Friday, April 28, 2006

So That's Where They Got Their Name

"During the Magical Mystery Tour film, Vivian Stanshall performs a song entitled "Death Cab for Cutie", a satirical song about a fatal car accident."

That night Cutie called a cab.
Baby, don't do it
She left her East Side room so drab.
Baby, don't do it
She went out alone in town
Knowing it would make her lover frown.
Death cab for Cutie
Death cab for Cutie
Someone's going to make you pay your fare.

The cab was racing through the night.
Baby, don't do it
His eyes, they were keeping Cutie in sight.
Baby, don't do it
When he saw Cutie it gave him a thrill
Don't you know that baby cabs can kill?
Death cab for Cutie
Death cab for Cutie
Someone's going to make you pay your fare.

Cutie, don't you play with fate.
Don't you leave your love alone.
If you go out on this date
His heart will turn to stone.
Bad girl Cutie, what have you done?
Baby, don't do it
Slipping, sliding down on Highway 31.
Baby, don't do it
The traffic lights change from green to red.
They tried to stop but they both wound up dead.
Death cab for Cutie
Death cab for Cutie
Someone's going to make you pay your fare.
Someone's going to make you pay your fare.
Someone's going to make you pay your fare
Someone's going to make you pay your fare.
You can hear a sample of it here. I print this Death Cab For Cutie trivia in honor of my sister, a big Death Cab For Cutie fan, who graduates later today from Michigan. which means I better get some sleep. Congrats!!!!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Corzine Sucks

I know I traditionally save my anger for Republicans, but Corzine's plan to save New Jerseyans money on gas is just soooo stupid.

First, he wants to reduce the speed limit on the turnpike to 55. Because cars are apparently more fuel efficient at 55.

Um, okay Corzine, except we want to drive our cars at 65 (and over). What we want is cheaper gas... not be forced to drive our cars at fuel-efficient speeds.

Second, he wants to end full-service at the pump, New Jersey's pride and joy. While people in other states have to pump their own gas, we have station attendants and never have to leave our cars.

People accused Corzine of being an out-of-touch millionaire when he was running for office. This proves it. I haven't done a poll, but I think its safe to say the vast majority of New Jerseyans take pride in our full-service pumps, and wouldn't give that up to save 5 cents a gallon.

Ending full service would cause attendants to lose their jobs and would cause higher crime at gas stations.

Does Corzine even drive in New Jersey? Does he drive at all? Where do these plans come from? The Democratic Party Handbook For How To Lose Elections?

Hit the road Corzine.
Nintendo Goes Wii Wii

Nintendo announced today that their new game system will not be called "Revolution" after all. Instead, it will be called "Wii."

"It's pronounced 'We,'" they explained. "To emphasize that it's for everyone."

Um... the only thing it emphasizes to me is "I have to take a piss."

Or, if you pronounce it the other way... WHY?

"Revolution" was a damn fine name. Naming game systems isn't really a science, at least, it hasn't been. First there was "Nintendo," then "Super Nintendo," then "Nintendo 64," then "Nintendo Gamecube." And its not like the competition has been going crazy naming their systems either. "Playstation," then "Playstation 2." "Xbox," "Xbox 360." Keepin it simple.

But Wii? They think a system with a wimpy name like that is gonna sell in the U.S.??

Why not just rename Mario, Mr. Wii Wii Pants?

Years ago, Chevy released a car called the Nova to the Mexican market. No one bought it. Why? In Spanish, "No va" means "doesn't go." Didn't these Japanese designers realize that a) Wii is pronounced "Why" following the rules of English pronuciation and b) Wee Wee is used to describe urination and the phallic appendage. Not exactly what you want associated with your new game system.

Nintendo, please, for the love of Princess Peach, change the name back to "Revolution!"

Or at least "Nintendo Gamecube 2."

I'm not the only one having this reaction.

The author on this site writes: "Nintendo has today confirmed the new title for the Revolution will be the Nintendo Wii (pronounced "Wee") - and honestly it's not some sort of joke as we first suspected."

Another writes: "Pronounced "we," as in "we really don't know about this name"

"So what's in a name" writes this blogger.
Katrina? What Katrina?

In the movie "Independence Day," most of America's major cities are wiped out by aliens (from outer space, not from Mexico). "We will rebuild," President Bill Pullman says, or something to that effect. For the sake of Judd Hirsch and the rest of the fictional survivors, I hope he had a better plan than president George "How Much Coke Did I Do?" Bush.

Eight months after a major American city was wiped off the face of the earth, FEMA is cancelling relief assistance to roughly a third of the the survivors. This is despite the fact that these people were led to believe they'd receive assistance for a year. Many planned their lives around this. Imagine budgeting your money so you can get by until your next paycheck. But then the next paycheck never comes. In the city of Houston alone, 9,000 people could become homeless.

Worse, the reasons for FEMA's move are vague and arbitrary. Many of those who received letters telling them time was up have no idea why they were cut off. Either this is a horrific lack of communication on the government's part or, worse, a complete lack of compassion from those who branded themselves as "compassionate conservatives."

Obviously, the government can't provide assistance forever. But there is an interesting contrast between how this country treats the families of 9/11 victims and the Hurricane Katrina victims.

Some families of 9/11 victims got MILLIONS in relief. Now, I'm not going to make any judgement as to whether this was fair or not. All I'm saying is... the victims of Katrina, lost their loved ones, their homes, all of their posessions and their livelihood... and all they got was 8 months rent?

Meanwhile, a Senate committee recommended today that FEMA be dismantled, and a new agency created in its place. Brilliant idea guys. When it's broke, don't fix it... throw it out and spend another couple billion we don't have to create the same damn agency with a different name.

Of course, hurricane season is just a month away, and FEMA has a new plan. OVER-REACT!

The acting director of the agency, David Paulison (Michael Brown is now working at the Denny's off of interstate exit 21B) says that FEMA will evacuate people even during a category 1 hurricane.

In other words, when it starts to drizzle, FEMA will immediately spend billions of dollars to move people out of the way of raindrops. Then, when a real bad storm comes, and they screw up again, they can say "hey, at least we saved you from Hurricane Pussy Willow."

How about some common sense guys. Category 1 storm? probably not gonna require a full-scale evacuation. Category 5? Yeah, get em out of there.

But no one ever accused this administration of being logical.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Everybody Plagiarize!!!

Well, it's official. The 21st century is the age of plagiarism.

First, Jayson Blair copied and invented his way to the front page of The New York Times. Then, James Frey invents vehicular manslaughter, a rehab stint, and a painkillerless root canal and gets himself a best-selling "memoir." Now we have Kaavya Viswanathan, who, at age 17, got a six-figure book deal and admission to Harvard. Turns out Kaavya's first novel, "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life," borrows passages almost verbatim from one of her favorite authors, Megan McCafferty.

This blogger cites some of the passages. He thinks it's more the fault of "book packagers"-- companies that specialize in skewing (rewriting and editing) books for a teen demographic.

The media company that "packaged" Kaavya's book is 17th Street Media Productions. They describe themselves as: "a leading developer and producer of media properties for teens. The Company produces approximately 150 books annually, including the Sweet Valley series, Roswell High, Fearless and Real Teens: Diary of a Junior Year. In addition to editorial, design, and production, and licensing its properties to television and film, software, and foreign territories, 17th Street Productions markets and promotes its properties in conjunction with today's hottest teen brands such as Atlantic Records and Union Bay."

The involvement of media companies in the writing process is troubling. Can you imagine if Charles Dickens was a young writer today?

"Yeah, Charles, this Oliver Twist kid is great, but does he have to be an orphan? Our focus groups show that orphans don't play well in the blue states. Also, do you mind if we add in a couple paragraphs about the new Sugar Ray album?"
But anyways, this plagiarism thing seems to be working out well for today's authors. Yeah, Blair got humiliated, but he was on the front page of the Times. And Frey got bitched out by Oprah... but he also made millions. Where has my original, unplagiarized writing gotten me? I'm thinking I might give this plagiarism thing a shot.

My First Novel (first draft)

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. It was somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember. I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974.

I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho' not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer. But you can call me Ishmael.

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "To be born again," he said, "first you have to die." Many years later, when I faced the firing squad, I was to remember that distant afternoon.

It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn't know what I was doing in New York. In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in the village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I've come to learn, is women. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins.

"To be or not to be," I said to her.

"Romeo," she smiled sweetly. "Wherefore art thou been?"

"Just bought the new Sugar Ray CD," I replied.

Phew! That was difficult. The Ctrl and V keys on my keyboard are worn down to the nub. Just a couple more chapters and multi-million dollar book deal here I come!

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