Posted by: Mark Nielsen | May 14, 2008

Two Americas: The Odd and the Odder

A few random newsbits and stories on topics close to my heart:

First the obvious: John “Two Americas” Edwards threw his support to Obama today. Most likely he saw those exit poll numbers that showed about 35% of Clinton voters (poor or working class, white, Southern — all Edwards’ specialties) in West Virginia said they’d vote for McCain instead of Obama if Obama got the nomination. That’s a disconcerting number for a Progressive like Edwards, so he chose today to finally pull the trigger and say Obama is a better option than Clinton for cutting into the poverty level (Edwards’ new anti-poverty initiative, Half in Ten, seeks to cut the number of people living below the poverty line in half by 2018… it won’t happen, but we might as well aim high anyway). The bonus is that by endorsing today, Edwards makes clear to his supporters that McCain is not even a remotely good choice for those who share Edwards’ priorities. —– It was a nice touch, and again -as I’ve said before- a strong indication that Edwards is vying for either the VP nod or a major cabinet position in an Obama administration. I think he’d be great, personally. Maybe more effective as Secretary of Labor, Agriculture or Commerce, but as a VP he would shore up Obama’s support among the possible Democratic turncoats who consider McCain a reasonable option.

Apropos of nothing: A poll of the U.S. asking what were the cities with the rudest drivers puts Miami at the top of that list. Second is Boston. This was no surprise to me, though I actually like driving there — at least they know what they’re doing and, for example, don’t need TWO LANES empty to make a right turn on red like some morons around here. New York City was third, and my beloved Chicago was way down at #8 ! Finally some good news.  We’re just nice over here in the Midwest. Youse could learn a little something from us.

Latest sign of the recession: people are’t buying porn like they used to.  Yup, sales of DVDs and whatnot are down 30% from last year. And last year, it was already down 11% from previous years. Don’t kid yourself, though. The industry is still turning huge profits. Probably what’s happening is that the internet has cut significantly into the sale of DVDs and other hard goods (pun intended).

Speaking of DVDs, is anyone buying this b.s. about having to get a Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player? In my studied, professional opinion, Blu-Ray’s increase in visual quality on an LCD High Def screen is nominal at best (because a regular DVD on an HD monitor looks pretty great already). Not to mention, what are we supposed to do with all our perfectly good, 7-10 year-old DVD players? Sometimes I hate all this American compulsion to keep up with technology, not to mention the planned obsolence for the prior generation’s product. I still use VHS to tape shows I can’t watch in person, and my father-in-law’s fifteen-year-old regular 8mm Sony video camera (which we got as a hand-me-down) is still more reliable than the piece of crap Canon DV minicam that I bought three years ago and has already broken twice. Bottom line: if you have not stepped up to a better TV yet, to get a great theater-like picture for a decent price, get a plasma screen from Sony, or even Panasonic, and stick with your regular DVD. The rest is just hot air.

The Tampa Bay Rays (they’re no longer Devils… what, did the Satanist lobby complain?) just took over first place from the Red Sox. Now I KNOW the Apocalypse is just around the corner.


Responses

  1. I so agree with you on the planned obsolescence / Blu-Ray thing. It infuriates me the way they try to force us into conspicuous consumption.

    As for politics, I think you need to add “oddest” to your categories. Did you see Chicago Tonight last night? Phil Ponce interviewed the author of Clinton in Exile, who concluded her segment by announcing that Bill Clinton is dating. Huh? I had to go watch the video clip today to make sure I’d heard her correctly. I did. (You can slide the marker almost to the end if you want to skip the whole interview.)

    [video src="http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=42,8,4&vid=http://wttw.vo.llnwd.net/o16/wttw/c2n/051408e.flv" /]

    The husband of one of our presidential candidates is dating. Truly, don’t you find that odd?

  2. I so agree with you on the planned obsolescence / Blu-Ray thing. It infuriates me the way they try to force us into conspicuous consumption.

    As for politics, I think you need to add “oddest” to your categories. Did you see Chicago Tonight last night? Phil Ponce interviewed the author of Clinton in Exile, who concluded her segment by announcing that Bill Clinton is dating. Huh? I had to go watch the video clip today to make sure I’d heard her correctly. I did. (You can slide the marker almost to the end if you want to skip the whole interview.)

    [video src="http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=42,8,4&vid=http://wttw.vo.llnwd.net/o16/wttw/c2n/051408e.flv" /]

    The husband of one of our presidential candidates is dating. Truly, don’t you find that odd?

    Comment by Ruth Hull Chatlien May 15, 2008 @ 4:17 pm


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