25 August 2008

The Rest is Rock and Roll

And so I have no rumblerumble of teenaged feet around the house today. The elder remora is off to university (but he's living at home, so come 2:30 or so...). Thus, the miscellany is a day late.

  • I think I'll lead off with an article on the purported death of the semicolon; it seems all too appropriate, too easy, too timely; and it provides a great segue into
  • A piece on the trials and tribulations of teaching evolution to the misguided children of evangelicals, given their collective refusal to accept evidence — which gets particularly ironic when selecting judges, but "irony" seems to have illegally emigrated from their dictionaries and met up with Mr Darwin in the Gallapagos (perhaps their dictionaries are wet paperbacks?); of course, being "liberal" and/or "minority" do not disqualify one from graft, corruption, and nepotism; nonetheless, this sentence is nearly long enough to serve as a Bulwer-Lytton entry, so it must stop; cease; desist; come to an end.
  • Speaking of "surprises," though, the FBI saw the mortgage crisis coming in 2004. About a decade after private litigators did. Perhaps some of those misspent dollars that went to the "war on drugs" would have been better spent on at least a rearguard action against white-collar terrorists. That, however, would have been inconsistent with so-called "family values" (or is that "Family values"?) conservatism, which basically come down to "any way I can strengthen my family at the expense of families that aren't otherwise exactly like mine is not just a good idea — it should be mandatory."
  • As usual, some copyright warrior is misunderstanding the Mouse copyright. He's reached the right conclusion, but for the wrong reasons... and with the wrong implications. The so-called "Mickey Mouse copyright" is improper because it's both unconstitutional (WFH) and an improper overextension of "copyright" into "unfair competition." It's sort of amusing, though, to see the technicalities of the registration system being used against one of the worst exploiters of those very technicalities.
  • Since it's the first day at university for the elder remora, I'm tempted to assign him a "compare and contrast" essay: Compare and contrast MPAA ratings with these musings on responsibility and music. Then get out of the way...
  • Can the publishing and entertainment industry escape my ire? Are you kidding? In no particular order, consider yet another "business reform" proposal for publishing, and yet another lament concerning trickle-down of royalties, in the context of performers and bad albums. Then drag in censorship of the chickenshit marketplace for good measure, and try to figure out if any of these marketing geniuses know what their market is. But I suppose that beats morals clauses for authors (note: I bloody well know this isn't news; it's merely hit what passes for publishing news again, four years after the last outcry), although not by a lot.
  • Last, and far from least: I'm quite disappointed that Obama has selected an elderly plagiarist as his running mate. It's time for the generation whose only knowledge of the world came from the so-called Cold War to get the hell out of office. (It also undercuts Obama's ability to play the "age card" against McCain.) If he really needed someone with extensive foreign-policy experience to provide credibility to his campaign, he should have remembered that the idiots who have been in office for the last two decades — in both parties — have really managed to screw up more often than they've been right, which leads me to believe that maybe excessive "experience" is overrated in that arena... especially in a changing world. Maybe there's a reason that so many scientists and mathematicians do their best work before they reach 50.