Saturday, December 06, 2008

Cremains BLog

Globe and Mail…
… informs me that the Jane Austen’s House Museum has had to crack down on visitors who deposit human ashes there.

In an open letter to the Jane Austen Society, collections manager Louise West wrote: “'It is distressing for visitors to see mounds of human ash, particularly so for our gardener. Also, it is of no benefit to the garden!”

An online commenter from New Zealand posted, regarding this story, “The ashes of the recently deceased contains high amounts of nutrient rich phosphates, just perfect for sprucing up that garden, I can understand the curators resistance to these ashes, but please come up with a valid excuse.”

To which Horrid Bride said, “Yes!” Her little fist in air. Et cetera.

It’s kind of bizarre, however, that a museum would attract this kind of behavior. Whatever happened to scattering ashes on windswept vistas? Surreptitious dumping of ashes at museums seems kind of, well, not to put too fine a point on it – creepy.

What scamps they are!
New Yorker, A Reporter at Large, “Anatomy of a Meltdown, Ben Bernanke and the Financial Crisis,” John Cassidy

One of his first tasks was to deliver a monthly economics briefing to the President and the Vice-President. After he and Hubbard sat down in the Oval Office, President Bush noticed that Bernanke was wearing light-tan socks under his dark suit. “Where did you get those socks, Ben?” he asked. “They don’t match.” Bernanke didn’t falter. “I bought them at the Gap—three pairs for seven dollars,” he replied. During the briefing, which lasted about forty-five minutes, the President mentioned the socks several times.

The following month, Hubbard’s deputy, Keith Hennessey, suggested that the entire economics team wear tan socks to the briefing. Hubbard agreed to call Vice-President Cheney and ask him to wear tan socks, too. “So, a little later, we all go into the Oval Office, and we all show up in tan socks,” Hubbard recalled. “The President looks at us and sees we are all wearing tan socks, and he says in a cool voice, ‘Oh, very, very funny.’ He turns to the Vice-President and says, ‘Mr. Vice-President, what do you think of these guys in their tan socks?’ Then the Vice-President shows him that he’s wearing them, too. The President broke up.”

Glenn Beck, in his blog, claims that this November he was verbally assaulted by a truck driver while standing in line at a Wendy’s restaurant. Beck says the truck driver called him a “racist bigot.” Beck claimed that the “…hatred was palpable.” As his security detail stood between him and his assailant, Beck says the truck driver ended his rant by threatening to run him over.

Beck: "I wanted to say, I think you have me mistaken for someone else, but I knew he knew who I was and he just hated me for who I was…. Wow. Is this who we've become? Is this who we've become?"

On his radio show, Beck said, “I could stand in line with Michael Moore and I wouldn't say that to him. I would say some things to Michael Moore, but it wouldn't be that. Is this who we've become? I believe there is a cauldron of hatred on both sides, but the left is quite frightening. The extreme right is frightening, as well. I don't care if you're a Republican, Democrat, or independent. I don't care who you voted for. We cannot become that person. No matter how passionate -- it took everything in me, it took everything in me not to say anything to him.”

Okay, whatever. Media Matters reveals: “Beck has previously said of Barack and Michelle Obama, ‘[T]here's a socialist agenda there for America.’ He has also described other politicians in similar terms, including calling Sen. Hillary Clinton ‘Comrade Clinton’ and characterizing former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) as ‘a communist.’”

And here’s Glenn Beck on Michael Moore, from his show, May 17, 2005, according to Media Matters:

“Hang on, let me just tell you what I'm thinking. I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out -- is this wrong? I stopped wearing my What Would Jesus -- band -- Do, and I've lost all sense of right and wrong now. I used to be able to say, ‘Yeah, I'd kill Michael Moore,’ and then I'd see the little band: What Would Jesus Do? And then I'd realize, ‘Oh, you wouldn't kill Michael Moore. Or at least you wouldn't choke him to death.’ And you know, well, I'm not sure.”

So: heat, meet kitchen. Why would Beck be surprised by this confrontation anyway? He already has a “security detail,” in anticipation of such an event. Random capital letters alert: HE’S A FUCKING TALK SHOW HOST! WHY DOES HE HAVE A SECURITY DETAIL? AT WENDY’S!

“It took Axl Rose 14 years to complete the latest Guns N’ Roses album. But it took his lawyers only two days to take Dr Pepper to task for not making good on a promise of free soda to ‘everyone in America’ in celebration.”

There seems to be a consensus among critics that CHINESE DEMOCRACY, Guns N’ Roses’ long anticipated album, marks the death of the album as we know it. Some say it sucks, some say it’s excellent, but any road, that’s about it. From now on, it’s just going to be random crap from iTunes. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

This Dr. Pepper thing, though. Man. I was looking forward to my free beverage. I am ticked. Axl Rose, and lawyers, please, kill them. Whoever they are. Dr. Pepper. Lawyers.

Big news from Bangkok!
Reuters: “A maverick Thai general who has threatened to bomb anti-government protesters and drop snakes on them from helicopters has been reassigned as an aerobics teacher….”

Farhad Manjoo:
“More than a year ago, I canceled my cable subscription, figuring I could get all the TV I needed through Netflix and the Web. This has worked out well enough: These days, you can find just about every prime-time show on Hulu or one of the networks' Web sites. There's only one problem: The ads are driving me crazy. Sure, I'm thrilled that there are fewer ads on the Web than on television, where every hourlong program is padded with about 16 minutes of commercials. On the Web, I'm served only two or three minutes of ads per show, but those few minutes are often excruciating. Online video ads are repetitive, banal, completely unsuited to the speed and tone of the Web, and—for a medium rich with personalization—often clueless about my interests and tastes.”

Let me digest this. Okay, he’s annoyed by network television. Because it has too many commercials. So he turns to the Web, which shows less commercials. But the commercials on the Web are even more annoying to him, because they are inappropriate to the “speed and tone of the Web,” whatever that means, and don’t target him as a consumer. And it’s often “clueless about my interests and tastes.” He actually WANTS the Web to know his interests and tastes? He wants the Web to know him personally? Does he want to have sex with the Web?

Oh, and by the way, do actors or writers get paid for downloads from Hulu? Just asking. I hate us.

Apparently, Barack Obama was, in fact, born. This should make his transition into presidency much easier.


Blogger Blaize said...

He doesn't want to have sex with the Web. One may have sex with strangers. No, no. He wants to make love with Web.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Mike DeLong said...

Oh please Mr Merle Kessler. You talk like you've never had a security detail. Or been to Wendy's.

My bodyguard says Wendy's is a chain restaurant operating on a franchise model, and it serves something called "ham burghers." He says they're like "In And Out Burgher," but more widespread.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been watching more TV through network streaming media download video hulu dilute ok web sites lately just because that's been easier than disputing who can watch what from the living room set. And I do like that while I can't fast-forward through the commercials, the commercial breaks are just a single fifteen- or thirty-second spot.

On the other hand, they are indeed very repetitive. Somebody at The Price Is Right Web Site Master Command [1] thinks there are circumstances under which I would watch ``webisodes'' of something in which a team of four women drive cars and hold comically oversized, Ralph Edwards-scaled prop replicas of Robert Ludlum books. More, they believe these circumstances might come about by showing me the same ad six times in forty minutes. I haven't had the heart to tell them otherwise.

I miss the kind of commercials where Don Wilson or Harlow Wilcox would try to talk about Jell-O or linoleum polish for thirty seconds while Jack Benny or Fibber McGee refuse to take them at all seriously.

[1] And if you're short on examples of Internet-generated personality disorder try reading the comment threads that cling to the bottom of The Price Is Right online episodes. I grant that all Internet comment threads are petty, but these overachieve.

So when does hulu get Out Of Control episodes?

--- Joseph Nebus

6:05 AM  
Blogger Merle Kessler said...

Thank you, Joseph. I did check out THE PRICE IS RIGHT, and found this fan comment:

"Sure the big wheel may look different then what it did in the past. But there is one little catch. The wheel is actually the same wheel they have been using on the show since 1975. Hard to believe huh. The wheel just has several new cosmetic features to it, including the new fonts, walls, carpet, numbers, light borders, etc.. Then of course the wheel has gone through several different looks since it's debut in '75. Sure it's the same wheel, but it does not look the way it did since it was first used. If you don't believe me look it up on Wikipedia.

"When the 37th season began back in September, there were several noticeable changes to the Big Wheel. It had been repainted, new number fonts were added to it, the carpet changed, and the walls were replaced. When the wheel came out the number columns were painted differently. They were painted purple instead of black. The host Drew Carey made some negative comments about the wheel. I don't know what he said but i'm sure he said that was the wrong color. Because of that criticism the wheel was sent back to the CBS art department and it was repainted. While that was going on they borrowed one of the wheels from The Price Is Right Live show from Las Vegas. The Vegas version of the wheel looked very "anti-semetrical" compared to the Bob Barker era design. The beeps were totally out of sync. After the redesign the original wheel was returned. The number columns on the wheel should stay black."

I consider this "oversharing."

Re: OUT OF CONTROL. I have no idea! That would be fun, although of course, I wouldn't see a dime out of it, and neither would Dave Coulier.

9:14 AM  

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