Exploits Revisted

2 05 2008

Many of you may, or may not as the case may be, have been wondering about my social exploits around Hoots with my buddies SQ and Badger.

Well the reason isn’t very sexy and I hate to admit that I’m not being all cool and hip but there are two realities here:

1. I kinda have a troll. Well, it’s an imaginary troll because it’s not an Internet troll so will just call my troll Nardo. Nardo is an odd sort who doesn’t smile very much. I have created a back story much more exciting for Nardo the troll because the real thing isn’t very fun or exciting and if a shrink got a hold of Nardo, well I think it would use the world narcissist. Nardo wigs me out sometimes and then other times I’m amused.

2. It’s odd having a blog that isn’t just one thing. I prattle on about politics, media, bigfoot, zombies, not understanding LOLcats, music that strikes my fancy, my dogs, Homer, things that are bright and shiny, rural media and, occasionally, a fainting goat. I think this is confusing for some people. It doesn’t confuse me because I live with myself. I also like cheese. I’m just saying.

With this said, I’ve gotten some emails talking about they miss the exploits. Who knew? I thought my engaging and witty banter about Pabst Blue Ribbon and juke joints were odd to you, my dear reader. I thought you preferred something else, like this.

So, as you have requested, there will be more juke joint shenanigans, bar art from Badger and squirrel monarchy out and about, with the fun pictures that you also say you miss, up here at the ‘coma.

And, yeah, I’m getting my mojo back.

I’ll let Carl Sims sing to you from what I believe is Memphis with “It Ain’t A Juke Joint Without The Blues.”

You got a trash talking woman named Mabel. Not a better line sung ever for this rainy day.

Tired Random Mumblings

26 03 2008

The last time I was this tired, I slept until noon. No one is that concerned about it, even my best buddies, but it’s true.

I wish I could tell you something witty, tell you my typos were because I was looking moon-eyed into the sky and had a penguin ominously shaped like Mabel sleeping in the crook of my knee making me act so erratically.

Alas, I’m just dog-assed tired. I know, boring.

So, with that said, go here. It’s a platypus. You know, it proves a bunch of spiritual stuff. Or not.

And, yeah, my pop culture posts always get more views than my political ones.

Apparently we love pop culture.

What’s with that?

Okay, I get it.

Britney rawks.


May Or May Not

9 02 2008

I had to put something else up because everytime I come to this page I see Fred Phelps name and it was grossing me out.

Sometimes I do that. Opine on something and then think “man, why did I opine on that?”


With that said, I want to direct you to this story in which Colin Powell says he may or may not vote for a Republican or a Democrat.

Umm, okay.

I may or may not eat a Little Debbie Nutty Buddy later in the day if there is one lying about the house.

I may or may not go and stare at my ailing car who we are calling Mitt Romney because it’s suspended running for the time being.

I may or may not consider that sometimes news may or may not be news.

I guess I’ll go read about Britney Spears now. She may or may not be sober.

Nickel Creek Does Toxic

27 01 2008

I used to date a mandolin player so I’m partial (Shut up.)The video isn’t so great (think Cloverfield) but this is fun.

Yeah, I might have to see Nickel Creek if they are this much of a hoot. (Damn, they broke up.)


Jamie Lynn Spears

21 12 2007

I honestly could care less about the whole Britney/Jamie/Mama Spears stories that are dominating the tube and apparently late night cable news as it was the LEAD story on two channels this morning which surprised me, then again sadly did not.

This is what I do know. Teenagers have sex. Sometimes they get pregnant. Sometimes they don’t. Jamie Lynn Spears hasn’t ruined her life, although she will be taking a route I’m thinking she would have rather avoided.  She apparently has already benefited financially from selling her “story” to OK magazine.

Rural kids around here that get pregnant don’t have the option to sell their tale of teenage pregnancy to US or People. They have a rough time, needless to say. They don’t have the financial options that celebrities do. They will not have nannys or sell the “first look” pictures of their child.

They will struggle to buy formula and diapers.  And raising a child while they are still growing up themselves.

The worst thing that will happen to the Spears girl is losing her television show, which will most likely happen and being hounded by the paparazzi like her sister is having Perez Hilton draw on her pictures with that white pen thing he does.

So the media keeps talking about it. Pundits talk about teen pregnancy creating “compelling” (notice sarcasm marks here) dialogues on countless talk shows about how Jamie Spears’ announcement is either immoral or a reflection of society or something else. Some of it I’ve agreed with, but most of it I haven’t.

Needless to say, this pregnancy has people talking. And I hope we handle it responsibly. The nude pictures of the Vanessa kid from High School Musical also brought up some very blunt conversations in Chez Coma.

And maybe it’s not such a bad thing as we try to deal with these things head on, not in the media flurry I’ve seen but in honest-to-God conversations with the young girls in our life on a variety of levels.

An article in today’s New York Times brings up the reality, which is happening in my home as well, about how to approach young girls (an 11-year-old and an 8-year old are in my family who love Zoey 101) about the reality of teenage/unplanned pregnancy. Homer has handled it well as she always does. The oldest niece brought the situation up to me and used the same references in the article.

Was Jamie Lynn Spears not being good was basically the question. It was one I had to think about and I wanted to avoid turning this into a black or white sort of thing. I wanted to let her reflect that in life, we all make mistakes.

From the Times:

Yasmine shook her head. “I never expected her, of all people, to do this,” she said, referring to the girl who in her mind is both Zoey and Jamie, the actress who plays her. “She’s supposed to be the good one in the family.”

High school girls who had already had their hearts broken by the all-too-public life of Ms. Spears’s older sister, Britney, known as a hard-partying mother of two, worried that their younger sisters would be devastated by the news — or, worse, that their sisters might think it was “cool” to be 16 and pregnant.

I tried to respond that Jamie Lynn Spears is not good or bad. She’s human.  If she was going to choose to be sexually active, she should have thought it through. And, that there has been little or no response from the boy who will be the father of this child boggles my mind. He “helped” get her pregnant, did he not? I don’t want my nieces to become sexually active until they are ready to be. And, I want them to know that they can come to me if they do, if they need contraception. I want them to be smart about it.

Because the average teenage girl won’t make a million in cash if she gets pregnant. She will look at limited opportunities during a very important time in her life.

Thank God the whole concept of sex still grosses the oldest niece out. But there will come a day in the next few years that it won’t.

And we might as well deal with having an open dialogue about it. Because, pop culture once again makes it into the average home and brings in the hard questions that we, as adults, have to answer.

Paris And Britney

13 11 2007

Okay, I’m going here. I just can’t help it.

Paris Hilton is helping drunk elephants? If it isn’t true, then by-Damn, it should be.

AND ….

Britney failed her drug test.

I do these things for you so you don’t have to.

Please buy me beer next time you see me and talk some sense into me.

I will thank you.

I Have But One Question

13 11 2007

Can Britney Spears not afford a driver?


Making News Entertaining

5 11 2007

Sharon Cobb has some interesting observations about Brian Williams hosting Saturday Night Live this past weekend.

The younger viewers they want to attract get their news online or from Jon Stewart. They’re never going to sit down at “dinner time” and watch the evening news like their parents did.

So Charles Gibson will continue to win the evening news war because Boomers and their parents, who are more comfortable with traditional news, will watch him, while Xers will get the news where I stated.

See, this is what is happening in news right now and I agree with Sharon.

There are some odd things happening on how people watch and read their news. I get stuck in two camps of thinking on this a great deal as I’m older than some, more progressive than others and living in a dire state of trying to juggle two worlds.

Although I by no means think that traditional news is dead, I do think it’s changing and folks that work in news are going to have to embrace those changes. Students studying for journalism degrees right now are being taught how to shoot video and how to disperse news in more than just the traditional avenues of print or television/radio broadcasting.

Problem is, no one really knows what to do. Some folks are cutting edge, but it’s still a gamble and an on-going work-in-progress. Some things work, others don’t and folks like myself are just rolling the dice.

Blogging is keeping ideas flowing, especially in the last five years, but it could be said that the market is getting inundated. WordPress alone has signed on with 700,000 new blogs in the last year. Not everyone has a blog, but a lot more people do than in the two years since I began Newscoma.

So is blogging news? No, and yes. It depends on how individuals utilize those self-publishing platforms when you get right down to it. Folks like Enclave, Sean Braisted and Bill Hobbs from the other side of the political fence have broken news and promoted ideas in more of a conventional news model while utilizing some of the political punditry that this country has embraced in the last decade.

The other problem is, and this is just my opinion, that the news has been watered down but anyone who has read this blog during it’s infancy and toddlerhood know that I’ve been saying that since the beginning.

Britney Spears, campers, is a good example. It’s not the news of Edward R. Murrow, as Sharon uses in her post, but it is news because this is the sort of story mainstream media outlets are using to obtain that Xer audience to a degree. Lindsey Lohan going to rehab and then staying sober since she got out is headline news and it’s done for ratings. She is not a hero, she is a celebrity who is in recovery. A person elevated into a world of compulsive voyeurism created by corporate media. People apparently want to see this although it chaps me but it’s what the “new” media has generated, and fabricated to a large extent.

Is traditional media training a new generation that celebrity shenanigans is just as important as political policy? Are we, as a nation, changing the news appetites of a new generation?

A story like the Watergate break-in and it’s progression in the public eye through how it was presented by the media of the mid-70’s would not happen in this day and age. Hell, Valerie Plame, Halliburton and Blackwater barely made blips on the map except in some partisan environments.

On the other hand, I think Brian Williams might have done SNL for a couple of reasons. He is funny, we’ve seen him hold his own time and time again on The Daily Show w/ Jon Stewart. But I think Sharon’s right that they are wanting to show the staunch guy from NBC to a new audience. Ted Koppel had a dry sense of humor, but you only really saw that on The Late Show with David Letterman.

When I was in broadcasting and was a news director at a radio station, one of the biggest brawls I ever got into was with an advertising person who, without my knowledge, sold a commercial where I was supposed to read it as if it were a breaking news story. It was a shoe ad. I balked and raised unGodly hell over it. I thought it diluted the news. This argument went on for a couple of weeks, but eventually I won the battle. This was roughly 15 years ago. Today, I most likely would have been told to do the the ad and to shut up by management.

But, there are new outlets that are exciting. Much of this is online. Who would have thought my employees and I would be shooting video even a year ago? Not me, by any stretch of the imagination.

News is changing, there is no doubt. As technology, citizen journalism hosted on free self-publishing platforms (blogs) and the blurring of “hard” news and entertainment fluff continues, I am interested to see what will be the standard in two years, five years and beyond.

I’m thinking we are in the middle of a revolution and don’t even know it.