Once upon a time, for reasons external, I had a subscription to Newsweek. It was that or U.S. News and World Report and I opted for the cheaper one. I am unsure it was better value, but it certainly was cheaper. Perhaps I would have been informed with USN&WR, but the subscription I had did provide an education. I rather doubt it was the education that was intended.
At that time, at least (no idea of now), there was a page of quotations from the week. It might have been under the banner “Conventional Wisdom” (or not, it was a while ago) which was a phrase of the time. One week, during a mid-term campaign, one of the quotations was then-President George H.W. Bush reply to the question of how he felt about the women who where running for Senate. Newsweek reported his reply as being, “I hope they lose.” And that certainly sounds sexist, doesn’t it? Except Newsweek was pulling a Radio Moscow with that. While it was technically true that the President said that, they omitted what else he said, and thereby removed context.
I learned this from, of all places, NPR (that bastion of right-wing conservatism – I’ll wait while you finish laughing. Done? Good.) which reported that the full response was, “Since they’re all Democrats, I hope they lose.” Partisan? Yes, but that is expected. Nothing sexist, simple party preference. This was the final nail in the coffin of Newsweek‘s reputation, for me. I’d had suspicions, sure, but when NPR reveals your Narrativium to be bilge.. well, that thing you’re orbiting is called a ‘drain’.
It wasn’t quite the last nail in the coffin of the so-called MainStream Media for me. Other things aided that. There was a nasty radioactivity exposure incident (improperly decommissioned and scrapped out radiotherapy device and the glowing powder was a cool toy… until it did what things radioactive enough to glow tend to do. Cesium-137 is NOT your friend.) in South America which I heard about via shortwave broadcast (perhaps BBC, almost certainly HCJB, maybe others) and saw nothing about on any US TV news program. Nothing. Until six months later there was a short bit about it.
Then there was a Guardian article (with mostly correct spelling!) about how somehow basketball filled in the gap in the USA that other countries filled with soccer. Puzzling, I know, but it seemed to make sense as I read it… until late in the article where there was shot at then-President Bush (which one hardly matters). An article about soccer and basketball… but they HAD to get in a stupid anti-Bush shot. Even with proper spelling (ain’t spell-check amazing?), they are still just the Grauniad.
And recently there was a woman fired from a job because, as reported, she once (years ago) wore “blackface” at a party. Alright, at “blackface” what did you think of? Something like an old time Minstrel show? That’s what was intended, I imagine. But that’s NOT what actually happened. That woman dressed up and had makeup to make her look like, as close as could be managed, to a member of a band she liked. That’s not Minstrel, but actually rather flattering makeup. But the general reporting is “blackface” rather than, say, “tone-adjusted.” Why? Because “blackface” gins up outrage and outrage sells… and fits Das Narratif. Narratif uber alles, ja? Ja! The Narrative is… manure – and I’m being far too kind.
And then there’s this asking about so-called dog whistles. Note the full text of what the President said (if some is a bit repetitive) compared to what is being reported.
The media might claim I (and others) have stomped on their foot. But the smoking gun, in their own hand, stilled aimed at their foot, tells the real story.
Even if Bonnie does have some of my good looks. I seem to have all the bad ones.
…sounds like it would be a GREAT gimmick for this blog. Alas, my schedule is such that that really, Really, REALLY does not work. Dagnabbit.
That is all.
Without me, your show wouldn’t be
Professional right down to a “T”
Yes, I’m the one who pulls the curtain down,
Yes, I’m the one you’ll never see. — Encore by TACO
The alarm goes off, if you bothered to set it last night.
The lights come on with a mere switch-flip, or are even automatic.
The water flows at the turn of a faucet – and it’s clean and safe.
Things go down the drain and are Dealt With – without adding to misery by disease.
The gas flows, keeping the house warm and the water hot.
The signals propagate through space, or cable, or even fiber.
Even with automation, someone, somewhere, is watching over things. Monitoring the monitors at the very least. Calling forth and adjusting generating capacity up and down as needed. Seeing that reservoirs are neither overflowing nor draining excessively. Flow rates and pressures kept in a nice, safe, useful range. The transmitters watched over, signals fed to them. A very few, the newsreaders and anchors, are seen providing the signals. Unseen, the cameramen (or persons) the audio engineers, the technicians.. keep the signals going, the power, water, and gas flowing. Other places, those businesses (and services not necessarily for profit) still open, also go on. Travelers can fill their tanks, get coffee, and something to eat even if it isn’t a “proper” Christmas Dinner. The cops can be called. If need be, fire crews summoned. Medical emergencies dealt with. And way off, those in the services are serving – hopefully not needing to use everything they know how to do – but will do them if they must.
And remember the folks in the background, quietly (hopefully quietly! – for success means being all but invisible and forgotten) keeping the world running.
Better than a Business Card. (And yes, I know of Moo Cards, thanks.)
Business cards seem to be a Good Idea, Almost. If you are really interested in the business, you keep that card that was given or included. But more likely it gets piled, stashed, stowed, forgotten, and finally tossed. If not tossed right off. There are other means of keeping your name in front of people: paper notepads (used, if less so, even in this Smartphone Age), pens, pencils… but those are both universal and interchangeable. Today I got something new, and at least for a while (until “everybody” is doing it) it will be better than the rest.
I have my in-use smart phone, the older ones – so far generally employed as over-capable clocks, but they can do more and one day might, the Kindle, the various computer screens, and… glasses (that haven’t been glass since sometime in the 1970’s). And this company (Cerrxian – I have some of their USB cables now) has their name and email address on a lens/screen cleaning cloth – something I find atypically useful and will thus keep around. And, so far, I’ve not seen anyone else include such with their products. For the moment, they win.
“Postmaster please deliver between…”
If you ever figured that the local Postmaster never actually sees that, or only sees them in a glance and they get maybe a smirk, you’re right. I used to work at a Post Office (I’m feeling much better now, thanks) and I’d see this all the time. And the Postmaster was generally in his office or such, not being bothered with what is really advertising aimed at the end recipient – or instructions to the folks actually moving the mail.
Perhaps you’ve heard (or even repeated) the alleged joke that a postage rate increase is to cover storage. At the place I was at, we HATED getting stuff we HAD to sit on (tax forms, mainly) as… there was no extra room. Storage? Nonsense, we genuinely wanted to move the mail as fast as we could – get it out of the way! And if you think the USPS is slow, have you dealt with postal services of other countries? As lousy as USPS can be, it’s the envy of most of world for good reason: The damn thing works. Yes, it’s rusty, crusty, inefficient, government AND union regulation bound… and it’s STILL better than most. Damn, those other guys must REALLY suck at their jobs.
I really like Honor 8 phone… but it ain’t perfect.
Yeah, others have a few more megapixels on a camera. Big whoop. This thing will do. No, the real annoyance is that plugging it in to charge – on a fast charge capable charger anyway, it shows a fancy animated bit to show it’s fast-charging. Fine. But it will not let you do anything else until that show is over, which is annoying when one plugs in to be sure there’s power to Do Something. Yeah, it’s only a few seconds – but in a microsecond world, that’s S..L..O..W. Let me override that, Huawei – if I’ve just plugged it in, I fscking KNOW it’s plugged in! If the light doesn’t come on, I know the other end of the cable isn’t getting power. Stop getting in the way!
The IR port is great, but the app is necessarily limited. I get that there’s no pre-defined entry for a 20+ year old all-in-one stereo system. What’s annoying is that there seems to be no recognition such things exist and so one needs to find some other class of things to wedge into that to even do manual programming. Universal remote that isn’t, really. It seems if there’s some one-off weirdball thing that doesn’t work with a “Universal” setup… I have it. At least the app knows of TVs and so I could tell it about the now-ancient Contec set (which “universal” remotes, even back when, seem to deny exists). The other downside is that there is serious temptation to find the right codes to use on TV’s in bars and restaurants and such and turn them off.
The Neighbor’s House…
Is finally cleaned up or cleaned up enough. There are FOR SALE signs in the yard and have been for a couple weeks now. I’ve not seen anyone looking at it, but my hours mean that I’m usually sleep or otherwise engaged when so-called normal people would be looking at such. I suspect I’ll still blow out the driveway of that place when it snows, just to make it easier should someone wish to move in during the snow season – and it means the snowblower will run more than just a couple minutes and the engine can more likely get up to a good operating temperature.
Huzzah! It is happening! $HOUSEMATE has already reserved us a room. Now when convention registration finally opens… I hope I’m aware of it in time!
If you have an idea for a delivery of $SOMETHING to $SOMEONE at LibertyCon that would be best done (committed?) by me under ACME Delivery color, please let me know. I can be reached, curiously, via e-mail of Vakkotaur, with domain that of google’s mail service. I know it’s awkward that way, but if I wanted spam, I know where to find Hormel. And don’t put it in the comments – surprise is a Good Thing – and maybe you want some anonymity.
Or, for that matter, if you’ve an idea that I ought to be at some other event… please enlighten me about such. Do to work constraints, “last minute” means “ain’t gonna happen.” Right now I have only two must-be-there events. One is LibertyCon and other is the Siouxland Renaissance Festival. I am hoping to make Riverssance (Sioux City) this coming year, after a couple years of unfortunate interruptions. Everything else is pretty much open, so long as I have the time and funds.
People watch this crap?
The local VFW closed (poor/limited menu choices meant it was not a popular dining venue) and a new owner has the place as his restaurant. Tried it once, so far, and have been quite impressed despite some obvious start-up issues. While there, I saw (the volume was low, thank goodness) some ABC show (‘Speechless’ I think) and what I saw looked like everyone was overacting or every character, save perhaps the fellow in the wheelchair, constantly over-excited. I have NO desire to see more, let alone experience it with the dialogue. TV like this is great… for convincing me to keep to old time radio shows.