Saturday, January 28, 2017

Quantity Over Quality

I'm genuinely trying to get outside myself and understand other people a little better. At least to some extent. Anyhoo...  Before the movie we saw today there was a commercial for a company called Blue Apron. I've gotten mail from them befoee and considered taking the trial (though I'd never pay for it). Long story short, they ship you a box of fru-fru food and a recipe. Cool, fine, whatever. Sounds good. 

I have no problem with any of that. What I do have a bit of a problem with is the tone of the commercial. It was all about "foxong" how we get food. Talks about farmers and chefs working together to grow the right things and so they farm better. And the food is shipped from farm to table so it doesn't sit on supermarket shelves or spoil.  Blah blah blah. 

A lot of this sort of thing...  The trend of the moment...  whether it's dark to table or vegetarianism or whatever needs to be recognized for what it is: a luxury for rich people in particular, Westerners in general, who have the privilege of being picky.

Most people at present and nearly all the people who have ever lived scraped by and were looking to find a way to get enough calories to survive. On a historical scale even we aren't that far removed from that...  And there are no guarantees we won't end up back there. 

It's great to be picky and healthy and enlightened and whatever. But let's not forget that the industrial agriculture they are too good for feeds BILLIONS of people. That efficiency...  Those herbicides...  That nonoculture and those GMOs have changed the world more than any tree hugging Beverly Hill celebrity (or upper middle class wannabe) ever will.

Being picky is a blessing so unless you're putting a forkful of Quinoa in there maybe you'd best shut your pie hole. 

Just saying. 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Something To Bear In Mind

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel compelled to make the following admission.

2016 convinced me that I do not have a clear understanding of how a huge percentage of Americans look at life and politics. I'm trying in small ways to remedy that and I'm trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) not to assume that a huge percentage of the American people are stupid.

Read anything I say about politics at your own risk. 

Everything else you can take to the bank though. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fare Thee Well

Blogporn, foul language and cruel invective not withstanding, Yours Truly is really a big softie.  I've noticed before that I always feel vaguely sentimental when a president is on his way out. I tend t forgive the failings and look back with nostalgia and forgiveness.  Obama is no exception. 

The hard hearted Republican (and realist) in me knows that he has been a failure in so many ways. He came into office with a greater opportunity to truly heal divides than anyone in decades. A Black man, elected with a strong majority at a time of economic crisis. If he were a "bigger" man he could have forged a consensus on health care, on race and so much else. His failings came from the fact that he was not the transcendent figure his rhetoric suggested or the adoring crowds believed.  He may not have been entirely the empty suit we accused him of being, but his actions never lived up to his rhetoric.  He spoke of healing divisions but he actually widened them because he was too certain of his own rightness and too quick to ascribe disagreement either to the ignorance or the venality of his opponents. 

Still, he more than most in his position, benefits by comparison with his successor.  Rotsa Rick, Mr President. Don't let the door.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Unvarnished Truth

Watching a documentary about the 1968 election on PBS. There's a brief mention of the assassination of RFK and a comment that a leader can be killed for "speaking out."  That gives the sense that Kennedy was murdered for opposing the Vietnam War or campaigning for the poor or some other liberal talking point. It's like the amount of time they spend in many a JFK documentary talking about how right wing Dallas supposedly was. 

Let's get down to brass tacks here, shall we?

John F. Kennedy was murdered by a Communist
Robert F. Kennedy was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist

But neither of those advances the dialectic, do they?  If they are to have meaning, tragedies must be manipulated to serve political ends.

You might almost call it Fake News. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Know When To Fold Them

I have never been what you would call a fan of the Obama administration's foreign policy. Feckless would be a kind word. However, while he doesn't live up to the frequency of a stopped clock, he is not ALWAYS wrong. I am a tepid and perhaps reluctant supporter of the opening to Cuba. 

The truth is that our Cuba policy over the last 50 years has accomplished nothing. At this point it is a relic and nothing more. It gives the Cuban regime excuses for their failures and limits the interactions of our two peoples which might well speed the day of Cuba's freedom. We deal regularly with far worse regimes. 

What Might Have Been

There is zero doubt in my mind that Joe Biden would have been elected President. Zero. Not because I would have voted for him (though this time I might have) or because I agree with him. We've always had a fondness for Crazy Uncle Joe around here. Yeah, we call him Plugs but unlike so many others (Hillary Clinton?  Please pick up the white courtesy phone.)...  Unlike so many others, Joe Biden is likable.  Can you picture him losing Pennsylvania or Michigan by a hair?  Me neither. Unlike Pantsuit, Biden can sit in a diner and talk to a factory worker and if he isn't genuine at least seem genuine.

The Democrats should be ruing the day they cleared the field for Hillary. And, honestly, they are as much to blame for whatever we get out of Trump as are the folks who actually voted for him. This did not have to happen. 

PS (1/13/17) - Apparently the Medal of Freedom with distinction also gets you a sash. According to Wikipedia anyway. The shirtless Biden, beer in hand, wearing a sash meme writes itself. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Monkey Eugenics

Monkey Love: Monkey and Deer Found Having Sex

It may be innocent. Maybe. But when you know the monkey like I do you learn not to trust the monkey. (Trust the Monkey made some great videos back in the 80s. You should look them up.)  We do not have the luxury of wait and see or live and let live. We can't just dismiss this as a monkey lifestyle choice.

If we do then we will wake up one day to an improved monkey. The Khan Noonian Singh of monkeys. It's time to put an end to this. Your children will thank you. 

Friday, January 06, 2017

Dammit Jim, I'm a Doctor, Not a Lawyer

Lawsuit Over Star Trek Fan Fiction Flick Headed To A Jury Trial – Consumerist

If there was ever a jury I'd actually want to serve on...

I'm a pretty big fan of Star Trek fan films...  At least the quality ones like Star Trek Continues...  Given the drek that Abrams is turning out, it's really the only way to see "real" Trek these days.  That said, the Axanar folks flew too close to the sun and are probably going to get burned.  And by doing so they endangered the entire field of fan films.  The corporate mucketies at CBS had long turned a bit of a blind eye to the fan films as long as they were genuinely not for profit.  Axanar, which put together a slick trailer type promo video, raised a ton of money through crowdfunding, featured a bunch of Hollywood B-listers and had yet (after years) to turn out an actual product, forced the issue and CBS responded with some "guidelines" which tightened down.  In truth, they could have been a lot worse...  CBS seems to realize that the fan films aren't really competition.  Just the opposite really, they help to keep the interest alive.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

So What Has Changed?

I feel like I need to reintroduce myself.

I'm still the same smartass you know and loathe, but no one goes this long and doesn't change at least a bit.  We've always been pretty political around here so maybe that's the best place to start the reintroduction.

I was #NeverTrump (and gosh didn't that turn out well).  We here at MediaBlog HQ were in the tank for Marco Rubio but America thought otherwise.  We were then cruising for Cruz (reluctantly, holding our collective noses and chugging Pepto Bismol like Canadian tourists staying in a Mexican hostel).  But Ted, dear old Ted, is a winner only in his own mind.  And then there was Trump.

Anyway, we here at The MediaBlog live in the future.  Or the present.  Something.  Anyway, we don't dwell on the past.  I for one welcome our inverted candy corn president.  Well, "welcome" is a strong word.  Accept-because-we-are-stuck-with-him is probably more accurate.  Surely there's some sort of polysyllabic German word for that.

As for how he will do?  He's picked a good cabinet so far.  If Kellyanne Conway can just find a way to put up some sort of firewall at the White House that will let Donald think he is Tweeting when it is actually never leaving the building then we might survive.

This was kind of awkward, wasn't it?  The punchy prose of the past (see what we did there?) wasn't quite there, was it.  It will take awhile to get back into the groove of this.  We also need to fix the template.  The original was lost and this thing is just damn ugly at the moment.

...And We Are Back

So where was I?

We took a little hiatus, didn't we?  Life sometimes intrudes.  We went down some paths with ye olde blog that maybe we didn't originally intend.  We live, we learn (we get Luvs).

But I'm only human, flesh and blood...  A man.  How could I resist the opportunity to blog Le Regime du Trump?

Got a feeling that whole Monkey Apocalypse thing may have been looking on the bright side.