05.10.11 – a tuesday

word

splenetic [spli-net-ik] adj. 1. of the spleen; splenic 2. irritable; peevish; spiteful 3. Obsolete. affected with, characterized by, or tending to produce melancholy  n. 4. a splenetic person

birthday

John Wilkes Booth (1838), Fred Astaire (1899), David O. Selznick (1902), Donovan (1946), Chris Berman (1955), Mark David Chapman (1956)Sid Vicious (1957), Bono (1962), Young MC (1967), Kenan Thompson (1978)

standpoint

I’ve always been a huge proponent of the way the world has changed since the internet came along. Some people agree with me and deal with me as I go on and on about it. Others don’t and continually ask me to shut the hell up and/or change the damn subject all ready.

I think the internet brings the world together. At least, I’m pretty sure it does. But one thing I’m completely sure about is that the internet is informative. There’s lots of stuff to peruse out there on the information superhighway. (Wow. My auto-correct didn’t give the word “superhighway” one of those squiggly lines it usually does when it can’t figure out what the hell I’m talking about. What more evidence could you possibly need? The internet is for real, folks.)

All right, so by now you know I’m digging on the internet and all of its advantages. Well, not all of them. The other day, I heard a story involving Yelp.com that’s making me, someone who’s spent most of my adult life in the restaurant business, reconsider my stance.

Here’s the gist of it: A restaurant receives a superb 3-Bell review from the Philadelphia Inquirer‘s Craig LaBan. After reading that, some dude whose Yelp nickname is “Tough Critic” decides to try the place out for himself with his mom and one other person in tow.

“Tough Critic” has obviously been to a few restaurants and maybe even worked in some. He details most every part of his experience, the food, the decor, the clean bathrooms. He even goes so far as to drop the names of the two owners because that’s what you do when you want people to think you’re someone of note.

By his own Yelp review, the guy has a relatively solid experience, giving the place three stars, although he does make sure to mention if he were LaBan (which is probably something this guy routinely fantasizes about), he would have only given 2-Bells to LaBan’s 3-Bells.

Because “Tough Critic” is perturbed with the service he receives from his waiter. He describes his server with statements such like, “not properly trained,” “he just didn’t care,” “huge annoyance,” and, my personal favorite, “knucklehead.” (Also, I actually laughed “Tough Critic” thought it prudent to mention how his mommy started giving the server “the evil eye.”)

After I heard about this review from a fellow service industry employee, and then again after actually reading it, I became increasingly annoyed. Because when assholes like “Tough Critic” submit their clever and narcissistic reviews online, they’re mainly focused on letting everyone know how unhappy they are about how things didn’t go as perfect as they envisioned after reading a food critic’s review. God forbid.  What doesn’t concern these dipshits is that they might actually be screwing around with someone’s life. Restaurant owners, some of them anyway, read online reviews and some of them even act on what is written there.

Even the best of us have bad days at work. To state otherwise is contrary to reason. For those of you who like to give your opinion in one online forum or another, I’m not begrudging you your right to do so. All I’m asking is that you think about the people who might be unfairly effected by the judgment you delve out after a  measly two-hour experience.

(NOTE: I left out some specifics because I am not looking to disparage any establishment or individual.)

quotation

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that’s all. ↔ Oscar Wilde

tune

My friend Tyler told me heard a song on the radio that I might like. And he was right on. Here’s “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster The People.

gallimaufry

What’s going to be the bigger danger? Terrorist responses to the death of Osama bin Laden? Or the nervous paranoia of the American people? Only time will tell…

→ Aw, come on! I thought these two kids were gonna go the distance.

→ That’s it for today, folks, thanks for reading!

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04.14.09 – Tuesday

[Note: Today’s post is a little longer than usual due to the passing of Philadelphia’s legendary broadcaster, Harry Kalas – a man who will forever be remembered as “The Voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.”]

Word: sycophant [sikuh-fuhnt, – fant, sahy-kuh-] n. a self-seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite

Birthday: Shorty Rogers (1924), Rod Steiger (1925), Loretta Lynn (1935), Pete Rose (1941), Richard Jeni (1957), Brad Garrett (1960), Robert Carlyle (1961), Anthony Michael Hall (1968), Adrien Brody (1973), Sarah Michelle Gellar (1977), Win Butler (1980)

Occurence: 1865Abraham Lincoln is shot from behind by in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.

Standpoint: I remember one afternoon in college. My buddy Joe Taylor and I were watching NFL Films. I mentioned that the narrator’s voice sounded kind of familiar. Joe sat up from the couch. “You don’t know who that is?” I told my friend I didn’t. “It’s Harry Kalas! The guy who calls Phillies games with Richie Ashburn!  Are you shitting me?”I wasn’t “shitting” him. I just wasn’t an avid Phillies fan. At that point, I saw no reason to stir Joe up any further by explaining to him I didn’t know who Richie Ashburn was.

Harry Kalas died yesterday at the age of 73 while preparing to call a Phillies-Nationals game in Washington D.C. Before that afternoon with Joe, I did know who he was. It didn’t matter that I wasn’t a baseball fan. Growing up in Philadelphia, it was nearly impossible to not know the man who could’ve patented the phrase, “It’s outta here!”  After college, I eventually did get into baseball and came to share the common reverence held for “The Voice of the Philadelphia Phillies.” He was one of those rare announcers whose love for the game and his team oozed out into the living rooms of all watching. His soothing voice could go from completely relaxed to incredibly excited with the swing of a bat.

The game of baseball lost a true living legend yesterday. The one silver lining being repeated everywhere was that at least Kalas lived long enough to see one more Phillies World Championship last October. I was actually outside Citizens Bank Park when it happened and heard Kalas call it live when Brad Lidge got that third out. Simultaneously, I heard the roar from the crowd in the stadium. My friends out in the parking lot, looked toward the ballpark and lamented the fact that we weren’t inside to experience the ensuing euphoria. I thought to myself that I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I got to hear the best broadcaster in baseball history call the final out of the World Series. It was the people inside who missed out.

Further Reading.

Quotation: Duct tape is like the force. It has a light side, a dark side and it holds the universe together. Carl Zwanzig

Tune: I first heard this song back on MTV’s 120 Minutes. (Remember when MTV played good songs?) “Mr E.’s Beautiful Blues” immediately made me buy everything I could by Eels.

Gallimaufry: Amazon.com is under fire for their new “adult” policy. The online bookstore has being accused of removing only “adult” literature dealing with homosexuality. (Amazon is claiming a glitch on the site.) Click here to learn more and sign the petition. (Thanks to Beth Treisner)…I suspect that “Facebook Users Get Worse Grades in College” is the first of many articles I’ll read in the next year about the negative effects of the popular social networking site…Al Franken is still not a United States Senator but it appears to be a matter of time until he is. Hey, Minnesota, let the guy in already. Jesse “The Body” Ventura used to be your governor. I mean, seriously.

Incoming: Tomorrow – What’s StumbleUpon?  Thursday – More of your Annoying Sayings/Misused Words (This is now going to be a permanent Thursday thing.) Friday3 Things To Do In Philly When You’re Dead and 5 People I Wish Would Move to Another Planet.