Friday, 30 September 2011

New York Times - They Are a-Changin'

Hello loyal reader,

 Emma Mikuska-Tinman - Student
 Sweater - Forever 21
Jeans - Levis
Boots - H&M
Necklace - H&M
Sunglasses -

If you're not into reading a review for Page One: Inside the New York Times then stop reading NOW!

So essentially, by the act of blogging right now, I may play a fraction of a fraction of a part in shutting down the New York Times(NYT).It's c-c-crazy! But it's not my fault, journalists of the world, it's simply an assignment. By the act of assigning us these blogs, our professors are indirectly participating in the downfall of printed media. For shame.

The movie Page One: Inside the New York Times reminded me of the scene in Titanic shortly after the iceberg hit, when not everyone was aware of the looming chaos and devastation that would inevitably be their downfall. The New York Times is kind of like the Titanic of newspapers. Basically it's just so massive that no one thought it could ever sink, but just look at where that kind of hubris got ‘em. 

From the way Page One makes it seem over at NYT HQ, there’s only one guy on staff who appears to know what a Twitter account is, and in fact he managed to "social media" himself on to the NYT staff. In one scene, Brian Stelter is mocked by the more old-fashioned staff for consistently staring at his IPhone or one of his several Macbooks. It’s kind of okay when it happens though, because he gives off the impression of a rotund, smarmy, but “connected” young person of this era. He pretty much embodies the archetype the rest of us are trying to distance ourselves from as much as possible.

Pictured: me in the future.

Besides this unlikeable minor character, who is probably meant to represent me and my peers, it was super interesting to see how the Newspaper machine works on a physical level. The building, located- very obviously- in New York, was probably the most major character in the documentary, as it appeared in almost every shot. Occasionally, there would be glimpses of how the building used to be set up, and it gave off a very Mad Men vibe. It was almost bittersweet, as the hustle and bustle seemed more lively and less loom-ey. 

On the whole, I felt as though the major conflicts in the film could have been better flushed out. They all boil down to the recent proliferation of social media tools. Many readers are now attempting to go as paperless as possible, and as such are getting their news from free electronic sources. The problem here is that the news has to be generated from somewhere before it hits the web, but with ever-declining readership the New York Times is probably going to, one day soon, be going out of business.

Before this film I had never considered that it actually costs money to bring people the news, I had just naively assumed that it was always around. 

As the years go on and newspapers go out of style, it’ll be interesting to see how the market evolves. Perhaps in the near future mobile devices will be so prevalent that everyone will just report their own news as it happens.

A major drawback that I considered was the film's many brief and gratuitous shots of employees. You’d see ‘em once and then.. poof! they were gone. Perhaps they were laid off as the film was being filmed? Also, are there no female journalists at the NYT?!

If I was directing this movie, I would scrap just about everything and remake it all. My version, however, would focus only on following David Carr around; the crotchety, foul-mouthed former crack head turned journalist; who is arguably the only entertaining factor of this film. 

Carr is like a gravelly-voiced, cooler version of Simon Cowell.  This hunching waif of a guy ripped everyone in his path a new asshole, including several Vice magazine editors; and who hasn’t, at some point, dreamed of doing that?


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Tall Order

Hello apathetic youth!

A colleague of mine recently asked me a question that plays on the minds of basketball players and non-basketball-playing tall people everywhere. He writes:

 What is a fashionable place to shop for elongated gentlemen such as myself? Value Village is a fine haunt but pants and anything with long sleeves are often too short in their respective limbs.

So! What to do with those unsightly wrists and ankles?

Well colleague, since I am neither a guy nor a tall person, I've crafted the perfect solution for you after minutes of careful deliberation.

All you have to do is take some fabric from anything that you have lying around the house and sew, glue or tape it to the missing chunk.

Confused? You shouldn't be! But I've created some visuals for you just in case:

Make it exactly like this.
 But why stop there?

Have some old towels lying around?

Or an old bed sheet you're no longer using?

Classy and casual!
 But why stop at these ridiculous lengths?

Let's go further.


....Hope this helps.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Twits and a DDP (they're not what they sound like)

G'day Lads and Lasses,
Today fashion will be taking a backburner (again), and I'm going to talk a little bit about my foray into the deep dark depths of the Twitterverse. I'm still getting my e-social kicks from Myspace (jk! lol) but seriously though, I've yet to grasp the concept behind Twitter's existence. Also, I'm having a tough time determining what exactly necessitates a Tweet, so if anyone has some input that would be much appreciated. Despite this,I've (somehow) managed to squeak one or two Tweats?... Twits?... Tweets? 

Also I'm having a hard time deciphering what people are saying most of the time.
 And for this reason I've decided to stick with an overarching theme on my.. feed? Am I wording that right? Twitter theme? #theme?

What theme and where did it come from you ask? Well, after schooling and working downtown for the last few years, I've learned to strongly dislike it. It's grey and it smells like feces most of the time, and so I always look forward to the end of the day when I can go back to the suburbs where there's trees and privacy and very few hobos. 

A long time ago, when Green Day and Blink 182 reigned, living in the 'burbs was the source of supreme teenage angst for me.
But now I love it, and I get scared when I leave, just like an old lady. So long story short, I've taken to tweeting the suburban problems that I face on a day to day basis under the hashtag.. wait for it... #suburbanproblems.

Follow me on twitter at coco__moloko to get irregular gems on the irregular.

SO! Now that that's covered, I have to blog about what I did the other night. It was a little somethin' somethin' called the Decentralized Dance Party (or DDP for short). The concept is genius, basically it's a cool way to get your dance on, and then pack up and move the party elsewhere, taking the club with you wherever you go.

I recommend you check out the website here to get a better idea of how it works, but the cool thing is that the music is made possible by the contribution of the dancers. Tunes are pumped (somehow) through a close circuit radio station, and every group who attends is entrusted to bring their own boom box, which is set to that specific radio frequency, and thus a party is made possible. Here is a crude rendering of the science behind it all:

This is what it looked like! + about 100 more people that I couldn't fit in the shot, crazy!
The theme of this particular DDP was "suits", which actually happens to relate in a teensy tiny way to my blog (horray!) People got super creative with their attire. Many glued lights along their lapels, or wore some sort of halloween costume + suit combo. A few dancers even found a way to merge a briefcase with a boombox, making an unholy bastard version of the two. But the vast majority just wore suits and partied down like teenage versions of 1930's gangsters or 1970's business ladies.

Here's some footage from the Dance (Dance) Revolution:

I strongly recommend checking it out if you missed it this year. One banana/businesswomen who works with the organization said they get the best turn out when they come by the 'Peg. Keep an eye out on your Facebook events to see when the next one will sprout up, or "like" them right here to get all the updates.

Until then, stay classy Winnipeg! 

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Boys to Men

Kevan Hannah - Student 
Plaid Shirt - Express
Black Shirt - Broken Social Scene concert
Jeans - Buffalo
Shoes - Steve Madden
Cuff - Guess
Belt - Le Chateau
Bag - Esprit
Glasses - Ray Bans

 Today ladies and gents, we will talk about guy's clothes. It's a topic which is relevant because it affects almost half of the population, so all of you XY chromosome kids (and the XYs that want to look like them) listen up!

I have a long and winding theory about the outfits that boys generally wear here in Winnipeg. We here in the 204 are fortunate enough to have quite a few clothing suppliers available sprinkled around town; however, most of the stores out here for guys are your typical Abercrombie and Hollister types. These stores are great, by all means! I myself enjoy the comfortable fit of a loose  pair of pre-destroyed denim as much as the next gal; but I must warn you folks, these stores are a slippery slope of fashion marginalization. 

How you may ask? Well, it has come to my attention over the years that these stores have a firmly established look that they've been sticking with over quite some time. It's an aesthetic that looks something like this:,
You know the kind of beachy relaxed look I'm talking about here. What you may not be aware of is that these clothing stores act as a kind of beartrap for their unsuspecting consumers. Their advertisements lure you in with promises of blonde hair and piggybacked laughter.

Pictured: Evidence.
But take heed! For they swiftly trap you forever, like a straight-toothed Californian animal at the zoo by making absolutely every item they sell look cohesive together. You literally cannot go wrong when picking any article out from these types of stores. Even when trying to select the right size, the store does all the work for you. Aside from matching everything, almost every item aside from the flip flops contains a level of stretch to it and will perfectly fit your every skin-covered body part. Which, again, is great! Why wouldn't guys on the go want to look as though effort was put into an effortless look? It's a win-win!

The onnnlllyyyy downside is that a huge portion of Winnipeg boys are following this easy-to-follow formula, and after a while everyone starts looking the same.

Guys and gals, if you have found yourself trapped in the fashion beartrap, you're not alone. The good thing about all of this is that it becomes relatively easy to avoid this fate, with a very simple solution. 

All you need to do is expand your shopping horizons and shop elsewhere! Travel deep into the most unvistited areas of your city like a modern day scavenger who scavenges for plaid, not food. This genius concept will, however, require you exert a teensy bit more effort, but I guarantee the results will be well worth it. 

Some places to check out when scavenging:
And for the more adventurous:

Boys, I'm also aware that your appointed section in stores usually pales in comparison to the girls section, and for this I say: shop online! It's a surefire way of knowing that almost no one else in the city will have the same article of clothing as you, to avoid those awkward same-outfit-at-the-party crisis situations we teens are facing nowadays. There are tons of great clothing websites out there, just make sure they have a solid return policy, and that they're not going to charge you more than the clothes to ship to Canada (or wherever it may be that you reside). Shopping online is easier and safer than ever, and somehow manages to require much less effort than physically going to the Hollister store to stock up on polos yet again. 

Happy shopping boys!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Profile Party

I know that there are thousands, perhaps millions of you out there that are wondering.. "who exactly is this girl?" 

Well, you need not spend more nights losing sleep over this burning question, as I will now answer it for you. Hooray!

My name is Courtney "Coco" Brecht, and I'm currently entering into my first year of Creative Communications at Red River College after recently completing three years at The University of Winnipeg. I majored in rhetoric, which defines as "the study of the effective use of language."

I entered university with the idea to acquire a B.A. in Psychology (HA!), but I changed my mind and graduated with a new found respect for the creativity that words offer. I consider a well-written inter-office memo to be akin to a piece of art, as it requires a calculating eye and a sharp focus on selection and omission. Rhetoric also takes a refined reader to fully appreciate the final product. I also like grammar.

Pictured: Grammar Fan

If you would like to receive hilarious 140-character insights on an irregular basis, you can follow me on Twitter @coco__moloko. Keep in mind there are 2 underscores in there, as it is a pretty run-of-the-mill handle.

Here are some other things I like:
-Completing "Best Of" lists that websites put together; for example, watching these:
-Riding my bike

Enough of that. I hope that you're still awake after this masterful piece of prose. I promise that fashion will appear on this blog at some point, perhaps much sooner then you think.
Or perhaps much, much longer.

What kind of things do you like, internets?

Monday, 5 September 2011

Welcome Boys and Girls

Greetings lost wanderer of the internets. 

You have likely hit a wrong key,or have perhaps gone on a fantastical series of links to have eventually wound up at this site. Regardless of how it happened, you're here now. I welcome you.

In this blog I will attempt what very few have ventured before, and this will be focused around bringing an international audience to firsthanded-ly witness the sartorial choices that  Winnipeggers make. Kind of like the website but with about a 73% chance you'll see some sort of crime being committed in the background. 

Now, Winnipeggers know more than anyone else how our city is perceived to the outside world. I think the Simpsons summed it up nicely in an episode called Midnight Rx with this:

And more recently, Winnipeg folk have become a regular, prominent feature on the website; which portrays a cast of characters looking something like this:

On The Dirty, our city has been affectionately coined DirtyPeg, possibly for valid reasons as demonstrated above. 

HOWEVER! I hope to change this by contributing regular examples of real live Winnipeggers out and about and looking fashionable on this 'here blog. So, tune in as I show the world how we do have normal looking people sprinkled around in the heart of the Canadian continent.
 I will also be asking my victims where they bought their items of clothing so that you too can pretend like you're the next Carrie Bradshaw when you're stepping out into your respective version of the Big City (and/or its' less Big affiliates).

Anchors away!