A long post, but not the one I said I'd write.

So yeah, that introspective thingus I said I might write? I've decided against it. I'm just summing it up in that I do not function well alone, and that being the sort of person I am causes me to be alone. There's more too it, and fleshing it out even that much has given me second thoughts about even posting this, so I'm not going to go into it. The point is I'm in a rut, and I'm not quite sure when it began, because being in a rut is a familiar thing to me.

Moving on.

I don't know how many of you click on any of the links I have, but Questionable Content has been especially resonant in its past few strips. Well, resonant for me at least.

There is a new version of Firefox out. Get it. It is good. More support for higher web standards means that the more people get it, the better the web ends up being.

Ok, I think it's about time I wrote something large here, so just let me collect myself for a second.

*switches music from metal a la System of a Down to blues-ish rock a la Blues Traveler*


I am going to talk about ad trucks. For those of you unaware, ad trucks are tractor-trailers that are paid to drive around big cities with ads in tow. They carry no goods. They serve no purpose other than to try and get us to buy shit we don't need. So far, they've been mostly prevalent in Canada; Toronto and Montreal being the most infested. However, Ikea, to drop a name, has marketed in that fashion over here.

Fucking Ikea.

I'm trying to think of a worse form of advertizing. Maybe if there were achers hiding in back alleys tagging pedestrians with arrows that had flyers tied to them. My conclusion for now (yes that's slightly contradictory but get over it) is that there is no legal way to piss me off more with your advertizing than to put it on a fucking truck. Then again those fuckers are inventive. They'll probably find a way. And the fucked up thing is that if I carved their ruttin' intestines out, I'd go to jail.

Why am I so pissed off? There are a multitude of reasons. In no particular order:

It is getting to the point where you cannot turn your head without seeing an ad. They take up about a third of the airtime on television, during which the VOLUME IS FUCKING AMPLIFIED. You need to install special software to keep web ads from destroying your hard drive and tracking your use of the internet. Your email; your snailmail: full of them. And that's just at home. Commercials have weaseled their way into the cinemas. I don't know about other cities, but in Boston, companies rent out entire subway stations of adspace. I could provide an exhaustive list of places where ads are and they shouldn't be, but I'll save myself the embolism. The point is, we do not need more ads in our lives. These trucks intensify the already annoying corporate nature of our cities.

These trucks do not serve a constructive purpose, and yet their rank inefficiency drives up the demand (and thus the price) of gas. In a point in time where bills like the Clear Skies Act serve to lessen the restrictions on pollution control, these heavily-polluting vehicles are yet another blow against the efforts to curb global warming and improve air quality.

These trucks are ugly. I don't need to elaborate there.

Speaking as a native of Boston (well, a suburb to the north of it if you must), which is one of the most difficult cities in the nation to navigate in a car, I can say that the extra congestion is most certainly not welcome. To quote Ryan North, "the time lost stuck behind an ad truck can be directly traced to some jerk who thought that his message was more important than minutes from your life."

These fucking things make people's lives both subjectively and quantifiably worse in the pursuit of commercial gain. If I ever meet the guy who came up with this idea I will punch him in the face. If I see one of these trucks parked I will seriously consider slashing the tires.

Luckily, some people are out there fighting the good fight on a legal level. If that doesn't work though, I say that working at other levels is perfectly justified, in a style fusing the better parts of Tyler Durden and Hunter S. Thompson. Just try and tell me that wouldn't be totally fucking badass.


  1. ah. ad trucks.

    i don't know about other countries in asia, but ad trucks are prevalent in the philippines. at least in manila (where traffic jams are the absolute worst). there are huge ones with their ads glaring in white light bright enough to burn your eyelids off. and there are small ones which announce that, yes, this particular brand sanitary pad is biodegradable. hold on, wait a minute, lemme tell my excited vagina. jesus.

    our metro rail has kachillions of ads, too. in fact, some of our trains are completely, literally wrapped in them. so if you're standing behind the yellow line and a train happens to whiz by, you get two seconds of advert brainwashing there. and there are ads that fit the exact specifications of the handrails. absolutely brillliant. note the sarcasm.

    we've taken to covering entire sides of buildings in lengthwise billboard. and oh, there's a company that specializes in ads posted specifically on the cubicle doors in bathrooms.

    there are mobile phone ads and mobile phone ads that come disguised as ringtones and i'm sure i can think of more if i wasn't already so concerned that i was cluttering up your space.

    anyway. back to ad trucks. the only things more fucking ugly than ad trucks are the people who think these sort of shit up.

  2. oh, and on a completely different note, a friend of mine has been singing OPERA praises. i've yet to download it for a comparison.

  3. Living in NY a good part of the year I have to say you are right.

    I rarely saw add trucks where I came from in Maryland unless I was in the city, but the burbs were fairly free of them.

    I am not even sure what the purpose of them is except to annoy.

    I downloaded firefox and really haven't seen a difference as yet but it's only been a day. I was getting some pretty annoying adds in firefox too as of late, which perplexed me as this was not supposed to happen with firefox but eh whatever. I just want to know how my registry ended up with a billion different domains in it from every site in the world and every porn sight in the galaxy.

  4. Tran: Clutter? you forget yourself.

    And here I thought I was going to go the whole day without someone saying "lemme tell my excited vagina."

    What you describe is the same vision that haunts me. That shit cannot be allowed to pass. Seriously. Once I've purged North America I'll look east. ;)

    I haven't tried opera. From what I hear it's a fine program but a lot of websites don't show up well on it. Some webmasters go out of their way to make their sites work on non-IE browsers out of principle, but that can hardly be seen as the norm.
    Also, nice avatar.

    Alice: I think it means that your scouring of the web is a lot more thorough than mine. Find anything good?

    The reason it started to happen with Firefox is that the growing market share it holds means there is an incentive for advertisers to shell out some bucks to hire programmers to find some way put their shit through. One would hope that the Mozilla Foundation is on top of this.