The Last Thing the Internet Needs Now

Bedlam Day Mindless Babble
November 29, 2008, 5:06 am
Filed under: Daily life | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Maybe I’ll still be awake when Chris, Kirk and Coach hit the teevee box at 9 a.m. Central if I keep writing, even if it’s a bunch of crap.

Orange Things That Are Teh Suck: Highway barrier cones, pylons, any kind of safety/construction area stuff, convict jumpsuits, part of the Thunder’s color scheme.

Orange Things That Are Teh Smoove: Oranges (I’m drinking OJ right now), Halloweeny stuff. OSU orange is Halloweeny, so that’s not really offensive to me, because although I don’t really like OSU, I love Halloween. Virginia Tech orange and Syracuse orange are eye-pleasing; Tennessee orange is way too bright and headache inducing (it’s also probably more yellow than orange, regardless it still makes my head hurt); Texas orange looks like runny diarrhea feces.

• I know these things exist so they cannot be a figment of my imagination. I am looking for a flat cast iron griddle that covers two burners. Thrift stores, garage/estate sales, antique shops and other “getting places” have all come up empty for this quest. My grandma had one when I was a child. I really, really want one. I love grilled onion burgers — I always buy the stupid frozen patties, boxed in sixes, that already have garlic in them (that is if I don’t press them myself with, um, stuff). The burgers get topped with grilled onions (duh), Swiss or provolone (or both), more grilled onions, and mustard (plain old French’s) on a toasted hogie (no seeds) or otherwise regular hamburger bun (also no seeds). This just really doesn’t work for me in a 12″ cast iron skillet. I want to be able to spread out and do everything at once (this is gonna be an exercise in futility but anybody that can lead me to one, leave a comment — sorry you have to log in first, I don’t mind eating Spam, it’s quite good actually, but I don’t want to read it and it will be deleted, thanks).

• A friend of mine who is an expert thrifter advised me once that I should never go thrifting with an object particularly in mind because I’m never going to find it. Someday when I am just idle and have disposable income (ha ha) and I do decide to hit the Salvation Army and otherwise with a vengeance, I’ll keep my friend’s counsel under advisement. But right now I’m just damned impatient. If I have to go anywhere where some amount of money will be extricated from my pocketbook, I’m more objective-oriented: I go in, I go straight to it, I get it, I pay for it, I get the hell out. I am really not fun to shop with, actually. It is a complete waste of my time to dawdle in any store, whether it’s Target, or Dillard’s, or Ross or TJ Maxx, looking at crap I won’t be caught dead in or otherwise owning, nor care to pay the price for, even if severely discounted.

• I hate Wal Mart but it’s a necessary evil. It’s usually the only thing open in the middle of the night when I tend to be out doing stuff. I have never had a harrowing Wal Mart experience like this thankfully (but I wouldn’t rule it out one of these days). The worst thing I’ve seen in either of the Norman Wal Marts are guys my age who still look and dress like it’s 1983 (and I don’t mean because they have A Flock of Seagulls hair. I kind of wish that was the case, though). Which brings me to their marketing of AC/DC.

A long damn time ago, before Wal Mart became the monster that it is, I remember Wal Mart (and KMart too) being discount retailers that would not carry albums that had one of those Parental Advisory stickers on them, when this was a new thing (ah, the mid-1980s, thanks PMRC), and Wal Mart being a place at one time that had AC/DC on some kind of morality blacklist because of the content of their music. Seems ironic today that the mammoth, monopolistic Wal Mart is now whoring AC/DC (Black Ice is only available at Wal Mart, Sam’s Club and the band’s official website). Hmmm …

Okay, sorry, I’m not an AC/DC fan. They’re fine in small doses, but after a while it’s the same crap over and over again. And let’s not forget the AC/DC link with the Oklahoma City Thunder, although I think Hinder has recorded another version of “Thunderstruck,” as if AC/DC’s version was damaged goods or something. Or maybe because it needed the homegrown OKC Hinder treatment (meh). At least it sounds like Hinder, or some other purveyor of generic rock crap.

One more thing and I’ll quit bashing AC/DC: I confess, I went to a couple of Hornets games while they were here (both times I went to see the visiting team, the Portland Trail Blazers. I actually like them, and this was before they got the services of Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden. In fact I think the only guys left on the roster now that were on the team during the 2005-06 season were Joel Przybilla, Travis Outlaw, Steve Blake and Martell Webster).

But anyway, I know I heard AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” being played to some dance routine by the Hornets’ dance group at one of the games, whoever they were … so the NBA prides itself on its family atmosphere crapola and they’re doing a routine to a song that couldn’t be more obviously about sex if the guy singing the song was naked from the waist down with a huge throbbing John Holmes erection. I’m not crying foul because I’m some kind of moralistic scold or anything, I’m crying foul because it’s another example of how the left hand of the NBA doesn’t seem to know what the right hand is doing and therefore experiences waning credibility as a legitimate sports league.

To me it goes right along with the Tim Donaghy scandal, the whole Seattle/Oklahoma City thing, my own belief that the postseason is rigged by design to showcase the ultra-mega-superstar players in high-major media markets as if its going to boost the sagging TV ratings for the Playoffs/Finals (good luck with that, although those figures end in the year 2007), and blah blah blah to infinity. And now there’s a new wrinkle: Lousy attendance, although that could be a byproduct of the ongoing economic crisis/recession.

• I will no longer recognize marriage. Money excerpt right here:

That’s what’s so great about America. As a Constitutionally secular nation, or at least in reality a vaguely pluralistic nation, we can all have our own spiritual take on what marriage is. What’s troublesome is when one group’s spiritual beliefs deny the cultural and legal rights of another.

But, back to the point. They say their beliefs don’t recognize my marriage, I say my beliefs don’t recognize theirs. Simple. It may seem petty, and obviously the legal part of the cultural/legal/spiritual trilogy is flip-floppy, but it may be the cultural part that really matters.

And I think on that serious note I’ll shut up for now.

Trust Me, I’m Going Somewhere With This
November 16, 2008, 6:02 am
Filed under: Media | Tags: ,

When I was in junior high school (which would have been roughly between 1979 and 1981, but I don’t actually remember which year it was within those), some of my classmates got religion all at the same time and affirmed their new faith by burning all their Led Zeppelin, Queen and Styx albums because if you played them backwards, they were telling you to worship Satan! I guess they went to see the same traveling preacher at some weird church in town and, um, were moved. It creeped me out how it all happened simultaneously.

I remember kids that were stoners on Friday and by Monday they were all looking like they scrubbed themselves with SOS pads and dressed neater than usual and telling me that rock music was evil and I was going to hell and I needed to burn all my record albums too (of course, some of these kids laughed at my musical tastes at the time). I’m not saying my junior high school became like the Village of the Damned or anything with a bunch of pretty blond boys and girls running around with weird eyes, but there were a good 3 or 4 classmates that bought into it, and everybody noticed it, including teachers.

But let’s examine this whole playing albums backwards thing. You made what is presumably a lifetime commitment to something (or more like, you’re now committed to making a pest out of yourself to people who have religious beliefs that are different from yours and really don’t want to hear your sales pitch for freaky-deaky fundie black helicopter end-times paranoia) but you did it on the basis of hearing what you think or were led to believe were satanic messages on record albums when they were played for you *backwards.* The way they weren’t intended to be listened to.

By that logic should we play commercials backwards? Newscasts? Campaign speeches? I bet that would have been real interesting in this most recent election cycle, and there’s plenty of room for each side to spin what the other is saying to suit what they’re selling. And we think the only thing we would have learned from that is that Sarah Palin has an annoying whiny voice whether you listen to her talk forwards or backwards.

OTOH, could this have been used to convince the “Obama is a Muslim in cahoots with terrorists” crowd otherwise if we played his speeches backwards? Let’s face it, the “OIAMICWT” crowd won’t take Obama’s own word for it no matter how much that myth has been debunked over and over and over again. Or, would playing John McCain’s speeches backwards have convinced people he wasn’t really a Bush-bot? Hard to say, it would have depended on who was doing the spinning.

That’s all academic now — Barack Obama will take office on January 20 thanks to rational Americans (including myself) who were fed up with the other side, Oklahoma’s 7 electoral votes be damned.

Almost 30 years later this still kind of blows my mind. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to make a major change in your life, whether it’s adopting a religious faith or a new diet or whatever. But if the reasons are grounded in reality and the result of something that would normally happen, then good for you. For example, I had a health issue a couple of years ago that forced me to cut certain things out of my diet (nuts, beans, corn, seeds). It’s hard to deal with but I have to deal with it so I had to make the change if I don’t want to, basically, have my intestine explode one day and kill me or something (I admit a weakness for Reese’s peanut butter cups. Smooth peanut butter — or the stuff they put in Reese’s peanut butter cups — I was told was OK. I guess it’s OK, I’m not dead yet. But the crunchy stuff? No way). But in the case of my diet there were real, SERIOUS reasons behind making a major life change. Changing your life based on playing music albums backwards … ummmm, not the same thing!

I wonder what happened to those kids. I wound up in high school with some of them and haven’t seen any of them in at least 23 or 24 years.