Monday, November 7, 2011

Googly Eyes and Herman Cain, et al

1. I will start things off by stating that my original plan of reviewing discounted Halloween candy this week was scrapped because this was the worst year ever for cheap candy. No one did the standard half-off the day after sale. Either it was a paltry 10-20% off, or the half off stuff was truly contemptible (I am looking at you, bag full of Whoppers.) We all suffer through these hard times.

2. I am often confused as to why certain headlines are justified to be in what order on my Yahoo news homepage. Some major earth-shattering event, such as a new jobs plan being proposed or a renewal of another season of Jersey Shore, will disappear within moments. The death of Andy Rooney? All day Saturday. And, for some reason, not only is the death of the father of Violet on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory considered news, but has stayed as a top five entertainment headline for something like six days now.

3. Cue the standard story about art: Apparently, a janitor accidentally cleaned a million-dollar piece of art. The art in question was called "When It Starts Dripping From The Ceilings" an involved a plastic bucket that had a stain in it, presumably from water dripping from wood attached to it. It's as stupid as it sounds. I get that not everyone views art the same way, but I've often held the believe that there has to be some standards to art. If everything is considered art by anyone who wants it to be, then nothing is art; it's rendered useless. Gimmicks like this are why people avoid art museums and, um, artists.

4. I am thinking of starting a Tumblr account, though I can't possibly imagine why or what would go there.

5. The Futility Closet. Go there and waste large portions of your waking life. It's awesome.

6. Why are we spending so much time on Herman Cain? He is not even ready for prime time, let alone the Presidency. I suspect he will be the Howard Dean of 2012: He will have huge amounts of support during the beginning of the race (i.e., now), but once people actually have to go and pull a lever to vote for someone, they can't do it. The guy has a very poor grasp of even the constitutional aspects of the job (thinking he would sign an amendment in to law, for example, which Presidents do not do) and is clearly woefully unprepared concerning foreign affairs. Not in a Bill Clinton "All my foreign affairs experience is from reading textbooks and magazines" kind of ignorance, but in an "I honestly do not care about countries I can't even name" way. He will make an excellent talk show host. Why anyone believes differently is beyond me.

7. Cracked.com  has managed to do itself a throwing save; ditching the dead-tree version of their magazine and overhauling their concept has produced a reasonably consistent humor product. It's not perfect--enough with the lists already, we get it!--but it has produced some memorable articles. My personal favorite is "The Five Most BadAss Presidents of All Time," which is a masterpiece of writing. But they also make videos, and their "After Hours" clips--where four writers sit and argue over pop culture issues such as "Why Batman Is Secretly Terrible for Gotham"--are quite entertaining. I recommend them.

8. College sports is a straight-up scam, and how anyone can enjoy it as a valid pasttime is beyond me. I can guarantee any school of note has used cash or other incentives to retain players. The NCAA treats these "student athletes" like free labor. There is no halcyon day of good, old-fashioned amateur sports being played; it's all about money and arbitrary rules and covering up crimes committed by barely-educated thugs that biology majors and school teachers would go to jail for in a heartbeat. What happened at Penn State (if you haven't heard, you probably don't want to know) is mind-numbingly regrettable, but anyone who is surprised is woefully naive.

9. Headline on CNN.com: "Sick of turkey? Make a bacon pig." I thought all pigs were bacon pigs. (Actually, the article itself explains it, and it is equal parts awesome and horrifying.)

10. Magic Cards with Googly Eyes. I don't play the game, but this is still funny, for some odd, unspecified reason. I bet no one does with with their Black Lotus.

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