Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm Defecting To Canada, eh

Talking Aboot Me Defecting To Canada, eh

What am I talking Aboot? You heard me. This is all true. I'm defecting to Canada. I didn't do it to avoid any sort of draft. No, that time hasn't come yet. And I certainly aren't doing it because George Bush won the election. I mean, that was a while ago... No, I'm going for other reasons. Mainly because I don't really see myself being proud to be an American. In a land where more and more our freedom is being taken away... all in the name of keeping us safe from terrorist, I can't really find all that much to be proud of.

Then of course there's the bigger reason. You see, today is the big day. As much as I don't give a fuck about the Olympics, well beside making fun of the whole Curling shit I blogged about a couple of post ago, I do care about one event. Hockey. I'm sort of a Hockey fan.. I mean, what red blooded human wouldn't be? I once saw a fight that broke out into a Hockey game. It's violent and they're doing in three quarters what basketball takes four quarters to do.

Today is the finals. The gold medal game of Hockey and who is playing who? Well, no other than America vs Canada. The rematch that we were all hoping for. America won against Canada earlier in the Olympics and now the lines have clearly been drawn. Whose side will you be on? America, home of a ton of Hockey teams in markets that typically don't have snow conditions to warrant ice skating? Or Canada, the proud nation who celebrates Hockey as if it is their version of Football.

I think the choice is rather easy. GO CANADA! Don't get me wrong, I love the Los Angeles Kings and I catch the games whenever I can. Even though Baseball is my first love in terms of sports, I still have plenty of room for The Kings. But let's face it, Canada made the sport what it is. It's their players that make our teams look great.

But you see, this sort of comes into conflict with me as I am an American citizen and should, by all accounts, be caring about the medal count that America has going. If I were a good patriotic warm blooded American, I should be cheering for America to get another gold medal to brag about. I'm not. I'm bucking the rules. I'm going for Canada and perhaps that means I should turn in my citizenship.

Yes, that's right. I'm going to give up Dunkin' Donuts, even though I've never even tried them, and instead I'll get Tim Horton's, eh. No, I'm not being nuttier than a Tim Horton's Maple log, I think that being Canadian will be really cool. I get to use a Loonie and Toonie, so you Americans using silly dollar bills, you hoosers should just take off, eh!

What exactly is a Hooser? Well, I'm glad you asked. Now that I'm defecting to Canada I should know these things. It's the losers of a Hockey game that wash the rink so that it freezes again and is as smooth as a whistler's behind, eh.

Speaking of which, Hockey.. yeah, that was the point of this whole blog post. I plan on cheering for the Canadian Hockey team. I wish them the best of luck. They should win. It would be like the American teams losing to Korea or the Dominican Republic in baseball. Oh wait, that happens all the time.

But still, GO CANADA! My new Home and native land! I want to be a Canadian so bad that I'll even go to their malls!

So why not join me in my Super Canadian pose as we all go to the mall. Yes, I'll be sporting a Robin Sparkles shirt some time soon. Booyah!

Canadians are generally good matured. That's what I like about them. Maybe it is because they are slow. I have no idea. All I do know is that they're A-Okay in my book. Maybe it is that slowness after all, the one-eyed man in the land of the blind is king.

I like to believe that I'm part Canadian already. Only a real cannuck would be buying a six'er of Molson at CVS at midnight along with a pack of diapers. Yes, that's right. I did that. Why? That's a story for another day, god damn it. The point is that only a true Canadian would be in that situation, eh!

Besides, how could you turn down their maple syrup? It's so much better than the cheap Ms. Buttersworth crap we get here in America. It's not even Syrup, it's just fucking sugar. Fake sugar at that. I don't want no HFCS on my pancakes, eh! You can get those pancakes and take off!

But wait.. I didn't think this all the way through. I hate Canadian Bacon. That shit is NOT bacon. it's lean pig meat cut to look like bacon. But you know what, I have to take one for the team, eh. This also means that I have to really look into getting a Hockey team that is from Canada. The Vancouver Canucks or the Edmonton Oilers sounds about right

But yeah, eh. So here I go, becoming a Canadian citizen. I better learn the theme song;

O Canada! our home and native land!
True patriot-love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
And stand on guard, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chile: The After Shock

Chile: The After Shock

I did a sort of breaking news on the Chile Earthquake earlier today and I seem to have gotten some static as I tossed in a few jokes in there. Whatever. I think that my coverage in such late break news was actually pretty good. I got across to you the important information and didn't have the stupid filler that many of the news outlets had. Yes, I did toss in a joke or two, but guess what, if we can't laugh at a situation, even a bad one, then perhaps we lost that aspect that makes us free. That allows us to cope with a situation.

So here's a quick update. It was scary in Santiago but compared to the one that hit in 1985, where half the city fell down, and it wasn't even that big of a quake, the damages weren't that high. Like I said, Chile, after being the victim of the largest earthquake that we know of, is sort of prepared for these sort of things. The construction code has been strengthened because of that very reason.

Yeah, sure. a highway section fell on top of a building and some tenements sank to the ground, but apparently those were isolated cases. Current death count seems to be hovering at around 300 right now. To be honest, that's not a lot. I mean, looking at the damage in some of those pictures and you would expect a larger number from them. I mean, look at that devastation .

Though you wouldn't have known it with the coverage that CNN and other news outlets were focused on today. I guess it's just that they have no news reporters in Chile, but there was just major focus on Hawaii and what the potential of Tsunami waves that never came. In fact, there was such a disconnect there that I have to wonder why anyone ever has any problem in anything I joke around with.

Did you realize that while the body count raised and we were in the dark about Chile, CNN and the other news outlets were concerned about the cast of Lost and if they were going to be okay in Hawaii.

people who were actually genuinely concerned and worried about this should be ground up, mixed with gravel and cement, and used to patch up chilean infrastructure.

But with a death toll around 300 so far and apparently no media outlets saying a word about concepcion, the epicenter with a population of 800k, it must mean that it miraculously survived an 8.5 earthquake with moderate damage or it got absolutely fucking shitface leveled.

In short, it's really fucking bad, but not quite so bad. I mean, the average Chilean will live through at least three earthquake, this big on his lifetime so we can't say they aren't prepared Besides, dying to a natural disaster is just random luck, like winning the death lottery.

And here's some pictures and laughable commentary;

Shield this innocent dog from the carnage!

That puppy needs some boots.

this one is from concepcion

I have a question about the next picture;

Okay, so like did those cars fall off a higher structure or did the quake literally just flip them upside down like Koopa shells?

Okay, who tipped over my massive dominoes? And if you want to see any more. go to this link

If you would like to donate to the Chilean Earthquake cause, follow this link.

Whole Lot Of Shaking In Chile

Whole Lot Of Shaking In Chile

Every once in a while I like to act like I'm actually a respectable journalist that doesn't just ramble on and on about things and I like to cut my teeth at the hard hitting issues. So right now at 5am on this Saturday morning, I'm going to go into breaking news!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The massive quake that struck the south-central coast of Chile early on Saturday was magnitude 8.8, the USGS reported in its latest bulletin.
This could be really really bad. So if the USGS is right and it was an 8.8, that puts it near the worst earthquake ever. Oddly enough, the same area got the worst one ever. A 9.5 earthquake back in the 60's which was so powerful that it killed significant amounts of people in Chile AND Japan.

Maybe this is all part of Argentina's plan to get themselves a lot of pacific coastline property. How bad is this sucker? The epicenter is right near the second largest city in Chile with a population of 850k and is 200 miles from Santiago.

It's going to be interesting how external aid helps this one. I wonder how stretched aid agencies are right now, with this happening so soon after Haiti. But most of all, I have to be a good journalist and tell you about how this effects you. In a way, if you're in a coastal city than you're facing the potential of Tsunamis.

tsunami alert

This page will tell you when the tsunami will get to you. If you are on the coast near these locations you might want to go fo a drive inland for a little while. Little advice to all you Hawaiian readers
Don't spend your Saturday morning at the beach.

As for information coming through, thank goodness we're in the age of computers and we can get up to the minute info on all the locations effected by this. Look at the Twitter feeds coming in about the earthquake.
I am in the La Reina/Las Condes area of Santiago. It's OK on our few streets - lasted about two minutes. It's 0430 now and roads mad with traffic and everyone out in streets fearing aftershocks.
-Andy, Santiago
No light, no telephone, no internet, but everything is okay at home
-marcosko, Chile, via Twitter
I am a university professor that lives in Santiago. This is a massive earthquake since 1986 and the cities resisted well and communications by internet 3G are fine but not mobile phones yet. Santiago seems quiet with a brilliant moon.
-Cristian Bonacic, Santiago
Yes... insightful. See, this is why I don't confirm to the typical journalistic style and why I was pretty much told by my journalism teachers that I suck.. Cause I find those sort of quotes to be not all that informative or helpful. I'd rather poke fun of the stuff. Like say something along the lines of I'm eating chili in support of Chile! or perhaps say something as apathetic as Sorry, gave my money to the last earthquake!

Are these events tragic? Yes. Very much so. But considering that Chile is actually built with some care, unlike Haiti, Chile could and is going to withstand this quake with far less damage in the end. Is it going to be bad? Yeah. It is. But that's what we'll see in the news outlets for the next few days.

It is pretty awesome that we can warn and forecast the Tsunami so far in advance. Sure, it doesn't always help that much, like during hurricane season, you get a category-4 hurricane hitting Florida that kills two people, then a dozen die from running generators inside their homes with no ventilation.

This latest earthquake, as well as the one in Haiti should be a reminder if you're in California or in an Earthquake prone area, you should take this as a sign.. that shit can happen when you least expect it. So perhaps you should check out your earthquake preparedness kit and make sure that you're really prepared with enough water and canned food to last however long it will take to get things back to "normal".

How's that for getting on top of a story?

Friday, February 26, 2010


"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of communities." - Sam Walton
Do Americans still shop to fill that void within them or did that phase of our culture pass? Who knows. What I do know is that I once dated a girl who liked Wal*Mart. Not that she actually ever shopped there. At least I don't think she did. I mean she was from Santa Cruz so I'm sure she's never actually been into one, but she liked Wal*Mart a great deal. Like the business model. How could you not on the stand point of making money.

Everything inside Wal*Mart is made somewhere else. Not in a good way, like a Swiss coffee maker or a Japanese kitchen knife or a French Press, but in a bad, everything here is cheap and disposable and made in China or worse way. So feel free to throw it out when it stops working in 6 months because it sure isn't worth repairing, and we have to keep those landfill people in business, just come buy another one to replace it, because hey it's cheap.

Sam Walton, the founder of Wal*Mart's original plan was to support the whole "Buy American" mentality. Ha, how'd that work out for you, Sam? Once he died his family abandoned the buy American policy and it led directly to their massive expansion in the 90's. Wal*Mart is where America's peasantry goes to shop for American flag-themed clothing and food. I mean, where else can you get your kids styling new clothes from?

Be herself? Yeah and have a bitching new wardrobe from Wal*mart.

What a lie. Like there has been any group of females that would accept someone wearing something bought from Wal*mart. They know that target or generic department store crap a mile away. We all know the cool girls only allow others who shop at Forever 21, American Apparel and maybe.. just maybe the GAP.

Maybe I got this whole view point wrong here. Maybe the girl I was dating had a point. Darn that evil corporation for stimulating the local economy by creating jobs in construction first, then later within the store itself for the retail workers! How dare people with low incomes and poor mobility be able to shop locally for things normally found in the bigger cities for cheaper prices, increasing their shopping power and allowing them to maybe save a bit of money somehow!

I cannot believe those scumsuckers would open "stores" in smalltown REAL AMERICA!

How dare they tap a market!

God, it's not like the communities themselves invite Wal*Mart in because they understand that poor people not having to SOMEHOW get to the nearest city to go shopping for a fucking book or new clothes is actually a good thing. I mean come now, I've lived in small town Florida when a Wal*Mart opened in my town; without them, I would have starved to death, because the "local community grocers" all charged twice what Wal*Mart was charging for food.

Yeah, they're a huge corporation, and I'm well aware that if a corporation were a person, it would be a psychopath. SO WHAT? Maybe Wal*Mart genuinely does good things for people in the communities in which it arises... but you know what, I can't say any of that because in the end of things, Wal*Mart is a shitty company. Even if you're able to get all your shopping done in one place.

You have to factor in other things. Maybe things like worker's rights. It wasn't Unions who killed the American dream. No sir, I'm in one.. so clearly I can't talk shit about them.. but god damn those union fees really add up.

I think you can see where I would like to cut my fingers off for typing all that above pro-Wal*Mart bullshit. While most people toss the claim that Wal*Mart is killing small main street style stores and destroying the unique America that we're all so used to saying they actually kill in small town U.S.A., I do think it's far worse. Those stores were never really safe to begin with anyway.

And anyone who says that with a Wal*Mart coming in, all that now open storefront space that is dirt cheap will gather the potential of getting totally rad antiques stores, ethnic gimmick food and neat-o bars in there. Stuff that Wal*Mart can't really give to you, I have this to point out about those;

totally rad antiques stores

ethnic gimmick food

neat-o bars

Even "quirky" downtown's with cheap rents are sanitized and white as hell. When I was in Florida and in Georgia I would go days without seeing another Mexican. Let alone a Mexican restaurant that wasn't completely gross. Don't get me started on Chinese food. It was only when I got back to L.A. and went down to Monterey Park did I get that itch of Chinese food out of the way.

I think we do need to welcome in the fact that there is absolutely nothing special about where most of you people live because chances are everywhere you are, it's only a matter of time before the same carbon copy strip mall pops up with the same best buy, the same hip clothing store and the same upscale, but still shitty restaurant pops up. And believe me, Cheesecake Factory is not anything special or unique.

All those quirky local businesses are neat, until you figure out that they turn over and fail all the time and the same landlord owns the entire block.

But what's even more troubling about Wal*Mart is how much of a cult it really is like. You may have heard this if you're ever in a Wal*Mart early enough;
Give me a W!
Give me an A!
Give me an L!
Give me a squiggly!
Give me an M!
Give me an A!
Give me an R!
Give me a T!

What's that spell?

Whose Walmart is it?
It's my Walmart!

Who's number one?
The customer! Always!

That’s the Walmart cheer!
You shouldn't be surprised if you hear your local Wal*Mart associate shouting that enthusiastically. One would expect a blood sacrifice after all that but it's just that the employees like to take it seriously - it's the one way they show pride in their company and how much they value their customers.

Either that or I bet the Kool-aid is just really dee-lish!

I also find it stupid that Wal*Mart still pays its American workers (unlike its Mexican workers) in real dollars rather than in Wal*Mart gift cards. The motto should be
Save Money. Live Better. Unless You Work For Us, Then Fuck You
People who work at Wal*Mart are paid terrible wages and have shit benefits and have to deal with Wal*Mart claiming that their anti-union polices are okay because "Associates don't need unions to represent them" and Wal-Mart has an "Open door policy" Not to mention that their employee discount doesn't apply to most of the food. That cherry FUCK YOU on top of that sundae is that they purposefully schedule employees to just under 40 hours in order to avoid giving them full time benefits.

But hey, why limit it to just poor people who can't get jobs anywhere else? It's not a common practice for Wal*Mart to treat high schools as training centers as you can see from the fine folks of Detroit trying to recruit some greeters.
The Detroit Public Schools have teamed up with Walmart Stores to provide job training and entry-level, afterschool jobs to students at four high schools.

The training program was kicked off today at assemblies held at Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men and at Western International High.

Detroit International Academy for Women and Henry Ford High will also participate.

Students will get 11 weeks of job-readiness training during the school day and 10 high school credits for the class and work experience.

Sean Vann, principal at Douglass, said 30 students at that school will get jobs at Walmart. He said the program will allow students an opportunity to earn money and to be exposed to people from different cultures - since all of the stores are in the suburbs.

Donna Stern, a national coordinator for the activist group known as BAMN, attended the assembly at Douglass and objected to the program.

“They’re going to train students to be subservient workers,” she said. “This is not why parents send them to school, to learn how to work for Walmart.”

The scary thing here is that not one Wal*Mart is in the city limits of Detroit. The closest one being in Warren, which is a fair distance away. But you see, Detroit is currently living through 50% unemployment.. due to other companies outsourcing their manufacturer jobs overseas. So people desperate for any kind of job, even minimum wage slave labor, are more than willing to make a deal with Satan.

I don't think this is what they meant by career pathways in the curriculum development department. But hey, at least conservatives are enjoying the idea of using high school as a way to train children to enter the unskilled workforce. I once heard a radio host mention that he expects a return on his investment in public schools. That's right kids, Aim low. Really, really low.

Here's a protifp if you're not making enough at your job. Wal*Mart is such a huge company, if you steal something worth less than $25, they wont bother calling the cops in and prosecuting you, they'll just ban you from their stores forever. Hint Hint.

It's not like you're not owed this. Want some justification for such behavior? Wal*Mart is actually costing Taxpayers millions in the form of Medicare and Medicaid benefits paid to employees since they don't pay their workers enough, or cover health care costs.

Back to the subject of quality of goods. Most goods in Wal*Mart that are available elsewhere are manufactured in two grades, one cheaper and Wal*Mart bound, one more expensive and everywhere else bound.

Take two black and decker power drills of the exact same model number. One from a home improvement store and one from Wal*Mart. The Wal*Mart one will be about 20% cheaper and will be a physically different unit from the other one, more cheaply made with lower profit margin.

This is the only way that many manufacturers can stay alive, by complying with Wal*Mart's demand for tons of shitty products while still somewhat keeping a shred of their own build integrity intact for some of their products so their reputation and mindshare doesn't go down the drain.

I mean, why buy a $90 ratchet that will continue to work long after you die when you can buy a $10 one that will break in a year. Do you see how this short sightedness comes into play when it comes to Wal*Mart in general?

But hey, at least Wal*Mart respects the history to a place, right? It's not like they tried to build over a priceless archaeological treasure that can never be replaced if damaged, right? Oh wait, they did.. and they succeeded.

Wal*Mart built a store on the site of Teotihuacan, an ancient classic Meosamerican city, and basically the inspiration for every civilization that followed it. Easily the 1st or 2nd most important site in central & north America. The city is literally miles across so it's not like the whole thing is now a parking lot, but there's pretty much a 100% chance they built over some temples or house or graves or something.

You know what happens when a Wal*Mart does close? And believe me, many of them have because of the economy or they just expanded too fast in one area that couldn't maintain it. Those shells of a building are hard to rent out or use for anything else because they are too big. Most of them just turn into a church or a community center. Many of which just sit there to be urban exploration down the line.

Finally the last piece of Wal*Mart news that just scares the hell out of me is that Wal*Mart has been trying to set up a consumer banking division for years and they were just about to launch one when the financial crisis hit. Not to mention that they had some problems with the FDIC and state licensing. But still it's only a matter of time though, as soon as the right legislators are in office they'll try again and the people will rejoice.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Heellllooooooooo TOM! -The Return of Tom Leykis

Heellllooooooooo TOM! -The Return of Tom Leykis

Today is an important day for Los Angeles history. Today, you see, or for what it's worth, listen to the return of Tom Leykis on our Los Angeles radio air waves.

Now I get into a lot of debates whenever this topic comes up that I really enjoy the Tom Leykis show. Let me get a couple things out of the way. I listen to NPR daily. One of my favorite shows is This American Life and while I do enjoy a nice glass of wine, I really enjoy a nice cold beer at a dive bar. It's the beauty of walking that line. Or for that matter, having some acceptance towards views that aren't your own.

I'll admit, The Tom Leykis Show was pretty intense in terms of his views. But you have to understand that it was a show that had some comical elements to it. Some of the subject matter or his expressed views were a bit over the top, but it was done so on purpose. I would relate it to watching day time talk shows. He expressed a shocking view point and callers chimed in their opinions and got berated by him. It was very entertaining. More to the point, I actually agreed with his opinion on current affairs and matters in politics.

It was open, honest and very brutally direct. It wasn't for everyone and his views towards marriage, given that he had four failed ones, as well as relationships in general were stuff that women hated. He likes to consider himself a feminist, in the same nature that I do - Everyone being equal. Which did question the whole "Who pays" and traditional roles that many women like to reap only the benefits of. Tom Leykis shells out real world advice. Yes, his relationship stuff can be a little extreme, but hey, he's a shock jock.

The Tasting Room with Tom Leykis was NOT the "Tom Leykis Show". You may have been angered by his Leykis 101 segments or educated by "Ask the atheist" or just entertained by his callers level of stupidity. The Tasting Room was not the same show by a mile. The Tasting Room, described like this on its website.
The first of its kind, The Tasting Room is a lifestyle themed program for men with a taste for the finer things in life. From fine wine, high-end spirits, & craft brews to first-rate dining & premium cigars, Leykis covers it all in this weekly two-hour, on-air ride through every man's wish list.

Leykis has proven to be a huge ratings draw with churning discussions that keep Americans listening every day on The Tom Leykis Show. His opinions are thought provoking and his unconventional perspective on dating, relationships and politics have made him one of America's top radio personalities.

It was something that you wouldn't normally hear on the FM dial. Especially not on a commercial radio station. Even if beer companies advertise heavily, it was a lifestyle program that wouldn't be found beyond your local public radio stations. It took the educational aspects of a KCRW/KPCC food show and applied it to wine/beer/food

Considering how much of a foodie I am, and while I'm sure I'm not in the "I have a problem" stage, I love to drink. Wine, Beer and all-ends(high and low) spirits. I like to get out there and try new food and drink all the time, and it's not just to review them. The Tasting Room was a show that had interviews with the makers and it was a good way to introduce you to something you might not have tried on your own. Let's face it, walking into a wine section of any reputable store can be a little daunting and intimidating.

The Tasting Room gave you that education on what different terms meant and how to actually taste and sample a little bit of that good life. I learned a lot from the show and I was introduced to a lot more wines because of it. I may not have had much respect for chardonnay prior, but after tasting GOOD chardonnay, I took trips up to the Russian River Valley to really get some good bottles and tastings.

When KLOS 97.1 changed formats to a top 40's station early last year, it killed the shows that were broadcasting out of there. Namely The Tom Leykis Show as well as The Tasting Room and we have been without Tom on the radio since then. The wait for new shows is over as you see, Tom Leykis is coming back to radio today!
Tom Leykis is returning to local radio. Starting Feb. 25, he will be on KGIL/1260 AM – “Retro 1260 AM” - from 8 to 10 p.m. Thursdays with his lifestyle program called “The Tasting Room.”
While it's not the shock program that the Tom Leykis Show is, I can easily say that I'm extremely happy for this news. It's a great way for you to learn about what you are drinking. And even if you're not a wine drinker, the beer talk that happened on the show as well as the mixology was always beyond educational. I'm sure anyone could walk away from a two hour program and be a better drinker.. and most of all, better bartender for their own little private gatherings at home.

I know I'll be listening in tonight, even if it's an AM station. I mean, when was the last time you even touched the AM dial on your radio? I'm sure most people actually forgot it existed. A little ironic because Tom did mention many times on his other show that AM is where radio host go to die. Considering that there is no FM commercial station that has a talk format, I guess it's the only option.

You know, now that I think about it, I know when the last time the AM dial had any sort of exciting news, it was this day in 1942 when an unidentified thing in the sky caused L.A. to go stir crazy and sound alarms. Yeah, we were in the middle of a war and we were sort of expecting a surprise attack by Japan like they pulled on Pearl Harbor, but in the end it turned out to be some weather balloon.

That may sound like some alien cover up bullshit, right? It's not. During the night of 24/25 February 1942, unidentified objects caused a succession of alerts in southern California. And while 1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition were directed against what was suppose to be Japanese planes, they suffered no losses. Yeah, there may have been reports that four enemy planes had been shot down, and one "landed" in flames at a Hollywood intersection, but those were nothing more than smoke being blown, unlike with Tom, the only smoke blown there is from a nice Cuban Cigar.

So listen in tonight on your AM dial to the Tasting Room with Tom Leykis. You'll be surprised by how much you learn from it. It could be very ear opening.

Now to take myself out with a Lacey Peterson..

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News!

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News!

A new season of Doctor who is approaching pretty soon. It's almost upon us. Care to see a preview for it?

Here you go!

Doesn't it say it all? Doctor Who 2010: Lens flares, slow motion and inaudible lines! So glad RTD is gone but that was a very, very strange teaser. I have to say one thing though, I really like how Matt Smith's reading those lines.

I mean, I can understand why that teaser was so in your face. For anyone in the UK who is going to see Tim Burton's Alice in Hot Topic Land in 3D, there will be that Doctor Who trailer playing in full 3D. So the BBC had that ad be filmed to take advantage of that high tech wizardry.

I hope you noticed when the new season is coming out also. Easter! Given my birthday is only a couple of days after said blessed day of thy bunny, I'm pretty thrilled. Thank you BBC, you shouldn't have given me Doctor Who as a gift. Now don't tell me I have Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) to unwrap as well?

Now I'm going to lie, I was all against Rose and Martha being a love interest for the Doctor. I loved Donna Noble because she wasn't a love interest, she was a companion in the true sense of the word. But with Amy.. yeah, I think Amy's beautiful, but I would call you a god damn dirty liar if you didn't admit that also.

I'm actually surprised at how okay I am with the amount of sexual tension in that teaser alone. It was only a minute but that had a lot of spastic and romantic subtext-imbued as anything from the RTD era. The Doctor and his companion lying next to each other on a hill looking at the stars, and then holding each other by the shoulders and looking into each others' eyes while faces are almost touching. That makes the puppy eyes Rose gave Tennant seem subtle by comparison

And did you see The Doctor also grab Amy's boob, and there was an upskirt shot. Moffat, you filthy bugger! Did I just see a lens flare coming out of her crotch? Oh dear lord, she's got a MANGINA! She's Old Greeeeeeeeeeegg! On a related note, I would drink Baley's out of her shoe... Perhaps the phrase I was looking for is "My God, it's full of stars."

As for what was up with that head at the end? I'm pretty sure that's a Silurian. Classic Doctor Who big bad pops up again. Fun times. I have to question the whole setting of the ad. Me and the Doctor were chillin' out in a field, watching the stars and taking some crazy space drugs. Yup, that was my weekend.

I dug it until the weird end bit where the face burst out of the ground. It all seems a bit strange when you think about it. But again, it's best not to think about it. There was many times in RTD's run that you were better off not thinking at all and just enjoying what was on the screen.

There is a little part inside me that just says to forget this teaser entirely. There's really no way to top the all time best Doctor Who season teaser. That was for the series relaunching with Eccleston;

My gal just recently watched the whole of Eccleston's season again and I have to say I'm a bit jealous of that innocence and glee from watching that season. Oh man, do I miss him as the Doctor. Just imagine if they had both Eccleston and Gillan. That would be a very Scottish sounding Doctor Who show. He'll always be MY Doctor.

So hurry up Easter, come on and get here and be done with so I can get me some new Doctor Who. This nerd is jonesing for it!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spotlight on American Socialist - Bill Gates

Spotlight on American Socialist - Bill Gates

Yes, that's right. This spotlight on an American Socialist is going to highlight a nerd like no other. Bill Gates. I'm sure you're asking what makes this man a socialist and why you should put him in an McCarty era black book already. How could a man who had the major hand in coming up with what you're more than likely viewing this blog with be considered what America fears.. socialism?

But it's exactly for that reason. He made hundreds of billions of dollars selling overpriced software to the richest 10% of the world and now he's giving almost all of it away to the poorest 10% of the world. Do you have any other word for that than Socialism? I think not. While it's true that he still lives in a 60,000 square foot home, I'm willing to put my name on this being such a role of socialism. Such action is the largest individual downward wealth transfer in history. maybe.. maybe only the super-rich can save us??

The only sad part in all that is that I'm sure it's still not even a fraction of the bank bailout, which is oddly enough the largest upward transfer of wealth ever. Now, I'm sure you'll be quick to point out that all this charity and donation is nothing more than a tax outlet. Yes, Bill Gates is all about getting huge tax breaks by siphoning money into his own organization. And yes, it's true that Bill Gates wouldn't be appreciably less rich if he hadn't antitrusted the hell out of everything.

At this point I should point out that mass redistribution does not always equal socialism. Nor does mass redistributor make one a socialist. Socialism is a body of theory on the administration of production. So maybe this action doesn't just make Bill Gates a socialist. But Andrew Carnegie was a socialist because he built a few libraries after breaking the backs of strikers for decades.

It's a shame that a large portion of the fund are invested in companies that actively promote the poverty that Bill Gates is trying to solve. But hey, he'll keep pushing that rock up that hill with the help of money. The guy has an endless supply of it. Just keep buying those Window products.

It would be interesting to see what would be accomplished if he had spent all that money on lobbyists instead. An assassination or two, perhaps? Him spending his money on ads calling for a tax n the richest 1% would probably do more than him giving every penny he has to Doctors without Boarders (which if you haven't yet, you should really think about donating to them)

I think the only thing that could push Bill Gates into the realm of being a true socialist would be if he'd finance an American Socialist party to be voted in and help an actual transfer of wealth rather than avoiding taxes through his organizations. Just think about Bill Gates spending his money buying senators to vote socialist.

Especially with the new ad campaign rules perhaps he could buy out TV ads for the socialist party there. You know, it would probably be a ton of fun to drop effectively unlimited personal dough on making an advocacy group to just lobbying the fuck out of congress on whatever you want. DANCE PUPPETS! DANCE!

Then again, it would have to be hitting him deep in the pockets to make a dent, even for Bill Gate levels of money considering other lobbying expenditures.
US Chamber of Commerce $144,496,000
Exxon Mobil $27,430,000
Pharmaceutical Rsrch & Mfrs of America $26,525,520
General Electric $25,520,000
Pfizer Inc $24,619,268
Blue Cross/Blue Shield $22,715,439
AARP $21,010,000
American Medical Assn $20,830,000
Chevron Corp $20,815,000
National Assn of Realtors $19,477,000
American Beverage Assn $18,850,000
American Hospital Assn $18,347,176
ConocoPhillips $18,069,858
Verizon Communications $17,820,000
FedEx Corp $17,050,000
Boeing Co $16,850,000
BP $15,990,000
National Cable & Telecom. Assn $15,980,000
Northrop Grumman $15,180,000
AT&T Inc $14,729,673
That just shows how much our nation is in the pockets of big business.

Still doesn't change the fact that Bill Gates is so rich he's past the "Must get richer so I can potentially buy anything I could ever want" phase and has reverted back to being a normal human being. Yup, that's how it works when it comes to money. You get the money hunger hypnotize eyes.. and then when you have that McScrooge level of large money bin amount of money you just realize you can and have already bought everything you need.

Maybe Bill Gates is just trying to buy a Nobel Peace prize. Let's be honest, he is more deserving than a war mongering president. Jut look at what he's done for illnesses in those third world countries.

One would start to wonder why Bill Gates spends so much money on eradicating harmful and tragic diseases from third world areas when he could spend that money on pointless elections in a spoiled rich country to effect no worthy change at all. But again, I simply said that it would be comical to try to fuck around with lobbyist. They're the ones who are really screwing over our nation.

Besides all that, Bill Gates can handle his own. I mean, how many times has he been ruthless and fucked over Steve Jobs over and over again? I would say that it has been at least a dozen times now. So I can't help but respect the man. Even if he's not entirely a socialist, he's still using a lot of his cash to help those who are in need.

Besides that, with global warming (which should be called climate change) those illnesses that he's helping eradicate in third world countries is a good thing. Chances are they're going to start showing up soon in the states. I sure can't wait to see when some frozen bacteria starts some super illness that will kill us all. Maybe then the government will work with a little help from the Bill and Melinda Gates Lobbyist foundation..

Monday, February 22, 2010

You're Not The Boss of Me, Wait, Are You?

You're Not The Boss of Me. Wait, Are You?

A couple of weeks ago CBS premiered a show called Undercover Boss. The premise of this new reality show is to take the CEOs of huge companies and have them go undercover as entry level employees to see what really goes on in their businesses. There have been two episodes so far, Waste Management and Hooters. Both can be seen online in their entirety on CBS's video streaming site.

I remember briefly seeing a commercial for the show and I had assumed they went undercover to give their employees shit and fire them. Because, you know, America.

The CEO's see that working in America is complete shit and resolve to do what they can to fix it, give good people promotions, and fire bad people. But at the same time, I get the sneaking suspicion that it's just apologia for the rich. I mean, the show should really be entitled "Random anecdotal evidence for why capitalism isn't bad".

The show is the dumbest shit and I can't believe anyone is actually fooled by it. Do you honestly think that the CEO's didn't already know about these shit conditions and the "goal setting" in order to cut cost? It just comes down to being a pet show of the right because it shows that all CEO's are really kind and loving at heart, and Capitalism works!

In the Waste Management episode the CEO made it so that one of his female employees didn't have to pee in a can to keep up with the pace. Gee, thanks again. I think it would be an improvement if they made them live on the salaries they pay their employees as well. I'd be more interested.

Also in the Waste Management episode they showed a black guy who was on Dialysis and had a sort of sob story that pulled on your heart strings. Want to know the gritty reality? 4 months after they shot the episode last year the guy got laid off.

If I were the president of a company, I would kill to be on this show. Just do a week of shitty jobs, make certain people with good stories very happy and get a shit ton of delicious PR. If you don't follow through or have a life changing experience or hand over the means of production, do you think anyone is going to notice or care? Ha!

In the case of the Hooters episode, the CEO of that company came across an overworked manager who was the mother of two kids and didn't get to see them enough. What was the resolution to that issue? He gave her a long all-expenses-paid vacation to anywhere in the world for her and her family. He's still running a ridiculously sexually demeaning restaurant and the larger problem is that he gave a token gift to a single manager, meanwhile all the other managers are still overworked and struggling to make ends meet. Fuck structural solutions, a week vacation will fix everything.

The most comical aspect of the episode was that they were surprised that people don't want to eat at hooters because they think it's a degrading and embarrassing place. It is. Maybe I should start a bar called The Itty Bitty Titty Committee and wonder why it gets protested or very few customers. Strip clubs on game night function better than hooters.

To play devil's advocate on this though, I find eating at T.G.I.F, Applebees and Cracker Barrel to be equally embarrassing. Those places have management who encourage their wait staff to be just as slutty, be it in the restrains of their own uniform, as possible for the purpose of potentially making extra tips.

In the episode a manager was making women eat beans without their hands and other demeaning shit that makes when I make sarcastic misogynistic comments on this blog look like school yard teasing. That manager should have been fired, or at the very least sent off to sexist re-education camp. The only way to justify not canning him is that the franchise is wholly liable for any lawsuits regarding his behavior, but even that is bad PR.

That vacation thing is just the worse though. It's simply a PR move and nothing else. There were no structural changes made that needed to be changed. Just a bullshit gimmick gift that won't help the woman or anyone else in the long run. Now if they'd change actual company policy and give her more time off to spend with her kids, then I'd be impressed.

The Hooters episode is a great example of how the private sector is in no way superior to the public sector. The president and CEO has his position for no other reason than his dad founded the company. From what I saw he was not assertive enough to hold his own among the kinds of personalities you find in an exec board, and unlike the waste management guy, he didn't have any structural solutions to the problems that he identified. He couldn't even follow his fathers example and make himself seen among the workers.

I also have to point out that five days is not enough to truly understand what a person who works week in week out in a physically and mentally demanding environment goes through. Even when I work on a film production that has 12-14 hour days I'm able to rationalize it by knowing that the production will be over in X weeks and I could have a couple of weeks off of work to recover and know that all that over time and golden time pay will allow me to not worry about money as another film project comes along.

But for these workers, doing those kind of hours for shit pay and realizing that you can't support yourself (or anyone else for that matter) and live a life that's worth living for all these years and if at any point you were forced to stop for any length of time or risk getting completely over taken with a finical burden.. that must be soul-crushing. So no, I don't think a week is long enough for these CEO's to really see the full gravity of their employee's work.

Especially when they are doing the whole wrap-up montage. I realized that the premise was bullshit. Everyone individually got out of the shit, but the only change that actually helped anyone else out was fixing the penalties on a couple extra minutes of break. Middle management may have realized that the president was going to maybe be breathing own his neck and by the time the one woman said "I'm just glad that all my hard work was finally noticed and rewaded" I knew it was bullshit capitalist propaganda. The one woman had an accent that was half Sarah Palin and half Fargo, and if that isn't pandering directly to middle America, I don't know what is.

It's also very strange to see these CEO's witness blatantly illegal acts by their own managers yet never stop to think about firing them. They just let the camera roll and ask for a promise "to improve" and "form a task force". How the fuck are these shit stains not held liable for simply letting this shit happen, participate in a filming of it, and then participate in the filming of an absolute nonsense "resolution"?

All those things combined as well as the rest of the stuff that happens on this show is a great example as to why America is so terrible. The show is basically like "Oh, the plantation owner is a real gentleman, it's that damn slave driver who's the real villain!" I'm sure the average viewer is watching this and thinking that it's all about how CEO's changing the world into a better place. They're jut misunderstood uber-mensch really. Philanthropists at heart. Everyone one of them. Hearts of gold.

I'd like to see a health care CEO have to work one of the boards that denies claims for little old grannies and stuff. Ha, who am I kidding, he'll actually enjoy that job given that he has no heart. This is just apologist bullshit to make CEO's, COO's and other execs who aren't middle management look pretty in front of the camera without changing corporate policies, except for the very few people they show.

Even then, it doesn't mean those people were not dicked with after the cameras were gone. I'm sure stuff like this has happened in the past on that rare instance where the CEO is so disconnected to the average worker below them, but perhaps that's the problem. CEO's being so disconnected from the workers leads to them not thinking of their work staff as human. This show just makes them look like they actually give a shit about the welfare of their workers. It's all for PR here.

The next episodes are going to be focusing on 7-11, White Castle and Churchill Downs. I can't wait to see the CEO of White Castle try to eat one of his own burgers when totally sober. I'm also curious to see if 7-11's owner is actually from India as well. That in itself will lead to an odd situation.