Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

News of the Stupid

You Can’t Make This Up
©2011 Ross Williams

Headline: Strip-Search Demanded at Scrabble Tournament

Article Synopsis:
A Thai contestant in the annual Scrabble tournament demanded that his British opponent be strip-searched after the Thai claimed that a ‘G’ tile went missing. Judges turned out pockets, but refused to strip down the limey; the Brit won the match by a single point. The tournament itself was won by a New Zealander.

‘G’ is for Giraffe: It is worth noting that the ‘G’ is worth two points, and if Ed Martin did indeed dispense with a ‘G’ he couldn’t use on his rack, then the point difference at the end of the match would have caused Chollapat Itthi-Aree to win. It’s a simple enough matter to count the ‘G’ tiles on the board. If there are three, then none are missing. If there are not three, then something is screwy.

Something was screwy and the ‘G’ was replaced. But the judges didn’t want to make things screwier by pulling a TSA over a board game.

Conclusion: Sometimes when you stick your neck out, you get your head lopped off. That’s the downside of being a giraffe. That, and you can’t spell it without a ‘G’.

Headline: Actress Sues Amazon for Revealing Age

Article Synopsis:
An Asian-American actress who is 40 years old has sued Amazon over its Internet Movie Database website [IMDb.com] which lists the actress’s age. The actress filed the suit under the name “Jane Doe”, and accuses Amazon of misusing personal information she supplied to IMDb. She wants $75 thousand for compensation over her difficulty getting work and a round million in punitive damages.

Free Publicity versus Public Records: Let’s just ignore that names and birthdays are a matter of public record in this country. The woman can’t find work and it’s all because IMDb listed her actual birthday. This, she claims, causes producers to get confused over the fact that she is 40, but doesn’t look it ... and so she can’t get a job as a 40-something character. Then, because she IS 40, she can’t get a job as a younger character even though she doesn’t look that old.

I suspect that this actress was having problems finding work long before she signed up for IMDb’s premium service – which is what inspired her to do so. IMDb is free publicity of a type not provided by TMZ or Entertainment Tonight, which tend to concentrate on Celebrities Behaving Badly. Hollywood producers of either the big or little screen do not rely on websites to cast their roles. They rely on agents and auditions.

Conclusion: Find a new agent and try out for roles that call for petulant whining. You’ve got that down cold.

Headline: Ashton’s Troubles Sinking ’Men’

Article Synopsis:
The replacement star of Charlie Sheen’s Two and a Half Men character has run afoul of the tabloids for hooking up with a [say it ain’t so, Kutch] Republican bimbo, on – and what a coincidence this is – his and Demi Moore’s sixth wedding anniversary. The show’s ratings have been sliding this year after Sheen’s character was written out of the plot.

So, wait a minute ... you’re tellin’ me that ...?: Charlie Sheen had put the show into unscheduled hiatuses at least once a year due to his stints in rehab, his arrests, his compete disappearances after which he was found holed up with some prostitute or porn star, his coked-up bouts of hotel penthouse trashing, and everything else – which includes being temporarily fired after publically calling the show’s producer several uncomplimentary names during a drunken rant.

But the understudy boinks a gold-digger and the show tanks?

I think I shall remain skeptical.

There are many more likely explanations for the show’s circumstances than Ashton Kutcher’s tabloid dalliance. In no particular order they are:
1] Charlie Sheen was actually good in a formulaic sitcom [he wasn’t];
2] The audience tuned in just to see if Charlie Sheen was blotto during filming [quite possible];
3] The audience figured out that the theme of the show is trite and hackneyed, the writing triter and hackneyeder, and that without the spectacle of the real-life train wreck that was Charlie Sheen it just wasn’t worth tuning in for any longer [very very likely].

Conclusion: I cannot get back the fifteen minutes I used to watch this lame-ass “show” recently before I concluded that its ratings were a sign of the End Times, but I will advise Ashton to watch his back. You don’t often mess with a cougar and live to tell the tale.

Headline: Greek Protesters Clash with Police

Article Synopsis:
Greek labor unions have staged a two-day general strike against the Greek government over its attempts to save the country from financial ruin. Catastrophe can be averted by passing a law to limit Greek spending, because without that law Germany and other foreign governments will not cough up any more cash to pay Greek bills. Students have joined the strike declaring that they won’t be able to find jobs without the free college education they “deserve”.

2+2=222, now: This is what happens when a sense of entitlement spreads across an entire nation unbroken for generations. The unions are demanding that their unsupportable benefits not be stopped, college students are demanding that they be given unlimited education, and the people who pay for it aren’t even considered part of the equation.

Their disconnect from reality is astounding. I’m used to having children around the age of 5 or 6 having no practical comprehension of the role that money plays in the real world. “Why can’t we eat at McDonalds?” day after day after day after day. By the time they’re 14 or 15 they’re pretty solid on why not. At least mine were.

So what’s the primary difference between the Greek unions and my teenagers? Seventy years of training in entitlement. The Greek students are complaining that they’ll have to leave the country in order to find a job.

Yep. That’s what socialism does for you.

Conclusion: So long Greece.


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