Friday, May 29, 2009

I want a new drug....

I never really thought of myself as a junkie, but with re-runs of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert this week, I've been letting the TV drift to MSNBC and watching some of their hosts. My wife can't stand Chris Matthews, and personallyKeith Olbermann I find all the yelling and talking-over-each-other very disagreeable as well. Keith Olbermann is somewhat more tolerable, but his mocking voices and bits like "worse, worser, worst" (anyone else wanna bitch slap him back to grammar school, unless he agrees to revise that to "bad, worse, worst"?) get kinda old - even if the material is topical and poignant.

Rachel Maddow is the most tolerable Rachel Maddowof the bunch, and when I first stumbled across her I was very much a fan. Lately I find her a bit too repetitive - the first half of her bit tonight about the bashing of the new supreme court nominee Sonia Sotomayor was mostly rehashing her material from yesterday (or recently) - for a while I thought I was watching a rerun.

More disturbing, however, is how this "news network" is turning more and more into an attempted mix between a formal news broadcast and comedy tea bagscentral. Stewart pointed it out himself, talking about their coverage of the "tea baggging" on tax day - how the MSNBC hosts were playing up to the *sexual* connotation of that term (if you still aren't all awares about that, do yourself a favor and "google" it, "wiki" it, or at least check it out at the "urban dictionary") and the obliviousness of the republican organizers, and apparently most participants and many correspondents as well.

They have really crossed the line - or jumped the shark, as it were - with segments like Keith's "WTF? moment." We all know what it stands for (or - again, look it up!), but do we really need a professional news show host to be repeatedly dumbing-down their shows and going for shock value? They have already adopted the worst aspects of network news, giving mini-teasers before commercial breaks and throughout the show, hoping to get you to stay for the end. Sometimes you hear the same lead-in / promo for whatever "story" 5-6 times before they actually get to it, and they spend less time discussing the story than they do promoting it. I guess it's tough to fill their hour-long slots. Is that why Rachel talked to a friggin' spelling bee winner for a huge segment of her show tonight?!? Ugh!!

Sonia SotomayorSomething I did find interesting was her reaction to all the bashing of Sonia Sotomayor. I do agree that it sounds very negative and one-sided, and I applaud the effort to bring out the true and full details of this reverse-discrimination case that is up before the current supreme court now. But along with her call to keep discussion of Sotomayor's nomination civil, she also seemed to be calling for a silencing of Sotomayor's critics. They do need to be making fact-based arguments and should be encouraged - hell, bound by their "position in society" - to be civil and respectable about things, but any reference to "silencing" the dissent or debate would be counter to our principles as a nation.

Liz CheneyThe other interesting item on her show was all this hubbub about Dick Cheney and his persistent defense of torture. Now he's got his daughter Liz Cheney hitting the trail for him as well, talking about these mysterious classified memos that demonstrate the "effectiveness" of torture. I understand she is a lawyer, but what precisely is her expertise with respect to these classified memos? Has she seen them? I don't believe she is involved highly enough to have that clearance Meghan and Cindy McCain(although I could be wrong - anyone know? I didn't see much in my initial search on-line), so unless daddy breached security and showed them to her, she really shouldn't be talking them up. As opposed to Carl Levin, who has seen the memos and is finally speaking AGAINST Cheney's claims. But just like Meghan McCain, Liz Cheney is a hot blonde republican. This is probably more rViagra pillselated to attempting to change the image of the republican party, "rebranding" it with new faces (even if what they are spewing is old hat). If the party keeps moving in this direction, they may finally decrease their dependence on Viagra!

Meanwhile, even General Petraeus is admitting that the Bush administration violated the Geneva Convention .... I look forward to further developments on a thorough investigation and some holding of appropriate people accountable, to the U.S. as well as the people of the world that we claim to be role models for.

Ah... it feels good to rant again. More to come!


All photos lifted from google image searches.

Welcome to the neighborhood

Welcome to the new digs of "Bonzophrenia"!

I started this blog back in '05, but never did much to make it more appealing visually or to generate much traffic. In the process of making it over, I decided to move it to a more appropriate domain name - which also gave me the opportunity to start from scratch in the sense of blog design and utilization.

The old site was pretty much cookie-cutter from "Blogger / Blogspot." With this new template, I have much more flexibility. Plus it really shows off the header collage, which was quite the project in and of itself. Thanks, wif!! Hope the overall effect isn't too distracting or nauseating....

I hope to entertain with this blog, as well as stimulate thought and discussion, maybe even debate. Please feel free to comment and leave suggestions. Lurkers - that means you too!

I'll celebrate the launch of the new site with a self-portrait of sorts ... thanks to kapgar for the link to this "mini-mizer" / lego avatar:



No, I'm not in the nuclear industry, but at least the mindset expressed above is about on-target for me. Had used the steam tower image in a previous post - unfortunate that the second tower makes it look like lego-me's head is gassy ... or maybe a better commentary?!?

Happy surfing, and please drop me a line! What do you think of the new site? And any guesses at a hidden meaning or two in the title of this post?

Hugs, kisses, and coffee enemas,
Bonz'

Sunday, May 3, 2009

C.R.A.P. Sunday - Time's a-wastin'

Catch-up Rants And Platitudes - #8 - Time waster edition

I have been very productive, in unmeasurable and insignificant ways.

Not much to report on the volunteering-side ... putting in my time, hopefully it has been beneficial, kinda hard to measure at this point. The good news - have a lead on a clinical opportunity - will have to see how that plays out.

Blew the rest of my time this past week on mostly really useless stuff. Take, for example, my goodreads page. This is a really cool site where you can build up your history of all the books you have read in the past, rate them, review them (if so moved), and develop a list of books to read in the future. It has a lot of options for "shelves" of books - you can create any categories to group your books that you choose. I selected to create lists of books that were read multiple times, or for reference, or so long ago that I cannot recall much about them. Others have lists based on what year they read the book, or based on the genre. Since most of my reads tend to fall into science fiction (ie, Dune), horror (ie, Stephen King), or fantasy (ie, The Wheel of Time series) - and many of those fully overlap (ie, King's The Dark Tower series) - I didn't bother separating by genre.

Wasted most of my time after entering my books by A) attempting to fill in "when" I read them (very loosely guessed), and then B) changing the image of the covers to more closely represent the image of the book I am most familiar with. Very cool that it has these features, but I would expect to be able to enter some of that info in "batches," instead of one by one.

Typed up a few reviews too - for the titles that jumped out at me as needed some commentary. I will try to go back and comment on some others later, and of course then every book I add in the future I will try to get a little blurb out on. You may have to be a registered user to read reviews - but check it out and see if ya like it.

Movies

Along those same lines is the movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes. Check out the links in the sidebar. I had only one review up so far, but was inspired to drop another one after seeing the movie below. Click inside the movie poster to go to my review. And then let me know what you thought of it - either here in the comments or on that site.


News

This swine flu is getting raging amounts of coverage now. I guess people needed a break from North Korea, Iran, and torture. I'm still betting that in retrospect it will be a bit of an overblown response. Just use common sense - with prompt treatment for those getting sick, chance of recovery is pretty high. And it just serves as a reminder for the usual transmission-prevention techniques - don't sneeze on people, and wash your hands frequently. Keep sick kids that can't manage these conventions away from their peers until they are healthy.

Politics

The first official defector from the Republican Party, Arlen Specter, drew quite a stir. If the Minnesota race is ever decided and Al Franken finally gets seated, that will push the Dems in the Senate to that critical 60th vote. Assuming he and the other Dems vote along party lines for any given item in question. Specter basically switched to help ensure his re-election, given that he would have better chances in the Democratic primary than Republican. I would have been happier to see this as a form of protest against "the party of NO" and the Republicans' other apparent roadblocks to passing worthwhile legislation. And instead of trying to change his party from within, he basically switched sides and then reminded everyone that he still may not vote with the majority. That's fine - I would expect ANY politician to vote based on the merits of bill and the input of their constituents - but Specter's move seems more personally-motivated than party-related.

Da Blog

The other wasted time today [after a visit with my nephews, sis & her in-laws, and folks - this wasn't the wasted part, although I did feel a little buzzed after my two mega-martinis (thanks, Dad!)] was playing with the sidebar here (on the right) and making "widgets" work for "goodreads" and "rotten tomatoes." For those not in the know, "widgets" are groupings of text that form the coding behind interactive components of the website. On the goodreads widget you can flip through some book covers from my list of recently-read books, and in the Rotten Tomatoes one you can search for a movie or celebrity.

These are basically test-runs... when I *finally* do the major template overhaul, I will include other related links and make this more functional and attractive.

And then I will promptly ignore the blogosphere for just long enough to make all these efforts obsolete.

Any suggestions on readability, formatting, content, or other items to be on the lookout for are welcomed!

blog history & pending

upcoming:

  • update sidebar & links

previous:

  • 2009-december: updated some content and re-initiated the blog
  • 2009-june: tweaked colors and link appearances
  • 2009-may: formatted search boxes and reference / mail icons
  • 2009-may: transfered original blog to "bonzophrenia" domain, including manual transfer of comments; original dates preserved in italics
  • 2008-nov: resumed blogging more regularly
  • 2005-feb: started "Bonzo-phrenia" at "bonzo-er" domain

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Site credits


Unless otherwise noted, all written content is (c) Bonzo 2005-2009. Images unless credited otherwise are from google image search or other shared image archives. Header image designed by *ennyllynne*, with an image credit for the fan-shaped book (border removed here) due to nkzs. "try evil" hat worn in profile image designed by David Simmer II, available for sale at Artificial Duck Co.

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