Friday, June 10, 2005

Weekly BlogScan: Living with Disappointment

We're a disappointed bunch, bloggers. Perhaps it's because we get our passions invested in either-or elimination events, like American Idol or the Michael Jackson trial. Whatever the outcome, some of us are bound to be disappointed.

At Easy questions are boring, Ian is "amazed and disappointed" by the EC and Parliament. He's also less than impressed by San Franciso: "Geeks are everywhere. Trying to sleep on the plane when your brain is randomly plucking tech words from surrounding conversations is like trying to sleep during a Windows install." What doesn't disappoint Ian? Neal Stephenson's System of the World, which "contains the best Monty Python joke Ever."

Politics is a common source of disappointment. David R. Mark of Journalists Against Bush's B.S. (JABBS) was disappointed by Democrats during the Gonzales Confirmation. He inveighed against the lackluster opposition, then concluded, "But maybe Americans deserved such a half-hearted effort. As the Post observed, only 20 or so protesters showed up outside the hearing room. That's hardly a March on Washington."

In Auckland, New Zealand, Aaron Bhatnagar was initially disappointed by the relatively tiny response from his country during the tsunami. He also wonders, "Why is it that the urgency to assist victims of Mother Nature is so compelling but the full force of Western Civilization is unable to halt the genocidists in Africa when they themselves recognise the depths of such human horror as a European experience of not more than 60 years ago, and understand the need to confront such cruelty to mankind?" Aaron refers to the continuing death and disease in Dafur, Sudan.

From Israel, Ushyman writes in Nushworld of his disappointment with Haaretz (his local newspaper) in their coverage of the EU "Non" vote in France, when the newspaper used "the plebiscite in France as a strong justification for opposing a referendum here in Israel on the Disengagement... Israel... has no business holding a referendum on whether to withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank, because the decision is not Israel's to make."

Pedestrians running on freeway sign
   Immigrants, Yes! Signs, No!

Sometimes other bloggers disappoint us. Matthew Dessem writes in his PolySciFi Blog that it is a pity that Powerline sees fit to complain about the signs that warn motorists of pedestrians who may run across the freeway near the border with Mexico. Matthew recalls years of pleasant amusement in seeing the image used to promote a Mexican restaurant in Topanga Canyon, California. He'd "like to propose a new law, the Ironic Repurposing Moral Outrage Act of 2005: Once an image is familiar enough to be reused in an ad, it's too late to be pissed off by it."

Last Christmas, writes Nathan Weinberg of InsideGoogle, came the bizzare suggestion from the search-engine giant: Disappoint Your Relatives This Holiday Season. Yes, Google put out gift certificates for items that were available for FREE download from the Google website.

Dear _____________________

This holiday season, I would like to bestow on you the gift of Google. I hope and believe that downloading these free Google software products and installing them on your computer will make you more efficient at work, adept at play, happier online and off, and in general a better human being in all possible ways.

Lindsay Lohan in Herbie: Fully Loaded
   Lindsay Lohan disappoint? Never!

Texan St. Murse goes to a movie prepared to be disappointed. In a take titled " Our heroes will inevitably disappoint us," he reveals his proactive letdown from the Disney movie Herbie: Fully Loaded. Whoa! I thought, maybe the problem is making a hero out of a "self-aware car that doesn't kill people." In reading further, though, I discovered that the writer and director of the movie were the disappointing heroes in question. (Rule of thumb: never make a hero out of someone who is willing to walk around a stage naked.)

Mustang 23 writes Assumption of Command from Iraq, and he transmits the pleas of his buddies there in the desert not to disappoint them by sending beef jerky. It turns out that Jean-Paul Borda, the self-annointed "Beef Jerky Nazi," posted Golden Rules of Care Packages, and the great beef jerky debate ensued.
[Rule] III. Do not send Beef Jerky. I repeat, DO NOT send Beef Jerky. Unless the war just started and you were the first person to get a care package to a soldier, but it's years now and we got beef jerky coming out the wazoo. If your goal is to disappoint a lonely soldier in a war-ravaged country, send it, but otherwise don't believe all the hype about beef jerky. It's a damn conspiracy. You may as well send sh%t shrink-wrapped.
Then Borda put together similar rules for soldiers to use in creating their wish-lists, and again, devoted an entire rule to Beef Jerky:
[Rule] IV. Quit telling supporters you like Beef Jerky. Damn it, get an imagination. Asking for beef jerky only proves you have no original thought. You're the same person that asks for: canned goods, food, magazines, and personal hygiene items. You're making it worse for the rest of the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq and it's pissing us off. The next soldier that asks for beef jerky should be kicked in the gut. If you're in the field for 30 days straight it's understandable, no forget it's not. I'd rather eat Country Captain Chicken MRE than another piece of beef jerky. Use your brain the military issued.

The final disappointment in my scan this week comes from Angry John Sellers, but I'm sure we all can cite similar setbacks. (Some of us have even dealt disappointment of this kind from our blogs.) Angry John writes in his last post, dated May 30, 2005, "I am sorry, very sorry to disappoint all of you (and yeah, that means only you, Lola), but I will not be updating this blog until I finish this project I'm working on. I'm thinking August. I hope you will still have me when I return. Until then, think of me whenever you see a dancing monkey."

I haven't seen any dancing monkeys lately, now that I think of it. What a disappointment!

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