January 30th, 2007

Typewriter Guy

Why it's good to live in a two (and a half/and two-thirds/and three-quarters) newspaper town

Every now and then a little nagging voice in the back of my head pipes up with "You know, you really haven't slammed your head hard into a wall in quite some time. Why not give it a go when it's next convenient?" This voice is easily ignored, but last night I was sitting in the South Station food court and just happened to notice a discarded copy of The Boston Herald ("The Newspaper You Don't Have To Actually Read To Read") on the table next to me. That's when the little voice piped up and compelled me to grab the paper and give it a look-see. Now Boston's a two-newspaper town; the right-leaning, blue-collar Herald goes up against the left-leaning, affluent suburbanite Globe ("The Newspaper You Actually Have To Read To Read") and I admit I'll more obligingly read the Globe (or at least its online counterpart) over the Herald, because it raises fewer hackles. I'll get to that in a moment, but first let's go back to the Herald, whose name isn't as funny as the Globe's when you drop off its last letter.

First off the Herald screamed at me in a big bold headline in big easy letters: Collapse )

The point of this exercise, besides giving me a chance to go bangy-bangy on the keyboard and make funnies at the expense of people I may not always agree with, is to point out that when the "mainstream media" publications get all upset at their dwindling readership and quickly fling the Finger O' Blame at "the bloggers" (many of whom would eagerly accept said Finger and feel quite self-important about it) they really should consider the fact that many news-hungry readers are learning that there are ways to get their news online without having to endure patronizing spin or viewpoints that assume a lifestyle they don't necessarily share. No news is without its angle, of course, but by gum, it doesn't have to be laid on so goddamn thick.

And as much as I may complain humorously or cynically about them, I'm certainly glad Boston is a two-newspaper town. I'm glad we have the choice of which spin to read, instead of being forced just one. And I'm glad we have other methods to get the truly important news. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy a luxury condo and think up funny rhymes for "Cheney."

(no subject)

I'm getting comment spam, which is hilarious. Anonymous comments that, more often than not, are being sent from someone's poorly-configured spambot, as most of them use keywords like ONLINE MOTOROLA RAZR in the comment subject line and then feature just the word 'MESSAGE' in the body of the comment. Maybe if I count the number of letters in each word... they might be trying to send me pi or prime numbers... to determine if this planet has intelligent life... oh wait sorry wrong movie.

The real hilarious part? They've only been hitting my Charlie Card butt-check entry.

I haven't been able to find any links to the page other than the Usual Suspects (Universal Hub, etc) so I'm quite curious as to how this particular page got found by the spambots and am a bit grateful they haven't started branching out into other entries. For now, I've turned anonymous comment screening on just for that entry (you can't disable anonymous posting just for one entry; at least, nowhere I can see in the editor UI) and eagerly await more communications from foreign spammers.

I'd disable anonymous comments entirely, only it'd keep out Keith, Noah and the occasional newspaper editor or game designer from commenting (hi guys!) and really, Mr. Spatch says with a hint of "Five horny college students alone in a cabin deep in the woods with the Necromonicon in the basement? What could possibly go wrong?" goofy ironic foreshadowing, spam messages in just one LJ entry (especially one that's in the past) is kind of amusing to me.