Saturday, April 25, 2009

Desperate Car Dealers

© Stan Spire 2009

TeeVee ad:

“The sale was so big, the time was so short. So we extended our superduper sale…”

Bullshit. The economy is going down the toilet and no one can afford a new car. You extended your event hoping to move some American-made junk.

Newspaper ad (Daily News - Sat., April 25):

The photo shows a beautiful woman sitting in a car, blowing a sultry kiss at the reader. The text proclaims: “ENGINE STIMULATING PACKAGE.” “Rev Up The Economy.” “Priced to put the pedal to the medal!”

Selling cars or Viagra?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bicycle Stolen; World To End

© Stan Spire 2009

Every Friday the Plattsburgh daily (news)paper, the BCL (Bird Cage Liner), has a section devoted to religion. This includes a small advertorial by a local pastor, Reverend Fry (or Fried, as I prefer). He takes a news item about an incident – usually a crime – and ties it in with Biblical verse.

Yesterday he talked about a woman in her eighties who kept a bicycle since he was 17. It was a classic old bike, big fenders and a metal basket. She took it out one day in her Maine hometown and peddled over to visit a friend in a nursing home.

But during her visit the 66-year old bike was stolen. The police are still looking for the thief.

So how does this tie in with Biblical prophecy? Reverend Fried quotes Timothy 3:1-2: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous…”

So the police better find that bike or Armageddon is on the way.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

More Glossy Garbage

© Stan Spire 2009

Got another one in the mail today. The alumni magazine from the college that bestowed upon me an invaluable degree, the key to a good life.

I have so many fond memories of my alma mater, Mistake By The Lake. Alcohol abuse, for one. College is the perfect environment for that hobby. And how can I forget my backstabbing roommate who helped improve my chances for dating success.

What I treasure about the alumni magazine is all the success stories, how a Mistake By The Lake degree made the difference. But you never see the unsuccess stories.

My four-year degree was so worthwhile. It assured that I had a steady career, made plenty of money, and was never unemployed or forced to take a minimum wage job. My degree was so worthwhile that I had to default on my student loan.

An unsuccess story that will never appear in the MBTL alumni magazine. After all, the college has to sell the dream, not reality.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blonde Bobblehead TeeVee Nooz

© Stan Spire 2009

Bobblehead dolls. They have a spring connecting the head to the body. Just tap the head and watch it bounce up and down and all around.

Hair salon blondes. Unlike natural blondes, these women have been given their somewhat golden hair by man, not God.

Tonight I’m watching the local TeeVee nooz out of the state of Buy Vermont, the Fox network affiliate. I notice that all three weekend anchorpersons – news, sports and weather – are young blondes, apparently of the hair salon type. These chicks are so happy and upbeat; their heads are apparently spring-loaded, bouncing up and down while delivering the nooz.

The weather blonde spells her name “Kerrin,” as opposed to “Karen.” I haven’t figured out whether her parents were either semi-illiterate hippies or pretentious yuppies.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Special Treatment

© Stan Spire 2009

In yesterday’s edition of the local daily (news)Paper (Wed. 4/8/09) a reader shared her horrible experience at the Plattsburgh hospital in Letters to the Editor. She was staying at the hospital, fast asleep in her room, when she was awakened by another patient urinating on her.

Usually a rebuttal to such a critical letter doesn’t appear until days, maybe weeks, later. But right after that reader’s letter there was a reply from hospital officials, giving their side of the story.

Obviously the newspaper contacted the hospital about the pissing incident letter and allowed it to get a reply into print on the same day. Now why would the hospital get special treatment, its response placed immediately after the patient’s complaint? Could it be all the advertising it takes out in the Paper, big half-page or full page displays?

Naw. That’s just a coincidence.

One Statement, Two Lies

© Stan Spire 2009

“The death of newspapers is a threat to our democracy.”

Lie #1: You don’t live in a democracy. The next time you recite the Pledge of Allegiance, pay attention to what you’re pledging allegiance to. It ain’t to the United States of America and the Democracy for which it stands. Americans never had a democracy. If they did, a president would be chosen by the popular vote, not metaphysical Electoral College mathematics. Our system of government is more like a plutocracy or even a kleptocracy.

Lie #2: Newspapers have been doing such a great job lately of protecting our “democracy.” How about Bush-Cheney operative Judith Miller, a “reporter” at the New York Times, who was more than happy to repeat jingoistic BS to promote a war in Iraq. White House to Judy: “There are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.” Judy in the NYT: “Iraq has WMDs.” A White House Official on TeeVee (“Meet The Press”): “It was reported in the New York Times that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.” The American public: “Iraq has WMDs targeted at us! We have to invade!” And let’s not forget how financial MSM “reporters” were to so close to their Wall Street sources, too close to warn readers about a depression on the way.

The real threat to “democracy:” bizgov ends up controlling the Internet so that independent voices are suppressed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Twilight Zone Rush Limbaugh

© Stan Spire 2009

Yesterday (Tues. 4/7/09) a rare event occurred: I was glad I had tuned in Rush Limbaugh’s radio program.

A caller identified himself as a military veteran who belonged to the Republican Party and had voted for John McCain in the last presidential election. This vet was upset that Rush supported torture of all U.S. enemies, unlike McCain. The caller said that anyone who supported torture was like the Nazis who faced charges during the Nuremberg trials after the end of World War II.

The caller pointed out that Rush never served in the military (a key point overlooked by many of his pro-war followers). If we torture our enemies, they would do the same to our soldiers. There were others ways to get information from a prisoner without resorting to torture, said the caller, who added that some prisoners have been killed by U.S. soldiers during recent conflicts.

On a roll the caller stated that Rush was a brainwashed Nazi like Sean Hannity and the rest. He blamed Rush for the Republicans losing the White House, adding that Rush wasn’t really a Republican.

Now here comes the Twilight Zone moment. Pissed off, Rush shot back by saying the caller – a vet who voted for McCain – wasn’t a true Republican.

In Limbaughland, black is white and up is down…

It was great that the angry caller got through. Usually the only ones who get by the phone screener are fawning shitto – oops, I mean ditto – heads.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Curate Your Ass, MSM

© Stan Spire 2009

The buzzword is “curation.” Professional media editors can save their jobs by curating, choosing and aggregating links to spots outside their corporate sites, deeming what is the best stuff on the Web.

Here we go. The mainstream media is so desperate to maintain its middleman position that it wants you to depend upon it as an arbitrator of what is worthy and unworthy. Look how it jumped on the blog bandwagon, hoping to cash in. MSM has confused form with function. Just because professional news organizations shovel the same old crap into a blog format doesn’t automatically mean that it’s better.

This curation garbage is another way to reinstate the gatekeepers. As Steve Rosenbaum explains in his post, “Can ‘Curation’ Save Media?” (link below), a “trusted content curator” will select “contextually relevant material” that is “brand safe” for advertisers. Of course, it’s all about the $, nothing else. Rosenbaum observes “curation shifts the balance of power back to brand and publications.”

If the New York Times doesn’t link to an independent blogger’s site, does that mean his work is invalid? Readers decide if his blog is shit or candy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan to be fucking “brand safe” any time soon.

Curation is another variation on the top-down vertical model. The elitists in their lofty media towers will still decide what is newsworthy. If you’re an independent voice not in line with corporate America, good luck with getting noticed.

Editors and publishers. I’ve put up with these gatekeepers too long. Now I can bypass them, go directly to an audience. I’ve never been impressed with those in power who have no creative talent, who don’t know how to write. Like I say, those who can’t do, teach, and if they can’t do that, they edit or publish.

I don’t need a hack editor to get his fingerprints on my work, “fixing it,” and then if it succeeds, he takes credit, but if it fails, it’s my fault. (At the same time, I could use a proofreader or copyeditor, someone with real skills.)

So screw the vertical top-down model. Let’s keep our horizontal peer-to-peer freedom. Don’t depend upon the MSM for linkage. You have the tools to curate on your own: bookmarks, Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.

Let the MSM dinosaurs go extinct.

* * *

Here’s what I “curated:”

Editors as Curators: What’s Taking So Long?
By Mark Potts

Can ‘Curation’ Save Media? By Steven Rosenbaum

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mutts Unplugged

© Stan Spire 2009

The Plattsburgh Daily (news)Paper (PDP) dropped “For Better Or Worse” –- a somewhat entertaining comic strip –- and replaced it with “Mutts” – an anti-entertaining one by Patrick McDonnell.

Complaints have blazed in to the PDP. Most readers want “For Better Or Worse” reinstated; they think “Mutts” is unfunny.

“Unfunny” doesn’t even begin to describe this alleged “comic” strip. I’ve haven’t seen anything so braindead since “Nancy” by Ernie Bushmiller.

I’ve taken a couple of “Mutts” strips –- March 2nd and 3rd – and with some image-editing wizardry have made them halfway funny. I only needed two panels, not three. If you think my unplugged versions are sub-juvenile, then go here [ ] and compare with the originals. If you don’t think my versions are more entertaining, then you’re braindead.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Twitterized News

© Stan Spire 2009

Over at there’s an April Fools post about the Guardian newspaper in the UK converting its entire operation to the Twitter format, 140 character maximum per post.

Actually I think Paul Gillin has hit on something. After all how many politicians try to oversimplify a problem with a clever soundbite for TeeVee and radio? Most readers and viewers only scan headlines anyway; they’re too busy with their day-to-day struggles to delve deep into issues.

Don’t forget how Dubya handled news when he was president. When he was asked what newspapers he read, he replied his staff filtered the information for him: he didn’t need to read any papers.

Of course this meant completely unbiased info got to Dubya. He probably could barely handle 140-character-limited bits like “We can win in Iraq with less troops; they’ll greet us as liberators” or “Don’t worry; there’s only a few dead-enders left; send in more troops.”

For someone with limited vision like Dubya and his followers, maybe Twitterized news would expand their sphincter-view of the world, waking them up. “Civil war has broken out in Iraq after we invaded. We destabilized the region. Military action won’t work.”

Then again, maybe for such news to have an impact it would have to be scrawled with big, bright crayon colors.

Rush Limbaugh’s Life Story

© Stan Spire

Today on his radio program Rush Limbaugh took a phone call from a college student –- a young Conservative –- who said that there was a lot of hatred being expressed on campus towards Conservatives.

This was the impetus for Rush to talk about his days as a “kid,” how he tried college for a year but dropped out after he was forced to take ballroom dancing as a PE requirement. Unlike those dirty hippie protesters with their tie-dye shirts, Rush wanted to be part of the Establishment but he had to achieve that in his own individual, rebellious way.

His story was so moving and riveting.

I farted and hit the shower.