If you're just sitting around, like dozens of people today are, and you feel an urge to write a list of things that you plan on sharing with the world, a top ten list, say... or perhaps it's the Top 10 Most Annoying Characters on TV, or Top 10 remarkable engineers of all time or perhaps even Lindsay Lohan's top 10 favorite sexual positions while she's hopped up on crack and hanging out at some photographer's house, whatever, just STOP yourself, please, and consider a few other, let's say 10, activities that those of us out in the world would rather you partook in.
1) Start a boy band: It seems there's a niche currently. You'll need to assemble a group of good looking young boys who can dance and cover the incredibly large spectrum of personality types between rebel and brooding rebel. Then figure out what your hair styles are going to be. There...you're done.
2) Learn to etch glass with a rotary tool. Etched decorations never go out of style. Mainly because they're never in style to begin with. They exist above the whole style paradigm. Give one to your loved one. They'll be so touched.
3) Take Full Advantage of Your Former Employer's Outplacement Service. There are strong professionals in this field who will guide and instruct you on how to get another job in your field. If that doesn't work, consider a new career as an outplacement professional!
4) Resolve yourself to take better care of your tattoo. Cleaning it with antibacterial soap, applying Aquaphor ointment in thin
layers and using non-scented lotion can help your stupid fucking tattoo of Woody Woodpecker look its best.
5) Remove the blood stain from the drapes. Yes, it might add to the intrigue of your pad, but also clashes with the carpet. First thing to remember is that blood is protein and proteins require cold water. If the blood's been around awhile, you might want to use cold water with Oxyclean. That's what, er, I've heard anyway.
6) Learn how to read sheet music. Don't just play the music, feeeeeeelll the music. That's it...you'll be Stairwaying To Heaven in no time.
7) Chip in your time on a missing person's search and rescue. Clearly you have oodles of time, so don't be selfish. Check the local hospitals. Over 2,000 people go missing every single day. You could be one of them. Hey, seriously, are you one of them?
8) Go fuck with that army of ants that lives in the corner behind the wall. You've seen the scouts. You know what the're looking for. The time has come to draw out the herd and squash them. Bring home one of those free candy suckers from the laundry mat and put it out for them. Wait till the ant highway is like 5 lanes each way - then douse them with maple syrup and watch them drown in their own version of a happy meal. Oh, you're so sick.
9) Try to decide between bankruptsy or forclosure. You don't really need both. You could potentially file for bankruptsy and exempt your home from the asset list that debtors can access. In any case, you'll need some time to ponder this and that's time you won't be spending cluttering the world with your top 10 lists that really anyone could write.
10) Pray. Start praying a simple prayer... for example "God what is my purpose on
this earth". Get in a habit of waiting for his response before doing anything else.
The White House has made a public request that other news organizations isolate and alienate Fox News. Further, it has sent out top advisers to
rail against the cable channel as a Republican Party mouthpiece. Moveon dot org is in full swing against Fox as well.
Like any feud, if you feed it, it will grow - just like Fox's ratings, which are now up 20% since this ballyhoo got started.
While I stand behind Obama on this, I don't hold out much hope for anything other than the fake outrage that Fox will inevitably dish out like watermelon balls at a country picnic. I just wonder what the administration is thinking bringing a knife to a gunfight that it doesn't even need to be in.
1) How valuable, exactly, are these ties that other media outlets have to Fox? How exactly does one media outlet shun another? Do they stop saying, "Hi" in the halls of the White House?
2) Don't you think that branding Fox as "opinion journalism
masquerading as news" sounds an awful lot like the Republican refrain about Mainstream Media ("MSM") for the past eon and a half?
3) Don't you think it's insulting to the other news outlets that you would imply that Fox has any impact whatsoever on what they're reporting?
4) Can you really blame Fox for merely trying to monetize the vast segment of the US population that doesn't really read or think for themselves? Isn't that capitalism (or capitalism's unfortunate side-effect)? I mean, journalism is a tool that some news outlets just choose not to use.
5) Wouldn't eliminating Fox from the White House pool be very similar to the deplorable tact taken by the Bush administration whereby they essentially barred certain journalists from asking questions and made them sit in the back? At least I remember being outraged by that.
6) Does focusing on Fox open you up to the criticism that you're getting distracted from the important work at hand. Namely saving the economy, fighting two wars, and fixing health care?
7) Isn't this exactly the kind of thing that rallies the tin-foil hat wearing Republican base?
Fox News contributor Karl Rove said: "This is an administration that's getting very arrogant and slippery in its dealings with people. And if you dare to
oppose them, they're going to come hard at you and they're going to cut your legs off."
Karl likes to over-dramatize. But this is the kind of thing that gets into the discussion and then suddenly the administration is distracted by some stupid war of words about legs getting separated from their torsos that, frankly, they probably can't win, and not arguing over the things that actually matter - like whether the legs could have been re-attached by in-network surgeons recommended by the primary care physician under Obama's plan.
"The history of administrations that have successfully
taken on the media and won is shorter than this sentence," David Carr, NYT editor, wrote
over the weekend. "So far, the only winner in this latest dispute seems
to be Fox News. Ratings are up 20 percent this year."
As the saying goes, never get into a war of words with an organization that buys ink by the barrel. Or as the other saying goes, "Don't fuck with Bruce Lee. Even if you're Iron Man." (OK, I might've just made that one up.)
In an interview today with Katie Couric of CBS News, Glenn Beck, clearly talking before thinking, spoke the words, "I actually...how bout this? I actually think John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barak Obama."
Because it's only a preview snipped of the Interview, I think we'll have to wait until tomorrow to see how he justifies that. If he justifies that...I mean, he doesn't justify much. Ever. Most of his viewers and listeners get excited for the assertions that he makes because they generally reinforce their previously held positions. Positions like taxes are bad, fixing health care is wrong, democrats are the same thing as commies plus fascists divided by Kenyan Presidents
who look like Alfred E. Newman with a Hitler mustache.
They don't need, or want, the justifications for these beliefs because justifications can be disputed. And we don't want our belief system to be disputed or undermined in any way. Oh no. We just want to yell shit and stamp our feet and say, "Hell Yeah Glenn! You go dog. Woof Woof."
I wonder, if Mr. Beck doesn't like McCain, Obama, or Hilary Clinton all that much, what kind of President would he like to see sitting there in the Oval Office. Someone like Bush? Nobody asks him and he's better off not saying. Again, that would be a position that could come under attack and he would lose credibility by asserting a solution.
Glenn Beck is as cowardly as they come - all about tearing down but not courageous enough to put anything forth. Or as this one commenter on the CBS News site says, "What happens when a gifted entertainer that likes conspiratorial interpretations is given a big platform? You get a kind of modern day typhoid-Mary of political worldview."
Once they started putting TV shows online, that meant we could get it on our phones and on our computers at work. Combined with the set boxes we have in our homes and the ability to time-shift our watching, that means we can get our TV entertainment programming basically anywhere we are at any time. In a country where the average person spent 4 hours staring at television entertainment per day BEFORE this invention, I'm not sure the added availability of television is such a good thing. Clearly, we have a problem already.
And this is another flaw of capitalism. The system nurtures our vices. It promotes our counter-productive habits. Mobile entertainment has sucked all the idle "just sitting and thinking" time right out of people's lives. They no longer spend the time to process the events of their day. They stay in "consume" or "activity" mode literally all day until they go to bed.
As they go on, this will make them less and less aware of what is going on around them. More importantly, it will make them less aware of what is really going on between them.
Not to mention what consuming stereotypes and exaggerated personalities and situations all day does to people's perceptions of what is really real.
“Television is a machine to manufacture
reassurance for troubled North Americans. Reassurance is part of the
entertainment, the objective is to disconnect the audience from
uncomfortable realities of life and to lull them on a sea of gentle
inconsequence – and then to sell them deodorant” - Robert MacNeil
Perhaps being more wired actually makes us more out of touch.
Here's the situation: Wolf Blitzer has been usurped by the media establishment and is shilling for the man. Who isn't, right? Well, okay, but it's still irksome to me that this media hero of the first Iraq war is now hosting a show called "The Situation Room" that would have you believe that everything he talks about is, "a situation."
Webster defines situation as: A state of affairs of special or critical significance. They define a Situation Room as: a room at a military or political headquarters where the latest information on a military or political situation is channeled.
And what passes for a critical state of affairs in Blitzerland?
Situation: Comedian Bill Maher is critical of President Obama in a funny and slightly quirky, but still lovable way. Brought to you by Duracel.
Situation: Latinos Praise Sotomayor and Tamaflu and Rainbows. Brought to you by The World Games 2009.
Situation: Wife of failed Presidential candidate John Edwards speaks out. This is actually Oprah, but is playing in The Situation Room because it was only 9 months ago when we would have cared even in the slightest what she has to say.
Situation: Obama and Biden go for burgers. Obama wears red tie, Biden...blue tie. News at 11.
The show title sells us on the idea that they will be covering significant, maybe even critical events of the day. Then, when you arrive or tune in, you get the lady's solon gossip and political rubbernecking from a guy who just 15 years ago was ducking Patriot missiles whilst single-handedly launching the CNN brand into the world. Sigh. So disappointed.
Here'a really nice breakdown of all the CNBC BS that came before the financial crash about how things were just fine and dandy as far as you know. Special thanks to Jon Stewart for this entire segment and this post in general.
Before the election season, I wouldn't have been able to tell you the last time SNL was funny. But this shit...this is just funny. And you do have to hand it to Gov. Palin. She may be a liar and book-burner, but she ain't stiff.
As Americans we are bathing in bullshit every single day. It's unavoidable. So, if we can't avoid it, we might as well come to understand it. This is a group exercise, so if you'd like to point something out to us, by all means, do.