4.29.2006

If all goes according to plan, I will be interviewing Henry Rollins for Broken Newz. Bill and I taking his site into a bit of a new direction. We're toning back the satire and ramping up the "bite" side of current events reporting. The new Henry Rollins show fits very much into the new format we are going to try to use, so Henry has very graciously agreed to let us spend some time talking to him about the show, his mission, OUR mission, and other such fun things.

And of course, if you know anything about me, you know that this is quite probably the 2nd greatest thing I've ever done in my life.

"Excited" doesn't quite explain it.

4.28.2006

It happens probably once a week or so.

I will sit down and check my email, and suddenly I hear John Madden's voice in my head yelling "BOOM!" as my eyes catch yet another subject line saying "FW: I hope this works" or "FW: Worth a shot" or something of the like.

I immediately place my face in my palms and sigh. Another new internet user.

Sure enough, I open the message and what follows is something similar to the one I got this morning (you do not have to read it. If you've been on the net for longer than a week, you've seen this one or one like it. But I'm including it in full because I'm a writer and I feel the need to fill the space with as much as I can so I feel like I've actually done something this morning):
Subject: May as well give it a go!

THIS TOOK TWO PAGES OF THE TUESDAY USA TODAY - IT IS FOR REAL To all of my friends, I do not usually forward messages, But this is from my friend Pearlas Sandborn and she really is an attorney. If she says that this will work - It will work.

After all,What have you got to lose?

SORRY EVERYBODY.. JUST HAD TO TAKE THE CHANCE!!! I'm an
attorney, And I know the law. This thing is for real. Rest
assured AOL and &nbs p; Intel will follow through with their
promises for fear of facing a multimillion-dollar class action
suit similar to the one filed by PepsiCo against General
Electric not too long ago.
Dear Friends; Please do not take this for a junk letter.
Bill Gates sharing his fortune. If you ignore this, You will repent later.

Microsoft and AOL are now the largest Internet companies and in an effort to make sure that Internet Explorer remains the most widely used program, Microsoft and AOL are running an e-mail beta test.

When you forward this e-mail to friends, Microsoft can and will track it (If you are a Microsoft Windows user) For a two weeks time period.

For every person that you forward this e-mail to, Microsoft will pay you $245.00 For every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you $243.00 and for every third person that receives it, You will be paid $241.00. Within two weeks, Microsoft will contact you for your address and then send you a check.

Regards. Charles S Bailey General Manager Field Operations
1-800-842-2332 Ext. 1085 or 904-1085 or RNX


thought this was a scam myself, But two weeks after receiving this e-mail and forwarding it on. Microsoft contacted me for my address and within days, I received a check for $24,800.00. You need to respond before the beta testing is over. If anyone can affoard this, Bill gates is the man.

It's all marketing expense to him. Please forward this to as many people as possible. You are bound to get at least $10,000.00 We're not going to help them out with their e-mail beta test without getting a little something for our time. My brother's girlfriend got in on this a few months ago. When i went to visit him for the Baylor/UT Pgame. She showed me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44 and was stamped "Paid in full"


Yup. Another one of THOSE.

So, I opened up my "goddammit_not_this_crap_again" folder in Outlook and fired up my template for responding to these messages. I made sure to include not only the person who sent it to me, but everyone he/she emailed it to, as well as everyone that was still left in the stupid forwarding header of the 12-time forwarded email. In all, about 1,000 kids, I wager. And this is what I said:
From: Joe The Peacock
Sent: Friday, April 28, 2006 11:17 AM
To: <A whole lot of kids>
Subject: RE: hope this works!!

Dear new internet user,

Welcome to the internet. We hope you enjoy your stay here, and we understand that - the first time you log on - you might be a little timid, scared, or anxious. And you might be excited to try new and interesting things. However, there are these things out there - we oldbies call them "Hoaxes" - which might prey upon your lack of experience with this massive technological marvel and attempt to get you to do things that might possibly a) harm you, b) deceive you out of money and/or goods, or c) - the case of this email - make you look just plain silly.

I have decided to use all capital letters for the more technical aspects of why this email isn't true:

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TRACK A BULK EMAIL THROUGH EACH AND EVERY SYSTEM WHICH IT PASSES.

MICROSOFT AND AOL (and Intel and Coke and Disney and [insert your own large, bajillion-dollar company ere] ) ARE NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU A FREE *ANYTHING* FOR PASSING ALONG AN EMAIL.

THE PERSON WHO WROTE THIS IS NOT AN ATTORNEY.

Now, how do I know this? Well, two reasons:

First, I've seen this email no fewer than 26844 times. Yes, that's twenty-six thousand, eight hundred and forty-four times - the precise number of people who I've communicated over the internet with since 1994. Because they all have sent it to me, and not one has ever reported back claiming to have received a free trip to Disneyworld, a case of Coke, a cheque for any amount ranging from $1.00 to $10,000 USD, a free belt sander, or even a concussion (the last one wasn't really offered, but it's very much what they deserve for polluting my inbox with such rubbish YET AGAIN).

Second, there is a resource for finding out if things are real or not. Snopes.com has taken the liberty of becoming the internet's foremost authority on hoaxes, urban legends, and other such silly cultural phenomenon. Here is the entry for this particular gem:

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/microsoft-aol.asp


Now, I am glad that you have found your way onto the internet. It's a pleasure to have you here. And I appreciate your attempt to foster your own greed by passing along a chance for me to do the same. However, I - and all the other "oldbie" internet users (we all chat in a chat room together called #oldFartsOnTheNet and I asked them, and yes - all 2 billion of them agreed) - would appreciate it if you would refer to Snopes when thinking about passing along any emails which offer free items or benefits simply for passing them on.

We also caution you to check when confronted with emails that offer you a chance to benefit monitarily from any person in the countries of Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica, Guatemala, or any other country that might contain a king or prince who's name you could never possibly remember and who may or may not have mysteriously died, leaving millions of dollars in benefits to someone who needs you to be an off-shore fence for the funds.

And lastly, we ask that you please quit using "ZOMG" in chat rooms. We understand "OMG," even though we don't really agree with or approve of it's use (we all hate acryonyms), but "ZOMG" is just plain stupid. We understand that you are attempting to do a variation on "here's my clever way to do exclamation points !!1!!!one!!!" or whatever with "ZOMG". But the Z key is nowhere NEAR the O, M, or G keys. It's totally manufactured, just like a song by Everclear, and we ask that you cut it right out.

Thank you, and enjoy your stay here on the internet.

Your good friend and welcoming ambassador,

Joe Peacock


Feel free to copy my template and use it as your own.

4.27.2006

function JoesTasteInMusic {
if (sProduced < 1994) {
checkArtist(soundsLikeNirvana);
checkLabel(subPop);
set Nostalga = true;

}

else {
if (checkArtist(soundsLikeNirvana);
checkSound(claimsFugaziAsAnInfluence);
checkGenre(claimsToBePunk);
checkAssociation(associatedInAnyWayWhatsoeverWithChrisCornell);)
set cJunk = "true"
}
}

4.12.2006

I'm having a debate with a friend. The actual debate has only a little to do with the following post (we're actually arguing whether or not the ATF had sufficient cause to chase down and detain this ninja. And for the record, I think ANYONE who attends a "ninjas vs. pirates" event should not only be detained but shot). But it does pertain, and so, I feel the need to clear the air. I don't want this debate to ever "spill over the sides" and make it's way to another venue, where comments can be taken out of context and possibly make me look like a total racist nazi fuck.

So here's the thing: I think "profiling" is a great thing.

Yes, I said it. Profiling is a great thing.

And so is prejudice.

Hear me out.

Because of the temperment and attitude of the current social climate, a lot of words have made their way into the general lexicon - words such as "profiling" and "prejudice". The problem is, because of the way these words have been MISUSED by those proliferating the words into the vocabulary of daily media, they have horribly negative connotations. They've been redefined, and that's a tragedy.

According to Mirriam-Webster, Prejudice is defined as:

1 : injury or damage resulting from some judgment or action of another in disregard of one's rights; especially : detriment to one's legal rights or claims

This one does not apply in the context of this conversation.


2 a (1) : preconceived judgment or opinion

This is the definition I'm referring to, and concequently, in my 1988 edition of Webster's dictionary, this is the only definition to be found.


(2) : an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b : an instance of such judgment or opinion c : an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race, or their supposed characteristics

This is what the word has come to mean overall. And that's a shame.


As far as profiling:

1 : to represent in profile or by a profile : produce (as by drawing, writing, or graphing) a profile of

In this instance, I'd take "graphing" to be the real epicenter around which the entire "profiling" concept takes place, as it pertains to building a profile of a person or thing based on behaviour, visual representation, language, what-have-you.

2 : to shape the outline of by passing a cutter around

Yeah, not relevant.

So, basically, I'm arguing that it's not only natural to profile and to prejudge, it's also A GOOD THING. And what is my basis for this opinion? Is Joe really a redneck nazi racist fuck who hates "darkies" and "arabs" and "ninjas"?

Or do I simply draw conclusions based on the information presented me?

I see a guy in a cowboy hat with a huge silver belt buckle, Tony Llama boots, Wrangler jeans and some god-awful western-patterned shirt. The very first thing I think: "This guy is probably into rodeos, trucks, country music, and having his wife leave him and taking the dog with her."

Is this wrong? FUCK NO. This is NATURAL. If it weren't for prejudging and profiling, we'd all walk up to the incredibly huge kitty-cat with the gigantic orange mane and teeth longer than corncobs and try to get it to purr. And then we'd be lion-food.

It's because of prejudging and profiling that we are able to function as human beings. We prejudge the height of a cliff before getting near its edge. We prejudge the heat of the food before we place it in our mouths. We prejudge the anger of our managers before we ask them for raises. Does this behaviour make us bad people?

No.

Does drawing absurd conclusions based on false data due to prejudging lead to racism, sexism, homophobia and poor dental hygene?

A lot of the time, yes. But that's where the issue becomes one of hating RACISM, not the act of prejudging environmental, physical and behavioural patterns and making decisions based on them. I have never once - NOT ONCE - assumed someone was stupid because they were a certain race or sex. I have taken showers with known gay men (and even let one scrub my back when my shoulder was dislocated). I never even bothered to worry if the guy would check me out - so what if he did? Isn't it an honor to be thought attractive by anyone, regardless of sex? I have absolutely no biases toward race, sex, or sexual preference when it comes to getting to know, talking to, working for, hiring, or otherwise involving myself with anyone on this planet (I do have issues with certain religions, though - don't even get me started on how religion is a BEHAVIOUR CHOICE and not a birth trait. If you think you can group religion in with race in terms of bias, you're as brainwashed as some of the fanatics. I agree that the First Amendment reigns supreme and everyone should be allowed to believe and worship as they see fit - I just wish certain religions believed that as well...).

So. Does it make me a racist when I see three hispanic guys with arms full of tattoos, a chain around one's waist, steel-toed shitkicker boots, a knife on each hip and a bad attitude standing near an ATM, and I choose to just drive on and use another ATM?

No. It does not. And why?

Because I'm smart enough to avoid being eaten by lions.