by Polar Levine March 29, 2003

March 27, 2003. Tonight I surfed the TV for some sort of idea of what's going on in Iraq. No matter where I flipped I saw a never-ending collage of raw footage and confused speculation based on information that hasn't yet been confirmed but is reported anyway so that I have something to watch.

When I flipped the station the infotainment guys on FOX News were aghast over how Al Jazeera just takes any piece of raw footage it can find and runs the stuff without even editing it. Savages. The elegantly "distressed" video graphics seemed to dance to the rumble of rhetoric and dramatic music that led my eyeballs to the land of Aflac quackery; and my thumb shipped me off to CNN where they were actually showing a news presentation from Al Jazeera.

And I've got to report this to you all: the graphics and music on Al Jazeera are truly cheesy. Technically and aesthetically they're back in the Middle Ages and would do well to come into the modern world.

March 28, 2003. Today America is still at war. Now as the music cues in my anxiety, I'm told that, defying the predictions of all the pundits on all the TV news programs over the past few months, the Iraqis are fighting back. And the galloping montage of raw video stock and clueless speculation continues to roll on. Ah, here's something: a beautifully rendered VR presentation of Kuwait City where a missile of some sort, nobody knows yet, hit a shopping mall or just missed a shopping mall. And then there was a report that Baghdad's TV system was hit or was not hit by our bombs which was or was not a violation of the Geneva Convention. But to prove that the station was still up and running, they showed part of a broadcast from that Iraqi station.

And this is confirmed: the graphics and music on the Iraqi station were even crappier than Al Jazeera's.

Enough is enough. I think the time has now come to bring the state of graphic design in the Middle East up to spec with the world community of nations. I'd advise starting this campaign today by engaging Iraq, which I now know with certainty, brazenly perpetuates it's doinky televised delivery system of mass distraction. And I have undeniable proof, as seen on TV.

I strongly believe that we can take out their centers of video graphic design, architectural design and poster design. We can clean up all that noisy singing they blast through distorted speakers throughout the city at all hours of the day. And the Iraqi people will greet us warmly. The army will desert. The designers will surrender their workstations (mostly likely Windows systems). We can then instruct the Iraqi people, with state of the art hardware and software, how to create up-to-date design concepts and to create text without all those baroque squiggles. Then we'll return the TV stations to the Iraqi people.

In this way, a fresh contemporary global approach to infotainment delivery can spread to every nation across the Islamic world. By providing them with the ability to produce top-notch infotainment, the people of the Islamic world can be told what their leaders want them to know in a way that is fair, balanced and unafraid of cultural embarrassment caused by crappy graphics. And they would understand that we are not their enemy. France is their enemy.

I'm sure, in my heart, that I am right in this quest. And I know with the talent and huge arsenal of materiel and personnel right here in New York, within a mile of Ground Zero, we can accomplish this task. You are with us or against us.

You are either with us or you are against us.

With us or against us

Polar Levine