26 Dec 1996 - 24 Dec 2004
We admit it. Some of our Cool Site choices have been plainly controversial. Complicating the matter further, the Cool Site of the Day team is clearly one of the most unstable groups administering a Web site today. The result? We have nervous executives watching Cool Site of the Day. Occasionally, they have to call us into their offices, close the doors and say...
CSotD Gets Smoked!
Cool Site of the Day loves nothing better than jumping on a trend. Our only problem is that we sometimes jump on that trend with a cheesy gusto that would embarrass even Dennis Rodman or Calvin Klein. Such was the case when CSotD featured SmokeScreen
, a new offering from the folks that designed Film 100. As the name implies, SmokeScreen features information about cigars and the people who smoke them. A few people wrote in to ask how we could endorse a site that promotes a cancer-causing addiction.
Two letters stood out; one because it was carefully reasoned and clear and the other because it was reactionary and full of interesting logic. Naturally, we'll look at the reactionary letter first. It's just more entertaining that way.
"Call it anti-political correctness, call it retro, call it detente with Cuba, call it what you like, call it dumb. Smoking cigars is disgusting...Some old things are worth celebrating and rediscovering, perhaps resurrecting. Cigars are not one of them."
If we use a chess analogy, this person made a solid, well-crafted open move. If he continued the debate this carefully, CSotD could have been on some rocky ground - philosophically speaking. Lucky for us, though, his next gambit was...
"Ever touched the lit end of a cigar? Definitely NOT cool!"
Huh? If we continue our chess analogy, this person has just checkmated us by vomiting on the board. He won, but oh! the mess. Concerned that we might be missing the point, we experimented by forcing graphic designer Big Mike Bateman to touch lit cigars. Though Mike now looks like an extra from a David Lynch movie, we're no closer to actually understanding what the hell this guy meant.
The coup de grace of the letter was:
"Today marks the first and last time I will visit your site. Unless of course you offer me $1,000,000 to visit again. Hey, everybody will be hypocritical for a price."
Editorial Note: He's right, of course. But Cool Site of the Day would like to let any potential sponsors know that we're willing to be hypocritical for a lot less than a million bucks. "Cheesy" - we'll do for free, but "hypocritical" is still a bargain.
The next letter was more sobering, not only because the logic was easier to follow but because it didn't force us to experiment further on Big Mike.
"You usually have great sites and kids go to CSotD to find entertainment. I'm not implying that all kids will mindlessly follow whatever you say, but your site does have some influence. Cigarettes and Cigars kill millions of people, and you just called them cool."
The letter writer continued to be damnably easy-going by finishing his letter thusly: