The Best and Worst of the Best and Worst of 2009: Merry Holidays

And tomorrow I will be taking one of those to see my family, to talk about my life, to reassure them that, yes, I’ll have kids one day, I promise.  We need this, don’t we?  We need this Christmas.  This has been a very weird year.  That is what people will say about this year.  It was weird.  It was full of the strange, the stuff that makes a year more “Ugh” than “Yeah!”.  The bad thing is, that is exactly what I said about Last year.  I hope that you all have Merry Holidays.  Be safe.  Don’t eat too much food.  Watch this vid.  Call me a dork.  I know I am.  It’s fine.  Be safe.

The Best and Worst of the Best and Worst of 2009: Twitter

When the image that represents your failures gets promoted on a T-shirt, then maybe you are doing something right...

Twitter is stupid.  So are DVDs, Macbooks, videogames and text-messaging.  All good things are stupid, at first.  Then they become part of our lives like cotton socks and toothpicks. That is why Twitter is so useful.  It is a very raw tool that we have taken over and changed to do what we need it to do.  That is why is has the legs it does and that is why it is so amazing.  And that is why is makes pretty much no money.  Or does it?  Reuters has a story that might have us think a little differently about our favorite free-to-use waste of time.  And we might get a little worried, too.

The companies have kept mum about the financial terms of the deals, which will allow Tweets to appear in Google and Microsoft’s search results. But people familiar with the situation have told Reuters that money did change hands as a result of the deals and the blog AllThingsDigital previously reported that the search deals could be worth several million dollars apiece. It turns out the search deals were worth $25 million, according to a report in Business Week on Monday. Google coughed up $15 million and Microsoft paid $10 million, the report said, citing two anonymous sources. The deals will allow Twitter to finish 2009 as a profitable company, and comes amid ongoing efforts at the company to cut costs.

Why should we worry about Microsoft and Google dipping into our Twitter cookie jaw?   Google Wave and Windows Vista, that’s why.  Do we even have a reason to even think about Google Wave?  WHAT THE HELL DO YOU DO WITH IT? And I wouldn’t give a PC to a homeless tech-worker trying to build spreadsheets for adjunct math profs to get back on their feet.  Twitter works because it has almost ZERO money making ability.  Any add that pops up on a tweet is instantly ignored and any douche that tries to sell me something on twitter is uber-ignored.  That is the sad fate of our capitalistic world.  Give a baby a brand new Xbox and he drools on it.  Give the same kid a box full of styrofoam and you’ve got yourself an instant kid party!  Same thing applies here.  I’m not sure what is keeping Twitter alive, but the moment the money becomes the reason for the season, and the whole point of the contraption will become mute to the reality that I’m not paying any money to tell people what I had for dinner.  Sorry.  But truth.

The Best and Worst of the Best and Worst of 2009: I miss you Battlestar Galactica. I miss you so much….

Like a crack addict that suddenly understood that the crack was free to a point, I consumed Battlestar Galactica until you couldn’t call it consumption.  You had to call it something more perverted.  I wasn’t just watching the show.  I was making the show a part of my digestive system.  It was to the point that there was nothing that could satisfy me besides watching the show.  I mean, they had spaceships and they were shooting robots.  And the robots looked like hot girls.  Why wouldn’t I want to make that a part of my body’s environment?  And, just like cutting down all the trees in the forest, I turned around and watched them all.

I felt empty inside.

I’ve tried to find a replacement, which is representative of the television world that we deal with now.  We don’t know it, or maybe we do, but we are being trained to look forward to a show’s finale more than we do the actual show.  If BSG kept going, it would have de-solved into a disgusting mass of drama and Cylons.  The reason the show worked is because there was an end and it was an end we could anticipate, even if the end wasn’t what we wanted.  The age of shows lasting forever SHOULD be over, but it isn’t.  The Simpsons will continue until the world is burning. Heroes and Lost will go on far past their prime.  Ultimately, these shows going past their prime is their downfall.  It is the end that we need.  We need the conciseness, the tightness of finality.  I will be disappointed if Fringe goes on too long.  And even though DollHouse and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles left us far too soon, I would rather them come and go in a flash of brilliance than linger like a headless, plotless television Zombie.

Television has allowed itself to be relevant by being good.  Bad television is as obvious as a cold-sore now.  And with Netflix and Hulu, advertisers hold less power than the viewers.  Television at the mercy of the mob.  I don’t think that’s bad at all.

The Best and Worst of the Best and Worst of 2009: The Book is Dead. Long Live the Book.

"I mean....Does it have to be so depressing?"

This year has given me a few interesting and substantial changes in my life.  The most meaningful one, which is the constant blessing and the constant curse, is my job at the book store.  I got this job because my teaching part time pay check was only thick enough to pay my rent.  I soon realized I had to eat food as well.  So, I deal with books.  And I don’t deal with books in a very cool, happy way.  I deal with books in a dirty, not fun way.  I deal with them as if they were live stock that needed to be herded.  What I find increasingly interesting are two facts that I see every day I work there.  1.  People read books.  2.  The books that people read are horrible.  These two pieces of information rule the publishing world.  People are reading again.  And when I say “Again” I mean they never stopped.  But people aren’t reading good books.  Some are.  The other day I sold a few copies of “The Road”, which warmed me.  But most people are reading bad Conservative tripe, really bad conservative tripe, romance, mystery books or cook books.  Fiction, my passion, is over there to the left.  You see all that dust?  It is over there.  Since people read the bad stuff, then publishers buy and promote the bad stuff.  They’ll print a fiction book if, maybe, a movie is coming out with it.  If I sell another Time Travelers Wife, there will be murders. But we have only ourselves to blame. Continue reading

The Best and Worst of the Best and Worst of 2009 part 1: Music

I have no idea who Lady Gaga is. So I put her name into the Youtube thingy:

What the hell did I just listen to?

I’m not sure if you call that mash of words and vocals music.  It sounds what I have always envisioned what the mating sound of cloned humans would sound like if we cloned humans and set them free onto the world.  It sounds like the noise a human being would make if, if they were cloned and never heard a word, would make.  It isn’t singing.  It is this…belching.  I honestly feel like I just witnessed a tiny child try and please her parents by belching out words.  So, yes, 2009 will teach us that, no, Lady Gaga isn’t music.  She isn’t.  I’m not completely sure that her language is our language.  Maybe she is sending out radio-waves to aliens in the past, using our technology as a vector.  Or maybe, and this is a bit far-fetched, but maybe if you put anything on a radio and repeat it over and over and over again then some house-wife in the middle of Utah will say, “Man, that Lady Gaga is a hit machine!” and then that is all it takes.  When the bombs drop, our current musical predicament will be the thing I least miss.