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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Poor Writing / Poor Delivery

Today I want to showcase a couple pet peeves of mine. I am feeling especially grumpy, as I've been battling a severe cold for a week. However, I suspect that when you read these, you'll be in hearty agreement:

1. Authors who poorly attempt to create a character that has unusual tastes.

For example, instead of making a particular detective merely human, he has to like obscure jazz. Now what REALLY bugs me is when they draw the other characters into the scenario. Here's an example:

Detective Snapes is listening to jazz in the dark. His boss calls and hears it in the background. His boss then asks Detective Snapes if it's the little-know tune "Jonquil" by the almost unknown band "Harry and the Hendersons". Almost unknown, that is, except to the author, who is trying to show off his impeccable taste. Snapes agrees that it is, in fact, the music that he (due to having a tortured soul and ecelectic tastes) is listening to.

OK: When have you ever liked something intellectual or obscure and found that your boss or even a colleague knows what the hell you're talking about? You'd be lucky if they knew who COLERIDGE was. And, in some instances, the name "Shakespeare" would bring blank stares. I am so sick of authors who employ this little tactic, and it's not simply one author that indulges in it - myriad authors are guilty of this easy and snobbish device.

2. Most Radio Talking Heads:
RUSH LIMBAUGH is a washed up has-been. I was a fan in the 80s, may I add hastily. However, he's been purchased by the Republican party and in a fawning attempt to please, will never go against the party line unless his listeners are so adamantly against it that he has no choice. The illegal immigration issue is one example: Rush was for them until he began to look as credible as Bill Clinton after Monica Lewinsky's blue dress came out of the freezer. What frightens me is that he still has an audience. This is, sadly, an example of how uneducated and gullible the blue collar workers are.

GLENN BECK started out as a perfect, independent moderate. But fame has turned his head. Because he is running with the Big Boys now, we are beginning to see their influence. Although there are times that he reasserts himself and will stand on his own, there are times that we see otherwise. Both sides are tugging at him, and I'm sorry to say that it appears that both are getting their hooks into him.

MICHAEL SAVAGE is often "right on" as a classic Reagan conservative (in other words, a moderate in today's political climate). But his caustic style and over-the-top viciousness at times dilutes his message. Are his advisors encouraging this? Let's all remember how Eddie Murphy's career died for a while after such blockbuster hits as "Beverly Hills Cop". Eddie began to listen more to his advisors than to his fans or his own common sense. He began to be so self-important that his career spiralled out of control until he got a grip on himself once more.

THE REST: The rest of the talk show hosts all fall roughly into the same pattern. I listened to one idiot yesterday ask sneeringly when we started calling vegetarians "vegans". Before *I* started spouting my ignorance to the world, I would grab a dictionary and look it up.

As most people know, a vegetarian eats no flesh but will eat animal by-products such as eggs and milk. A vegan will touch nothing that has come from an animal.

Then on top of that brillian rant, the moron proceeded to talk about how most vegetarians were hypocrites because they ate fish. I was ready to tear my hair out! That would make them...lessee here... NOT vegetarians! Of COURSE! And here's a tip for everyone: If you run across someone who tells you that they're a vegetarian but they eat fish, they're NOT a vegetarian. They're merely stupid. As stupid, that is, as this particular conservative talk show host.

I'm a moderate. That means that I come very close to what Glenn Beck once was (and perhaps still will be). As always, I find it hard to identify with either side, apparently because I'm educated.

Yesterday, a well-meaning friend listened to my rant and then said patronizingly that such talk shows were merely for entertainment, and the idiot anti-vegan was merely trying to stir things up for the fun of it. That's possibly a fair assessment. But, does that make it the right thing to do? And is it right that these men should be able to reach out to the mostly brainless, drooling blue-collar worker and plant ideas in his head that he will readily accept and absorb because he's too lazy to do the homework?

I am almost re-thinking The Fairness Doctrine.

5 comments:

Ed Abbey said...

I hear yah on the talkin' radio heads. But I have found one over the years who is always extremely well researched and is very close to my political views as a Constitutionalist. Probably fortunate for me, he is on a local station and probably isn't well known outside of Iowa unless you download his daily podcasts. He is Jan Mickelson.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Shakespeare is a company that makes marine antennas right? Because my boat VHF antenna says Shakespeare on it.

You need to stop listening to that loser AM radio station before you blow a fuse and go insane. Let me guess, all the people you mentioned are on the same AM station, owned by Clear Channel and syndicated by "Fox News Radio". Am I close here?

Rush will say anything now. It no longer matters. Remember his rants about how useless drug users are and how they all need to be locked up? Not only did he say that on air, but I have his first book and he wrote that. But when he became a drug addict, suddenly it was a private matter, the mean old prosecutor was picking on him because he is an asshole on the radio, and a plush private super luxury rehab center is all he needed. I wonder if he thinks Al Gore's son also just needs rehab? Probably not.

As for the rest of the people you mentioned, I have not really listened to them. I do not listen to 610 AM in Miami. Therefore I will not hear Rush, anyone on Fox News who has a show, Glen Beck, Schnitt, or any of the other assholes.

I will listen to the Stephanie Miller show in the morning - if I am awake. She sounds hot over the radio. Her PR photos are not that bad either. And her show has a fair number of jokes. But mostly I am not awake.

You should try to listen at least once to Randi Rhodes. She used to be local to the South FL market but is now syndicated by Air America. Unlike all the brave white men on the Fox station, she served in some capacity in the US Armed Service. And not as a reservist or something.

daveawayfromhome said...

You should think a bit more about the Fairness Doctrine. The airwaves over which radio and (in theory*) television are broadcast are owned by the people. But with the gatekeepers of those airwaves, i.e. the broadcasting companies, becoming fewer and fewer in number, there are fewer and fewer people who have a say about what gets sent out over our airwaves. Without the Fairness doctrine, how many of the opinions you hear are given to you by Fox, Clear Channel, Disney, and GE, and how many do you suppose come from ordinary people?
Dont believe the hype that it's a case of liberal sour grapes because they "cant compete". It's all about control of information, pure and simple: he who controls the information, controls the opinions. You can see the same attitude in the increasing number of attacks on blogging and the internet by so-called media "experts".
You can never have too much information (at least about social issues), and that's all the Fairness Doctrine is, really, a means to assure that all the information/opinions are heard through any media utilizing a limited and public-owned airspace.


*cable shouldnt count, except for those channels also broadcast

The Lazy Iguana said...

You need to come to my blog to read about the State Song controversy.

exMI said...

Have you tried Boortz? He still makes me foam at the mouth sometimes but at least he tells folks to go look it up instead of just believing him.