Monday, February 10, 2014

Get your pictures off my lawn!

Do I hear...children? On my lawn?
Photo by Shalf via flickr

Either I'm getting old (and sinking further into that dream pillow of curmudgeonry) or the world is losing its collective mind.

Look, I'm not a typical alarmist. When the retired teachers shake their heads and tsk tsk about the loss of cursive writing, I chuckle. You can't stop progress after all. The written word will continue...I guess. The kids will learn cursive out of necessity...that is, the ones who need it will learn it.

I thought I was hip and vibrant. Thought I was never going to be that old woman with forty cats eating cat food and grousing at the commies or what have you.

And frankly, after I didn't wake up to a complete wigging out of America's right wing over the Coca Cola ad during the Superbowl, I was beginning to think all was right with the world. (They did manage to let themselves get riled up finally, but it was, if you ask me, too little, too late.)

But today, I've decided the world is going to hell and there's nothing I can do to stop it--might as well start collecting cats.

What set me off this time, you ask? I'll tell you. It started with NBC.

NBCNews was my home page. Had been for as long as I can remember. I liked it. At the top was one big picture block with a rotation of pics about the big story of the day. And below that, my page was sectioned off into bits. A "look at these newsy videos" bit with thumbnails. Then bits its on world news, local news, sports, technology, and entertainment news with the titles of the stories linked to them. It was my home page. All mine.

Until I woke up the other morning and found my home page looked like Windows 8. That's right. Blocks. Picture blocks. Nothing but giant colorful preschool-ish pictures all over my main page. Not only is it ugly, it's unreadable--probably because there are so few words.

I was so upset I wrote them an email! That's right. I wrote them an email and told them I was taking my eyes elsewhere. It's been a few days and they haven't changed it back. They probably couldn't read my email because they've hired a bunch of four-year-olds.

I don't want to look at pictures. I want the news. I want it in lists of titles, not rows of pictures. And now I'm stuck with the cursive writing alarmists. We are being dumbed down America! We're being treated like four-year-olds who can't stand to read a page full of words; we need pictures! It boggles. And I don't like it.

Later that day, I clicked on a link to a blog about J.K. Rowling and why she's wrong about Ron and Hermione. Don't judge.

I could barely read it! Interspersed with the words are moving pictures. Pictures. Moving. Moving. Moving. My god, stop moving!

Do people these days have any attention span at all? Is it now not enough to have pictures every page, now we need flippy video clips every paragraph? Is anyone actually comprehending what they're reading?

I don't get it. I have a headache now. I'm getting old. The written word is disappearing and soon we're all just going to stop doing it altogether. And I'll just be one of those old farts sitting at my computer shaking my fist at the Tubes.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl: Is this just a game to you people?

Let's see that stupid dog do this!
photo by Adam Arthur via Flickr
Well, last night's Super Bowl was a buttload of boring, wasn't it? I went to bed as the fourth quarter started. All that seven-layer dip and football-shaped ice cream cake for nothing.

I was a little concerned that I might miss a good commercial, but I see I didn't. Most of the ads were not only boring, they were creepy. I don't think there is any reason for Bruce Willis' head to take up an entire 37" screen. That was creepy enough without the dude hugging him. And Arnold. Arnold. What the hell?

Worse. We'd already seen most of the ads. No surprises. Boring game, boring ads, what a dud.

I was rooting for the Broncos. I don't care much for Seattle. I'm getting the impression they're the bad boys, the arrogant righteous, of football. Maybe it comes with success. And maybe I prefer my heroes humble. Not too humble. I can't stand Superman, frankly. So...not humble to the point of creepy. Just humble, like the face of Peyton Manning.

And the Seahawks stadium grates my nerves. The Twelfth Man? You're not allowed a twelfth man! (Just pointing out here that even Wikipedia spells it like this: 12th. Not judging. Really. Okay, judging. They even put "football" after it. Maybe so people will understand why they didn't spell it out. Because, head injuries, you know.)

There's something hard and unsportsmanlike in cheering like mad in what you know to be an ear-splittingly loud bowl while the other team tries to communicate and then hushing yourselves up when your team has the ball.

If that's how you have to win...

Except that, apparently that's not how the Seahawks have to win. They're good even without their twelfth man.

Last year I got to do a whole blog about the controversial, anti-woman-ness of the Super Bowl ads. (Sexist Super Bowl ads: Do feminists have senses of humor?) This year, I held out hope that the extreme right wing would cause a stink about the Coca-Cola ad in which they sing America the Beautiful in (gasp!) languages other than English (as God intended it to be sung, mind you). I didn't even catch the gay couple ice-skating with their daughters.

But I got up this morning and nothing. Nada. Zilch. Not only aren't there any articles explaining what the hell happened to Peyton Manning and the Broncos (Seriously. What the friggin' hell happened?) but I didn't see a peep about how America has fallen and can't get up.

I had to go searching for it. I found an article on The Hollywood Gossip that says there were some angry tweets. So, I went to Twitter and searched #SpeakAmerican and the first ten tweets are making fun of the bigots using #SpeakAmerican.

Then, when I was searching for the ad just then, to imbed it, I found this article over at Time which pretty much said the same thing, except that the author, James Poniewozik, admitted that he couldn't tell if the tweets were, get this, satire.

Satire? Satire America? Have we truly come to that point? Is that what Finding Bigfoot, Doomsday Preppers, Ghost Hunters, and Justin Bieber are really about? Are we all just laughing now?

Do you know what this means?

It means I have nothing to say. America, it seems, has let me down in that it has behaved as a grown up, for the most part. And now I just have to go on about my life with nothing to be angry about.

Stupid Super Bowl.

When does football season start?