Friday, October 30, 2009

America's Next Great Pundit Contest

At the Washington Post, didn't care for my poke George Will in the eye punditry it seems. Alas, this was no contest at all, but a diversity of mediocrity festival that resembles applying for any job if you happen to to over 50 and not already a Stanford perfessor like one of the winners.
Thank you for entering the first season of the America’s Next Great Pundit contest. You didn’t make the judging easy for us. Not only did we get nearly 5,000 entries, but a great many of those entries were really quite excellent -- smart, interesting, funny, well written and well argued. So while we’re sorry to say that we can’t include you as one of our ten finalists this time around, we hope this isn’t the last time we hear from you.
Oh it won't be. like most contests, these ten finalists are the most limp selection imaginable and the reason newspapers are doomed. The truth won't ever be sexy with this level of punditry. Glenn Beck, rest easy. Ca Ching!

The line up? Wow. Diverse and successful and alas, not writers. All of the columns suck. Insert any ethnic joke conservatives love. George Will's bullshit is sooo safe.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

350 Awareness Day

I attended a great presentation ay NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory this afternoon promoted by Sea level rise was the most disturbing discovery. The displacement of water from the melting of ice sheets in both hemispheres congregate around the US coastline. Sea level rise is not uniform. Talk about your chickens coming home to roost.

Yet whack job deniers still persist. Like the Superfreakowingnuts and their hose to heaven pie-in-the-sky "solution" from the people who brought you the incompetent Windows OS, and commenters on major newspapers who claim this sort of wisdom.
"To respond to the carbon dioxide claim, true scientific data show that we had higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in 1820 and 1940 than we do now."

Why does this sort of ignorant garbage litter a major newspaper's web site? I mean really, many of us know we are riding on a ship with fools but are a long way from being a ship comprised of fools. One won't get that impression reading a comment thread at an environmental article on The Washington Post. What sad times for media.

CO2 is now at 388 ppm and climbing. 350 is the safest level of carbon dioxide we can have without drastic climate repercussions.

Political forecast:Increasing cloudiness for many among us.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Lost Message of the Masons

After having listened to The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown's latest opus, I admit that,like Matt below I wanted to like it, but in the end I just couldn't. Brown violates all of the rules of writing good fiction en masse from an over use of modifiers, repeating phrases as if they were a mantra we can't recall from the previous page. The key to thrillers though is a fast pace, murders, or one murder and a maiming in this case, although as others have pointed out, the murder victim was long forgotten once the deed was done. The italicized internal dialogue with he thought attribution is a beginners style mistake but having to fully master POV is not on Dan's radar when he can sell his tomes without learning anything save laundry lists of obscure facts presented as infodumps. As long as the whole thing is a chase scene it works. Sex? Let's just hope Dan's home life is more exciting than his characters.' I mean really.

Hilarious reviews here:

"The most irritating Harvard-educated, mullet-wearing, sexless pedant of all time."
09/25/09 at 16:30

The let down new agey anti-climactic ending felt like a rip off of the movie, The Jewel of the Nile. The jewels have been right before you all along. But where is the damn treasure! Yeah. I felt the way I did touring the Montana headquarters of the CUT church: standing in a gift shop awash in religious symbol trinkets ( like a Catholic field day sidewalk sale) from every belief in the history of the world humans have ever held, all gathered beneath a portrait of the owners of the church, The Prophets. Us. We are the Gods we've always dreamed of. Sure. It's all about us.

At the end of the day those of us involved in the pursuit of the publishing grail of are all just mystified by the Brownian product line and what he gets away with. I strive for the opposite, but the biggest fantasy of all may be that good craftsmanship should command this kind of money. I think that's the real lost message of the freemasons. And if you look in just the right place in the right light I bet it's chiseled into a corner stone somewhere,


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Greenhouse Reduction Incentives

Since no major industry is likely to reduce emissions out of their own volition and concern for the world, the first incentive is a swift kick in the ass. Kudos to the Obama administration for implementing my plan. Rebates and tax reductions for doing so to follow. Time for the coal power plants of the rust belt states, the south, and any other holdouts, to be pulled kicking and screaming into the 21st Century and face the consequences for the rapidly warming world. "O.H.I.O. Ohio," as Joan Armatrading sang. Selling scrubbers is good not only for the environment, but for those businesses. This is a win win. I should point out that most western states use natural gas, a much cleaner fuel, to generate electricity.


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