Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
We cannot get enough of this stuff. This story has a double dollop of schadenfreude, that delightful deutsche turn of phrase that means 'rejoicing at the misfortune of others.' It's not that former Senator, former Vice President and (for some people perhaps) former President Al "Earth in the Balance" Gore hasn't worked hard and done his very best for so many for so long. It's just that large numbers of us, deep down, really envy him all of that success while not seeing the work he did to earn it.
As funny as a slip on a banana peel is, when it's Margaret Thatcher who does it, or should the Pope get a cream pie in the face, the hilarity trebles. And this one promises to be a doozy-how's this for fair and balanced (=saucy and salacious). It would have to be a slow news YEAR in a world of broadcast journalism for this to be getting the play it has already-but I have a feeling that what has been will seem quaint in light of what is yet to come. Had he known where we'd be after the first decade of the new century, Edward R. Murrow might have fired a flare gun from a London rooftop to help a Junkers bomber auger in or arranged to drop a pallet of cigarettes on himself in '55 just to get it over with.
And, cynics that we both are, neither of us are really surprised to read in the People account, "(T)he woman, who did not respond to several attempted follow-up interviews with police, revealed in the complaint that she grappled with her decision to come forward – even consulting with attorneys – but ultimately decided to do so to protect other women who may have experienced the same trauma. She told detectives she only wanted 'justice' and that her complaint was not an attempt to receive money." Yeah, that's exactly how I'd do it, too.
Perhaps there's an orphanage named for Werenfridus ('against stiffness of joints' was as close as I could get; you look) that's about to come into a windfall. It'll really be something-close your eyes and you can see it, too. The last laugh may be on all the Haters who said Al was too wooden. NO MORE CALLS, PLEASE! We Have a Winner!
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
A week and a day after the men and women of the Norwich City Council, working with the City Manager, the Superintendent of Schools and the city’s comptroller, devised their best good-faith budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, there are still murmurings and mutterings. Not everyone gets everything--it's true in government as it is in any other relationship, so perhaps we might spend a moment and define what our relationship with our city government is, and/or should be.
We form governments, local, state and national, to do for us collectively what we, as individuals are unable or unwilling to do for ourselves alone. Some of the tasks are easy--provide for the national defense. Some are harder to define and execute-provide a quality education for our children to enable them to be productive members of our society as they become adults.
The challenge, as is so often the case in our daily interpersonal relationships is in the details. Compound all of that by putting a price on each action, and every step of each action, until the municipal budget exceeds one hundred million dollars. That's a lot of money and a lot of responsibility. I imagine there were nights the alderpersons didn't feel quite as happy sitting on the City Council as the night they were elected to it.
I voted for neighbors, known and unknown to me, who volunteered to do their best as they saw it on my behalf no matter how I felt, personally, on any given issue from closing off a street throughMohegan Park to developing the city budget. What we saw through the Spring as the budget process rolled on was people facing the critical question: do you do something right, or do something right now?
I didn't intend that as a philosophic question-we all know the economic straits we are in and the temptation is to search for the guilty, which will make us feel better but do little or nothing for the bottom line. Politics is often called 'the art of the possible', but we, the people (at all levels of government) can make that art impossible by elevating our expectations and the volume of our voices when speaking about our expectations.
Not helping matters is our representational form of government where, from the speaker's podium at a city council meeting (or a once week rant in a daily paper) to and through the curtain at the voting booth, we can drown out one another if we work at it. This budget season, more so, I think, than in recent memory, we spoke more often to, rather than at, one another.
No one wants to have fewer policemen, or more children in a school classroom or a library that can't be open to serve a general public in need of its services, and negotiating a budget that had elements of all those sacrifices, and many others, while also keeping the lights on and the roads paved was no small feat.
A lot of us remain very unhappy at the state of affairs in The Rose City and the rate and pace of change and improvement still needed. But we have started to learn to do something that many of us feared was lost along the way and that's to work together. To discover and then celebrate the commonality of our shared vision of what we want Norwich Next to be and decide how important our differences are in pursuit of a common goal.
So, back to my original question: do you do something right, or do something right now?
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I'm so past it, I thought there was a third Hilton sister, aside from what's-her-name and the other one (and I'm still NOT sure there isn't). I am gob-smacked you can make a living, and it seems a mighty good one, shoveling this stuff all over the web, and never get any on you.
Reality check (please): I went to Google and typed in Miley Cyrus and no underpants. Yipes! Look at the results and the nanoseconds involved in that. Is this one of those laboring greatly and bringing forth a mouse situations? All I can wonder, again, is, just because we can, we should??
And what's got the Netizens buzzing as the wheels fall off the applecart? Underage unmentionables and the purported absence thereof. Can you imagine how much faster the Roman Empire would have fallen had the Visigoths invented Wi-Fi instead of a credit card?
Friday, June 18, 2010
I know I could never find Monroe, Ohio, on a map (even of just Ohio), but thanks to the story I now know it's north of Cincinnati (Hello Loni!). How perfect would this have been had it happened the weekend of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game? I can recall Dennis Miller the year he was the third guy in the ABC MNF booth observing during that game, which ABC covered, it was very hard to find 'good Chinese food' in Canton, with Al Michaels dissolving into muffled laughter as the game went on. I knew then Miller was one and done. I just didn't know how right I was.
The video, looked like someone was taping the TV report with their cellphone, is kinda spooky, don't you think? I was especially taken with the firefighters' characterisation of the blaze as an 'act of God' nearly as much as I was with the various still images showing the blaze itself. That must have been something to see as you crested the hill on I-75. And how about that spiffy message board for the church itself? It pays to advertise, and I guess as the (End) Times change, so do His mysterious ways, His wonders to perform. Perhaps if it happened today we might have seen Long John Silvers offer to feed the multitude at Dalmanutha, live on the Food Channel.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Years ago when people still had videotape; you remember videotape right? Cellophane tape with rust particles on one side? Came in a case so you never actually touched the tape itself? Super. When home videotape started, there were two formats, Betamax and VHS (video home system), developed by two rival manufacturers who set about signing up companies in the entertainment business, also known as 'content providers', to use their product to entice buyers to their hardware.
The former had excellent (and far superior) color resolution and video quality but the latter could actually hold an entire program-be it a TV show, or a full length movie. It was the content folks who tipped the scales to VHS and it was the porn industry, previously confined to beaten-up movie theaters with sticky floors and guys in raincoats and sunglasses slouched down in seats, who clinched it. VHS opened the home market to pornographers (not intended as a pejorative, but as a descriptive) and Betamax went the way of the Elcaset. (Same guys, too, come to think of it. How weird is that?)
Hit pause on the VTR and VCR and reach for the laptop and desktop, brothers (and some sisters, I guess). Welcome to the World Wide Web, where anything goes and everything shows. Put your hands up if you already know where this is heading (both hands, Zeke! 'Waitaminit'? Warum? Oh, yeah, ewww). You think there's money in sites like e-bay and Craig's List? You don't have a clue. The triple x gang's major compettion may be all the 'free' content elsewhere on-line but none of those site operators are crying poverty. Their biggest problem is finding enough wheelbarrows to carry all the money they're making to the bank.
I'd imagine, because it's how we are as a culture now, in the next thirty-six or so months, we'll refer to these folks as 'adult content providers.' And one or more will run for elected office and probably win, even though most of the guys voting for him will be looking for the bill slot when they get into the booth and close the curtain. That will be only a little awkward.
So now, welcome to the Next Frontier, 3DTV with whipped cream, scented oils and rubber sheets. There's a quote in the Japan Times' story from a potential buyer, "I need something dramatic to justify replacing my TV. This could be the motivation.” You betcha! You didn't really think The BEEB's Planet Earth series was gonna seal the deal, didja? Are you new here? Go ahead, crunch the numbers yourself (and remember to figure in the cost of the glasses too). I know, you'll buy it to watch the World Cup in 3D-you and a billion other people.
Mostly the same guys who bought the Pam Anderson magazine centerfold issue for the interview (and were very unhappy about where the staple holding the pages together got placed, I bet) and who can't wait to see Brian Lamb do Book Talk, I'm sure, just like he was in the living room with you. Here's a news flash, Starshine: if he were, guess what he'd be watching? And we'll spend the night together watching television. Ka-ching!