Like Stink on a Skunk

Posted on June 21, 2018. Filed under: Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Your word for the day:
inconsiderate = rude, impolite

My ground-floor patio. It’s my day off. Bare feet, jams, t-shirt, foot stool, cup of hot coffee, ol’ Sol just now getting his freak on. Ohhh, yeah! I’m really feeling it.

A brief mental review of my accomplishments for the past week constitutes my own self-serving pat-on-the-back; then, I wallow in some serious day-dreaming.

I am a living, breathing hermit. I OWN the right to day-dream.

Some ask why I have not retired, possibly confusing living alone with being retired. I have continued to work the same 40- to 48-hour week I was working back in Y2K. If I am careful and stay away from mirrors, I am still somewhere near 40-years old.

But, that is not important except as evidence that I have lots of memories to re-live. Little things I observe today often send me back in Time to consider events long past. Like that tall, slim young man walking slowly past my view about 4 feet from my patio railing, and, about 2 feet from the bumper of that parked truck. Left hand held close to his face, he concentrates on images on his cell-phone screen. In that hand, he also holds the loop on a leash attached to a small, house-dog… all white with curly fur. Its butt pointed in my direction.

And, I am instantly transported to the 1980’s after I was discharged from the Army and had not yet gotten my own auto. Pending that acquisition, I got rides from friends or rode the Rapid Transit buses. Neither I nor most of my friends smoked, but, it seemed that half of the bus riders DID.

Old, not air-conditioned, and rattling windows typified the state of Houston’s Rapid Transit System. All windows were opened except on cold days. Women’s carefully coiffed hair was blown around, and, colognes, perfumes, and after-shave lotions were doomed challengers to the smoky stink. Hair and clothing became safe harbor for 2nd hand smoke. Of special annoyance, was the jack-ass sitting behind me who rested his cigarette-laden hand on the hand-grip behind my head, just inches from my face; I presumed that was to keep the smoke out of HIS eyes between drags. MY eyes and respiratory problems were none of his concern. (I was born in Houston, the home of allergens – need I say more??)

Surviving the bus ride, there were still the smoke traps in the office building where I worked. They were called elevators, and they were safe harbors for more inconsiderate bastards. Like cave men nursing embers to build a life-saving fire, they fueled their nicotine buzz at the expense of other passengers. The thick cloud of smoke and tobacco ash clung to everyone like a wearable ash-tray. Even the bold masculinity of my Old Spice after-shave got lost in the smoke stink.

Fortunately, after the smoking/cancer connection, and numerous civil ordnances prohibiting smoking in various venues, would-be smokers now seem to ask, “Do you mind?” before lighting up. That doesn’t help me back then, when smokers were totally inconsiderate of non-smokers, nor does it help me on my patio here. The jack-ass above me uses his patio as a smokehouse, sending his output down here into MY nose and MY living room. Oh, well, if life were perfect it would be called Heaven.

You may now be asking, “What the hell does an out-of-school-for-the-summer teen have to do with my un-fond memories of lung cancer’s hey-day and cigarette-butt stink?” Nothing… except that word “inconsiderate”… junior, there, does not have a poop pick-up bag.

In a couple of days, I will leave my apartment before sunrise (i.e., in the dark). I will tread that strip of grass between me and that bumper in front of my patio. I will get into the pick-up truck behind that bumper and, just minutes later, once again I will be the victim of butt stink on the way to work. Only this time, it will be canine butt and not cigarette butt.

The more things change, the more they remain the same… sigh!


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Coke, dope, and the NFL

Posted on December 14, 2017. Filed under: General Interest, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

For 50 years it was my favorite cold drink.

Then they changed the flavor and it became my least favored drink. They called it “new” Coke. To me, it was Pepsi-Coke. Only, I don’t care for Pepsi.

Then they changed it back to Old Coke, and, I resumed my adherence to that flavor.

I changed, so, I had to reduce my carb intake, and the switch to diet drinks was less than satisfying – including Diet Coke.

Then, they came out with Coke ZERO. Now we’re talking.  For years, it was my almost exclusive cold drink.

What do the dopes in the Coke-a-Cola Central Committee for the Criminally Insane go and do? RIGHT! Turned ZERO into New Coke which was Old Pepsi, which I did not, and STILL do not, care for.

I just gotta ask ya, Coca Cola Big Dogs: Are you still employing the very same egg-heads of the NEW COKE fiasco, or have you employed a completely new group of bone-heads?

FYI, Big Dogs: I DO NOT BUY YOUR PRODUCTS ANY MORE. Locally,  Kroger and Wal-Mart have put out their versions of COKE ZERO and I now buy their products as substitutes for your abandoned formula.

As for the NFL (a.k.a., the ‘Neeling Football League – who are probably glad I inserted the “dope and coke” thing into my Coca Cola diatribe), I can’t thank that bone-head, Kaspernack, and his sensationalist yellow-press media lackeys for sending me cold turkey into football withdrawal. I tune in for a sports event, and I get a political rally?

FU, NFL and the Yellow Press broadcast networks, for dis-addicting me from professional sports watching.  I watched one NFL game at the start of the 2017 season.  I have no compulsion to watch any game at all, now.

Since I couldn’t stand all that announcer drivel during football games, I frequently turned the TV to “mute” anyway. Now, I don’t even have to make that adjustment for self-satisfaction.


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Soul Candy

Posted on April 6, 2016. Filed under: Humor, Philosophy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I  simply love this place.  While it can be noisy at times, by and large there is usually a quiet corner where I can mellow out, sipping the sweet nectar from my life’s experiences.  Oft’ times, I follow Alice’s lead and pursue the White One down a rabbit hole where I can wonder at new sights, savor unusual concepts, and saunter down brightly lit exotic avenues — even yield to the invitation of a back-alley portico offering a slightly shadier ambiance. (more…)

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Hermit Interrupted

Posted on July 5, 2013. Filed under: Humor, language | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Latin derivative:  hermitus interruptus*

Today’s proverbYou can’t teach an old dog new licks…   tricks…   new tricks.

Your words for the day:

  • broke (3) = as in, “Is it house-broke?”
  • canis familiaris = scientific flim-flam for “domestic dog.”
  • hermit = somebody who chooses to live alone and have little or no social contact (e.g., me)

(Is it just me, or is that a misnomer?  Dogs are tamed wolves, once-, maybe twice-, removed, so, shouldn’t that read “domestic wolf”?)

Did I mention that I am a hermit?  It is not simply that I just up and checked out of social networking.  It is just the way that events, my personal interests, and commitments resolved themselves.  Just call me the film (some might say “scum,” but I hold higher aspirations for myself) floating on top of the stew of life.

Just for fun, here is another definition of HERMIT (MS XP dictionary):  a soft cookie containing molasses, raisins, nuts, and spices.  Change that last word to “spites” and we might have yet another picture of me…   according to me, anyway.

I, personally, have no pets what with being a hermit and all.  Just barely keeping up with myself is quite stressful, and there is just no time for the tedium of picking up after even the likes of a goldfish.

And, yet, in the dark at 3:00 a.m., I trip over 2 canis familiari in the hallway outside MY door, exaggerating my stumbling gait to the porcelain pavilion at the other end…   of the hallway…   a big ‘un and a little ‘un…   dogs, not pavilions.  They are fallout from the life of a very close relative who, retracing the dark path I have previously taken, is reevaluating the meaning of the term “wedded bliss.”  We hermits can, at times, be accommodating to others.

One crab and two dogs.  Could be a fight to the finish.  Odds makers might call the outcome at 50/50, but, I’m hoping to just break even.

In any relationship, communication is of prime importance (e.g., the aforementioned wedded-bliss thing) so, right off we have a big problem:  canis familiari do not speak Latin, English, Russian, nor any other word-based communication code, and, I do not speak bark.  To the best of my knowledge, crabs don’t have much to say, anyhow.  Dumfounded staring is probably not a language either, but, both they and I practice it assiduously.  Judging by the developing impatience from them toward me and me toward them, I don’t think we are communicating effectively.

There are downsides to sharing one’s hermitage, the foremost being that it can no longer be called a hermitage.  Of secondary consideration is that word “sharing.”  One is forced to relive those formative and traumatic years where basic human relation skills were learned (“Don’t be selfish!  Let little Egghead play with your toys.”).

From the dogs’ perspective, they have stumbled into an ogre’s lair.  In their former residence, they slept peacefully in bed with their socially oriented humans.  A hermit sleeps alone, and, when 50 pounds of canine crashes down on his sleeping form, he awakens in the dark amid much vocalizing.  Additionally, the hermitage — really scarce on visitors — will have only one chair that delights the hermit, and the fifty ounce bag of fur tries to claim it whenever he sees it vacant…   sometimes when it is NOT vacant.  But, my oafishness toward their intrusions does not deter them, and, I must resort to keeping my bedroom door shut to preserve my sanctum.  Thus, the night-time stumbling act since the closed door is as close as they can get to me and my chair.

Other downsides to this canine-hermit cohab include the hermit’s unavoidable witnessing of canine self-grooming.  If I had to describe it mathematically, it would be the single word slurr-rrrr-pppp-slurpslurpslurp raised to the power of 10.  That is just the audio; the visuals are equally…   stunning.  Mysterious wet spots on the carpet, sudden applications of wet nose / tongue to surprised skin  surfaces (mine), and…   what is that smell, anyway?

The answer to that is found outside in the back yard.  Dead things, heretofore unknown to me, all over the place.  Frogs.  Birds.  Lizards.  And I hope that is all.  Small dead things hidden under the grass that can’t hide from the 50-pound bloodhound-like nose snuffling like a vacuum cleaner over the grass.  I quit investigating after listening to the crunch of tiny bones being pulverized and found a little bit of the blackened, old cadaver of a frog.  Watching the 50-pounder and the 50-ouncer rolling joyously in something that the Stink Fairy left for them discourages thoughts of closeness.

Bark-bark-bark.  Woof-woof-woof.  BARK-BARK-BARK!**  Oops, I gotta go.  Time to feed the dogs and let them out for a roll.


* I made that up.

** “C’mon, you lazy lout.  Get off you butt and feed us.  We’ve been waiting at least 4 minutes”


Next up:  Do not offend tomorrow

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WTF: Wednesday The Second

Posted on June 17, 2013. Filed under: Humor, Nezza at Hella | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Your proverb for the dayIn the matter of laws, Murphy has a long arm.

Your words for the day:

  • broke (1) = not working; as in, it needs fixing
  • broke (2) = empty; as in, bank account or pockets
  • Yin-Yang = the see-saw twins of Tao, providing the balance we call “existence”
  • deja vu = “Oh, no!  Not again.”

Ineptitude is a trait of self-deficiency, and could easily be a descriptive summary of last Wednesday.  But, what to call it when things just seem to go wrong in bunches, a la this, my second, bad Wednesday in a row?  Celebrity jinx?  (…probably not, since I’m not a celebrity).  Stars just not lined up right?  (…something I wouldn’t know anyway, since I don’t have a telescope…   can’t read one either).  Or, is it the more generic and mundane duo of unfortunate coincidence and just plain BAD LUCK?  I suppose it could even be a cosmic balance thing between Yin and Yang.

Whatever it is, it’s all over the front of my tux.  Not that I am wearing a tux (or even own one), but, if I were (or did), it would be like white meringue on a black one or dark chocolate on a white one.  Either way, corrective action must be taken immediately.

Like everyone, I got a list of stuff that just gotta be done — they aren’t done yet, but they are on the list.  Scheduled stuff that will eventually be done and will make my life better — as soon as I stop procrastinating.  Unfortunately, as a coping aid, putting things off ’till later works only with the stuff that’s on your list.  If meringue or chocolate is suddenly smeared over your plan of inaction, it has to be cleaned up before you can resume your delaying tactics.  As a rule, it gonna cost ya.

Like that preventive maintenance to your one vehicle.  This Wednesday, that differential flush gets done.  My garage of choice jacked that baby up on the hydraulic lift, and, while suspended in the air, the case would be opened, drained, and filled with brand new heavy oil.  That would be the Yin of cosmic balance finally flowing in my direction…   at a cost of $150 plus tax and possibly some other hidden cost.  I can scratch one thing off my “gotta do” list.  Except that

Yang, the cosmic score keeper, showed up with his tally sheet and watched while the mechanic popped the lid off the differential case, drained the oil, then called ME out for a consultation:

  • “Sir,” said he to me, “your pinion seal at the front of the differential case is defective and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.  We don’t do that kind of work here, but, I am letting you know about it so you can get it fixed before it blows and damages the rear end.”
  • “And how much will that cost?” said I to him.  “Typically,” said he to me, “about $250.  They’ll open the differential case (draining the fluid I’m about to replace), drop the drive shaft to expose the pinion and seal.  They will replace the seal, reconnect the shaft, and refill the differential fluid — just like I am doing right now.”

I thanked him for the heads up and returned to the waiting room where I mulled a single implication:  I am about to pay $150 right now for a differential servicing that will be done again in 1 or 2 weeks when I replace the pinion seal.  Had the mechanic told me of the greater problem BEFORE he cracked the case and drained the fluid, I would have cancelled the service request and applied the $150 to the future work.

But, Yang — the balance to all things Yin — was not yet done with me:

  • The mechanic, waxing loquacious, noted further that the front and rear seals of the transmission showed the same weakness as the pinion seal.  “We don’t do that work, either.”
  • Within a monetarily challenged week of the above, Yang zapped two of my fairly new tires (under 20,000 miles) with sharp pointy things to the tune of major inconvenience and another $25 for plugs — and one will need to be replaced soon.

WTF?  When will Yin get his act together and show Yang how it is done?

Next up:  Hermit interrupted

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WTF: Wednesday The First

Posted on May 30, 2013. Filed under: Humor, Nezza at Hella | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Your proverb for the dayIn acquiescence there is repose.*

Your words for the day:

  • chicle = a dried tree-sap used as the base for chewing gum
  • multi-tasking = doing two or more things at once; e. g., chewing gum while walking
  • inadvisable = don’t do it; e. g., the above-stated multi-tasking

True.  I’m borrowing my title for this article from Nezza, a blogger out of Sydney, Australia.  Her perspective on this nightmare…   uh, dream…   make that dream… we call LIFE is unique.  The frequent use of “WTF” in her articles seems appropriately applicable here (that was a tongue-twister).  Oh, that dealing with LIFE were so simple as uttering a heartfelt “WTF” —  or delivering a well-placed Ninja kick.

The Mamas and the Papas had a song, “Monday, Monday,” that held jewels of wisdom which I can easily import to my recent series of Wednesday mishaps.  Chief among them:  the lament that it can’t be trusted to auger good for tomorrow — or even the rest of today.

Firstly, did I mention that I am a hermit?  The upshot of that is that I do not have a doting, loving, fastidious mate to pick up after me, cook for me, wash clothes and dishes for me, and fill in all that blissful togetherness stuff.  Yeah!  That gives you a picture of the disarray that surrounds me most of the time.  Focus, as you can tell by the sporadic nature of my blog postings, is something that — by and large — eludes me.

ROUND 1.  Breakfast (at 12:30 p.m.) delayed by a dirty skillet, my only one.  Must wash it.  My month’s supply of clothing items has run out.  Must wash it.  Caffeine-deficient body crying out for succor.  Must succor it.  Weeks since my last post.  Must post it.  Thusly was the stage set.

  1. Toss clothes in washer, utility room just off from the kitchen.
  2. Put skillet in sink with “Ajax” lemon scent soap; add hot, hot water.
  3. Follow Mr. Coffee’s protocol on starting my daily brew while sink is filling.
  4. Remember the computer down the hallway, a post being prepared.  …tick, tock, tick, tock…

“Yum!  Coffee must be ready,” chimed my internal clock, impelling me from the keyboard.  Walking past the noisy wash room as I wended casually toward the kitchen, I registered a noise I could not place…   until I entered the kitchen area.  There, the noise resolved itself into a cascade of suds-topped water breaking over the edge of the sink.  Hitting the floor, it morphed into a restless pool of soapy, bubbly water gathering for a sprint into the garage under the nearby door.  A long string of expletives (best characterized as, “Oh, darn it!”) accompanied my lunge at the tap handle, capped by another descriptive term as my bare feet splashed into the hot, soapy water.  Rush to grab an armful of towels from the yet-to-be-washed pile and spread them on wet floor.  Pull plug from sink (ouch, hot, hot, hot!), spread towels more evenly.  Pause momentarily, think “That coffee would be good about now…”

Except that the “on” button for Mr. Coffee is not lit!

ROUND 2.  1 out of 4 isn’t so bad if you are talking at-bats in baseball, but, it really sucks** for multi-tasking.

  • Ponder skillet with stubborn goo on inside surface.  Not willing to risk the sink again, I decided to put water in it and simmer it on the stove.  But…   turn on Mr. Coffee first.
  • Check on wash in progress.  Move clothes from washer to dryer.  Remember post-in-progress.
  • Time not important,” as the keepers of the Fifth Element (a Bruce Willis / Milla Jovovich movie) kept saying.  Accordingly, I can not tell you how much of it lapsed between Mr. Coffee’s “on” light illumination and my next “Oh, darn it!” enlightenment which returned me hastily to the kitchen.
  • The skillet had been dry for a while.  I turned off the burner and removed my former breakfast maker, which now possessed an interestingly textured surface.  I vowed to take better care of its replacement.

The towels on the floor were squishy, and there would be no breakfast.  But, at least the coffee was ready.  Feet up on foot stool, cup of coffee at hand, just relax and go with the flow.

*The internet could not tell me from where I picked this up.

**I’m old school.  I hear the current argot is “blows.”


Next up:  WTF:  Wednesday the 2nd

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Posted on April 23, 2012. Filed under: Humor, Journalism, language, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Olfactory, optical, auditory, tactile…   (Awright!  Smell, sight, hearing, touch!  Happy now?)…   all are senses used to communicate information.  All organisms — fungi, plants, microbes, animals — use one or more of these tools to send and receive information vital to its species’ survival.  Every transmittal is a signal to another that it should respond in kind, do nothing, or initiate an  appropriate complementary action.  All of these signals and responses are, in essence, words, sentences, and paragraphs in that great big story called LIFE.  Consider these basic abilities as hardware essential to each living entity. 

And the CPU?  Easy enough to describe in anything with a recognizable nervous system, but, in anything below that, speculation becomes the sport of the day.  In my mind, since everything we call living must follow the “acquire or avoid” protocol, then everything must have some kind of information processor to determine the appropriate course to follow.  The extent to which this is applied to any one organism is up to the biases of individual observers.

Application of the garnered information may be information specific (a given input always resulting in the same output or action) or situation specific (a given input is weighed against several possible actions, each with a different outcome, before one is decided on).  In essence, through memory and manipulation of available and remembered data, the entity is considering “What if?”

With apparently little in the way of reasoning abilities, plants have been lying to insects for…   well…   a very long time.  Pitcher plants scream out to little bugs, “Hey, I’m just a nice piece of delicious carrion,” and the little bugs jump right into the plants’ stomachs, and we all know how that ends.  Male bees, eager to jump the bones exoskeletons of very receptive female bees, excitedly land on the petals of devious, cross-dressing plants, and, instead of contributing to their own species’ future, wind up artificially inseminating the plants relatives.  Insects, fish, snapping turtles and a host of others practice this prevarication.  A little misinformation can go a  long way toward furthering the liar’s goal.

All life-forms predate humanity, and, story telling is integral to that history.  Deception, based on understanding another’s probable response to received information, rivals it for longevity.  It should be no surprise that humans also are capable of taking an elemental trait and retooling it for self-benefit. 

Knowing our own innate predilection for manipulating data for personal gain, it is easy to attribute such behavior to others of our kind.  Thus, it becomes essential that we get pretty good at ferreting out deceptive intents.

Veracity of content is an elusive shape-shifting phantom, being defined only by the view points of both the story teller and the reader (recipient).  If news is being reported, it can be related straight up as a blow-by-blow account, or, a colorized version can be presented in several ways, such as the use of words that impart opinions, like:   Mr. Wilson questioned the Mayor, who responded with “Absolutely!” vs. Mr. Wilson impatiently questioned the Mayor, whose reply, “Absolutely!”  belied his 4-year track record in office.  A little extra here, some more over there, and, before you know it, a news item becomes a political commentary.   What more can you expect?  Brian the Anchor’s motto echoes through the industry:   “We have to interpret it for the stupid masses (that be us, their audiences) so they can understand it the way we want.”  (Brian didn’t actually say that directly.  I just processed what he did say through my own personal antipathy toward his ilk — and the track record of that ilk.)  And, I really hope that I am talking to people who didn’t believe that tabloid account — with photograph — of the ET presenting a bouquet of flowers to President Clinton.

Next up:  “Freedom of” does not mean “responsibility to…”


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Come to Papa, razzi

Posted on April 21, 2012. Filed under: History, Humor, Journalism, Piss Ants | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Cave men understood the value of the story.  In fact, they invented the concept of the wall as seen on today’s social sites.  The excitement of the hunt, if not the sheer necessity of it, got those cave journalists in the mood to go to press paint.  (Say what you will about stone painting as a medium, but it has sure outlasted last century’s newspaper.)  Look!  There’s the stampeding herd, the flight of spears in the air, jubilant hunters all around…   and a hand print?  Researchers have discussed the significance of that, but, maybe, it was just a count of the take on that hunt.  You know…   5.

They even had moving pictures of sorts.  Those caves were dark, except for the light of dying torches and hearths, and the cave walls rough and uneven.  Together, the light and wall texture composed a lively show as the flickering flames sent shadows dancing across the paintings, imparting an almost supernatural feeling of motion right before all those sleepy eyes.  Every night, in the quiet time before sleep, the hunt — in motion and living color — was played out once again.  And, the narrator emphasizing, “We bagged five!”

We don’t do cave walls anymore.  We learned during the Renaissance how to do it right.  We want wall art, we just build a big, stone cathedral, light it with flickering torches and/or oil lamps, hire a da Vinci or Michelangelo, and watch those guys laboriously pound, grind, and mix select ingredients into just the right colors and textures, then turn ’em loose on those walls and ceilings.  WAIT!  THIS JUST IN:  a couple of cases of spray paint, a half-dozen taggers, a city-full of walls and overhead structures just waiting for proper treatment…   and someone in authority saying, “Don’t you dare!”  Actually, with that last example, there isn’t much story line, just lurid, flashy colors,, maybe even some drawings, but, basically, just meaningless stuff that shouts, “Hey, looky here!”  Which brings us to paparazzi and tabloids.

Paparazzo (singular of paparazzi, which is plural of paparazzo) is a character in a movie (La Dolce Vida – 1959) who was an obnoxious celebrity-chaser with a camera and a nose for scandalous and prurient news items.  “Obnoxious” in the sense that he got into people’s faces with that flash bulb and saw/reported only a salacious perspective in every activity in which the stalked celebrity engaged.  Subsequently, that name came to be applied to an entire class of…   can we say photo journalists?…   who regularly stalk and ambush celebrities as they go about their daily activities.  Privacy invasion (with those super telephoto lenses) is no biggie with them.  Nor is a shot in the mouth from a pissed-off celebrity who does not want the individual and his camera getting into the cab with him/her, or preventing her/him from exiting the cab.

Tabloids seem to be the place where all those paparazzi shots are displayed (including the one in the mouth).  Whether the photo journalist submits a story with the hard-won pictures or a tabloid “reporter” reviews the pix, then makes up a story from sketchy information provided by the submitter is a mystery rivaling “Sasquatch” and the “yeti.”  Or, maybe no one is consulted; a photo is submitted and a random story from file…   or somewhere…   is tacked onto it.  Like the old dime novels from the 1800’s that glorified famous and infamous celebrities of the time, an ongoing drama surrounding the big name is fabricated and published as a “developing” story.  Really, how many more times can I believe that Angie and Brad are splitting up?

Next up:  Veracity and responsibility

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All The World’s A Stage

Posted on April 6, 2012. Filed under: Humor, Journalism, language | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

DEFINITIONS FROM THE WINDOWS XP DICTIONARY (because I don’t feel like walking across the room to the real dictionary, picking it up, and then have to turn all those pages by hand)

Journalist:  a writer or editor for a magazine or newspaper, or t.v. or radio

Columnist:  a journalist who writes a regular column for a newspaper or magazine;  a gossip columnist.

Reporter:  someone who finds out facts and reports them for a newspaper, magazine, or t.v., and uses the print or broadcast media to tell others of it.

Correspondent:  someone providing special reports from a particular place or about a specific subject.

Anchor (person):  announcer on a news program providing links between studio and reporters on site (Like, “Now from our correspondent in Bay Root!”

Thespian:  someone who acts on the stage.

Emote:  Display  exaggerated emotions, as in playing a dramatic part.

DEFINITION FROM COLUMNIST MICHELLE MALKIN (just because that sweet baby rocks)

Anchor person:  A teleprompter reader.  (See also thespian and emote above)

Ouch!  That has to hurt an over-inflated journalist’s ego.  I mean, c’mon, Michelle.  Are you implying that those guys and gals (or gals and guys, whichever is politically correct) are nothing more than actors acting like they really know what they are reading talking about?  That, when Brian Williams says he has to find out all that stuff that is happening and then interpret it for all the rest of us, he really means that reporters and clerks assemble their information with their conclusions, print it out on the teleprompter (probably in giant letters so the suave anchor doesn’t have to squint or wear bifocals), and then, keeping a straight face, he reads it out while emoting like a method actor?  Oh, Brian, say it isn’t true!

Literally everything that has a federally licensed frequency and broadcasts (what it says is) news employs the journalist ilk.  Any printed media taps into that same labor pool, all graduating from some college or technical school that touts the electronic marvels of the industry or the more vain celebrity of it.  Anyway, it’s a paying job, and in our overpopulated societies, those gigs are in big demand.  And, the schools pump out those cub reporters like ants from a disturbed mound.

These junior Jimmy Olsens make the piss ant list every time they show up at a neighborhood tragedy, home in on a shocked, grieving relative, shove that microphone in her/his face and ask such relevant questions as “how do you feel right now?”  They do a real good job, too, at polluting potential jury pools by airing off-hand, unsubstantiated impressions of an accused neighbor’s character.  Just adding color to the story, eh, Jimmy?  And, those local anchor persons just read that drivel blithely while grinning idiotically, then laugh at some poor citizen’s misfortune, and, in the span of a changed camera angle, become somber and reverent about “the untimely death of…”  Whether journalistic Anchor or circus Ringmaster, there is one truth:  neither has his own act, so they shill the glory of the real performers.

Next up:  Reporting is optional, but a story is required


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The Merger

Posted on April 1, 2012. Filed under: History, Humor | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The rise of the experts (specialists in a given field) was important in the progress of human social evolutions.  This focus on specific areas allowed improvements (fine tuning) to innovations in every field, including medicine, engineering, navigation, transportation…   and even blog comment spamming.

Traveling circuses and carnivals of yore used an advance man to stir public interest ahead of their arrival at the next stop on their tour.  Experts, climbing higher and higher in their ivory towers, and, their views experiencing unfamiliar competition from an expanding Smart Dude membership base, found that staying on top wasn’t easy.  Protecting the purity of their intellectual turf required frequent and wide distribution of their assertions.  What they needed was a Gatling gun approach to information dissemination, and, that Gutenberg innovation, attended by a retinue of neophytes, should be compliant enough to fulfill that need for publicity.   …Maybe I should say “public authentication.”

The printing business was meandering along, searching for its identity, and the needs of the Great Learned provided a focus for their efforts.  So, between the story of a bar fight over in Shadyville and the fashion highlights of the attendees at the Grand Opera (strictly an upper-class affair), they could now slip in Sir Isaac Newton’s great revelation that things over you head could fall on your head, given the right circumstances.  It is incredible that mankind had mucked along for thousands of millenia unaware of such a thing.  But, like Al Gore’s invention of the internet, Newton’s invention of gravity opened brave new worlds everywhere.  Chalk 2 up for the Great Learned Experts.

As a union, this merger was not destined to last.  On one side, the individuals comprising the Great Learned camp had turf issues (“My idea is better than you idea any day of the week and twice on Sunday.  Besides, you don’t even know what you are talking about.”  That kind of professional objectiveness.)  On the other side, veracity seemed to be an issue; actually, a non-issue with some segments who felt a story ought to be just a story, not necessarily an accurate account of anything;  it’s all about sales.  In street jargon, many of these inkers were just sluts for a scoop.  And, never, never forget they had the big P.  Since, for ink fodder, anything with letters or illustrations could be printed, and business was booming through the industrial revolution, the experts needed the grown-up printing industry more than printers needed the experts.  The apprentice became the master.  Information disseminators were now the experts.

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