Friday, July 20, 2007

We Talk Too Much

For real.

I kinda like having message boards, cell phones, email, blogs, IM, texting and everything else. Together, though, they sometimes feel like a Jenga tower of conversation waiting to collapse into pile of fragmented relationships that aren't really connected.

I've felt that way for a while. That's why it took me so long to plant my tentpole in the blogosphere. Which makes me a paradox in practice, I know. But that's not the point here.

The point is that some people not named me seem to share that opinion.

Which might not make me right. But it does make me 3 degrees less crazy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Paul McCartney Did The Right Thing

Have you heard The International Player's Anthem?



Yes. No. Maybe. Well, there's a chopped and screwed line in Big Boi's verse talkin' 'bout:

Ask ask Paul McCartney the lawyers gettin sloppy
Slaughter slaughter of them pockets, had to tie her to a rocket
Send her into outer space, I know he wish he could
Cause he payin 20K a day, that bitch is eating good

While that is a little premature, their point is made: Sir Paul effed up by not signing a pre-nup.

I gotta disagree, though.

I'm not married. I'm not rich, either. I have been known to be a love-struck bastard. And the way I figure it, if you're really in love then there's no such thing as tomorrow.

There's only today. And today is as long as forever. Forever doesn't have a contingency plan. It simply is. If it becomes an isn't, then what good is anything that is not forever gonna do you? The value of forever, after all, can't really be calculated.

Sir Paul is an artist. Surely, he falls behind that line of thinking.

If he doesn't, then he must be a bad businessman. So say UGK and Outkast.

According to that article above, the soon-to-be-former-Mrs. McCartney is only asking for 50 million pound while Sir Paul is supposed to be worth 800 million.

One sixteenth.

That seems like a good bargain for losing forever.

Then again, maybe not.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Considerate Shitter

I work in a four-story office building.

Three companies fill up the entire first floor.

Two companies--including mine--occupy half of the second floor.

One company takes up the third floor.

And the fourth floor is empty. Completely. Been so for over a year now. During that time, a silent society has coalesced on that floor.

I'm a member. There are others. But I have no idea who any of them are. One of my co-workers might be one. I've never mentioned this society to him, though. Nor has he to me. In fact, I've never actually come face to face with any of the other members. I know them only by the evidence they leave behind.

This society, you see, is made up of men who work in the building and choose to trudge up to the top floor of our building in order to, ahem, "do their business."

We're a considerate bunch. We all need to make our drop-offs. And we choose to do so on the floor where no one else will unwittingly encounter the smells, sounds or *gasp* sights some of us leave in our wake.

It is a necessary thing that we do. We are not proud of it. Which is probably why we do not acknowledge each other. Occasionally, I will sit down to make a 3 o'clock delivery and hear someone zipping up and flushing in the stall next to me. Never does the other member of the Society of Considerate Shitters speak. Nor do I. I do hear the other member wash his hands and exit. After the coast is clear, I do the same. Only to return the next day when duty calls.

Regrettably, this society is not comprised of every man who works in my building. There are those less considerate souls who utilize the bathrooms on the floors where they work. We all know who they are.

And none of us considerate shitters want to be ranked among them.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Thong, Th-Thong, Thong, Thong (Pt. 2)

This morning I made a list.

Toothpaste. Advil. Socks. Laundry Detergent. And a half dozen other things I usually buy at Target.

I waded through the aisles. Ticking things off my list. One at a time.

Eventually, I found myself in Men's Clothes standing in front of a rack of underwear. And guess what they were selling in a 3-pack for $9.99?

Thong underwear for men.


As if Friday at the gym weren't bad enough.

I think the apocalypse is upon us. For real.

*Lines up shots of Jesus Juice, Buddha Beer, Manischewitz Wine and Allah's Own Absinthe*

Friday, July 13, 2007

Some Things You Can't Un-See

I just left the gym.

Chest and back today.

Totally wiped out.

And am profoundly disturbed by something I saw.

There was a man in the locker room who looked kinda like this:


Substitute blonde hair. Trim the mullet. And the body hair. A little bit.

Then imagine turning the corner by the shower stalls to find him bent over putting one of these on. [DISCLAIMER: Click at your own peril.]

Um. Yeah.

No words.

Just lots and lots of acid for my eyeballs.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Jay Leno Journalism

Is it just me or is more and more of the 24-hour news cycle being populated by Tonight Show-like news of the absurd?

Today, a co-worker sent me this. Which isn't exactly an unintentionally funny headline. But why do I really care?

Why does anyone?

Sure, mainstream traditional media (papers, magazines, radio and tv) have always saved room for bizarre news items. But it seems to me that those stories have gained more and more prominence on the totem pole of what makes something "newsworthy."

I s'pose all of us are a little bit to blame. If blame is even called for here. I read the whole story above. Shook my head. Asked someone else if they'd heard about it. And, of course, forwarded them the link.

But is that really news? Or is it simply entertainment?

Rhetorical questions don't get answered. Especially when everyone already knows the answer.

I think I'm gonna go read Fast Company now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Un-Sick

I just saw Sicko.

It's pretty standard Michael Moore. Which means that it's heavy on editorial, highly provocative and, um, heavy on the heavy-set storyteller/demagogue.


I'm not all that concerned with Moore himself. Nor am I interested in analyzing his style. But I do give a dinosaur shit about the latest problem he's chosen to tackle: U.S. health care.

I personally have never heard anyone describe the current state of our health care as ideal. Or, for that matter, as sound. Even folks who loathe the work and opinions of Michael Moore think we have a crisis in dire need of a fix.

The way I figure it, there are two lessons to take from Sicko:

1) Doctors should not have to be businessmen.

2) The marketplace that guides U.S. health care needs to be turned upside down.

Any doctor who is in it strictly for the money is doing it for the wrong reason. Simple and plain. With so much of American life defined by how it generates profit, aren't there some things a little bit sacred that should be held above the bottom line? I get that capitalism requires all of us to think of ourselves as corporations, but I recall reading something somewhere about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." And doesn't health care fall into the "life" category? We all do need it at some point. And no entity seems to be able to afford evolving costs. Rather, no entity wants to bear the costs as they are. Why not dial down the profit motives on all sides and let doctors just practice medicine?

As for the marketplace, the thesis statement from Sicko appears to be that the fundamental difference between U.S. health care and those systems employed by the U.K., France, Cuba, etc is this:

The U.S. system rewards deprivation of care while systems in other countries (notably France) reward proficiency of care.

IMO...that's pretty effed up.

It's not necessarily an endorsement of a single-payer system. But I do believe the private-public partnership that governs U.S. health care needs to be overhauled. Personally, I'd start with the incentive system. No one and no thing should ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever be rewarded for denying health care. Period.

I'm not sure exactly how to accomplish that. Other people have some ideas, though. The French, for one, don't have a perfect system. But they do seem to have their hearts in the right place.

I also think the guys who hate on Michael Moore might be onto something. Link again for the lazy.

I haven't found any other ideas that I'd be willing to subscribe to.

Yet.

Then again, I've only been trolling around the internet for an hour or two.

The answer ought to be in there somewhere. I'll keep digging and get back to you.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Read My Palms


Or your own palms.

Or someone else's palms.

Or maybe another part of their body entirely.

Confused? Read this.

Be forewarned, some folks find it to be a little gross.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Vice President Gerald Ford?

No presidential scholar am I. Nor any other type of scholar. But I am a curious dude. And I found this hella interesting:

In 1980, as Ford was being wooed to run for vice president, Dick Cheney played a key role in re-imagining the job.

Pollsters spoke of a "dream ticket" after Ronald Reagan won the 1980 Republican nomination and talk turned to Gerald Ford as his No. 2. Aides to both men tried to negotiate arrangements that might lure a former commander in chief into a secondary position.

"Ford made a number of requests in terms of his influence over the budget, personnel, foreign policy, et cetera," (Dick) Cheney said. "I can remember sitting in a session with Bill Casey, who later became CIA director. Bill had a list of items that in fact the Reagan people were prepared to discuss. They went a long way toward trying to accommodate President Ford."

Tempted, but wary of splintering presidential authority, Ford finally withdrew his name.

I've never heard that before. That Gerald Ford was Reagan's choice prior to Bush the First. Makes sense, though. The Republicans are an especially incestuous bunch when it comes to filling offices.

And there's no better example than the Bushes and Dick Cheney. Who has reconstructed the office of the Vice Presidency so that it's a COO-type position that builds and maintains the legal structure within which the President-as-CEO operates. That's particularly important when the Executive Branch exerts a monarch-ish kind of power.

The Washington Post has exhaustingly chronicled the transformation of the VP's office. And gets credit for the Gerald Ford anecdote above.

Coining a Phrase(s)

QDIII. Also known as the son of Quincy Jones. Also known as the head of QD3 Entertainment. Spoke two words I've never heard before in this article posted at FastCompany.com:

That's exactly what Jones says his company is doing. "We're raising the bar for urban entertainment, especially in how the media perceives it. "We approach it from a standard of quality," he says. "The residual value to the viewer is powerful and it addresses what urban has become -- skurban (skateboarding urbanites) and blipsters (black hipsters) -- tilting that biege mass all at once. We're not focusing on the artist getting shot to boost his soundscan numbers, we're adding substance and brining you depth. We're bringing soul back."

I don't know about you, but it makes me wonder: what would MLK say?