International Morning Show Jealousy

Some people have very strong opinions about religion.  Or politics.  Or food.

I have strong opinions about morning news shows.  Mock if you will, but I more or less hate all humanity before I’ve had my 20 ounces of coffee or it’s past 10:00am.  I have patience for almost nothing, my temper is short.  In this state, it’s playing with fire to subject me to crappy morning news programming.

Now, obviously, here in the states you have the potential for morning news show offensiveness at both a local and a national level. While I have plenty to say about local morning news*, my issues with the national morning news programs have been going on for longer.  Oh, sure I have fond early-childhood memories of Good Morning America way back in the Joan Lunden days, and I still have a soft spot for the old CBS This Morning jazzy version of “Oh, What A Beautiful Morning.”  But it all went pear-shaped when GMA took a nose dive, CBS destroyed their morning show and all that was left standing was NBC’s Today.  Maybe could have made it through with NBC’s offering, except that at the ripe age of 15, I came to loathe Matt Lauer with the fire of 1000 suns.  That sentiment continues, in force, to this day, no matter how much coffee I’ve had.

So, I’ve been adrift.  I’ve tried going back to the other networks–GMA has shown some improvement, but they aren’t there yet–everything is too forced and carved out of cream-cheese.  I even tried cable (Robin Mead on Headline News with her valley-girl inflection is only a hair more tolerable than Matt Lauer being arrogant). I kept looking for the morning news program that did what I needed it to do:  give me enough information about world events to avoid being a total nitwit in the conversations before the morning stand-up meeting, and not give me another reason to hate the world before I get to my desk.

And finally, at long last, in December 2010 I found the show.  It didn’t just meet those basic criteria, it went above and beyond.  It is the morning show of my dreams.  It not only didn’t offend, it actively highlighted everything that I hadn’t even realized was wrong with every other morning news program I’ve ever seen.  This show brought the thing that matters most:  The Funny.

Unfortunately for me, it’s Australian. Read the rest of this entry »

Headline Heckling

These days, any news I get, I get from pulling up the Google News page and skimming the headlines.   I hate a news day when the same crap stays in the top stories and I’m left knowing something more critical has to be going on in the world, but Google didn’t bring it forward and I can’t spare time to dig deeper.

I’m left to mock what’s there:

“Obama announces proposal to reform NSA surveillance” 

Every time I see a headline about someone in politics “reforming” anything, I recall the Molly Ivins piece about the drill team from Kilgore, Texas hanging their asses over the gallery railing, each with a letter on her bloomers to spell out REFORM.  It sets a certain standard for that particular word that prevents me from taking it seriously.

“Oprah faced not just fashion retail racism, but size bias too”

I can’t believe that the adventures of Oprah and the Snotty Swiss Handbag Store remained on Google News all day (plus I had to hear it in German when I put on SWR to drown out the sound of the air conditioner cutting on–thing sounds like a shuttle lift off, I swear).  Racism sucks.  Bias sucks.  But at the end of the damned day, let’s be real here, I once had the door to the Tiffany’s in North Park Mall shut because I was hanging around outside cooing over the turtles in the fountain (how do I know it was me?  Because no one else was in the area, it wasn’t closing time and the guard gave me a dirty look as he shut the door), I’m betting this Swiss joint wouldn’t have let my ass within 20 feet of the door, white, black or dyed Smurf blue.  Also, $40k for a fucking purse?

“Amanda Bynes’ hospital stay extended, conservatorship granted”

I thought we were done hearing about this after last week.  Guess I was wrong.  I remember some of the kids I baby-sat in high school watching Amanda Bynes’s show (the stand alone and when she was on All That).  I thought she was bat-shit crazy then–all she did was yell, flail and act like a raving lunatic.  I’m going to assume that was a clue right there.  If her folks missed it then, I can only hope they have better luck this go-round.

“U.S. to reopen 18 of the 19 embassies, consulates closed because of terror threats” 

Okay, so this one changed since my check of the news earlier today at work.  I have a theory about this.  It involves the embassy closures, lavabit, Snowden, Jimmy Hoffa, the Lindbergh Baby, AMC’s cancellation of Remember WENN and a jello salad…but these things are best not discussed on the web (everyone, wave and smile to your not-yet-reformed NSA Analyst)

“Spain, U.K. Spar Over Colonial Post”

Oh, please.  They are sparring over a rock.  A large one, but still, a rock.  And can you even call that sparring?  Not really.  Sparring should be more interesting at the very least.  I say we have each of them send a rep to Switzerland.  The reps will be seated across from one another at a cafe table, with hot chocolate in hand.  They will trade insults until the first person finishes his or her chocolate.  Belgium will be the referee regarding the best quantity and quality of insults.  The loser then has to enter the discriminatory handbag shop to be berated by a Swiss shop-owner.  Gibraltar will declare complete independence.

Catholic Coffee

Would we have coffee with soon-to-be-former Pope Benedict?

Cammy:  In light of today’s shocker news that Pope Benedict is planning to retire via some means other than the grave, it seems like we ought to address whether we’d have coffee with the guy….and I’m gonna go with no, myself.  While I would totally love to ask about what really brought on this retirement thing (is he really doing it because he feels he can’t be the best Pope he can be?  Multiple centuries and he’s the first one to think that?  Really?), I doubt we’d get a straight answer.  And, to be honest, he always kinda creeped me out a little.  Pope John Paul was all warm and fuzzy and Polish-grandpa-esque.  Benedict?  Well, I go back to what my German Catholic friends said when he was first elected , “Ach!  Ratzi der Nazi!”  Also, being so painfully Lutheran with no close Catholic influences in my life, I’m pretty sure I lack the proper deference.  So unless Kristy’s feeling up to quizzing him….

Kristy: Yeah, it’s a no for me as well. Yeah, there’s lots of interesting stuff he could tell us, but I’m not convinced he would. I’m with Cammy on the creep factor, and it would be kind of hard to not ask things like, “So… how do you feel about the fact that your papacy will be primarily remembered for the whole child molestation thing?” I have lots of influential Catholics in my life, and it would be really hard for me to be disrespectful to him, but I think it would also be really hard for me to enjoy coffee with him.

Crawling Out of a Cave

So, I had one of “those” weeks in my meat-space, bill-pay job last week.  And apparently it took more out of me than I thought because on my to-do list for the weekend I marked off….well, nothing completely.  I slept an inordinate amount of time.  Like, ran-out-of-battery-and-collapsed-for-6-hours-in-the-middle-of-the day.

So, with a week that was packed and a weekend where I struggled to remain conscious, I’m stuck here on Sunday night, feeling like I’ve just crawled out of a cave after a few years of isolation.  I haven’t seen or read news in over a week.  I have no idea what’s going on in the world, other than I do know from the calendar that Monday is First Monday….but I have no idea what’s actually on the Supreme Court docket for the first argument, so….

Not willing to go into this coming work week with this level of ignorance, I’m trying to pay catch up.  Hmmm, bullshit political news?  We can skip that drivel since it’s cheap, useless and does nothing more than give a lot of un-talented half-ass writers delusions that they are real journalists.  Local news?  Sadly, not as entertaining as it can be at times.  New plans for the bus routes in the city.  Since there’s like, one bus from the transit authority that comes out here to my neck of the woods, well, forget that.  What else?  Now the Afghan Army and the US troops are shooting at each other.  I can’t honestly say I never saw that one coming, and if you didn’t, can I just tell you about a lovely piece of ocean-front property in Arizona I’d like to sell you at a super-low-low price?  Next up, entertainment news?  Oh, look, Lindsay Lohan looking more like a train-wreck than ever.  It’s a complete waste that girl can’t get her shit together, but  not really news.  Let’s see, some new gadget released that I don’t give a shit about…World economy, blah blah…

Y’know what?

I didn’t miss a damn thing.

EXCEPT WHO THE FUCK IS LETTING TAYLOR SWIFT PLAY JONI MITCHELL?

Seriously?  I mean, I’m not going to claim I’m a huge Joni Mitchell fan–I like her stuff, and own a few albums, but I’m not die-hard or anything–but even I know that’s just a travesty.  As Kristy once said, “Who told that poor child she could sing?”  Now, I honestly can’t comment on the girl’s acting, but I’m not holding out much hope that it’s going to be any stronger than her vocal talent.

Yeah, I’m definitely crawling back into that cave now.

Local News Part II: The Head Scratcher….

So, I already complained about the nutty local news inducing panic over space-trash.  But the fun doesn’t stop there.

This one, well, it’s not so much the fault of the local news as just a general head scratcher over the general incongruity of the other two big news stories recently.

Story 1:  Kansas City just opened a kick-ass performing arts center.  Some of you gentle readers who’ve been here recently were probably subjected to at least two views of the building as I took wrong turns around down-town trying to get places (and swearing profusely).

It’s an eye-catching structure (painfully modern, but what big project isn’t these days?)  and is the new home to the Kansas City Ballet, the Kansas City Symphony and the Lyric Opera.  All are things worth of nice digs, and help get KC back it’s old nickname “Paris of the Plains”, and since photography, painting, sculpture, etc. already have a great homes over at the Nelson-Atkins and the Kemper.

Also, it’s nice to see this after all the rah-rah over the Sprint Center which was basically built to attract sporting events.

All this sounds good, right?  World class art and culture?

The head-scratcher comes with Story 2:

The Kansas City school district just lost its accreditation.

Huh?

Yeah, KC’s school district is notoriously bad, and they’ve been teetering on the edge of losing accreditation for a while now.  They just recently tipped the scale to the negative, after a controversial “right-sizing” the schools and the sudden departure of the Superintendent.

So, we have schools that can’t cut the mustard to even the most minimal requirements of the state….and world class performing arts center.

I’m not going down the road of pointing fingers about how money should have been spent 0n the schools instead of the performing arts center.  I’m just left to scratch my head at how you wind up with fancy performing arts at the same time your schools are going down the tubes.

Actually, the demographics involved in these two stories explain 90% of it.  But the remaining 10% still confuses me.  You’d think that the school situation would have been on someone’s radar as they were anticipating that shiny new beacon to the arts.

“I’m rooting for Zurich”

So, just about every morning this week, my TV has cut on at o-dark-thirty to one local news station or another.  And every morning, it’s been the same damn story:

ZOMG, SPACE JUNK IS GOING TO HIT US ON THE HEAD!

Seriously?  All I can think of is the episode of The West Wing where Donna gets ahold of the NASA fax about a satellite falling from space.

A fax they get once a week.

Apparently, much like Donna, most of the rest of the media doesn’t know this either.  The only difference is, the current media had a chance to have watched The West Wing–Donna had nothing but Charlie’s hope that the Swiss would take the hit.

If I thought for a moment that we could get some destruction out of this falling space junk, I’d be hoping it would hit one of the fools who keep stirring up the masses with these stupid “news” reports.

As it is, you might get a nice light show and somewhere, there might be a charred little stone of something laying in a gutter along with some gravel and old cigarette filters.