Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm thinking Richardson/Thompson in the finals

There's this video game called Guitar Hero. You hold a toy guitar and try to replicate the hand positions you are shown onscreen. A great way to learn an instrument, except the toy has 5 colored buttons instead of six strings and there is absolutely zero correlation between aptitude at this game and actual guitar playing. So the skills players work so hard to gain have no application beyond the game. It's like the campaign season: The candidates participate in debates, although the skillset required for competent presidenting includes no debating whatsoever. We might as well watch them arm wrestle.

Monday, November 19, 2007

There's less hunkering, too.

It's mid-November and a sunny 73 degrees outside. This is deeply unsettling for a kid from Collinwood, where the annual snowfall measurement is somewhere between a Keith Richards coke-line and an NBA center. Down here, winter means hanging up the seersucker until next year. Where I come from, it's an unambiguous restatement of the ground rules of existence: The world is trying to kill you. Eventually it will. The best you can do is buy yourself a little time. Survive till April, and you win the prize -- spring cleaning and a few games of horseshoes in your shirtsleeves.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Greetings, puny earthlings.

What? Monday so soon? Another week begins, and I got nothing. For most of us, Monday means going back to work we don't like, to pay for things we don't want. Or won't want once we have them. Crockpots. Document shredders. That's in case someone wants to steal your identity. (Me, I find the whole idea of identity theft sort of flattering.) It's all so wasteful; I just heard somewhere that it would take 6 Earths to support everybody in a moderate American lifestyle. I for one see this as the most powerful argument yet for a revived space program.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The working class and the employing class have nothing in common.

God help us all, the screenwriters have gone on strike. Media commentators try to impress upon us what an earth-shattering cultural catastrophe this is. Of course, their lines were all written for them by guild members. For most of us, the hard part is trying to get our brains around the idea that the stuff we see on TV and at the movies is ever actually written at all. It seems more... um... excreted. One effect of the strike will be immediate: David Caruso will have no idea whether to take his sunglasses off or put his sunglasses on.