ALPHA v0.3

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Stuff We Need Much More Of

Topic: g-rated


Warning: the following article may exceed the recommended daily allowance of sarcasm.

1- Bobbits!

I want more about the Bobbits! And figure skating! It's getting so you can go almost 7 seconds at a stretch without hearing a valuable update about Tonya Harding, and it's just not enough. But with all the talk of installing 500 channel fiberoptic cable systems, maybe we could give each new trendy tabloid topic its own channel! We could have the Tonya channel, 24 hour-a-day constant updates: Tonya eating breakfast, Tonya picking her nose, Tonya sitting on the can. Sign me up!

2- Fighting Video Games

How ever did our hardy pioneer forbears survive, without the ability to stare slack-jawed for 8 hours at a tv screen on which a monster with four arms is ripping out some hapless soul's spine? Presumably they had to do all their entertainment-related spine-ripping manually, but we're fortunate enough to live in the age of electronics, and can apply the advanced technology that made moon landings possible to create an endless variety of digitized dismemberment. All 34,782 of these games seem to be illustrated in the same Egyptian-tomb-painting motif, with various examples of physiological hyperbole walking back and forth, back and forth, occasionally kicking each other. I would sooner have my kids engaged in activities like exposing themselves to sunlight, but apparently parents by the millions are actually buying these for their children. Note to Saddam Hussein: buy lots of Sega stock, and offer to fund their r&d department generously.

3- Rap Videos

Certainly, we don't have nearly enough of these. So I think I'll film my own. Hmm...what should I put in it? Maybe...gang members! Yeah, that'd be new! And maybe they could sneer and swagger a lot, and rap about how thoroughly wonderful they consider themselves. And maybe sexual prowess! Yeah, bold and courageous, I know, but it just might work. And they could drone on about their eagerness to shoot police officers and their enemies with a lovingly detailed arsenal that sounds larger than that of the Bosnian Serbs. And maybe they could stand around swigging malt liquor, or playing dominoes, or driving old convertibles that bounce up and down. And they could call each other "G" for no readily apparent reason, and complete each phrase with "...know what I'm saying?", but pronounce it as "gnome sayin", as if referring to the aphorisms of small forest people. I might be on to something here. Visionary? Word up!

4- "Alternative" Videos

Record company executives, after pooling their collective brain cells, have finally realized that it's not nearly as cost effective to promote for $30 million a single band of middle aged cretins who have already fried their central nervous systems as it is to sign 300 "alternative" bands for no more than $100,000 a pop. The little bands get hustled along at about 2-3 a week, each with their allotted song and video on MTV, so there's always a need for fresh meat. So snap to it kids! Don't be the last in your trailer park! Get that nose earring, fly the flannel, cultivate that slack, dissipated "loser" persona, uh...oh, yeah, play an instrument or something. Borrow someone's camcorder for your video, and film, say, old men lying on train tracks, or something similarly "zen". Sonic Youth say they filmed a video for $20; having seen it, I'd say it's a credible claim.

5- 900 Telephone Numbers

You've seen the ads:

"Do you like FUN?"

(Oh, no, I actually much prefer misery.)

"Want to talk about ANYTHING?"

(Yes! How about vector calculus, or maybe ethnic tensions in Moldova?)

"Then call ME!"

(You? Specifically?)

"1-900-URA-LOSR, only $4.95 per minute!"

(Yikes! Is there a weekend rate?)

It truly taxes the imagination to believe these "services" have a consuming public. $4.95 per minute? I'm a person of fairly moderate tastes, so I tend to compare my entertainment options, all other things aside, with two benchmarks: movies and pizza. It costs $4 to see a 1-2 hour movie during the day, and I can get 2 medium pizzas for $5. So for the cost of talking to one of these bimbos for just one hour, I could see 75 movies or get 120 pizzas, either of which seems significantly more cost effective. Don't conventional "ladies of the night" charge less? That had better be one *very* productive conversation. I should at least get some good tax tips, but judging by the glassy-eyed women in these commercials draped over fog machines and fans, they probably need help just taping up their breasts, let alone holding an interesting conversation.

6- Fancy Sneakers

I see the conversion of our high-tech defense industries is moving right along, judging by sneaker ads. Amazing new models are constantly being introduced in the battle for vital consumer groups like NBA players and crack dealers. This seems like a lot more hardware than your average citizen needs, even your average teenager. There are the "standard" inflatable "pump" shoes, the fast-inflating pump shoes (since your time is valuable), the shoes with "juice" in them (don't step on a tack), shoes with serial ports, etc. I saw a kid at the mall with a pair that had LED's in the backs of the heels that lit up whenever he jumped on or off the furnishings. I guess he was making the bold fashion statement "hey, my shoes light up", but it wasn't apparent that the quality of his life was markedly improved.

ALPHA v0.3