01 June 2011

I Can't Make "Link Sausages" Rhyme With "June"

  • Congratulations to Maria Pallante, the new Register of Copyrights of the United States.
  • I wonder if they get airline miles? Not too bad for a camel, all things considered. (Yes, I'm thinking dark thoughts about how the demands of the defense and intelligence communities — which generally remain unrevealed and undiscussed — affected the shuttle's design in ways that possibly led to one of the two fatal mishaps.)
  • A quick Borders bankruptcy update, of the nothing-to-see-here-citizens-back-to-your-lives variety: In a shocking, shocking development (which is to say that it occurs in over 90% of non-prepackaged Chapter 11 proceedings involving more than $50 million in debts, indicating that there's something wrong with the Bankruptcy Code and Rules), Borders has asked for more time to submit its reorganization plan (Doc. 864, 19 May 2011 (PDF)). Naturally enough, the committee of creditors — on which, as a reminder, the publishers (the raison d'etre for a bookstore) are distinctly minority interests — objected (Doc. 920, 26 May 2011 (PDF)), and Borders has filed an almost pro forma/mass-produced reply (Doc. 944, 31 May 2011 (PDF)) supporting its request. This, among a number of other pending motions, will be heard tomorrow (Thursday, 02 June)... and for all of the excitement and breathlessness, none of these motions really matters.

    The fundamental problem with Borders — and, indeed, almost all retail-sector bankruptcies, whether they're selling books or boots and damned near anything else — remains the legacy of managerial incompetence that got the respective retailer into bankruptcy in the first place. That this legacy is only reinforced by the idiocy of American "business degree" distortions and financial-market speculation shouldn't really surprise anyone. That it occurs related to the publishing/entertainment industry (for which what is "taught", when it is taught at all, is even less based on replicable data) should be even less of a surprise. In short, these convoluted proceedings are an almost inevitable result of:

    Data(garbage) ∩ Analysis(garbage) ≡ Garbage

    not just "garbage in, garbage out," but "garbage data fed through garbage analysis is exactly equivalent to garbage. Since we're dealing with publishing, substitute the digestive biproduct of male cattle for mere "garbage," and we're getting somewhere...

  • A profile of one of my favorite streets entirely neglects its character and appearance after dark... especially during the 1970s and 1980s <vbeg>.
  • Football of most kinds is in strife world-wide at the moment. Rugby can't even agree on rules of the game, and I don't mean just whether it takes one foot inbounds or two feet inbounds to complete a forward pass. Speaking of forward passes, consider the NFL labor dispute and the schadenfreude of watching the arrogance of The Ohio State University reap what it has sowed. And real football — that is, the only form of the game in which playing the ball with the feet is the primary means of everything (well, except for Australian Rules, but even that mostly resembles rugby) — is nearly as corrupt as Chicago politics. I'd advise Herr Blatter, who has proclaimed himself the captain of the S.S. Minnow Good Ship FIFA, to become familiar with a world-wide concept exemplified in U.S. law in Article 110 of the UCMJ:

    Improper Hazarding of a Vessel (codified at 10 U.S.C. § 910)

    (a) Any person subject to this chapter who willfully and wrongfully hazards or suffers to be hazarded any vessel of the armed forces shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.

    (b) Any person subject to this chapter who negligently hazards or suffers to be hazarded any vessel of the armed forces shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

    If, that is, I was forced to give him advice; I wouldn't do so voluntarily, and I think Article 110(a) prescribes too good a fate for him (and, for that matter, for the entire damned FIFA Executive Committee).

    Football-governing authorities worldwide appear to have neglected placing the foot to the ball in favor of placing the foot in the mouth.