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Nerd Spot

A shout out to the nerdy and proud.

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Location: Massachusetts, United States

Lifelong nerd, shameless Constitution-hugger, unreconstructed Democrat and thoroughgoing misanthrope

Saturday, January 29, 2005

O Captain, I'm Captain

O Captain, I'm Captain. At least according to the goofy pirate quiz at TLAPD. Never mind that it makes me out to be a man and a self-involved one at that -- qualities that redundant anyway.

You are The Cap'n!

Some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any man that stands between them and the mantle of power. You never met a man you couldn't eviscerate. Not that mindless violence is the only avenue open to you - but why take an avenue when you have complete freeway access? You are the definitive Man of Action. You are James Bond in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. Your swash was buckled long ago and you have never been so sure of anything in your life as in your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off their head if they show any sign of taking you on or backing down. You cannot be saddled with tedious underlings, but if one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

What's Yer Inner Pirate? brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

A name generator gave me the name Pirate Blair the Staggering Drunk which would have applied perhaps 10 years ago in my tender years but now more aptly applies to Wonkette. Instead, I'll go with Iron Mary Read from fidius.org, but you may call me Iron Read.

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Saturday, January 08, 2005

Speaking of the Interweb...

So if you want to encounter a truly humorless sector of the public, try this Google search: interweb verizon commercials.

A brief sample of what comes up --
  • To the staff at Verizon, I am writing in regard to your anti-male/anti-father commercials for Verizon. I will give a brief description of the ads which I’m referring to. The ads for the Elliotts feature a bumbling clueless father (Tom) who gets yelled at by his wife to leave his daughter (Christina) alone in “Homework.” It seems he’s only suited for washing the dog. In “Parental Control” Tom gets the First and Sixth Amendments mixed up, and is condescendingly corrected by his older daughter. In “Phantom” an older male relative (presumably grandpa) is portrayed as ignorant of wireless technology, as he thinks his grandson’s laptop is connected to the “interweb” by wires.....
  • A mother attempts to help her son with his homework, and fails. The son is annoyed with his mother's ignorance, and turns to his father with a look which says "obviously females can't do math--get her out of here." The father tells the mother to go wash the dishes. When she is slow to comply, he orders her away from her son, and then he yells at her. Is it a Public Service Announcement from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence? A clip from a documentary about life in the 1880s? No, it is a regularly aired commercial from one of America's largest companies. The difference is that in the real ad it is the father who is portrayed as ignorant and useless as he tries to help his daughter.This week 2,000 of my radio show listeners sent letters to Verizon Communications protesting the insulting portrayal of the father in its commercial "Homework." Our protest has been covered by over 250 newspapers and media outlets. The Verizon ad's message is clear, and it's a common one on the TV screen--dad is dumb, dad is useless, mom is smarter than dad, hell, even an eight year-old girl is smarter than dad.One ad would not elicit such fervent responses from so many men and women of all ages were it not symptomatic of a larger problem in our society--the denigration of males in popular culture, and the decline of fatherhood....
  • Menstuff® has compiled the following information to make it easier to take action against Verizon and their television commerical we call "Leave Her Alone" about minimizing and shaming a father, who wants to be involved with his daughter, in front of his daughter and the entire television audience.
  • Sample e-mail or letter: This letter concerns Verizon's anti-father 'Leave her alone!' commercial. In the commercial a father is trying to help his young daughter with her homework when he is belittled and scolded by his wife, who orders him to 'leave her alone!' I believe that such anti-father messages are harmful to our sons and daughters, and I respectfully request that you withdraw this commercial....
Shaming a fictional character in front of the entire television audience? The horror!! The make-believe wife is a scold just like the wives of medieval England...Let's have a public ducking! But guess what? Verizon pulled its "homework" ad. Tyranny of the minority. Let's check out how these easily-outraged culture warriors treat others, particularly their wives and Verizon staff, with a deep and abiding respect. I am including numerous quotes as I find them so entertaining, although the constant repetition of misandric gets a bit tiresome. I have edited the profanity for the delicate and the name of one maligned Verizon employee, but I emphasized the best parts for a prurient thrill just like kids would do to the dirty parts of Ragtime in high school. You can read the messages in their full poetic bloom at http://www.mensactivism.org/articles/04/11/08/1816232.shtml
  • "I called and talked to some entry level paeon."
  • "the day that my wife is smarter than me about using the computer or the internet is the day I hand over my balls. Not gonna happen." (She's one lucky gal.)
  • "This pisses me off. I'm a college graduate, hard working professional, Navy Veteran, independant man, etc. etc. What more do I have to prove?" (It does prove that he doesn't use spell check.)
  • "Where did feminazis get the idea that we as viewers have become obliged to to receive hate politica and propaganda. Since you have seen fit to insult me over a flux of many thousands of watts of electromagnetic force, I feel no obligation whatsoever to respond to you with politeness or civility. I address the following poem to whoever the queenbee feminazi was who came up with this ad concept, and to whoever the queen bee feminazi was who saw fit to purchase this ad and disseminate it on behalf of Verizon: "I will speak frankly I will be blunt Jesus might love you But I think you're a c--- A boor and a biggot A "bee" with an "itch" And Lower West Oz's Laureat witch If you can't share this planet with a Martian with a penis Then hop on your broomstick and fly the Hell back to Venus But don't push your luck I'm a member of F*CK*** ( this is an acronym for 'Fed Up C--- Kickers') "
  • "Based on the information you provided regarding TLC, I contacted them and requested that they no longer accept misandric advertising. We all have to get much more active and vocal if we are going to overcome the culture of male hatred that grips Western Civilization. "
  • "Although I applaud the Verizon campaign, these misandric advertisement are showing up everywhere. We must target the advertising companies and trade associations that are producing this misandric filth. I would encourage everyone to contact Glenn and see if he can help us stop this attack on males which I have no doubt is caused by the feminist propaganda that permeates are society."
  • "I was planning on making a truck sign soon and cruising Hollywood It would say, ADVERTISING IS SEXIST & HATEFUL AGAINST MEN "
  • "After years of abuse and taking this kind of crap just for being born male, I can't think of anything I'd enjoy more than giving misandrist bigots their long overdue performance evaluations from the men's movement, in person, on a protest sign. "
  • "I'd guess that in the next scene the woman will call the cops, who will come and throw Tom in jail because he didn't "leave her alone" fast enough when ordered to do so by the fem-chief. "
  • "Here is the reply I got from some ratlike a--hole....at Verizon."

And they say that chivalry is dead. Yes, ads play into stereotypes sometimes. I am particularly tired of all the ads where women get really excited about cleaning products, but I would rather direct my energy toward things that matter like health care for poor children, universal early education and the new season of The O.C. I laughed out loud the first time I saw the Verizon interweb ad. It reminds me of my dad, an oppressed, upper-management white guy who only recently learned how to cut and paste in Word and who does not understand how to download from the web. I'm guessing he probably spent most of his old-school career oppressing underlings and assistants who would do the typing for him and never learned for himself. If you want to see the ad to make up your mind, it's here. Click on the ad called "Phantom".

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Greatest American Hero

Oh where, oh where, is Photoshop when I need it? If anyone deserves a cape, tights and a superhero letter on his chest right now -- all of the entirely hetero variety, of course -- it is Justice Stephen Breyer for showing up to jury duty in Marlborough District Court the other day. As the glorified abacus that is my computer can't handle the program, this nifty undoctored pic will have to do. The Justice is wearing something vaguely capelike, after all, and it is more flamboyent than your standard office attire. Given that your average A/R representative tries to weasel out of jury duty -- apparently unaware of the meaning of the word duty -- because he is "too busy" or has "other priorities" like Dick Cheney did during Vietnam, Mr. Justice, of whom it could be said has rather weighty professional obligations, deserves superhero status for fulfilling his obligations as a citizen of this fantastic country. Who better to lead the Justice League of America? When the official results are announced, presumably by a group of pasty guys in their early 20s, I hope he gets extra points for doing so without self-congratulation.

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