Archive for media

We’re Cutting the Cord

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 4, 2016 by sethdellinger

We are going to do it.  We are “cutting the cord”.

Very soon, our household will no longer have cable TV.  To me (although not to my love, Karla), this seemed almost unfathomable until recently.  Not that I am SUPER into television; I usually have a show or two that I am keeping up with at any given moment, but other than a select few, I’m never really passionate about them.  I don’t typically turn on television and just watch whatever is on—I turn it on at appointed times to watch something specific.  Karla has almost never been that way, so this won’t be a huge change for her.

While I don’t really *watch* a whole lot of TV, I do turn it on sometimes just to feel connected to the outside world.  If I’m all alone in the house, I have often simply turned on the TV to feel less lonely—and I’ve always been quite aware that was my motivation for doing so.  In recent years, as I’ve become more aware of this opiate-type usage of TV, I have tried to curtail it and now will read with music on more often than with TV.  Silence, however, is still somewhat rare for me.  But I’m a work in progress.

The good (?) news is, we have so many streaming and DVD options, we still have more to watch than we could properly accomplish in a lifetime.  Our household alone has Netflix as well as Amazon Prime, so even those two services alone offer more than we need.  Factor in free streaming services like Crackle and a dozen or so other channels we have loaded on our Roku and the approximately 500 DVDs we own—including numerous seasons of TV shows–continuing to pay for cable seemed silly and wasteful.

Yes, there are a few shows (at this point, really just The Walking Dead) that I still HAVE to see.  Luckily, each episode is available to rent for 2.99 the day after it airs via Amazon.  Pricey?  Perhaps—but much cheaper than our cable bill.  I will just be avoiding Facebook on Sunday evenings for awhile :)

I hear you:  BUT SETH!  What about live TV?? News?? Sports???

 Yes.  This is the only part that hurts.  First, we will be keeping the cable through the election.  Once that whole fracas seems settled, we’ll cut the cord.  Yes, I will miss sports.  However, I already gave up football.  But I will surely miss seeing my Phillies, 76ers, and Flyers play.  I will certainly follow their seasons via print and internet media.  I imagine in the vanishingly rare event that one of my teams would be having an amazing year and look headed to the playoffs, I might cave and get the cable again, but for just a limited time.  I will very much miss special events like the Oscars—but a local theater here shows it on the big screen every year—so maybe there’s an opportunity for a new tradition.  Or, maybe, it will become one more item in the growing list of things I used to care about, but now, maybe not so much.

I can’t claim that this change is occurring because we don’t watch filmed, scripted entertainment.  We do, and we don’t feel ashamed of it.  It’s just that there’s filmed, scripted entertainment coming out of our ears, and we pay more for all of it than we do for our electric and gas bills.  This seemed askew to us.  In addition, we get an actual newspaper delivered, as well as about ten magazine subscriptions, and I am kind of addicted to fivethirtyeight.com and The New York Times online—so as much as I love CNN and MSNBC, we don’t really get our information from the television.  The fact of the matter is, getting rid of cable stands to change our lives very little—a realization that made it seem truly ludicrous for us to keep it.

Badass Harrisburg, Media vs. Trump, Eraser, Alexander Supertramp

Posted in Prose, Rant/ Rave, real life, Snippet with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2016 by sethdellinger

It has now been over a year and a half since we moved to Harrisburg. Like every time I’ve made a large move, it’s been interesting how at first there is a large amount of culture shock, and then just a few weeks or months later, it’s almost like you’ve always lived there. It’s hard to imagine there was a time that I lived in Philadelphia, or Erie,  or Carlisle.  It’s hard to imagine there was a time when I actually could not imagine moving back to Central Pennsylvania. Did I ever actually move away from here? But also, the first time I lived here, I couldn’t have imagined living in Harrisburg, but now it seems the natural center of this area. Harrisburg gets a bad rap from many people, for those are people who are afraid of it, or have never spent much time in it. Granted, it is a city with its troubles, both financial and otherwise. There are plenty of areas that are downtrodden, poor, and wanting of many of the services that the surrounding areas take for granted. But there is a lot to love here, and plenty of neighborhoods that you can feel safe in, and with nice modern housing. There’s more than enough to do, more than enough beautiful views, and a vibrant arts scene. In fact, there are more things that we have not been able to do than those we have been able to do. And it seems clear to me that the city is still on the move. I know there have been lots of stories over the decades about the revitalization of Harrisburg, but this time it does seem legitimate. The independent music scene, hipster coffee shops, art galleries opening all over the place. Even a vegan coffee shop close to the state capitol building! There’s a lot to love here, and although there are certainly times when I’m riding my bike down a side street here that I miss being right in the middle of traffic on Broad Street in Philadelphia, there’s also something to be said for walking out of my job every night, looking to my right, and seeing the beautiful Capitol Dome less than a mile away, or walking my dog six blocks and being along the Susquehanna River Trail, almost always as the sun sets.

 

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The fact is, the system IS rigged against Trump, in the sense that the media (hold up; did I say the MEDIA?? You hate the media, don’t you? [I’m probably not talking to YOU here, but to about 30 people on my Facebook who bitch more about the media than the atrocities they report on}  But what is it you are talking about, when you say “the media”? It’s an institution with hundreds of thousands of outlets, platforms, and systems, and it’s actually one of the best things about our country–one of the things that really DOES keep us free. But see, you gotta do some work, too. You have to sift through some things, figure out what sources you trust, the nuances of how to best receive information from the media, and where and when you receive it. You have to READ things. Hey, quick–who’s your favorite columnist? Don’t have one? How do you HATE the media when you’ve never really consumed it to begin with? Stop being lazy. The American freedom of press truly does set us apart–and I’m not one for “American Exceptionalism”. But yeah–most of the media operates by making a profit, so be careful, and above all READ things. And it does make a difference if it’s printed on paper; it’s harder to trick your eye into only reading the “interesting” stuff or items you already agree with. Just read the news. Hating and callously dismissing “the media” is just active laziness. And memes are not the media. FYI) are not obligated to report on an aspiring despot who would end the American experiment like it was no big deal. The “media”–contrary to what many seem to think–are not obligated to be neutral observers of facts only at all times. They are to report facts, yes–but also interpret them (again, this is where understanding media nuance will serve you well: there ARE places you can go for just fact, and places you can go for opinion, and places you can go for analysis. If you go to one place expecting it to be something it isn’t, you might think it’s corrupt, when in fact you’re just a novice). So yes, the media are biased against Trump because they are reporting on a man who would destroy our nation–and harm the world. And it is not their DUTY to remain neutral. The media IS biased–but not against Trump; they’re biased against evil.

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I wasn’t ready for Thom Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser, when it came out in 2006.  I was baffled by it, listened to it twice, and put it away–not knowing if it was bad or I was daft.  I put it in on a whim today and it turns out I am ready for it.

 

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Two nights ago, I got to meet Jon Krakauer, an author who is currently among America’s top 3 or 4 nonfiction authors.  I’ve admittedly only read two of Jon’s books–“Into the Wild” being his most famous book and a work that has touched my life very deeply.  In it, Krakauer tells the story of Christopher McCandless, who left a very comfprtable and promising life, wandered the country with little to no money and no contact with anyone for over a year, eventually hiking into the Alaskan wilderness where he would eventually die.  Chris’s story is complex and multi-layered–it can’t be reduced to one single element.  When I was at very low points in my life–still drinking and in deep depressions–Chris’s decision to disappear and walk into the wild until he died appealed to me.  Later, sober and happy, other elements of Chris’s philosophy and his journey resonated with me.  Here is an excerpt from a letter he wrote to a man he met on his sojourn across the country.  The man–who had been deeply affected by a month or so he spent with Chris–received the postcard after Chris died:

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” –Christopher McCandless

While it was McCandless whose story has so impacted me, Krakauer’s decision to tell it, and the respect he gave the story, resonated.  In the many years since “Into the Wild” was published, Chris’s story has become of major import to a growing legion of people who find something inspiring about him, and Krakauer does not shy away from his role as a steward of the story.  It was an intense honor to meet him.

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The sun goes up, the sun goes down. The wind begins to whistle through branches now bare with late months.  The sky grays, the wind grays, everywhere color mutes, curls into itself.  Even the insects look at you with worry.

 

 

 

Howard Bryant for President (of MLB)

Posted in Rant/ Rave, Uncategorized with tags , , on August 29, 2016 by sethdellinger

I have posted a few entries in the past about the unappreciated world of sports journalism; unfortunately most people writing about sports are not thought of as real journalists or, god forbid, artful writers tackling important topics–and granted, much sports journalism is pure reporting of events.  But longform or opinion sports journalists are some of the most eloquent, incisive writers out there, and some of their work can elicit incredible emotion or hammer home incredible points.  It doesn’t always connect sports to the wider world (although it often does), but sometimes a terrific piece of writing that is just about sports is still worth the time (and money) investment.

One of my favorite sports writers is Howard Bryant, who writes a bi-weekly column for ESPN the Magazine.  I have never, ever once read his column (or one of his longform features) without coming away thinking about something differently than I had before; his ability to turn the angle on a topic and shed a new viewpoint on it is nothing short of mystical.

In the most recent issue, Howard wrote a short column about Major League Baseball in general that I feel is worth reproducing here.  If you have any interest in baseball, sports in general, or terrific opinion journalism, please take a few minutes to read this.  I have pasted the text here for you but a quick search for Howard Bryant and MLB will find the original article on MLB’s site.

 

“After A-Rod’s Fall, He and MLB Are a Perfect Fit” by Howard Bryant, from ESPN the Magazine, September 5th, 2016

IT SOUNDS SO inconceivable, naive, delusional, but it was only a decade ago that Alex Rodriguez was the antidote to a ruinous generation of drugs and greed. He was the choice of the really smart baseball men, such as Theo Epstein and Brian Cashman, both of whom traded for him, and a paralyzed commissioner such as Bud Selig, who tolerated Barry Bonds holding the home run record because soon enough Rodriguez would shatter it and make the game whole again. He would make them clean.

Alex Rodriguez only made it worse. The Golden Boy wasn’t so golden after all. Following a bizarre week in which the Yankees held a retirement ceremony for him even though he’d never announced he was quitting, Rodriguez was discarded without much care. Even the pregame celebration before his final game as a Yankee was curtailed by thunder, lightning and rain, fitting for those who found him less of a True Yankee than the rest. “That wasn’t thunder,” former Yankees player and coach Lee Mazzilli said of the biblical thunderclaps that preceded the downpour. “That was George.” The Yankees’ 1996 championship team was being honored the next day, but for Rodriguez’s night, only Mariano Rivera joined him on the field. Former teammates Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams and Derek Jeter were not present. Neither was his old manager, Joe Torre. That’s called a message pitch.

Point the blame at Rodriguez, who admitted using PEDs, but no amount of reveling in his inglorious end can undo the enormous collaborative effort that has created baseball’s current dystopia. Rodriguez, along with Bonds, Roger Clemens and Mark McGwire, is part of the Mount Rushmore of discredited legends that represents the true legacy of the steroid era: It isn’t that they aren’t in Cooperstown. It’s that nobody cares.

The all-time home run list was once led by the most recognizable foursome in sports — Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson. That leaderboard stood for nearly 30 years, until Bonds, who hit his 500th and 600th home runs just one season apart, passed Robinson in 2002. Sammy Sosa hit 60 home runs three times and won the home run title in exactly none of those years. While baseball took the money and laughed at warnings that it was undermining itself, the consequences would be felt later, with Rodriguez amassing 3,000 hits, 2,000 runs and 2,000 RBIs — something only Aaron had done — but leaving the game utterly uncelebrated, inside baseball and especially out.

The Rodriguez epitaph will be a one-sided story about the phenom who was part of the top millionth percentile of talent and blew it all. Yet Alex Rodriguez will in the end be no different from the industry in which he performed for the past two decades, a game that has lost its way, seemingly intent on undermining all that made it special.

The game, like A-Rod, took the money (it is now close to a $10 billion industry), ignored the spread of steroids and lost out on the good stuff. Its records are now as worthless as those in the league it is so envious of, the NFL. It decides which team will host the most important games of the World Series based on an exhibition game. It plays its championship in the worst weather because its leaders refuse to compromise on money and adjust the schedule. It plays at least one game every day between teams that play under two sets of rules. And because baseball cannot decide whether it wants to be truly modern, the game’s leadership allows it to stand weakly in the middle, playing a full season of baseball, simultaneously rewarding and penalizing teams for not coming in first place by staging a one-game playoff, as if the baseball season were the NCAA tournament.

Baseball wants the world to be proud of its drug-testing program. Meanwhile, it deals with an All-Star team of steroid-tainted players who thus far need a ticket to enter the Hall of Fame — Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Manny Ramirez and most certainly Rodriguez — by disciplining virtually none of them and hiring nearly all — laying the weight of accountability on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. If not knowing himself was the self-destructive fatal flaw of Alex Rodriguez, it makes perfect sense that he felt so much at home playing major league baseball.

Can It Be True? I’m Getting Rid of My DVDs.

Posted in real life, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on April 6, 2016 by sethdellinger

Last night I went out into our garage and brought in three large boxes.  In those boxes were hundreds–maybe close to six hundred–DVDs and Blu-ray discs.  I sat down with the contents of these boxes and divided them into two piles–“sell” and “keep”.  About two-thirds ended up in the “sell” pile.  Now, I didn’t do this because we are destitute and hard-up for cash.  I had just finally come to the realization that carting around that much physical baggage, representing movies that would be practically impossible for me to watch, was no longer a viable act.  (of note, these were simply the “garage” DVDs, the ones we couldn’t fit in the house.  I currently have no plans to get rid of the “house DVDs”).

I bring this up mainly because some of you may know I have continued to be a staunch advocate of physical media well into the digital age (I am a heavy user of digital media but have not abandoned the physical product like many have) and it feels significant to purge myself of all these DVDs.  The fact is, even without options like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and cable television, I would still be hard pressed to find the time to watch even a fraction of these movies.  Many of them are movies I truly love dearly, but when one has hundreds and hundreds of movies they love dearly, well…reality must be faced at some point.  Also, from a practical standpoint, these movies are tucked away in huge boxes in a garage.  The few times I’ve had a desire to watch one of them, the desire left after considering it for about ten seconds.  They’re just too difficult to get to.

Like many people, as the DVD age dawned, I delighted at the prospect of building a “film library”, and spent the next decade feverishly spending all my extra cash to own every movie I liked more than just a little bit.  Collecting DVDs became almost its own, separate pastime, mildly divorced from the pure love of film.  As I was single and childless most of this time, the extra room in my apartments made a perfect storage space for expanding Wal-Mart bookshelves full of DVDs, which I organized in many different ways over the years–sometimes alphabetically, sometimes by genre, with special sections for my favorite filmmakers and TV shows on DVD.  I kept going and going well beyond what was practical–I long ago lost the ability to even watch a tiny fraction of what I owned, often not even knowing for sure if I did own a certain film.

I became a completist of the highest order.  I loved the first three Todd Solondz films (I don’t love them anymore) and when I disliked his fourth and fifth films, I bought the DVDs anyway, to round out the Solondz section on my shelf (I can’t wait to not own “Palindromes” anymore!).  I bought every Stanley Kubrick film (these went in the “keep” pile) then had to buy “Eyes Wide Shut” again after they put out an unrated version.  At some point I began buying every movie made about a comic book superhero, because when I was REALLY into comic books as a young kid, I would have killed to see these movies–nevermind that I only liked about a quarter of them.  My superhero DVD collection grew to over 50, despite my actual ambivalence to the genre, out of some misguided favor to my younger self.  I mean, I own “Barb Wire” and BOTH “Judge Dredd” films.  But not for much longer.

It is, in plenty of ways, sad to see them go.  It was an impressive collection (people often say the DVDs in our living room are a lot of DVDs, which always makes me smile, as they’re about ten percent of the collection) and represented not just tons of money, but plenty of time and effort.  I’m also sad to, in some small way, be throwing in the towel on DVDs.  But I am definitely not abandoning them completely–with the “keep” pile from last night and the discs that were already inside the house, I’m sure we still have close to 300 movies in a physical format–and it’s hard to imagine saying goodbye to those.  And although purchasing new discs will be rare, I have no plans to stop for good.  My addiction to the Criterion Collection continues, and after seeing their slate for 2016, I anticipate buying three or four new ones this year.  I bought “Room” on Bu-Ray last month and have “The Revenant” pre-ordered.  As I get passionate about new movies, some will be added to the collection, but much slower than before, of course.

As far as other media: I stream a lot of music (but I use Tidal, which pays artists more than other streaming services.  I also use Pandora, but mostly to stream classical and jazz by people who are dead) but I still buy CDs, albeit at about 10% of the rate I did even three years ago.  I’ll probably buy nine or ten CDs in 2016.  I buy lots of vinyl–a combination of old music that’s freshly pressed (think brand-new factory sealed Beatles records), brand new music (the new Emily Wells album) and used vinyl out of dusty bins (just got The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s “Jazz Impressions of New York” at the local used record joint).

I read all my books, magazines, and newspapers on paper, although the Kindle ads in the New York Times Book Review make me a little itchy for one.

We currently have active subscriptions to Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu, as well as Comcast cable…it’s an embarrassment of riches, to be sure, especially since our available TV-watching time is pretty low.  And most nights I just watch re-runs of “Shark Tank” on CNBC, anyway.  Can’t get enough Mark Cuban, I guess.

 

Some Stuff I Want

Posted in Snippet with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on September 16, 2015 by sethdellinger

It is lately the generally accepted wisdom of the masses that one should not covet material items too much and you should spend your excess money on having experiences.  At least, this seems to be the generally accepted wisdom of my Facebook feed.  And I think I do fairly well with that; while there are certainly items I not only want but crave, I also spend a lot of my life having pretty great experiences.

All that being said, there remain some persistent bigger-ticket items that just call my name like a siren at sea, and I won’t deny it!  Perhaps it is an illness of our consumerist society, but dammit, there’s some stuff I want!  I thought it might be fun to put them here in a blog.  Please note this is just a fun exercise for me and not a veiled Christmas list.  As an adult I have never taken any joy in making out a list of things for people to buy me.  Some of these things have been bouncing around in my head as items I want for YEARS; I thought it might be therapeutic to get them out in the open.

In no particular order:

–OK, maybe in a SLIGHT order, just because this is definitely number one: Neil Young’s Mirrorball on vinyl.  It’s not my favorite album but it contains my favorite song.  Used would be fine but what I salivate over is the idea of a new, factory-sealed copy.  New copies on eBay generally go for about $100.

–I’m dying for a high-quality Philadelphia Flyers zip hoodie that goes light on the orange (but still has orange) and is heavy enough to wear for all but the coldest winter months.  Turns out all those criterion result in an expensive item.  Basically, I’m talking about this.  This would give me hoodies for all four Philly sports teams, but I don’t want to rush it and get a cheap version.  Hence, I’ve been sitting on this desire for almost two years.  I mean, who has $70 bucks for a hoodie?

–OK, I admit I have some fairly expensive interests.  I’ve been dying to get my hands on some first printings of collections of Philip Larkin poetry.  Now, this is a pretty specific area to deal in.  I am in no way talking about books actually called Collected Poems.  I am talking about the individual collections of poems AS THEY WERE PUBLISHED.  I would only be interested in them if they were FIRST PRINTINGS, which would mean they are hardcovers, usually being shipped from the UK somewhere, published in the 50s, 60s, and 70s.  These titles would be:   The Less Deceived (1955, generally sell on eBay for $60-$150), The Whitsun Weddings (1964, goes for about $150), High Windows (1974, $90-$180.  This is the most desirable one).  There are some lesser collections: The North Ship being the most notable.  I do have a second printing copy of The North Ship, for which I paid $55 in a moment of weakness some years ago.

–I really want a pair of high quality Bose earbuds.  Please note earbuds, not headphones.  I like the crazy colors, too.  Specifically these.  I will never have the cojones to shell out the money for these.

–You might not guess it to look at me, but I love shoes.  It’s just that the shoes I love, which are very specific stylistically, can usually be bought very cheaply at many local retailers.  But it turns out, there are expensive versions of the shoes I like (apparently they are Chukkas), and I will never, ever be paying for them.  But look at them. Look how pretty they are.

–I don’t often feel a need to add many DVDs to my collection nowadays, although I will still add one here and there as I see more movies I fall in love with or as classics become available.  However, there is only one movie that I feel is causing a gap in my collection by its absence.  That movie is They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and it has been out of print on DVD for so long that new copies are very scarce.  Here look at this: a new copy of the DVD (not Blu Ray) on Amazon costs $100. You can see at that same Amazon page that used copies start at $20, but those are listed in acceptable condition.  I certainly do not mind used copies of DVDs but I balk at acceptable.  Some second-party sellers are offering New copies for $50.  Worth it but of course I can’t spend that on a single-disc, non-special edition DVD, no matter how badly I might want it.

–I love using the Roku to stream entertainment to my television.  In fact, we already own two of them.  However, in our new home, our wifi is terrible and it is a problem we don’t seem able to solve (we have been relegated to streaming Netflix via our Blu-Ray player, which is Ethernet cabled).  The thing is, I love Rokus, and the ROKU 3 has an Ethernet port.  Would this be an item of great excess?  Yes.  But I neeeeeeeeed it.

–My art book collection would basically be complete (for now) with the addition of a HIGH QUALITY, comprehensive, hardback book on Henri Rousseau.  I’m having trouble finding one to link to online, but the kind I’m thinking of is generally not cheaper than $60.  Failing that, I would settle for a framed print of The Dream (no smaller than 32×24) or The Snake Charmer (preferably 40×30).

See, I don’t ask for much!  I also like experiences!

Stop Harshing My Groove

Posted in Snippet with tags , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2014 by sethdellinger

1.  Am I, potentially, the only person in America who said to themselves this morning, “Looks like it’s time to buy some more blank CDs!”?

2.  What do you think it would take to get this zany country of ours to do away with this whole “move the clocks back” thing?  Everyone hates it, and even those who have a full understanding of why we do it, even they don’t understand why we do it!  In a country that seems to be waking up from centuries of backward thinking (yay gay marriage! yay legal pot even though I don’t personally smoke it! yay even bigots hate Westboro Baptist!) you’d think we could find a way out of this dark-at-noon bullcrap.

3.  Those of you who are aware of the trend of men wearing fancy socks, I’d like to get your thoughts on it.  Part of me really wants to jump on that train and thinks it is very much me, and the other part of me thinks that is the opposite of me and that I should be very opposed to it.  And please, suggestions like you should do whatever you feel like are pretty pointless since I just told you I’m conflicted!

4.  I’m getting sick of dust.  I mean, when will dust just give up?  Aint nobody got time for that!

5.  Who knew there was an abandoned section of Asbury Park, New Jersey, that seems to border on “ghost town” status??? Not me, and I’ve freakin’ BEEN to Asbury Park!  Brian, why didn’t you ever tell me about this?  Geez Louise, this is right down my alley! (thanks to the lovely Karla for filling me in!)

6.  Boy howdy, do I ever freakin’ love the holidays.  I’ve blogged about this before, but I just don’t understand people’s hatred of the holiday’s “starting early”.  Oh, what’s that, you’d rather not begin feeling a kinship with your fellow man too early in the season?  Too soon for warm nostalgia, quality 50s music (that’s basically what our Christmas songs are, but mostly, as songs, they’re REALLY GOOD), eye-popping decorations, and a general air of joviality?  What is wrong with you people?? Stop harshing my groove.

37 of the Worst Oatmeal Beers

Posted in Philly Journal, Prose with tags , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2014 by sethdellinger

What is up with this trend of inane lists on the internet that have a purposefully odd and senseless amount of items in them?  38 Things White People Don’t Know or 16 Ways I Blew My Marriage or The 42 Most Haunted Places in Ireland.  When they first started popping up, I just assumed the list makers had gotten lazy and didn’t feel like making a list that made it to an even number, but it soon became obvious photo 2that the trend was too prevalent and too consistent to be an accident or a product of laziness.  Something about this odd-number list is a draw to readers–or at least a proven click generator–and I just can’t figure out why.  Why would an oddly numbered list prove to be more attractive to a reader?  Is it just a curiosity thing?  Maybe the number itself jumps off the screen at you more, because our brains are trained to scan past numbers we see all the time, like 10, 20, etc?  No matter the cause, it should surprise nobody that this annoys the shit out of me.  I like my lists nice and tidy with rounded numbers, you know, like you were kind of trying.  And photo 1don’t get me started on the silly, needless lists that this tactic has caused to pop up on my news feed.  Sigh.  I really do kinda hate the internet.  But it’s definitely a love-hate kinda hate.

I still have yet to be able to find any information about those piers in my video on my previous blog.  Of course, I’m just Googling.  Does a more in-depth way of researching things still exist?  Does going to a library and…I don’t know, doing something there increase my likelihood of figuring something like this out?  I mean, not everything is on the internet, believe it or not,photo 3 but I seem to have lost the ability or the know-how to do any research aside from internet searches.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m really good at internet searches, but still…

Sometimes in life you say something, maybe just a few words, a sentence, and you regret saying it.  Even twenty years later, you regret it, and maybe you regret it for the rest of your life.  Because saying something is an action, and maybe something you said hurt somebody, and somewhere deep inside us we know that some things do last forever.  And you wish you hadn’t hurt that person.  You wish you hadn’t said or done the thing.  People love to talk about not having regret, but you do.  You have regret because you’re a human being and having 027regrets is as much an ingrained part of the human experience as pooping, or stretching in the morning, or hating the Pittsburgh Penguins.  You can get into some stupid language game like well to me regret means blah blah blah, but I don’t, I just use experiences to blah blah blah.  Whatever.  Stop watching daytime TV.  Life aint tidy.  Own your regret.

I’m sure glad I stopped drinking before this whole “craft beer” thing started happening.  I certainly would not like these sludgy beasts.  Oatmeal beer and wheaty stuff and dark beers with bits of rice floating in them, or whatever.  Of course, I am sure that many people are constantly forced to pretend to like these things by a photo 4hipsterish peer pressure.  I can tell just by looking at these bottles that these “micro-brews” (once you’re bringing science into beer, you’ve probably lost the plot) are like beer syrup.  They probably make Guinness look like Coors Light.  No thanks.  Thank you, sobriety!

Here is me, looking at The Signer:

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