Friday, February 20, 2009
Posted by Mike Riley at 3:17 AM
Monday, February 16, 2009
No, nobody's perfect. And yet, I feel very self-critical when it comes to what I consider my flaws. Take my lack of pity for people who do things that are just obviously stupid. Understand, I'm not talking about the honest mistakes that every human makes. Nor am I intolerant of people who err due to lack of knowledge. No, my full-bore scorn is reserved for people who should know better, but choose to ignore Reality looking in at them, and pretend the world is a different place than it really is.
and now an educational series on public television] about the chimpanzee Curious George, and his guardian, the appropriately named Man In The Yellow Hat. Anyone who's read or watched more than a story or two in the series can predict what's going to happen in each episode; George gets separated from the Man, and has an adventure that usually ends with him trashing a store, house, cake, or party, just in time for the Man to come up from wherever he'd been and say something like, "Oh, Heavens, isn't George a curious little monkey?" I mean, come on! First of all, if this were Reality [with a capital R], the owner of whatever George had destroyed would be screaming [justly, I'd have to say] for compensation from the Yellow-Hatted Man. Then again, I could see Yellow [you don't mind if I shorten his name up a bit, do you?] saying, "Hey, he's a monkey! Why did you let him into your store? Waddya think he'd do, polish your counters? He's a fu__in' monkey!" (I'm trying to figure out which of the TV "judges" would get the arbitration case, and what would be the result. I think George and the Man win from most of them, by the bye)
Posted by Mike Riley at 11:28 PM
Friday, February 13, 2009
In the interest of full disclosure; one of my uncles was, for many years, employed by the U S Post Office, the government-run mail-delivery service superseded in recent years by, among other things, the U S Postal Service, private delivery services, cheaper phone rates, the Internet, ...well, you get the idea. The point is, the Postal Service has fallen on hard times [I imagine a similar crisis ran through the whale-oil industry, once electricity became commonplace in American homes]. Still, I can't come up with a sane explanation for the story I'm about to tell [a true one, by all accounts. You can't make this stuff up, and frankly, given the state of Earth just now, why bother?]
Yes, I know the Postal Service is scrambling for every buck it can find. But when common sense gets thrown down the mail chute, into the bottom of the mail sack, you kind of wonder what the point of saving a small amount comes down to. No wonder these people "go postal"! (By the way, does that kind of thing happen in other countries? I can think of a few examples of it happening here, but not elsewhere. If anyone knows of a "postal employee going postal" story from outside the US, please let us known in the "Comments" section) I'd like to think that my uncle, who worked his way up the ladder from mail sorter to postal inspector, wouldn't get himself involved in such a mess...
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
I don't know why [probably something to do with having done this for too many years], but lately, when I'm at work, I find myself with too much time on my hands. Thank the gods for the Internet! It's a marvelous source for free [well, cheap] information, entertainment, and games, games, games [a briefly-considered title for the Motley Crue anthem "Girls Girls Girls!"]!
Posted by Mike Riley at 3:19 AM
Friday, February 6, 2009
The reason this whole thing caught my eye was the announcement, earlier this week, that CBS-TV in the United States will present a "reality" series, based on the idea of arranged marriages being set up in America, where such weddings have become rare(Now understand; while I don't believe in the arranged marriage system, I'm not really critical of it, either. After all, any nation whose divorce rate has reached 50 % has no business criticising anybody else's way of doing things. And, it should be noted, under such a plan, the in-laws are likely to meet at least once before the Big Day].
Now, you'd think CBS would know better: after all, this is the network that aired the notorious Kid Nation series a couple of seasons back [of course, no one seems to have gotten that message; Britain's Channel 4 is currently broadcasting a series based on the same premise. Its chief innovation is that, unlike Kid Nation, the suddenly-emancipated children have the advantage of modern conveniences. Wii...]. Of course, in the arranged marriage series, all of the participants are probably over the age of 18; if adults want to put the control of who becomes their life partners in the hands of friends and family, that's their business. It's likely the show's producers have the "players" under some sort of contract, so that they can make a follow-up series in a year or two, noting how many couples are still together [anybody want early odds on how many are?]. And, unlike the FOX series, these couples have to get married [if a couple divorces, does the show cover their legal costs?].
In conclusion: In any battle between reality and "reality TV", put your money on reality. It's almost always unpredictable, and usually more entertaining.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to get the paper...