children needing a potty at a pizza place
Saturday, October 4 2003
Everybody who cared, everyone who did the thing our non-ancestors died so that we could do and thought, already knew that there was something terribly wrong with the American free press, particularly commercial broadcast television. But some genius finally figured out a way to quantify this problem, and conducted a survey in which they correlated ignorance about the Iraq war with the form of media the ignorant watched. I've never seen a more objective indictment of Fox News in my life! This sort of survey should be done regularly, and the poorest performers should lose FCC licenses, while the best (in this case NPR) should win fat government grants. I'm serious about this. There have to be real proactive measures taken to hold back the vast human desire for feel-good propaganda and fascism.
Gretchen rode a bus down to New York City today, but somehow she forgot her wallet. She'd been auditing a class at Ulster County Community College (near Stone Ridge), so I met her near the bus station in Rosendale to give her her wallet. There's a pizza place in a strip mall along route 32, and I went in there and ate some sort of chicken stromboli (although pizza places never use the term "stromboli" anymore). The woman running the cash register must have had been having a bad childcare day, because her two little daughters were at work with her, and the fact that this wasn't an ideal situation was made increasingly clear with every admonishment the mother had to make. One of the little girls had to go to the bathroom really badly, as reflected by the fact that she kept grabbing her cooter and grimacing. There's something about a little kid in need of a bathroom that ruins my appetite every time. (This was the big downside of Pino's, the pizza place across 7th Avenue from PS 321 in Brooklyn - all the kids of all the stroller moms always had to go to the bathroom, whether they knew it or not.) I kept wondering what would happen if that little girl just went in her pants, and then I'd take another bite. Her harried mother hadn't sufficiently cooked my chicken stromboli, and chunks of meat within it were still room temperature. I felt sorry for her and gave her a fifty cent tip. I hope she got her $800 tax refund this summer - lord knows Kenneth Lay got his.
The other day I was thinking about that tax refund for breeders - you know, the financial incentive for people already incentivized by the dictates of evolution. I was wondering why our present congress, as morally-righteous and pro-life as it is, didn't make it so that people who are merely pregnant also got a refund. This would have had the effect of recognizing the unborn as human beings (with rights, just like corporations), thereby rubbing the noses of pro-lifers in the dung of their anti-foetal agenda. But no, to have included the unborn would have meant more of a tax cut for non-millionaires than this particular congress is comfortable with. (When it comes to moralizing about the value of "life," they still have their priorities in order.) As a result, Gretchen's brother Brian and his wife Jen did not get a $400 tax refund for the baby they conceived at our wedding.
After the Rosendale pizza shop experience, I continued on to Ulster to look at alternatives for the tinny little speakers I use when listening to my collection of MP3s (which don't kill people; people kill people). I probably would have been happy with my speakers, but the other day I heard a familiar My Bloody Valentine song in a movie theatre (it was in the soundtrack of Lost In Translation). Later I heard some other music through a client's computer speakers, a set that included a subwoofer. I realized I could be a lot happier with a little more fidelity and perhaps a couple dozen more watts. Best Buy seemed to have the best selection of speakers, but it was hard to find any prices on anything, and some of the ones I saw seemed to depend on rebates that were expiring today. (I have more faith in the eventual return of Jesus than I do in rebates.)
So I bought my speakers (a three-unit set by Creative) at Staples, along with one of those trays you mount under a desk for holding a keyboard (such trays cost more than the things they are designed to hold). When I hooked up the speakers at home, I was impressed with the deep sounds (and also a tangible breeze) coming out of the sub-woofer, but there seemed to be something missing between what that was doing and the part of the auditory spectrum where the little speakers began. Mind you, I'm hardly an audiophile or a sound-snob. I've actually had lofi tapes of CDs that I preferred over the originals. But perhaps I was in an overly-critical mindset, because when I listened later in the day, I was perfectly happy with the sound quality.
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