Wednesday, 29 December 2010

What's the 411?

I heard some interesting news stories recently, and as part of my goal to inform and enlighten, I’ve summarized them here (with some editorial comments, of course) for your reading pleasure.

The British government officially recognized the iconic Abbey Road crosswalk as a national treasure. 

Finally, a government makes a good decision.  After years of tourists taking their shoes off and arguing over who gets to be Lennon, this new designation means that the crossing can only be altered with the approval of local authorities, who must consider the historic significance.  I just hope the “local authorities” are put through a rigorous screening process.  We wouldn’t want just anyone making these decisions.  How can we trust them to “consider the historic significance” with the appropriate vigor?  This isn’t some stupid old church or castle – this is the Abbey Road Crossing, for godsake.

Apparently, ballerinas should cut back on the sugar plums.

That’s nice, eh?  A New York Times reviewer “critiqued” the Nutcracker’s Sugar Plum Fairy ballerina for her weight.  The ballerina, as many others, has struggled with eating disorders, and some smartass pompous asshole critic said she "looked as if she'd eaten one sugar plum too many."  What a joke.  In fact, I think the friggin Sugar. Plum. Fairy. should actually be chubby – it would be more realistic.  And if he wants to critique the show, fine, but critiquing the show and passing personal judgments on the performers are different things.  Who does this guy think he is?  Well, I Googled him, and it turns out that he does seem pretty effing stuck up.

Avatar was the most pirated film of 2010.

That’s hilarious.  Not only does Avatar make the most money in theatres, but it encourages a proportional amount of on-line theft.  The 3D film, which James Cameron devoted 10 years to making (loser) was apparently downloaded 16.6 million times.  Cameron hoped that 3D filmmaking would combat piracy by persuading more people to see the film in theatres, but Avatar was downloaded 33% more than last year's most pirated film (Star Trek).  Well, that’s what you get Mr. Hot Shot.  I haven’t seen it, and I don’t intend to.  Much like Lord of the Rings, I am stubbornly resistant to all the hype.

George W's memoir has sold more than 2 million copies.

Who is buying this shit?  “Decision Points” was released in November and surpassed the two million sales mark shortly afterward.  Bush was paid $7 million to write about 9/11, his Afghanistan and Iraq war decisions, and his response to Hurricane Katrina – as well as his resolve to stop drinking.  Sarah Palin's 2009 memoir, “Going Rogue”, sold 2.2 million copies.  I can only hope that people read this stuff for a laugh – or perhaps out of pure fascination – because if they are reading it to get insight into these two idiot’s minds, they’d better look elsewhere.  I bet their day-to-day interviews and speeches are far more revealing.

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