Dangerous Dan Thoughts and musings on the world

2/9/2007

Smith’s Killer Identified!

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 9:09 am

I know who killed Anna Nicole Smith. 

It was Lisa Marie Nowak 'cause this was the only thing that could replace her nuttiness as the top story on every conceivable news outlet. 

I've been watching CNN and the Today Show.  Smith's death has so far led each hour, each half hour, each quarter hour, and about each five minute cycle.  About to go to commercial?  Talk about Smith's death.  Coming back from commercial?  Talk about Smith's death.  And here's the sum total content of everything they've been saying: She's dead, we don't why, she had some tragic events recently (most of all her death).

Now, this isn't the first time this blog has mentioned Anna Nicole Smith.  I talked about her show once back in August of 2002.

1/22/2007

The Other “F-Word”?

Filed under: General,Media,Society — Dangerous Dan @ 12:18 am

While I'm talking about vapid entertainment news, another recent brouhaha has embroiled Grey's Anatomy's Isaiah Washington.  According to reports, back in October while on-set, Washington referred to his co-star, T.R. Knight, as a 'faggot.'  Knight is gay.  Though this wasn't publicly known as the time, it seemingly was the cast and crew.  The incident was apparently privately resolved when it happened.

Earlier this month, however, it started prickling entertainment reporters' ears and then Washington was asked about it backstage at the Golden Globes, to which he replied, "No, I did not call T.R. a faggot.  Never happened, never happened."  People are now demanding Washington's head for uttering the term at the Globes… not so much for the angry invocation of it in October.

This is bizarre.  Washington wasn't using it maliciously on the latter occasion, he was using it in context (and denying its use at that, lending to his dislike of the term) as prodded by reporters.  While I quite agree that the word is inappropriate, I also think it should still be used given the proper contexts, such as, "One should not refer to someone as a 'faggot.'"  Given the uproar with Washington, however, it seems improper to use it in even this way.  Washington in his lengthy mea culpa, for example, apologizes for "using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance."  If this is the case, then I cannot but wonder why no uproar has arisen against media outlets that reprinted the term.  Weren't they also quoting or using it in context as Washington was?

It seems that 'faggot' is now going the way of 'nigger' in that the term is so frighteningly offensive, it can only be referred and alluded to by some silly euphemism.  For the latter, it's 'the n-word.'  Unfortunately for the former, 'the f-word' is already taken by another very versatile obscenity, so it will have to come up with something else. 

Let me be clear that I am against the malicious and/or discriminatory use of either term and both should be used with some prudence.  But it seems simply ridiculous that any term should be so loaded with meaning, that no one dare utter it, even when it's being quoted or used in a context such as the above.  Using a euphemism for it is akin to a child using gustatory terms to refer to his/her personal anatomy.  Words are not to be feared, only their improper use.  The euphemisms already do language an injustice.

The argument has been made that the euphemism for 'nigger' is used because the term is so fraught with hideous meanings and implications that sensible African-Americans and anybody with a reasonable conscience will and/or should have fainting spells upon hearing it.  Poppycock.  The euphemism actually succeeds in a strange paradox in that it strengthens the fear of the word while simultaneously removing it's meaning.  People come to fear the word itself for the use of the euphemism makes it plain that the term is to be feared.  At the same time, the meaning of the actual term slips away as it is never directly used in any context.  The word itself is feared and not what it stood for.  It's becoming a linguistic 'boo!' – something that is itself supposed to frighten though it has no real meaning.

As best as I can remember, the use of the 'N-word' euphemism first came into vogue during the O.J. Simpson trial.  Detective Mark Fuhrman was on tape using it numerous times and the media outlets felt queasy using it context.  While I don't care at the moment to wade through the transcripts, I believe Simpson's attorney, Johnnie Cochran, used it in the trial.  This was a brilliant act of courtroom theatrics since he was trying to discredit Fuhrman.  By acting as though the word were so offensive to him and civilized people that he could only allude to it by a euphemism just made it seem so much magnificently worse than anyone imagined, and Fuhrman that much more of a monster for having said it, thereby completely impugning his character.  How curious that the euphemism was given birth and popularity in the cynical, theatrical service of freeing a double-murderer.  Not an auspicious birth, to be sure.

1/21/2007

American Idol Flack

Filed under: General,Media,Society — Dangerous Dan @ 11:25 pm

Ah, it's American Idol time.  This is when the show starts up with plenty of bad singers, fame-coveting no-names, and twits who just want to get on TV, show up and perform poorly while the few talented make it through to further potential cuts.  This is also the time when people start whining about how mean the judges are.  It's now become an annual rite as some are complaining about comments made during the auditions that were televised last week.  This is all somewhat amusing because I remember quite well last season when there were complaints about how mean the judges were being, how it was much meaner than in the past, etc. – pretty much everything being said now.  The public has a short memory.

The lead whiner is The View's Rosie O'Donnell.  Rosie is apparently a human PR machine for The View as she has made a habit of picking fights with other quasi-celebrities and utterly manufacturing controversy where there none existed.  Thus far, she has publicly feuded with Kelly Ripa, Donald Trump, The View's own Barbara Walters, and now American Idol.  Be warned not to peek inside Rosie's teapots lest yea be blown away by the tempests.

All that said, yes, American Idol is a silly, somewhat unfair show.  At each city audition, there's one or two rounds of cuts before people get to see Randy, Paula, and Simon.  Plenty of talented people are assuredly turned away in those cuts, and many clearly talentless self-deceived people are sent through for the sole purpose of being ridiculed by the judges and the American public.  It's a talent show, but it's also a reality show and events are unfairly manipulated for TV.  Once you realize this and get past the hang-ups, it's possible to be entertained by it.  I am entertained and I know it's quite silly; I am entertained because I know it's quite silly.  I am as much amused by the absurdity of it all as by the amount or dearth of talent.

As to Rosie's comment that the American public doesn't like the fare being provided by the show, this seems to be an eminently disprovable statement through empirical evidence: the two shows last week had nearly 40 million viewers.

12/30/2006

Saddam: A Retrospective Gallery

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 11:43 pm

Now that the Butcher of Baghdad is burning in the depths of hell, let's look back at some of the lighter times:

Statue coming down
Here we have Saddam's statue coming down.

Spider hole
We found his hidey-hole!

Santa Saddam
He was making a living as a mall Santa in Tikrit.

Open wide
The great tyrant, whose palaces had gold toilet fixtures, gets checked out, for lice among other things.

Teehee
No need to ask the question of boxers or briefs at the MTV Q&A.

On trial
Once the ruler, then on trial.

12/29/2006

Saddam is Dead – RIT (Rest in Torment)

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 10:05 pm

Saddam Hussein has been executed.

Now this coupling can finally happen.

Burn in hell, Saddam

12/23/2006

Holocaust Misuse

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 12:14 am

I hold a special irritation for those who use the Holocaust in poor comparisons in order to make their plight seem as dire as what happened to the Jewish people. Not only is it disrespectful, but it inevitably works in the opposite direction by making the actual Holocaust not seem as bad as it really was. This is why PeTA and their moronic "holocaust on your plate" campaign deserve nothing but contempt.

The latest example comes from Hispanic groups who didn't like the recent crackdown on and deportation of 1,300 illegal immigrants. Representatives from these groups are comparing such roundups to the arrest and imprisonment of Jews during the 1930's:

"This unfortunately reminds me of when Hitler began rounding up the Jews for no reason and locking them up," Democratic Party activist Carla Vela said. "Now they're coming for the Latinos, who will they come for next?"

Unless the Hispanics in question were U.S. citizens who were arrested for absolutely no other reason than that they were Hispanic, and unless they were then sent to concentration camps where they were forced to engage in slave labor until they died and/or were killed in mass executions, this seems like a bad comparison. In fact, those Hispanics who were arrested were not U.S. citizens and were actively breaking U.S. law by being in the U.S., they were treated well while in custody, fed, and returned to their countries of origin. This was absolutely nothing like Germany of the 1930's and comparing in this way is not only disgusting, it is irresponsible. Don't cry genocide where it doesn't exist or nobody will pay attention when it actually does occur – that or the severity of genocide will be thought relatively insignificant due to such false comparisons.

12/22/2006

It’s Been How Long?

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 11:52 pm

Yes, I'm still alive. Just little time to post. Lest I end the year without any more posts, though, here are a couple.

9/11/2006

9/11 Five Years Later

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 4:11 pm

I am, as always now, quite busy. I also have nothing more to say about 9/11 than what I wrote on the 1 year anniversary back in 2002. I will thus continue my tradition of directing you to what I wrote on 9/11/02 here, here, and here. I have reread them and my sentiments are still the same. When they change, I will say so.

8/29/2006

Blogging’s Future

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 6:41 am

The Blorg

8/24/2006

Survivor Gets Free Publicity

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 11:45 pm

Survivor is about to start its 13th season. Its gimmick this year is that it will divide the tribes by ethnicity: black, white, Asian, and hispanic. For some reason, a few folks are getting their knickers in a knot over this, including a NYC councilman and a couple of minority groups.

Hmmm… Survivor has divided tribes by gender, by age, and by both gender and age and you didn't hear complaining. The show takes the next logical division step, which is really no worse in kind than the others, and people whine. You'd think they'd like the new element and its racial experiment, that it will be a focus of conflict and understanding, and the fact that minorities will have greater representation on the show. You'd also think they'd realize that by complaining, they're just giving CBS free publicity and making the show even more of a must-see spectacle. But, ah well.

Pot Says What?

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 11:37 pm

The wife had Oprah on today. She rarely watches it, but all the nation's women periodically have to get their marching orders from Oprah, so I guess that's why she had it on. The day's topic was about wealth and class. She had on Warren Buffett's granddaughter (who will receive nothing from Warren when he kicks) and an heir to the Johnson and Johnson fortune. Oprah intoned pitifully about class in the U.S. and the wealth gap, etc., etc., and asked her guests tough questions meant to elicit realizations of status.

Oprah's estimated net worth is currently nearing $1.5 billion. She's richer than all but 561 people in the world and is certainly more loaded than that Johnson and Johnson guy. When she had clips of some guy's "documentary" about the wealth gap and how the top 1% have so much more than eveybody else, I guess she forgot to mention that she's part of that 1%. Why wasn't she asking herself tough questions?

Where Is He?

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 11:28 pm

I'm still around, I've just been exceptionally busy.

Update on the HDTV: Football looks amazing. Terry Bradshaw looks like the walking dead. One of the downsides of hi-def is that people's imperfections pop out. For some folks, that's not a good thing.

Note: The busy-ness is not related to HDTV. I'm busy, not "busy."

8/7/2006

HDTV

Filed under: General — Dangerous Dan @ 7:31 pm

My observation for the day:

You will never realize just how imperfect the picture is on analog CRT TV's until you get yourself an HDTV. Several times I've found myself watching programs I cared absolutely nothing about just because I was mesmerized by the crisp picture and noticing all the details that are completely obscured by traditional sets. It's amazing.

7/27/2006

Inflatable Men

Filed under: General,Humor & Satire — Dangerous Dan @ 2:19 pm

Blow up dude

Some company in England is marketing an inflatable man for cars.

He fits in a car's glove box, appears at a flick of a switch and when a woman has finished using him, she can just pull the plug and he deflates.

He's the "Buddy on Demand," a blow-up man launched on Tuesday with the aim of making solo female motorists feel less nervous about driving at night.

Not that this is a new idea, of course:

Otto!

Just hope you don't need to use the manual inflation if he loses pressure.

7/26/2006

The Sun’s a Dirty Killer

Filed under: General,Humor & Satire — Dangerous Dan @ 9:53 pm

According to a World Health Organization study, the sun kills 60,000 people a year (although death continues to be the number one killer). This has elicited the following reactions from some notables:

  • Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi immediately introduced legislation outlawing the sun. When the bill was defeated in the Senate, a new bill was introduced that would establish new taxes on the sun and on anybody who uses the sun's energy or light for any purpose. The tax money, Reid said, will go to “I don’t know… something to do with needy kids, orphans, or puppies or something… that always works.”
  • The Bush administration countered by declaring military action against the sun. Upon reviewing documentary evidence, hurling nuclear weapons at the flaming ball of gas is ineffective. Instead, a trilithium projectile will be constructed as soon as they figure out how to make one. Bush spokesman Tony Snow also noted that the sun shines an awful lot in middle eastern countries, so it’s likely the sun is an al-Qaeda operative. He also said wiretapping had been increased in Arizona.
  • Al Gore praised the proposed actions by both the Democrats and Republicans. He noted that while humans exacerbate the problem, the primary cause of global warming is still the sun and that this root cause should be addressed.
  • The UN debated the matter for several days and eventually decided to send the sun a strongly worded letter that obliquely implied consequences if it does not desist its hostile actions. It then offered the sun a permanent membership position on the World Health Organization's governing board.
  • France surrendered.
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