Editorial License

Rob Hammerton, music educator etc.

Speed Linking As Editorial

(Two weeks between blog posts. This is probably bad.)  Cleaning out the bookmarks folder of the mind…

[1] Okay, never mind all the other news stories of the past fortnight. What the heck is this about? Two spaces after a sentence is wrong?! Sue me for being a stick-in-the-mud traditionalist. I put two spaces after a sentence (even if Facebook and other online engines o’ grammar automatically change my input to just one space) just because I STILL don’t want to contradict my 8th grade typing teacher, who was one of the strictest teachers I ever had.

[2] That’s the problem with technology like video, the Internets, etc. … it records stuff you say, and it preserves stuff you write for a long, long time. Many people lately have run afoul of the “I didn’t say that!” “Yes you did.” “No I didn’t! I never!” “I have it here on video.” “Oh. So maybe I did.” … syndrome. Justice Antonin Scalia is the latest person to reveal that he has yet to join the late 20th century, and gosh, here’s the 21st century already. Adam Cohen, author of the linked article, writes: “It is a strange view of the Constitution to say that when it says every ‘person’ must have ‘equal protection,’ it does not protect women, but that freedom of ‘speech’ — something only humans were capable of in 1787 and today — guarantees corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections.”

[3] The oddest, most dangerous group whose material you can be accused of plagiarizing: The Simpsons. (As as Charlie Pierce said about it on “Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me”, in the style of the Simpsons judge: “Guilty!”)

[4] Here are two fundraising stories. One of the stories has something to do with the awful shootings in Tucson last weekend that last Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition; one is, shall we say, no longer the most-viewed Congressional story. Both of them do remind us that in Washington, money not only talks, it grabs some people by the lapels and shakes them.

[5] This editorial has everything to do with the Tucson shootings.

[6] Unsurprising news story #1.

[7] Unsurprising news story #2.

[8] The new governor of Maine, newly inaugurated, is a man named Paul LePage. This week Gov. LePage had the grit to stand up tall and tell the NAACP to “kiss my butt”. Temporarily setting aside the context of this remark, the content of his remark, and the recipients of his remark – which is a big job, but you really must try – there’s one thing that strikes me (being as I am a teacher and all). The article that describes this news item notes the “direct manner people have come to expect” from Gov. LePage. “Direct” here would appear to be his spokesman’s euphemism for “disrespectful, and revelatory of a desperate need for attention”. At the most basic level, would it be OK if we had leaders who set a decent example for our kids?

[9] Speaking of disrespect, or certainly the appearance of same, this article describes how, now that Simon Cowell has taken his leave of “American Idol”, there’s no one on the “Idol” judging panel who wants to take on the role of the Bad Guy. Most of the comments that follow the article, interestingly, cover three distinct topics: “I’m not watching if Simon’s not on”; “Simon was mean”; and “Simon wasn’t mean, he was telling it like it was”.

Full disclosure: I wrote a children’s musical based loosely on the “Idol” phenomenon recently, and one of the main characters was, um, somewhat reminiscent of Simon Cowell. The jokes I wrote for him were uniformly nasty, and the young lady who (in reverse-Shakespearean tradition, crossing the actor/character gender line) portrayed him gave a spot-on performance; and I got lots of laughs based on ruthless insult humor, which I’m not normally known for, so it was kind of neat to be able to author lines like “He is the most pathetic excuse for a TV host I’ve ever seen. A lobotomized panda with a speech impediment could do better.”

But as much as I thought Mr. Cowell expressed himself so nastily because he wanted to perpetrate his image as an insufferable jerk (and thus keep everyone’s eyes on him) … there are people on earth who just as clearly have no idea that they’re far less talented than they think they are.  As often as not, Mr. Cowell’s assessments of the various Idol singers were as accurate as they were insulting.

[10] Now, in contrast … about people who tend to uplift more than they beat down (and even when they require you to take a hard look at yourself, you still enjoy the experience):

This week it was announced that Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser will be one of the presenters at the UMass edition of the GNP Drum Major Academy this summer. I’m always pleased to work with the DMA staff every summer largely because the staff is such an amazing group of people; but in this upcoming DMA summer which will of course be very different, the presence of Dr. Tim will be much more than “merely” its usual inspiring self.

[11] And finally: my Audio Find of the Week. Fortnight. Month. Whatever. Stay with it for the whole two and a half minutes or so.


January 15, 2011 - Posted by | blogging, celebrity, DMA, education, entertainment, Famous Persons, government, humor, Internet, media, music, news, politics, technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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