Thursday, November 29, 2007

"I'm a plant!" "I thought men like you were called a 'fruit'." (Updated!)

One of the questions from last night's Republican presidential debate was from a retired brigadier general with four decades of service, who said he was also an openly gay man. He asked the candidates if they supported or opposed allowing openly gay service members in the military.

I think it was a fair question, actually, and some of the candidates were quite, well, candid about their thoughts.

Turns out, this brig. general was also a Hillary Clinton campaign supporter.

Not just a supporter, but a national co-chair for the "Veterans and Military Retirees for Hillary" committee.

I don't think this is really a big deal--like I said, it's a fair question worth an answer.

But it's just funny, because this sort of thing seems to keep happening from the Clinton camp.

And really, as soon as I heard, I thought of this movie, and had to post something about it, just to justify the title.

Insta-Grow Update: Turns out there were MANY plants in the questions last night. At least three other "undecided" questioners were in fact VERY decided Democrat voters. [h-t: Say Anything.]

In the words of Gomer Pyle: "Sur-prise, sur-prise, sur-prise!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Overheard in Chipotle Tonight

Twentysomething girl in nurse's garb (to two other similarly-dressed girls): ...So the girl, the pageant contestant, was like, "I think it's important for the education of American children... Asian countries... and the Middle East and the Iraq..." And she kept saying, "and like, and like, and like," like, three or four times. It was like she didn't know what she was, like, saying, so she kept, like, repeating the same things over again. Just, like, kept talking about education, and, like, kept saying "and like" over and over and over...

I was almost sprinting to the beverage fountain to keep from snickering in front of her.

I wonder if they teach the recognition of irony in med school?

On second thought: The very best part of this anecdote is that the contestant never actually said "and like" a single time. She did break out the "like-such-as" twice, but that's it.

Do You Believe Every Word of This Book?

I'm watching/listening to the Republican "YouTube" debates on as I'm working late tonight, and the last few questions have gotten pretty religious. As you know, I'm kinda into that, so I want to address one of the questions asked.

Here's the video.

Pretty forthright, eh? I won't comment on the particular candidates' answers. Instead, I'd like to answer it myself.

Yes. I believe that every word of the Bible, faithfully translated from the original text, is what God intended for us to have as His divinely-inspired and revealed Truth. I believe it is perfect, without error, consistent, and applicable to this or any age. I believe it's the best and most specific way to understand who God really is, and to know what He expects of us.

Parts of it are history. Parts of it are poetry. Parts are symbolic and prophetic. Parts are hyperbolic. For example, Jesus doesn't want us to cut off our hands or pluck out our eyes; he wants us to treat sin as seriously as the Father does.

So to say "yes, I believe" doesn't mean that I literally follow every word, because I don't think that's what was intended. But I never doubt the truth of the Bible. As for the most fantastic parts--the six-day creation, the prophet-swallowing whale, the parted sea--I accept them as fact, because I have no reason other than my human incredulity to believe otherwise. If I believe in a God powerful enough to create the world, I'm not going to say, "Six days? Now you're putting me on. Be more realistic." The miraculous parts of the Bible are easy for me to believe, because I believe in a God who can do miracles.

So yes. That's what I believe. I'm not afraid of it, or ashamed of it.


I was perusing the clearance rack in the back of the Half-Price Bookstore, running my fingertips across the spines of the novels, and I was struck with a thought:

You will write your books, Dave, and they won't be bestsellers, but you will get them published and they will sell a few copies to a small, devoted following. Some of the rest will end up on this wall, marked down to one or two dollars. But that's okay, because then someone like you will find them and love them and share them with their friends.

And then one day, someone like you will stand right here, running their fingertips across the spines of your work, the work you sweated and cried over for years and that's now been reduced for quick sale, and they will realize that they too will never write bestsellers, but that the books they publish will be bought by a devoted following, and will end up on this rack too, to be enjoyed by the next generation of mediocre but passionate writers. And so it will continue.

And I was okay with that.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I pray for rain to come.

I feel like free-writing. I should be working. It's work-time. But I want to talk to someone about something other than comma placement and template updates. So here I am.

This morning was an adventure in emotional babysitting. I'm so predictable. If I'm not sleeping enough, if I'm not eating right, if I start forsaking any sort of spiritual discipline, I get cranky and self-absorbed and petty and depressed.

Pour me out
Til there's nothing left of me
Pour me out

Thankfully, I've started to recognize when this happens. I'm able to press "save as draft" instead of "post" when I write narcissistic blog-rants about how misunderstood or unaccepted or unappreciated I am. (I've got too much ego to just delete them. Every writer secretly thinks he's brilliant, whether he admits it or not.)

Pour me out
So that someday I might see
Pour me out

My greatest needs right now are to learn to connect better with others and to become more generous. I've gotten too insular and comfortable with my life. I need to start stretching. Stretching is hard. And I've become afraid of opening up to others, and giving myself away to others. The irony is, these two things are vital to the working out of my faith. If I stop reaching out to others in love and service, I stop acting like a Christian. These two characteristics really captured how Jesus lived on earth.

I want to lose myself
In finding You
Embracing grace and facing truth
Tear down these walls that dim
The shape I'm in

I used to teach Bible study every week, but in the last six months, I've had the benefit of having a co-teacher. This is a blessing, but it's also a bit of a hinderance. Only being responsible to teach once every two weeks opens up the opportunity to be lazy. To not commit myself to study and prayer as deeply as I had to when I was responsible for teaching each week. And I'm a phenomenally lazy person. "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it." Lately, I've been wandering a lot. I'm ashamed of this.

Pour me out
From my river to Your sea
Pour me out
Pour me out
Let me ride on waves of peace
Pour me out

Days like today, I lose sight of the fact that I'm very small, and God is very big. That my plans are tiny and short-sighted, and that His plans are great and wide and far-reaching. That my minor emotional drama often has little or no place in His epic. Perspective. That's the word for it. And I start to realize that my efforts and emotions and words and actions have of late been spent on things that don't last, that don't matter, that don't help me grow. It's easy to fall into the quicksand of "total entertainment" that beguiles so much of my generation. To live my life with the focus of being happy and well-fed and never ever bored. I've got to get out of this mindset. To broaden my view. To live for something higher and lasting. These days, I'm not doing much of that.

I want to understand
This greater plan
How character can shape a man
Your image surrounding me
Pray that will be

I often write posts like this. Observational, confessional. But there's a twinge of dishonesty in posts like these. I probably make it sound like I'm coming to some great and life-changing realization, and that my life will never be the same again. Most of the time, it's just talk. This is what I do. This is my business. Words and sentences. Emotional appeals. Clever turns of phrase, and tightly-knit conclusions. I want what I write to be true, but I'm no good on follow-through. So in the end, it's really a curse. To him who knows the good he should do and doesn't do it, to him it is sin. And that's how it is for me. I know what I'm supposed to do. I know what I need to surrender, so that Christ can change it in me. But I don't. I just talk. So here you go, kids. More talk. Hope it helps you. It's not helping me much.

Monday, November 26, 2007


are you gonna put your pain in a telescope,
turn the knob, clear the image, and begin
to relive something so far behind you
that 1000x magnification is needed to
detect the soft outlines of its arc?
stars are only pretty when they sparkle far away.

is your plan to place that insult on a microscope slide,
those small words from that small person,
and twist-turn the wheels and line it up right
so you can see inside all of its mitochondrial spite?
don't flagellate yourself with the cruelty of others, kid.

would you rather dig a hole with your past mistakes, and then
keep on digging till the walls cave in above you,
because you think it's too late for forgiveness and
past due for love, and there's no one who will accept you
without judgment, without disdain, without changing you first?
quit using those old bones to dig your grave. let them rest, and rise up.

or will you help me find my way back to self-respect,
so that i'm not ashamed every time I look in the mirror,
every time i hear myself speak, every time i remember how
i never told any of the women i loved that i loved them?
i don't want to make the same mistake with you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Slapsgiving!

Er--I mean, Thanksgiving!

Well... actually, no, I don't:

Attention, Knitters

If one of you will knit me one of these (accounting for my ginormous hat size), you will make me the happiest blogger EVER.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday Video View: Songs from Adverts

For this week's visual smorgasboard, I thought I'd go for songs I enjoy that have been popularized in commercials. I'm including the full versions of the songs, rather than the commercials themselves, and will notate where appropriate. Enjoy.

"Stuttering" by Ben's Brother [Dentyne Ice Gum]

"The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson [Gap--sweaters, i think]

"You are My Face" by Wilco [VW Jetta]

"Molly's Chambers" by Kings of Leon [VW Jetta]

"This is the Day" by The The [M&Ms]

Monday, November 19, 2007

And the World will feel the fire and finally know.*

(*If you got the reference immediately, you get to be my new best blog-friend.)

If you haven't been keeping up with the Hollywood writers' strike, or need an overview, the following is submitted for your perusal:

Two weeks ago, the Writers Guild of America--the creative artists union that is comprised of writers from television and movies--decided to strike. The key issues related to the renegotiation of their contracts were focused on the question of residuals--how much of a cut an individual involved in the process gets on the resale of the product. This is akin to novelists' royalties.

Back in the late 80's--the last time there was a writers' strike--this was also the issue. At that time, the home video market was struggling, and the WGA agreed to take a smaller-than-requested cut on the residuals from something called a "VHS tape." Some of you older readers will have to fill me in on what that is. (Kidding.)

This time, the union wants their cut--which translates into literal pennies per DVD--to be doubled. Also, they want residuals for the other media platforms that their work could be transferred to, such as online paid viewings (e.g. iTunes), mobile phone broadcasts, and other formats that were unthought-of in the era of the previous contract.

The producers and studios are having none of this, insisting that the writers are getting enough, that they're receiving their fair share already. The deadlines for arbitration passed, and on November 5, the WGA was on strike.

The opening impact of this strike was obviously felt on the late-night talk shows and weekly shows like SNL--shows that are constantly writing that night's or week's scripts and don't have a stack of scripts already completed. But the ripples are already starting to spread.

Most TV shows were halfway through production, so many will have shortened seasons. Some were prepared with hastily-written season-ending stories, while others just ended. Some shows slated for 2008 premieres are going with a much shorter season, are airing the episodes they have in the can and hoping for quick resolution, or are not starting at all.

So the question is: how many episodes left do I have of my favorite TV show? Look for your answers here.

So what does TeacherDave think of the WGA strike?

Historically, I've been anti-union. My dad has been management for practically all of his professional life. And he's one of the good ones. But he's had to deal with unions for years, and strikes that happened back when my dad was in the grocery business back meant that he had to do practically any and all jobs in the store to keep it running. It was a miserable time for him, because like everyone else, he was just trying to do his job. So seeing and experiencing that, I have a natural distrust of unions.

That being said, I have to side with the writers on this one. A writer should get royalties or residuals for their work. Same with print media. If I write a book, and agree to terms for paperback and book-on-tape royalties, I'd want a cut if there were three new media formats that my work was being translated into. The next time I negotiated my contract, I'd insist that I should get compensated.

Something I notice about a lot of these discussions is that many folks who side with the companies against the strikers cite the fact that they should just be happy they have a job, or just be happy they are being paid to write at all. There is often an undertone that, if they don't like it, they should get a real job. This type of thinking gets under my skin. I work at a computer all day, but it doesn't negate the work I do. Just because I don't sweat and get dirty and have calloused hands doesn't mean I work any less or contribute any less. Some may disagree, and that's fine. I would argue that the work of the artist makes the life of the laborer more worthwhile and enjoyable.

The other argument I've seen is that this move by the WGA is motivated by greed, and that these "fat-cat" writers shouldn't be so money-grubbing. It's interesting how it quickly becomes a class issue--a matter of "those rich people" just trying to get richer. (How dare they!) The fact is, the average writer makes enough money to be classified middle to upper-middle class at best. Sometimes it's months or years between paychecks. Residuals for these writers are bread and butter.

Here's an interesting editorial about the strike. The author sides with the WGA and provides what I think is a fairly reasoned argument.

A few links for those who feel strongly:

It hurts me, this strike does. "The Big Bang Theory" has already gone dark. "How I Met Your Mother," "Chuck," "Heroes," and "Journeyman" will quickly follow. "Smallville" will last until February, but that's mainly because the next two or three episodes will be spread out over the next three months. And all that leaves me are "The Biggest Loser" and "Kid Nation" (my new, fascinating "guilty pleasure" show), which are both more than halfway through their seasons.

But it doesn't matter. The writers should get paid. It's the right thing to do.

Friday, November 16, 2007

In Which TeacherDave Takes a Moment from His Busy Schedule to Go Off on a Rant about the Recent Plot Twist of One of His Favorite Television Programs

Grant is Julian Luthor?!?!?!?? What are you SMOKING, Smallville writers????

To anyone with the barest knowledge of four-function math, Julian can't be more than 18!!! Grant is clearly in his middle-late twenties!!!!

And he's supposed to be DEAD!!! That was the whole point of Lex's character arc in Season 3 (which was the best storyline of the show's entire run, by the way). Finding out that his mom had post-partum and smothered his brother was a CRUCIAL plot point and character moment.

And now, with this colossally stupid "Ret-DISCon," you idiots have destroyed that last bit of unblemished coolness in the show's history.

Grant is Julian. Unfreakingbelievable. I hate you, Smallville writers/producers. I hate you very very much.

And Lana stinks too. Nyah.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Link Me Baby One More Time.

Some links for your perusal and review:
  • Former "Blue's Clues" star Steve Burns is still not dead.
  • Don't know whose blog I snatched this from, but this blog makes my little punctuation-Nazi heart happy.
  • Good news out of Iraq last month, as Iraqi soldiers decided to help Americans out.
  • Amanda T. sent me this video. Prepare to cry. Good stuff.
  • Not sure if I've posted this, but fans of "Heroes" might enjoy Adrian Pasdar's (Nathan Petrelli's) home videos from the set. Come to think of it, I probably have posted it. But it's still cool.
  • Just a note for fans of "How I Met Your Mother": Slapsgiving is less than a week away.
  • Topics that I've taken too long to comment on and are now barely registering on the pop culture radar: Ann Coulter's allegedly anti-Semetic comments, and Dumbledore being gay. Sorry. I may post on them anyway, but at this point it's almost a retrospective look at the topics.
  • Here's an easy opportunity to win a free private screening of the upcoming "Sweeney Todd" film for you and fifty friends. BUT if you win, you have to promise to save a ticket for me. I'm not kidding.
  • I want to get this chair for my living room. The perfect falling-asleep-reading chair.

Before week's end, I hope to post on the Hollywood writers' strike. But you know how it goes. With my luck, it will be resolved before I post on it. Then I'll just file those thoughts along with Ann and Albus.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Portable sounds to lift me up.

On Saturday, I took my two sisters to a Christian rock show. I'd taken the older one before, but never both, so it was a new experience for all of us.

Didn't start out well, though. We were running late, which required skillful and speedy driving. LittleSis gasped, "Mom's wrong--you don't drive like a grandma." She should see me on I-45 and I-35, on the trek from Houston to OKC, as I break land-speed records.

The concert was at the Berry Center, the brand-new sports uber-complex that was built for all the high schools in the district to share. We're talking top-quality football stadium and basketball arena. Very nice.

We took our seats at the top of one of the lower level sections, pretty close to the stage. The opening band, Thousand Foot Krutch, had already started playing. I used to be really into this band (and would gladly throw up the rawkfist), but I haven't really listened to them lately. They played a pretty good set, and the crowd was pretty into it. We only heard four of their songs, but we didn't get there terribly late, so I'm guessing it was the typical 6-7 song "opening act" set. I'm probably going to check out their new album. Good stuff.

You know, I've always wondered what goes through the mind of a musician when he used to be more of a headliner (or, at the very least, a second-bill act like TFK), and you find yourself warming up the crowd as the opener. Is it one of those character moments where the humble and wise man says, "It's a blessing to even get to perform," while the foolish man says, "I used to be awesome, what the crap happened?" My dad recently saw Blues Traveller playing a corporate retreat on one of his work trips. A band that used to be on the top-ten charts, playing for a bunch of management dudes at a crappy conference center in Orlando. Do you think John Popper has those moments where he is confronted by the unmistakable arc his career has taken? When you find yourself on the backside of your popularity peak, how do you cope?

No time for more contemplation, though: the next band takes the stage. The three-sister band, Barlow Girl.

Now I have to confess--I wasn't particularly jazzed about seeing this band. I was in it for the headliner; but the sisters like Barlow Girl, so I was willing to put up with it. The last time this happened was when I sat through a ZoeGirl set at the beginning of a Newsboys concert. But seriously? Those Barlow girls rocked the house. Granted, I have a predisposed weakness for rock-chicks. But those girls can play up a storm. No pop in their rock, in other words.

And what I liked best about them is that, between songs, they were making strong statements to the crowd about the importance of living with integrity, not sacrificing your principles, and choosing a life of purity and modesty. I felt myself switching to "dad mode" a little, as I was hearing and cheering these words for the sake of my dear sisters. I pray they took those truths to heart. It's a dangerous and sick world. They need to be strong and prepared to face it and make their stand.

But yeah, a great set from Barlow Girl.

Finally, the headliner: Toby Mac.

I've seen TobyMac perform in concert, with DC Talk and then solo, probably four times, but this was the best of them all. I had to keep reminding myself that the man is 43, because he had more energy and style than performers half his age. If you're not familiar with his music, think of a clean Justin Timberlake, but with more funk and soul. He and his "Diverse City Band" put on a phenomenal show.

The cool part about this is that you don't have to take my word on it forever. The two concerts here in Houston were filmed for a live DVD that will be released in the future. So you'll get to see the show I saw. (And if I'm somehow seen in a frame or two of the DVD, you'll be the first to know.)

I can't remember all of the setlist, but it was primarily from the last two solo albums. He did perform a version of J-Train that segued into "No Ordinary Love" (I think). He also did a medley of 70's hits from "Rollercoaster of Love" to "That's the Way I Like It."

One of my favorite points of the show was when a little old-school DC Talk made it into the show, at the end of the song "I'm For You":

The stage show was great. The choreography of the entire crew was impeccable. Toby has two guys and one girl who danced and took turns with the lead and backing vocals. The guitarist/trumpet player was fantastic. There was a bass player, a keyboard/electronic music expert, an amazing drummer, and the fabulous DJ Maj on the turntables. There were light bars on stage set up like the "levels" on a stereo going up and down. These would flash different colors. There were strobes on stage, and a disco ball above the floor seats surrounded by blue spots, so there was a beautiful strobe effect for "Atmosphere."

We left at the end of the first encore, because the girls were tired, but from what I've read, Toby performed another half-dozen songs or so, including "Jesus Freak." I'm sorry I missed it, but I'm glad I'll get to see it on the DVD. We went down to the swag table, and I bought them little mementos. BiggerSis got a Barlow Girl necklace. LittleSis got a Barlow Girl wristband (which I'm pretty sure she hasn't taken off since).

My favorite part of the entire experience was seeing my baby sister jumping up and down, banging her head, waving her arms, clapping and generally going nuts. I'm learning new things about her every day. I'm pretty sure, with a little coaching, she's going to be a rocker like I was.

The older one was opening up a little too. She's still a teenager, and as such is afflicted with the unnecessary self-consciousness of that age. I hope she'll soon fully believe that she really is cool, no matter who says what, and that she should just be happy with who she is.

BiggerSis wants to get tickets down on the floor in front of the stage next time, with all of the crazies. Little Sis quickly said that she wanted to sit there next time too. I promised her, as we slowly walked back to the truck, that once she gets bigger and stronger, I'll take her down into the pit in front of the stage. She looked up at me, eyes big. "Really???" "Yup." "That's gonna be awesome."

Yes it will, kiddo.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Do SNL Writers Listen to Dave Ramsey?

A lesson we should all take to heart.

[h-t: Say Anything.]

Later today, some thoughts about my weekend, including concert footage.

Friday, November 09, 2007

One More Video

Just because i think it's hilarious.

Video View: Two of my Favorite Things

Music and Muppets.

And then something a bit more...odd:

Thursday, November 08, 2007

And I'm almost gone, but I'm still here.

Just checking in. Didn't want anyone to misinterpret my leaving the poem up for three days as any sort of hubris (though I do love the complimentary comments).

Work's been kicking my butt this week. Extra projects on top of usual duties. Lots of stress. I don't know if I'm coping well.

At least I haven't plunged into too many destructive behaviors as a result. Oh--check that. Today's menu for me has consisted of soft drinks and vending machine sweets. That's probably not very healthy.

Speaking of not very healthy, no I haven't been updating the Loserblog for a few weeks. I'll do that tomorrow. There's a reason I haven't been weighing-in or discussing my progress, of course; no progress has been made. Meanwhile, my TV counterparts have put up astounding numbers, and their lives have been changed for the better. I'll talk about that some, in that other writing venue, as well.

I need to refocus. Resurrect some dying habits. Reconnect with people. Read more.

I need to sleep more too.

Right now, I ought to stay and take care of business, put in some extra time and get some things done.

But instead I'm going to go home. Rest. Eat some real food.

You go do the same. Eat at a table, with knife and fork. Play with your pets and/or kids. Kiss your loved ones. And when you lay your head down at the end of the evening, ask Jesus to help you feel more alive tomorrow. I'll be praying that too.

Have a good evening, friends.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"prelude to processional"

i want you to feel my breath upon your skin
long after we've parted. i want to impress
myself upon your sensibilities. i want to find
strands of your hair on my jacket. i want to smell
a stranger's perfume in a crowded supermarket
and be crushed by the thought of you. i want to laugh
at your jokes hours, even days, after you've told them.
i want to bask in the afterglow of your admiration.
i want you to feel in your bones the same ache that i feel in
mine. and when that happens, i hope we both have the
good sense not to wait for more signs and symbols and figures
to tell us what we both know is true. when that happens,
let us tell our folks and choose our rings and get on
with the business of marriage and kids and arguing and
making up and building beauty and breathing poetry
and destroying our narcissisms, each for the other, so
that we can make it to "as long as we both shall live" with
some life left with which to enjoy it all

Monday, November 05, 2007

Follow-up Post: "F for Fundraising"

As it turns out, the befuddling find I forwarded last week was no fluke.

There is, in fact, a fundraising drive by Ron Paul's fans, fashioned after the Fawkesian folk hero. Their feat is to raise $10 million via 100,000 donations today, the fifth. As of this writing (12:38 p.m.), they are falling shy of $2 million. Not quite a fearsome figure, sure, but no flop either. There's still fewer than 12 hours left, so it could be a photo finish.

Frankly, I still find this funny in a way. It's a fiesty slogan, the "remember, remember" fragment, but does it fit? The character V is a terrorist--oh, pardon me, "freedom fighter." In the comics, he is fairly felt to be an anarchist (a perspective the creater Alan Moore seems to foster). Is this the image that Paul's faithful followers feel best fits?

All facts point to the affirmative. At least, this fan-video seems to fashion Paul as such a figure.

Furthermore: Fascinating. Fearing feedback, the technophiles fueling Paul's fanblog have followed this baffling fundraiser with a veteran-friendly focus for their efforts. Fair play to them, though it faintly freshens up their foul formula.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Rant of the Week: I'm Super, thanks for asking!

(Spinning the Wheel of Blog Posts... tikka tikka tikka tikka tikka tikka... And the winner is: geek-ranting about "Smallville"!)

Yes, I'm a fan of the show. I love the Superman story, so this retelling of the adolescence and young adulthood of the iconic hero is interesting to me. And this show has been truly awesome, at times.

Lately, however...

In last week's episode, the town of Smallville was invaded by Hollywood, as they chose the quiet Kansan hamlet as the location for the big-budget film version of the "Warrior Angel" comic series (a transparent nod to Superman himself). In the WA comics, the hero's girlfriend is killed by his mortal enemy; however, this film version was going to rewrite the story. Suddenly, someone tried to kill the female star playing the girlfriend, and Clark and the gang have to protect the girl and find out who the culprit is.

Turns out the culprit is an obsessed fan working on the film crew, who frequently commented on Warrior Angel message boards and fansites about the girlfriend's survival not being part of the comic "canon." He's shown as a lunatic, so obsessed with the comics that he can't tell reality from fantasy. His cries of "stay true to the icon and the mythology" are seen as deranged at best and homicidal at worst.

There are quotes from Clark like, "Message boards, fansites--this stuff is pretty extreme... How do we find out which psycho would actually try to force things to change?"

Excuse me?

This episoded was supposedly a "gentle" tag at fans who vehemently oppose Clark's continued adoration of Lana on the show. But it felt like a pretty harsh slap at a substantial portion of the show's devoted fanbase. Talk about biting the hand that feeds; without the "obsessed" "psychos" that so often post and argue and discuss on the fansites and message boards (including yours truly), the show's ratings would have tanked, and it would have gone the way of failed superhero series like "Birds of Prey."

I think the ire directed at "Smallville" by the anti-Lana contingent of fans is justified, because the series has shown time and time again that it is precisely Lana that is standing in the way of Clark becoming Superman. And while I'd hate to see my favorite program go, it's been 7 years--time to move on already.


This week's episode was so rife with logical inconsistencies and plotholes that I felt compelled to talk about it on one particular fansite. Suddenly, I was met with a backlash of poorly spelled replies.

When I started posting on the main Smallville fansite, I'd talk back and forth with people who were knowledgable of the series and comics, mature enough to deal gently and fairly with newbies like myself, and had good insights into the stories and themes of the show. Now I find that the fansite is populated with a bunch of friggin kids who can't spell and whose critical grasp of the show is decidedly lacking. Constant polls of "Which coupl do U think is hottter?" and "Isn't this the BEST SEASON EVAR???" fill the boards. When I dared (!) suggest that the show was disappointing these past few weeks, their replies were usually thus: "Its just a TV show, get over it!"; "It cant be perfect, what's ur problem?"; "If U hate it so much, stop watching!"; and "Why all the hate? Its a great show, just watch it for entertainment and stop being so critical!" (I'm only slightly exaggerating.)

So this is my rant of the week: my favorite TV show has lately been equal parts insulting and poorly, poorly written; and the fansite that I usually go to for insightful commentary has been overrun by ignorant kids with no critical thinking skills who consider challenging something to improve as tantamount to "hatin'."

(And no, the irony of sounding like "a grumpy old man" when talking about the internet fansite of a scifi TV show has not escaped me.)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mixed Signals

As I left my church's "Fall Festival" last night, I saw a group of Ron Paul supporters posted at the exit, waving and holding signs.

One of the prominent folks in the front was wearing a "V" mask.

I tend to think Paul's an isolationist nut-bar, but he's also a vehement constitutionalist, so I found the juxtaposition of symbols rather entertaining.

NaNoWriLess, Either.

As many of you know, November 1 is always the beginning of NaNoWriMo, the yearly event in which participants write a full book in 30 days.

I've tried in vain to pull this off before, so this year, I decided not to officially "participate." However, I'm still going to try to write more creatively, both on this blog and elsewhere. So hopefully, you'll get to enjoy a little more original content here.

This doesn't mean I won't flood you with reviews, commentary, links, and videos for the next month. It just means that I'll be adding a little more Dave to the recipe. And that's why you come here, right?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to tackle a great big pile of work stuff for the next 6 hours or so. And I'll post something cool tomorrow.