Fuck The Grammy Awards

As I commented to D last night, “I love the Grammy awards. They’re an excellent reminder to me each year of how much I loathe and despise the state of the music industry.”
Of all the live performances, there were really only two that I liked: Gnarls Barkley’s rendition of Crazy, and the opening song by the Satan-Is-Now-Ice-Skating-To-Work Reunion of The Police.
Now, what clinched it for me — what burned into my heart an absolute hatred for all things Grammy — is the fact that they were only given a one-song set. Carrie Underwood? Three songs for her — hell there was about fifteen minutes there where it stopped being an award show and just became a Carrie Underwood/Rascal Flatts concert night. Mind you that there’s no evidence Ms. Underwood will have any kind of long-term staying power, she could be flash-in-the-pan gone in two years. Who knows?
Justin Timberlake? Yeah, he was on for three songs. I understand that the Boy Band Refugee is all the hip rage these days, but c’mon. Did we really need three songs by him?
Oh, and the clincher? “Whoever that random chick off the fucking street was”? Yeah, she got TWO fucking songs. Yeah, that’s right. Some no-talent assclown off the fucking street got to do more songs than a reunion of The Police. What the fuck is that about? Some chick who – literally – the only people who know her name are her family gets more airtime than a band who literally defined music for part of a decade?
I wanted to walk away and go do something – anything – on the computer for hours, but I sat through hours of tripe hoping beyond hope that, well, since they’re bringing performers back later in the evening (Justin and Mary J. Blige both did “repeat performances” hours after their original stint), that maybe they would close with some Police tunes or something. But, nope, no love for the Police.
So, that’s it. I’m done. Next year, I’ll just let D watch them on her own. Fuck ’em.

Wow Does The New Yahoo!TV Suck Fetid Moose Balls or What?

tv.yahoo.com has been one of the few Yahoo services that they had left well-enough alone with. The front page UI had some basic information, a schedule-grid for most of the major-networks for the prime-time period, and was an excellent resource for just going there “quick to see what’s on TV tonight.”
But, like all things Yahoo that don’t completely suck, they’re not content if they’re not ruining it, so some product designers got their hands on it, and now if you go there, you will get “Yahoo!TV Beta”. Unlike with Yahoo!Mail and others, though, there’s no way to say “Let me continue to use the non-suck-ass interface as long as possible please.”
What are the specific complaints?

  1. The front-page no longer has a really convenient schedule grid.
    It used to have a prime-time schedule grid, in static HTML, that was infinitely useful. Wanted to see what was on for the entire prime-time window on the major networks? You don’t even have to sign in, it’s just right there — useful. Now, you get this … abomination… that only shows you like 90 minutes worth of TV, and instead of prominent placement “above-the-fold” where it’s useful, it’s buried down on the second page of the site so you have to go looking for it. Very un-useful.
  2. The Ajax interface to the “regular” listings page is retarded.
    Alright, so let’s go look at the “big grid”, customized to my needs…

    This is after I’ve slid the little pointer-thing to something that “looks close” to what I want. So it’ll start at 9:00. However, 8-9pm is in prime-time. Can I slide that bar back just a smidge so it’ll show me 8-11pm instead of 9-midnight? Short Answer: Nope. The granularity appears to be that the shortest move to the left that I can achieve will move the bar so that the window shows 6-9pm. In other words, because they want it all to just be nice clean “three hour window segments”, they’ve completely gimped the interface so that it’s impossible to see “prime-time”. Also, you can’t easily even see “what’s coming on from now forward?” For example, right now it’s 8:10 in the morning. What do I see on the screen?

    Yeah, because I care so much about what was on from 6-8 that it I would gladly give up the ability to see what’s coming up in order to know what I already missed. And, again, like primetime, if I’d like to see “from 8am-11am”, I’m shit outta luck.
    Wanna know what’s going to be on when you get home at 4:30 this afternoon? Yeah, you’re shit outta luck, too. Have fun hopping back and forth left and right in their interface.

Anyone got any suggestions for places a guy can go to answer the simple question “what’s on TV tonight?” without having to leap through stupid hoops to get the useful data?

Pies Are Dangerous — But We’d Like To Feed Them To Our Soldiers

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer has an article which says:

“In the last two days, we have taken a dozen baked pies,” he said.
Pie filling apparently is banned from carry-on luggage, too. But the pies didn’t go to waste. They were taken to the airport’s United Service Organizations lounge, where soldiers passing through can relax and eat.

Wow… where to begin?
First, if the pies are so dangerous, and might be a threat, why aren’t they being destroyed in a secure facility?
Second, if you’re going to feed them to anyone, why would it be the soldiers? I mean, after all, aren’t they the ones you should be shielding from this extremely hazardous threat?
Personally, I think it looks a lot like the following, teeny-tiny minor little clause to the Constitution has been violated:
Amendment V… nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation …
Seems to me that by confiscating them — and then using them as a food product for other people (e.g., consumption by others, as opposed to simple destruction) — the private property has been taken for public use, and everyone who had a pie taken in Cleveland airport is due a check for the fair market value of the pies.

I Wish I Was Someone’s Boss…

… so I could fire them if they didn’t show up to work on Monday.
I just wish they’d stop calling it “A Day Without Immigrants”, since they’re trying to also sucker American “supporters” and students to join in.
Why are they doing that? Because the ones we’ll really miss are the ones who are here legally, doing really productive work and making good on the American dream — legally.
Nobody will notice if some shit-job doesn’t get done for a day, and that “nobody noticing” doesn’t make for good headlines.

The Beatings Will Continue Until All Students Look Alike

As seen on JWZ’s blog:
Seriously… maybe, just maybe, it’s time to kick the entire public education system to the curb, when we have an excellent student, a straight-A student, a student who is pretty much what every teacher shows up in the fall hoping that they’ll catch a glimpse of let alone teach… when such a student is thrown into suspension because her highlights are a little too red.
And seriously, look at that picture. Do you think those highlights are anything that could be considered “distracting”? The fuckwits in Marshall, Missouri think so:

An administrator at Bueker Middle School said the girl’s red highlights were distracting to other students.
School officials said there is a rule at Bueker that hairstyles that are distracting to the educational process are not allowed.

So what has Kristen learned:

If those highlights are “distracting” then I don’t know how the hell I got through high school with that teacher who had the crazy-ass “half-brunette, half-grey” hair-do that every school has at least one of.

The Meaningless Fifth Amendment

I was reading a CNN story about a guy who’s going to jail — essentially — because he won’t let the government into his finances to verify that some money he claims he “lost in international investments” was actually lost. You see, he was in the middle of a divorce, and his ex-wife claims he was hiding the assets.
But here’s the trick, see. He tells the court “I lost it,” but doesn’t give them the authorization to go traipsing through the data themselves. In other words, he asserts his rights not to be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.
Since international money-laundering like the wife suggests happened would be a criminal act, the guy is — quite rightly — refusing to give the government the evidence it needs to convict him. Go. Fucking. Figure.
But, since he won’t waive his fifth amendment rights, he sits in jail on contempt charges. His contemptuous act : not helping the government make a case against him.
Is there any constitutional provision still being enforced? No? Didn’t think so, just checking.

Mental Illness Not An Excuse

Yesterday, a Federal Air Marshal shot and killed a passenger who was acting irrationally, refusing to follow the instructions of the law enforcement official pointing a gun at him, and – oh yes – had indicated that he had a bomb and intended to blow the airplane up.
There is now a hue and cry over the fact that the wife of this individual had been crying and screaming and pleading for the Air Marshal not to shoot him, saying he was “mentally ill” and “off his medication”.
Excuse me? What the fuck? If he’s mentally ill and gone off the reservation, that’s more of a reason to shoot him, not less. Off their meds is when a person who is normally quite sane and composed may in fact do something completely crazy like, say, try to blow up a plane. There are two types of people who do that sort of thing … cold and calculating people (Al-Qaeda style), and mentally-fucked-up people (Hinckley style).
We shouldn’t let ourselves get caught up emotionally in the whole “his neighbors thought he was quiet and loving” type of nonsense. His neighbors probably very very rarely saw him go off his medication, too.
I’m the first one to gripe about the “jack-booted thugs” these days, but I have to say that given what the media has released — which I should point out seems to be heavily biased in favor of the dead guy — I have to call it a clean shoot.

Comments In Blogs

OK, here’s a note out there to blog authors in general, but especially to one particular blog author who shall remain nameless.
If you allow comments, it is not so you can have a nice echo chamber where only people who are willing to “toe the party line” tell you how smart you are. It’s for reasoned discussion about the topic of the post. That means that occasionally people are going to agree with you, occasionally they’re going to disagree with you. The real test of one’s beliefs and convictions is not how many other people think they’re good, but can they stand up to critical debate. In other words, if you tell me that “such and such is so,” be prepared to back it up when someone says “no, I don’t think so and here’s why.”
Especially if it’s not even that they’re saying “your conclusions are wrong” but are actually calling attention to your factual inaccuracies.
Silently dropping those blog-comments onto the floor isn’t the answer. Although it may seem like the easy solution, all it really proves, to anyone else, is that your position can’t be defended. Deleting the comments which point out your errors doesn’t make you look smarter, it makes it clear that you’re an idiot.
You’ll notice that the only time I’ve ever “censored” blog comments is when they’re spam, not when they disagree with me. People disagree with me all the time, I’ve got no problem with people disagreeing with me. The only times I delete posts are when it’s spam, and when it’s something like “You’re a dick. Fuck you,” or other similar drivel. Post an actual argument, even a poor one, and I let it through. Debate promotes a better understanding of the truth. Neither side of an argument is ever 100% right or 100% wrong. The middle ground is where the truth lies and only by listening to both sides can you get to that middle ground.
And I guess I just feel sorta sad that there’s morons out there who don’t get that.

Oh My God, You Arrogant Little Fuck!

Katrina is wreaking havoc in the South, of that there can be no doubt, and my hopes for safety and security go out to everyone down there.
Everyone, that is, except Biloxi, MS Mayor A.J. Halloway, quoted in a CNN article:

“This is our tsunami,” Biloxi Mayor A.J. Holloway told the Biloxi Sun Herald newspaper, referring to the December 26, 2004, tsunami that killed more than 226,000 people in the Indian Ocean region.

“This is our tsunami”?!?! Seriously, dude, here’s a fucking reality check for you.
There were 226,000 dead people in the tsunami.
There are, right now, maybe 100 people dead from Katrina. That’s being generous. Mississippi is reporting 55 right now, Florida 10. I’ll pad a little for reports not yet in.
If ten times as many people died in Katrina as presently did, it still wouldn’t come close to the death toll from the tsunami.
If one hundred times as many people died in Katrina as presently have, you’d still be a far fucking cry from the tsunami’s death count.
If one thousand fucking times as many people died from Katrina, only then would you finally have reached HALF the death toll as the Indian tsunami.
It’s tragic that anyone died at all, but don’t sit there and have the balls to compare your pissant little “under 100 dead across a thousand or so miles of coast” with “nearly a quarter of a million people dead”.
Jesus Christ, that’s like seeing a hundred people trapped in a burning temple and saying “oh, woe is us, this is our Holocaust!” … it’s just so completely on the wrong end of a completely different scale as to be laughable, insulting, arrogant, and self-absorbed, all wrapped into a single nasty package.

NJ Court Rules That NJ Law Rules The Land

As seen on Jurist, a New Jersey court of appeals has ruled that a company with no nexus in New Jersey (as it was previously defined) now is liable for paying New Jersey taxes simply because it ships product into New Jersey.
Seems like a good reason for businesses to simply say “We will not ship to NJ. Please move to a state that isn’t as boneheaded as yours is. Thank you for playing.”
Although, obviously, it’s pretty tough for NJ to really enforce it (after all, with the company completely lacking in NJ nexus, there’s no assets for NJ to seize or anything like that).
Also, the company probably should appeal…something about “interstate commerce” being the domain of the federal government, not the states themselves. I remember reading that in a document somewhere once…