January 29, 2002

January 21, 2002

Good heavens! A letter! (well, an e-mail) ...

Dear Goatboy,

Where have all our utopian dreams of yesteryear gone?

Halifax, NS

Oh Mudgy ... What a question. But easily, if sadly, answered. Unsustainable business model.

January 20, 2002

Oh geez ... Tim Cavanaugh doesn't like blogs. I think. It's kind of hard to say. I didn't really find his point till about 3/4 of the way through his article about war blogs. He had to list about a gazillion links first (each with an appropriately witty remark preceding it).

Blah blah blah ... I guess he had a word limit to make. But when he actually gets to where he's going, it's a legitimate observation - bloggers don't have an, "...our man in Afghanistan." To a large extent, they require the mainstream media for information. But if he actually read some of the blogs, he'd see this is not the point. The purpose is comment and critique on the information available, and how the information is presented. I don't think anyone is pretending to report the news - just reflect on it.

His column also illustrates the biggest weakness of many (if not most) blogs, although he doesn't pick up on it. It's the same weakness traditional media has with its commentary, discussions and so on. It's the absence of genuine debate (or dialogue, if you prefer). While points made are often good, they tend to be buried beneath mounds of name-calling and elaborate efforts to be witty. Umm ... kind of like Cavanaugh's blast at war blogs. Will any of these people (say, Andrew Sullivan?) ever change Noam Chomsky's opinions? No. Will he ever change any of their's? No. This is largely because they never talk to each other, and their heels are so dug in when it comes to a position. Each talks to him or herself, and to those who already agree with their opinions.

This "preaching to the choir" is not the province of blogs. It's the characteristic of human beings in an age where everyone talks and no one listens.

January 14, 2002

Last night, the People's Choice Awards. Yes, I watched some of it. I saw where the favourite movie of the year was between Shrek, The Fast and The Furious, and some other movie ... Pearl Harbor, I think.

OK. So ... The Fast and The Furious? Apparently the People Choice awards are geared largely to the trailer park crowd.

Shrek won, and I don't have a problem with that. But really, this show should be called The Awards Show We Have To Go To For Fear Of Alienating Audiences Even Though It's An Embarrassing Joke Awards. Tom Hanks looked utterly bewildered. "Wasn't Cast Away last year's movie?" he seemed to want to say.

These awards are largely based on who's been on "E!" in the last week have no apparent relationship to merit. What a dumb show. I feel bad for the clowns that have to go to it for fear of killing their chances in other award shows or pissing off the bonehead market. Sheesh!

January 13, 2002

If I do this correctly, you'll see me sporting the bewildered blockhead look to the left of this text. This is me encountering morning at far too early time of day. Dawn is always a startling and unwelcome experience, hence the expression.

Well! Apparently I didn't do this correctly! So it's an appropriate expression - though you can't see it.

For those who care, this disagreeable indecision of the weather has finally abated. It has made its choice and winds have shifted from a south-westerly, Pacific tinctured breeze to a chilly, northern hack and wheeze. The temperature descends. Oddly, I feel better the less pleasant it gets outside.

The human body is a confused organism. Toodles!
Here's the thing about these blogs ... You come across the oddest things. For example, I was directed by one site to Farting Dog Harmonics. Pretty mindless stuff. But think: someone took the time to put it together.

Bored world, I suppose.

January 12, 2002

Let me be brief and trivial ... I’m listening to a radio station from Spokane and they just played that Bryan Adams song, “Everything I Do,” or whatever it’s called. He simply HAS TO redo the vocals.

Every time I hear this song I want to tear my hair out, at least when he sings the hook, “Everything I do, I do it for you.” Why does he insist on putting the word “it” in there?

It throws off the rhythm of the line. It doesn't scan properly. And I’m pretty sure there’s some grammatical bungling happening there: the word "everything" suggests a collective, more than one, something plural. The word “it” is singular. One thing.

Either way, in my head I always correct it. I hear “Everything I do, I do for you.” But then in the background I hear this clunker beat, the “it,” screwing up the line.

Please, please, please … re-record the vocals! Drop the “it!” I can’t freakin’ stand it! It drives me buggy! (No pun intended.)

There. I’ve vented and feel immeasurably better for it. Please continue with your day. Toodles!
Burble is a preferable word to, say, babble or blather, prate or gush. I can’t imagine calling this “The Gush.” I can’t hear myself telling someone to go online to read my gushes.

Of course, I can’t imagine telling someone to go online to read my burbles either. But I have less difficulty with it than with gushes.

Actually, the only real problem I have with “Burble” is the moistness. Yes, it’s a wet sounding word to me. It conjures an image of a slow-motion moving mouth making soft, droning sounds as lips softly smack and spittle dribbles slowly from the corners – the right corner more so than the left.

Like a bus stop on a rainy day, it may be best to stand back a few feet when you read these burbles.

January 11, 2002

Okay, so there’s a serious issue with the title. I may have mentioned this before. This is clearly NOT a “Daily” rant and, let’s be honest, it’s only seldom anything resembling a “rant.”

It desperately needs a new name. I’m giving some thoughts to “The Burble,” but I really don’t know what that means. Hang on … let me grab my Canadian Oxford dictionary …

Yes, I think this is it. The name it originally had … The Burble – burble as a noun.

“ … 1) a murmuring noise. 2) rambling speech.”

Yes, yes. And you may call me The Burbler, if you so choose.

So why have I not been keeping this a daily sort of thing? Well, I keep spending too much of my online time visiting other people’s burbles. My favourite remains, Lileks. Cool site, and (unlike your host here) has The Bleat, which is new everyday, Monday through Friday. Where’s that guy find the time to do all the things he does? Baffles me.

And here’s an intriguing concept: what if he isn’t real? What if everything he writes about his child and dog, Minnesota, and everything … is entirely made up! What if he’s really a guy in a basement in Chicago spinning stories, whatever pops into his head, but doing it so well it’s utterly convincing?

Well, maybe not. But I find the idea intriguing.

Sadly, after writing the above I went off on an unanticpated tanget about Star Trek. But my laptop crapped out and it was lost. All for the best, I suppose.

For now, toodles!

January 3, 2002

Good weather today. Winds from the south-west, meaning Pacific air finding it’s way all the way up here (a long haul). Temperatures rose; ice did a Wicked Witch of the West thing, melting like a crone with a good dose of water.

Unfortunately, despite the pleasantness of the air, the winds are like Tramontanas. They make you bitchy; they make the bones and muscles ache; they make sleeping an off and on affair. At least for me. Like what Melville said at the start of Moby Dick about wanting to knock people’s blocks off. The world frowns on that though …

Today was a long, fruitless and grumpy traverse to its end. I accomplished next to nothing, starting a million things, finishing nothing. And bitchy? Everything annoyed me. I hate days like these.

The upside, I suppose, is tomorrow should be an improvement and it’s Friday. Everybody say, “Yay!” Thank you.

Weird, truncated week. No one’s yet into the, “Christ, I gotta work for a living …” panic mode normally associated with a working week. And this is good, though it makes the thinking person worry for what’s coming up next week. You know, the anal-retentives and business boys and girls back and energy charged as they bellow, “Build that bottom line! Extend those revenue streams! Grow that market share!”

Gad! Where do they find these people?

Hmm … I’m sounding far too glum. Must put a wrap on this. So …


January 1, 2002

Alarming. That's all I can say about it. Alarming! I refer to the Daily Rant as viewed through Netscape.

What's the story there? All the text is in bold! How'd that happen, huh? Geez ... The only reason I know is because I viewed the page from work using Netscape. I nearly crapped my pants. So ... please don't view the Daily Rant using Netscape. Use IE. (I can't believe I'm asking people to use a Microsoft product ...)