Archive for the ‘Fashion’ Category

Service of Salvaged & Recycled Material in Art & Craft

Thursday, December 5th, 2013


Nancy Kubale's "Traveler II," incorporates recycled barn wood

Nancy Kubale’s “Traveler II,” incorporates recycled barn wood

My client’s American Fine Craft Show Brooklyn, December 14-15, at the landmark Brooklyn Museum Beaux-Arts Court, exemplifies the importance of found or recycled materials in art and craft by some of the country’s most talented, creative artists and artisans.

By chance, so does one of the museum’s current exhibitions: “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey.” The artist combines found materials, magazine cutouts, sculpture, and painted imagery in her work. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, Mutu’s studio is in Brooklyn now.

Back at the craft show, I’m calling out just four exhibitors of the many I might pick: an artist, sculptor, jeweler and fashion accessories designer. They incorporate salvaged and recycled materials prominently in their creations and are among the 90 artisans and artists who will sell their best the weekend after this one. 

“Zen Garden,” part of the Turntable series by Jinsheng Wang

“Zen Garden,” part of the Turntable series by Jinsheng Wang

Artist/exhibitor Jinsheng Wang writes on his website: “I look at salvaged materials with an open mind. I reformat the sequence or rhythm of things. The old items become new when I take them apart and reassemble them. The purpose and fashion re-energized.” He began working in traditional sculpture, then abstract and today his focus is to transform salvaged materials into art.

Wang, who moved to the US from China 20+ years ago, said hobbies inspire his work. “My art is part of my personal American experience. I became a semi-professional record and music collector and naturally, from my passion, came my Turntable and Bonzai Beebop series. Collecting music also helped me better understand American history and culture. The latter series has a practical use. I restore vintage tube radios making them into amplifiers, adding a speaker so that you can use them to listen to music from an iPod or Walkman.” 

Nancy Kubale's "Friends"

Nancy Kubale’s “Friends”

Found pieces enhance Nancy Kubale’s ceramic sculptures. On her website she describes the many steps she takes to create her ceramic figures that she fires three to five times, previously handbuilding them in stoneware clay and layering the surfaces with glazes, slips and stains. “Often the work is in pieces after the final firing and is then assembled with wood, metal, fiber and found objects,” she wrote. 

Connie Verrusio jewelry

Connie Verrusio jewelry

On her website Connie Verrusio admitted: “I never throw anything away. I’m a pack rat and a flea market junkie. Where others see outmoded technologies and broken machines, I see jewels just waiting for the right setting.” She described how some 20 years ago she discovered Canal Surplus, a tiny NYC store filled with “bins of mechanical detritus.” She’d leave the store with “a small bag of treasures and filthy hands” which “kicked off a jewelry-making career focused around the beauty of utilitarian objects.”  

Look At Me Designs gloves of recycled materials

Look At Me Designs gloves of recycled materials

For her 10-year-old fashion accessories business, Look At Me Designs, Melanie Cohen-Peddle has had one mission: “To create eco-friendly, fashion forward, one of a kind, wearable pieces of art. Every item is handmade from, or embellished with, recycled materials.” This year’s introductions focus on boot accessories from cuffs and cozies to toppers and she also designs hats, tunics, capes, T-shirts and skirts.

These artists are truly inspired by found and recycled materials but aren’t they also making an important statement about the tremendous waste we generate today? Can you share examples of others who identify beauty in salvaged materials? Have you decorated with or worn items incorporating found or recycled materials?

Connie Verrusio Letterpress bracelet

Connie Verrusio Letterpress bracelet

Service of You Never Know

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Paris Evening Bag

You never know: That seems to be my motto. I like to be prepared which accounts for the weight of my handbags and totes ever since college when I’d drag home the semester’s texts in the event I had time to study for January finals during Christmas vacation. I never did but the books where there in case.

This is not just a woman thing. My husband drags eight to 12 lbs of books and papers in a tote on the train every Friday. When I ask him if he refers to all the materials in two days he insists they are essential. I had a boss whose doctor suggested that he leave his briefcase in the office until his tennis elbow, brought on by its weight—not the swing of a racquet—had time to heal.

Red everyday bagThis season I reduced the size of my summer bag exponentially. To do so I reviewed the keys I’d carried for years that made me look like a superintendant in a high-rise apartment building. I’ve tossed more than half that opened past apartment and office doors—I hope. I’ve moved some stuff from my winter bag to a moderate sized tote that makes the trip back and forth from work and put other things away. It’s been three weeks and I’m still not relaxed about it.

In “Get A New Bag, Lose Five Pounds,” Elizabeth Holmes wrote: “Small is the big thing in handbag fashion, as clutches, cross-body bags and shrunken versions of full-size styles replace large, heavy totes.” In her Wall Street Journal article she continued: “Women accustomed to carrying around everything they could possibly need—an umbrella, a change of shoes, a bottle of water—are downsizing to a bag that holds just the essentials: a cellphone, keys, an ID and a credit or debit card and a lipstick.”

What about business cards, brush, blush, hand sanitizer and a pen? My evening bag [photo at top] is bigger than this. When using it at a business event I’m lightly anxious that I’ll need something that’s missing.

Coach clutchFran Della Badia, an executive at Coach, told Holmes that she uses a clutch the size of an iPad at lunches and meetings. I love the look but clutches are out of the question for me with the exception of that evening bag. I normally require something that hangs on my shoulder or crosses my body and frees my hands.

Chiropractor Karen Erickson estimates that on average women’s handbags weigh from three to five pounds according to Holmes. While I complain when I lug around my laptop and charger—on average, minus charger, laptops weigh about five pounds—I don’t whine about the heft of my bigger handbag. If asked to hold it for a second, others have been known to groan.

Do you carry around more than you usually need or use? Why do you think that is?

Chanel Bag

Chanel Bag

Service of Sample Sales

Thursday, January 10th, 2013


I’ve written countless times how much I love discount shopping so it’s hardly a surprise that one seasonal tradition has been a look-see at a well known brand’s annual sample sale with my friend Elaine Siegel. For years we first meet for a bite of lunch and then we stroll the aisles looking for scarves, gloves, handbags and other fashion accessories.

sample-sale-11As we got off the elevator at this one we were at the back of a long line and thought we misheard an order to give up our handbags. We were told that we could keep our wallets. The coat check wasn’t taking coats. Hundreds of women ahead of us gladly complied. It felt so wrong to me–and Elaine, who said that the invitation didn’t warn that this would happen. So we went upstairs to another sample sale of an equally well known brand.

sample-sale-3As we emerged from the elevator, there was nobody in this lobby so we naturally formed a line and were shrieked at by a surly guard that we were in the wrong place and to move the line to where he was pointing. As we did I slipped off my winter jacket–it was hot indoors. He barked, as though I was Paul Newman in jail in “Cool Hand Luke,” [which was recently on Turner Classic Movies], “PUT THAT BACK ON!” and pointed to where I should go next. “Next” was the coat check, without a coat in sight. The staffer wanted my handbag. Elaine and I left that place as well.

If theft was an issue, why couldn’t these places ask us to open our handbags as we emerged from the sale? Seems simple enough.

sample-sale-21There are so many bargains to be had in the NY Metro area in any economy and these days, the opportunities grow geometrically. Nobody else left the first sale with us and one woman joined us in leaving the second one for the reasons we did.

How long will people be willing to suffer such indignity and discomfort? Who wants to stay in a place for long wearing a winter coat, worrying about the security of their handbag, cell phone, credit cards and other personal things?

This bargain hunter and her friend Elaine would rather do without. And you?


Service of Fashion

Monday, December 3rd, 2012


I’ve been a discount shopper and fashion lover since I can remember and to this day scratch my head when I see, mixed in with fairly nice clothing and accessories at value prices or deep dish reductions, junky looking stuff with too many frills, folds and shiny add-ons that make a purse, shoe or blouse look tacky and literally cheap.

ugly-fashionApart from the obvious fact that all shoppers are not me and that some don’t appreciate that simple always looks better, I’ve wondered for years why it’s cheaper to add ugly embellishments than to leave a garment or accessory alone.

While this fashion gap still exists–I noticed it when buying a handbag recently–it’s shrinking, perhaps spurred by the economy.

target-storeFriday I got an email from Target that its collaboration with Neiman Marcus would launch the next day. The 50 budget-priced, limited edition clothing, accessories and home items, made by top designers, will be for sale at both stores and range from knit caps and a jewelry box to a yoga mat and more. Lauren Sher listed some of the designers in her coverage “Neiman Marcus Holiday Pop-Up Shop.” They include: Diane von Furstenberg, Jason Wu, Tory Burch, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Carolina Herrera, Rag & Bone, Brian Atwood, Alice + Olivia, Proenza Schouler, and Marchesa.

In another example, I recently visited the newest Manhattan branch of the Japanese chain Uniglo on Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street. There, at very reasonable prices, I saw thousands of square feet filled with neatly stacked or hanging coats, sweaters, gloves, scarves, tee shirts and more in generous selections of colors at remarkably reasonable prices. There was barely a pattern in the store that sold children, men and women’s fashion and nary an extraneous embellishment or ornament of any kind. What a relief! And the Caucasian cashier handed me back my credit card in the Japanese fashion with a slight bow and both hands holding the edges of the card.

Can you tell me why so many value-priced manufacturers have for years felt that more is more? Have you also noticed a trend to sell simple things at modest prices?

Typlical Uniglo jacket

Typlical Uniglo jacket

Service of Looking Back

Monday, April 9th, 2012


I’ve covered nostalgia and old fashioned things. Based on recent developments and observations, it’s time to do so again.

News in the News

This headline and subhead in an LA Times story by James Rainey caught my eye: “Scott Pelley helps CBS carve an old-school identity: The anchor has assisted in pushing the network’s ‘Evening News’ toward hard news, especially on foreign affairs and domestic economic distress. That offers promise it can escape the ratings cellar.”

scott-pelleyRainey wrote: “The old-school approach offers at least some promise that the nightly newscast, long mired in third place among the three networks, might finally claw its way out of the cellar. The ‘CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley’ is the only one of the three network nightly news shows to score a small year-to-year increase in three ratings categories for the season that began in September. In one recent week, it finished second – behind NBC but ahead of ABC- among the 25-to-54 age demographic prized by advertisers. That hadn’t happened since 2006.”

What’s Boss [Translation in 1960s Speak: Cool]

It’s back to the ’60s as “Mad Men” returned to TV sets across the nation. The show inspired headlines from White & Warren that touted “shirt dresses” new for spring and a line of 60s period fashions at Banana Republic–you’ll see them all over.

When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth

Inspired by an earlier state of mind, one candidate for US President is attracting plenty of votes for antediluvian positions that in this country predate 1775.

Listen to the Conductor, Children!

rr-conductorThere was a time children were told to hush in public so that as adults, they naturally respected other people when out and about. Funny: The railroad is rewarding such comportment now.

Ad man Hank Goldman sent me the link to this news from Metro-North railroad: “Due to popular demand, Metro-North is expanding its ‘Quiet CALMmute’ program to all inbound AM and outbound PM Peak trains on the Hudson, Harlem & New Haven Lines starting Monday, April 2nd.”

In the quiet cars, passengers may not use cell phones; must disable sound features on computers and other electronic devices; must conduct conversations in a subdued voice and use headphones at a volume that cannot be heard by fellow passengers. Good Friday morning over the loudspeaker the conductor advised all passengers to conduct themselves this way in every car!

spring-chickens2Spring Chickens

Jerry Stiller at 85 is starring in Capital One commercials and 91 year old Bob Wolff was entered in the Guinness Book of Records for “Longest Career as a Sports Broadcaster”-73 years!

Is looking back for direction and inspiration a trend?



Service of Conflict of Interest

Thursday, October 20th, 2011


Some who practice public relations give it a bad name. Because it’s one of those industries that lots of people don’t “get,” it can have a harder time than others justifying itself. And then there are the high profile sleazes. They exist in every industry from medicine and hedge fund management, banking to politics.

How do I handle the splash from PR people who don’t conduct themselves ethically and land in the spotlight? I avoid any hint of conflict of interest as do my associates and millions of doctors, hedge fund managers, bankers and politicians.

fur-coatYears ago, an acquaintance asked me to help promote his friend’s business. His friend was a furrier in New York’s garment district. I interviewed the owner, he showed me how the coats were made, and we addressed his challenges. His comment to our mutual contact after our meeting was surprise: “She didn’t ask to try on a coat or for a discount.”

So this is why my nose is out of joint when a reputable news source known for business reporting offers to sell me its top stock picks. It smacks of conflict of interest. I don’t mind when it offers me discounts on wine. It’s not known for wine reviews. Used to be that reporters at a news source such as this returned holiday gifts and would not accept even a cup of coffee from topstockpicksa business or PR person. This place isn’t alone.

The New York Times  reported last month that magazines are selling fashion picks in online stores and one through its website. Eric Wilson notes that GQ sells its selections through Park & Bond; Esquire sends readers to and the Vogue website is the place to buy select items from this season’s runways. Wilson quotes the website: “Vogue may receive a commission on some sales made through this service.”

Wilson notes the potential friction between these venues and stores like Saks, Neiman’s and Barneys. The impact of editorial conflict of interest is worse.

How many times have I told a client adding beige to a lackluster, generic product line or planning an open house where nothing will be different that day from any other: “No reporter, editor or blogger will consider sharing this with their readers. To get out this information you’ll need to buy an ad.” With a change in editorial policy, how this might change, and not for the better for readers.

PR people tout the value of third party endorsement when a reporter or magazine features a product or service. It’s the ultimate sales tool. Do you think that smudging of roles for magazines and newspapers, where they sell some of their picks as well as feature them, will affect their credibility and validity with readers? Might it eventually accelerate their demise, the ultimate irony as one of their arguments is that they are trying to stay afloat through such sales?


Service of Luxury Purchases

Monday, August 8th, 2011


The lead to Stephanie Clifford’s article “Even Marked Up, Luxury Goods Fly Off Shelves,” in The New York Times last week was: “Nordstrom has a waiting list for a Chanel sequined tweed coat with a $9,010 price. Neiman Marcus has sold out in almost every size of Christian Louboutin ‘Bianca’ platform pumps, at $775 a pair. Mercedes-Benz said it sold more cars last month in the United States than it had in any July in five years.”

mercedes-benzShe continued, “Even with the economy in a funk and many Americans pulling back on spending, the rich are again buying designer clothing, luxury cars and about anything that catches their fancy. Luxury goods stores, which fared much worse than other retailers in the recession, are more than recovering – they are zooming. Many high-end businesses are even able to mark up, rather than discount, items to attract customers who equate quality with price.”

Radio talk show host Michael Smerconish thought that this was great news because it meant jobs for the sales associates and showroom managers, manufacturers, shippers, inventory stock people, and it all translated into tax revenues.

Not all of his staff or listeners agreed with him but I do. Clifford, quoting Mark Zandi, Moody’s Analytics, also noted that the top 20 percent of income earners generate almost 60 percent of spending. I say, “What does it matter what these folks spend their money on? Is it anyone’s business?”

grand-central1On the other hand, I was on a train with a fellow passenger who rang my chimes. She dragged me and anyone else around her on the crowded Friday night train-no place to move–into her private life. She’d just bought a house in a tony Connecticut town and had a loud and detailed conversation on her cell phone with her insurance broker. We learned she’d paid cash for the place, had four college degrees, how old she was, and that she had just sold another home in NYC. Next, she called a contractor about her remodeling plans, dotting her conversation with her deal with the seller.

In between calls all of us heard about her upcoming travel plans when she kept up her incessant banter with her weekend guest. I am happy to report that when I got off the train I took a look at this woman. She would have been greatly improved had she used some of her money to fix herself up with some of the luxurious goods noted in the Times article.

I’m not quite sure why reading that people are paying lots of money for cars and clothing doesn’t bother me and yet this woman did. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t forced to read Clifford’s article but I had to hear about her. Further, I don’t equate looking great or being comfortable in a car with spending a boatload of money. An officemate has three new stunning summer dresses that make her look like a $million. She said she paid $30 for each at Lord & Taylor.

How do you feel about people who spend excessive amounts of money on stuff? Does what’s happening in the economy make a difference to your answer? Would the train lady have annoyed you? Do you know people like this?


Service of Pet Peeves II

Monday, July 18th, 2011


I posted 11 pet peeves a year ago May and thought I’d exhausted my list but obviously, I left out a few. It feels so good to write about what annoys! So here are a dozen more.

 **I don’t like to be flimflammed and that’s how I feel when the stock market goes up on a day with dire financial and political news: Moody’s threatened to reduce this country’s credit rating which would cost us all a tremendous amount of money; there were terrorist killings in Mumbai; gridlock caused by childish political posturing continued unabated on Capitol Hill with debt ceiling deadlines looming; Spain, Greece, Ireland and Italy were patching up the tatters of their economic quilts with little result.

I am not satisfied with the reason given for this up tick: That nine of 11 corporations reported fabulous second quarter earnings that day [more about this below]. To ignore what’s going on outside is like envisioning a woman dressed for a ball, perfect hair and gown but the house has just been pushed to a precipice by a tornado. When she opens the door, instead of stepping out to the walk, she falls into an abyss. 

light-bulb1 **Repetition of misinformation to strike out at an adversary works because people would rather not be bothered by facts. President Obama did not sign the bill eliminating inefficient incandescent light bulbs in favor of  the energy efficient kind-President Bush did–and yet conservatives repeatedly use this as the glaring example of how government increasingly encroaches on our private lives. Maybe it does, but if you are going to blame President Obama, pick another example please.

Isn’t the more important story here–and another peeve–that this bill was the perfect excuse for corporations like General Electric to close US plants that made incandescent light bulbs therefore putting hundreds out of work last year when the timing couldn’t be worse? By moving manufacturing to China, they lowered the cost of making the bulbs. And they can charge more for the energy efficient kind. Along with loopholes that allow GE to dodge taxes, it explains why some of the corporations in the peeve above are doing so well, but at what cost to the economy and to us, to everyone but their stockholders and management? 

links **I am fussy about who I link to or befriend so it’s annoying when someone asks me to join their network on LinkedIn or Facebook and they don’t remind me how I know them. They lazily click the option that shoots out an email message like “Maisey Dokes has indicated you are a Friend: I’d like to add you to my professional network.” It would take a second to add something like “We’re both on the sponsorship committee,” or “I met you at the event at Hearst.” If I see someone on the street who has no reason to remember me, I say, “Hello, Frieda, Jeanne Byington. How are you?”  Or I might introduce myself to someone and say, “You work with my friend Nancie Steinberg. She tells me we have a lot in common.” Trying to link or befriend me is no different.

 **It drives me nuts when people don’t use their car’s right or left turn signal. There are certain congested places where it’s essential and it’s very selfish when a driver doesn’t or waits to the very last minute. I can’t enter traffic if I don’t know if their car is going straight ahead. If it’s turning into the store’s parking area that I’m exiting, I could drive out. Being self-centered not only holds me up but all the cars now lined up behind me.

curve-in-road**On the subject of cars, there are idiotic road signs that make me wonder if the person who installed them has a brain. We pass a little town on Route 82 in Dutchess County where we’re asked to drive at 45mph. The “resume speed” sign comes right before a hairpin turn where if you went 55mph, goodness knows where you’d land.

 **I resent it when someone infringes on my time by creating a false deadline so it affects how I triage my time to meet it. How do I know? They ask for information, a report, photos or copy by a certain date but when I submit what’s due, I get a bounce back email telling me that they are out of the office at a conference or on vacation and will get back with me next week.

dont-waste**Waste drives me nuts. I get the feeling that there are stacks of boondoggles we will never hear about. If we could eliminate them, we could leave critical programs intact.  According to ABC News: “A $1.2 million federal highway program that sent employees on a 17-day globe-trotting journey to photograph different billboards was suspended Tuesday — an announcement that came after ABC News alerted the U.S. Department of Transportation that it planned to air a report on the program.” In addition: “The initiative, known as the International Scan Program, has been sending federal and state transportation employees to popular foreign tourist destinations for the past decade with the goal of studying how other countries handle the challenges of running major highway networks.” Each trip cost $300,000.

 **If you work in a medical facility, please always be pleasant. It makes a difference. And pay attention to what you say especially if your job is repetitive. I picked up some x-rays from a radiology place where the desk staff is used to saying, “Sign this and sit down and wait for your name to be called.”

So when the administrator asked me to sign for the x-rays she said, “Sign this and sit down.” I replied, “But I planned to leave now,”  confirming that there wasn’t something else for me to do while there. Not realizing that she’d told me to sit down she got testy and nasty in her dismissal.

 **I agree with a friend who says that it should be a felony to use the word awesome.

muffin-top **Average looking or shapeless people shouldn’t wear super trendy clothes. I cringe looking at them as I do when hearing a terrible comedian or a speaker try an unfunny joke. Some women on magazine and newspaper style pages are over-gussied with legs akimbo on skyscraper shoes that make them take awkward poses so as not to crash–so unnecessary. And those low-scooped, too-tight t-shirts over rings of fat are puzzles. T-shirts and tops come in a range of sizes or don’t some people realize it?

**Tired of reading about the annoying Valley girl sing song? The deliberate high speed chatter/swallowed words affectation that some young people use, especially when copied by older people so as to appear to be young, registers high on my list of peeves.

 **I will boycott media that pays Casey Anthony one cent for an interview. I don’t think the press should pay for news to begin with.

Do let loose on your pet peeves! You’ll feel better getting them off your chest–promise!

I'm All Ears

I'm All Ears

Service of Long Lasting Brands

Monday, April 11th, 2011


There are branding specialists galore who help people create and maintain brands, their own, a product’s, a company or corporation’s. Yes, people are considered brands today to be packaged like a good or decorative element.

I’m forever fascinated by the longevity of so many who made a mark that continues to achieve buzz and attention even though the venerated person is either no longer in the public eye and most frequently is long dead or out of the public eye well before the word brand was in fashion.

brigettebardotThe April 7 issue of FurnitureSeen that appeared in my emailbox last week featured a Hepburn Modular Sofa which, the copy noted, could have been inspired by either Katherine or Audrey–and Bardot, a “curvaceous seating collection” for which the Spanish designer Jamie Hayon had the French 1950s/1960s movie siren Brigitte Bardot in mind.

Estée Lauder died in April 2004 and yet she still makes headlines for her namesake company that now sells 28 brands. In The New York Times article, “What Would Estée Do?” Natasha Singer quotes longtime employee and global brand president Jane Hertsmark Hudis: “I think a lot of us ask ourselves, ‘What would Leonard do? I also ask myself: ‘What would Estée Lauder do? Am I upholding her values and her vision?'” Leonard A. Lauder is chairman emeritus and Estée’s oldest son.

The End Note of Culture & Leisure Magazine‘s issue No. 44 features a smiling Coco Chanel and a quote, “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” The issue of this smart, fashionable, visionary publication was devoted to southern debutantes and editor/founder Natalie Rushing chooses to remember Chanel.

doris-dayDoes anyone think often of Doris Day these days? Will Friedwald interviewd the top grossing actress of all time recently for The Wall Street Journal‘s Leisure & Arts section in “Sunny Day Keeps on Shining.” Friedwald spoke with Doris on the phone-she doesn’t like being called Ms. Day-who said that when she moved to Carmel, California 30 years ago “I put all my records and everything away. I didn’t think anybody cared if they heard me or not.” And yet she continues to get fan letters and is perplexed that “after so many years out of the spotlight, her recordings and films continue to be cherished by generation after generation.” Friedwald adds that Sony Music will release a retrospective box set later in the year.

What do you think makes a brand long lasting? Does it help if the inspiration is dipped in the rosy glow of selective memory and is no longer in the harsh eye of public scrutiny that seems to enjoy watching people fall? Did these stars of business, fashion and film represent a kind of quality we miss or try to achieve today? Do you consider yourself a brand?


Service of Overexposure

Monday, January 24th, 2011



Today’s post is related to an earlier one, “Service of Too Much Information,” written a year ago January [must be that time of year]. What inspired me this time was watching “The Third Man,” a 1949 movie [in black and white, natch], on Turner Classic Movies.

It achieved powerful, suspenseful moments without showing me every gory detail. One scene was in a children’s hospital ward and I saw the nurses and bits of beds but not the deathly ill patients who were there because they’d been given ineffective medicine sold to the hospital by a greedy main character. I saw no decayed body that police had freshly dug out from a grave but knew it looked horrific. The director had my imagination do the work. Great actors’ reactions to seeing these human conditions also helped.

In today’s movies, if we hear an explosion we must then see blood and guts.

It’s not just movies that leave little to the imagination: Women’s fashion trends have for several years.

radiomicAnd violent, name-calling vitriol on talk radio, cable TV and in politics are other examples of overexposure. It’s a form of taking the easy way out. It’s effortless. And it’s effective with lazy minds looking for easy answers. It takes research and thought to carry on intelligent, image-inspiring conversation.

Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with easy, efficient and effective in some instances: It’s what we strive for in our workdays and lives. Take digital photos, email, and social networking vehicles that allow us to communicate with editors and reporters  immediately and at miniscule out of pocket cost; smartphones that keep us in touch with people who need information without tethering us to our desks; lasers instead of knives that permit surgeons to remove cataracts and break down kidney stones while leaving patients far less debilitated.

Do you think imaginations need exercise like muscles? Do we do our brains harm by exposing them to and feeding them digested information and images, or should we chew on, envision, fantasize and process more of it ourselves?


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