June 30, 2010
Jaime Weinman (the Canadian TV critic, not the guy on Mythbusters) responds to the Larry King announcement:
And I’ll say this: King at his hackiest was never as hacky as the comedians making jokes about his age. I mean, we get it: he’s over 70, and apparently old people don’t belong on TV or something.
Larry King, who admittedly seems to have been coasting in recent years, at least has a body of work to coast ON. Too many people in the public eye these days are trying to start out in coast mode—including most reality show “stars” and a disturbing number of aspiring politicians.
I have my own complaints about the King show, but they are beside the point I’m trying to make now. I’m not trying to defend him either. I think his show outlived its sell-by date. But people should keep in mind that the simple act of stepping in front of a camera and speaking to people you can’t see is so difficult that 99 percent of people would never be able to do it.
June 29, 2010
After receiving a couple of total BS emails from Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins this morning, I sent this message through her web site:
Your office is doing a terrible job of keeping contact with your constituents. Here’s what happened to me.
I sent your office an email making clear that I disagree with Ms. Jenkins’s position on defunding ACORN. I received a robo-reply that assumed the exact opposite.
This kind of sloppy communication is clearly not in the best interests of the district.
I have no way to know if Ms. Jenkins has a policy of insulating herself from opposing points of view, or if her office staff is simply inept. Maybe it’s something else.
In any event, Ms. Jenkins has made it clear to me that as long as she remains in office, I will have no effective representation in Congress.
The other email from her was a lot of rightwing boilerplate about “energy independence”—the fairy tale they use to sell a policy of aggressive drilling and mining. I didn’t bother to respond to that one, yet. If I get another reply from her office, thanking me for my support, it’ll confirm my suspicions about exactly how completely FOS she is.
June 5, 2010
The Skeptic’s Dictionary has a new entry for weasel words:
“Weasel words are words that suck all of the life out of the words next to them just as a weasel sucks an egg and leaves the shell.” Weasel words were first associated with politicians, who seem to have a penchant for saying things like “The public must be duly protected,” instead of “The public must be protected.”
Just watch TV for a few minutes and you’re exposed to more weasel language than you’re probably aware of. Like doublespeak, it’s meant not to communicate but to AVOID communicating. When you hear weasel words, you can bet that somebody is trying their hardest NOT to tell you something.
June 2, 2010
Keith Olbermann talked about smoking, and Mark Evanier quoted the whole thing, which you should read in its entirety:
It would be terrible enough to have cancer, but on top of it, you’d have cancer and you’d have to stop smoking at the same time. Guess what? It’s easier to stop smoking when you do not have cancer. Ever thought of that before?
June 1, 2010
Linda Holmes at the NPR Monkey See blog provides us with today’s words of wisdom:
I don’t really think anything qualifies as an excuse if it makes your transgression even worse. It’s sort of like, “Yes, I dug up your garden, but only to hide the body.”