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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Too Many Adjectives and Not Enough Ike

I can not stress enough how much of an idiot Michelle Malkin is. Yes, inflammatory language, I know, but true. She is, after all, the woman who wrote a book (no joke) called "In Defense of Internment," so you know her bonafides as a freedom-loving supporter of the Constitution are suspect anyway.

But now she's up in arms over Moveon.org's anti-Petraeus ad in the New York Times.

Please God...deliver us from this nonsense. (Hmm...this never happened before. I just got an e-mail from God. It contained two words: Ignore her.)

Now whether you think the Petraeus ad was spot-on or treason or a mildly offensive and unpersuasive use of one's First Amendment rights (my view), hey, that's your deal. I much prefer living in a world where Moveon.org's ads show up in the Times much more to this theoretical world where they can't. (Whether they shouldn't, well...that's another story. Moveon.org's big offense here is their over-reliance on the slanderous techniques perfected by their right-wing opponents, not their anti-war views.)

But that's not why Michelle Malkin is an idiot. She actually thinks she's a journalist.

You know why? She uses too many adjectives.

Lesson 1 in the first class of the Pearce Writing Institute declares: "Don't use too many adjectives." To mangle a metaphor, adjectives are like salt in cooking. You need it, but not too much.

Verbs, though...verbs are meat.

Take this sentence from Malkin's screed:

They simply cannot, as a party, bring themselves to unequivocally condemn the shameless MoveOn.org slime ad published at a special, military-bashers discount rate by The New York Times.
That one sentence has six adjectives alone! That last dash she has three of them all in a row, even needed a comma!

This is not journalism, folks. This is sensationalism. It's not even good writing.

The same information could have been conveyed without all the modifiers and it would have been up to the reader to decide how to feel about it. Is Moveon.org shameless? Was that a slime ad? Does the New York Times really have a special, discount rate for military bashers?

Michelle, honey, we get it. You're a paranoid, slightly evil fear-monger who can't even hide the deep-seated contempt in your shrill voice, and complete lack of wit.

(See? I can do it too, if only for effect. Only I cheated a little by including an adverb.)

PS. I love that Eisenhower pic, the whole "What if Moveon was around during WWII" idea. Man, that's just brilliant. Two war-time generals, regarded as great men by a lot of people, smeared!

Only problem is that Petraeus is no Eisenhower, and Iraq is not WWII.

A more apt metaphor would be, "What if Ike was running things in Iraq?" My guess is the war would be won, the fighting would be over, George W. Bush would be seen as the greatest president ever, and the new world order would be tilted gently in our favor.

He was long dead before I was born, but still...I like Ike. I wish there were more Republicans like him today.

7 Words

Lionsgate Entertainment is making a big stink over a baby T-shirt. Why?

It says "Nobody puts Baby in the corner," a reference to the same line in Dirty Dancing. Apparently, Lionsgate feels that these 7 words used in this particular order is their property.

You see, "Baby puts Nobody in the corner" is okay.

"Nobody puts corner in the baby," well, that doesn't make sense, but I'm not sure anyone claimed ownership to that phrase yet. (Until now. Don't try and put that nonsense on a T-shirt, cuz you'll be sued...by me!)

Remember that joke/hoax about Metallica suing a band for using powerchords? That was a joke. This...is not.

Betting Against the Greedy

In today's "Greed is Not Good" segment, the Wall Street Journal highlights a study which "found that on average, the stocks of companies run by leaders who buy or build megamansions sharply underperform the market."

They're not sure why, but it seems to hold up statistically. In fact, it seems so reliable that some are even proposing turning it into an investment strategy.
He and Prof. Liu say it would be easy to build a simple trading strategy to profit from the edifice complex. One could track CEOs' house purchases through public records, bet against the stocks of companies whose chiefs bought or built megamansions, and buy the stocks of firms whose executives have more modest housing tastes. The professors calculated that doing that would have outperformed the market by about 15 percentage points a year.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Upside of B Movies

I watched Hellraiser 8 last night. I don't know why. I've been a fan of the Hellraiser movies, even though they stopped being good after Hellraiser II, and here we are, up to number 8.

There were two redeeming qualities about this movie, and I'm sad to report that neither had anything to do with Pinhead or the Hellraiser mythos.

Number one was Lance Henriksen, whose craggy face and smoky voice allows him to elevate the production by just showing up.

And the second, was the discovery of a certain Canadian actress by the name of Katheryn Winnick. The girl is absolutely beautiful.

But does she have a good agent?

Soldiers

Despite the noble intentions, this has to be the stupidest song ever.

So a band gets together in a room and one guy says, "We should do a song for the troops."

Another guy says, "Yeah, that's a great idea, man! Let's do it."

"You got any ideas?"

They go down the line.

"No."

"Nope."

"Not really."

Finally someone says, "Well, we'll need a hook."

"I got it! It's a song for the soldiers, right? Why don't we just say, 'This is for the soldiers.'"

"That's catchy. We add a few 'huhs' in there, and our song is done!"

And this is the result:
It's like giving someone a birthday card that says, "This birthday card is for you."

Very meta, but very lame.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Put Me Out of My Misery

It's a well-known fact that I don't like ...no, I loathe Linkin Park. They can't rock, can't rap, can't play dance music, and yet they they try to do all three!

Whenever I hear the distinctive hand claps and C+C Music Factory guitar riff of their latest mediocre "hit," Given Up, I immediately change the station.

Like Kanye says:
That's why we listen to your music in fast fo'
Cuz we don't wanna hear that weak shit no mo'
Funny then that last night, when I was driving to work, I heard the handclaps. Bam, my finger hit the button on my radio, changing it from my favorite rock station (KBPI) to my favorite classic rock station (The Fox). It stayed that way until this morning, when I'm driving home listening to the Fox morning show.

Lewis and Floorwax are funny guys, but they like to talk a lot. I'm firmly in the "More Rock, Less Talk" camp when it comes to radio, so I decided to see what KBPI was playing.

And they were playing that same damn Linkin Park song!

With riffs done better by a 90s techno band, trite lyrics that were seemingly ripped from the poetry pages of the nearest junior high literary journal, and more record sales than God, what do you expect?

Who's the Bigger Traitor? Petraeus...or John Kerry?

Am I the only one who finds right-wing outrage about Moveon.org's "General Betray Us" ad to be a little, um, disingenuous. Some of these same folks thought it was real funny to label John Kerry a "traitor" during the 04 elections.

Try a little experiment.

Google "John Kerry Traitor" and see who comes up. In the top 20, we've got Hotair.com (Michelle Malkin's venture, appearing in the top 5 thanks to a commenter who flat out calls Kerry a traitor), freerepublic.com, home of the Freepers, and www.rightwingnuthouse.com (which at least has the courage to admit it).

Then google "Petraeus Traitor." First up, is the offending Moveon.org link. The next several links? See for yourself.

I'll give you a hint. They aren't left wing blogs saying, "You know, Moveon.org is right. Petraeus really IS a traitor."

Just remember to duck when you see the manufactured outrage.

Another Corporate Pig At The Big Money Trough

Mattel's CEO Robert Eckert testified to Congress about the lead paint tainted toys from China, basically admitting that they, um, could have done better.

I'll say!

I know, I know. I'm the weird one. I'm not even a Mattel shareholder (just an occasional customer), and I expect more from a guy who got paid $5,994,559 in executive compensation last year, according to the SEC. That's a lot of money.

It would take a guy earning the US average salary 163 years to make that much, his entire lifetime plus 6 or 7 generations of his progeny.

If you think that's bad...don't try and compare Eckert's pay to that of the average Chinese worker. In China, the average salary is 21,001 Yuan a year, which is a meager $2,790 in US dollars. ($2,790 a year? Jesus...)

The average Chinese worker would have to work for 2,148 years to make what Eckert, a single man, made last year.

Perhaps someone can make an argument that Eckert is worth every penny. (I'm assuming that was already done when Eckert's compensation package came before the board.)

But what I want to know is, why is everyone else worth so much less? Let's hear the coherent argument for that.

Updated:
Now that I think about it, the CEO-worker wage gap for Americans brings to mind such words as "greedy" and "exploitative," but the wage gap between these same executives and their Chinese workers is downright immoral.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How To Make a Beat

Oh, and if you have ten minutes or so, watch this video. An interesting look into the process as Just Blaze constructs a beat from sample to rough cut. I'm going to watch this every time I'm tempted to dismiss hip-hop as crap.

The Great Ronald Jenkees

I love this dude. And I'm not being facetious. I sincerely love this dude. He may seem weird, but he's scary talented.Watch more of his "jams" and buy his "physical CD" if you've a mind to.

Ali Velshi - Reporter of the Day

I've gotta give CNN props. Their financial reporter Ali Velshi introduced a story about a study that says that internet browsing at work costs business billions and billions of dollars a year. (Okay, I'm exaggerating. I think it was $1.5 billion.)

At any rate, he kind of rolled his eyes at the report and made a few good points. He said American workers are the most productive in the world (true, and backed up by recent trade numbers), that we work long hours, often from home, and take less vacation. Our employers already try and squeeze as much from us as they can, so big fucking deal.

Call it the product of living in a more affluent age. Considering the executive pay gap, I think these companies can suck it up and FREE THE TUBES!

The Pottery Barn Rule - Revoked

I propose putting an end to what's become known as the Pottery Barn rule. It's not being used properly, so it must be revoked.

"You break it, you bought it" was meant to deter policy mistakes, not exacerbate them.

Back to the drawing board with that one...

9-11 Remembered

Well, shit, man. Apparently there was some kind of mandated blog requirement that one must provide some kind of 9-11 remembrance/tribute/moment of silence. Instead of providing some moving tear-streaked reminder of the Day The World Changed, I gave you the Gay Jesus. Sorry about that, folks. I'm not insensitive; I just didn't get the memo.

Frankly, I've been suffering some 9-11 fatigue...for the last several years.

I keep waiting for the day when 9-11 becomes a date again. I'll post the somber memorials when 9-11 stops being used as a cudgel by right-wing hacks to justify their pet projects like, you know, regime change in Iraq.

Start holding your breath now....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Homoerotic Jesus

Is it just me, or is this picture of Jesus a little gay?

Tuesday Morning Quarterbacking

I joined three fantasy football teams this year, which is a lot, I admit. It puts one in the unique position of simultaneously rooting for, and against, the same player.

For instance, last night I needed Rudi Johnson (Cincinnati) and Anquan Boldin (Arizona) to score some points to wrap up a game in one league, but I didn't want them to score too many points because I was playing them in another league.

The rundown.

Macon Street Smokers 0-1 (Rank 7 of 8)
Peyton Manning is my quarterback on two of my teams, and the Smokers is one of them. His 3 TDs and no interceptions got me 41 points alone. The rest of my team combined (8 other players) accounted for 69, so Manning was instrumental. However, I lost the match-up 111-110. I would have won if Deion Branch (now in Seattle) would have gotten even a single touch, but nooooooo. He got nothing, zilch, zip, a big zero. So I benched him and picked up Wes Welker (who took his spot in New England). Welker got a touchdown against the Jets (on a team with a resurgent Randy Moss, no less), so he's starting next week.

Macon Street Maniacs 1-0 (Rank: 1 of 10)
I missed the first four rounds of this draft, so I didn't get my choice in certain players. I doubt I would have drafted Tony Romo as my QB...but I'm glad I did. His 4 TDs and 345 yards got me 48 points. Steve Smith from Carolina (who got auto-drafted for me) contributed with 22. Thanks to those two guys, I beat my opponent BlinkyWinky handily 153-137. The win also has the Maniacs holding the number one ranking in the league after week 1.

Macon Street Monsters 1-0 Rank: 3 of 8

Again with the Peyton... He's the main man here, but because of the way the scoring is done in this league, he only got me 29.52 points. Not bad, considering. Though I won the game 136.40-114.84, my weak links are my RBs. Reggie Bush and Jamal Lewis is a tandem that needs improving. I might have to give Ahman Green a shot next week or maybe see who I could pick up on the waiver wire. I'm not looking for big points. I'm looking for reliable points.