Mothafukas! So much for that shit.
My operatives have obtained the writer’s and director’s guide for this new series including an advance copy of the script. This humble blog is the exclusive source for this information on the internet.
I’m not going to make any claims here that GMO foods are dangerous. Maybe you believe they are, maybe you don’t. That’s basically the point behind efforts to label foods that contain GMO, isn’t it? We’re supposed to have faith in the ability of free markets to reach sound conclusions. (If not, we’re all doomed.) At least in theory en masse we generally get it right.
Some companies, though, seem to chafe at the bit at the bit when it comes to revealing information about what’s actually in their foods. So many “secret” ingredients and the like. So many euphemisms like “natural flavors” to avoid a detailed accounting of what’s really in there. (And happily stamped “OK” by Uncle Sam, too.)
But without information what possible decision-making can take place? I submit that a free market can’t reach those legendary conclusions in a void of data. Without the ability to weigh facts, the market must simply go where it is led by the powerful few in the know. As a general rule other people making decisions on your behalf don’t turn out all that well.
1913: 100% of corn was farmer owned. By 2013 approx. 95% was owned by corporations.
–A statistic I found all over the Internet which may or may not be real
Today, without attempting to examine real and/or imagined ills that may or may not be associated with GMO, I wish to look at a single debate point offered by those who oppose labeling. What GMO means to you should be something you investigate for yourself. See if you can, somehow, sort through all the noise and determine your own level of comfort.
I look at it like this? If given the choice of no food and dying of starvation or nom nom on some GMO most of us would probably choose the latter and take our chances. Is that the issue in a nutshell? As Earth converts farmland to condominiums and strip malls and the population continues to increase no doubt one day we’ll all be facing a question like that. (And insects. Don’t forget the edibility of insects.)
So, here in Oregon, a lot of us signed a petition and Measure 92 qualified for the ballot. It’s a measure that Oregon voters will decide this November. The aim of the measure is to mandate labeling of GMOs in food.
Naturally, now we’re being subjected to a horrifying barrage of television ads both for and against. One of the arguments against the measure kind of stuck in my craw. Let’s take a look.
If you have ever watched commercial programming on television you may already be aware of this, but sometimes the shows repeat plot points. Surprising but true. It generally works something like the instructions on a shampoo bottle:
- Hire a core troupe of actors and put them in a setting, like a meat packing plant or a sewer treatment facility
- Go through the episodic table of plot elements
- After a certain period of time, usually 3-7 years, replace the actors and the setting, like the actuarial tables dept. at an insurance company
- Rinse and repeat
When watching a show with my wife, within the first 30 seconds I’ll shout out the plot variation as soon as it is recognized. Trust me, she really loves this. “Oh, god, no!! It’s plot #42. Wacky birthing episode ending with a touching isn’t-that-thing-cute moment. I’ll be on the computer. Let me know when it’s over.”
Here’s a few excerpts from the episodic table:
- A previously unknown family member of a main character comes to visit for a short time (father, mother, brother, sister, child, etc.)
- A main character is extremely distressed because an extended family member gets engaged, married, divorced, is involved in adultery or illicit love affair and/or dies
- Two main characters are involved in a marriage proposal, wedding, break-up, divorce, adoption, pregnancy and/or birthing
Even with those three limited examples from the table the possibilities are almost endless. I bet they could be used to generate over 500 specific plots. Mother and cousin come to visit. Father and sister die. Brother and niece get engaged. Mother pregnant, father having an affair. Father pregnant, mother having an affair. Yep, the permutations are practically unlimited.
When watching Northern Exposure the other day I noticed one of the rarer elements. “Looks like #138 coming our way,” I shouted. A mute traveling performer had been courting one of the main characters for several episodes. Sagely, I predicted, “I’ll bet the mute guy is moved to speak in a moment that will be especially poignant.” It was so touching, that I nailed it, I mean. My wife couldn’t have been more pleased.
The episodic table easily applies to movies, too. George Lucas, for example, often calls crap like this “notes” that are repeated across films, again and again and again and again and again. Did I mention again? To make this point I’ll now transport you from one galaxy far away to a make-believe land of medieval sex, violence and political intrigue. It won’t require that much suspension of disbelief.
Or, as I like to call it, “A Note Ripped From Star Wars By Game Of Thrones.” Introducing element #78: The Fake Greeting.
Continue reading →
Television commercials used to employ this rather snarky trick. (No doubt they still do, but I eschew commercial-based television so I don’t really know. I’d rather chew off my own leg and/or mate with Miley Cyrus.)
The trick worked like this:
You’d turn on the TV and select a show. You’d adjust the volume to a reasonable and comfortable level for watching the show.
Then, a commercial would come on and the windows would get blown out of your house. Shellshocked, with blood leaking from your ears due to the burst eardrums, you’d scrabble in vain for the remote control and fail. But it didn’t matter because it was already too late.
Like always, advertising is a subtle business with a deft touch.
Continue reading →
I’m always up to my net high-jinx. Without further ado, I’m pleased to announce my latest project, the creation of a new television network. It’s called F.A.N. which stands for the Feckless Abyss Network. I even spared no expense and made the logo all by myself.
I like to hire cheap.
It’s my hope that FAN will become a household name. Our slogan is “FAN. You know what hits us.” And we hope you will, too. Regularly.
I’m still working out the kinks in the lineup but likely shows to be canceled during our first season may include:
- Weapons of News Destruction
- News With Spews
- Leave It, It’s Beaver
- Know Your Enema
- P.S.I. – Pounds Per Square Inch
- Death Island
- Termination Tuesday – Sudden Death
- The Last Least Loser
- The Dr. Philly Show
- Celebrity Rebar
For sponsors we are actively seeking banks, credit cards, pharmaceutical companies and fast food. That is, everyone except you, Chick-Fil-A.
Of course, the sitcom will be a mainstay and we have many exciting ideas for fresh and exciting content. Read on.
Continue reading →
I came across a blog today that asked the simple question: “What would your reality show be called?”
My first thought was, “Hey! Excellent idea for a blog post.” But my second thought was, “Yeah, what would it be called?”
And that’s when I decided to think hard and figure it out.
It turned out to be a wee bit tougher question than I originally thought. Continue reading →
Before I begin, let me just say this: It was nice knowin’ y’all! 🙂
I have decided on my next ambitious project. It is based on the simple premise that what is advertised on television must be good for you.
Those of us in the United States are lucky enough to be in one of only two countries in the world where “direct to consumer” (DTC) advertising of prescription medications is legal. (The other being New Zealand.)
New Zealand legalized DTC advertising of prescription medications in 1981 and the United States followed suit in 1997. (Source: Wikipedia.)
The goal for my project is simple. To consume as many prescription drugs as I can for 30 days and document what happens. And let the chips fall where they may!
I have to be honest. When I see those commercials for prescription drugs on television, I’m very curious about the endless litany of “side effects” that get mentioned. I began to wonder: Can these be stacked up for even greater effect?
I decided to find out!
To keep things fair, this little experiment will be restricted to only those medications that are advertised on television. I imagine that will force me to make some hard choices from a selection of only a few thousand different drugs. (That’s just a guess.)
I’m especially looking forward to seeing what happens when the drugs are combined in new and interesting ways. The technical term for this is “interactions.” Aw, heck. Interactions? That doesn’t sound like anything too bad! Sign me up!
So look out Cialis and Ambien. You, too, Viagra and Lipitor! I’m coming for you. Watch your back, Zoloft. I’m gonna eat you up!
Our modern society in the United States is the most heavily medicated civilization of all time. American children are three times more likely to be put on psychotropic drugs than children in Europe. (Source: ScienceDaily.) And I’ve heard that medicated drivers are a “far worse” problem than drunk drivers. (Source: NaturalNews.com) It it high time for me to get with the program and find out about what I’ve been missing!
For the conditions of my experiment, I’ll consume three random prescription medications three times a day (with breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
For bonus excitement there will be a “Dead Pool” running on the side. Pick the day I die and win fun prizes!