Showing posts with label media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label media. Show all posts

Friday, April 20, 2018

NPR Comedy

I heard a great comedy show on NPR yesterday. They were asking listeners to contribute money to NPR. I never laughed so hard. I tried to think back to a single show I have heard from NPR that in any way seemed interesting, and I couldn't think of a one. The entire radio spectrum is just a wasteland now. NPR has been taken over by relentless, monotonous knee-jerk liberal talking heads, hostile to science, hostile to history, and suspicious of anything remotely educational. All they ever want to do is talk bad about the Republicans and talk about how terrible things are, all the time. NPR should pay me for ever tuning in. I tune in out of a faint hope that NPR will revert, at some point in the day, back to the sort of public radio that brought good shows, about science or history, shows like what the BBC has produced. The BBC is an example of high-quality radio programming.

Friday, January 6, 2017

L.A. Times and Pot

The Los Angeles Times has been down on pot since time began. Their argument is dope makes people stupid. Well, all right. No one says pot is health food. It impairs the Reasoning mind, same as alcohol. The L.A. Times has zip to say about alcohol, because of the alkies in charge advertisers.

A greedy beer, wine or liquor tycoon fears pot as a competitor, because pot is better for people than alcohol. People might wise up and stop drinking his poison. So he buys a rag like the L.A. Times and tells them what to print in their little editorials and "news" articles.

The L.A. Times not only says marijuana is bad, but they want to lock all the pot smokers up. Hard time for high times! Let us examine this evil logic. Lock the potheads up, and just maybe, they will embrace a new path in life, the demonic. For what sort do we find in prison, but the violent and maladjusted? What better mentors? Pot smoking is but a feeble half-measure, and Blood is the final--and inevitable--product. Convert the passive do-nothings into do-somethings. The something is unspecified. Pesky details. Always and forever, no one wants to get into the details, to the detriment of mankind.

In this world, men take a simple thing that is on balance good, like marijuana, and through wickedness, twist it into something horrible, associated with crime and violence. An intelligent creature of higher moral standards could exist in large numbers on this planet and not have any problem whatsoever with the herb, but use it for its [intended purposes].

Friday, January 23, 2015


Does anyone else feel disconnected when they read the news? The Pope says blah blah blah, King Saudi Arabia kicked the bucket, and a lethal injection execution went down in Texas. Who gives a flying fly's copulation? I do not know what is wrong with the world that many people apparently care about these things. Tears for a convicted murderer are strange. My conscious would be eased by approaching death, if I had the blood-guilt, and what's so bad about death anyway? I don't really sympathize with the convicted murderers. A hangman's noose would suffice. I don't know why the modern world has to pussy-foot around with drugs. Maybe because America is so schizo about drugs? Maybe to reinforce the idea that drugs are bad? Whatever. As for the Pope, who cares? As for King Saud, who cares? The King and the Pope are no startling original thinkers or inventors. Tell me if a scientist or writer has a cold, but don't inform me about the deaths of monarchs, please.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

N. Korean Survivor

So what if a survivor of North Korea's torture camps had a spotty memory? How many of us remember our lives in perfect detail? I suspect none do, and I also affirm that we rearrange our memories without even being aware of doing so on occasion. How likely is it that someone who grew up in a torture camp is going to be completely together upstairs? Give the guy a break. I think most members of the media would be talking to imaginary friends after experiencing even a single day of what this guy went through. North Korea is guilty until proven innocent beyond all shadow of a doubt. A heavy burden of proof must be placed upon the shoulders of any absolute dictator who holds all the keys of power in a State at his disposal, but in particular, a dictator known to be as evil as Kim "Junkhead-Ill," who is ill in the head, having used his own uncle as dog food. The same bar applies to Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, and Syria. I would not trust anything that issues from the lips of the tools of those systems.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Updates on Terrorists

I don't know why the media sees fit to report on the doings of terrorists and criminals from long ago, known only for their infamous crimes. Whether they die, and at what age they die, and under what circumstances, does not particularly matter to me or anyone I know. Who cares? One might as well report on the fate of bacteria that killed someone a hundred years ago. How many generations has the bacteria reproduced, and has it mutated, and what slime does it feed on now, and so on. Violent men are common and uninteresting. Only a sociologist charged with researching the type would be interested.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Science News > Mother Jones

I plan to add a science or technology media site to my daily routine in 2015. I have in mind The Register, the Inquisitor, or maybe Wired.

I resolved to quit Mother Jones for 2015, because that magazine has proven to be incurably scatological. A reader cannot avoid headlines on Mother Jones that harp upon a recurring theme, fecal matter, an obsession with Mother Jones writers and editors, who can't find any other words in the English language adequate to express their souls.

I have been informed that I am old-fashioned and out of touch and that my opinion is worthless. I don't really mind any of these accusations. If the literature of this Age has sunk so low as to require the constant, gratuitous use of profanity, then I have no use for it and will tune out. They can preach to their tiny little choir of the profane if they wish, but not to me. They can look to their peer group for validation and scoff at me, but I number on my side all the writers before our Age, a mighty legion that wrote in the correct manner, and I am not the only one to prefer them. They are better than the Mother Jones hacks by any measure that one would care to apply, and this is self-evident to anyone with sense, and an old fogey like me quite literally has no time for those without sense.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Media Should Focus on Heroes

The media should focus on heroes, such as Mr. Vickers, rather than terrorists or insane criminals. The reason some people have a false impression about the world is that the media trumpets negativity rather than an accurate and mostly positive depiction of reality.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Neanderthal Art

The BBC has a good article on Neanderthal art. "Naughts and crosses" is British for "tic-tac-toe." I think the Neanderthals were merely marking the cave or creating a map of some kind. Calling a little grid-like symbol art may be a stretch.

Incidentally, the BBC really has good articles from time to time. Too many American newspaper and TV web sites are just an intellectual wasteland with only the bare minimum in detail, readable in two minutes or less. For really good reporting, I turn to government-operated media, such as PBS and the BBC. Capitalism doesn't work where journalism is concerned. Sooner or later an editor takes charge with the bright idea to promote sex & crime & celebrity gossip rather than do any real journalism. Sales go up, costs go down. That's where capitalism takes journalism.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Chrome Faster than Firefox? Horsefeathers!

I call horsefeathers on the Internet for all the claims that Google Chrome is faster than Mozilla Firefox.

Horsefeathers, horsefeathers, h o r s e f e a t h e r s !

Maybe Chrome is faster when watching videos. But I don't watch videos and don't give a monkey's tail about YouTube.

Firefox is fast where it counts--web sites that I must use to get work done. And it uses far less memory. Chrome opens up a new instance for every page, which makes about as much sense as paying a hundred dollars for a pack of gum. So not only is Firefox faster, but the system as a whole runs faster when the user has enough sense to steer clear of Chrome. More memory equates to a more responsive user experience on any properly configured operating system.

I used Chrome for a month at work. Then I switched over to the latest version of Firefox. The difference was like night and day. Firefox was faster all the time. The only tweaks I made were installing the AdBlock add-on and expanding Firefox's cache from the rather conservative 350-odd mb to 1 GB.

I really don't understand all the buzz about Chrome, unless Google has bought a lot of positive buzz, which seems likely to me.

I write my blog purely for pleasure--to vent and call horsefeathers--and receive no payment from anyone. Even Google won't pay me for ads due to some weird technical glitch on their end, so I'm completely unremunerated.

But the mainstream media is presumably in the game to make a profit somehow or another. Whenever I read something that sounds peculiar to me, the very first thing I think about is how much money changed hands for that article to appear on a popular web site, and who is it that wants to shape public opinion, and why.

Friday, August 1, 2014

How Much Did Hamas pay for the Telegraph?

I read the Telegraph the other day, and it sounded like a propaganda organ for Hamas. I wonder how much money they are taking from Iran?

Monday, May 5, 2014

I Carried a Pocket Knife

A no-brainer news article points out that victims of bullies are more likely to carry weapons to school. Duh. When a person finds that their safety and well-being are at risk, that person will do whatever it takes to protect themselves. The principal is one of self-preservation.

Long ago, when I suffered from bullying, and the P.E. teacher made clear he would do nothing about it--other than punish me for complaining--I started carrying a pocket knife to school. But the little knife was not enough. I fantasized about carrying my gun and using it against the bully and the P.E. teacher. They deserved punishment for their actions, but on the other hand, I deserved only the best in life, and so I spared them. The same principal of self-preservation that led me to carry a pocket knife led me not to use it.

The desire for vengeance must be balanced with the potential cost. Sometimes, however, people are driven to such extremes that they no longer care about the cost. I fear some of the young killers of today lack the intellectual assets to calculate the costs. They are throwing away the best part of their lives and in some cases killing innocents, which is ugly and senseless and without any sense of honor at all. To harm innocents is to become a bully, to be just like the ones you hate.

The young killer's awareness about the world and about society is so impaired that he cannot predict the outcome of his deeds. I found it helpful to role-play with cold clarity and precision. This is the way to avoid grave errors that cannot be remedied. Role-play. The human animal has developed fantastic powers of imagination, because it is useful to predict the outcomes of actions. One can imagine the different futures arising from different strategies.

Many times, I imagined killing my enemy, the brutal and arrogant bully, using a variety of means. I imagined killing the cruel and heartless P.E. teacher. I imagined killing them both on the same day. I calculated the probabilities of success and the possibilities that something unexpected might happen. I imagined what would happen in the next minute, the next hour, the next day, and the years to come. I did not like what I saw. I also did not like the idea of violence. Vengeance is one thing, but violence is another. Violence is disturbing to me whether I am being hurt or hurting. It goes against everything ingrained in my personality and upbringing. The idea of committing a real crime and receiving the disapproval of others seemed worse to me than the idea of enduring further abuse.
Our society is pacifist. The only accepted outlet for violence is war, and wars happen overseas, far away. Most people are like me. We are taught to abstain from violence. There are consequences for people who engage in illegal acts of violence. There is no legal concept that permits premeditated vengeance.

In Viking society, the outcome would have been different. Vikings did not leave much in the hands of karma. Vikings were about vengeance. Vikings were about blood. There is something satisfying about that, something genuine, something that appeals to our animal nature. That does not make it right, but it does explain why the History Channel's "Vikings" is such an entertaining show. It seems to me the show is all about vengeance.

I do think it is important to eliminate bullying in schools, because violence is like a virus. Violence has a way of spreading, and not everyone calls upon their power of imagination to abstain from vengeance. Nor is everyone scrupulous in limiting collateral damage.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Opacity Bests Candor

Society has for a long time favored opacity over candor, probably to my detriment. I'm expressive and like to share my opinions, for better and sometimes for worse.

Sometimes when people don't agree with you, instead of debating, they look for angles where they can hurt you. They are also less likely to give the benefit of the doubt. I remember an old supervisor that was a conservative Christian. One day a book of hers went missing. I knew she thought I stole it, because the accusation was in her stare and in her entire body language. But in truth I never did steal anything of hers. I was not even aware of that book. It was just another case where prejudice let her to assume that, because I was not a married heterosexual, I must therefore be a thief as well, among other vices. Only as the years went by did she gradually come to accept that I had few vices. I do have a weakness for candy, as she discovered. I think she turned around and accepted that I was a moral being. But one never knows. That is only a hunch.

The media raked gays over the coals for criticizing Mozilla's choice of CEO, due to his donation to a cause that fights against marriage rights for gays. This was viewed as "hindering freedom of speech" and "undemocratic" and even "not liberal." Sources from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times defended the guy who doesn't want me to be married.

I don't know why. I guess because they think my marriage isn't important. They would care if their marriages were involved, I'm sure.

The media is playing a different tune today regarding an owner of an NBA team whose ex-girlfriend is shopping around a recording she made of a private phone call. Some girlfriend. I think this illustrates the danger of older people pursuing younger lovers. It's a bad idea, about ninety-nine times out of a hundred. There may be exceptions, but not that many, I think.
In his private conversation, he expressed racist views. And yes, racism is bad.
I think that the difference in the media's reaction between this case and the one involving gays is very telling. On the one hand, a guy wants to interfere in the private lives of gays, and donates $1,000 to that end, as a matter of public record. On the other hand, a guy expresses his racism to his girlfriend in what he thought was a private conversation, and he should be forced to sell his team because of that. This is crazy.

I probably wouldn't want to know Sterling's opinions on gays. I would imagine they are just as negative as his opinions on blacks. The manner in which his views became public seems underhanded. If everyone's thoughts became known, I think no one could ever get along, because offensive thoughts occur to everyone at some time or another.

People need to be very careful what they say over the telephone nowadays. I bet the only reason Sterling was ensnared is because he's a clueless old man who hasn't updated his knowledge of technology, let alone his understanding of culture. He's still living in the 1950's. My preference would be to let him be unless he really does something, like donate money to a racist organization or say something on the record.

I have known racist old folks in my day. They are not going to learn a lesson or improve or change. I don't think there is value to be gained in digging them out of the woodwork and trying to punish them or make an example out of them. They may even win sympathy based upon poor health and poor mental status. Sterling was stupid but ultimately, his private chat only harmed his own interests, not those of anyone else.

TIME Magazine Kisses the Koch Brothers' Behinds

The latest issue of TIME (May 5th/12th, 2014) includes a puff piece praising the Koch brothers as "patriots" who apparently crap gold bricks and wear halos twenty-four hours a day while flying around the country solving crime. That's the issue that motivated me to call up and cancel my subscription.

I've always hated TIME, and I don't know why it started showing up in my mailbox again, but I do plan to call in and cancel whatever subscription someone gave me. If it is free, I still want to cancel, because I do want their subscriber base to be reduced by one.

TIME offers right-wing propaganda, advertising disguised as news, and pure poppycock. It is pure garbage and never spends more than a few moments in my possession before winding up in the proper receptacle.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


The case of the teen accused of "affluenza" struck a nerve in the national psyche. People read this article and understand that for the rich, our legal system is about forgiveness and light. It seems the rich seldom go to prison and often can buy their way out of any legal difficulties under the sun.

According to the article on CNN, "Two people riding in the bed of the teen's pickup were tossed in the crash and severely injured. One is no longer able to move or talk because of a brain injury, while the other suffered internal injuries and broken bones." I found this chilling, because the young man paralyzed for life due to a brain injury could have been me, if I had been unlucky.

One night when I was nineteen or so, I rode in the back of a pick-up truck with about twelve other guys, just like rednecks the world over, I imagine. We had been drinking, of course. I don't know how much the driver had had but I doubt he was completely sober. I thought it was a stupid idea to go riding around at night with no particular place to go, especially given our state of intoxication, and I said so, but went along in order to remain with my friend, and because I didn't have a ride home. The alternative would have been desertion and possibly a falling-out with my friend.

We were soon pulled over by a cop. Why we were stopped was never made clear. Ever the civil libertarian, I wanted to ask the cop why he stopped us, but my friend told me to keep quiet, which may have been for the best. Amateur lawyers aren't really appreciated by police officers. Having twelve guys in a pickup truck probably violated a traffic safety law.

Our driver transformed from yahoo into polite young gentleman in an instant, smooth with the yessirs and nosirs, and his tone of voice was apologetic, even servile. I feared the cop would take us all to jail, but instead, he seemed to be enjoying himself. He adopted a paternal attitude with the young man, reflecting that he used to do things like ride around at night with his friends raising hell. He wasn't against a little bit o' fun, now and again. However, we had better stay out of his territory, because if he saw us around again, there wouldn't be no second chance. Now get back in the truck, go back where you come from and don't come back, you hear?

In all my days, I never drove under the influence of any substance. I think it's the height of negligence to operate a vehicle under the influence. Some people may think that being a stupid idiot isn't as bad as being evil. In reality, the difference between wickedness and negligence is a very fine point of philosophy that doesn't matter much to the family of the victims. Often, negligence is worse than wickedness. At least wickedness has a plan whereby harm might be reduced and somebody might gain, whereas negligence is chaotic and may result in utter catastrophe for everyone involved.

I think another problem related to DUI is driving while distracted. I know someone who texts while driving, and I think that is an idiotic thing to do, no matter how agile one thinks one's fingers are on the keypad. It is a lottery ticket for catastrophe, and one day, the unlucky number may pop up.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bezos Takeover of the Washington Post

I'm not thrilled about Amazon's Jeff Bezos taking over the Washington Post. Amazon doesn't treat its warehouse workers well. For instance, Bezos cuts down on electricity costs by forbidding air conditioning at the warehouses. I would expect that Bezos will apply his slave philosophy to the Post, not just mistreating current and former Post employees but also eradicating any editorials, opinions or articles concerning worker's rights. I think Bezos is foremost a person who thinks very little of workers, only as a means to an end, and is focused only on making money and accumulating prestige for himself. I'm surprised that anyone would view his latest acquisition as anything other than a move designed to make money and accumulate prestige for Bezos. His philosophy begins and ends with his bank balance. I expect the Post is going to be muzzled when it comes to any enterprises related to Bezos or his allies, and it will become the attack dog concerning any rivals of Bezos.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rolling Stone's Big Dumb Move

Rolling Stone magazine has hit rock bottom with this decision to put the Boston Bomber on the cover. I can't imagine a stupider move, politically naive at best, but ghoulish at worst. I used to respect the magazine as a standard bearer of liberal values, but the magazine now seems value-less, really sleazy as a matter of fact. If I had a subscription, I'd cancel my subscription over this.

The cover reminds me of what I wrote earlier, that sometimes evil assumes a fair form, as in the case of Sauron as portrayed by The Simarillion, a great book about an alternative god with different angels and spiritual beings that give rise to mortal beings in a way that can't fail to remind one of our own theology. Tolkien placed no limits on his imagination. His book read somewhat like the backstory to Genesis. Many fantasy worlds make use of gods and goddesses, but Tolkien's system of theology seemed much more comprehensible and believable to me than the alternatives.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Media's Ad Hominem

The right-wing media in this country do not attack Eric Snowden's message, instead attacking the man. That they hate him is obvious. But they haven't much of a hand if they must resort to ad hominem.

I am uninterested in the man. He looks ordinary and unremarkable. The only reason he made the news was his message. The message is what matters. Whether his message is true is the salient point. Snowden's biography is trivia for historians. I have not bothered reading the interviews with Snowden's girlfriend, father or mother. I don't care whether Snowden seems at times grandiose or whether he may have a martyr complex. He did not hire a media consultant, has never been famous before, and is probably making blunders. He should be expected to commit blunders. To do otherwise would be extraordinary. He has never been a politician. Cut to the chase. Is he speaking the truth?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Flashblock 1.5.17 Eliminates Annoying Flash Autoplay

Ah. Peace and quiet again on my browser. Thank you, Flashblock 1.5.17, another fantastic Firefox add-on!

News sites like USA Today have gotten obnoxious, playing video the minute one clicks on an article. They must assume that their guests are lazy. Perhaps that may be so. When I visit, I don't want my reading interrupted by someone speaking to me. I can acquire more information reading than listening to someone read for me. I don't know what is wrong with the world that people don't want to read. I often find that when I search for things, Youtube videos are at the top of the search rankings. I want to know who has the time to wade through a ten or twenty minute video to learn a piece of information that could be found in thirty seconds in a well-written article?

I wonder if Google Chrome has such a feature as Flashblock? Probably not is my guess. There is so much Chrome cannot do. People claim it's faster playing their precious videos, so I guess that is what is important to them. For my part, I install an add-on to disable videos, because they are annoying.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

TIME Magazine

I got the latest TIME and was impressed by its unusual heft. The heft wasn't all additional advertising, as I had suspected, but actual news articles concerning something other than the latest Hollywood movie. The last issue devoted 27 pages to the latest movie by Spielberg. I wonder how much Spielberg paid TIME for that amount of advertising. I also wonder why I should be paying for a magazine that is composed of advertising and not news.

Would this issue of TIME mark the brand new, never-before-seen inclusion of investigative journalism and tell me something that I did not already know? Would this issue be reality-based, or a bunch of rumors and half-truths? Unfortunately, TIME squandered all its pulp to analyze the election and the supposed technical, financial, demographic and logistical factors behind Romney's defeat, based upon its various sources in the rumor mill. I scanned those articles but found them beside the point. I don't expect that many people in the media will get the point. At any rate none of it was interesting to me, and I went back to Doris Lessing and her confessions of being a Communist divorcee in Southern Rhodesia. Yes, even that was more interesting.

Who won was a function of the candidates themselves, the ideas they espoused and how those ideas resonated with the electorate. I don't expect Republicans to gather any clues from the election. Republicans never take rides on the clue canoe. The only likely change is they will become more extreme and crazy than before to reflect their base. The Republican party is the extreme right wing, while the Democratic party is the moderate right wing. There is no left wing political party in the United States. Anyone who looked at Obama's policies for five minutes without bias would conclude that Obama is a conservative. In large part he continues the policies of his predecessors Bush and Clinton, which is why his relations with the former Presidents remain so good. Romney, at least the latest version, was not a conservative, but a radical Social Darwinist who promised extreme change that would result in unnecessary suffering and additional warfare and debt. There were enough voters in 2012 that perceived enough of this to make the crucial difference--more than enough voters, as a matter of fact, because the margin was not as close as pundits predicted. Romney lost not just the Electoral College, but the popular vote as well, and he lost in all those battleground states that the Republicans were boasting they would carry, and in doing so he squandered hundreds of millions of dollars from his unethical donors. Perhaps his supporters on the ground were uninspired by his background at Bain Capital, his flip-flopping on issues, and his fumbling of words and facts. But the central problem was Romney's ideology, and I am pleased to predict that Republicans will never admit that in a million years, because introspection is unknown to Republicans. No, they will continue to commit the same old errors, which bodes well for the opposing party of the future, be it Democrats, Greens or Libertarians.

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by igor 04:20 4 replies by igor 09:32 0 comments
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