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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Odds and Ends

Morning folks. I didn't blog last night 'cause my wireless router fried. And I was too lazy to set aside my notebook and walk the 40 feet to my desktop to go online from there.

Anywho, I'm doing a little homework this morning and have no grand ideas.

But I do have some reading material for you and a few morsels for thought.

  • My article in today's paper. Enjoy.
  • Is this for real? If so, I can't begrudge anyone happiness, but it's just weird. I know neither of these two is a killer on the record, but it still makes me envision OJ hooking up with Lizzie Borden.
  • When I was a kid my dad used to say all the time "I hate quitters." Later he toned it down and said he didn't hate them, 'cause hate wasn't right. Eventually he backed off that notion altogether, because some people quit some things for honorable reasons. Jerry Roberts, former editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press newspaper, quit not so long ago, because he didn't like what management above him was doing to the paper's news content and its staff. He could've bitten his tongue, collected his pay and stayed put. But, right or wrong, he quit on principle. So it was gracious of my dad to eventually clarify, but from when I was a kid I understood that he meant he had disdain for people who quit simply because the going gets tough, which leads me to two of the biggest fighters in media these days: Donald Trump and Rosie. I have respect for both to the extent that Trump has built his business and reinvented it repeatedly over the years to much success, and both of them have ingeniously turned themselves, their personalities, into marketable commodities. I even respect that they don't often seem to back down from what they say they believe, even though I don't like most of the opinions I've heard her express or how he's expressed his opinion. Either way, I've always respected that they took the heat for their words. And now they've both quit. She quit The View after her tussle with co-host Elizabeth Hasslebeck over whether or not Hasselbeck should have defended Rosie's statement about "who" the terrorists are in the war in Iraq. For the record, the terrorists, as far as my tiny brain can comprehend, are the people intentionally killing civilians and blowing up markets and schools, etc. He quit The Apprentice, after NBC announced it wouldn't be on the fall schedule. Lower ratings over the past couple of seasons contributed to NBC's decision. Still, I recall Trump lambasting a cast member/contestant on The Apprentice who decided to quit last season when her team was in a slump. She left because she said the conditions weren't right for her. So, back where we started: Trump and Rosie quit. You don't have to like either of them, but quitting 'cause the kitchen got too hot? Not cool. BTW, in case someone who knows Trump stumbles and falls face first into a computer monitor that has this blog on screen and tells him about it, I am not the dumbest person in newspaper. I have met that person. He doesn't work at the Miami Herald.

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  • There is something, I don't know, strange about that relationship between those two. I could take a shot at FOX News for presenting her as a "single parent" and ignoring the fact that she wasn't "single" when she and Ramsey started dating and how she was down in Aruba handing out "prayer cards" to people and while she was doing that she was cheating on her SECOND husband. But, I'll let it go.

    Anyway, I agree with you about Rosie and Donald.

    By Blogger Jay, at 1:07 PM  

  • I think Rosie and Donald are secretly engaged and just hiding it through a very publicly staged brawl.

    Alright, I really don't believe that either, but it sure would be nice they would just jump into a vat of Jell-O and wrestle it out instead of carrying on and on.

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 2:08 PM  

  • That was a good article, JB. Who knew Rickey's Restaurant/Wing Sauce and Pac Man were linked? But, I do think the article shows how we need some new blood in the hero department. When I was a kid, you could look up to righteous people like Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Lou Gehrig, FDR, JFK, MLK, Malcolm X, Allen Ginsberg, Neil Armstrong, Audie Murphy, Rosa Parks etc. Men and women who had accomplished something meaningful that advanced humanity. Now, a guy who stayed inside all day spending quarters is exalted.

    This is not to saying that Billy hasn't accomplished something meangningful, but c'mon--it is playing Pac Man, not walking on the moon. I put that in the category of people who are double jointed, can flip their eyelids out and can tie a cherry stem with their toungue. They have a talent, but just not a very useful one. And from the article, it seems he realizes how trivial the whole videogame thing is. But I must admit that it is cool that the Pac-Man champ is a native Floridian. I can see the arcade or 7-11 where he spent many days perfecting his craft now...

    Back to the importance of life, why did you give so much ink to Rosie or The Hair? They are hypocritical people who happen to be in show business. Show business people are often the worst hypocrites because they really don't have a moral conscience and guilt does not affect them. So why spend ink going into some lies and half truths perpetrated by them? Especially without some mention of the possibility of collusion in order to boost ratings? People love to see a car crash and when women fight in public. Technically, neither Rosie or Hair is a woman, but they're both bitches (lemme rephrase--they both bitch).

    Last--I have a buddy who wears a T-shirt that says--"Rehab is For Quitters"--a personal favorite saying for me (my second favorite is the old T-Shirt from Ovations with a stripper on a pole that said "I support single moms.") Don't know how your dad would feel about that, but you must admit it's funny.

    By Anonymous Big Daddy, at 2:55 PM  

  • Though states, "We Report. You Decide," it seems a bit subjective of them to "report" any romantic inclinations of these two. And so what if they both were newsworthy in the past for similar circumstances. They met under the umbrella of a mutual "interest," so to speak, no different than a couple who share the love of wine and walks on the beach. (Though that would make for quite unique matching entries on, wouldn't it?)

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 4:28 PM  

  • your article on the gamer is great. I enjoyed it.

    By Blogger C, at 7:14 PM  

  • As a former addict to Ms. Pacman, I confess I got a kick out of the article about the gamer champ. Have to agree too though with Big Daddy's comments on what constituted a hero back in my younger years and what appears to be the hero figures of so many today -a lot of disparity there, I think. But, using ink to point out things about the feud between Trump and O'Donnell -well, any time you point out incongruities, it's sure not a waste of ink, is it?
    And, finally - I guess I am really getting old but I need someone to explain the punch line on the stripper and the pole tee shirt. I'm not usually THIS dense on stuff like that. And, I've often thought the feud too between "The Donald" and Rosie was an act of collusion between them to pump up their ratings maybe.

    By Blogger Jeni, at 9:35 PM  

  • That relationship is just creepy - especially because of what they have in common. ick!

    By Blogger Dayngr, at 12:17 AM  

  • Love your article, wish I was the Pac Man champ, I heart that game so when I was a kid.

    Your dad was wise to change his saying, I teach my kid hate is a stron word..change it to dis-like.

    By Blogger Cazzie!!!, at 3:26 AM  

  • Where are the heroes today? Either too busy getting on with their heroics, & not wanting the publicity, or almost extinct cos these days the media are into "Celebrities" - most of whom are nothing more than 'famous' as media creations.

    That & being good & a good citizen just isn't the thing any more.

    By Anonymous bronchitikat, at 5:43 AM  

  • Let us know how he does in the contest (=

    As for those two dating - eh, I could care less.

    And I am SICK of hearing about Rosie and Trump. They are both idiots and I am glad that - for the time being at least - they are off of the TV set.

    You should do an e-mail feed so we can keep up with your articles - love your writing.

    By Blogger ADW, at 8:11 AM  

  • I teach Video Game Creation to 5th-9th graders here at the college. Can I use your article this fall as a handout if I, of course, make sure your by-line is on it? That was a great story!

    By Blogger Christina_the_wench, at 8:57 AM  

  • I can still see the Pacman pattern when I close my eyes.

    Now, if I could just get that damn frog to the other side of the road!

    By Blogger SWF41, at 9:43 AM  

  • "She quit The View after her tussle with co-host Elizabeth Hasslebeck over whether or not Hasselbeck should have defended Rosie's statement about "who" the terrorists are in the war in Iraq. For the record, the terrorists, as far as my tiny brain can comprehend, are the people intentionally killing civilians and blowing up markets and schools, etc."

    James I have to ask you in reference to what you wrote, when does the killing of civilians move from intentional to unintentional?

    If the US military drops a bomb on a terrorist hideout in a suburban neighborhood and 12-15 civilians get killed in the fringes of a blast, do you call that unintentional? I don't. I call it the military describing the losses as acceptable casualties. I can assure you that the families of the civilians feel the same way.

    The same terrorist hideout could probably have been taken out by a ground based US strike team with no loss of civilian life but with US casualties instead. But the US military deems the civilian deaths a more acceptable loss than US servicemen.

    I don't ever want American soldiers to die. But if 100 soldiers have to be put in harms way to make sure that the military doesn't kill 10 civilians, then they should be put in harms way. Only then do you ever get to say that the civilian casualties were "unintentional".

    By Blogger Wavemancali, at 11:23 AM  

  • Living here in SB, the whole News-Press thing is really crazy. From what I've read (obviously not in the NP), many people have quit on that principle and those that are still there have said that the tension is tremendous. It's an ongoing saga...The SB Independent follows is a link to the latest:

    By Blogger Claudia, at 3:21 AM  

  • Never really got into the normal pacman, MRS Pacman and Super pacman I enjoyed the hell out of though. Good to see that this guy didn't let that accomplishment define his life. I can almost picture and "Al Bundyesque" like memory of the 'old days when I was a pacman champ'.

    I have completely avoided the whole Rosie/Donald thing. No reason to change my mind now.


    By Blogger briliantdonkey, at 6:34 AM  

  • I loved Pac-Man... in 7th grade.

    John and Beth = ewww! Okay so it might be like two people meeting in a "Parents without Partners" meeting and building a relationship from there. But still... creepy!

    RE: QoD's comment on Rosie and Trump, I think we'd ALL be better off if they wrestled in a vat of jello... and both drowned in it! Personally, I'm glad they'll both be off the air. The world will be a happier place.

    By Blogger Balou, at 10:02 AM  

  • OMG! I used to get blisters playing Pac Man! That is still the best game!

    As for Donald.......he needs to get a life & shut the fawk up!!!

    By Blogger Paula D., at 10:42 AM  

  • I'm still not sure what to make of the Holloway/Ramsey thing.

    I miss games like Pac Man and Frogger.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 1:18 PM  

  • Re:the quitting thing. I thought the same thing after watching the kerfluffle between Rosie and Elizabeth. I thought, um, why would you quit over that? If you really thought you were right, rather than inable to substantively defend your rant, why would you quit?
    Anyway, the View sucks, so who cares.

    As always, I appreciate your reasonable take on things. Although you are skewed. Just reasonably skewed.

    By Anonymous Kim, at 10:20 PM  

  • Is it sexist that I liked Ms. Pac Man better?

    By Anonymous 123Valerie, at 11:11 PM  

  • Jay, ouch! Honestly, I have to keep up with my pseudo celeb news better. I never thought about the timing of her hookups. Tsk tsk.

    Queen, I'll never eat Jello again.

    BD, thanks. I think that might be the first article of mine you've complimented without offering a caveat too. As for Rosie and Donald, they make themselves easy targets. Can't help it. As for Billy, I wasn't writing him up as a hero. I was writing him up as an interesting "regular" guy who happened to achieve perfection wihout breaking a sweat at something most of us did for fun when we were younger. If Billy's a hero, I'm sure those folks who see him that way are looking at his charitable work with Make-a-Wish Foundation.

    Sarc, I'd like to see the category on under which that pair would have met.

    C, thank you. Billy was fun to hang out with. Modest guy, humble guy. Good personality. I had him demonstrate for me on Ms. Pac-Man. He made it look easy. And just as with the tourists, when he made it through the first five boards/levels he handed the joystik over to me and within a minute all my Pac-Men were dead. I'd lost.

    Jeni, my mom was also a Ms. Pac-Man addict. And I don't disagree with Big Daddy. But it's apples and oranges. I wasn't writing about Billy as a hero. I was writing about an interesting guy with a unique talent. As for writing about Donald and Rosie, point taken. And the pole dancer joke was the slogan on the T-shirt: "I support single moms," as in some (perhaps many?) strippers are single moms. Cruel, I know. But don't kill the messenger. I'm just interpreting Big Daddy for you.

    Dayngr, creepy is a good word for it.

    Cazzie, thanks, and dislike is a good compromise.

    Bronchitikat, don't get me started on people who are famous for the sake of being famous. It's a pet peeve of mine.

    ADW, he made it through the first two rounds then lost. But he told me he had a lot of fun. And he's still the record holder for the old-school arcade version of Pac-Man. And I promise I'll try to cut back on my Donald/Rosie mentions. Oh, and I'm gonna set up that email feed too. I've been meaning to pimp my blog. Maybe when I do that I can set up the feed.

    Christina, I'd be flattered if you used my article. I don't know if I'm speaking out of turn. But if I am, it's along the same lines as "You can't record this game without the express written consent of the NFL." So I say knock yourself out.

    SWF41, I also had a Frogger obsession. That game tortured me. Once it sped up after the early rounds I always got splattered in the middle of the road.

    Wavemancali, I think we're getting into semantics here. Like or dislike the war, you can't tell me with a straight face that you believe American troops - except for the few bad apples - are "aiming" at innocent civilians. I'm talking this: if I'm a soldier and I have a gun and you and a terrorist holding a bomb are standing side by side in front of me, I'm going to aim the gun at him with the intention of taking him out. I will not aim at you. If you end up wounded or dead too, I'll be terribly sorry and sad. But I will not have hurt/killed you intentionally. Now, if you want to talk about politics and the motivations for the war, that's a different discussion/argument altogether. I get your point. But I also "get to say" my take on this any time I want. I don't mean to be snarky, 'cause I love spirited debate. But that's one of the lovely freedoms we enjoy (most of the time) in this country.

    Claudia, I hit that link. It is bananas what's happening at the NP.

    Briliant, I probably should have followed your lead and avoided the whole Rosie/Donald thing. But yeah, this guy was pretty balanced. Funny thing is he doesn't even play games anymore. He doesn't have any in his house, or at least he didn't before Microsoft sent him an Xbox 360.

    Balou, 7th grade? Those were the good old days. I used to hit the arcade in the mall in the Navy Exchange on the air station in Sigonella, Sicily, sportin' my Member's Only jacket. I could play Pac-Man for hours...and lose quickly w/every quarter. As for John and Beth, we agree. And Rosie/Donald? I'm not feeling the Jello thing. I used to like to eat Jello till you and Queen ruined it for me with the imagery of those two wrestling in it ;-)

    Paula, the man who created Pac-Man was at the Xbox contest in New York earlier this week. And he announced a new Pac-Man design, the first new one in 26 years. He also announced his retirement from video game design.

    ThirdWorst, those were the fun days w/games. Now, games cause seizures and require kids to take on character personalities and turn them into out-of-shape tubs.

    Kim, I'm skewed? I'm crushed! I try to be fair and middlin'. But that's OK. Seriously, I think both of 'em are annoying, sometimes mean people. But I can have (severely) limited respect for an annoying person if they don't back down and make excuses. They get a few points with me for sticking to their guns.

    123V, it is OK to like girls. Not at all sexist. I like Ms. Pac-Man too. And Mrs. B doesn't mind ;-)

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:26 AM  

  • James, I never meant to imply you didn't have a right to "get your say". I also love spirited debate, I think if there were more spirited debate out there, less problems would pop up. People aren't taught to constructively argue a point anymore, and I think it's sad.

    I agree with you when you have the scenario that you presented. Me side by side with a terrorist he has a bomb, something has to be done that second. Odds are that I'm gonna get hurt, you're not aiming for me, it's all good. (well not really, but you know what I mean)

    The point I am trying to illustrate is this, take the same scenario you presented to me. I'm side by side with the terrorist and he has a bomb, you have to kill him. You have a rifle and a grenade. If you use the grenade while I am standing right beside him without trying the rifle first, you most certainly are aiming for me.

    Finally, when are civilians of a democracy to be held accountable for the people that they've voted in to power?

    By Blogger Wavemancali, at 12:55 PM  

  • Good skewed, James! As in warped. That's a compliment. But then, I'm skewed, too. I hope that made sense.

    By Anonymous Kim, at 1:57 PM  

  • Wavemancali, I get your point even better now. And your last sentence is a powerful one. Who wants to answer that question?

    Kim, I get. Thanks. I was beginning to worry ;-) I guess I'm proud to be warped too!

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 9:51 PM  

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