I have a deep appreciation for veterans as a class. I know that sonds bloodless but the feeling behind it isn't. On an individual basis, they are just the same as any other group, some are assholes, vain, stupid, entitled, some are brilliant, honest, courageous, amazing, most are just doing their jobs. But as a group I stand in awe. The word veteran brings me to the verge of losing it, generally. I don't believe we do enough to support them.
But (not a dismissive but, a additive but) there's another class of vets, vets who need vets.
Service dogs who went unquestioning to help their people. No larger purpose, no hesitation. The dog is the definition of love and loyalty for a reason. They made a pact with mankind millenia ago, and have held up their end of the bargain spectacularly.
I watch commercials pretty closely. I work in advertising, and although I don't get to make many TV commercials (and I'm so low on the totem pole that anything I contribute seems to get destroyed) I still try to pay attention to what's being down, and how, and break them down in my head.
There's many ways for a commercial to get fucked up. From obstinate clients who insist on making it "feel" a certain way (GoDaddy's spots strike me that way...painfully horrible, while technically well-made) to just badly conceived, written and executed.
Buffalo Wild Wings' "Overtime" spot falls into the badly conceived and written category. It's filmed, edited, and produced just fine, and the concept is bearable, but executed so fucking poorly that it makes one wonder if there was a head injury to a key writer, and everyone else just signed off on the shit show.
The basic concept is that people are having so much fun at Buffalo Wild Wings that they want the game they're watching to keep going. Thus, they think the only thing that could make the game better is overtime. To whit:
This spot seriously makes me think that the people who wrote it have not only never seen a football game, but are actually the propaganda arm of an alien invasion fleet trying to get people to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings because they've spiked it with dick-exploding viruses. I can't picture any NFL fan who would wish for overtime as a pure statement of enjoying the game. If overtime is their team's only chance of winning, yes, they'll root for it. If overtime means they score big on a bet, OK. But unless they've got a fucking IED rammed up their ass that's going to blow the second the final horn goes off, no fan, ever, has said "Golly! Overtime would be super!" These fuckers are all in their god damn jerseys, so they're clearly rooting. The proper reaction for the fan who hears this "the only thing better" comment would be to punch this cock in the face and apologize to the people around him for not punching him harder.
That shit just went awry.
Bonus: These spots are so much worse than the previous Old Spice ads that I am driven to drink.
I'd drink anyway, but because of Old Spice's failure, I'm drinking really sadly.
I'm listening to this Epiduo commercial, and they say "It seems like everything in your life is going great, and then your face says otherwise", and I laugh. Then I anger at every other thing in the commercial.
I'm trying to get people to set up a Scrabble club in Escondido. I need to vanquish people face to face. This online Scrabble is irritating me, I can't actually see people's hearts breaking.
I've got a night alone, with Desi off doing her thing somewhere, applying the makeups to the faces. I haven't turned on the TV or the lights, for that matter. I've glared at myself in the mirror a few times, daring myself to do something cool with this odd block of ill-defined time that's laid itself over me like a vague tarp.
My answer to that dare has been to sit and listen to things, and look at things as well, words, written by people. I've been on a crazy tear of reading lately, and I think it's put something of a crimp on my finances, despite the ephemeral nature of electronic books. The cost is real enough. I suppose I could download most of them for free. But I don't like to.
The George Martin stuff came along first and reignited my interest in fiction, as I'd only been sporadically reading non-fiction to that point (specific point: a couple hours after I watched the first episode of Game Of Thrones (Specific non-fiction, A History of Vikings, by someone whose book is still sitting in my trunk, 1/3 read(I like mulitple parantheses))). I read A Game of Thrones in about three days, then the next three books at the same pace. After finishing that I knew I had a bit to wait (nothing like early followers of the series, who'd been waiting six years for A Dance With Dragons to come out, me, only a few weeks), so I dug into the old internets to see what was out there, having been out of the sci-fi/fantasy world for as long as I had.
First up was The Passage, by Justin Cronin, which was a fun read that flattened out a bit at the end, but I'd still recommend and await the sequel of happily. A nice blend of Apocalypse and hope.
After that I took a stab at someone I'd never heard of before (but the rest of the sci-fi/fantasy world certainly had), China Miéville. Oddly enough I read pretty much every damn thing he'd published. Pick one. Start out there, finish them all. Miéville is really that good. It is no use listing his best books. They are all outstanding.
When I ran out of Miéville and Martin, with a dash of Cronin, I did a bit of research and came across a fellow named Scott Lynch, who despite being less well-known (but still his work was Hollywood-optioned), seemed appealing. What a lucky strike! The Lies of Locke Lamora was as refreshing a fantasy read as I've had in my entire life. I followed that with a bit less-awestriking Red Seas Under Red Skies, but still it was good enough to make me write the author in hopes of getting some more. While the awe struck may have been less, the initial ringing was still in my ears, and it was good.
The Half-Made World, but Felix Gilman, was next, and it was good. It has a very engaging Western style to it, in a vexing unnatural world full of weird demons and mole-men.
Terry Pratchett came along after that with a sweet, sweet, mist of Discworld in Unseen Academicals. I will take every opportunity to bask on the back of A'Tuin the world turtle and he knows it. Wonderful, amazing, Pratchett.
After that I was a bit asea, so did my familiar backstroke across the internets. At some point I caught the title The Loving Dead, by Amelia Beamer (the link lets you read the first four chapters for nothin'), and while a little lighter weight than some of the other stuff I'd been rapaciously consuming, it was quite a fun read, with a shitload of laughs and shouts. I exchanged emails with the author, who was quite happy to receive random praise in the middle of the night (or early morning).
Having binged mightily on a few dozen books at this point, I cast my gaze backwards, and picked up a book I'd gone over as a teenager and barely understood, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. While the tech was outdated you can't outdate a good story, and Stephenson can tell a good story. That was followed by Cryptonomicon , by Stephenson again, and another good story with outsized ambition, which, if what I read of the Baroque Cycle is true, the author carries around in a huge-ass wheelbarrow and flings all over the place.
Right now I'm reading Old Man's War, by John Scalzi, who I hadn't heard of (despite numerous Hugo nominations) til I read a blog post at his place Whatever, about, of all things, George Martin. What a fucking read. I've been lucky over the last few months in that I'm basically reading the already-published work of the best sci-fi authors out there. If you have an opening, however, read The Lies of Locke Lamora, you won't be sorry.
Happy weekend, all.
I saw it written and I saw it say
Pink moon is on its way
And none of you stand so tall
Pink moon gonna get you all
It's a pink moon
It's a pink, pink, pink, pink, pink moon
Via digby: So libertarian (I won't dignify that crapfest with a cap L) Nick Gillepsie knows exactly why Social Security is "immoral", in his words:
Those who wish to devote their wealth to saving the irresponsible from the consequences of their own actions should be free to do so through private charity, but to loot the savings of untold millions of innocent, responsible, hard-working young people in the name of such a goal is a monstrous injustice.
Assuming, idiotically, of course, that everyone acts either completely rationally, or completely irrationally, and that there are never accidents, illnesses, natural disasters, crimes, fraud, national emergencies, or any of the other myriad ways life has of fucking us over. Also, idiotically, assuming that everyone somehow starts from the same spot, on a level playing field, with a social structure composed of rational deciders. In other words, Gillepsie is 100% right about a fucking made-up computer program, and in all other ways a blithering cocksucking idiot. And I mean cocksucking in the bad way, not the awesome way.
So Nick, if you ever read this, fuck you and your idiocy.
I once got in an argument with a girl who insisted that you can pronounce it "Wed-nes-dee" and be correct. I wasn't full on gladiating with her, but I was skeptical. So I went and looked it up and she was right. In English that's fine. So happy Wednesday. This is the last Wednesday the 16th 2011 you will ever experience in your life, barring a sudden change in our calendaring system.
I watched a documentary called Gasland and it made me less heart-hurt for the probable loss of our country escape/redneck-a-palooza out in Colorado. It's probably riddled with cancerous shit from hydraulic fracturing for gas in the area. There's at least a half-dozen wells on the property. The movie did, unfortunately, make me cry like a tiny tittybaby at least five different times. We're losing our nation to corporations and our land is being poisoned by the endless pursuit of profit. A few will live richly and you and I will starve and die diseased and helpless. Unless we change things somehow, of course.
I stumbled across this while searching for a stock photo of a clenched fist.
There were a lot of terrible pictures in that search. Living with safe search off is a dangerous thing. Glorious, but dangerous. You can't unsee it.
But I'm messing with the site, so if anything weird happens, like someone reading it, I apologize. For the reading. If it doesn't work, well, you're probably better off.
In unrelated news, the dentist trip was easy and smooth like punting a puppy. I am actually looking forward to the followup I have coming in a couple weeks to finish everything off. Although there's still a suture in there that needs to be trimmed off or something because it's all over the place. I have a weird plastic cap on the back two teeth while they're builing my crowns. I'm going to have cyborg mouth soon. I wonder if they'd put a USB tooth in there for me to store data. That would be cool.