Saturday, June 16, 2007

I Try Not to Say a Song is "Bad"

I mean, every song appeals to someone, right? Who am I to say a song is "bad" when there might be someone who loves that song? Hell, there are songs I love, but would only listen to with the car windows closed, because I know I'm the only one who likes them.

I just think it's presumptuous to declare flat-out that a song is downright bad, and I wouldn't do it under even the most extreme circumstances.

Having said that...

This week's iTunes free single, "D.A.N.C.E." by Justice, is the absolute worst piece of shit song I have ever heard. Ever.

The 30 second preview was so bad, right now my laptop should be sealed in an airtight hazmat drum. At the very least, I may have to delete all the songs on my hard drive, for fear that even one whiff of this song's crapitude might have infected all the others.

Imagine more speakers than you've ever seen in your life... like a Metallica concert plus an Anthrax concert plus a Who concert to the power of a million. Then double that number.

That's how many speakers we should use to surround Afghanistan and Iraq, so that we can play this song non-stop at top volume.

We should send word that we will only stop when Osama Bin Laden's head comes rolling out, along with the heads of every single terrorist in either country.

And once all those heads come rolling out, we should pack up... but first we should let them know if we find out they were holding out on us, we'll be back. With more speakers.

And we should make it clear to Iran, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Israel, Pakistan, and all those other countries that if we ever hear one more peep out of any of them, if so much as a stray leaf floats our way, we will come back. But this time we'll bring all the "D.A.N.C.E." remixes on the E.P.

And yeah, that includes "D.A.N.C.E. (Extended)." We're through fucking around.

And North Korea, don't think we forgot about you.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Worst. Commenters. Ever.


If Freedom of Speech is your religion, the internets are Mecca. Nowhere does unfettered opinion flow more freely than in the tubes you're slogging through now.


But there is one kind of speech that should be limited, or even eliminated. It should be outlawed. The people who do it should have their computers taken away forever. They should be sent to a gulag for the rest of their lives. After they die, they should be reanimated so they can serve another life sentence.

I refer, of course, to Comic Book Guys.

People who have all of the obnoxiousness of the Springfield character, with none of the charm.

As an example: I posted a video on YouTube in which Keith Olbermann is telling a story. In the course of the story, he mistakenly calls Dennis Kucinich a Republican. It is either a slip of the tongue or a slip of the script. It happens. It's live TV.

It was completely unrelated to the larger point. Someone pointed it out and that was it.

But down swooped the Comic Book Guys. As their boring, repetitious corrections came in, I deleted them. But they kept coming. They couldn't stand the idea of not being on record as having noticed this gaffe.

My favorite one, the most repulsive one, I left in:

"Note to Olbermann: Kucinich is a Democrat."

Seriously, read that to yourself in the voice of Comic Book Guy. It's hilarious. In fact, most comment threads are easily read in CBG's voice. A random, uncorrected sampling from everywhere:

"Are you male or female so I know who I am bashing?"
"Microsoft is now irrevelent and obsolete. Now that Macs can run Windows there is absolutely no reason to buy their vastly inferior product."


"Most entertainers are morons anyway. Thats why they're entertainers.
"

"I believe you will find all of Tivo's modifications to linux at http://dynamic.tivo.com/linux/linux.asp."

"I usually don't consider 'one' as 'countless'"


"5 Million active USERS

9 Million active ACCOUNTS.

Not the same thing."


"clueless people continue to walk amoungst us!"


"those of us like me who are already sexy and cool and are immune to i.clone marketing can only watch on and smirk"


"Reason #12564 Not to buy a PS3"


"That´s what the world has been waiting for. A non pocketable cellphone with a screen that will crack faster than an old woman´s hip... goodie"
"

Byebye Iphone, I will stick with my treo 650 for may another year."


"Lame lame lame."


"Only 1080i...I'll pass"


"Check. Mate."


"I think the kludgy GUI speaks for itself"


"I believe ACLU now stands for Al-quaeda Civil Liberties Union" "

Derivative, derivative, derivative. Oh and did i mention its derivative?"


"Could you BE any more uninformed?"


"Another ignorant voice heard from."


"I believe the word you're looking for is 'crap'"


"If you wish to pay DTV for compressed HD at inflated prices, then by all means feel free"
"IRONY ALERT!"

"Ummm... perhaps you should tryreading a thread before you join it?"


By the way, in my informal research, the word or phrase most used by CBG's is "Ummmm..." It's an excellent way of showing disdain even before you've said anything.

Other popular CBG phrases:

"I was shocked, SHOCKED..."

"Gee whiz"

"Forgive me if..."
"but then I suppose..." "correct me if I'm wrong"

"Did you really just say..."


"oh and I guess you'd also..."


"[sic]"


"Note to..."


"Memo to..."


"Just a reminder..."


"If you knew anything about..."


and, of course, "

...a feature the ___________ has had for years"


If anyone has any others, please post them. It's time we treated the CBG's with the same disdain they've used on us for years.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Day 1 with Safari 3


After playing with the Safari 3 betas for Mac and Windows, I can happily report: so far so good.

It does seem faster, and the new look of the "Find" function is amazing. Before, when you searched for a word on a Safari page, it was a "Where's Waldo?" exercise to try and find the nearly-invisible highlighting of the result. No more. The highlight is bright and colorful but not intrusive.

For Windows users, it's definitely a speedier alternative to IE and Firefox, and you'll love the clean simple look. Not so much clutter.

As for Mac users, if this is like dipping a toe in Leopard, I can't wait to go swimming.


Monday, June 11, 2007

I Wish There Were a 24-Hour Channel For Randomly-Chosen Simpsons Clips


Until that day, here are a few to tide us over:









How Much Good Behavior is Good Enough?

There's something I don't understand (What else is new?)

If there's one thing we've learned this past week, just through constant repetition, it's this:

The average prisoner in Los Angeles County serves about ten percent of his sentence, and then is sprung for good behavior. After all, they've paid their debt, right?

Violate twice on a DUI? Just show us you can sit still for three days and it's all good. We might even expunge it from your record.

On the other hand...

What about someone who entered the country illegally?

This guy could be here fifteen years, working hard, paying taxes, keeping good credit, raising a family, heading PTA committees, doing volunteer work for Meals on Wheels and his church...

But if he's caught? Uh oh.

If his fifteen-year-old crime were robbery or fraud, he'd have gotten out of prison long ago. And if he hadn't been caught, under the statute of limitations he'd be home free.

In a lot of states he could have raped someone and the clock would've run out.

Membership really does have its privileges.

Hasn't our hypothetical immigrant amply demonstrated good behavior? And more than repaid his debt to society?

So why is there no statute of limitations on illegal immigration?

I'm still ambivalent on illegal aliens in general. Personally I think there shouldn't be jobs "Americans won't do." If a job is beneath Americans, it's beneath everyone. If you can't run your farm or factory without paying a legal wage, then you can't sustain your business, and you need to shut down.

There are businesses that get padlocked for tax reasons or license problems or zoning issues or safety violations. Why do they have to obey the law or perish, but we all seem to have "agreed" somehow that some corporations need illegal labor to make a profit?

And guest workers? That term makes my skin crawl. We had that program already, a long time ago. As I remember, the "guest workers" didn't like the set-up. Neither did anyone of conscience. That's why we had our Civil War.

Oops. I'm sorry. I meant our "Sectarian Violence."

Seems to me the only way we can make America's borders stronger is to make Mexico a better place to live. If an American company is going to move overseas to get cheap labor, the U.S. and Mexico should partner up to offer incentives to get that company's manual labor moved to Mexico. Put the jobs where the workers are.

In return for these incentives, the companies could pledge to only export the "bad jobs" and to keep all the "good jobs" here. Research, design, marketing, customer service... Let's see if we can raise a generation of Americans who dress up to go to work. Whose jobs are actually careers. Let's make home ownership a real possibility for our children, by building them better places to work.

I'm sure there are a million reasons why this is flawed... but there's no reason not to talk about it. To come up with some other solution. Since no one likes the ones we have.

Again, it's hard to know how I feel about illegal immigrants. My feelings are all over the place because these are individuals, not a single, faceless entity.

I think the law is the law and no one should break it... but this Paris Hilton thing has made me realize there has to be a point when we stop playing Javert and Valjean with these people.

Can We All Finally Admit Barbara Walters is Not a Journalist?

"I will never forget Barbara Walters walking out onto the stage at the Primetime Emmys one year like Queen Victoria, to wag her dowager finger at the audience and regally and disapprovingly lecture the industry on their responsibility to inform as well as entertain, to elevate the national discourse, to raise the level of consciousness, and not to pander.

This within a week of her Tonya Harding interview.

And now this old bloodclot has given a daily forum to Star friggin' Jones and Elisabeth Whatever-Her-Name-Is. Lecture us again, Barbara."


Quoting myself is rude, so I apologize, but I told that story in a previous post and I wanted to reprint it here so I can be upfront about my distaste for Barbara Walters.

Throughout Rosie's time on
The View, the 24-hour news heads were horrified. "How can Barbara risk her journalistic credibility like this?" "This is a legendary journalist, and she's letting herself be tainted like this??"

Right.

I've maintained for years that Barbara Walters is a "Journalist" like O.J. Simpson is a "Football Hero."

Sure she once
was a journalist, and a respected and groundbreaking one at that. That was in the 1970's. So Barbara was a journalist around the same time Baghdad was a booming tourist destination with a Marriott.

Planning a vacation in Iraq this year?

But some remained unconvinced. They still thought Barbara had a shred of dignity or honesty.

Today she proved them wrong once and for all.

As she read the "transcript" of her "conversation" with Paris Hilton, she actually tried to sell that it was real. Just two gals, talking out some troubles on a collect call.

Ah, but they got cocky and made rookie mistakes. From the "conversation" come these gems:

"It is not who I am, nor do I want to be that person..."

"I'm twenty-six years old now and it is a different time. I have become much more spiritual..."

"...and that is why I was sent to jail."

"It is"? "I have"? "That is?" You kidding me? I just don't see Paris Hilton as someone who skimps on contractions.

And I'd be willing to bet a lung that Paris Hilton has never spontaneously said "nor do I" in her life.

I was still reeling from her statement this weekend in which she said, "I would hope going forward
that the public and the media would focus on 'more important things.'"

"G
oing forward"???

Is she also "expressing profound regret" that her "prior bad acts" were the "ostensible root cause" of a "sustainable paradigm shift in synergy deployment and recontextualization"?

I ain't buying it.

Clearly she was told to read something someone else wrote. She was probably also told not to change a single word. The only way this could have been more of a puppet show is if a ventriloquist shoved his hand up her ass.

(If you are not giggling and thinking of at least three jokes right now, I'm very disappointed in you.)

So okay. Let's assume Paris was reading a prepared statement. Which means we've been wrong all these years: she can read.

We can still give Barbara the benefit of the doubt, can't we? Given her selfless service entertaining the troops during the Spanish-American War, she's earned it.

Let's assume that she thought they were just talking on the phone. What a trusting soul. But... unbeknownst to her... Paris was actually reading from a script! And making it sound like she was just casually speaking.

That means Paris was acting!

Oh. Wait.

Ummm, did you see her in House of Wax?

Do you really believe that Paris Hilton woozled Barbara Walters through the sheer force of her acting skills?

Nuh uh.

The whole thing was a thin frosting of small talk around a big pre-packaged Sno-Ball of a PR setup.

So if Paris' ordeal was an explosive story, we can now consider Barbara Walters' credibility to be the first collateral damage.

SO True


"My analyst told me this: 'Children are paparazzi. They take your picture mentally when you don't want them to, when you don't look good, and show it back to you in their behavior.'"

-- Jamie Lee Curtis, The Huffington Post

Paris Hilton Says She Has Found a Spiritual Advisor in Jail


We can only hope.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Perjury Isn't Perjury If You Get Away With It?

We've all heard it. The most pathetic argument the right wing has ever cooked up. And that's saying something.

They think Irving Libby should skate. Because there ended up being no prosecutable crime. And no crime, no perjury, right?

O'Reilly went so far as to say that unless and until there's an indictment, you're under no legal obligation to tell the truth to a grand jury or anyone else. Apparently Bill doesn't know that "grand jury" always comes before "indictment."

Also Bill forgot that you should always tell the truth when you're under oath. And that you should always tell the truth when you're questioned by the police. In fact, I've always thought one should tell the truth...y'know...
always.

But on the right they figure if no one gets charged, anyone who lied during the investigation gets a pass.

You see this is insanity, right? It's not just me?

The question most often asked of these knuckleheads is "What was the underlying crime when Bill Clinton lied?" Which would be a great question if these people cared at all about fairness. Or understood it.

So forget fairness. Here's what to say to these people:

"Let's say you murder someone, and I lie to the police and the prosecutors to cover for you, and they never catch you. If they find out I lied, I'm not guilty of anything? Because they never caught you??"

"Let's go one step further. What if I murder someone, and I lie and block the investigation, and I get away with it. I can't be prosecuted, even if they prove perjury, unless they also get me on the murder???"

Jesus. That is shithouse-rat crazy.

The reason there were no indictments is because Libby lied, among other stonewalling in which he participated!

If Libby had not lied, if he had been honest and cooperative and opened his files, there would have been indictments. Big, juicy ones.

Libby chose to obscure the truth. He wanted to obstruct the investigation. It would be bizarre for him to now actually benefit from his own obstruction. (Not to mention how unethical it is for his pardon to be in the hands of those whose asses he covered.)

Ironically, if Bill Clinton had not lied, he wouldn't have been in trouble at all. (Except, of course, with the missus, who would have been waiting with a rolling pin to give him what we used to call a "wood shampoo.") If President Clinton had told Starr the truth about Monica, what would the charge have been? Nothing.

Besides, everyone who argues that Libby is the fall guy doesn't seem to realize he must have taken the fall for someone. It's not like he woke up one day and thought, "Hmm, no one I work for is guilty in any way. I'd better take the fall!"

He volunteered to be the fall guy. Now he's got to fall.

Someone
in this administration has got to learn that actions have consequences.