Archive for the ‘Blogateria’ Category

Better To Burn Out Than Fade Away

December 28, 2008

Evolve or die. At least that’s what they tell the kids in church. Ok, maybe not at your Church, LLC.  Priorities around here are shifting. Effective immediately, this blog will cease operation due to insufficient spare time and general apathy. And as an unfortunate effect of the shitty economic climate, we’re going to have to let some of you go. Operations will continue at other online social media thingamajigs. There will be no severance package.

Except for this.

So long, suckers.

Better Things To Do

June 24, 2008

Posts around here have been sparse in recent months. To my dear and devoted readers, tough shit. I’m not your blog monkey. A wiser man once said, “I do this to entertain me, not you.” That’s so true, I wish I came up with it first.

There have been plenty of things to vent my spleen about here lately, but I just can’t squeeze out the five hundred or so well-crafted words about current events, celebrity deaths and embarrassing tales of my youth like I used to. Unlike during the Golden Age of Blogging, I have a goddamn job now. Not a job like when I owned the company and could sit in my office and fuck off online while my inexhaustible supply of cheap Guatemalan minions toiled to make downtown loft living a reality for struggling twenty-somethings making six figures a year. No, this is a real job with timecards and accountability and expectations of work being done. Something that many of you find foreign and vaguely threatening.

So unlike the aforementioned many of you, I don’t get to bitch about every little thing in my life on the company dime.

Or the government’s dime for that matter. While we are on this topic, indulge me for a second. State workers are pissing and moaning about cuts in payroll and a couple thousand have been offered some kind of buy-out deal from the Employment For Life program that they feel entitled to. Now I have some friends who are state employees and of course they aren’t included in the kind of folks we are about to discuss and are selfless public servants who do a fine job each and every day. However, in the course of my professional life I have had many opportunities to interact with several different departments of state government. From my field observations, a more worthless brand of human life you won’t find outside of a crack house or a Star Trek convention than in any random State of Tennessee cubicle farm.

Imagine a floor of an office building devoted to say, the Department of Environmental Conservation. Each and every time I go in there, the staff is lethargic to the point of narcolepsy and visibly annoyed that they are roused from their stupor to take your stupid form that you are required to fill out by law and turn in to them. Though they proudly show you the thousands of dollars of Darth Maul merchandise adorning their desk. In fact, as you look around, you notice that each cubicle is decorated in a manner where it is obvious that it took hours. These are not people who are planning on going anyfuckingwhere. Ever.

Here’s how Dollar Phil Bredesen needs to chop the deadwood out of the budget. Hold a Cubicle Decoration Contest. First five hundred entrants get a prize. A pink slip. That will send a message to the rest of these mouth breathers to do something other than suck off the taxpayer’s teat.

But, I digress.

The point of all this is, I don’t have the time to update here on anything even minimally approaching a regular basis. Posts here will be legal, safe and rare. Or is that abortions? I can never keep those two straight.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of posts waiting to be written about the floods in the Midwest, Amy Winehouse, Don Imus and the upcoming political season. I just don’t know when I’m going to get around to it.

I have better things to do.

What The Dooce?

May 4, 2008

Let this one roll around in your brain for a few minutes:

Say that a blogger gets fired from his or her day job for blogging. (Recent high profile media examples here and here.) It is a common enough tale to become almost a cliche.

But what would your reaction be if you found out a spiteful blogger, for no other reason than to fuck you over and with whom you had some petty online disagreement, went and outed you to your corporate overlords who didn’t take too kindly to your potty mouth and intemperate opinions? You get shit-canned and your online arch-nemesis is crowing over his/her “victory”.

What would your reaction be?

The first emotional reaction would be to go all Nazi Ed Norton and make him/her bite the curb. As appealing as that sounds, the real drawback to that plan is that in addition to being unemployed, you would be facing numerous felony assault charges.

Instead, could your honor and desire for revenge be better served in a court of law? If someone intentionally and willfully engaged in behavior that caused you to lose your source of income, and you could prove their intent, are they exposed to the ugly end of a big fat lawsuit full of compensatory and punitive damages and what not?

I await the Solomon-like wisdom and Matlock-like legal expertise of all seven of my readers to hold forth with their opinions.

A Million Times No…

March 7, 2008

Another meme has come here to die.

Got this one from the lovely Newscoma.

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. turn to page 123.

3. find the 5th sentence.

4. post the next 3 sentences.

5. tag 5 people.

There isn’t a book of 123 pages in this room. Unless my infant son is reading Atlas Shrugged by the light of the ubiquitous Baby Einstein DVDs during the proscribed sleeping time.

The nearest book is, by happy coincidence, the one I am currently reading. Or re-reading. I don’t recall if this one is a do-over or not.

Made In America, An Informal History of the English Language in the United States by Bill Bryson.

No community in history had grown so big so swiftly. As Daniel Boorstin has noted: “Mankind had required at least a million years to produce its first urban community of a million people. Chicagoans accomplished this feat in less than a century.”

On advice of counsel, I must invoke my constitutional right to refuse to tag anyone.

Ahead Of Their Time

July 12, 2007

Looking back at this clip, it seems a perfect metaphor for how things work here in Blogistan.

Now You Can Buy A Helicopter!

July 6, 2007

For those of you who thought that Brittney Gilbert was going to get a gold watch and a vegan cake in the WKRN breakroom sometime around March 2037, it is time to grow the fuck up.

For those of you who looked at Nashville is Talking as a major source of income, it is time to get a job.

For those of you who predicted the obvious a month or so ago, well done Nostradumbass. Your powers of clairvoyance are truly amazing. You should totally go find some more terminally ill or elderly people to put on the death watch. My advice is to add Tammy Faye Bakker, Roger Ebert, Beverly Sills and Billy Graham to your list ASAP.

As for WKRN, well, it’s not personal, it’s just business. If you are put in charge of a station that finishes consistently last in the ratings and the StormTracker 2000 forecast is predicting falling revenues, you better do something. When Brittney resigned, it gave WKRN’s new management the opportunity to stop the bleeding and reevaluate the economics of this New Media Experiment. That’s what I would have done.

Clearly, that is what they are doing. Whatever format NiT takes in the future, it will conform to a more traditional business model. One where either the expense will be minimal or the potential revenues will pay for itself.

That being said, there are some intangible gains that WKRN has made over the last couple of years by using the blogosphere. Foremost among them, is that the station raised its national profile by trying something different and going in another direction than the other local news lemmings. However, I would bet the farm that the majority of local news viewers could charitably be described as “ancient”. Like Methuselah. If he ever really existed. Which he didn’t.

An extension of the “MeeMaw and PawPaw” demo is the delivery of the content. Channels 4 and 5 do well because they talk to their audiences like they are retarded, or in this case, just really old. WKRN has done a good job in regard to not talking down to the viewer. The consequence of that is the people who watch the news don’t like new fangled things and need to be spoon-fed a daily digest of shootings (preferably involving minorities and convenience stores), fires, car wrecks (preferably involving rural teens) and missing persons (preferably involving hot young white girls).

When you adopt an anti-“If it Bleeds, it Leads” stance, you better be able to bring your A-game in this environment. You have to win with the personalities you have. WKRN hasn’t done that. Many of the current video journalists are, well, pathetic. Jennifer Moran’s stuff is barely news, but more info-mercial than anything else. As far as Andy Cordan is concerned, what is messed up is that anyone thought his shtick was a good idea. Jamey Tucker’s Judeo-Christianist (heavy on the Christ) contribution reminds me of the line from The Blues Brothers.

Oh, we got both kinds. We got country *and* western.

Fire all three and you might lose three viewers.

As for new morning anchor, Julie Kroenig, she is not liked. Mrs. Sarcastro loves Jesus, puppies, rainbows, children and doesn’t have a cross word about anyone.

She fucking hates Julie Kroenig.

Maybe the Mrs. feels her to be a usurper of the sainted Heather’s rightful place. I don’t know. But from the sound of her voice to the way she blinks her eyes, her every move she makes from 5 am til 6 am is critiqued and mocked in my house. This makes me want to flip it over to Channel 5 just so my wife will shut her yap about how much she hates Julie Kroenig.

Speaking of Channel 5, you should hire that Amy Watson as soon as you can. She may also be the mom of smoking hot Jolene from Nashville Dodge, but I’m not sure. You should also grab the underutilized Tom Randles from WSMV. He’s too good to be doing the weekend gig over there.

On the plus side, most of your on-air talent is loved by this city. The Ornes, Allison Hatcher, Joe Dubin, Jeff Ray, Bob Mueller, John Dwyer and the many others are embraced by the community. One of the reasons for that affection is the blogs that they have. It puts them a little closer into the lives of the audience. The blogs let them connect with the viewers in ways that aren’t possible with traditional media. It builds that viewer loyalty. The Orne’s daughter was born down the hall from my son this past March. Mrs. Dubin gave us a very nice baby shower gift. Needless to say, we are WKRN viewers because of those connections. We watched with much anticipation the arrival of the Carly Orne and were both happy and envious of Heather’s decision to stay at home. Kristin Priesol’s baby story, not so much.

Here’s the bottom line, the ultimate fate of Nashville is Talking isn’t the issue. The issue is how you view your audience. We can get the news from anywhere. You need us more than we need you. Your competitors have proven that.

Think about brand loyalty. What is that worth? What does alienating a vocal and somewhat influential segment of your viewership gain you?

There are no easy answers ahead. I would give you more advice, but I don’t Media Consult for free.

After all, it’s not personal, it’s just business.

Oh, Boy! A Chain Letter!

July 1, 2007

Thanks to Newscoma, I got tagged for another goddamn meme.

The “rules” go here. I won’t abide by them, so why bother posting them? Here are the eight things:

1. This movie is going to suck. I wish it weren’t the case, but in my heart I know I’m right. I’ve bitched about this picture before. Not that it matters.

2. The ringtone I use for when Mrs. Sarcastro calls, is The Imperial March from Star Wars.

3. I have been interviewed! Print it out and keep it with your Princess Diana newspaper clippings!

4. When Diana died, Exador and his lovely wife were in town. We had been out doing something and came home to the news reports on television claiming that Diana had been in a serious auto accident. I proclaimed her dead at the scene, turned off the TV and we all went to see Squirrel Nut Zippers at the Italian Street Fair.

5. Is the CDC run by Bill Lumbergh? “Yeah, Peter. How’s it goin’? Yeah, you know if you could just not travel anywhere with your drug resistant TB, that’d be great.” I know that isn’t technically about me, but it sure is troubling to know that this Speaker, who may or may not be an illegal alien, couldn’t get a straight answer about his condition.

6. I have no idea who to support for President this coming cycle. I’m waiting for a candidate on the stump in Iowa to blurt out, “You know this ethanol deal is just a big scam, right?” Whoever does that, gets my vote.

7. Couldn’t we outsource the War in Iraq to a call center in Bangalore?

8. If I ever wind up on Inside The Actor’s Studio, (and after the master classes given by the likes of Cameron Diaz, Martin Lawrence, Jay Leno and Rosie O’Donnell, it’s just a matter of time before people who can’t act AT ALL are featured) my answer to the favorite curse word question is going to have to be “nigger”.

Nigger is the last profanity. When Harrison Ford says his favorite swear is “motherfucker”, or some such thing, the audience giggles and titters. It offends no one. The whole purpose of swearing is to offend delicate sensibilities. Judging by the reactions on that show, no other word has the capacity to offend. Imagine if Clint Eastwood dropped the “N” bomb during his questionnaire. People in the audience and watching at home would have gone ape shit. Ironically, I believe Clint’s actual answer was “ape shit“.

UpdateDeus Ex Malcontent takes a look at the “funeral” of the word “nigger” and refers to an excellent, earlier post of his regarding Krazy Kramer’s Kerfuffle.  Here’s a taste:

No matter the alternative’s power to offend and instigate, is there anything — anything — more painfully ridiculous than a grown man or woman saying, “The N-word?” It’s an absurd verbal tip-toe that not only proves that there is apparently no safe context in which the actual word can be uttered, but also that there exists an unspoken implication that those whom one would expect to be angered by the use of such a word are so stupid that they can’t discern between the desire to dehumanize and subjugate and the need to openly discuss, and therefore should be protected from hearing the word altogether — for the good of everyone. This latter possibility — an indictment of an entire culture, whether out of condescension or outright fear — is infinitely more offensive than the utterance of any one word.

These Boobs Were Made For Walkin’

June 6, 2007

Sometimes it takes more courage to walk away from a fight than it does to stay in it. I think Kenny Rogers taught us all that. Or he taught us to know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em. I forget which. Maybe both.

Brittney Gilbert gambled on a career as a professional blogger. She cashed in her chips today. More’s the pity. Or she got tired of fighting the Lilliputian dumbasses that are legion on the web. Pick your Kenny Rogers metaphor.

Yes, the Nashville bloggers are a cliquish group. Brittney was their Prom Queen. As much as I didn’t like the high school aspect of this thing, I can’t deny being a part of it. There are the popular kids and there are those who aren’t. Brittney was the arbiter of who was ‘in’ and who was ‘out’.

We competed for her attention. Many, if not all, of the posts on this blog were edited with one thought in mind, “I wonder if Brittney will link to this?” A link from Brittney was a form of validation. If this ugly shit had not gone down today, I planned on throwing some pictures of the baby in order to get a gratuitous link.

Her job was not an enviable one. On the couple of NiT weekend shifts I pulled, my goal was to post as much as she did during the week. Lot’s of luck with that fucking task, my friend. It is to her credit that she didn’t turn in her papers due to burnout earlier.

She and I had some disagreements over trivial matters like politics, philosophy, race, gender, culture and whether to have the veal. But, it never got personal. She also could be a pretty good sport, especially when vulgar and inappropriate comments were made about her rack.

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Now, Brittney isn’t really going anywhere. She will still be at her place. But, she will be missed nonetheless. Nashville is Talking might continue, provided the powers that be at WKRN don’t use this as an opportunity to pull the plug. Whatever the outcome, it will not be the same. Expect NiT to be a shell of its former self, kind of like the increasingly irrelevant Pith in the Wind.

She made a brave choice to start this job. She’s equally brave to walk away.

I got yer Jesus General right here

Private Gilbert is silly and ignorant, but she’s got guts. And guts is enough.