News of the Day, 9/25/07

09/25/2007, 1:11 pm -- by | No Comments

Do you like wings? Ever eaten them in Philadelphia? You might not want to read this story. “It was hot. Flies were everywhere.” And that’s actually the better part.

Taking germs to space helps them kill us more easily! How helpful! I sure hope we keep paying billions of dollars to take them up there.

And yet another reason to love New York — “She had just agreed to marry him when, they said, a gunman jumped from the bushes and yelled, ‘Give me your money and get on the ground!’ “

Clash of the Titans LI: Television

09/25/2007, 12:15 pm -- by | 4 Comments

In this corner, a television supporter, is MC-B!

And in this corner, against TV, is Tom!

We all know that television is a “vast wasteland”; I don’t think anyone would argue against the idea that television producers could use a little more moderation in the schlock they put on the air. Americans as a whole also probably spend far too much time watching television. However, we’re not talking here about trimming a few shows (including MTV in near-entirety), or a few hours watching the tube. We’re talking about whether television as a medium is good or bad. I believe that, as a whole, television has been used for good and has the potential to continue to be used in this manner.

First of all, for pure entertainment, television simply cannot be beat: it’s the cheapest close approximation of life available that is still relaxing to take in. As big a fan as I am of A Prairie Home Companion and the early days of Amos ‘n’ Andy, lack of visuals is a severe setback to their value as relaxing escapes from life. Sure, I can listen to them while driving or cleaning the house, but sometimes I don’t actually want to be doing anything else. Books are nice (easily my second favorite method for relaxing), but sometimes you don’t even want to read. Video games require active input on the part of the viewer and are not optimal choices for everyone’s relaxation. Television is the one medium with enough choices and variety to satisfy all comers.

More importantly, though, is television’s ability to inform us. Where would much of Bweinh!’s readership be without the teachings of Sesame Street? As we grew older, many of us made the switch from PBS to the Discovery Channel, but the medium bringing us information didn’t change. Not only that, but television news continues to be one of the most popular ways to get current, up-to-date information. On the morning of 9/11, where did people turn for the breaking story? Newspapers? No, they turned to television, and TV news delivered as well as could be expected on such a confusing day.

Finally, the following is a brief list of television programs and/or channels that I know are frequent favorites of certain Bweinh! users. No one person probably likes every one of them, but that just serves to illustrate my point about the variety of television serving us all: The Simpsons; The Office; Project Runway/America’s Next Top Model/Top Chef; MythBusters/Dirty Jobs/the Discovery Channel, and the Sci-Fi Channel. Look me in the eye, all of you, and tell me television doesn’t have redeeming qualities.

Television certainly has its drawbacks, but most useful things do. Television should properly be viewed as a tool that can be used for evil or good. As viewers, our viewing habits are our choice, and it would be wrong to blame television for creating some evil along with good.

By way of disclaimer, I am not completely against television. I have spent a great deal of delightfully entertaining time enjoying thought-provoking entertainment with friends and family. In myriad positive ways I have been touched, amused, morally outraged, and pleased by the oases of quality in the bleak landscape of television. However, taken as a whole, television has harmed our culture far more than it has ever helped.

Television encourages complacency. Comparatively speaking, it’s a lot easier to sit on your couch as entertainment is pumped into your home, rather than going out and seeking or making that entertainment on your own. Why read a book when you can have people more attractive than those around you act out a miniature play for your enjoyment? Why do something new when you can share in the experience of literally dozens of other people watching the same program you enjoy?

Even the rare occasions when television moves people to action, there is still a complacent stink about their decisions. The outrage in vogue these days, complaining of the situation taking place in Jena, Louisiana, is being taken up not by people who have thoughtfully examined a number of articles and points of view. Rather, a sorority sister will see a single segment on network news (presented in a manner to most provoke and incite the rabble that constitutes the average viewership), and join with other socially-minded nitwits to protest something they don’t necessarily understand.

Television decreases the attention span. A friend of mine recently suggested I read an article, because it was excellently written. Her paraphrased quote: “You should totally read this! I almost didn’t because it was so long, but I’m glad I did because it was so great!” The article filled a screen and one half in my tiny monitor, and if it had hundreds of words, there were no more than five. Anything not presented in a manic, quick-paced style runs the risk of being completely ignored by your typical person, and television’s ratings-at-all-cost mindset has a great deal to do with that.

In an era of failing schools, sinking test scores, and the prospect of a world stage upon which America plays a background role a very real possibility, I cannot help but consider television’s part in the slide. The few points of light amid the ebony backdrop of reality television, celebrity gossip, and lowest-common-denominator sitcoms cannot provide complete redemption. Television, I name myself your enemy.

But I’m still going to watch Psych.


At the Movies

09/25/2007, 11:00 am -- by | 1 Comment

Best of Job, May 2006

in the theatre


across from me
3 guys
2 girls
they sit: guy girl guy girl guy

i enjoy mission: impossible 3
generally speaking
i am brave
and admit
i usually enjoy tom cruise movies
speaking generally
but i take long draw from straw
lull in movie

i try
to find out
which of the guys is the loser
as if the soda will supply the answer

which guy is the loser
which guy is the fifth wheel

my straw begins to suck air
movie picks up speed again
but i know


it is guy girl guy girl guy


movie reaches fevered pitch
hollywood flexes its muscles

should i go get free refill?
will i miss anything good?
better not
many important plot twists
cruise might inexplicably start running again
wouldn’t want to miss that
and i’m there alone
no one to brief me with synopsis upon return

then it dawns on me
despite explosions, theatre quiet

it is me

i am loser


chair chair chair guy chair

Not So Wild About Their Answers.

09/25/2007, 9:30 am -- by | 11 Comments

What was in Yuseff’s story??

If you picked “Islam was invented by the Vatican,” you’re a winner!!

©1984-2007 Chick Publications, Inc. Reprinted without permission as fair use (parody).

Quote of the Day, 9/25/07

09/25/2007, 7:00 am -- by | No Comments

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” — W.S. Maugham

The Council’s Ruling — Most Useful Tool

09/24/2007, 12:00 pm -- by | 3 Comments

This and every Monday, the Bweinh!tributors, having convened in secret for hours of reasoned debate and consideration, will issue a brief and binding ruling on an issue of great societal import.

This week’s question — What is the most useful tool?

Connie delivers the ruling of the Council, joined by MC-B, Josh, Djere, Mike, and Steve:



David offers this opinion, joined by Job:

The lever…give me a place to stand and I will move the world.


Tom offers this opinion:

The opposable thumb. Without it any other tools are so many footrests and paperweights.


Chloe offers this opinion:

A length of rope, because it can be used to make many necessities, including pulleys and bridges, and assist in hunting and self-defense.


Next week: What is the worst form of music?

Ask Bweinh! Poll — Most Trusted Occupation

09/24/2007, 10:30 am -- by | No Comments

This edition of the Ask Bweinh! poll is sponsored by Air Transat — the worst airline in the world!

Just listen to what one satisfied customer said: “We have just returned from flying Air Transat — never again! No legroom, uncomfortable seats, and miserable cabin crew. The food was diabolical! . . . Air Transat is a cheap but not cheerful airline.”

Air Transat! We pass the suffering on to you!

The most trusted occupations in the world appear below!

Rank Occupation Points
1. Minister 28
2. Doctor 21
3. Teacher 12
4. Fireman 9
5. Policeman 8
6. Chef/Cook 7
7-12 (tie) Copier Salesman; Dentist; Soldier; Cab Driver; Pilot; Psychiatrist/Counselor 5
Other Mailman; FDA Administrator; Judge; Mover; Truck Driver; Librarian; Computer Tech; Lawyer; Governess; Bank Teller; Skydive Instructor; Taxidermist; Secretary; ebGames employee; WalMart greeter; Financial Advisor; Soda Jerk 1-4

Football Results (Week Three)

09/24/2007, 8:30 am -- by | No Comments

This year, the Bweinh!tributors shall compete each week by proxy on the mighty gridiron!

The third week’s results
New York def. Miami; Oakland def. Cleveland; Kansas City def. Minnesota
New England def. Buffalo; Pittsburgh def. San Francisco

Bweinh!tributor This Week Overall GB
Djere 3-2 11-4
Connie 3-2 11-4
Mike J; David 4-1 10-5 1
Steve 3-2 10-5 1
Job 3-2 7-3 1.5
Josh 4-1 9-6 2
Tom 2-3 9-6 2
MC-B 0-5 6-9 5
Chloe 0-5 2-8 6.5


By category
Slight fans: 21-9 (.700)
Avid fans: 36-19 (.655)
Uninterested: 24-26 (.480)

Joke of the Day, 9/24/07

09/24/2007, 7:00 am -- by | No Comments

A blonde in Las Vegas went up to the Coke machine, put in a dollar, and got a Coke.

She put in another dollar and got another Coke.

She put in another dollar and got another Coke.

She put in yet another dollar and got yet another Coke.

Finally, a man behind her said, “Hey, lady, you think I could use the machine?”

“Go away!,” she yelled. “Can’t you see I’m winning?”

…we met in the middle…

09/22/2007, 3:07 am -- by | No Comments

My Jeep's broken tail light

So what, did my insurance claims adjuster and I *actually* have this conversation:

Insurance Claims Adjuster: “So you’ll be using your collision coverage to replace your tail light, right?”
Djere: “No, I think I’ll just buy one.”
ICA: “Oh, good idea! I mean, you have a thousand dollar deductable anyway, so yours seems like a pretty good idea…”

:( Man, I hate Wal*Mart parking lots.


09/22/2007, 12:57 am -- by | 6 Comments

Curious about what your favorite Bweinh!tributor looks like?

I didn’t think so, but if you happen to be an exception to that rule, you can now see most of us over here on the biographies page!

The Fig Tree

09/21/2007, 1:30 pm -- by | No Comments

One of the benefits of living in the South is that I have a fig tree outside my window at work. It’s boxed in on all four sides by the building, fences and a dock so it’s not easily accessible for neighborhood freeloaders. I usually can get a fig or two when they ripen before someone mysteriously cleans it out at night. They’re both sweet and delicious.

Lately I have taken to checking the tree for fruit and it has none yet. Not even small unripe figs. You wouldn’t believe how disappointing it is. I have never noted “the right time” for figs to be on the tree, so maybe I’m just early this year in my desires, but my disappointment has left me thinking about the parable where the man keeps checking a tree for figs, but eventually says, “Cut it down! Why let it take up space in the ground any longer?”

I noticed the last time I read that parable that the gardener admits he has not done everything in his power to produce fruit on the tree. He pleads for patience, saying, “Let me dig around it and fertilize it,” and allowing that if it still fails to produce fruit next year, he would cut it down himself. I don’t know why I had never noticed that admission of guilt before.

I have always seen it as a lesson in patience, not an indictment of leadership. It’s not just a Christian pleading for patience, but it acknowledges a failure to put forth every effort to see that a person, a ministry, a marriage or a job succeeds. It’s someone stepping up to the plate and saying, “Listen, this failure may be as much mine as his.”

It’s not just saying, “Give the tree another chance,” it’s saying, “Give me another chance.”

Rich Mullins

09/21/2007, 10:30 am -- by | No Comments

Phil Sweet

He was a dreamer
He would look up at the sky
Believe there was more beyond
Just another mile down

He was a stranger
Always lonely for his home
And all of these things gathered him
To the country he called his own

He spoke of You often
As he cried out Your name

He said You would hold us
He said we could be with You
He said You had made us
We did not make You
He said you were everyman
So You could understand
The trouble that’s bound to come

He was a preacher
Disturbin’ everybody’s peace
Believed that the just would live
The strong should care for the weak

He was a lover
But he always had a broken heart
For we could never return the love
He’d learned how to give

He said it came from You
When he cried out Your name

He said You would hold us
He said we could be with You
He said You had made us
We did not make You
He said you were everyman
So You could understand
The trouble that’s bound to come

And when you picked up
Pieces pure and true
I know he heard
Music that was higher
And did it surpass
The sound that he once heard
I know he went home
In a chariot of fire

He was a dreamer
Now he looks down at the sky
He was a stranger
Who finally found his home
He was a preacher
Now he lives in perfect peace
He was a lover
He ain’t lonely anymore

Quote of the Day, 9/21/07

09/21/2007, 7:00 am -- by | No Comments

“You can lead a fool to a book, but you can’t make [him] think.” — J. Murray

I Love Chick Tract Excerpts.

09/20/2007, 1:45 pm -- by | 1 Comment

©1984-2007 Chick Publications, Inc. Reprinted without permission as fair use (parody).


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