Media


Just one card to comment on, and a bit of a rant on Frank.

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I like this secret. Though I don’t particularly think it should be a secret. But whatever.

It’s interesting to people-watch. And this card reminded me of my trip to Alcatraz. The island is mostly a wonder-around experience, notwithstanding the tour by The Old Lady. In the prison building there are optional audio tours that you can get. They’re free and are essentially an MP3 player that “walks” you through the prison. The peculiar thing about them is how people look when they’re using them. Imagine a group of 20 tourists, staring at some prison cell. They’re all quiet. Suddenly, they all turn, as one, and keep walking. Just as suddenly, they all stop and stare at something new. I felt like I was walking through some zombie-infested version of Alcatraz. (I chose not to partake in the audio tour, so I was the only one with “free will”, as it were.)

Now, a bit about Frank, the creator and maintainer for PostSecret. A journalist I know had the misfortune to interview Frank. I say that because, apparently, Frank is a complete bore and has nothing of interest to say. Seeing what he does every week on the site, I can’t say I’m surprised. Aside from taking other people’s secrets, putting them online and making money off the book deals, he doesn’t do anything interesting. The blog looks fairly plain and boring, Frank goes out of his way to only show a week’s worth of secrets (probably to guarantee book sales?), and now he’s following the popular fads of advertising his site on the social networking sites. First there was Facebook, then MySpace, and now Frank is advertising on Twitter. Wow, real original there Frank.

Though my “favorite” move of this ass-turd is his JK Rowling copycat maneuver. Here is the relevant text taken from the blog:

The Secret of Room 412

This week I went to NYC with the never-before-seen secrets for the new book. I checked into the Omni Hotel and went to work laying out pages for PostSecret Confessions on Life, Death and God.

Deep into the night, I arranged postcards I had been setting aside for more than two years.

The next afternoon I walked to HarperCollins with the finalized book, and some memorable dreams from that morning. But before I left my room, I wrote a special postcard and left it behind in the desk drawer.

“PostSecret Confessions on Life Death and God was assembled here in Room 412 on May 19th, 2009.”

If you ever stay in this hotel room, you may find that the postcard I left behind is gone. But look up under the desk drawer for a special secret, and pay attention to your dreams that night.

A few songs from ‘House’. I picked songs that I like, and of those, ones with better sound quality, even if it meant a “video” consisting of a still image. Enjoy.

 

Solomon Burke  – None Of Us Are Free

 

Gomez – Get Miles

 

Al Green – Love and Happiness

 

Josh Ritter – Good Man

 

Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah

This video can’t be embedded, so here’s a link to it.

I had to go shopping on Monday, due to being out of the country for 2.5 weeks as well as being sick. So I picked up a fair amount of groceries and some generic DayQuil (same chemicals as in DayQuil, so why pay the premium?). For the medicine, the check-out clerk asked to see my ID. She wasn’t recording it or anything, just verifying that I’m over 18. That seemed strange, so I asked why it’s necessary.

I like to mess with the clerks when they ask for my ID, mainly because of the way they ask: “May I see your ID?” “No, you may not. So, what now?” “Umm…” I also ask for their reasoning, as it seems sometimes there’s no good reason for asking for an ID. Same thing in this case.

So, she answers that there are ingredients in the medicine that can be used to make meth. Well, I knew that, which is the reason I was surprised that they’re only checking that I’m 18, not writing down my ID number to make sure I don’t buy 1200 cases of cold medicine a month. My reply is “So you want to make sure that no one under 18 makes meth from this?” To my dismay, the clerk was finished bagging my groceries and could now move on to the less-obnoxious customers. Sigh.

I really don’t expect a lot from clerks nowadays. I’m used to the fact that the tweens at Best Buy know less about the high-tech gadget than the parents of the teenager they are selling it to. I don’t mind that after a week or two of researching a DSLR camera, I know more about them than the guy at Circuit City. It’s obvious that the chains are (were?) sprouting up too quickly to care about who they hire: if you have a pulse and can direct the customer to the check-out line, you’re hired. But it would be nice if they people working at said check-out lines actually had an inkling into what they are doing.

Last time I was asked for my ID, when not buying alcohol, it was because I was buying “Dead or Alive 4” at Best Buy. As usual, I asked what the purpose of this particular check was. Seems Best Buy is getting on the wagon of requiring ID’s of customers who purchase M-rated games. Good for them. We don’t need any more under-cover “investigators” for the local nightly-news station claiming that any 14-year old can purchase a GTA or an FPS title.

What do you call a thing that’s the opposite of the “Sign of the Apocalypse”?

Facebook ‘sees decline in users’

Social networking site Facebook has seen its first drop in UK users in January, new industry data indicates.

Users fell 5% to 8.5 million in January from 8.9 million in December, according to data from Nielsen Online.

This was the first drop in user numbers since July 2006 when Nielsen began compiling data on the site.

Nic Howell, deputy editor of industry magazine New Media Age, said the site was no longer as popular among its core audience of young people.

I’m cynical and not at all positive about humanity’s future (surprise!), but this is one of those rare news items that makes me take pause and reflect. Oh, I still think we’re going to bomb ourselves into the stone age fairly soon, now I’m thinking that it possibly could maybe be a bad thing. Perhaps.

Heard on the radio this morning:

America spent 17 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day yesterday. Which pales in comparison to what the guys who forgot about it are going to end up spending.

A Jumper video game? Oh, man. Now I will know how those Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Golden Compass, etc. fans feel when their beloved story is sucked dry by the entertainment industry to create a crappy game.

Here’s the Kotaku story and trailer that made me weep.

That video looks horrible! I don’t think I’ve seen worse game graphics in quite a long time. And it’s one thing that the movie take a different direction that the book, I’ve come to accept that already, but the game seems to be really taking things too far. In the trailer, the teleporter kills people in a variety of ways that just weren’t in the original novels: one guy is dropped into a shark tank, another character is left at the mercy of a polar bear, and, this is a bit odd, that same character seems to be left in the shockwave of an atomic blast. Huh?

Anyway. While I don’t think I’ll be buying this game, I’ll probably try to rent it from Blockbuster, just to see what those bastards are doing with the story.

Reading an article on Will Smith, after hearing on “The Colbert Report” that Will Smith is a Scientologist, I found out about a bit of a misunderstanding that came about after his comments on Hitler. Specifically, this is what was said:

Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘let me do the most evil thing I can do today’… I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good’. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming.

For that little comment, the Jewish Defense League jumped on Smith, labeling it “ignorant, detestable and offensive”. They also tried to boycott “I Am Legend” and attempted to force Hollywood to black-list Smith. A bit of an overreaction, wouldn’t you say?

Do I agree with Will Smith about Hitler? Absolutely. Very few people think themselves as evil. Most of us consider our actions to be “good” and “right”, even when doing something that the rest of society might condemn. Hitler tried to exterminate Jews because he thought it was the right thing to do. 19 Middle Eastern men decided to pilot planes into buildings because they thought it was the right thing to do. Priests accused of sexually abusing children were relocated by bishops of the Roman Catholic church because the bishops thought it was the right thing to do. These people didn’t do something with the knowledge that what they were doing was wrong. Hell, even if they thought it was wrong, there still must have been a compelling enough reason for them to go through with the act, meaning that they still thought that the act was something that ought be done.

The JDL dropped it boycotting calls and the Anti-Defamation League accepted Smith’s apology after he took steps to “unequivocally condemn Hitler as an evil person”. Oh boy.

Is it better to pretend that the world is split up into “good” and “evil” people, or to acknowledge that people are (mostly) products of their environment? If you take the former stand, there’s really no hope for a rather large segment of society: death is the only solution. Personally, I think that people are the sum of their experiences: “good” and “evil” are labels that describe more a person’s past than the person. Who knows, maybe Hitler was picked on in school by a Jewish bully?

Is it wrong to give people the benefit of the doubt? Is it “ignorant” to think that no one is a lost cause? Seems to me, the only ignorant action is to accept something as fact without even once thinking the matter over. To “unequivocally condemn Hitler as an evil person”.

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