News & Politics

NetNomad 34

Five offbeat, timely reviews of Web sites on the arts, politics and news -- with a dash of the absurd thrown in for good measure. This week: . . . CuteCouple.com . . . Name Your Baby IUMA! . . . Interbrand . . . Red Action . . . Top Ten Lists of Critics and Filmmakers
CuteCouple.com (www.cutecouple.com)

Oh my, they are indeed a cute couple. "CuteCouple.Com is a documentary website featuring Ashley & Chris and the everyday ups and downs of life, college and relationship. We broadcast live, 24 hours a day, from three cameras in our apartment, while our Daily Diaries, Weekly Calendars, Photo Albums, Chat and even more fun stuff fill in the blanks." Of course it costs money to be this cute. A few bucks will get you a free trial, while Members pay $4.95 a month. Still need more cuteness? Why not become a Fan and fork over $19.95 a month and get to chat with the Cute Ones twice a week. Oh to be young and cute*

Name Your Baby IUMA! (www.iuma.com/Baby/baby-winners.html)

So you've got a young 'uns on the way and can't think of a decent name. And perhaps you'd like someone to help out with the medical bills but Ma and Pa have stopped answering your phone calls? Fear not. The Internet Underground Music Archive (IUMA) has a nifty contest that could help you out. Well, perhaps nifty is not the right word. More like bizarre. The contest is simple enough: the first ten newborn babies to be named "Iuma" (pronounced EYE-UMA) before November 1, 2000 will be eligible to win $5000 cash or "Free Music for Life." We're not sure if that is either/or. One lucky kid has already been so named, Iuma Dylan-Lucas Thornhill to be specific. We're sure Ium'as proud parents Travis and Jessica Thornhill have set up a trust fund so the lucky Iuma can one day spend his well-earned cash!

Interbrand (www.interbrand.com)

The company Interbrand is involved in what is commonly called "branding." In other words, for example, a few years ago the folks at Kentucky Fried Chicken decided that the chain wanted to "disassociate" itself from the word "fried." The decision was taken to re-brand the chain, injecting a more contemporary image. Hence the name KFC was adopted. There are plenty of other examples here, such as giving BMW an image as a maker of "individual mobility" rather than just plain old cars, British Airways as a company embodied by "warmth, multiculturalism, elegance, distinctiveness and humanity" and Compaq "introducing a color unique to its category: the now well-known red for increased impact."

Red Action (www.redaction.org)

There are not too many places in the world where you're likely to find a discussion about why socialism failed. But here's one. Red Action is based in the UK where they lament that "less than a decade ago, for those seeking change, Labour was the choice for hundreds of thousands of people." Not now. New Labour is determined to wipe the working class out politically. It comes as no surprise that Red Action is calling for action, to reclaim the left or what is left of it. Not content to sit and moan, the discussion area is filled with timely suggestions and copies of past and current bulletins are also featured.

Top Ten Lists of Critics and Filmmakers www.combustiblecelluloid.com/faves.shtml

We stumbled across this one and it is certainly a keeper. Combustible Celluloid has apparently canvassed a number of critics and filmmakers and asked them to name their top films of all time. We've all seen critics lists of this sort, but a list from filmmakers is a rare thing. Especially when you consider some of the names on the list. For Lindsay Anderson, L'Age D'Or (1930) topped his list of ten or so titles; Gillian Anderson picked The Bicycle Thief (1949), Bernardo Bertolucci's "top 10 guilty pleasures" starts with Cat People (1942) while Bertrand Tavernier picks Casque D'Or (1952).
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