Welcome to “Required Reading,” where BTRtoday writers share the best stories and words they didn’t write.
My job requires me to be online all day, and a fair amount of that time is spent on Twitter. Thanks to Twitter, I’m eagerly annoyed, overly sarcastic and easily amused. That’s what made this Onion news brief so cutting. We are all the drooling imbecile, overstimulated and overjoyed at the sight of brands insulting each other on social media. This is just the world we live in now.
You probably don’t need me to remind you that the Trump administration is brutally inept and corrupt. But you still might’ve missed this story, which reports Trump advisor/son-in-law Jared Kushner’s company hauled in $90 million from unknown offshore investors. Like so many others in the White House, Kushner appears susceptible to bribery and/or blackmail from a foreign government or entity. Reading about Trump-adjacent corruption becomes boring, simply because there’s too much to keep track of. But I’m still hit with some dull shock over what kind of stories fall out of the news cycle within hours.
Logos are ever present. We might not think about them much when we’re logging onto a familiar website or opening an app for the umpteenth time, but they’re always there, staring right at us. And Richard Hawley notes that brands like Facebook and Google’s shift to flat, simple, “cheerful” sans serif fonts signal a change in corporate culture in the 21st century. In short, be wary. A logo might seem meaningless, but it represents a whole lot more than your single click. “The central aesthetic function of the minimalist-kindergarten-utopia style,” Hawley writes, “is to euphemistically downplay the increasingly terrifying amount of power that multinational corporations and tech companies wield over us.”