02.26.10 – A Friday

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word

surreptitious [sur-uhp-tishuhs] adj. 1. obtained, done, made, etc., by stealth; secret or unauthorized; clandestine: a surreptitious glance 2. acting in a stealthy way 3. obtained by subreption; subreptitious

birthday

Wenceslaus (1361), Christopher Marlowe (1564), Victor Hugo (1802), Levi Strauss (1829), William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846), John Harvey Kellogg (1852), Herbert Henry Dow (1866), Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887), Tex Avery (1908), Jackie Gleason (1916), Tony Randall (1920), Fats Domino (1928), Johnny Cash (1932), Mitch Ryder (1945), Michael Bolton (1953), Greg Germann (1958), Erykah Badu (1971)

standpoint

Earlier this week, I admitted to succumbing to the subtle nuances of the sport of curling. I didn’t claim to love it. It’s okay. As far as television watching goes, it accomplishes what it needs to. But I’m annoyed about people clamoring on and on (and on) about the high television ratings curling is getting during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Let’s face facts. This time next week, hardly anyone’s going to be lifting a finger to do anything about their supposed love affair with curling. It’s not the fact the cult sport is getting so much attention that’s drawing my ire. Good for curling, I guess.

No, what’s bothering me is the insinuation and the mindset of “majority rules,” the notion that if most everyone shares the same opinion on a particular person, event or ideal, inherently it must have a certain degree of merit. It’s employed as a substantive bookmark and those in the minority, those who just don’t see what all the fuss is about, are viewed as being ultraist. And, in case you’re unaware, I’m no longer talking about something as innocuous as curling.

In our society, somewhere along the way it became improper to have a dissenting voice. If you’re not a joiner, your point of view doesn’t carry the same weight. In most circles, you’re summarily dismissed as one sort of crackpot. You didn’t vote for Obama? You don’t watch American Idol? You haven’t read any books Oprah’s recommended? You don’t own any classic rock albums? You don’t get jacked for Monday Night Football? Why not? What the hell is wrong with your dumb ass?

Maybe those are questions you’ve been asked. They’re queries designed to put you on the defensive. They’re meant to imply you most likely have a wire loose somewhere in that head of yours. They’re intended to make you reconsider your discord with what everyone else is doing. There’s a reason for that. When you break from the norm it creates a certain amount of anxiety among those who don’t. It raises doubts within them they’d prefer to overlook. It’s cause for pause, an unsettling wavering to the approach of most individuals’ need to be a part of something with little regard to precisely what that something is.

Simply put, the majority has the edge on the minority in sheer numbers. But the latter scares the former much more than the former does the latter. And that’s because while the majority does in fact rule, it’s mostly in error a high percentage of the time. Pick up any history book and you’ll find an overabundance of instances in which the majority blundered.

There’s absolutely no harm in a surge of popularity for a sport in the Olympics, reading a book someone suggests or listening to Boston. The harm resides in the zeitgeist.

The minority is sometimes right; the majority always wrong.George Bernard Shaw

quotation

War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.Jimmy Carter

tune

Earlier this week, I posted an a capella cover version of Toto’s “Africa” by Perpetuum Jazzile. One of my most loyal readers, and closest friends, posted a video response. I think it’s also a quality ditty. Thanks, Joe Taylor, for your interest, albeit often overzealous, in me and my blog. In honor of you, good buddy, I present Howie Day‘s version of “Africa.” Enjoy.

gallimaufry

This is all the proof you’ll need to be convinced it merely takes a lot of money to get a shitty record produced. Props for including Paris Hilton on the list. So very very true.

If you’re an adult between the ages of 25-40, you’ll identify with this article. There’s a reason a lot of names went the way of the dodo. Hey, parents, not that you’ve got a kid, I understand you’re just dying to show all your friends how creative you can be, but give your kid a break. You have to remember that chldren are awfully mean to each other, and your sons and daughters are going to have a hard time appreciating your ingenuity while dining alone in the cafeteria.

→ I’m pretty sure internet music sites all over the world would simply shut down if there wasn’t at least one item per day to post about Thom Yorke. Yesterday’s big news? Yorke finally named the band he put together last fall – Atoms For Peace. The only aspect of AFP (as I’m sure music geeks will soon be calling it) weaker than the name is that Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (or RHCP), is its bassist.

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02.17.10 – A Wednesday

word

ethos [ee-thos, ee-thohs, eth-os, -ohs] n. 1. Sociology. the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period: In the Greek ethos the individual was highly valued 2. the character or disposition of a community, group, person, etc 3. the moral element in dramatic literature that determines a character’s action rather than his or her thought or emotion

birthday

Aaron Montgomery Ward (1844), Banjo Paterson (1864), Thomas J. Watson (1874), Hal Holbrook (1925), Chaim Potok (1929), Gene Pitney (1940), Huey P. Newton (1942), Rene Russo (1954), Lou Diamond Phillips (1962), Michael Jordan (1963), Michael Bay (1965), Denise Richards (1971), Billie Jo Armstrong (1972), Ralphie May (1972), Jerry O’Connell (1974), Jason Ritter (1980), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (1981), Paris Hilton (1981)

standpoint

Oh, yes! It is time, once again, for another installment of The Wishing Well, a regular column in which I waywardly wish five wishes.

I WISH Google would’ve spent a little more time developing Buzz before releasing it to the world. Last week, Buzz just showed up on my Gmail and, so far, it seems mostly a weak answer to Facebook and Twitter. Maybe I’ll be proved wrong one day but it won’t be tomorrow.

I WISH it was possible for me to tell you I dislike Patti Stanger, the lady from The Millionaire Matchmaker. But it’s not. Despite myself, I think she might actually be a good person. Go figure.

I WISH every website that automatically plays a video or song when you visit it would please cut that shit out. Listen, I’m on your site for a reason. You’ve got my interest. So, maybe you could quit trying to give me a heart attack with your cacophonous nonsense.

I WISH someone would explain to me why in the world CNBC would choose to keep airing the Women’s Curling match/game/whatever between the United States and Japan when there was a perfectly good Men’s Ice Hockey game going on between Canada and Norway. Actually, the hockey game turned out to be a lopsided 8-0 win by Canada. But still.

→ I WISH Pitchfork would diversify its coverage a bit. I mean, honestly, how much do we really need to know about Thom Yorke and Wayne Coyne?

That’s it for this installment. Got any wishes you’d like to share?

quotation

How wrong to have been so negative, how wrong to have been so gloomy, how wrong to have run away from life, how wrong to have said no, again and again, instead of yes. ↔ Jonathan Franzen

tune

Way back in 1998, there were these Philips Electronics TV ads featuring then-unknown English indie-rock band Gomez performing a cover of The Beatles’ “Getting Better.” I remember wanting to hear more of the song and, despite my best attempts, I never did find it and eventually forget about it. Until now. I was never a fan of Gomez but, recently, I’ve been reintroduced to the band and am sort of digging them. As a result, my memory was jogged and I remembered my unfinished mission to find the song from the TV commercial. I found it. “Getting Better” by Gomez. Enjoy.

gallimaufry

So there’s this episode of Family Guy in which there’s a negative depiction of someone with Down syndrome. And, sure, that’s kind of shitty but it’s Famly Guy and exactly no one should be surprised. What I find a tad more offensive is why anyone thinks I care what Bristol Palin thinks about anything at all.

→ The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is really keeping a nice perspective on what’s important at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games as it’s upset over the slogans on the masks of the goalies for the United States Men’s Hockey Team. Especially, Jonathan Quick’s which sports “Support Our Troops” on the back.

→ Does anyone out there have a Powermat? Do they really work? Let me know.