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February 6th, 2007


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09:45 am - Today is the first day of the rest of the Post-9/11 World
Another day, another $2M "apology" from Turner Broadcasting including the phrase "Post-9/11 World", another ad agency absolved of responsibility, and another head hits the desk -- partly out of torpor at this point, but partly because my eyes have rolled so far back it's thrown off my internal equilibrium. If only Pete and Sean had a million bucks each, then they too could buy their way out of trouble!

I wonder to what public benefit Cambridge and Somerville will put their extra bonus cash windfalls.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the insane polarization of the issue, since obviously only One Side can be right and The Other Side has to be totally at fault, and the mere concept that a combination of factors or facets or "sides" can all contribute to a kerfuffle is completely insane. And I shouldn't be surprised that, once again, the 9/11 Boogeyman is invoked rhetorically in the name of continued polarization. The World Trade Center is our era's Alamo. It's our USS Maine. We're told it's our reason to still hide in fear, to still be suspicious of "swarthy-looking foreigners" (who were last seen as nebulous bad guys and thugs in Tom Swift novels) and to rationalize and excuse any policy or military campaign, no matter how preposterous, made by Our Protective Leaders.

It's our goddamn albatross necklace. And now I've got a foot stuck in this soapbox! Darn flimsy wooden slats.

Now there's negativity going on here, so I'll offset that with some neat news. Davis Square's own Ron Newman was featured in the Metro today, showing off his collection of discarded Charlie Tickets with value still on 'em. Apparently folks don't know that if your paper ticket has money on it but not enough for a full fare, you can put more money on the ticket and take your ride, so they're just dropping these tickets with cash value still left on 'em. That's throwing money away! I'm sure the T loves this little misconception and is in no hurry to correct people, but Ron's collected up over $50 in discarded tickets, and is planning on giving the money to a local charity.

Now that's something good going on in Our Fair City.

(25 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:vanguardcdk
Date:February 6th, 2007 03:05 pm (UTC)
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The polarization is unfortunate. The NY Times actually had an interesting article about the generation gap in people's responses. Generally Gen X and younger found the ad campaign amusing and thought the city over-reacted. Older generations found the stunt incredibly stupid and totally irresponsible.

< geek soapbox > personally I think the Mundanes got freaked. And frankly when the Mundanes get freaked they get angry...< /geek soapbox >
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:February 6th, 2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, the generation gap's the most evident rift here. We haven't had such a ... visceral argument across that gap in a long time, have we?
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:February 6th, 2007 04:02 pm (UTC)
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But... I'm 49! And I recognized it as an art stunt, even before the perps were identified.
[User Picture]
From:redtheblue
Date:February 6th, 2007 03:14 pm (UTC)
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On the plus side, there were no car bombings, riots or military coups on the Moon in response to the actions of the City of Boston. We may not even have to occupy.
[User Picture]
From:fancycwabs
Date:February 6th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
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I wish I could get $2 million every time I freaked out over nothing. Turner's willingness to pay up sets a bad precedent encouraging cities to go apeshit. As if they needed a reason to go apeshit.
[User Picture]
From:sanspoof
Date:February 6th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
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Oh, it's true. So very many silly people.

Can you not use a ticket and fill in the remainder with cash? I haven't used them enough yet to know.
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:February 6th, 2007 05:20 pm (UTC)
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If you have a ticket with less than $2 on it, you can put it in the CharlieTicket machine and add value to it. A lot of people don't seem to understand this, and just throw away the ticket the first time the subway gate buzzes with "NOT ENOUGH VALUE".

I don't know if you can pay a bus or Green Line fare partly with a ticket and partly with cash. Probably, but I've never tried it.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:February 6th, 2007 05:42 pm (UTC)
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Now here's my question:

Is the "NOT ENOUGH VALUE" error message displayed if you insert either a ticket with under $2 on it or a ticket with absolutely no value on it?

I'm willing to bet the answer is yes, considering I got the message when I tried my January LinkPass card in December. And if the answer really is yes, then honestly, we've found the heart of the problem here.
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:February 6th, 2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
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Yes. The gate doesn't distinguish between "totally worthless CharlieTicket" and "CharlieTicket with some value but not enough to let you in". It displays the same message for either.

What it really should say is "NOT ENOUGH VALUE - You have $1.25, need $2". The screen's big enough to display that.
[User Picture]
From:cjfringe
Date:February 6th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
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Unless Charlie doesn't work like here in Chicago, you should be able to insert a ticket with $0 balance on it and also add money. In that respect showing the same message ("NOT ENOUGH VALUE") is valid for both cases.
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:February 6th, 2007 08:12 pm (UTC)
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"NOT ENOUGH VALUE" is the message from the gate, not the vending machine. The vending machine shows you exactly how much value the ticket has. You can add value only at a vending machine, not a gate.

Yes, you can add value to either a worthless ticket or to a ticket that already has value. In either case, what actually happens is the machine eats your old ticket and prints out a new one.
[User Picture]
From:ilovehpl
Date:February 7th, 2007 12:10 am (UTC)
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Off-topic here, but what's in your icon? That looks so familiar.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:February 7th, 2007 12:47 am (UTC)
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Nothing's ever off-topic in Spatchland.
[User Picture]
From:sanspoof
Date:February 7th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC)
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Also it's where I get easily the most heapin' helping of avatar props (eew, why did I say that?).
It is from Neverhood, a puzzley PC game with clay animated graphics. Also an excellent score by Terry Scott Taylor.
[User Picture]
From:littlegirltoast
Date:February 6th, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC)
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Spatch for Christ's sake, quit your job and start writing for money.

I know it's not really that easy, but you are AMAZING at writing. Your style is witty, candid and easy to follow. Your post-modern pop culture references are inviting. You need to be writing for your living, not just dribbling it out on a livejournal. Even a blog with google ads would be more appropriate.

I hope one day you write a book about roller coasters. And I hope you pay for the time it takes to do that by writing for magazines and newspapers and anthologies in the meantime.

Come on, man. Your talent is DISGUSTING.
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:February 6th, 2007 05:57 pm (UTC)
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Seconded (and I've said it before, too)
[User Picture]
From:cjfringe
Date:February 6th, 2007 07:01 pm (UTC)
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Thirded (tho sometimes a bit wordy ;)
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From:lpsmith
Date:February 6th, 2007 07:44 pm (UTC)
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Fourthed! I actually have an uncle who works as a columnist for a Boston-area newspaper, too. Let me know and I'll call him up and ask him what you need to know.
[User Picture]
From:littlegirltoast
Date:February 6th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC)
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As a guy who writes a column for a Halifax, NS-area newspaper (albeit no-one's uncle THAT I KNOW OF), I can say that I didn't really need to know ANYthing. They liked how loquacious I was in an interview (like, where they interviewed me for being a tiny bit famous, not a job interview) so they asked me to fill in for a guy they later fired.

I guess they hired me because I know about hip hop, especially local hip hop. I bet there are a lot of things Spatch knows about that would be interesting to publishers.
[User Picture]
From:derspatchel
Date:February 7th, 2007 12:54 am (UTC)
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Well, I am curious. Really. I was kinda worried newspapers are going the way of vaudeville, but I might as well gather ye roses while I may. (It doesn't help that some of my more favorite biographies recently have been of oldschool columnists such as Damon Runyon, Walter Winchell and Robert Benchley.)

Of course, it may all depend on the newspaper, since I probably don't have many friends on the Metro staff (The Metro: Recommended by four out of five dog punishers) but hey, an opportunity is an opportunity, right?
[User Picture]
From:lpsmith
Date:February 7th, 2007 01:09 am (UTC)
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Looks like he writes for the Eagle-Tribune. Doing a quick search on their web site reveals that he mostly writes conservative opinion pieces, but hey. I'll send him an e-mail. He might at least have insight into the process.
[User Picture]
From:sanspoof
Date:February 7th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
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Dude, the damned Phoenix should make you hired.
I mean, seriously.
[User Picture]
From:ron_newman
Date:February 7th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
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Or, perhaps, the Weekly Dig?
[User Picture]
From:littlegirltoast
Date:February 6th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
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That's what EDITORS are for!
[User Picture]
From:cjfringe
Date:February 6th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
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I'm so sick of this whole thing. I can't believe anyone actually thinks this was solely Turner/Pete & Sean's fault, much less so many people. Post-9/11 bullshit. We have to live in fear because otherwise the terrorists win. Sigh.

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