26 April 2023

Six O'Clock News (Snickering Supervillain Edition)

I'm afraid that there are at present no auditions scheduled for evil laughter soundtracks.

  • There was one, and only one, possible dessert to be consumed after a certain "mutually agreed departure" earlier this week (yeah, I'm sure it was "mutually agreed" — parallel to mutually assured destruction). I must have myself some Schadenfreude Pie. Immediately.

    The timing is quite interesting. As that ABC News story notes, there's the recent past of the Dominion settlement, a really obvious connection; but looking forward just slightly, there's a certain trial starting that, as to the relationship of that defendant and the Recently Departed Anchor (in the sense of weighing things down and stopping all movement!), brings in all manner of squicky baggage. Stop it you dirty-minded readers, this isn't about hate-sex… they're both too ruled by their own egos for that.

    Let's see, now: Mr O'Reilly. Mr Hannity. Mr TV Dinner HeirCarlson. I'd say that Justice Holmes perhaps had it right, in one very snide and supercilious sense entirely out of keeping with his place in the American-history consciousness, or in other areas of jurisprudence: Three generations of imbeciles is enough. Enough for hosts; enough for media oligarchs (remember, SauronRupert himself isn't a first-generation "news-media" owner). More than enough.

  • Speaking of interesting food choices (and imbeciles), consider the quandary of destroying privately-ordered-and-imported cases of a certain American colored water to protect the mark of French bubbly colored water. This really is one of those "Why can't they both lose?" issues — bad marginally-beer-like substance with a ridiculous, oft-snickered-at marketing slogan (that is disturbingly accurate in some pejorative ways) versus far-less-than-highest-quality wine that's been carbonated and run through French branding arrogance. Hint to both of you: Nobody with working taste buds drinks either product for its flavor.

    And to top it off with a foamy head, the seizure actually took place in Belgium — where they actually know how to brew decent beer.

  • None of the above has anything whatsoever to do with love the art, disdain the artist (or, for that matter, the purported Biblical imperative to "hate the sin, love the sinner" that really doesn't say or mean that, particularly given Mr Iscariot's fate — or the last sausage on this platter). The above items contain quite a few reasons to despise both…
  • …paralleled by moronic counterterrorism police who give away both whom and what they're looking into by arresting a French publisher at the London Book Fair, in the middle of concerns about overclassification and lost control of "secrets" through intelligence-service incompetence. I'm perfectly capable of despising both terrorists/terrorism and the inept means chosen to "deal" with them!
  • But if you want more subtlety to the evil, where there really is an identifiably less-evil side, consider the noisy departure of editors from the world's largest vanity-publishing operation… to form their own, less-expensive vanity-publishing operations. Do not kid yourselves — calling them "page fees" and "article publishing charges" and whatever else the PR folks can come up with does not change the substance: That the authors pay to be published. It's perhaps more disheartening when one realizes that the fees paid to be published are often budgeted for (sometimes under different euphemisms) in research grant requests, so that they won't come out of the authors' own pockets. Just out of yours and mine, from the minuscule portion of our taxes that goes to granting organizations like NIH. And the "heroes" here won't eliminate those fees entirely — just reduce them from astoundingly exorbitant to merely unethical.

    Did I mention that the profit margin at the academic-journals divisions of the major conglomerates that have such divisions is the highest of all publishing activities — and even absent the vanity fees would generally remain so? Feeling better about high-rent capitalist control of knowledge dissemination? (Feeling better about the same conglomerate controlling the dominant "pre-print" venue in law and related social sciences… or that its much-smaller upstart competitor is, if anything, worse with its charging of not just publishing fees, but submission fees?)

  • I suppose that I can close for the moment with musings on the poor Supreme Court Justice victim of a "political hit job" for failing to disclose potential conflicts of interest of a kind that lieutenants, ensigns, and newly-appointed Foreign Service Officers know have to be reported. Speaking of "political hit jobs," though, don't on your own time using your own equipment offer to transport women for medical care on a semicharitable basis if you happen to teach dead languages at a seminary-prep college (and, to be excrutiatingly clear, are not yourself a member of the clergy). That was a political hit job… aided in no small part by positions that Justice Thomas took in cases (even absent a written opinion, as he influenced grants and denials of certiorari) quite possibly influenced by that megadonor. Of course, that's the problem with these "appearance of a conflict of interest" things: Absent full and timely disclosures prior to any confidential deliberations, nobody will really know. Or even reliably surmise for at least several decades, until some retired/deceased Justice's papers are released (and even they won't be an official record).