vma awards 2013

Newsflash for the half-dozen of you who happened to stumble across this blog today: Pop culture ain’t my thing, and it ain’t been my thing for a long, long time.

An example of my indifference to pop culture: I don’t think I’ve ever watched an awards show of any stripe. Not the Oscars, nor the Grammys, certainly not the ESPYs, and especially not anything put on by MTV.

I’ve got no problem with those that enjoy that sort of thing, it’s just not for me.

That said, the most recent hullaballoo over a young strumpet making a fool of herself in public, this time at something called the VMAs, is hardly surprising.

If anything, it’s utterly predictable. Given the seemingly endless parade of puffery and self-promotion that is at the core of today’s awards shows, an “artist” has to work harder and harder to generate publicity.

And you know what – it pays off every time.

The more outlandish the artist, the more notoriety they generate.

Miley Cyrus earned herself millions of dollars of free publicity Sunday evening because Western media no longer wishes to differentiate between news and nonsense.

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hello sir

Questions for the poor souls who, having run through all the blogs that educate, illuminate and/or edify, are left with this site:

  • Is the above caption offensive? If so, why?

It makes light of neither Jesus Christ nor Christianity, but of those individuals who go door to door proselytizing.

Having turned away many a Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness and Southern Baptist from my front door, I couldn’t help but find the meme funny, even though all the above Christians were without fail exceedingly polite and, I would imagine, well intentioned.

  • If the evangelizing cat is not at least a little offensive, then why is it humorous?

Often, it’s the taboo that gets the biggest guffaw.

If the image of a cat sticking its paws and part of its head through a small door came with the caption: “Hello Sir – Can I interest you in an excellent deal on a Electromaflux 5000 Upright Vacuum?” it wouldn’t be quite the same, even though we’ve all had to deal with door-to-door salesmen peddling everything from appliances to insurance.

  • Finally, what did people do for chuckles in the days before the invention of the camera allowed them to pass around pictures of animals?

This, I concede, is of less philosophical significance than the other questions.

Still, passing around, say, a charcoal image of a cat stuck in a butter churn wouldn’t seem to have the same impact as that of a photo of the same scene.

monkey riding a dog

Life has many wonderful things to offer: Impressionist art, Renaissance cathedrals and watching the sun set over a Pacific fogbank among them.

But for enjoyment and sheer wonder nothing tops the spectacle of a monkey riding a dog.

There will always be naysayers, but whichever marketing guru came up with the idea of placing smallish primates atop a larger canines and then letting them dash off madly – well, that my friends, is pure genius.

It is said there are a handful of things one should undertake in life if at all possible. These include visiting your nation’s capital, reading the classics and traveling, even if it’s within your own country.

I would add that no list of must-do items is complete without witnessing the spectacle that is a monkey riding a dog.

Don’t ask me why; it simply has to be experienced to be appreciated.

thank you

In my neck of the woods, one of the highlights of being a dad is being asked to make an appearance at “Career Day” when your child is in 4th grade. I was fortunate enough to be invited by my youngest to speak to her class recently, and, as always, it was a treat.

The favorite part of this year’s appearance, however, were the Thank Yous I received afterward.

The notes were decorated elaborately; many in a variety of colors and inks, and all with the unguarded sweet words of appreciation that seemingly only a child can muster.

It’s important to note that I work for a state banking association – a job I thoroughly enjoy, but not exactly what most 9- or 10-year olds would consider a glamorous position, or even one many at that age can comprehend.

As a result I opted to skip planned discussions on the Federal Reserve System and Quantitative Easing, and a proposed Q&A breakout session on the merits of returning to a bimetallic monetary standard.

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oldest person

If there’s one honor you don’t want, it’s to be recognized as the world’s oldest person.

Without fail, often within months and sometimes even weeks of being declared as the planet’s senior senior citizen, the individual is dead.

The latest to fall victim to this curse: Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura, 116, who died today less than six months after being recognized by the Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living person.

Kimura did far better than his immediate predecessor, though. Dina Manfredini lasted just 13 as the world’s oldest person before dying late last year.

And of the 32 previous record holders, only seven survived more than a year after being honored for their longevity. Sounds like a curse if I’ve ever heard of one.

In seriousness, one of the interesting aspects of news stories about the extremely aged is that they are almost never quoted. This is almost always, to put it delicately, because the faculties of the extremely aged aren’t quite what they once were.

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Homer

This seems particularly appropriate today.

But then again, when isn’t the wit and wisdom of Homer Simpson appropriate?

whiskey bottles

Listening to the babbling and braying emanating from elected officials today one pines for the days of classical antiquity when rhetoric was seen as an essential part a quality education.

There’s no doubt that effective communication – particularly public speaking – has waned in recent decades as leaders of all stripes have sought to tailor remarks (in dumbed-down fashion, in many instances) for television cameras, news reporters and, most recently, Twitter feeds.

The problem is, elegant discourse rarely comes in 140 characters or less. Sometimes, you actually have to give a real genuine speech in order to get a point across.

That also means you often have to listen to an entire talk to get its full meaning, or to understand the genius behind it.

Case in point is a brief speech delivered by a young Mississippi lawmaker in 1952.

Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat, finishing his first and only term in the Mississippi Legislature, delivered what became known as the “Whiskey Speech.”

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angry-cat-photo-u1

It has been said that we in Western society have at our fingertips access to the most powerful technology ever devised – and that we use it largely for viewing cat photos and getting sports updates.

Well, that’s not 100 percent correct. The same amazing technology that allows some to zip cat pictures to friends and family via email, cell phone or some other hi-tech means can also be used to send embarrassing photos of people and cats, thereby doing society a service by helping identify potential serial killers, the utterly deranged or good old-fashioned oddballs.

The delightfully titled website I Don’t Need Anger Management, You Just Need to Shut Up has compiled an array of photos titled “The Absolute Worst Pictures of Men and Cats.”

After perusing the 18 images that were selected, I can’t say that I disagree with any of the choices.

I would add that it’s readily apparent why some men are unable to find women to marry, or even date.

A couple of caveats: I have nothing against cats. I actually like cats; my family had several while I was growing up and we got along famously.

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hide yo kids

… sometimes we all need a laugh. Indeed.

facebook

To see the rest, click here.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess this was not put together by the typical Facebook user.