“The horrible thing about the Two Minutes Hate was not that one was obliged to act a part, but, on the contrary, that it was impossible to avoid joining in. Within thirty seconds any pretence was always unnecessary. A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge-hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blow-lamp. Thus, at one moment Winston’s hatred was not turned against Goldstein at all, but, on the contrary, against Big Brother, the Party, and the Thought Police; and at such moments his heart went out to the lonely, derided heretic on the screen, sole guardian of truth and sanity in a world of lies. And yet the very next instant he was at one with the people about him, and all that was said of Goldstein seemed to him to be true. At those moments his secret loathing of Big Brother changed into adoration, and Big Brother seemed to tower up, an invincible, fearless protector, standing like a rock against the hordes of Asia, and Goldstein, in spite of his isolation, his helplessness, and the doubt that hung about his very existence, seemed like some sinister enchanter, capable by the mere power of his voice of wrecking the structure of civilisation.” -George Orwell, 1984
Maybe it’s getting to be too much, dear worst-reader. I really thought I could breeze through this little (personal) experiment without any damage. If so many others can do it, I thought, so can I. Or? Binge-viewing TV though isn’t turning out to be what I thought (it would be). But it is better than that binge-drinking experiment I tried so many years ago. Perhaps the reason for that is the TV day-time soap opera repackaged as a night-time pop TV series Mad Men. Is it starting to clog my mind? Or is it mixing well with what I find? Or is it the other way-round-round? Although I’m trying to keep it to no more than two shows a day, I’ve been at this experiment for about six weeks now and I just finished the fourth season. I know. Don’t bother with the math. Even when there are days I don’t watch it, it seems as though I did watch it. Wait. Am I preoccupied? Is my binge where I am? Or maybe it’s not that it’s there but instead it’s everywhere–the mentality that is the Soap Opera. Oh my. For worst-moi this is indeed binge-viewing–and I think I might be drunk on it. Or lost. Nomatter. The damage has been done. I mean, you know that things aren’t going well when you start associating other things like articles read on the Interwebnets that are supposed to be about real-life politics with what you saw an hour ago on a TV show. Which brings me to the article linked below. It seems that The Intercept/Greenwald has decided to merge with the centre of my binge-viewing confusion. And something tells me this (mis)merging isn’t my fault. That is. While reading the below linked article I couldn’t help but think about the re-invention (for millennial viewers) of the television soap opera. Seriously. The new & improved soap opera. For a whole culture of new viewers. And this is all that The Intercept/Greenwald has to offer? Oh wait. It has all the stolen documents by Edward Snowden–and I’m still waiting for something significant to come out of what the dream team of Snowden/Greenwald has sold the world. Until then–AS THE WORLD TURNS–I guess we wait and languish in our/the (soap opera) confusion. That said, this recent article by Greenwald is a real hum-dinger. And it’s no wonder that one (who is bingeing on Mad Men) could compare it to a TV soap. And so. Did you know, dear worst-reader, according to Greenwald/The Intercept that #americant is now angry with #germania because the one (or the other) is gawking at another’s wife? Wait. There’s more. Angela Merkel is having the illegitimate baby of a Venezuelan oil oligarch named Montoya de Schluckmann who was born in Illinois but migrated to Köln-Deutz via a love affair with a US Diplomat after a Bayer-Leverkusen executive, who was a spy for the NSA, died from an overdose of Tylenol given to him by Putin. And get this. President Obama has finally come out of the closet and declared a national day of mourning over the death of John Kerry’s love child that could have been the hope-chest of political relations between Berlin and Washington and a small island that was the inspiration for its name: Diego Garcia. Oh. And let’s not forget the new fangled conspiracy that was hatched recently between the UK and a bunch of drag queens in Brazil that would enable the mass media to ride with a scandalous news story where it would be revealed that the US government is in the business of spying on the (whole) world because a simpleton, misguided by his fail-upward parents, thought it cute to reveal all those silly power-points whereby telling us, again!, that the US government spies. Full stop (of the silliness). I guess. I can’t wait for the day when Greenwald/The Intercept does something more than just hosting a two-hundred-fifty million dollar wordpress website. Come on Greenwald. Give us something to run with. Finally. Please. Or maybe not. Rant on. -Tommi
*The real title of the article is: “US THREATENED GERMANY OVER SNOWDEN, VICE CHANCELLOR SAYS”, and maybe that’s even better than my above re-interpretation. Yeah, baby.
Maher nails it again. And boy do I remember frat-houses. In fact, I lived in one for a whole freakin’ semester once. It was one of the worst decisions I ever made–other than deciding to try college at all. But there was one thing I learned about #americant after that experience. It’s not so much that these organisations serve absolutely no purpose whatsoever besides teaching young adults how to never really grow up. No. What frats (and sororities) do is simply prolong the inevitable. In fact, frats are the tip of the iceberg in this arena. The whole college industry is part of it, too. You can simply go from the room your parents provided you to another room they provide you and yet you stay in the mentality of being that same child–forever!–and all thanks to the profit centres of Americant (mis)education institutions. Hence, the college grads running the the show today know this all too well. I’m worst-writing, of course, about the Obamas and all of his staff, the Dubyas and all of his staff (and they were all older), probably all congressman and most certainly anyone that has a half-decently paid living standard working for a corporation. In fact, I’m not saying that people don’t learn anything in college. Obviously they do. And now most of the world can see clearly exactly what it is they’ve learned. I mean. What it is all these grads have done. Or? Nomatter. The cogs of the machine will continue on with: Greed. Empire. Terrorism. Belonging. Sentiment. Etc. And. Just look at the US government, American industry and corporations, banks, local communities, etc. Everybody is a child with a gun or too much money or too many houses or or or. Where do people learn this behaviour? Yeah. Infantilism is still far off in the future to being recognised as a disease. But that day will come eventually. And frat-boys will be the first to be treated. Or maybe not. Rant on. -t
It never ceases to amaze (worst-moi), dear worst-reader. Examples abound in my grand and well-missed united mistakes. Sometimes finding them, though, can be difficult. That is, finding the mistakes that really stand out. Well–today we have a doozy. But is it a mistake? Here’s how it goes: in the great state of NH someone had the idear to allow fourth graders to see first hand how the legislative process works. This entailed drafting a bill that would be put up in the legislation for a vote. What the bill was about doesn’t matter–since it was put up by fourth graders. But here’s the thing. One of the many nutbag, batshit politicians that make up most state legislatures got up to say something about the bill. And what did he say? Of course this is what he said–because he is a nutbag, batshit politician. He said… Abortion. He said it in the face of fourth graders trying to learn a little civics. Indeed. The bill put forth by fourth graders was about making a bird a state emblem. But the nutbag, batshit politician saw it as an opportunity to turn it into a platform whereby he can promote his anti-abortion agenda. He even took the time to compare the bird that was being considered, which happens to be a raptor (a hunter), to being the same thing as an abortion. You know, a bird with claws and a sharp beak tears and rips its prey to pieces in order to eat it. And that’s the same as ripping a zygote, embryo or foetus from a womb. Right? Yeah. And. As usual. Only in #americant, baby. Good luck suckers. -t
When do you know when you miss something? I assure you, dear worst-reader, you do not know you miss something when you no longer have it. Consumerism has raised me and I’ve learned to live with that. But there are things that become part of life even if they stem out of the triviality of consumerism. And so. This isn’t about not having access to all the colours of lego blocks. This is about the inalienable. Sell me your computers and tablets, smart phones and networking devices. I’ve proven I’ll buy them. When the profits from my purchase make you rich hold tight to your future. I want no part of you as long as you keep (you) to yourself. Stay in your golden cage of greed-monger and lust-lies. And look below you as we, the meek, traverse this/your world going about our bidness. It was proven long ago that the automobile didn’t just replace the horse & buggy. Instead. The car proved that mass mobility was/is something that we can not live without. Is that then by definition inalienable? Should there be roads even though nothing dictates GM make them? Oh. Inalienable. Let’s see.
not subject to being taken away from or given away by the possessor
Well, it happened to me. Not only did I buy a car where there are no roads but that car was delivered to me without wheels. What to do, eh? Reconsider? Move abroad? (Well, I guess I did that already.) It’s just that, when they take something away from you that is (should be) inalienable, how does that effect you? I know. Too many unanswered questions. Like where did that Malaysian plane go? And when I tried to work with the powers-that-be to get back what should be inalienable, this is all I got. A bunch of messages telling me to wait my turn because–just because–even though I’m a paying customer it doesn’t matter that I don’t get what I pay for. Your inalienable is directed by someone else, Dr. Sucker. Nomatter.
Below the daily bombardment of incompetence. Is it overwhelming? To think that this world could be annihilated by nuclear war really should pale compared to the level of ignorance that works and runs all the corporations of the world. Remember: all corporations are filled with automatons that believe they are where they are because of merit. Yet, who asks the question regarding the differences between having studied this or that or gotten an A or a D which then determines your position in life? For you see, dear worst-reader, this is how THEY get you. You actually believe that there is a difference between an A and a D as handed out by professor/teacher so-n-so and that there is merit behind what you do. Yet, like taxes where government do take a bite, these corpos control everything that should not be controlled. It should simply be. But what am I saying? Yes. Worst-what? Worst-service galore.
If you ever move to Germany and decide to get some Internet don’t use the company called 1&1. They really suck bat-balls. At least three times a year their service, out of the blue, just turns off and I’m stuck in nowhereland without Internet for days. When you call them to inquire as to why they aren’t holding up to their side of the bargain this all they can provided: NOTHING and a few SMSs that don’t make a bit of sense. Yeah. Five days without Internet is a bitch. And. Again. 1&1 sucks.
Wow. I am so pissed-off that I could go nuclear on the people that work at this useless, piece of krapp company. And to think that in Germania, centralised economy Germania, one has to sign a multi-year contract with a company in order to get Internet, well, I guess I’ve said it once or twice in this blog: Germany is the last bastion of communism in the west. This country is run by the worst sort of bureaucrat there is. And that’s not the worst of it. Unlike other western countries, there is no alternative to be a bureaucrat in Germania. Even if you are a high-paid executive at Mercedes, Lufthansa, Siemens, you are nothing but a cog in the wheel of a centralised nation-state. You are where you are because you happened to be in the right place at the right time. A hundred people could do what you do yet you got some place in this wheel/cog. And the rest of us get BS like SMSs telling us to wait our turn while Big Brother takes care of everything.
Did I mention I’m pissed? Did I mention that I hate centralised nation-states? Wow. This really sucks. But after five days of no service the cogs in the wheel gave me back my Internet connection. They gave me back my inalienable. And to them I still say: fuck you!
SMSs from 1&1 Germany:
(English translation: Dear cheap customer, we have received your service request regarding Internet outage. First. Sorry about that. Second. Wait your turn. Even though you have a contract with us that doesn’t mean we have to fulfil it. It only means you have to pay us. That’s what contracts are for in this pseudo social market communist state that you’ve been living in for the past twenty-five years. So just shut the fuck up and wait for us to turn your service back on when we’re ready. Your 1 & 1 team. Transaction # C520566445)
Donnerstag: Sehr geehrte cheap customer, wir haben Ihre Störungsmeldung erhalten. Zur Terminabsprache oder bei Neuigkeiten informieren wir/unsere Partner Sie. Ihre 1&1 (Vorgangsnummer C520566445)
Donnerstag: DSL funktioniert wieder. Hätte gern etwas Info über die Ursache dieses Problem. Bitte melden. Danke.
Freitag: Sehr geehrte cheap customer, in Ihrem Anschlussbereich haben wir einen Ausfall festgestellt, von dem mehrere Kunden betroffen sind. Bitte haben Sie etwas Geduld, wir arbeiten bereits an einer Lösung. Vielen Dank für Ihr Verständnis. Ihre 1&1
Samstag: Sehr geehrte(r) Kunde(in), aktuell bearbeiten wir Ihre gemeldete DSL-Störung. Wir kontaktieren Sie umgehend, sobald wir neue Informationen für Sie haben. Ihre 1&1 (Vorgangsnummer C520566445)
Sonntag: Sehr geehrte(r) Kunde(in), wir arbeiten weiterhin mit Hochdruck an der Entstörung Ihres 1&1 DSL-Anschlusses. Wir informieren Sie erneut, sobald wir Neuigkeiten für Sie haben. Ihre 1&1 (Vorgangsnummer C520566445)
Montag: Sehr geehrte(r) Kunde(in), wir arbeiten weiterhin vorrangig an der Entstörung Ihres DSL-Anschlusses. Bitte entschuldigen Sie die Verzögerung. Wir kontaktieren Sie erneut, sobald wir Neuigkeiten für Sie haben. Ihre 1&1 (Vorgangsnummer C520566445)
Rant on. -tommi
Today something new, dear worst-reader. I started this book about two weeks ago. I managed to read the first fifty pages, which, according to the Kindle.app on my iPad, is 20% of the book. I know. That’s not much. Which also means I shouldn’t write anything about this book. But. Again. This is why having a blog no one reads is a privilege in itself–and worst-writing practice like no other. And so. I stopped reading Happy Mutant Baby Pills for one reason and one reason only. On about page forty-six I said to myself,
Self, If I read the word heroin one more time…
And I read it about twenty more times until page fifty. That was last Sunday. Haven’t opened the book since. Even though I’ve heard this and that about it, read a few reviews about it, and finally broke down to put it on my reading list after hearing a tech blog mention it (twit.tv), I decided last Sunday to give it up. Of course, it’ll remain in my Kindle library and maybe someday, when I feel like reading something from someone that obviously has no idear what he/she’s writing about (heroin) I’ll give it another go. Till then, gee, Jerry Stahl read Burroughs and from that he figured out what drugs are about and also how to integrate that “knowledge” in a book. I guess. And to think I, worst-writer, figured out long ago that even Burroughs was bullshitting about drugs. And so. My silly attempt at worst-writing something Burroughs-see, where a character playing cupid with his girlfriend got mixed-up and instead played William Tell, thereby shooting her in the face with a modified .32 caliber Luger when he was aiming for an apple on her head, well, this is that and that is this. I will hand it to Jerry Stahl about one thing. The man can write. This is obviously some serious writing. Writing for an audience that hasn’t already read Burroughs foray into glorifying heroin. I guess. Whatever.
Rant on. -t
There is some seriously good writing going on in TV these days. More worst-writing on that here. But like all good writing, it seems it takes me longer than most to get to it. Or maybe not. Nomatter. My better half watched six seasons of Mad Men last year. When we got the DVDs the plan was to watch it together. For reasons that I won’t go in to, I wasn’t able to get through the first show of the first season. Let’s just say that a TV show about the origin of #americant and our consume-to-survive, winner take all, fascist society… plus my connection to advertising (in a past life), was a bit much. And. Yeah. I got that out of the first fifteen minutes of S01E01 of Mad Men. That said. I didn’t give up on the show. I mean, come on, I ripped six seaons of it to our media library. And so. It has lingered with me all the while–because it’s obvious there is some level of quality here. Oh well. Better late than never. Or?
I started binge watching Mad Men about three weeks ago. Depending on the weather, the drinks the night before, the performance required by my better-half, I’ve been able to get through two or three shows a day. And guess what? I’m ok with this show. Seriously. In fact, this is one heck of a TV show. I mean. Come on. How are THEY doing it? How is it that ambitious producers, seeing the opportunity of too many channels on TVs across America are able to come up with of this sort of show? The answer, dear wrost-reader, is quite simple.
First, let’s start with what this show really is. Mad Men, in essence, is nothing original. It is, in fact, a regurgitated soap opera from day-time television. I suppose this would be the right moment to say that when I was a kid I watched day-time TV. I remember Days Of Our Lives, As The World Turns or Young And The Resless. Well, I didn’t really watch those shows. What I did was, when I came home from middle school, I watched my mom watch her “story” while I had my after-school milk and cookies and my mom smoked her Marlboro reds chased with a glass of coke and a nip of rum. In fact, to this day, my mom takes an hour every afternoon to watch her story–although she’s long since quit Marlboro. Now. With that in mind, and with the knowledge that day-time television is the worst of the worst of TV broadcasting, how is that producers are able to put together shows like this that do nothing more than copy the past?
I have no f’n clue!
But I will say this. As unoriginal as this stuff is–heck, add some violence to it, Mad Men is the same as The Sopranos or Game of Thrones–the thing that makes this shows worth (binge) watching is one thing and one thing only. The writing. And I’m not talking about the writing of what the characters/actors say. But the whole production is so well put together that there are moments I pause in the middle to grab a hammer to close my open mouth. I sit there in awe at how some scenes evolve, how they are so beautifully crafted that I stop breathing so that nothing interupts what I just experienced. Take for example the following scene.
Setup: Mad Men S03E01 “Out of Town”. Dan Draper and Sal Romano are on a business trip to (I think) Baltimore. Dan is womanizing a stewardess in his hotel room. A bus boy has come up to Sal’s room to fix the air conditioner. I believe this is the first time in the show Sal’s “coming out” breaks the forth wall. But here’s where the fun begins. These encounters are interupted by a hotel fire alarm. Dan and the stewardess immediately head down the outer fire-escape and thereby pass Sal’s room below. Dan sees Sal sqirmishing to get his pants on while the bus boy also dresses. Sal and Dan’s eyes meet. I guess in a day-time soap some silly drama music would play here. But the writers leave it at that until the two men are on the plane home.
Scene: Airplane in flight. Sal, preoccupied, reaches over and pushes up the sun screen of the window revealing a blue sky. Dan is leaning back, asleep in his chair next to Sal. Dan wakes up.
Dan: What time is it?
Sal: (Looking at his watch.) One-fifteen.
Dan: (Still leaning back.) We should be back in the office by three.
Sal: (Preoccupied, concerned.) You going back to the office? (Dan nods.)
Dan: (Pause. Moves his seat back-rest forward and leans over toward Sal. Sal looks worried at Dan.) I’m gonna ask you something. And I want you to be completely honest with me. (Sal, still worried, nods.) London Fog. It’s a subway car. And there’s a commuter… looking up. And there’s a girl with her back to us. She’s wearing one of those short tan ones but it’s open. We know what he sees. (Pause.) Limit your exposure.
Sal: (Pause. Nodding, relieved.) That’s it.
(Pause. Sal cracks a smile. Then Dan cracks the same smile. Both men are relieved.)
Dan: (Upbeat.) Good. (Dan leans back in his seat.) -end-
“Limit your exposure” of course is Dan’s way of telling Sal to stay in the closet but also, the way this scene pans out, shows that Dan’s OK with what he saw the night before. Sal also knows he has nothing to worry about by going back to the office when their plane arrives. Obviously Sal doesn’t want his sexual orientation to get back to the macho office environment–which up to now has only been exposed to homosexualitly in the form of a heavy accented character from Russia that had no qualms admitting that he likes “the sex with the men”. Without a doubt this scene is on my list of scenes I wish I could talk to the authors about how it was put together. But I reckon that’ll never happen.
And one final thought. As I praise the writing of TV shows like Mad Men, etc. I also want to be clear that I am very critical of them, too. One of the things that really bothers me about Mad Men is that there is only one accredited author in the show. It is obvious that the secret to writing anything half-way decent for TV is dependent solely on the number of talented but obviously starving writers that have to turn to this type of work to sustain their consume-to-survive lives. With that in mind, I’m very proud and content to be a failed writer who resorts to binge watching the worst of the best of TV after ripping it to my media library and only writes for a blog read by three people a day. At least I will always be able to claim that I worst-wrote all my own stuff–and it would be true. But I guess that’s the world we all live in, eh? Money talks for the writer of Mad Men, bullshit walks for the rest of us. The world and I would be fine, if not better-off, if shows like this didn’t exist. Oh well. So much for the fight. Smoke if you got ’em. And. I’m all for limiting exposure.
Rant on. -Tommi