Thursday, July 31, 2014

HOMOPHOBES GONE WILD! (Utah edition...)

A typical list of homophones... or "gay words", as they're known in Utah...                    

            This is one of those stories you have trouble telling with a straight face (pardon the phrase), because it's just too ridiculous to be true.  But apparently, this is legit...

            An English instructor at Utah's largest English as a Second Language school has been fired after writing a blog piece concerning the grammatical headache of "homophones" in the English language.  Homophones, for those who might not know, are words that sound the same, but have different spellings and meanings.  You "would" be expected to know "wood" is a product made from a living thing, for example.

            Instructor Tim Turkildson was terminated by his boss Clarke Woodger, who is also the owner of Nomen Global Language Center, because the blog piece would make people believe "our school is going to be associated with homosexuality."  Woodger later admitted he had to look up "homophone" in a dictionary, but sticks by his decision to fire Turkildson.

            This is beyond belief.

            Maybe the owner of the school should sign up for a few classes, himself.

            Heavy sigh.

            I hope Tennessee's state Senator Stacey Campfield doesn't hear about this, because he'll propose a bill to forbid the teaching of homophones in Tennessee's classrooms.  

            Can't be too careful, you know?


              I didn't climb out of bed this morning with the intention of writing a piece comparing the fickle nature of popular music to the relative stability of political hackery, but that's pretty much where we're headed with this one.  

             Have you ever noticed how a musical artist or group can go from the top of the charts to the discount rack almost overnight?  There are dozens of examples, and you've probably got some of them hidden away in whatever crypt you use for music that has definitely passed its "sell by" date.  One day everyone's listening to a certain band and their music is on every radio station and DJ's playlist.  The next day, no one will admit to having enjoyed a second of their work... It's as if that artist or band's music has contracted Ebola, and you don't want the rest of your collection to become infected.

             Back in the 90's, most everyone listened to Kenny G and Michael Bolton.  Bet you don't have those CDs up front and center in your collections today.  There's a Canadian band called Nickelback that outsold every other foreign band (except the Beatles) in American markets during the first ten years of this century.  Billboard Magazine listed them as "Band of the Decade".  A couple of years later, Nickelback landed in second place in a Rolling Stone readers' poll as "Worst Band of the Decade."  Remember Hootie and the Blowfish?  Darius Rucker and his band mates were on top of the charts with song after song... and then, suddenly, they were saddled with the internet meme of "Worst Band in America"!  Their music hadn't changed any more than Nickelback's... yet, inexplicably, they were pop music pariahs.

             I curious... Why doesn't this odd phenomena happen to politicians and pundits?

             Occasionally a politician will be embroiled in a scandal so tawdry or ridiculous that he or she falls from public grace.  Former South Carolina Governor Mark Stanford springs to mind... he of the "hiking the Appalachian Trail" fame.  Turns out, even geographically impaired Americans knew the Appalachian Trail didn't extend all the way to South America.  Others, like Anthony Weiner, Elliot Spitzer, or Larry (wide stance) Craig self-destruct and fade from view.  But for the most part, politicians don't run afoul of public popularity to the extent a musical artist might.

             How does one explain the continued popularity of such abrasive individuals as Rush Limbaugh, Al Sharpton, Sarah Palin, or Ann Coulter?  If they were making music, we would have laughed them off the public stage years ago.  They'd be hawking "Greatest Hits" albums on late night infomercials.

             It happens occasionally, I know, but the public rarely turns on politicians or pundits with the vigor and venom they seem to reserve only for musical artists.  A few years ago, CNN had a popular political talk show called "Crossfire", which featured conservative and liberal commentators "debating" the day's most pressing issues.  One evening they invited comedian and political satirist Jon Stewart to appear on their show, and a few months later their show was cancelled.  Stewart blistered them in a classic on-air critique of their program's contribution to the destruction of political discourse in America, and the resultant firestorm doomed their show.  Tucker Carlson was so crushed he had to rebrand himself sans his trademark bow tie!  

             So why doesn't public revulsion at the antics of certain pols bring a similar backlash of negativity?  How do people like Limbaugh or Coulter survive, despite such huge negative reactions over so vast a percentage of the population?  How can a dimwitted beauty pageant Barbie end up within reach of the White House?  How can the same dipshit woman have people signing up to watch her "all Sarah Palin all the time" internet network channel, and paying for the privilege? 

            Why can't we Nickelback Sarah Palin?


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

OLD ROCK STARS (and the revised lyrics they SHOULD be singing...)

           This guy's got a couple of the old timers dead to rights!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

AN ODE TO THE ADVERTISING MAN (here's one for the corporate whores who manufacture and market cigarettes...)

              I'm going to go ahead and dedicate this one to our buddy Mooner and his family.  Those of us who have lost loved ones to smoking related illnesses ought to be torching these peoples' homes and businesses.

Monday, July 28, 2014

BLUNDER WOMAN STARTS HER OWN CHANNEL (and for only $9.99 per month you too can listen to Sarah Palin's nasal Fargo impression!)

            When I first saw the "news" that Sarah Palin was going to launch her own computer-based entertainment channel I was quite certain I was reading from one of those "Onion"-type satirical news sites.  But... believe it or not... this seems to be a real thing.

            The former half-term governor of Alaska, she of the Magical Mystery Bus Tour across Amurca, even has a promo video to tout the wonderfulness of her new Sarah Palin Channel, and if you've got the stomach for two solid minutes of Palinese, you can see it here for yourselves.  Put down your coffee first, though, because I'm not responsible for anything you spew on your computer monitors.

            That's right, folks (Right, with a capital R), the woman who just can't get enough attention spouting her idiocy as a Faux News "contributor", or from killing animals on her hokey dokey "reality" shows, has launched her very own Glenn Beck-ish network.  And for only 96 cents a month more than you would have to pay for Netflix, you can have 24/7 Sarah Palin-related entertainment.

            Think about that for a minute, if you can.  Let's call it a thought experiment and play along together.  A 24 hour a day network devoted solely to the Pander Express Lady herself.  All Sarah, all the time.  If Jack Bauer tied a suspected terrorist to a chair and forced him to watch this shit 'round the clock for the entirety of the series "24", even folks who support using torture tactics to obtain information would cry "Enough!  Dear God, turn off that fucking noise!"

            There's no confirmation of what happens to a customer's $99.95 yearly subscription if the star of the show bails on this new venture halfway through the season, but I'm of the opinion that they're better off without the money.  I remember something about "A fool and his money...", and really, can you think of anything more apt for that adage than someone ponying up for a yearlong subscription to watch this shit???

            Seriously, it was all I could do just to let that two minute promo video play through 'til the end.  There's something about her voice that makes me impulsively dive for the mute button...

            All Sarah, all the time.  What a concept.