Friday, February 09, 2007
You've taken something I did as a lark for a couple of years and turned it into a colossal waste of time.
We have a tradition in the department I run in which we post pictures of actors and celebrities that pass away on the counter near the door. I think it started out of my love of pop culture, particularly film and television and my sadness at the loss of any entertainer that's brought me joy over the years. The pictures have become sort of an office tradition with coworkers streaming in to talk about the deceased, and share their own favorite moments from that person's career.
Yesterday, I must have had five different people ask me if we were going to put Smith's picture up and I responded to each with the same quip: "We would, but we were afraid what a Google image search would bring up."
The truth was I simply didn't care.
The way I look at it there is no reason I even need or should know Smith's name. She has contributed absolutely nothing to national zeitgeist other than a few pages stuck together in the magazines of young men some years ago. Her death was the sort of slow-motion suicide that was inevitable and shouldn't be a surprise to anybody.
But a funny thing happened this morning after watching the news and reading the paper. My apathy turned to anger and disgust. The country has more important business than Anna Nicole Smith. Our media are an embarrassment.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
It was with a great sense of personal relief that I read Thomas Friedman's latest column in your pages. I have spent the entirety of my life dreaming of having a job as a regular columnist in the pages of the gray lady. Thus far I have forced myself to pursue other avenues of employment, convinced that I possessed neither the gift for subtlety or grasp of world events necessary to be a first class writer for the Times. Mr. Friedman's column today convinced me I'd been wrong.
As an example take this paragraph from the column:
Today in Iraq, none of the key parties have to make any choices, and we don't have any choices. That is the the definition of "stuck." Right now we can win only if all the parties in and around Iraq act in the most farsighted and flexible manner. Otherwise, we lose in our attempt to democratize Iraq, and we're left holding the bag.
Do you see my point? In this paragraph are demonstrated none of the qualities to what traditionally defined a paid opinion columnist. There's no "higher grasp" of the situation in Iraq, no insight. There's no personal experience relevant to describing what's going on. There isn't even any humorous take on the events in question. Just a dry, generic summation which could have been written by any fifth grader after watching the evening news for five minutes.
So I told myself; "I can write like a fifth grader."
To demonstrate this point, and in the hopes of gaining employment, I'd like to leave you with an example of my skills. I understand that you may not have any open positions for political columnists but perhaps you could use my skills in writing on the educational issues of the day:
Today in education, none of the key parties have to make any choices, and we don't have any choices. That is the the definition of "stuck." Right now we can educate our children only if all the parties in and around the education system act in the most farsighted and flexible manner. Otherwise, we lose in our attempt to educate our children, and we're left holding the crackers.
(I added that crackers bit to mix it up a bit. I can be clever, too.)
I would hope that you would consider my request to gain employment with your fine institution. As an added incentive and to "sweeten the pot" if you will I'd like to make it known that I'd be willing to grow a big, bushy mustache should you be willing to bring me on board.
Dean Vernon Wormer
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
The astronaut corps is made up of people who are driven. They spend their entire life in pursuit of that goal. They are a group of individuals who refuse to take no for an answer by profession. Of all the type A personalities they are the type A-iest.
It seems to me it would only take a few neurons firing in the wrong direction for somebody with that personality to extend that trait into their personal life in a destructive manner. It was only a matter of time.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Sure the heart spot where the guy in the heart costume was basically kidnapped and rolled in a back alley and the "rock, paper, scissors" ads were a bit much. But one progressive blogger has taken to complaining about a digital snowman being ground apart to chill a coke product. Do we really need the "no living snowmen were hurt during the making of this ad" disclaimer?
Let's consider the venue guys. These ads aren't running during the Kennedy Center honors. This is the frickin' superbowl. As close as we come to gladiatorial games.
There's a certain amount of pop cultural ignorance at play here as well. One commentator took on the "racism" inherent in the coke spot featuring the white hoodlum who sets everything right in the city by giving away coke. At one point a woman has her purse stolen as black bystanders stand by.
Anyone familiar with a little video game called "Grand Theft Auto" knew what that from the first few frames that this ad was a send-up of that game, turning the world on it's head. The bystanders, etc. were all made to convey the feel of game in order that the hero could play against type. I personally enjoyed the heck out of that ad.
The last thing we need is for the superbowl and the ads surrounding it to be more tepid, more lifeless and more non-controversial than they are now. That's what I worry the fallout could be.