Saturday, March 26, 2016

Musings on The Baby Boomers

I'm really getting tired of people today using George Carlin's later works to score points on the PC crowd nowadays.  If there was one person who had absolutely no place to complain about how things have gone downhill from the Good Old Days then it's gotta be George.

What happened was this:  The Baby Boomer generation pretty much ruined everything.  The preceding generation worked to create a fairly wealthy and stable America and, starting roughly in the late 60's began to turn it ever so slowly over to the Boomers.  And they fucked it up.  They took what they were given, took their inheritance and let it slip through their fingers and insuring that the generations to come would not only pick up the tab but take the blame for the future.

The preceding generation tried mightily to pass on the values that built their world but when the Boomers started breeding in earnest they were quite content to let Baby Moonbeam and Starchild cry in a corner while they got stoned and raised their consciousnesses.  The 70's came and the Boomers might have picked up the ball they bobbled but they were too busy with snorting coke and going to group encounter therapy sessions.  In the 80's they rediscovered money and doubled-down on the coke, while showing their gratitude to their parents by chucking them in substandard retirement homes (if they're all shitty, wouldn't that be "standard"?) and dumping their kids on an increasingly overwhelmed public school system (whose funding they tried to weasel out of anyway they could).  And when the X-ers tried to follow the Boomers' example?  "Get off your ass, slacker, and pay for my social security!"

And in all of that, George Carlin - as a calculated business choice - was the Court Jester to the generation that ruined everything.  I have to admit to liking  George early on.  But as his final years approached and the world got worse his material got more and more morose.  And it became more and more galling that he pissed and moaned about the state of modern America that he not only cheered on as it declined but made a name for himself in the process.  He scorned charity in his routines but complained that people were selfish.  He scorned courtesy and complained that people were rude or vulgar.  He scorned values as corny and then complained in his act that no one believed in anything anymore.  He scorned getting involved in politics and complained people were apathetic.  It was these attitudes that screwed things up and he, like most Boomers, never once thought about his contribution to the mess.

I guess it's symbolic of the entire Boomer generation, really.  Millions upon millions of Peter Pans refusing to take responsibility either for the future or the past.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Let's (yawn) Play

As the Web 2.0 phenomenon marches on I've been noticing how badly entertainment and news media has been degrading.  It was slow at first but is now gradually becoming inescapable.

When Web 1.5 began, it was still the province of actual, trained and experienced correspondents - old media veterans trying out this Interwebtubez Thingy that the kids were talking about.  And it was good (sorta).

And then Weblogs appeared and the suck started to creep in as amateurs (ahem) dove into to this new world of Do-It-Yourself mass communication and started making waves.  And it turned out that there were few diamonds in the sea of horseshit that flowed forth.  And, surfing that wave came Web 2.0 and it's podcasts, Internet Radio and long playing YouTube vids like Let's Play.  And now the quality and expectations of quality from such have been driven straight into the shitter.

Podcasts - I have yet to hear one that doesn't contain at least 20 "uhhs" every five minutes.  That alone is irritating but when you add the fact that podcast personalities can't hold to the topic, just ramble and meander into anything that suits their fancy it begins to strike me as a cruel joke that anyone listens to them.  YouTube vids also commit this particular sin.  There are a few out there who know what they're doing but most, again, are stoned doofuses who can't focus their thoughts.  And no one has a clue about how to do music.  The first podcast I ever heard it was like the guy was actually trying to shout over the background music.  Use music that isn't vibrant or otherwise distracting and keep it low.  Better yet, don't go with music.  A nanosecond of dead air isn't the end of the world.

Let's Play videos are this but worse.  There are plenty of vids which appeal to a nostalgic gamer like myself but are usually totally ruined by a host who plays like he's never played before and gets sidetracked in his thoughts and actions and just can't do anything without hesitating and assing around like an indecisive chess player.  Doing a run trough or two before videoing does not cause cancer, people.

Maybe I'm just showing my age here.  I remember the old days when no one could get near a camera or microphone without having all "Uhhhs..." expunged from their vocabularies and knew how to a) rehearse what they were going to say and/or b) keep a good outline of points they wanted to mention (and the self-discipline to stick to those points, even in free discussion) and/or c) have some small talent at improvisation should the need arise to fill time or respond to something unexpected. 

Maybe, just maybe, letting any idiot with a computer and some spare time try to be a star wasn't the best idea ever.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Atheism

Here's why I don't believe.  The only possible forms a god can take are either a sadist, an incompetent or an apathetic.  Look at it this way: Imagine you buy a puppy.  A cute wittle Corgi.  And then you do what this god person does to his worshipers.  You let it sit in the corner and let it starve, knowing you can feed it but can't be assed to do so.  Let it get mauled by the neighbor's rottweiler because you weren't watching as your Corgi pal went out the door you forgot to close.  Or just beat it even when it does the tricks you want it to, all while giving treats to the roaming rottweiler.  After all that, ask yourself if you deserve to be worshiped.

If you said no, then you have human decency and a conscience - if you said yes, congratulations, you're God.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A More Convenient Season - 1773 Edition

DEER Editors of Publick broadsheet Bofton Reasone.  I write this mifsive to regifter My most Profund disagreement with youre Articles of Publick Interest regarding recent contretemps in the harbour of our beloved Bofton Towne.

It should occure, not merely on one such as I, of humble Origin and breeding but even to the most Learned Scholars of Note, that disagreeable fentiments, be they grounded in Truth or not, are still not proper Motives to disturb either reafoned discourse in lecture halls and publick Houses or the Tranquility and Property of local merchants and the publick square.

Surely, these Men may find their Grievances satisfactorily addressed with greater Haste and good will if they ceace acting as Rogues and Scoundrels and place thier disagreeable Nature beyond the notice of our KING GEORGE III as His Subjects here in the Americas.  Responsible Journalifts as you allege yourselves to be should not offer fanction or the reward of infamy for if you do you may Infpire further violence and ill-will to be caft upon thier cause.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Further Fantasy

   As they approached the outskirts of Lake Country, they came across an outpost manned by one guard.  He waved them over.

  "Hail, travelers!  Can you assist?"

  "What's your trouble?"  Sir Fexis asked.

  "I was manning this outpost with with my cohort and we were attacked by Orcs.  We drove them off but Guard Haypo was killed.  I need to send word to town but I can't leave my post."

  "We can help."  Fexis said.  "Azorf!  why don't you and Dolan head into town while we remain to look after the post."

  "As you wish".

  "May I beg leave to ask that you take back Haypo's sword and shield to the Town Masters?  You can take our carriage."  

  "Go on, Azorf"  Fexis said.  "We'll bring your mounts back once relief returns here."

  "And mind your way"  The guard said.  "There still may be orcs lurking around.  One more thing"  He motioned Dolan closer.  "Take care as well to take the right path.  Don't take the south road to Foulshire."

  "Why not?"  Dolan asked tensely.

  "You'll be going the wrong way".

  As they commenced, Dolan reflected on where he was.  All the times he read the Great Sagas of the plainsmen he obviously never dreamed of shuttling messages back and forth.  Deep down, he knew the sagas were metaphors for moral lessons rather than actual histories, but they were still what he'd turned to whenever he felt he needed guidance in life.  The sagas covered great perils and darkest hours but not menial chores.  Still, he searched his memory for something to offer solace.

  The carriage approached a fork in the road.  Hooded figures milled around.  "You there!"  one said.

  "What do you wish?"  Azorf asked.

  "What you are carrying, of course."  The figure said.  "We have your gold as promised".

  Azorf leaned close to Dolan  "I don't think anyone would miss them, do you?  I'm sure our friend Haypo's family would appreciate some gold rather than his items."

  "But not all the gold?"

  "Well, a little for us, as brokers after all."

  Dolan thought for a moment.  Finally he spoke.  "How would we explain the loss?  We wouldn't want to draw controversy given our plans in town".

  "You're a good thinker, you'll go far, young man."  To the figures Azorf said  "I'm sorry friends but we're not selling."

  The figures slowly encircled the carriage while their leader spoke  "You are in no position to bargain.  Let us do this easily and quickly."

  Dolan took up his weapon and leapt into action.