needs of all the retards
Friday, October 19 2007
I had a meeting this afternoon at Bard College. I'll be doing some contract computer work for their Prison Initiative. During the course of today's meeting, I met with a guy in the Bard computer center, saw how a modern college computer lab is put together, and even stood in the deafening din of their server room. It was the first time I'd been in a college's computer server room since working for Oberlin's computing center back in 1987.
I had both dogs with me, and during a couple pauses in the action I got a chance to walk them in a large chunk of old growth forest and swamp just north of the middle of campus.
Back at the house, I had the place to myself, since Gretchen would be gone for the next two days. At some point I started working on a forty ounce bottle of Big Bear malt liquor, because that's how I roll.
It ended up being a big teevee night for me. I'd Tivo'd a bunch of MythBusters, a show in which various pieces of received wisdom are subjected to the bullshit-detecting power of the scientfic method. These guys (Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman) know how to make science fun, aided by wallets of seemingly limitless fatness. Busting many of the myths involves the participation of their handy crash test dummy "Buster," and guns and explosives factor in many of the experiments. The show reeks of heterosexual male excess, but it is often funny enough to make me laugh out loud, which is something that only a small handful of shows can get me to do.
I also appreciate the balls-to-the-wall thoroughness of the experiments, which don't shy away from the ick factor. For example, in one set of experiments to determine the non-drink uses of Cola, they actually tested it on live human sperm. But unlike most of the things they use for their experiments, there was no talk of where the sperm came from. And it was all very matter-of-fact, with no cracking (or scripting) of jokes about it. This led me to conclude that the sperm was their own and they'd agreed before filming not to joke about its origins.
As big-budget as the shows are, they nonetheless have a low-budget HGTV-style feel about them. When there is onscreen banter between people, it's clear that the things they're saying were pre-scripted, but nobody is a good enough actor to make it sound spontaneous.
Later I watched some live teevee, a CNN show hosted by Anderson Cooper. As I watched him, all I could think about was his painful lack of gravitas and the choppy simplicity of the sentences coming out of his mouth. No matter what he was talking about, he sounded like he was speed-reading the text of a children's book. I guess that's the way things are done on CNN, which recognizes the needs of all the retards in its audience. But it was hard for me, having watched so much good teevee journalism (mostly in the form of Comedy Central "news"). Still, I couldn't turn away. I had to keep watching because Cooper's sheer lameness was itself entertaining.
Okay, who wrote the following:
As much as war sucks, as ridiculous as the American military seems to me, I have mixed feelings about bombing the piss out of Iraq. If it's true that Saddam Hussein has stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons, he's a serious threat to the world and something must be done about him. He may not be Hitler, but that's only because Iraq is no Germany and the Kurds aren't the Jews. It would be hard to imagine a worse villain than Saddam even in fiction. Here's a guy who kills his own family when they get in his way, and he's commissioned paintings that feature him striding beside Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar. He builds kindergartens next to weapons stockpiles. I'm sure my family disagrees with me, but I'll be sort of happy when I wake up and hear that Iraq is getting its ass kicked.
Yes, it was me, writing on February 18th, 1998. That was back when an American could be excused for believing his government when it told him some other country was up to no good. I don't think I could ever write a paragraph like that again, no matter who was in power (and that includes you, Barack).
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