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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 22, 2008 / 17 Iyar 5768

Invasion of the flogos

By Paul Greenberg


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | TOPSAIL ISLAND, N.C. — A German poet once said that the great advantage of being in love is that one loses all interest in newspapers. Much the same effect can be achieved by a walk on the beach, and without all the subsequent consequences.


Time slows. The clock disappears. Only high tide and low count. The sound of the surf lulls continually. Each wave is different, each the same. The sight of the ocean stretching to the horizon steadies like the stars in the night sky. ... The news of the day? It is put in its eminently forgettable place, unable to compete with the waves.


But a newspaper addict is not so easily cured. I find myself searching for the local papers. No USA Today, please. That's the paper for airports and hotels, for the permanently transient. I want my news, like my food, served up with a local flavor.


So I go scouring the little IGA next to the only intersection in town with a stoplight. I'll settle for even a week-old copy of the Topsail Voice or Pender Post. It may be old news to the locals, but it's fresh to a visitor. And I still maintain my umbilical connection to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which is full of homegrown flavor.


But an unsettling story awaits in the Business and Technology section. ("Look, up in the sky, it's a ... logo cloud.") The things are called Flogos, and are the latest way to advertise, says their inventor. A former magician, he's developed a machine that sends foamy clouds as big as four feet across into the air, which can assume any shape the advertiser desires.


Next month the air above Walt Disney World in Orlando is due to be covered with Flogos shaped like Mickey Mouse. In the future you could follow a trail of Toyotas or Schwinns or longneck bottles of Bud to wherever they're sold. The sky's the limit, literally.


Imagine waking up on the beach one morning to find the sky filled with the kind of ads you went on vacation to escape. The Disneyfication of the world proceeds apace as a faux enchantment supplants the real kind that Nature provides.


What impressed most about this long story is that it raised — and dismissed — any number of questions about Flogos' effect on the physical environment, but nowhere did it discuss the visualpollution they represent.


Imagine getting up in the morning, taking your cup of coffee and morning paper out to the porch or deck for a few minutes of peace, and, instead of starting the day under G-d's pristine sky, you look up and see it's filled with Mickey Mouses or little purple pills or Nike Swooshes or political ads. ... The possibilities are as limitless as they are dismaying.


The American genius for commercialization — of everything — strikes again. How long before Flogos become as common as Muzak in elevators, or Head-On ads shouting at you from your television screen, or some disembodied, uninterruptable voice on your phone trying to sell you something? The mind recoils. So does the spirit.


The news article, by Jay Reeves of the Associated Press, explores the pros and cons of Flogos. Environmentally, there doesn't seem to be a problem since Flogos are nothing but a mass of bubbles — soap, water and air — that soon float away. But the local office of the Federal Aviation Administration might have to be notified when they're launched, lest the sight distract aircraft pilots. (Even so, you know some lawyer somewhere will someday, somehow claim damages.)


Before reading this in-depth analysis of Flogos, I had no idea that the University of Florida had a professor of English and Advertising, a combination that alarms. Like an endowed chair of poetry and propaganda. The professor's name is James Twitchell, and he sees nothing essentially novel about the basic concept of Flogos; he recalls that once upon a misguided time there was a plan afoot to launch an advertisement into space that could be seen every evening at sunset. Happily, the idea remained only theoretical.


I don't want to sound like an alarmist, or like the script of a B sci-fi movie, but the Invasion of the Flogos may be imminent. The danger is clear and soon enough may be all too present. There oughta be a law, or at least a regulation. Quick. Before the need for one becomes as evident as the once clear blue sky.


But no law, no regulation, can prevent this kind of mundane desecration if something within us — some elemental reverence — is not offended by the thought of a sky dotted with soapy Post-It Notes.


It's not so much the absence of a law that allows such schemes to take float, but a failure of the culture. Formal law is a poor substitute for manners, for the old understanding that one does not deface others' property. And the sky belongs to us all. It should be beyond such intrusions. But somewhere along the confused line, we've come to think, or rather assume, that the Universe is there for man to scrawl his graffiti on it.


I doubtless make too much of Flogos, for they are only another small but annoying example of the general intrusion on the private appreciation of public spaces. Other examples abound, from the loud cell-phone user next to you in the airport to the planners who figure the best use of land is to raze every tree on it for parking. It's not Flogos that are the basic problem; they're just one more instance of how valueless we've come to consider the invaluable. .

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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