Monday, February 26, 2007

"This is who we are"

I finally watched the last episode of MillenniuM, and although it had its share of uneven episodes, this ranks way up there in my list of favorite television. The writing is usually very good - at least the overall "arc" of the series, anyway, the acting is incredible, and the mood just outstanding. So it's only a natural that it ended up on the same trash heap that so many other shows I've liked have ended up - being cancelled early, etc.: Twin Peaks, Carnivale, MST3K, and Arrested Development. Even though it wasn't given nearly enough time to be fleshed out, it was still very satisfying television. Unlike so much other television, nothing is spoon fed, and there is lots of ambiguity - which probably didn't help ratings. The Friday time slot probably didn't help matters, either.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

You Gotta Love the Guerilla Marketers

At least these guys - the authorities and the major corporate media wanted us all to cower in fear, and expected these guys to take their fear-mongering seriously, too. And these guys weren't going to play into the bullshit. It's been a few weeks, but I've never seen the full coverage before of their press conference - in which they want to talk about haircuts of the 70's. What a great way to raise a great big middle finger to the stupid media and the authorities at the same time. I wish they'd pull out a non-apology apology like, "I'm sorry the media and the authorities are such artards"

I listened to Penn's show in which he talked about this whole stupid thing, and I just knew he'd have the same opinion as me on this - no big surprise, as he usually tends towards the rational. Of course you know there'd be at least one nutjob to call in to disagree, and he got it. Some raving redneck of a woman who had the "lock them up and throw away the key" sort of "tough on crime" attitude. Hilarity ensued, at least for those of us trying to use our brains, and not just the brainstem. I'd bet anything that if she voted in the last two elections, she voted for Bush both times and is still proud of it...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cable News Confidential

This book is great - you can read lots of media criticism that can tend towards the dry side, but you won't find that here. It's instructive AND funny. It's odd that he mentions that the Daily Show is the most trusted name in news or the like, as the Daily Show often accomplishes the same thing - instructive and funny.

I highly recommend this book. If you honestly think the media is liberal, or even if you don't, I invite you to read this book. Mr. Cohen has obviously been in the trenches and has stories to tell, and he makes this book a fun and light ride. Along the way, you may learn quite a bit and find some things that may surprise you.

I get spun up about so-called "news", but I find that remembering a few things while I watch the latest tabloid journalism on CNN helps put my anger at least on simmer:

1. It's not there to inform, it's there to make money, and that's job #1. Clearly. If it was, we wouldn't be mired in silly trivia like we are about cuckoo astronauts and blonde bimbos. I like watching bimbos flounce around on the screen as much as the next guy, but I'll never be fooled into thinking that qualifies as news.

2. Having people know what is really going on is the LAST thing that's desired. It's not like a secret cabal is pulling the strings; these are big corporations that own these networks. Having people know that people are dying to support their vampiric practices is not going to benefit them over the long haul.

3. Television news is really show business. It's big hair and makeup and quick witty retorts and no substance. When I see someone propped up as supposedly a far leftie that sides with the obviously far-right or they seem full of doubt about their convictions I know it's a put-on. It's best to think of this as the same as "professional" wrestling - it isn't real, and a real liberal isn't some namby-pamby spineless poofter like the ones they put on these shout shows. If they were, they'd be shutting off their mike.

4. The anchors and newsreaders are essentially actors. I find actually thinking of them as literally actors helps. So when I hear about O'Reilly, Coulter, or Hannity's latest outburst, I just take a breath and remember that they are just actors playing a part.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Corporate Cult

So I've been listening to Rich Zubaty's podcast, The Rude Guy, and I thought I'd give one of his books a try.

Much like his podcast, it's bound to challenge your assumptions. I have to say that the defense of ID was something that almost made me put the book down. ID is baloney, and evolution is basically the backbone of modern biology. The argument can be made that evolution should not be used to disregard religion and/or spirituality, however. That still doesn't mean that ID/creationism has any merit whatsoever in a science class.

Like I said, there is something here that will probably conflict with most everyone's basic assumptions. While overall the book is an attack on corporations, it's the way in which it is carried about that is unique. The attack makes the argument that corporations are basically feminine structures, catering to feminine desires, with a resulting feminization of the culture. Interesting stuff to chew on. It would certainly explain why many conservatives mis-read the causes of culture (the "long shadow" cast by corporations that Chomsky refers to - I forget who originally used that phrasing) and mis-identify, say, the "news" as being "liberal" because of a few socially liberal issues that also happen to dovetail with corporate interests, such as feminism (usually resulting in two incomes which equals more consumption) or attacks on religion (turn people away from anything higher to a religion of acquisition of consumer fetishes).

One thing he mentions in his podcast and again in this book is feminism, and just how distorted its definiton of gender "equality" is. Gender "equality" would be furthered if, say, Hillary or Condi were President. What is not discussed is also having equal representation of women in dirty and dangerous jobs. Only having equal representation in the prestigious/high paying jobs counts. Also rarely discussed is having women register for the draft. Clearly, this isn't really being serious about gender "equality" at all, is just a lot of hot air. These are thoughts I must admit I've had in the past, and mostly kept those to myself, even if they should be blatantly obvious. The few men I've mentioned such things to almost always try to change the subject as if they are afraid of harboring thoughts that aren't doubleplus good.

Rich Zubaty has no such reservations about expressing himself, and it's very refreshing. Just today, in fact, I listened to a podcast in which he laid out why he thinks soldiers don't actually protect us, that in fact, ever since WWII, they enslave us. Highly recommended listening, and definitely not for the faint of heart.

Monday, February 05, 2007


That's it. That's all she wrote. Nothing else needs to be said about Fox News. No more need for media critics to denounce it with explanations and with Faux supporters just saying they are "liberals" who "hate America", yadda yadda, ad nauseum. It's over. Any "debate" is no longer necessary.

Murdoch admitted it, so all the arguments are over. All the dittoheads can stop pretending they don't know Fox is full of it when they claim to be "fair and balanced".

ATHF - The Only Thing To Fear Is...Lite-Brite!

Not that I care that much that a corporation has to dish out some money like this for what is essentially getting them lots of publicity - but the principle of the thing just grinds my gears. The people in charge acted incredibly stupid and panicked everyone in the city. The only thing missing at this point is Bush telling him "Heckuva job". I think the mayor and everyone at the top involved should be apologizing, not TBS. I think at least the mayor should apologize to the nation for scaremongering and step down.

Their posturing and fingerpointing is just pathetic, really. I also saw that John Kerry weighed in on the "issue", as well, showing you don't have to be a Republican to be a tool.

Note that a minor detail not often discussed is that the other NINE cities didn't go crying wolf over blinking lights. And damn it, look up the meaning of the word "hoax" - can't the media even get the basics right? These things were up for weeks.

Next, let’s all get out our dictionary and look up “hoax”, shall we? Because while “War of the Worlds” was a hoax, this was not. There was no subterfuge involved, and no effort made to convince people that these devices were bombs. If I see a scary looking tree out my bedroom window, think it’s a monster, and then discover upon closer inspection that it isn’t, it doesn’t mean the tree has perpetrated a hoax against me. What it means is that for a moment I took leave of my senses. And just because I’m embarrassed about it doesn’t give me the right to go cut down the tree.

In other news, we had the bomb squad come to our place of business today...someone left a briefcase in the lobby for an extended period of time.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wingnut Gets Nuttier And Sides With Terrorists

I just cannot believe how nuts the rightwing can get...this exceeds even my worst expectations.

Unless we speak out against the Jane Fondas and Tim Robbins and Sean "Spiccoli" Penn of the world, we will deserve them. Until we drown their pitiful, leftist voices out with shouts of patriotism and support, this will be our fault.

Notice he doesn't say anything like ... "by refuting their arguments with facts" or the like...because reality has a liberal bias, I guess. He is essentially saying shout them down with dogmatic nonsense, AKA "patriotism", which apparently means doing anything corporations, I mean, Republicans, want.

Seeing Jane Fonda Saturday was enough to make me wish the unthinkable: it will take another terror attack on American soil in order to render these left-leaning crazies irrelevant again. Remember how quiet they were after 9/11? No one dared take them seriously. It was the United States against the terrorist world, just like it should be.

If the left is anti-America, why is it that right wingers are always wishing for another attack on America?

This guy sounds like Colbert at his funniest, but he's not kidding. And he throws in the phrase "good American" - how did that work out for the Nazis?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

More McNews

So as I glanced over at CNN today, I kept seeing more "coverage" of this non-story yet again. I guess they felt so embarrassed about needless hype yesterday, and chose to cover the "trouble" the "troublemakers" got into to justify their idiocy (even by the standards of corporate news). I can only imagine what sort of nonsense Papa Bear and (Ins)Hannity are spewing or have spewed about this...probably blaming liberals for siding with terrorists, or something.

Sorry, I blame people who think that LEDs look like bombs. Just like I blame officials who would terrify the world over fake claims about liquid bombs.

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