • The facts do not support this.
  • No one cares.
What we see here is that once a narrative takes hold it is next-to-impossible to dispel it, even if it is blatantly incorrect.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If you're looking for Viagra, don't expect to see deals in your inbox.

It's a happy day for anyone with an email inbox., the leading purveyor of inbox clutter, mysteriously closed down earlier in the week.

Based in Russia, the company was responsible for so much email spam, that people who monitor global spam traffic (Yes, it's apparently a job.) have noticed a decline of up to 20%.

Now where am I going to find special deals on Viagra?