Thursday, February 25, 2010

The problem with partisan politics

America has some issues and I believe partisan politics are the problem. Our system has degraded to the lowest common denominator, where to get elected, candidates simply promise things that can't (or, shouldn't!) be delivered. Once elected, both sides tow the party line (on nearly every issue), then spend the rest of their time pointing fingers at the other side of the aisle. Nothing gets accomplished (aside from additional pork legislation – must keep constituents happy) while We the People blindly believe our chosen party's PR spin and blame the other party entirely for all our woes. Overly simplistic? As the dunce from Alaska would say, "You betchya."

There's a reason it's become that simple: FOX news, CNN, MSNBC, etc.. The fact is we don't get news reported to us any longer. We get spin delivered, 24/7, in 2 minute chunks complete with fill-in-the-party analysis. That's what shapes (the majority of American's) views. Substantive evening (or morning) news is now non-existent. It's all entertainment. It's show biz. It's Glen Fucking Beck and Bill O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs and Chris Matthews... Our collective national attention span rivals Kramer after mainlining a six pack of Red Bull.

How else can pricks like Dan Burton (R), Indiana, get re-elected year after year with no intention of accomplishing anything other than voting himself pay raises and thumping his chest as a self-appointed morality cop (an army of one)? Unfortunately, he's in Congress for life, because his district is 80% Republican... and, as I believe, people vote party line regardless of competency because it's, well... simple.

For the record, I'm a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. Therefore, I get pissed off (a lot) following the happenings in Washington and what I believe to be misguided political pandering delivered with heavy doses of ineptitude.

We don't need a third party... we need a second one.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another caption contest...

Though Scratch ‘n Sniff technology was still light years from perfection, Glenda Arlene and hubby Dennis always delivered the goods with their Xmas card.

Frank and Wanda were unaware of the strict anti-kitty porn laws in Des Moines.

A rare nude photo of Snagglepuss and Max. Shown here with their two cats, Spot and Gerome.

After turning state’s evidence, Don “The Curl” Benjovi enjoyed the good life in the witness protection program.

Betty and Johnny Pemberton made quite the impression visiting Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch during the short-lived “Pet the Pussy” booth.

A pre-kickoff meeting?

WTF? That pretty much sums up a business meeting I sat in a few months back from the most dysfunctional corporate entity east of the Mississippi (name withheld simply because they've suffered enough).

This project meeting was originally billed as a "pre-kickoff" meeting, complete with typo-filled agenda and ill-prepared attendees clearly unaware of the actual meeting purpose. It featured an ex-ad agency project manager, a VP of marketing (and sales – evidently the best kind of VP), another project manager in love with the sound of his own voice, an outside consultant unable to articulate her project role, a third project manager intent on smiling through it all (probably watching porn on his laptop), the President of our firm and... me. Throw in an 8th member of the "strategic team" three states west who joined via conference call (and said ... absolutely nothing) and we essentially defined a world-class, A-list, C-level, D-student, category 6, code red, moronathon-of-the-third-kind.

Noticeably absent from the meeting? Anyone remotely possessing decision-making authority from the client side. Oh, damn the details...

There's no such thing as a pre-kick off for, well, anything. You either start something or you don't. You don't pre-start it... Nitpicking? Absolutely. Yet, after 112 minutes, 16 seconds of awkward introductions, ass kissing, blame assignment, risk management delegation, and business-speaking hell had ended, all I really wanted was a shower. And a name change.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Great play, bad call

As the world's biggest Arizona Cardinals fan, I've seen my share of horrific football. Yet, on occasion, they play inspired. Watch Antrel Rolle's blocked field goal return for a touchdown last Sunday against Jacksonville and listen to FOX's Chris Meyers call the play. Typically, an exciting play like this elicits something a little more... inspired than Meyers' offering.

"...And Antrel Rolle (18 yard line a full 60 yards after he caught it) ... will glide (5 yard line)... into the end zone FOR A TOUCHDOWN! (15 yards deep into the end zone, ball already dropped to the ground)." Was Chris even in the stadium or is it like Formula One where the announcers are in a US studio watching a feed? Rolle actually returned the ball 78 yards, but Chris didn't really become interested until he crossed the Jags' 20.

Thankfully Al Michaels was the play by play guy for the Miracle on Ice. Had it been Chris, perhaps the call would've been more like, "Did you see what just happened?"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Sony commercial with the Coop

The newest SONY commercial (UK only) features my favorite pitchman, the one and only Alice Cooper. Shot a few weeks ago prior to a show in Jackson, Michigan, it's typical tongue-in-cheek Cooper. Be sure to check out the manager credentials 18 seconds in:

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Beware the flash cards

My wonderful daughter is compassionate, caring, wise beyond her 9 years and absolutely mediocre at math. It's OK, I figure, as SAT's aren't for another few years. Remember, Einstein wasn't "smart" until it counted, so no need to panic...

I think I may now understand her dilemma. The other day, I stumbled upon a stack of hand-written slips of paper next to the computer mouse with division problems scribbled in pencil (ex: 12 / 4 = 3). Cool, I thought, she's working on her division. As I slid the mouse over to wake up the computer, I inadvertently scatter the homemade flash cards. As I gather them up, I noticed that some of the math didn't exactly jive with my recollection of the facts.  A sampling of her version of division :

8 / 4 = 7
28 / 4 = 12
16 / 4 = 9
4 / 4 = 6
12 / 4 = 8
24 / 4 = 11
and my favorite: 6 / 1 = 7

In an email, my wife writes, "in the good news department, it may mean she'd make an excellent corporate finance officer."

Sorry Cubs fans...

I've always been somewhat fascinated by fans of the Chicago Cubs and their stories of woe. As a lifelong fan of the Arizona Cardinals (yes, they are a football team), I've got a story or ten to tell about bad football. But, until last season, I estimate there were less than 10 confirmed fans of the Cardinals, so there weren't too many people willing to listen to me bitch about the "bad" years (identified by me as beginning the moment I first saw them on Monday Night Football on Nov. 16, 1970 and officially ending this past January, 2009 after winning three playoff games.)

Yet, Cubs fans are everywhere. And they point to events like the 1945 World Series incident (when a longtime Cubs fan – and his billy goat – was removed during Game 4), or 1969's epic collapse to the Mets (spurred on by a black cat encircling Cubs legend Ron Santo while on deck) to 2003's Steve Bartman (who looks remarkably like Subway's Jarod) interfering with the Cubs right fielder during the NLCS against Florida. More recently, they'll blame injuries to Kerry Wood and the rest if their glass-armed staff or the incompetence of former Manager Dusty Baker (a great player, but as a manager he could botch an intentional walk).

Let me make one thing clear: there is a curse. But, it has little to do with the hundreds of innocents that have laced up the cleats for the team representing Chicago's north side. There are far more greater forces at work here. Consider the Cubs perpetual ineptitude baseball's version of divine karma.

More to the point, any organization that at any time during its history would allow this as its logo, deserves to wallow in eternal non-winning purgatory:

Seriously, who in the hell thought this would be acceptable?  I realize this is from the early 1920's and that was a long time ago, but I'm pretty sure that even back then there was an understanding that a royal blue "C" and a brown bear impaled by a fucking bat was in poor form for a logo. "Cubby fans, don't forget to join us next week at Wrigley Field for Shit Stain the Bear Night. The first 20,000 fans receive a Shit Stain crying towel and barf bag courtesy of Old Style."

Regardless, the verdict is in. The Cubs curse is alive and well.