4 May

So the Beatles have been licensed for advertising…

Okay, maybe this happened years ago, and I was living under a rock. Maybe it happened recently which is why I just now find myself pondering this “issue.” While watching something I will not name on NBC.com I was treated to constant commercials from Sprint’s new ad campaign that features classic Beatles hits. Then I recalled the TV spots from the same campaign I’ve been seeing recently. Then I got confused.

You see, the Beatles wrote amazing music. Seriously, amazing music. In one documentary that I saw sometime around the 20th anniversary of John’s death (Dec 2001, natch) somebody who I can’t recall said the Beatles made music that made you feel good. It was that simple. It was also categorically true. No matter how dire things may be, having the Beatles playing in the background can make it better. Bar none. It’s so good, in fact, that I almost actually ENJOY the commercials. Then I get queasy.

I can’t help but remember that while this song, this music, this life affirming, world changing, amazing music that I grew up with (thank you Mom and Dad) is now being used to shill cell phones. I used to be a cellular customer service rep, not for Sprint, but for a cell company, and at the end of the day I can assure you, they’re all very similar, and none of them really respects their customers or the public interest at large. There is a part of me that does not want this music used to sell me things. Don’t use it to sell cell phones, or computers, or cars, or clothes, or anything, please. I want it to stay… pure?

It’s not a rational response I realize. Arguably by putting these songs in ubiquitous advertising new generations will hear them, and using song identifying apps or something, end up being exposed to the wider catalog, and hopefully experience the same wonderful, child like joy that the Beatles gives me.

Honestly though, I don’t quite know how to feel about it. I imagine the daily ennui of 21st century life will eventually make me numb to it. I just wanted to comment on it while I did still feel it, I suppose.

 

30 April

Michael Vick does not make the Madden 12 cover

This is a small meaningless thing compared to so many other things happening right now, but none the less, this news makes me glad. If you did not somehow already hear, EA Sports decided to have a fan vote to determine who would adorn the cover of their decrepit franchise which only survives with life support in the form of an exclusive licensing deal with the NFL. They started with 32 candidates, 1 from each team, with Vick representing the Eagles. As the rounds progressed, so too did Vick and I felt a slowly growing horror as I contemplated the possibility that Michael Vick might win this glorified popularity contest. Most of the sports media has forgiven Vick for the things he did to innocent animals in Virginia, he won the AP’s comeback player of the year award. Still, while it was easy enough to recognize the appeal of that narrative, I have reservation. Vick himself has said he would not do anything differently if he could do it over, because it got him where he is today. It’s a lot easier moving on from torturing animals when you can make millions of millions of dollars and be a star. I still can’t help but wonder about a guy who doesn’t wonder what life would have been like if he hadn’t been the kind of guy who’d torture and murder dogs. Okay, so maybe the fact that my own gut isn’t comfortable with him is not, in reality, a reason to wish he wasn’t on the cover of this video game. Not a rational one anyways. I’m just not sold. But more importantly, what does his story say to the generations of children about his choices? If you’re phenomenally talented and show remorse at some point, at all, you can overcome being a sadistic brute that bullies and hurts anybody within reach? Even if we assume that Vick is truly reformed, his story of redemption is not fit for the youth. There are plenty of age appropriate fictional alternatives that don’t include a “role model” who has “learned his lesson” and wont, again, torture and murder another living being. Vick is right when he says some people will never forget. They shouldn’t. Neither should he. What he did is wrong, and unlike so many of the other people who do the things he did, he has a shot to go on to public love and incredible financial security. I imagine most people with his rap sheet might have a hard time finding a job in a call center these days. I don’t care if he truly has reformed or not, I’m just glad he’s not going to be on the cover of Madden.

15 April

More fun with Gravity

15 April

Gravity

 

A friend told me about a conversation he had with one of his friends, and thus inspired this.

10 March

Fuck you very much Gov Walker

I know I know, that’s really strong language in the title, but I couldn’t help myself. For weeks the nation has been watching this slow drama unfold. The protesters fighting for their basic rights, the politicians ignoring their constituency at the behest of deep pocketed private contributors. Business as usual in 21st Century American Politics.

So, tonight, or this morning, or sometime in the last few hours this sad chapter in US history seemingly closed. Apparently the Wisconsin Senate found a way to pass their union busting legislation without the return of the missing Democratic senators.

So what happened, did one of the democratic senators return from Illinois? No. The reason that the bill stalled without the democrats present is that it was a budget bill. There is a minimum quorum of 20 for a budget bill by Wisconsin law. So how did the senate republicans get around the problem? They stripped every provision of the bill that had anything to do with the budget. That’s right, the legislation so necessary for balancing the budget it be in the budget bill, didn’t have to be in the budget bill after all. But then again, this wasn’t about the budget of Wisconsin was it Gov Walker? If it was, you wouldn’t have blown your state’s surplus on corporate taxes less than 30 days after taking office, would you?

All I can say is that Rick Scott, you fucker, you better not get any more ideas. You’ve already managed to wrong theĀ  Sunshine state in Walker level proportions. If you get any fool notions about trying to break up what weak unions we have here, you might find yourself going just a little too far. Does anybody even know how hard it actually is to force a recall? Is there a time frame we have to wait to pass before pushing for one? These are the burning questions I want answers to.