March 28, 2014

March 26, 2014

Yet Another Open Letter to Andrew Ladd

Dear Andrew Ladd,

You never acknowledged my previous two open letters, I suspect because you didn't read them. So I doubt you'll be reading this one, either.

Just in case you are, though, I thought I'd drop you a quick line in solidarity.

See, at the beginning of the week my Google Alerts exploded with the news that your second child was born on Sunday (congratulations, by the way). As a result, you sat out your team's Monday night game to stay at home and, you know, be with your wife and new daughter.

Then, my Google Alerts exploded with the news that a bunch of jerks on Twitter were "slamming" you for sitting out Monday night's game. (I would think you're used to getting slammed, as a hockey player, but I guess that doesn't necessarily mean you enjoy it.)

Anyway, the angry tweeters' logic (if you can call it that) is that playing hockey is your job, and that, because your employer is still tenuously hanging onto the possibility of a postseason, you have a responsibility to turn up. Your absence on Monday night was akin, in their minds, to a CEO taking a day off the week before a major product launch.

Well, I call bull on them. For one thing, they live in Canada, which has some of the most generous parental leave benefits in the world. As a Canadian, Andrew Ladd, you're legally entitled to time off from your job when you have a child, no matter what you do. So don't let some snotty blogger make you feel bad about it.

But more to the point, anyone "slamming" you for this needs to get a freakin' life. You're a person first and a hockey player second, Andrew Ladd, and if the Winnipeg Jets' playoff prospects are really so important to some Twitter troll that he can't acknowledge, you know, your basic humanity... Well, I think that's pretty ridiculous.

Anyway, Andrew Ladd, I just wanted to let you know that I've got your back on this one. After all, like I keep saying: if we Andrew Ladds can't count on each other, who can we count on? Right?

Yours, as always, in homonymery,

Andrew Ladd

March 21, 2014

March 17, 2014

Snappy Turtles

The other day I fell down a Wikipedia rabbit hole—or maybe I should called it a Wikipedia sewer—and came across this:
To capitalize on the Turtles' popularity, a concert tour was held in 1990, premiering at Radio City Music Hall on August 17. The "Coming Out of Their Shells" tour featured live-action turtles playing music as a band (Donatello, keyboards; Leonardo, bass guitar; Raphael, drums and sax; Michelangelo, guitar) on stage around a familiar plotline: April O'Neil is kidnapped by the Shredder, and the turtles have to rescue her.
Help me out here, American readers: did people know about this at the time? Was it a big deal? Because over here in the U.K. I didn't hear a thing about it. Although that's probably just as well because I would have bugged the crap out of my parents about wanting to go see what is clearly one of the most awesome musical concepts in history.

Also awesome is everything that was written about the tour. I challenge you to find anything more early-Nineties than this excerpt from the New York Times' (!!!) review of the show:
The Turtles perform the songs from the album, dancing in a line like the New Kids on the Block, flaunting guitars like a hard-rock band, even striking the poses of rappers. The turtle costumes are impressive; mouths move and eyes roll by remote control. And the stage set is worthy of Motley Crue.
Yup, that's right, they compared the show to NKOTB and Motley Crue IN THE SAME PARAGRAPH. But as far as comparisons go, I think this line from the Wikipedia article is probably my favourite, not to mention a great coinage of a new adjective:
The story had a very Bill-n'-Ted-esque feel, with its theme of the power of rock n' roll literally defeating the enemy, in the form of the Shredder (who only rapped about how he hates music) trying to eliminate all music.
Bill-n'-Ted-esque! I'm going to start using that one in my day-to-day life for sure. e.g.

"I couldn't get out of bed this morning until Motley Crue started playing on the radio. It was totally Bill-n'-Ted-esque."

"My co-workers were having a huge argument today, so I just slipped on my headphones and zoned out, all Bill-n'-Ted-esque."

"Oh man. Did you see the last episode of Breaking Bad? It was Bill-n'-Ted-esque to the max." **

And so, the internet has performed its function yet again. Goodnight.

**I haven't actually seen the last episode of Breaking Bad so I don't know if this is accurate.

March 14, 2014

March 07, 2014

March 06, 2014

Missing the Forest for the Tweets

From the Guardian: Cameron's 'on-the-phone-to-Obama' selfie tweet parodied by celebrities

To get everyone on the same page:

1. David Cameron exhibited some social media tone-deafness yesterday.
2. Lots of people on social media made fun of David Cameron about said tone-deafness today, including comedian Rob Delaney and actor Patrick Stewart.

And just to remind everyone of a few of the pages before that, too:

-1. Russia invaded the Crimea.
0. Nobody seems to be able to convince Russia to stop invading the Crimea.

Now, I get it: David Cameron's tweet was dumb, and it's pretty funny seeing people use things as phones that don't actually look like phones. (To wit.) And maybe this is just some kind of mass psychological coping mechanism for dealing with the frankly pretty horrific reality of politics in the former soviet bloc. I would be okay with that. Heck, I even giggled at the whole thing myself.

But why is this being covered in the Guardian? In the Independent? In USA Today? It's not news that comedians make jokes. It's not even news that David Cameron is figuratively tone-deaf, in social media or otherwise. It is news that Britain is accusing Russia of violating international law. Jesus. The Triple Entente is crumbling, guys!

And yeah, okay, I'm sure all those newspapers also carried serious pieces covering the recent developments in the actual story (well... maybe not USA Today). But why can't we just leave Twitter to the tweeters? If you care enough about Twitter to care about this story, you already knew about it before the Guardian came along, so why waste time/money/etc. "reporting" it to an audience who actually wants news? Bookending this kind of serious political story with "look at this guy talking into some toothpaste" trivialises journalism and it trivialises the awful shit going on in the Crimea right now.

Again, not to say people shouldn't let off steam on Twitter, or that I didn't find it funny. But non-overlapping magisteria, you know?