We Should Talk

I find you very attractive. This must seem abrupt, me just coming out of left-field and telling you this, but I thought you had a right to know. So if you notice me acting kind of strange — y’know, like nervous and stuff — while you’re reading my weblog entries … well, that’s why. I hope my telling you this doesn’t make things weird between us — I think this great weblog-writer / weblog-reader relationship we’ve got going is really, really special and I wouldn’t want to lose that. Well, anyhow, I just wanted to get that off my chest.

How to Watch TV

People are forever stopping me on the street and saying “Matthew Baldwin, I simply cannot believe that, in this media-saturated culture of ours, you are able to confine your television viewing to a mere two hours a week. Also, I don’t have the slightest idea what your t-shirt means.” Well, the secret to watching just a few hours of tv a week is just like the secret to dieting: if you only consume the good stuff, you won’t feel the urge to gorge on the junk. In dieting, for example, if you only eat spinach and 66-grain bread, you’ll have no cravings whatsoever for Pizza Hut’s Meataholics Seven-Pounder with extra olives.*

To that end, I adhere to a strict, three step tv-watching regiment:

  • Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tuesdays at 8:00.
  • Turn the channel to Fox. Hurry! Before you miss something!
  • Watch 24, Tuesdays at 9:00.

I sincerely hope you’ve been watching 24, because it’s the best thing I’ve seen on network television since season one of Twin Peaks.

*Actual weight loss when adhering to this dieting strategy may vary. T-shirt seen on /usr/bin/girl

An Internet Star Goes Supernova

Well, my 15 seconds of Internet fame are over — the Googlewhacker 74 Zillion got shut down due to bandwidth problems. I’ll see if I can’t get someone else to host it. Thanks to my very cool ISP Drizzle for putting up with it as long as they did.

By the way, I found a java-based Googlewhacker through (the currently unreachable) daypop yesterday evening. If you know the URL I’d appreciate it if you’d drop me a line so that I can make mention of it here.

Update: The java-based Googlewhacker is here and, frankly, is better than mine was anyhow. So go give ‘er a whirl.


Good gravy, what’s this blog coming to — first an Enron post and now a post about Osama bin Laden?! We’re perilously close to losing focus here, folks. So, in an attempt to get Defective Yeti back on track, I bring you pages and pages of excruciating jokes.

So this baby seal walks into a bar, and the bartender says “what can I get you?”, and the baby seal says “Anything but the Canadian Club.”

There we go.

Let’s Roll!

Does the White House think that Bin Laden will be captured in the next three years? If you’d like a clue to the answer, tune in to the State of the Union address this evening to see if Bush brings him up. I don’t mean “if he brings up the war on terrorism” — I’m sure he’ll go on and on about that, since it’s currently the largest fish in the presidential aquarium — no, I’m interested in seeing if Bush actually mentions Bin Laden by name.

Bush Sr., you’ll recall, also had himself a war, but failed (or opted not) to nick Bad Guy #1 from the other side. A few years later George got downsized by the America public, and pundits said that Saddam’s survival was one of many reasons. Junior is certainly not going to want to make the same mistake, so he’s going to do everything in his power to either nab Bin Laden or make the US forget that BL was ever the focus.

If the White House thinks that Bin Laden will be a captive or a corpse by the next election, they will probably mention him often — including tonight — so that Bush’s ratings will soar when it finally happens. But if they don’t expect to see hide nor hair of Osama before 2004, this will be an excellent time to let the forgetting begin. Which do they believe? Find out tonight.

Update: No mention of Bin Laden. Also: “E Pluribus Unum” on coins to be replaced with “Let’s Roll!”

Enron Enron Enron

I listened to NPR’s All Things Considered last night for the first time in a spell, and was surprised to hear how much of the program was devoted to Enron. If you watch tv news or read newspapers you’re probably surprised by my surprise, but since I get almost all my news online I can pick and choose what I want to read about, and I rarely want to read about Enron. In fact, I don’t know if any of my acquaintances really care about Enron either. Enron may well be the biggest news story in recent history that no one I know gives a rat’s ass about.

I’m not saying it isn’t a big story; it is, it’s huge. But there’s very little “new” in this “news”. Corporations give money to politicos? Rich guys get richer by swindling their own employees? Washington DC has ties to Big Business? Enron may be in the headlines because of the scale on the debacle, but the substance doesn’t seem to merit either the breathless reporting or the pretense that this kind of tomfoolery doesn’t happen all the time. The reporting on Enron reminds me of that neverending series of sharks attack “news stories” that America was treated to last year in August. There again a routine event (“This Just In: Sharks Bite People!!”) happened on a slightly larger scale (or not) and the press when apeshit.

Then, of course, September 11 rolled around and the media had to switch from 24/7 coverage of non-stories (Levy) and focus on actual news (war). And now that America is returning to normaltm, part of the normalization is going to be the media’s slow slide from real news to non-news. The Enron story is perfectly suited for this transition: scandalous enough to titilate, but still boring enough justify coverage.

There’s a silver lining, though: it now looks as if the Enron boondoggle has revived interest in the previously moribund issue of campaign finance reform. The House is slated to vote on a bill in the immediate future. Now that’s news, and a story I will be following with enthusiasm.