Search Results

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, GET-WOKE-GO-BROKE EDITION: Rough Social Justice at Evergreen State: The Washington college’s enrollment plummets as even the left sours on protest-mob politics.

Here’s the math behind an academic hemorrhage: Between 500 and 600 fewer students will attend Evergreen State College next fall than in 2017, according to internal estimates. That means projected full-time enrollment is down as much as 17% from 3,500 last fall. When President George Bridges saw an internal email outlining these numbers, his impulse was to get the public-relations department to finesse them. Otherwise, he wrote, they “might end up appearing elsewhere in ways that will be used against us.”

Mr. Bridges has himself to blame. Nationwide, after administrators have capitulated to disruptive student activists, colleges have lost the support of donors, alumni, parents and prospective students. If there was one school you’d expect to defy this trend, it would be Evergreen, in Olympia, Wash. Founded in 1967, the college is proudly to the left of Berkeley and Middlebury. Its motto is literally “let it all hang out”—omnia extares—and radical activism has always been part of the pitch. But new records show that Evergreen hasn’t been spared the backlash that has plagued schools like the University of Missouri. This time, it’s coming from the left.

Applications for fall 2018 are down 20%. Sandra Kaiser, Evergreen’s vice president for college relations, claims the low application and enrollment numbers may not be as bad as they look because many students commit to Evergreen “at the last moment.” She added that “we normally expect enrollment to decline in a full-employment economy,” given that working adults, veterans and community-college transfers account for about half the student body.

At least someone is sick of all the winning. But an independent report on the protests, commissioned by Evergreen last October, reached a different conclusion. Published in April, it said that the declines in applications and enrollment were indeed “understood to be at least in part the result of the disruptions of last spring.” Moreover, current students were fleeing. Retention rates had long been “relatively stable,” the report said, but after the protests, undergraduate retention “reached its lowest performance in over a decade.” Only 60% of first-time, first-year students who enrolled last fall stayed through the end of the school year, “a full 8 percentage points below the prior year,” the report said.

All of this to placate a small group of students and faculty and “student life” administrators who will never be placated. A few firings and expulsions early on, coupled with strong statements about free speech, would have prevented this debacle.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Kelly Clarkson Opens Billboard Music Awards by Demanding ‘Action’ Against School Shootings.

She admitted she was supposed to begin the show with “a moment of silence,” but she rejected the idea, saying moments of silence are “not working.” She suggested a “moment of action” and of “change” instead.

* * * * * * * *

Clarkson did not reference gun control in calling for “action” and “change,” but gun control was the celebrity mantra from the moment that news of the Santa Fe High School shooting broke.

The problem with pushing gun control, or any “action” and “change” that may include gun control, is that the alleged Santa Fe gunman made a mockery of the left’s gun control proposals. Their go-to controls are an “assault weapons” ban, a “high-capacity” magazine ban, universal background checks, and waiting periods on gun purchases. But the alleged gunman was too young to purchase guns, so waiting periods and universal background checks would be pointless. Moreover, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said the attacker used a .38 revolver and a shotgun, so an “assault weapons” ban and a “high-capacity” magazine ban would not have hindered the attack in the least.

But was anybody watching? “Time-zone adjusted numbers put the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at a 2.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 7.9 million viewers. That is a new low for the awards show in the key demo,” Variety reports. “It is also a decrease of approximately 8% in the demo and 9% in total viewers compared to the 2017 ceremony.”

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, GET-WOKE-GO-BROKE EDITION: Plummeting enrollment prompts $6M budget cut at Evergreen State.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE? ABC set to dial back political humor from pro-Trump ‘Roseanne’ next season.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: The Strange Case of Dick’s. “Dick’s CEO cares more about his standing with the club than about his company’s profitability. If I were a Dick’s shareholder, this would make me very unhappy. So far, Dick’s anti-gun activism doesn’t seem to have hurt the company’s value; not much, anyway. But Stack’s admission that his virtue signaling likely will lose shareholders’ money is remarkable.”

GET WOKE, GO BROKE:  Gun Manufacturers Fire Back at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Halt Sales.

THIS WILL END WELL: Starbucks adopts open-bathroom policy following the arrests of two black men and a third who said he was denied use of the restroom.

“Starbucks, in other words, has just announced its stores are not stores primarily, but are now privately-funded shelters and bathroom facilities for the homeless,” Ace wrote last month. “You don’t have to spend a slim dime in the store to sit as long as you please and use the bathrooms. That’ll be great for Starbucks’ business. Their yuppie douchebag clientele love the homeless in the abstract, but we’ll see how much they appreciate their coffee shops being jammed with them, close-up-like, occupying most tables and chairs. I don’t even want to defend Starbucks; I want them to have the full taste of Social Justice Warrior progressivism. If this is the company’s ideology, then they should live that ideology to the full.”

Oh, they will. As I added at the time, by appeasing the mob, Starbucks’ management have walked into a box canyon. Get woke, go broke? It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens next.

IT ISN’T ALWAYS NICE TO MAKE TWITCHY: ‘Bye bye’! Report about Dick’s Sporting Goods going ‘all-in on gun control’ sends heads to desks.

Also: “Get woke, go broke,” should make itself felt shortly.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: ESPN Lost Half A Million Subscribers — Just Last Month.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: A reader emails: “There’s a homeless guy just napping in the cushion chair in Starbucks right now. I’m not kidding. The world has gone crazy.” Expect more of this. A lot more.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Barbara Bush-bashing professor has Fresno State scrambling to keep its donors.

Related: Rod Dreher writes that “today, I am much less sympathetic to Randa Jarrar than I was when she first spouted off. I still lean towards not firing her. But boy, is she ever a poster child for left-wing academic privilege and arrogance. If the university president fires her for pranking the crisis hotline, I won’t be sorry.”

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: The Changes That Made California Become a Liberal Fiasco.


Get woke, go broke.


  1. Now Starbucks is saying this was all contrary to their policy and, presumably, anyone who wants to sit in their shops and not order anything and use the bathrooms has the right to do so as long as they like.
  2. Starbucks, in other words, has just announced its stores are not stores primarily, but are now privately-funded shelters and bathroom facilities for the homeless. You don’t have to spend a slim dime in the store to sit as long as you please and use the bathrooms.
  3. That’ll be great for Starbucks’ business. Their yuppie douchebag clientele love the homeless in the abstract, but we’ll see how much they appreciate their coffee shops being jammed with them, close-up-like, occupying most tables and chairs.
  4. I don’t even want to defend Starbucks; I want them to have the full taste of Social Justice Warrior progressivism. If this is the company’s ideology, then they should live that ideology to the full.

Read the whole thing.

Live by Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, die by it as well.  I don’t think Starbucks realizes what they’ve let themselves in for after years of leftwing virtue signaling. As Noah Rothman writes at Commentary in a post titled “Eating Their Own,” Starbucks’ management brought much of the ongoing fury on themselves via their own virtue signaling and speaking in SJW pieties:

Rosalind Brewer, Starbucks COO and a young African-American woman, called the incident a “teachable moment for all of us” and recommended “unconscious-bias” training for every Starbucks staffer. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson joined ABC’s “Good Morning America” to personally apologize to the men involved in this incident when protesters interrupted his appearance. “A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black,” they chanted. You can’t blame these demonstrators for noticing that the terms of engagement had broadened significantly.

* * * * * * * *

It is easy to see why this kind of activism is more satisfying than, say, going on about Chick-Fil-A’s Christian values. Despite a six-year-long liberal campaign dedicated to educating the public on the deliciousness of its products, the benefits and time off afforded its employees, and franchising opportunities in underserved urban markets, this chain just keeps on expanding. Imagine that. Routinely rebuffed assaults on a fortified position are exhausting. They are nowhere near as rewarding as a direct attack on a receptive target that yields a quick and gratifying victory. That explains why social justice activists are increasingly focused on exacting concessions from like minds: young adult novelists, liberal filmmakers, Hollywood executives, painters, restauranteurs, university professors and administrators, socially conscious corporations, and the left-of-center politicians who have folded these activists into their core constituencies.

These intramural feuds are transforming the progressive movement from within, but it’s not clear that the social-justice movement has secured anything other than the illusion of efficacy.

By appeasing the mob, Starbucks’ management have walked into a box canyon. Get woke, go broke? It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens next.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: The Wax Wars Rage On At Penn Law.

OH TO BE IN ENGLAND: London pensioner, 78, is arrested on suspicion of murder after ‘stabbing armed burglar, 38, to death in a struggle in his kitchen’ when two intruders woke him as he slept next to his wife.

Shades of the vignettes Mark Steyn described in his June 2000 American Spectator column, “In the Absence of Guns:”

No wonder, even as they’re being pounded senseless, many British crime victims are worrying about potential liability. A few months ago, Shirley Best, owner of the Rolander Fashion boutique whose clients include the daughter of the Princess Royal, was ironing some garments when two youths broke in. They pressed the hot iron into her side and stole her watch, leaving her badly burnt. “I was frightened to defend myself,” said Miss Best. “I thought if I did anything I would be arrested.”

And who can blame her? Shortly before the attack, she’d been reading about Tony Martin, a Norfolk farmer whose home had been broken into and who had responded by shooting and killing the teenage burglar. He was charged with murder. In April, he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment–for defending himself against a career criminal in an area where the police are far away and reluctant to have their sleep disturbed. In the British Commonwealth, the approach to policing is summed up by the motto of Her Majesty’s most glamorous constabulary: The Mounties always get their man–i.e., leave it to us. But these days in the British police, when they can’t get their man, they’ll get you instead: Frankly, that’s a lot easier, as poor Mr. Martin discovered.

More here:

Between the introduction of pistol permits in 1903 and the banning of handguns after the Dunblane massacre in 1996, Britain has had a century of incremental gun control–“sensible measures that all reasonable people can agree on.” And what’s the result? Even when you factor in America’s nutcake jurisdictions with the crackhead mayors, the overall crime rate in England and Wales is higher than in all 50 states, even though over there they have more policemen per capita than in the U.S., on vastly higher rates of pay installing more video surveillance cameras than anywhere else in the Western world.

Steyn’s column is a pretty good sneak preview where America could be headed if the Parkland kids have their way.

(Found via Dana Loesch.)

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: ESPN’s AM “WokeCenter” Debuts To Worst Ratings Ever.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Why I Cancelled My NFL Season Tickets—by Congressman Diane Black, Republican Candidate for TN Governor.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE, EH? David Solway on Going for Broke, the Canadian Way.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Survey Says Politicized Sports, Entertainment Driving Viewers Away.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Dick’s Posts ‘Deeper than Expected’ Losses Weeks After Taking Anti-Gun Stance.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Media Hit With Massive Layoffs in 2018.

WELL, YOU KNOW HOW THEY SAY “GET WOKE, GO BROKE”:  Disney: Woke Is In, ‘Wrinkle’s’ Christianity? Not So Much.

GET WOKE, GO REPUTATIONALLY BROKE: Apple, Google see reputation of corporate brands tumble in survey. “IPhone maker Apple dropped to 29th from its previous position of No. 5, and Google dropped from 8th to No. 28. Apple had ranked No. 2 as recently as 2016, according to the annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient poll released on Tuesday.”

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: It’s So Much Fun Knowing ESPN’s Relationship With The NFL Is Horrible.

ANDREW KLAVAN: At the Box Office and Voting Booth, Leftist Fantasies Bomb.

Get woke, go broke.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Oscar Ratings Down Double Digits, Eye All-Time Low In Early Estimates.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE:  By ditching the NRA, companies are dividing Americans.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Not A Single CNN Show Is In The Top 20 For Cable News.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Delta hit with a sea of angry customers after it bans NRA discounts.


Get woke, go broke. There’s a valuable lesson here for other corporations: Maybe next time don’t immediately surrender to the SJW outrage mob — they’re not your core customers, despise your business, and are eager to see you fail, even if you do implement whatever their harebrained wishes of the day are.

Related: “So, let me explain what’s going on with this and the NRA benefits thing: none of this came together on the fly; this is a carefully researched strategy that’s being executed now [because] the moment is favorable.”

More: “USA Today reported that only 13 Delta passengers had taken advantage of the NRA discount, which ‘translates into each discount costing the airline about $3 million in tax breaks’ the company lost in Georgia.”

Since many, if not all opponents of the Second Amendment believe that paying higher taxes is patriotic, why on earth would Delta want their tax break returned?

SHOCKER: NRA Boycotters Get Spanked In Public Opinion Polls: Morning Consult found that succumbing to gun control activists’ pressure took a toll on businesses amid heated national debate.

See, here’s the thing. There’s a fair amount of soft support for gun control, but only a small number of gun control supporters do so with any intensity. On the other hand, there are a lot more gun-rights supporters with high intensity. So it’s bad for companies. Trouble is, the high-intensity gun control supporters are disproportionately found among the people who run companies and those they associate with. This tends to cause them to virtue-signal to their own crowd at expense of the businesses they’re in charge of.

Related: CEOs Choose Sides on Gun Control at Their Own Risk.

In some cases, companies’ responses have unleashed an online backlash as heated as the initial social-media firestorm—a reminder to companies that in placating one consumer group, it’s easy to alienate another.

A recent survey found companies that have ended discounts for National Rifle Association members in recent days lost more than they gained in reputation. For example, while MetLife Inc.’s 45% favorable rating didn’t change after respondents learned it ended its NRA discount, the proportion of respondents with an unfavorable view of MetLife doubled to 24%. The poll of 2,201 Americans was conducted by market-research firm Morning Consult. A spokesman from MetLife declined to comment.

Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. incurred the wrath of several prominent Georgia conservatives, including Casey Cagle, the lieutenant governor, after dropping its discount on flights to the National Rifle Association’s annual convention. The lieutenant governor also threatened to kill a pending bill that would provide a jet fuel tax break at Atlanta’s airport, Delta’s main hub.

Remember the rule: Get woke, go broke.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: GreenTech, the electric car company once led by McAuliffe, files for bankruptcy. “The electric car company founded by former Gov. Terry McAuliffe filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week, blaming in part a wave of negative coverage by a conservative news website for its financial woes.”


According to its bankruptcy filing, GreenTech raised $141.5 million from investors between 2009 and 2013 as part of the EB-5 visa program that offered immigrant investors permanent residency.

GreenTech’s filing says that all the investors were advised the investment constituted a risk “and that there were no assurances that the investors would ultimately receive permanent residency in the U.S.”

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that GreenTech’s business model relied heavily on having a Democrat in the Oval Office.

YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY, GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Mavericks Interim CEO: “We Will Be The Standard Of Inclusion & Diversity.”

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Newsweek Couldn’t Pay Its Rent on Time and Faced Eviction.

Well, it was inevitable, as this stuff always ends the same way:

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: “For the last Friday of the often-struggling PyeongChang Games, NBC and NBCSN’s combined primetime coverage grabbed a 9.2/16 in metered market results. That is an all-time low for an Olympics that is on track to be the lowest ever.”

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Olympic Viewership Headed for Lowest Numbers Ever.

THE TRUTH HURTS: CNN’s Chris Cillizza offended by Fox News’ totally accurate chyron.

Related: Hate Fatigue: CNN Viewership Collapses 30%.

Get woke, go broke.


GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Olympics viewership is down, even as NBC pays more for the rights to air it.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: The NFL Is Losing Its Core Audience, a WSJ/NBC News Poll Finds “Just 51% of men aged 18 to 49 say they follow the NFL closely, down from 75% four years ago.”

The poll shows that fans are following the sport less closely, even in key demographics, such as young men, that historically propelled the league’s growth. At the same time, parents increasingly want their children to turn away from football amid growing worry about player safety and the league’s efforts to address it.

The drop in interest spans age groups and the political spectrum—painting the picture of a sport that isn’t just experiencing a momentary dip, but a battle against fundamental questions about football’s future that have been building for years.

At a time like this, the NFL should be doing everything it can think of to strengthen its appeal to core demographics. But that isn’t quite the tack Roger Goodell has taken.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: The 2018 Grammys Ratings Were an Unmitigated Disaster.


The polarization is almost entirely the result of the fact that the NFL let players play politics on the field all season long with their National Anthem protests.

This, in turn, helps explain why NFL ratings took a nose-dive in 2017. NBC’s viewership, for example, was the lowest it’s been since 2008. In-game ad revenue dropped 1.2%, and attendance fell 3% to the lowest level since 2011.

Baseball, in contrast, appeals almost evenly to Democrats and Republicans, avoided political intrigue, and gets virtually identical (and very positive) promoter scores — with just a 4-point difference.

The NFL is a case study in the perils of playing politics to which other companies would do well to pay heed. No matter what side a company takes in a charged political debate, it’s guaranteed to upset a large chunk of its customer base. And for what?

Too many of our institutions — the vast majority, in fact — are run by people who are more concerned with their reputation among fellow elites than with the performance of the institutions they are responsible for.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Social Justice Warrior Jemelle Hill Steps Down from ESPN’s Little-Watched Nostalgia Trip, Sports Center, Ace of Spades writes:

Trouble is, as Marvel Comics is finding out, Social Justice Warriors are not consumers of any of these products, and will not buy them even if they have been converted into full Social Justice Warrior propaganda outfits.

These organizations are being infiltrated by Social Justice Warriors not because Social Justice Warriors like them or the cultural products they produce, but because Social Justice Warriors know that non- Social Justice Warriors enjoy these products, and thus these cultural artifacts must be seized and repurposed to serve leftist indoctrination ends or simply destroyed.

Read the whole thing. As Robert Conquest’s third law of politics states, “The simplest way to explain the behavior of any bureaucratic organization is to assume that it is controlled by a cabal of its enemies.”

UPDATE: Outkick the Coverage Claims Jemelle Hill Was Forced Out Due to Ratings “Collapse.”

As Glenn noted in October, “So in ESPN we see an institution that is recklessly alienating its prime customer base, and only now — much too late — beginning to dimly sense that it’s in trouble.” And like the rest of the Ruling Class, “their loyalties are essentially tribal. They care more about what their peers think of them than, basically, anything else, including the success or failure of the institutions they manage. Thus, they are prone to suicidal levels of virtue-signaling. And — because they are socially and intellectually isolated from non-ruling-class Flyover America — they often have no idea how badly their actions resonate.”

Huh — I thought the left was obsessed with the concept of “sustainability.” Who knew that mixing toxic SJW politics and sports would be a recipe for disaster?

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Schumer listened to the Resistance — and lost badly.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: All Four NFL Playoff Games See Double-Digit Ratings Decrease.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Cowboys TV ratings in Dallas-Fort Worth market plummeted to lowest point in decade in 2017 season.

ROGER KIMBALL: The Left’s Hostile Takeover of Corporate America.

The problem is the primacy of educated-class virtue-signaling over everything else. As I’ve noted: “Our elites care more about what their peers think of them than about what they’re supposed to be doing. No wonder so many institutions are failing.”

Get woke, go broke.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: DC Finally Overtakes SJW Marvel as Top Comic Book Company of 2017.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Monday Night Football Hits All Time Ratings Low on ESPN. “I’m not an expert on ratings data, but based on these numbers ESPN has lost around 35% of its Monday Night Football audience since 2010. As if that weren’t enough, ESPN has also let it be known that they may not be keeping Monday Night Football when this deal expires because the company can no longer afford to pay $2 billion a year thanks to collapsing subscriber numbers, increased costs for other sports programming, and the dwindling ratings on their network.”

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: NFL plots a cure for sagging ratings, empty seats.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: NFL Cancels Final Sunday Night Game of 2017.

Heckuva job this year, Roger Goodell.

THEY CHOSE…POORLY. Bad Calls of 2017 Sports: NFL Fumbles Away its Reputation, Drives for Social Justice Paydirt.

Get woke, go broke, to coin an Insta-phrase.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Baltimore Ravens admit anthem protests tanked their ticket sales.

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: Slump in sales of superhero comics threatens Disney, Netflix and others.

(Classical reference in headline.)

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: NFL TV Partners Set To Lose Up To $500 Million On Ratings Decline.

(Classical reference in headline.)

GET WOKE, GO BROKE: The NFL ratings slump is getting worse.


Hamblin likes the idea of “redefining strength” by accepting, in the moment, that one has been “physically overpowered” and not getting caught up in “the idea of masculinity as an amalgam of dominance and violence.” Instead, Jacobs, speaking “as if narrating for the audio recorder,” said “You just body-slammed me and broke my glasses.” He also “started asking for names of witnesses to the assault who will be assets to his case as it plays out in courts of law and public opinion,” and reported the incident to the police.

Of course, Jacobs’s choices were not merely a matter of overcoming physical impulses and meritoriously eschewing violence. I don’t know how much of an impulse to retaliate on the spot he may have felt. I don’t really know how violently he was hit. I don’t even know if he did something first toward Gianforte and Gianforte was doing the old tit for tat retaliation. But narrating the audio, dropping it on line, going to the police, and taking names for litigation purposes is also a form of dominance. Some people would even call it violence. Why, here’s an article in The Atlantic from just last June: “Enforcing the Law Is Inherently Violent/A Yale law professor suggests that oft-ignored truth should inform debates about what statutes and regulations to codify.”

But personally, I’m now sufficiently woke to praise Gianforte for body-slamming rapist Ben Jacobs:

Thanks to male feminist Jordan Hoffman for enlightening me.


If this sounds familiar, it’s because this is the exact same phenomena that elected Barack Obama president. It’s the same phenomena as attempting to make 75-year-old socialist Bernie Sanders into some kind of hip cool kooky pop culture meme.

Obama was also a product. He was packaged up with a slick logo, catchy slogans and a great marketing campaign and people were allowed to attach whatever they wanted to him.

Obama was a can of delicious and refreshing Pepsi. His domestic policy never amounted much to other than “fair shot” or “yes we can” and having subordinates in the media push his message out to take to the streets or block traffic as a means of somehow attempting to get politicians to change what they believe and vote the way he wanted them to on issues he cared about. Legislating was never an option. Symbolic gestures of marching across bridges is what sold.

When a Cambridge police officer arrested a professor friend of his, he wasted no time calling the officer stupid, encouraged protests, and in the end lectured the country over a beer summit over the mistake he himself made.

Jonah Goldberg and Rod Dreher have compared Pepsi’s ad to Columbia’s infamous late ‘60s “But The Man Can’t Bust Our Music” ad; others have compared it to the finale of the TV series Mad Men, in which Don Draper audits an est session at Big Sur, and then in a flash of inspiration, creates the famous Coca-Cola “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” ad. But music companies have been selling rebellion since the days of Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, and Elvis; in the ‘60s, Decca made its fortune selling “transgressive” Rolling Stones records, and Columbia made their money selling Blood, Sweat & Tears, Simon & Garfunkel, Santana, and in the following decade, Bruce Springsteen and Pink Floyd.

As Mark Steyn wrote a decade ago in his essay on Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind and its chapter attacking rock music, “unlike most revolutions, the regime itself—in the shape of RCA, Columbia, Warner Brothers, and the other corporate entities that dominate the business to this day—proved far wilier survivors than Louis XVI. They’ve made a very nice living out of ersatz revolution.” Columbia’s biggest mistake in their “Man Can’t Bust Our Music” ad was explicitly calling attention to what a sham ‘60s rebellion by way of rock and roll actually was. Unlike Coke’s pioneering multi-culti “Teach the World” ad, the same can be said of Pepsi, for crafting an ad that turned out to be too on-the-nose, thus angering those who should have been its biggest supporters.

IN THE BRINK’S COMMERCIAL, the burglar just runs away. In real life it takes more than an alarm to be safe:

Jon Sokol wasn’t trying to be a hero when he confronted a burglary suspect who had brazenly broken through the front door of his home in St. Paul.

Sokol, 49, said his adrenaline was flowing as he crept up the stairs, revolver in hand, from the basement bedroom he shares with his wife.

His wife had been awoken at about 4:45 a.m. Wednesday by their alarm system and initially thought Sokol had — again — opened the door to get the newspaper without turning off the alarm. But there he was, sleeping right next to her. . . .

“Down on the ground he went and I insisted, in a not very nice way, that he not move,” he said. “I held him at gunpoint until the police arrived.”

Michael G. Spencer, 31, of St. Paul, has been charged in Ramsey County District Court with two felony counts of burglary. He has a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for theft and burglary as recently as last year

Soon to grow lengthier, I’d imagine. He was carrying a knife.

UPDATE: Another report here, somewhat more vivid. Via Scott Johnson who adds: “Unbelievably, the story is followed by self-defense tips (also pasted in below) which do not include packing heat.” Self-defense tips are good. Here’s another one: Have a gun.

SCIENCE FICTION RECOMMENDATIONS: As promised, here are some. I’m not including fantasy or alt-history here — maybe I’ll do that later. Just real science fiction.

Anyway, in no particular order:

Joe Haldeman’s Camouflage: It’s not anything like the Forever War, and as I noted earlier the ending is a bit abrupt, but I liked it.

I liked Peter Hamilton’s Pandora’s Star enough that I ordered the sequel, though it hasn’t come yet.

Series often run dry, but the Larry Niven Ringworld-derived Man-Kzin Wars series has gotten a new lease on life with installments X and XI which are pretty good. The Kzin have always been one of my favorite alien species.

The Heechee are another, and Fred Pohl’s new book, The Boy Who Would Live Forever was very good. His AI-Chef hero is pretty fun, too.

John Birmingham’s Designated Targets, sequel to the Hillary-Clinton-inspired Weapons of Choice, is very good. I’m not sure if I should score it as alt-history or science fiction, but I’m putting it here since there’s interdimensional travel involved.

It’s been a big Scalzi year for me: I liked Old Man’s War, and its sequel, Ghost Brigades. And Agent to the Stars was fun, too.

It’s also been a big Charles Stross year, with Accelerando coming out. And you might also like his Iron Sunrise, which features a warblogger hero. You can read Accelerando free on his website.

Richard Morgan’s Takeshi Kovacs novels, Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies are all very good. On the other hand, I couldn’t get through Market Forces: I just found its premise impossible to swallow.

Well, that’s a pretty fair assortment. Here’s an earlier post with science fiction recommendations, and here’s one with alt-history recommendations. And here’s another along those lines. Meanwhile, here’s a post from last year with lots of other book recommendations. That should be enough to get you going!

But don’t forget, you can get a lot of excellent science fiction books, many quite recent, for free online at the Baen Free Library. And don’t miss the introductory essay by Eric Flint.