Thursday, April 20, 2006

Random Ruminations - Again

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

-- The TV networks are appealing to the FCC to have the fines for nasty content reduced or eliminated. Now, I am a big-time free speech advocate, and I really dislike the thought that the FCC issues fines every time someone decides something immoral or fattening occurred on some primetime drivel. After all, if the show is so offensive, why is the offended individual watching it in the first place? So, in principle, I agree with the networks. That being said, wouldn't it be easier for the networks to clean up their act? Why is it necessary to use vulgar language and prurient scenes in everything from “family” sitcoms to CSI:[fill in the blank]? It is possible to generate adult plots without having to resort to gutter language and titillation. Playhouse 90 did it for years.

-- Am I the only person in the United States who does not think it's proper for the Vice-President of the country to be getting a “deferred” salary from Halliburton?

-- After griping about the poor job that was done creating the program The Gospel of Judas, I must give credit where it's due. Discovery Times did an excellent pair of shows on people who became saints, and, the History Channel showed Banned from the Bible, which, despite the lurid title, is an excellent program about some of the apocrypha, books that didn't make the final cut into the Bible. The History program has been shown before, but it bears watching again.

-- So Apple has released a Mac that has Intel Inside (TM). And, gee whillikers, you can run Microsoft Windows on it. Big whoop. Apple fanatics will surely not be interested in going over to the spawn of Gates, while long time PC users will not be overwhelmed with the Mac OS. So what's the point? Well, perhaps Steve Jobs, who sold his soul to Microsoft a while back in trying to resurrect Apple, is now paying the tab. Microsoft would love to quit creating Mac versions of their software. What better way to do that than to have Apple running Windows by default? You don't think it could happen? Stay tuned.

-- One of the airlines coming out of bankruptcy (I forget which; they're all broke these days) is, of course, cutting back on the number of flights they have as a cost-saving measure. But, just to show they plan to be bankrupt again soon, they have come with with a real piece of genius to improve maintenance. To cut turnaround time, they are going to have NASCAR pit crews work with their ground crews. Yeah, those 17-second turnarounds are really gonna save money. Of course, that occasional missing lugnut may be a little bigger problem on a 747 than on a Cup car.

-- My wife likes reality shows. Not Survivor-type fake reality shows, but real reality shows, the kind where people are bleeding all over the place, and have knives sticking out of their heads. The other night she's watching one about miraculous escapes. This idiot is trying to take down an old stone or brick silo. He has a little bulldozer that he's using to try to use to pull it down. After a while, he's succeeded only in getting it to sit at an angle. So, despite the fact that he can't get at it from the proper angle to push it over, he tries to bulldoze the silo – which promptly falls on him. Now the bulldozer has a serious cage, and it wasn't that big a silo, so it's no surprise that he wasn't hurt. But, the people on the show are all weepy, and the guy is saying how he thought he was going to die. And I'm laughing my butt off. All that was missing was that little song from the ads: Hoo hoooo, hoo hoo hoooo.

-- Speaking of knives sticking out of heads, there was a show on The Learning Channel, I think it was, that took place in emergency rooms. A guy is brought in with a butcher knife sticking out of his skull. The doctor looks at the guy and asks somebody, “What do you think we should do?” Oh, I dunno. How about getting the knife out of his gourd?

-- How many people, without using Google, know the name of the Lone Ranger's nephew's horse? For that matter, how many people ever watched enough episodes of the Lone Ranger to even know that he had a nephew? Actually, we were always waiting to see if the nephew would call him “Uncle Lone”.

-- As a legal immigrant (a naturalized citizen, and proud of it), there are two things that really irritate me: Illegal “immigrants”, and any immigrant, legal or otherwise, who doesn't feel they should have to learn the language of the country to which they have come. My Hungarian parents, who worked hard to quickly learn English, could never understand such an attitude.

-- Should the Democrats recapture the majority in Congress this fall (which is certainly not out of the question), does anyone care to figure how long it will take them to start screaming for the impeachment of the Vice-President and the President? Just as the Republicans went after Clinton in revenge for Nixon, someone is going to want to go after Bush and Cheney in revenge for Clinton. And, just as was the case for the Republican majority, the Democrats will use this to deflect from the real issues they should be addressing.

If only I had a catchy closing line ...

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