Monday, August 23, 2010

Advice: Conform! You Must Be Assimilated!

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

Check out this drivel for returning round pegs at the square hole factory:

This year's advice for journalism students  By Robert Niles

Play the game, college student.  Get good grades, asskiss your instructors, and find yourself overqualified in a flooded job market.   Especially a market like journalism.

I really like Tip #5 by Niles:

"Conduct yourself as a journalist, at all times. Anytime you post online, you publish. Anything you say or do that might be posted by someone else reflects upon that brand that you'll be working so hard to build. Don't undercut your hard work with moments of Facebook foolishness."

Don't be human.  Just be a synthetic life form, a robot, for the system.

If you want to play the game, use a pseudonym and create an online persona.  If you're found out, then just say it was only an online character you created, a work of fiction.   Always have a dodge or alibi.  That will get you through life better than any J-school bullshit.

Stupid TeeVee Online Survey

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

Brought to you by those idiots at WPTZ/Channel 5.

So how many clueless WPTZ viewers checked the "I don't know" box?

Online Newspaper Survey

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

"Should City Councilors send the police chief and three others to a weeklong training conference in Florida using money that was confiscated from drug dealers?"

No. Why can't they just stay home and get drunk or do drugs like the rest of us who can't afford a vacation?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Get Your Own Buzz

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

I've got a few questions for Jeff Jarvis, CUNY J prof and media consultant.

Over at his blog,, Jarvis holds forth on different issues pertaining to mainstream and newstream media.

In his post, "The price of privacy," Jarvis talks about a book he's working on, raising certain issues. Towards the end of his essay he writes:

"I’m exploring these ideas for my book so please help me tease them out. What are the implications of abundant publicness and scarce privacy?"

Crowdsourcing your book, Jeff? You got a book deal with HarperCollins so that means a bit of profit in your pocket. Nothing wrong with that but why should I help you write a book unless I get a cut of the action? I thought there were plenty of college students around to exploit. (I'm aware of this from being an exploited student when I was in college.)

Why don't you write a post for me at this crappy blog for free?

If you're so gung-ho on new media, why not release your book as a free e-book? I'm assuming you're making a decent income from your teaching and media consultant gigs.

That's what the newstream has to offer: bypassing the gatekeepers and making your work widely available. Screw HarperCollins.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Random Shots -- Sat. 8/7/10

>> Screw Twitter. 140 character limit? I can microblog here without counting every little letter. No time for constipated expression.

>> News item: Disgraced NENYland ex-pol / "alleged" pedophile is ratting out other child molesters. Good, but he's only doing it to shave off time from his prison stretch. He presented himself to the public as a conservative but actually he was a con-servative. An expert on TeeVee called this ex-pol a "psychopath." Psychopaths are manipulators, deceivers. So he's playing the system again.

>> Some people ride the public bus to talk with the driver. Usually sitting in the front seat, they stay on and go in circles for a few trips. Cheaper than a shrink. No appointment necessary.

>> Bad rainstorms: buildings flood, manhole covers pop up, sewer lines break in the city. Hey, Plattsburgh, instead of wasting money on boondoggles like the never-built hotel by the sometimes stinking shit-processing plant down by the lake, how about fixing your freaking infrastructure? Or do the streets have to cave in before you wise up?

>> Place your bets. Which war will the hubristric American Empire lose first: Afghaninam or Iraqinam?

>> So why hasn't Walt Disney approached me about my Nutts comic strip? It would be great for the kids.

>> Cuntry music. Therapy for mentally ill rednecks.

Typical lyrics:

"All our fears

"And all our tears

"Somebody stole

"Our tractor's gears."

(I know, the term "mentally ill redneck" is a pleonasm.)

>> Ever hear of a local commentator named Rick Smith? No? Good.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nutts: Political Debate

Joe Bruno Visits Plattsburgh; Not Even A Rumble Of Thunder

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

Justice for Joe Bruno

Former state Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno was in town the other day for a special dedication at a local Catholic church. Fortunately he wasn't struck by lightning.

The poor innocent man. What would his critics say if he had been struck by a bolt from above? Joe's friends would claim that once again he was a good man being persecuted only for the appearance of impropriety.

In case you don't follow the news, let me quote from an Albany Times Union newspaper article by Senior Writer Brendan J. Lyons, dated May 7, 2010:

"Bruno was charged with enriching himself through consulting deals with people who had an interest in his legislative decision-making. The government said he failed to disclose material conflicts of interest as required. Bruno also must pay $280,000 in restitution to the state of New York, the amount of money he gained in the two felony counts on which he was convicted."

If you go to the web site that defends poor Joe (click on the above icon) it sounds like the feds were leaning on a guy just doing his job.

Joe was sentenced to two years but he's still walking around, free of prison walls. There's a legal challenge to the law that was used to persecute -- I mean prosecute -- him, the honest services statute. There are three cases to be decided by the US Supreme Court that challenge the 20-year-old federal statute.

So until the cases work their way through the system Joe can breath air as a free man and grace Plattsburgh, NY with his presence.

According to the Times Union article, the federal judge got upset with Joe at the sentencing, admonishing him "for failing to apologize for, or even acknowledge, his crimes" even though a jury of peers found him guilty.

That poor man, Joe Bruno. Some people act like Albany politicians are a bunch of self-serving crooks.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Nutts: Tight Squeeze

Stuck On The Public Bus

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

Radio announcer: "More fresh country coming your way!"

More fresh manure...

Radio, singer: "Lover, you don't treat me no good no more."

Double negative, Descartes. Country music: therapy for the semi-literate mentally ill.

Female Passenger: "I heard on Oprah's TV show that a man's penis only has to be three inches long to satisfy a women."

And with your looks, any penis will have to do.

Male Passenger, repeated for the nth time: "Who wants a beer? I need a beer."

I need to kick the Genny suds out of you, that's what I need.

Another passenger: "Uh-uh-uh-huh-uh-nuh-nuh-uh..."

Can't these mutants speak English?

Nutts: The New Neighbor

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keeping The Kids To Home

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

There was an article in the Plattsburgh Dinosaur Dispatch about efforts to make the Adirondack region a better place for young college graduates to live and work. Too many young people were moving away.

One answer was to get broadband so that more young professionals could work from home with their computers.

Yeah, right. Between local, state and federal government, you'll be lucky to see broadband in these god-forsaken sticks by 3010. Other countries have better broadband penetration -- but then again, other countries have national health care.

But there are plenty of jobs for young people in the region. Like selling drugs, taking advantage of the Montreal - New York City pipeline. Of course, those jobs can be cut short by arrests. But arrests mean more jobs for other young people. After all, jail and prison guards have to watch over the imprisoned felons. And don't forget police officers and lawyers who play important roles in the process.

There are plenty of great jobs around here for young professionals. Why screw up the natural employment ecosystem by getting broadband?

Answer Me This, Tea Bagger

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

What politician/businessman doesn't benefit from working both sides of the street?

After the Plattsburgh Air Force Base closed, Mark Barrie headed up PARC, the Plattsburgh Airbase Redevelopment Corporation, to transform the base property from military activity to private sector business. I don't think it was unpaid volunteer work he did. Barrie is the president of his own company, Crossborder Development Corp. Those contacts he made while he was the head of PARC must have helped him. Please note that a Barrie relative by marriage has a good county job.

Barrie is also the head of UNYTEA, the local Tea Party. Now think about this, Mr. or Mrs. Tea Bagger. Why is someone who has benefited from big government largesse heading up your organization that is so against big government largesse?

You Tea Baggers are dupes, worse than those so-called commie dupes of the Red Scare era of the 1950s-1960s. You're being manipulated by people who want to keep you in your place, getting you worked up that some politicians are ripping you off. But those politicians claiming to be your friends are also ripping you off, keeping you distracted by bullshit.

Wake up, you dumb dupes! It's not big government that's the problem -- it's big BSers! From any and all political persuasions.

Don't blindly rally around one party, one leader. Sort out the candy from the crap.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Police Blot: March 12, 2010

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

(Not to be confused with a similarly-named feature in some newspapers called Police Blotter. I add my POV to the details of the arrest.)

A Plattsburgh man has been arrested for selling drugs. It's alleged he has made drug sales from his residence in front of his two-year-old daughter.

So maybe he thought it was "Take Your Daughter To Work" week.

VD Schadenfreude

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

OK, better late than never. Anyway, commenting on holiday bullshit is timeless.

Almost every Xmas season you'll see an article in the newspaper about avoiding holiday stress or dealing with depression while everyone is so happy.

No, this ain't about Xmas but a more recent holiday that's almost as irritating: Valentine's Day.

I came across an article in a woman's magazine about Valentine's Day and the single woman who lacks a soulmate. Now I don't normally read women's mags but sometimes I'll glance at one to see what crap is being fed to the opposite sex, trying to understand why today's modern woman might have her head screwed on but it's up her ass.

Cosmo magazine and their ilk get women all worked up with such nonsense as "abandonment issues" and other pop psychology fads. Some of the articles are fake: the writer will make up people to illustrate a point. So when the reader sees a quote from "Galadriel," a young married woman from a conservative town in Oklahoma who suffers from female sexual dysfunction, that person might exist only in the mind of the magazine's so-called "journalist."

In other articles the writer just pulls stuff out her backside to fit in with the theme and fill space.

The article I just stomached in a local woman's mag gave a list of tips for a single lonely woman to handle her companionlessness on the most romantic of holidays. One suggestion was not to ridicule VD, don't say it's a stupid holiday, expressing sour grapes. Apparently a lonely woman is supposed to embrace the happiness of couples around her and just admit that she's a loser.

Then the writer makes this statement:

"Stop assuming you are missing out. You do not know the real nature of people’s relationships. Sometimes couples end up going through the motions on Valentine’s Day."

If she just kept following that train of thought, providing a practical suggestion. Instead of feeling sad about not celebrating VD, a lonely woman could stay home and enjoy vicious fantasies about couples being trapped in desperate, loveless relationships, partners just pretending to be happy. Maybe each one has been cheating and they exchange venereal diseases. VD VD.

The German word for this is schadenfreude. A better way to get through another pain-in-the-ass holiday than following useless tips from a dumb blonde article.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Country Western "Music" On The Public Bus

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

The driver picks the music and sometimes an intelligent a rider suffers, especially when the CW is cranked up a bit too loud.

I knew I was in for rough sledding when the keywords in the song, repeated throughout, were "International Harvester" (as in tractor).

Hee haw.

Freak Out

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

The other day someone wrote in to the Plattsburgh Daily Dinosaur (news)paper saying that he was ashamed of some of the opinions that appeared in the comment-anonymously-via-email feature, Speak Out. He was afraid that such ignorant comments from readers would get out beyond the Plattsburgh area (i.e., to the world), how such comments would taint the image of the people who live here.

Inspiration. I decided to do my part in meming the astute acumen evinced by certain NENYlanders.

Here are a couple of Speak Out items. The first one belongs to the "Huh?" category.

== Speakout: Feb. 27, 2010

I cannot wait to hear the whining over the dismantling of yet another North Country meth lab. I'm sure the local druggies can reduce meth down to a level found in nature which surely must justify its existence. Bad policemen, no doughnuts for you this week. ==

So is the writer anti-druggie, anti-cop or just addled from meth?

The next one refers to a volunteer effort held each year by a local Catholic school to bring aid to the poor people of Nicaragua. This year the first flight for the Mission of Hope volunteers was canceled. Someone made this observation:

== Speakout: March 1, 2010

Maybe God is telling the Mission of Hope by canceling their flight that the Nicaraguan Communists do not need their help. ==

Hey, no doughnuts for you, John Bircher.

Ice The "Miracle"

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

The 2010 Winter O'limpdicks are over but there was one item I have to comment on.

Back during the 1980 Winter O'limpdicks, held here in NENYland in the yuppie town of Lake Placid, the US hockey team beat their Russian/Soviet Union opponents. It was an upset. But to get the maximum juice of the story it was called "The Miracle On Ice." Two stupid movies have been made about it.

The Miracle On Ice crap popped up during the last winter games. Inflating a notable victory into a colossal legend with all the bullshit that goes with it.

C'mon, what "miracle?" Talk about cheapening a word.

By "miracle," do they mean Angels of the Lord wielding fiery swords came down and slew the evil commie hockey players?

It's the same kind of "miracle" you get when you eat that second-rate imitation mayonnaise crap called "Miracle" Whip. Of course, the ersatz mayo comes in a jar and the hyped-up hockey victory is packaged in a giant crock.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


(C) 2010 Stan Spire

[Note to clueless roobs: "Stan Spire" is a character, an altered ego, that cranky ghost in your computer.]

Is it over? All that winter Olympian bullshit?

NBC TeeVee make me sick of the games before they started. It kept running promos 24/7 with that long-haired puke, Shaun White. That plastic hippie kept going on about all of the support he got from his mother. What about all the corporate $upport for shilling in ads? Mom, apple pie, and capitalism. That'll get me to tune in.

Even though I tuned out the games, I still couldn't get away from them, stories leaked through my mental barrier like shit osmosis. Like that scandal with how the Canadian women's hockey team celebrated their big win. So what if some tough women drank beer and smoked cigars? They have rights just like their heterosexual he-man counterparts.

Some of NENYland's brightest think those women hockey players eat cardboard boxes to show how tough they are. I just nod my head and say, "I think they do it for the fiber."

Apparently some clown from a NENYland jerkwater called Vermontville won a medal or something. That's nice. Have you ever been to Vermontville? If you visit there, don't forget your toothpicks and spittoon.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Insufferable Saturday

© 2010 Stan Spire

The public bus is like a combination county jail and mental hospital on wheels. You don’t rub elbows with polite high society.

Minimizing the amount of time spent riding on it is crucial to my sense of well-being. During the week the shuttle only takes 15 minutes to get me to the mall.
But on Saturday the service is down to just one bus covering two routes. The mall trip is prolonged to 45 minutes or longer. That means longer exposure to four-letter words, bad jokes, and such erudite discussions as the minimum length a man’s penis must be to satisfy a woman.

There’s the cackling crone who thinks rock and roll music is “shit kicking.” And the hirsute burn-out going on about how he needs a beer.

Don’t forget strange smells, AKA the bodily miasma of the great unwashed. Malodor that hangs in the air after the emitters have long departed.

If walking was an option, I would pick it.

God’s Bullshit

© 2010 Stan Spire

Sitting at a coffeehouse.

Your options: Read the book God’s Debris by Scott Adams or mindlessly stare out the front window.

Pick the window.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Killer Combo

© 2010 Stan Spire

Today is Super Bowl Sunday. It's become another national holiday. Everyone has to join in, gather with others and watch overpaid steroidal simpletons chase after a vagina-shaped hunk of pigskin.

Next Sunday is Valentine's Day. A holiday to make sad single people feel even more dejected.

Next year Super Bowl Sunday should be combined with Valentine's Day. That should kill off both stupid holidays, especially after the sudden rise in domestic violence and divorces.

"My husband wouldn't take me out for dinner. He wanted to stay home and watch the game while I prepared and served snacks to him and his buddies."

"I tried to get romantic with my boyfriend during the half-time show but he told me to take a cold shower. He didn't want to distracted and miss any moment of the big game. That's why I hit him in the head with the lamp."

It's all a matter of priorities, ain't it? Following the crowd's actions instead of having an independent mind.

VY Energy Drink

© 2010 Stan Spire

Made in Vermont! VY Energy Drink! Right from the test wells during a spike in readings. Contains that miracle ingredient, Tritium. Glug a can and feel atomic power!

* * *

With all these experts on TeeVee who say tritium isn't that bad, I would like one of them to drink some of the test water from the Vermont Yankee nuke power plant and then see what happens in a few years.

Pulitzer Prizes Lost

© 2010 Stan Spire

Over at Alan Mutter writes:

"Endless newspaper layoffs have cost readers 'tens of thousands of years of community knowledge,' says media sage Ken Doctor in an important new book.

"As if the loss of community wisdom and lore were not bad enough, it is unclear where local news will come from in the future, warns Doctor in 'Newsonomics'...”

Really. So an old fart reporter is replaced by a young kid who works for cheap and all that local knowledge is completely gone, flushed right down the memory hole? What about local experts like reference librarians and historians? Even a podunk like Plattsburgh has a few books about the history of the area that could get a neophyte up to speed.

Centuries of community knowledge lost forever? How did Doctor calculate that one? Numbers and statistics can be tricky. Let's say a small company boasts that its staff has "over 50 years of knowledge." One old timer has worked there for 49 years and two kids have been there for a year each, part-time. It adds up to over 50 years of knowledge even though two-thirds of the staff are inexperienced.

Statements can be misleading. I'm an international traveler. Does that mean I've been on a commercial airline, that I've visited Europe? No, I've never left North America. I've been to Canada a few times by car, never by plane. Montreal is only 60 miles away. I don't think I'm much of a world traveler with that background.

So let me come up with my own stupid statement about journalistic loss.

If the market for journalists wasn't so competitive, I could've landed a job at a big newspaper and ended up writing an article that won a Pulitzer Prize. There has to be at least a million other people like me who could've won a Pulitzer in the same situation.

Due to the tight job market, there has been at least a million Pulitzers for journalism never awarded!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


© 2010 Stan Spire

Your choice: a Republican or a Democrat: the evil of two lessers. (The Democrats are less evil.)

Article in the (news)paper referring to that Democratic debacle in Massachusetts over the US Senate seat race. After Ted Kennedy died, the legendary liberal Dem icon, it would seem that a Democrat would easily win that seat. Wrong. The Dems got overconfident, didn't campaign hard enough, and lost, those jerks. Republicans don't get elected as much as Democrats lose the election.

The headline to the article:

"After Mass. defeat, Dems focus on jobs"

Sure -- they're focusing on their jobs, how to stay in office.

As for the average American, screw your job, if you still have one.

Another True Fact

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

When I wrote my "Aren't Facts True?" post about the Vermont Yankee nuke power plant, I inferred the corporation that owns the facility, Entergy, was a bunch of liars.

At that time -- and I haven't seen it on lately -- Entergy was a running TeeVee ad with a PR bimbo going on how she wanted people to know about the "true facts" about Vermont Yankee. I'm always suspicious when someone has use "true" as an adjective for "fact."

The other day VY revealed that it made a "misstatement" regarding the existence of underground pipes circulating radioactive liquid. Originally it denied such pipes existed. But -- oops -- now they admit such pipes do exist.

In the past traces of tritium have shown up in water samples taken from groundwater outside the plant but Entergy said no underground pipes were causing the problem because such pipes didn't exist.

But Entergy wasn't lying -- it was only "misstating."

Vermont Guv Jim Doug-ass -- a Republican corporate shill -- looked upset and stunned on the TeeVee evening news regarding the underground pipe revelation. But despite the "misstatement," he still supports renewing the operating license of the aging nuke deathtrap.

Anyway, here's a fact for you, a true one.

At the EPA website it is stated:

"As with all ionizing radiation, exposure to tritium increases the risk of developing cancer. However, because it emits very low energy radiation and leaves the body relatively quickly, for a given amount of activity ingested, tritium is one of the least dangerous radionuclides. Since tritium is almost always found as water, it goes directly into soft tissues and organs. The associated dose to these tissues are generally uniform and dependent on the tissues' water content."

OK, tritium is less dangerous among cancer-causing agents, but is it still good for babies and other growing things?


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Aren't Facts True?

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

The TeeVee ad blares:

"Act now and receive a free gift."

Funny. I always thought gifts were free. I mean, if someone gives me a gift, I don't have to pay for it. If the giver tried to charge me a fee, I would kick their ass.

I'm always suspicious of the redundant adjective. If they tell you that a gift is free, then something else in the deal ain't.

Controversy on the other side of the lake in the Green Mountain State. Entergy, the corporation that now owns the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant, has been running slick TeeVee ads. Vermont Yankee wants to yank the taxpayers by letting it keep operating the plant twenty years beyond its present license. Problems: part of a cooling tower collapsed back in 2007 and nuke waste keeps piling up with nowhere to permanently store it.

But don't let those details stop a VY spokesgal, a young professional cutie, to go on in TeeVee ads about how she wants people to know the truth, the facts, about her company. If if someone doesn't agree with her, she still wants them to know "the true facts."

If the old VY nukie gets a license extension, I have a question:

Three Mile Island or Chernobyl?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wordplay Scam: Democracy

(C) 2010 Stan Spire

Here we go again. Another article saying we need mainstream journalism to keep our democracy alive.

Posted at the Nieman Journalism Lab site on Jan. 6 with a pompous title -- "Eric Newton: Shame on us if we don’t take the steps needed to feed knowledge to our democracy" -- it goes on about how universities can help by teaching "news literacy." That provoked me to leave this comment:

= = =

News literacy? How about citizenship literacy?

"Shame on us if we don’t take the steps needed to feed knowledge to our democracy"

Our democracy? What country do you live in? Pay attention the next time you recite the Pledge of Allegiance. We live in a republic. If we really lived in a democracy, Al Gore would've been elected president back in 2000 (popular vote).

I find it amusing how mainstream journalists go on that we need newspapers to protect "democracy."

= = =

There are many reasons why newspapers are dying out. The main one: They suck. They keep repeating lies about "our democracy," giving the average American roob the illusion he has some sort of real say in what his leaders do through voting or writing a letter to the editor.

The Founding Fathers were concerned about democracy because it could lead to "mob rule." Instead, we have this republic run in part by Mob rule -- organized crime.

= = =

Here's the link to the Nieman J Lab,, article I was yakking about. Copy and paste it; I don't have time to screw around with HTML link crap.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


(C) 2010 Stan Spire

No sunshine in NENYland lately. Just a series of gray snowy days. Limbo.

This blog is in limbo. Low hits on the counter. No one reads it. The lemmings must be all over at Facebook, writing pithy bits of nothing and exchanging cute little digital gifts.

So maybe I should change my writing style. Be really funny, not so negative. Yeah. Fat fucking chance. If I want to write to an audience, I might as well work at a newspaper. Or try the mainstream publishing route again, sending out short stories and novels to win the approval of a no-talent editor, a gatekeeper with all his taste in his mouth and all his brains in his ass.

I write for myself. (Just don't repeat statement to your creative writing teacher in college. That concept will blow his mind, man, inducing a tumor in his ass.)

So I'm going to treat this blog as my "private" journal. If anyone else reads it, fine. At least it might end up as a message in a bottle from one man treading water in the first half of the 21st century.