Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Has it Changed?

I watch many Youtube videos in preparation for my course "How to be a Youtube millionaire."

One genre that I'm addicted to is the "fail" video. These are like America's Funniest Home Videos or the videos Rob Dyrdek shows on Ridiculousness with a couple of exceptions. One, these are videos from around the world, with a heavy dose of Russian car crash videos. Two, many of these videos feature young women exposing parts of their bodies that probably shouldn't be shown to the whole world. There's a heavy emphasis upon the female buttocks. This is a sample that will serve as well as any other:

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stop it Journalists!

According to a report on ABC News’ website:
The 44-year-old jail teacher arrested in connection with the escape of three maximum-security inmates at a California lockup will be released today, Orange County Prosecutor Tony Rackauckas said in a news conference.
“At this time, there is insufficient evidence to charge her with any crime," Rackauckas said of Nooshafarin Ravaghi.

She's being released on her own recognizance, although required to turn in her passport until the investigation is complete, officials said.

While the story isn’t getting much play in the news aggregators, it did show up on Newsy this morning. The Newsy footage shows Ravaghi leaving the jail, accompanied by a middle aged male who seems to be her lawyer. The pair decline to make any statements. As they walk to the car Ravaghi is surrounded by reporters and camera operators (all walking backward). We hear one particularly annoying reporter, who is sticking a microphone just below Ravaghi’s face, asking the obvious question. “Did you do it?”

Please. What kind of idiot do you think this teacher is? The Sheriff has been unable to find evidence that actually links her to the escape of three inmates. She has denied any involvement. Do you really think that she is going to announce her complicity to you while she’s making the “Reverse Perp Walk?” Get serious and do real journalism. Stop harassing people! It is this kind of TMZ catcall journalism that brings the profession into low reputed with the public.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Railroading at the end of the Golden Era

I spent a good deal of time this afternoon (January 7, 2016) watching train videos. My love of railroading has been reawakened by transfer of some rolling stock from my late father in law to me. 

I watched an extended commercial for Santa Fe's Super Chief from around 1950, a slightly earlier film from The Milwaukee Road about their luxury train, the Super Dome Olympian Hiawatha, and short films about the North Shore and South Shore Lines operating out of Chicago.

What struck me was how oblivious folks were. At one point in the Milwaukee Road film that announcer describes the copper mining in Montana "soon the tops of these mountains will cave in," (not those words, but pretty much that meaning. It was as if that were a good thing. 

The people in the films were all white. Native Americans showed up as exotics at Albuquerque, sell souvenirs to the white folks on their way to Los Angeles (which he pronounced as Angle ees). The only black folks were the porters and waiters. Culture was white, white, white. Women were decked out in hats and gloves and taken care of by their big strong masculine men.

Since we don't live in that world it's no wonder that some white people are befuddled by the world we do live in and angry that it can't ever be like that again. You actually have to be mindful about your communication.

This is what many conservative politicians seem to be objecting to in their opprobriums against "Political Correctness." Why can't it be like that simpler time when everyone knew and no one questioned the propriety of "white" being normal. It was so much easier then.

It was also destroying our environment, locking significant sections of the population out of participation, and in general distorting our view of the world. In fact, it seems to me that part of the reason for our failed Vietnam effort was precisely that we had no idea that there were people in the world who didn't want to be white, didn't want American culture, didn't care to fit in with us.