I attended Blogfest 12 tonight. Also in attendance was Andrew Stockey of WTAE. I took the opportunity to show my geek credentials by capturing webcam video of Andrew’s cameraman capturing video for a story. Unfortunately, the audio level was set too high, so the video isn’t fun to listen to. It’ll be good for some stills, though. The only video clip I’ll likely upload is of Andrew’s multiple takes for a teaser.
[While going through old posts, I found a comment that I felt deserved a post of its own. Since the author is a relative of mine and a guest blogger here, I took the liberty of editing the text and publishing it here. Funky]
“Violent lyrics in songs increase aggression-related thoughts and emotions and could indirectly create a more hostile social environment, according to a U.S. a study released yesterday.”
Quite some time ago, Funky off-handedly related this article to gangster rap. Indeed, gangster rap music feeds the need to feel empowered, to feel righteous in the fact that anyone who crosses you shall be an ant to be squashed. You feel less frightened, but you continue to support the environment that you fear. Everything is a fight for life.
“DESTROY THE THREAT! ASK NO QUESTIONS! DO NOT HESITATE!!!”
You have to romanticize your screwed up social environs. Otherwise, you won’t feel good behaving in such an inhumane, psychotic manner. So, yes, it induces aggressive thoughts. It helps to have these when everyone else is about to pounce on you and destroy your life! Or so you think.
That’s the real problem, though. People often behave stupidly when they perceive a threat. Take reactions to 9/11 , for instance. One day I hope they make a study about American foreign policy showing that it can “increase aggression-related thoughts and emotions and could indirectly create a more hostile social environment.”
I tuned into a program that talks to state lawmakers and discusses various issues they’re debating. It’s interesting, because it’s so easy to forget that there are people intensely focused on the needs of a single city or county. But while I conceptually like the program, I was dismayed to see how much they talked about party politics. When they talked about a spending bill or initiative with bipartisan support, it’d always be couched in the form of, "This issue is so obvious that even that party is willing to look at what we’ve proposed," as if people were shocked–shocked! I say–that the two parties could agree on legislation.
To stop myself from rolling my eyes, I began replacing that party with "Hitler." The show became much more entertaining when I imagined them saying, "I’m working on a spending bill that will cut 50 million from this program. That’s a savings we need so desperately that even Hitler will support it!" Because really, that’s what it sounded like they wanted to say.
I’m pretty sure most people want to pass good, sound legislation. Can’t we do that without all the partisan bickering, especially when the parties agree for once?
It’s hard to argue with this guy’s logic. Then again, St. Anselm’s ontological argument for the existence of God sounds good at first, too. That is, until you really pick it apart. So I leave it to my compitent readers. What’s wrong with this argument?
“I usually don’t send out pure opinion pieces, but let it be said: There is not one person anywhere who can give you a good reason why it’s OK to show a man’s chest on TV, but not a woman’s chest. You can ask over 100 people why — trust me, I have — and not get a real answer. It’s just a silly superstition that some people came up with, a bunch of others went along with it, and now we’re stuck with it. Have you ever heard a real reason?”
“This is different from other issues, like abortion, affirmative action, or the death penalty — I have opinions on all of those, and probably so do you, but there are two sides to each issue, and I can at least see where the other side is coming from. But I’ve never heard the other side of the boob issue.”
“A good sign of a widespread belief that has no supporting logic is that if you ask people why they believe it, they always pass the buck on to someone else. ‘Our society has decided…’ ‘The community feels that…’ ‘Judges have ruled that…’ — except with that last one, if you listen to what judges say, they pass the buck too, saying ‘According to contemporary community standards…’ What’s missing is someone standing up and saying ‘I, yes *ME* *PERSONALLY*, I believe that seeing a mammary gland is harmful, and here’s why.’
“To people who say that inciting any male lust is bad, I tell them I grew up in Denmark (although I’m American) and there you could see bare breasts in public advertisements, on the covers of supermarket tabloids, and on the beach, and nobody cared. And, the sex crime rate is much lower there. It’s not obvious that nudity even incites much ‘lust’ once you’re used to it anyway — men live in nudist colonies surrounded by naked women and don’t get turned on. (It’s the visitors who are easy to spot, because they aren’t used to it and it makes them stick out, so to speak.)”
Read the rest here and let me know what you think.
Pittsburgh TV news reporting sucks.
Why are Pittsburghers are so bloody obsessed with weather? Between that and sports there’s barely any real news reported. I really don’t give a flying fig about Super Mega Kickass Vibromatic Storm Chaser 6000 and how it can slice and dice and make julean fries. Just give me a simple 5-day forecast and a little detail about tomorrow and shut the hell up!
As for sports, I enjoyed watching the Steelers beat the Seahags in the Superbowl and all, but can the celebration please stop? Then there’s the plight of the Penguins. I’m getting really sick of all the speculation. Leave the issue alone until something newsworthy happens, like the team moving to another city or Pittsburgh spending millions of dollars it doesn’t have on a new arena. Lastly, if I have to hear the sob story of Pitt’s early loss in the NCAA tournament one more time, I might go postal. They lost. Get over it and move on.
After you’ve suffered through a half hour of weather and sports, what kind of news gets reported? We hear about 5 minutes of sound bites about important world events (Iraq war, genocide in Sudan, etc.) and the remainder is local interest crap. Reporting local news is fine in moderation, but one can only watch footage of a broken down PAT bus for so long.
I shouldn’t have to watch PBS (Zzzzz) or be lucky enough to get BBC America in order to get decent national and international news. Before you say it, I get neither CNN nor Fox News, nor do I care to. If I want biased news, I’ll stick to reading blogs.