Friday Flotsam

Frustrating that so many television networks are still broadcasting in 4:3 format. Watch a movie on a cable channel on an HDTV, and you’ve got all this wasted black space. Let’s move into the 21st century, please.

Kodak is a prime example of a company that’s going under because it didn’t change with the technology. They didn’t jump on the digital photography bandwagon quickly enough, and now it’s costing them.

Really amuses me that this 20-year-old lady is claiming that 17-year-old Justin Bieber is the father of her three month old child. I guess she didn’t do the math before she made the accusation – if it were true, she would be guilty of statutory rape. That’s right, the law doesn’t just apply to men who have sex with underage girls.

Seriously? The Cardinals are upset that Obama never called to congratulate them after they won the World Series. Human pettiness never ceases to amaze me.

I never heard of Joe Paterno before this week. I guess he’s a big deal in that sport (I don’t remember which one) at that college (ditto).

Mo’ what?

I don’t get this whole “Movember” thing, specifically, the connection between moustaches and prostate cancer. I mean, women can have moustaches, too – I’ve seen them on plenty of women! – but they can’t have prostate cancer. So the moustache is not uniquely male. In fact, the only visible physical, um, attribute that is uniquely male is, well, the external genitals. Now, have a month of doing something with those and…never mind.

Besides the whole women-can-do-it-too thing, personally I think the stand-alone moustache makes men look, um, how do I put this politely…stupid. (I know that doesn’t sound polite, but compared to the other adjectives that came to mind…) A lot of people like to point out Tom Selleck as the prime (primeval?) specimen, to which I say, precisely.

Fortunately, most men ignore the call to grow a moustache in November. In fact, the only men I’ve noticed who are doing it are people in the public eye – celebrities, a handful of bloggers, etc. In other words, the men who thrive on attention, anyone’s attention. The rest of us thinks it’s as stupid as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I mean, does it really make anyone more aware? It was founded by a pharmaceutical company, for crying out loud. We all know their only concern is profit.

But, hey, to each his own (pardon the awful cliché). I’ll just be glad when all that extra hair goes down the drain in a few weeks.

Friday Flotsam

Rosie O'DonnellI’m amused by all the tips Chicagoans (both media pundits and regular folks) are giving Rosie O’Donnell on how to be a Chicagoan.

Top 10 Nude Vacations. Not sure I’m up for Iceland, but Australia sounds good.

Owning a car is a privilege; for most Chicagoans, it’s most definitely not a requirement. So why are they bitching so much about an increase in fees to own a car in the city?

These “One Million Moms” need to get laid more.

Just had a Coca-Cola made with real sugar. It’s a shame it has to be imported from Mexico. I guess HFCS is just for Americans. No wonder we’re all so fat.

Martians released from capsule. Totally fascinating.

Time to end the occupation

At first I didn’t “get” the Occupy Wall Street protest, or the related protests that have sprouted up around the country (including Occupy Chicago just down the street from where I live). Then it started to make sense, particularly in light of the GOP presidential debates and the candidates talking about flat taxes. The Congressional Republicans holding us hostage, and those wanting to invade the White House, are all about maintaining the disparity between rich and poor. As a liberal who thinks President Obama is too conservative and the Democrats in Congress are spineless, I’m all for any effort to spread the wealth.

But these Occupy protests? What have they accomplished besides aggravating politicians and the public? Seriously – what have they accomplished? I see a bunch of unemployed people with nothing better to do than stand around and complain. What solutions have come out of these protests? What suggestions have the protestors made to resolve the inequity they see?

I e-mail and even write old-fashioned snail mail letters to my elected representatives. I don’t always get what I want, but that’s the nature of a republic; I express my dissatisfaction at the ballot box, and even right here in this space. I support candidates who will make the decisions I favor. I’ve even taken part in protests before. The difference between Iraq War protests, say, and the Occupy protests, though, is one of message: We’re thousands strong, and we want you to stop the war. Didn’t do much good with a hawkish warmonger in the White House, but the message was clear.

What do the Occupy protestors want? Anyone? The impression I get is that they’re just unhappy with their lot in life and tired of working. I’ve had income below the poverty level, and I’ve had income in the upper tax brackets and everywhere in between. I’ve struggled during this never-ending recession just like so many others. And, yes, I’d like to see us take a little more from that 1% and give it to the 99% – but sitting around in the park all day and all night isn’t going to accomplish that.

The good news is that winter is coming, which means the end of the protests is in sight. Here in Chicago, at least, you’d be stupid to spend a winter night in the park. I give Occupy Chicago another month before they call it quits for the winter. Hopefully by spring, they’ll have decided to actually do something instead of starting another useless park occupation.