WORDS MEAN SOMETHING

6 01 2010

The cynic in me can no longer take it. The misuse of our language, and the proliferation of syllables must stop. My rant follows:

My biggest annoyance: What is meant by the use of the prefix “pre” in so many instances? At the airport: “We will now begin the preboarding process.” What the fuck does this mean? Will we board before we board? And “process”? Why is everything today a process? Why don’t they say “We will now begin boarding.” Plain, simple, accurate, and four fewer syllables.

Preregistration. Yes, this is when you register before you register.

Prerequirements. Think about it. A prerequirement to entrance into college is a high school diploma. No. The requirement to entrance into college should be the ability to speak correctly.

Speaking of which, have you noticed how cops report events? They believe that the more syllables they use, the more officious they sound. “We apprehended the suspected perpetrator of the crime.” This is retarded. You caught a suspect. More time to listen to sports scores.

Weathercasters: “We will likely see more precipitation during the overnight.” The overnight?!!! What the hell is the overnight? When does it begin and when does it end? Why not just say: “It might rain tonight.”?

“It’s going to be partly sunny.” This may seem like splitting hairs but, excuse me, don’t they mean partly cloudy? The whole entire sun is there during the daytime. It is the clouds that will partially block it. Did these people go to school?

Funeral homes: “We offer preplanning services.” How do you preplan something? To plan means to have a strategy prior to an event. Preplanning equates to getting ready to plan. Makes no sense whatsoever, but they all do it.

Merge: this one is a bit different. It’s not misused so much as nobody knows what the fuck it means. When you are getting onto the expressway, you merge (blend yourself) into the traffic stream. This means you get up to speed and find a spot. It does not mean get her up to forty-five and force me out of the lane because you are too stupid to know how to drive.

Similarly, yield does not mean come to a stop. It means do not impede the cars that have the right-of-way. If there are no cars to impede, cruise on through.

You say you are an administrative assistant. I say you are a secretary. You say you are a sales associate. I say you are a clerk. You say that you are a custodial worker. I say you are a janitor. You say you are an auto technician. I say you are a mechanic. Know what I mean?

“There were myriads of choices.” Myriad is an adjective, it means countless or an infinite number. Therefore, there were myriad choices. Unfortunately, the choice you made in using it is the WRONG one.

“In regards to.” Wrong again. Regards are wishes. Drop the s.

Irregardless of the fact that many people say it, irregardless is not a word.

Penultimate. No, it doesn’t mean the best. It means next to last — like this paragraph, you moron.

So, in conclusion, think before you speak. Otherwise you may end up needing a teleprompter before anyone will take you seriously. Or yu mite get stuk in Irak, like Jon Carry warnded yu.

Advertisements




UR A RACIST

9 12 2009

Have you noticed how the word racist has come into frequent use these past…oh, say 18 months? No? Well, obviously not. You live in your mom’s basement and play WoW 24/7. Or you live in The Shire and you’re too busy trimming the hair between your toes.

But for the rest of us, if you’re a liberal, you’re using the word pretty frequently. Admit it. And if you’re a conservative? Well, you’re plain racist – just ask any liberal.

Here’s what the free dictionary on my computer says:
rac•ism |ˈrāˌsizəm|
noun
the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, esp. so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.
• prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief : a program to combat racism.

That seems pretty cut and dried. If I am antagonistic towards you because of your race, then I am a racist. Right?

But what if I am antagonistic towards someone because I think he is wrong about the things he is doing that affect me and those that I care about? That would make me an opponent or a dissenter. Right?

Oh, but wait. These days if you oppose or dissent with Barack Obama, well… you’re a racist. You must be against him simply because he is black, and you’re a filthy racist. It couldn’t possibly because he is plain wrong about everything.

Anyway, as Frank J. at IMAO recently wrote – So how much more do we have to advance in race relations before America can elect its first competent black president?

What disturbs me the most about the left constantly calling dissent “racism” is that it now makes being called a racist laughable, and it is tragic since there are still some “real” racists in this society. Ironically, the vast majority of them appear to be on the left.

So, if the left are constantly calling those on the right racists, and the left are the real racists, then everyone is a racist. As I said in the title UR A RACIST.


This is an example of old-fashioned poor taste, but I’m not sure it is true racism. It is pretty stupid though.
————————————————–


This is an example of a racial epithet. Don’t do this.
————————————————–


This is really racist.
————————————————–


This is really, really racist.
————————————————–

THIS IS NOT RACISM:

END OF SHOW AND TELL.





THE OLD GRAY WHISTLE TEST – a DVD review

6 12 2009

This may not pique the interest of some of you punk-assed newbies to the planet, but my wife received the above-referenced DVD as a birthday present from her sister and last night we fired that mother up. Believe you me, it was a sublime walk down memory lane.

For starters The Old Gray Whistle Test was a live music TV show in Britain during the very early seventies, hence the inability for most of you to relate to it since you were all no doubt still in your old man’s sack jumping ball to ball. I wasn’t even aware of this show because it never aired in the USA, but since my wife grew up in Scotland she was well acquainted with it. It ran for about fifteen years, and it had a rich history of having attracted to its stage early music legends like Bob Marley, Lou Reed, Curtis Mayfield, Rory Gallagher, Elton John, Alice Cooper, Bill Withers, The Damned, The Ramones, The Police, Emmy Lou Harris, and more – all included on this DVD. It was indeed a very special treat to again see these people perform live on-stage, and these were more like studio performances, not the over-produced horse dung that the pop-starz of today only seem to be able to lip-synch in their performances.

One excellent example on the DVD of what I mean is Edgar Winter, who begins his seminal number “Frankenstein” by playing the synthesizer hung from his neck, then switches to a saxophone, does double drum riffs with the band’s drummer, then switches back to the synthesizer to finish the song, all the while his shoulder length gossamer white hair flowing like some albino ghost possessed with passion – quintessential seventies Rock and Roll.

I include it here for your enjoyment. You’re welcome.

In addition to the live music the producers have also included interviews with Bruce Springsteen, John Lennon, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger, Elton John, Bernie Taupin, Robert Plant, and more.

I highly recommend this, if for no other reason than the history lesson it teaches. These folks had talent that has stood the test of time. My old man was indeed wrong when he used to holler “Turn of that goddamned rock and roll!”





TEKNOLUST (2002) a movie review

2 12 2009

My favorite science fiction movie of all time is Blade Runner (1982 – Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Darryl Hannah.) It too was about cyborgs, but I trust all of my dear readers have seen it and love it as I do, so I’ll review something more recent — twenty years hence to be exact.

The stars of Teknolust are Tilda Swinton. Yes, stars. She plays the genetic scientist Rosetta Stone, who uses her own DNA and some software program in her computer to replicate herself three times as Ruby, Olive, and Marinne – SRAs (self-replicating automatons).

Now Rosetta is your classic geek — unstylish naturally curly brown hair, coke bottle glasses, and zero sex-appeal — zilch. The three SRAs however each possess a unique beauty and personality that Rosetta could never achieve for her own self. Because of the ethical implications of what she has created though, she keeps her children/sisters(?) hidden, except for Ruby. It seems these SRAs have a slight flaw. They need regular injections of the Y chromosome in order to survive.

If you’re still with me, the best aspect of this story of three artificial humans living in a sort of microwave oven, is the visual impact of the film. The colors and costumes are stunning. Everything having to do with Ruby, played by Tilda Swinton, is RED, her silky dress, her room, her nails, her lipstick, everything, even the condoms she gives to the men whose semen she is harvesting.

Olive and Marinne, played by Tilda Swinton and Tilda Swinton, round out the trio with their own unique personalities. Marinne is a needy, emotionally vulnerable type, and Olive is her nurturing caring sister. Everything having to do with Marinne is BLUE. And, you guessed it, everything having to do with Olive is GREEN. (Look at the photo above for your first clues.)

So, back to the story: Ruby goes into the real world hunting sperm. But first, since she’s essentially a brand new being, she has no experience interacting with men, so Rosetta programs her while asleep by exposing her subconscious to pick up lines from old B&W Hollywood movies. These get the job done (she scores) although she’s certainly pretty and sexy enough that I don’t see their relevance, unless one counts the way they crack you up when she uses them. The semen is then stored in jars and labeled with the man’s photo taken by Ruby with her polaroid necklace. Later they brew it up and have sort of a High Tea.

Anyway, this goes along for a time until things turn a little dicey. Ruby’s one-night-stands become afflicted with little tiny barcode rashes on their foreheads, which I’m imagining they could probably live with, but they also develop erectile dysfunction, which takes no imagination to understand they don’t want to live with, not only that but their hard drives crash, something none of us can live with.

The epidemic comes to the attention of Edward Hopper, not played by Tilda Swinton but instead played by James Urbaniak, who is a Federal agent of some sort, charged with investigating the outbreak. He seeks out Rosetta Stone as a bio-geneticist resource to aid his investigation, which understandably makes Rosetta even more paranoid. He is also joined by a private dick named Dirty Dick, played by Karen Black.

As time goes by the girls develop an emotional connection with the human condition, Ruby even falls in love with Sandy (Jeremy Davies) an utterly dysfunctional copy store employee, living with his mom, who is a failure at everything. Even his copies come out wrong.

You’ve probably concluded that Teknolust is a chick-flick, and you would be right, but I enjoyed it immensely. I wouldn’t say the story is well developed, and doesn’t always flow smoothly, but its visual impact makes up for any shortcomings. This movie is truly eye candy — stunning eye candy in technicolor, and it has some wonderfully humorous moments. If you’ve never seen a woman unwittingly try to buy a donut with a pocket book full of red condoms… well, you just haven’t lived.

This one is worth watching.





Journalism…yeah, let’s call it that. It sounds better than Prostitution.

22 11 2009

My brother-in-law is a moron.

(This is a public service announcement. Its purpose is to help you sort the bullshit when considering the purchase of a car as you sift through the magazine racks in search of a review.)

My brother-in-law is an “automotive journalist.” Yep, they fly his lily white English ass all over the world in first class, put him up in four and five-star hotels, and pick up his tab in the best restaurants. Who is “they,” you ask? One car company or another, it doesn’t really matter. He attends press events, auto shows, unveilings, test driving new models, race events and the like. At these events, “they” give out shit token gifts to the writers like iPods, digital cameras, expensive clothing, etc., (you know – trivial stuff) and send them on their merry ways hoping for a juicy blow job favorable review.

Upon my brother-in-law’s return from these junkets, he is most eager to regale me with stories of all of the luxuries and favors that were lavished upon him and all of his fellow car whores automotive journalists. When I inform him that he’s nothing more than a hooker with an interesting accent, he gets very offended and insists that he’s a “journalist,” — unbiased and professional. “That stuff (meaning the first-class tickets, hotels, meals, gifts) has no influence on the columns and reviews I publish.”

“Oh really???” I’ll exclaim. “Then how come when you wrote that article about the BMW Z4, you didn’t say that it’s a nice sports car, if you like a ride that resembles a clown shoe? You know, like you and I were laughing and saying before you went off to that Andes rally in June paid for by Bavarian Motor Works?”

This is but one example of many. What really galls me is his English superiority and insistence that none of that bribery holds any sway over his writing. Can I refrain from doing the **cough**bullshit**cough** thing? “Couldn’t you only do it rarely so as to foster family harmony?” my wife implores.

Speaking of my wife, let me mention his condescension, especially towards his wife and mine – they are sisters – from Scotland. The English have this bias towards Scots bred into them from birth, and it’s been going on for centuries. It doesn’t matter the topic, to an Englishman, Scottish opinions are wrong because they’re Scottish. Ugh! Never mind that I have proven their points to him time after time; he won’t hear of it. Chilean wine can’t possibly be good because he hasn’t heard about it or tried any.

So the holidays are coming up. Did you know that the busiest time of the year in Barbados is Christmas? Yep, it’s because of people who can’t abide being around their family.

Have a nice day, Mon!





Perspective

21 11 2009

I don’t really know what is to be accomplished by my writing down these thoughts, other than to demonstrate that I have them.  I think it reasonable to assert that I have been around long enough to have some perspective.  I call it wisdom.  Things have changed dramatically since I was a boy.  I look at the way things are, and I remember, sometimes fuzzily, the way things were, and I wonder.  I wonder: are things better?  Are things worse?  Why did things happen the way they did?  Why are people the way they are – now?

TIME

People’s attitudes toward time have changed.  They want more and more of it, i.e. a shorter work week, more vacation time, more holidays, yet I look at how they spend the time they have and I wonder.

a.  Why do people live so far from where they work?  If time is so valuable, wouldn’t they demand a shorter commute, so as to spend less time behind the windshield?

b.  Why do people want bigger houses and yards?  If time is so valuable wouldn’t they want less to maintain and take care of?

c.  Why are there so many two-income households now?  If time is so precious, why is having a larger house, multiple cars, multiple TVs, stereos, boats, snowmobiles, dishwashers, swimming pools, home computers, large wardrobes, etc. such a priority?  People must work longer hours, or multiple jobs in order to have all of these things that they don’t have the time to enjoy.

RELATIONSHIPS

Another area that is vastly different is the way people relate to one another.  Relationships like marriages, friendships, even businesses, don’t last the way that they used to.

a.  Half of all first marriages in the United Stated end in divorce.  The rate of failure is even higher in subsequent marriages.  What is the point?  Are we that careless about our choices, or do we just not care about the long-term consequences?  Are a few years of contentment worth the anguish and hurt of a failed relationship?  Are we back to a question of time?  If time is so important, where does the year and more of undoing a relationship fit into this precious commodity?

b.   Children are treated entirely different.  They are now to be “entertained.”  Parents spend vast amounts of time and money on music lessons, karate, dance, soccer, baseball, football, hockey, etc.  To what end?  What does it really teach the children?

c.  Day care – when did parents lose the desire to raise their children themselves?  And why do they think a person making ten fucking dollars an hour is an adequate substitute?

d.  Friendships – being the transient society that we have become, what happens to friendships as America moves around?  As people climb the corporate ladder and seek higher pay elsewhere, are they very often persuaded to stay in the community because of all of their friends, including their children’s friendships?

LOYALTY

This trait probably belongs at the top of the Endangered Species List.  It has become rare to the point of extinction.  People don’t recognize its importance.  Some examples:

a.  The union laborer whether factory, construction, teacher, government, whatever will bemoan the loss of jobs, especially jobs lost to overseas competitors, but why is the parking lot at Wal-Mart always full?  I recently heard that Wal-Mart is China’s largest trading partner.  I don’t know if this is accurate, and I’m not going to take the time to document it.  Suffice it to say that a vast amount of Wal-Mart’s merchandise is made in China because it is cheaper.

Now, if American jobs are that precious, why are these same people who bemoan lost jobs, buying from a company that stocks its shelves with foreign-made goods?  It would appear that loyalty can be bought.  Yes?

b.  People complain about “sprawl,” — all of the strip commercial shopping centers and malls.  Yet, will they make the extra effort to patronize the downtown business, or small mom-and-pop business that they remembered as a kid; where their parents shopped, where the rest of the neighborhood shopped?  Or will they go to the mall, because prices are cheaper and parking is free?  Is loyalty disappearing because it’s only desirable when things are easy?  Are people oblivious to the small business-person struggling or going under?  This small business person no doubt lives, shops, and banks in the community, and yet people seem not to care that patronizing the larger stores means the money leaves the community – forever.  Where is the loyalty in that?

c.  Speaking of community, I’m wondering what the national average is for people residing in one community for a certain length of time?  Is that house further out in the suburbs a better substitute for the neighborhood that people are the fabric of?

d.  Or what is the average number of years an American works at one company?  My first job lasted eleven years.  Those guys taught me everything and I will never forget them.

WEATHER

When exactly did reporting the weather become so sensational?  When I was not that much younger the weather got reported – period.  If something truly sensational happened it got reported as such.  Now it seems that the weather just isn’t sensational enough unless it is augmented with bogus data.

Take wind chill for example:  many years ago I read a report that the wind chill charts used by the weathercasters were not at all an accurate reflection of what they attempt to portray.  Wind chill was studied by the US Army around the time of WW2, in order to determine its effects on the troops in field conditions.  Apparently a lot of assumptions were made that just weren’t accurate.

Did weathercasters quit using this bogus meaningless data?  Quite simply no.  If they can take a twenty degree day and turn it into a zero degree day, that’s much more sensational.  Except for a few areas of the country where ideal weather is the norm, weather is most often reported as something people need to endure.  We, meaning all people, are free to choose where we live, including the kind of climate.  Are people really tricked into thinking that the weather is always worse than it is?  Or are our weathercasters just sadistic little unhappy people, not satisfied with facts, but intent upon making things seem as bad as they can be?

Oh, and now we have “heat index” – more bogus science.  If it is an eighty five degree day with high humidity, it is suddenly a ninety nine degree day – oh, forsooth.  How will we endure?  I wonder if we will soon be told how much hotter it seems if one stands in the direct sunlight?  Or why not say how cold it will feel if you go outside in the winter bare-naked?

MOVIE STARS, MUSIC STARS, AND ATHELETES

The new role models for the youth of the world.  Yayz to Britney Spears, Levi Johnston, Paris Hilton, Michael Vick, Rosie O’Donnel, and all of their ilk.  Thank God my kids are grown.  I feel for my grandkids, but they’ll only peripherally be my problem.

I resent these people’s role in politics.  I don’t care if it’s Sean Penn or Bruce Willis, why do people accord them any sense of importance?  They’re opinions mean no more than the next guy’s.

INSPECTORS AND OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

I’ll deal with these in my upcoming book.

DRIVERS

I am an excellent driver.  I drive very fast cars, and sometimes I drive them fast – when it’s safe.  I drive with both hands on the wheel, when I’m not shifting gears, and I sit erect and focused on the road.  My cell phone sits on the seat next to me – OFF.

Now, how in the hell did teenage girls ever get the idea that it is at all sensible to drive well over the speed limit, with one hand on the wheel, and their cell phone in their ear, or even worse “texting,” while they tailgate the shit out of me?

Sound systems: what makes you think I am even remotely interested in listening to rap?  Do you think that I really enjoy my office windows rattling?

And why do black guys sit so as to barely see over their dash board with their face squarely in front of the radio?

I don’t get these things – and more.

CLOTHING

Generally, here is an area where we’ve made excellent strides.  Aside from a few bizarre “style” trends, clothes are more comfortable, more durable, easier to care for, and there is a vast selection from which to choose.

I firmly believe that to a certain extent clothes make the man.  If you care about being taken seriously in MY office, you better care about how you look.  No getting around it, if you want to rebel, you do it at your own peril.

If you walk in with your baseball hat on backwards you are dead on arrival.  Don’t even get me started on guys who eat with their hats on.

PUBLIC DRUNKENNESS

This used to be mostly intolerable.  I have nothing against drinking.  I drink a lot.  I do however have a big issue with public drunkenness.  It’s offensive, and can be downright dangerous.

EDUCATION AND SELF ESTEEM

When you deserve a “C”, you should get a “C”.  Enough said about that.

POLITICAL HATE

Going to have to go in the book.

SEXUAL TABOOS

Maybe this is where I’ll show my age the most.  It used to be wrong to put your penis inside a dog or a sheep.  Girls, your vagina wasn’t meant to be filled with fruit and whipped cream.  This one I suppose isn’t so bad so long as it isn’t your dad or brother you invite over for dessert.

The use of urine or excrement anywhere in a sexual context was, and always will be – wrong.

You’re born with sexual components.  Think of your body as a nice house, a little remodeling is okay, but you’re not a street rod.  No swapping out equipment.

In the name of diversity, if you are the type to prefer casual, uncommitted sex, please move to Canada; they have national health care.  I personally do not want to suffer the financial consequences of your choices.

SUMMARY

I have a happy life.  It’s not perfect – but it is happy.  I am free of most strife.  Would I go back to the world of my youth?  In some cases yes, but only if I didn’t have to relive some of the things I’ve had to overcome.





Gentle On My Mind – My tribute to the late John Hartford

14 11 2009

I am a John Hartford fan of monu-“mental” proportions. I have most of the recordings he made over his 34 year professional career. I saw him perform live more times that I can possibly remember, and I have an autographed copy of his book “Steamboat in a Cornfield” dedicated to me personally. I took up playing the banjo because of his influence on me. I could play a lot of his music back in the day – although I could never quite master his technique, and I know the lyrics to all of his songs.

If you don’t know John Hartford, I’ll get you up to speed. His most famous accomplishment was writing the song title of this essay. The song won two Grammies in 1968 – one for John, himself, for Best Folk Performance and one for Glen Campbell, for best Country & Western Solo Vocal. Campbell’s version was definitely more famous, and has been played over 5 million times on radio. The tune has been covered by over 300 performers!

John admitted in later years that the money he made from Gentle On My Mind set him up so he could live his life “his way.” I think he would have lived it “his way” no matter what, and he would have become just as big a celebrity. To call John unique would be like saying Jimmi Hendrix could play the guitar, or that Tiger Woods can golf.

John was the quintessential performer. He was a master of the five-string banjo, fiddle, and guitar, and he played all three alternately in his performances and albums. He was the first person I know who hooked a microphone to a piece of plywood so that he could tap shuffle to his singing and stringed instrument playing to provide a percussion element. It was great fun to watch him.

He had a very wide vocal range, and many of his songs contained vocal sound effects that added an element of mirth. He could imitate washing machines, skipping records, steamboat whistles, you name it.

In addition to his career as a performer, John was a licensed river pilot, and his love for the Mississippi and steamboats were frequent topics in his music.

John, succumbed to non-Hodgkins lymphoma after a very long struggle, on June 4, 2001, at the age of 63. He was a unique performer. A genuine southern gentleman.

Where does a poor old love song go,

After it’s off the charts?

Does it hang around like the distant sound,

Of last year’s broken hearts?

Does it then come back on a brand new track,

That’s sure to bend your head?

Or it might be old,

But it just went gold,

By the talking heads,

Instead.