Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dream A Little Materialistic Dream

First of all, let's just get this out of the way:

  1. I realize the worldwide economy is in the tank and I should be thinking about hoarding gold and Campbell's soup in my basement, as well as the common good of my fellow man.
  2. There are horrible injustices going on every day in Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Toronto and many other third-world countries.
  3. I should be out there, somewhere, in dreads and a bloody, sweat-stained Che Guevera t-shirt shouting leftist slogans and brandishing an AK-47, ferociously trying to make a difference in the world while disavowing all things material.
  4. They say that Little Mosque on the Prairie is a really good show. I should be watching it.

Guess what? It ain't gonna happen. None of it. Beside being too old for ­­!Vive La Revolution¡, I like stuff. It makes me forget about all the horrible crap that's going on in the world, if only until the bills come in. Kind of like Xanax for the soul. Not surprising for a guy who came of age in the 70s and 80s, with the golden promises of a life better than that of our parents. The members of Douglas Coupland's Generation X (birth years approximately 1961-81), myself included, are the first generation to succumb to lowered expectations. It's also not surprising that I often daydream about the open road, cheap gasoline and unencumbered travel in a safe world that doesn't exist anymore (and may never have). Box cutters, anyone?

There, it's out of the way and I can just show off a few pics of the car I'd like to own, which Ford will never import here in its current form.
They're far too stupidly cautious, don't trust their customers and a few vehicles like this might actually create some genuine enthusiasm for their products, thereby increasing their profits to slightly above zero. Wouldn't want that in a worldwide recession / depression...

See below for more ranting on this same subject.

Is it wrong to be thinking about something like this when we all seem to be in batten-down-the-hatchbacks mode? Or is this form of escapism harmless? Not sure, but damn, that is one sweet-looking ride that is right for this stressed-out century. 35 mpg and enough room for guitars, amps, beer and the family, if the mood should strike.

I need only ask one question:

Why not, Ford?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Does Your TV Suffer from Constant, Irritating "Judder"?

Well,doesn't it? Of course it does, you idiot!!! You just don't know it yet.

Apparently any flat panel LCD TV that isn't a 120 Hz Sharp does. What about the new, 240 Hz Sonys? According to the lowest-common-denominator-higher-numbers-equals-better crowd at Suture Shop, it must be four times better than regular HDTVs. Absolute horse shite, I say.

Unfortunately for me, that atrocity isn't a typo. I can picture the 24 year old unshaven, hoodie-wearing Justin Long lookalike copywriter creating this gibberish and being congratulated with high-fives from his geeky stoner colleagues as he comes up with the winning adjective five minutes before they're all set to hit the peeler bar, bongs in tow.

Or maybe I'm just a cranky old bastard. Yeah, that's probably it.

According to those in the tech-know, this sort of motion-smoothing technology for home television has nearly no basis in reality, and needs to be turned off when watching anything but the NFL or Venus and Serena battling each other on the clay. Crikey - sign me up!
"Where can I dumps my wheelbarrow full of moneys so's I can walk off wit one a' these babies?"

It's an old caveat, but ferchrissakes, people, don't believe everything you read in a Future Shop or Best Buy flyer. Even if it sounds all Web 3.0-ish. After being in sales for twenty years and seeing some pretty underhanded, shady crap being pulled on a daily basis, never trust a salesman, saleswoman, or any other gendered thing trying to sell you goods and/or services.

In other words, trust your eyes, not some slimy greaseball with the morals of John Wayne Gacy. Now, excuse me while I go check the Leafs game for a surplus of "judder". I'm sure that's what's causing my unhappiness.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Things Continue To Get Extremely Worse.

Original Post From July; quite prescient given the current predictions of depression-esque tendencies in the economy.

How true. Very poorly worded, but true. The title quote was taken from a union representative in Oshawa commenting on the recent GM truck plant closure there after the government threw as much spare cash as they could at GM, but it applies to a lot of things recently. Car companies don't really deserve government bailouts, do they? How about the local Mom & Pop type stores that are constantly going under due to the overkill of retail in this country? Blame Wal-Mart if you will, but there's a simple reason we're getting "extremely worse" in this country and in the US of (DO)A...

We're lazy and greedy, and getting "worser" by the minute. I should know, I work for the Federal Government. You want entitlement issues? Try unionized government workers with strong socialist tendencies who want to do as little as possible and get paid handsomely for their inactivity. Most criticisms levelled at the way Government is conducted are spot-on.

So, greed got us into this mess - how do we propose to get out of it? Why, naturally, by spending our way back into prosperity. If that's true, can I actually justify my recent insane flat panel HDTV purchase merely by it's incremental contribution to the GNP, thereby allowing me to sleep at night? Yes, I Can™! Thanks, Obama!

Unlike Kent Brockman, I'm not pointing the finger squarely at you in particular, as I can be firmly lumped in with the gooey masses. We still have a false sense of entitlement in this country that is to be found nowhere else in the world save the USA, and possibly Sweden.

In many third-world developing nations, the mere act of getting out of bed and walking to the local market can be a matter of life and death. In North America, we still take so much for granted, that when we do fall it'll be ten times harder than what anyone can forecast.

Your stock market performance or new BMW M3 isn't the topic of conversation when you can't scrape together enough to pay the mortgage, and roving bands of starving Liberals are your biggest late-night worry. It's a fine line between comfort and being hungry, but you always know when you've crossed it, and we're not there yet. As a result, I don't hold out much hope for things to improve. Like an addict, we have to hit rock bottom and sleep in a few dumpsters before our friends call an intervention. I wonder what the state of the Union (and Canada) will be like six months from now when all the post-coronation Obama hype has died down and we can all get back to cold hard reality.

Despite my pessimistic tone, I actually think (or is it hope) that we can get through this crisis. Nothing is more inventive than an addict looking for his next fix. After all, you can always find the money somewhere.