The Onion On My Internet Belt

Posts tagged ‘damn it’

Thank You, Wits.

I recently read the poem The Lanyard by Billy Collins. It resonated as I am both a son and a parent. It was a good reminder that our books are often unbalanced when it comes to what others have given us and what we have given them in return.

Today the MPR radio show “Wits” was cancelled. They have given and I have received in unequal measure and I am in their debt. There are few currencies I can offer in terms of evening this balance in the wake of this bad news so I will give the lanyard that I have.

Thank you, Wits.

Thank you to each of you who made the show what it was: John Moe, Larissa Anderson, Hans Beutow, Corey Schreppel, Mike Fotis, Christina Baldwin, John Munson and The Witnesses (Janey Winterbauer, Steve Roehm, Richard Medek, and Joe Savage). I know there are more of you involved with the show and I am sorry to not know all of your names.

Thank you for using some of the questions I sent in.

Thank you for giving my wife and me an excise to have a date night. We got to be people together and not just parents for a few nights.

Thank you for giving us something to get excited about in St. Paul on a regular basis.

Thank you for introducing such phrases as “Enemy band!”, “Go big and go home! Do it the Polk way!”, and “you know… the weird stuff or the good stuff or the weird good stuff…” into our daily vernacular.

Thank you for The Wits Social Club gatherings. I never imagined I’d be sitting around talking music with John Munson.

Thank you for the nexus of public radio amusement that was meeting Peter Sagal and having a fedora party with him in the lobby of the Fitz.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity over and over again to say “Thank you!” in person to creative, funny, and remarkable people who have made my life better with their music, their writing, their podcasts, and their jokes. Folks like Kevin Murphy, Neil Gaiman, Open Mike Eagle, Paul F. Tompkins, Ben Acker, Ben Blacker, Paget Brewster, Weird Al, and Cary Elwes.

Thank you for not throwing me out of the building when I totally geeked out on Aisha Tyler and held up the meet and greet line.

Thank you for having a crossover episode with “The Thrilling Adventure Hour”. Getting to see a TAH show in person was a legitimate bucket list item for me that I figured was just out of reach.

Thank you most of all for your sense of “Hey, we did this cool thing! You should be part of that cool thing, too!”. My appreciation of being included in these experiences is profound.

Thank you, good night, and good luck.


Comcast Hates Women*

I use Comcast for my home email and while I don’t mind their service overall I feel obligated to point out that their home page on the web is Everything That Is Wrong With American Culture and I feel diminished as a person each time I have to log in though that page. I have never been pleased with the main page that Comcast uses to log in to their services. It is busy, poorly organized, and what I consider to just be plain trashy as it is littered with the worst kind of pop news tripe and “advertorials”.

A further realization has been creeping over me and today it was confirmed. Comcast hates women*.

Below are three screen shots that I have taken (yes, I’ve been meaning to write this up for some time) of various ‘news’ stories and videos as displayed on

From 5-30-13:

On the left a famous woman (note her crotch is in the shot) stirs outrage, but just to the right a tiny dress “wows”.

On the left a famous woman (note her crotch is in the shot) stirs outrage, but just to the right a tiny dress “wows”.

First off, who the hell is outraged and are they the same people who are wowed? What percentage overlap would these two groups display if shown in a Venn diagram? Would a third group added to said diagram overlap at all with Comcast users?

Second, from 6-14-13:

The 'Too Much" is showing the least here...

The ‘Too Much” is showing the least here…

Sandra, on the left shows too much in a dress (note that it is a question asking for our judgment) but yet Kate’s boobs are all over the next thumbnail. I’m not even sure how to process that these things are happening under the header of a vacation with a woman in a bikini. The mental dissonance is rising.

Third, dated 9-12-13:

McCarthy was Playmate of the Year in 1994.

McCarthy was Playmate of the Year in 1994.

The middle video is titled “McCarthy Raises Eyebrows” and the URL for the video bares the title “Jenny-McCarthy-Shows-Too-Much”. This is the point where I am obliged to point out that her entire career is founded on being a Playboy Playmate, which I am fine with, but the shock of her body being displayed must have worn off since that was in the early 90s. This video is flanked by offsetting videos, one asking for speculation on a woman’s fidelity to a man known to wander himself and a rare positive transgender commentary.

What really irks me about these repeated postings are how painfully and obviously women are held to contrary standards and we, as users of the site, are asked to pass some sort of judgment. Don’t show too much skin because society will judge you but at the same time society really wants you to wow in a mini only a few weeks after you’ve had a baby!

*I’m going to assume that Comcast isn’t spending much time curating their content and is instead blasting at the wall whatever muck they think people will (and probably do) click on. The “Brave New World” model rings more true than the “1984” model of the modern world for me. What pushed me over the edge from the site being mindlessly bad and focused on America’s obsession with loving and shaming boobs to being actively anti-woman was this screen shot from 9/19/13.

Damn it women!  Someone somewhere in annoyed with a thing you do so stop it!

Damn it women! Someone somewhere in annoyed with a thing you do so stop it!

THINGS EVERY WOMAN SHOULD STOP DOING “A new list draws attention to 23 bad habits most women have”. I refused to click the link.

Really, Comcast? Why?! Is there a corresponding list for men?

I read an interesting article sent to me by my friend Drew in The Chronicle of Higher Education (the article is behind a subscription wall or I would post the link) that had this line from Kim Stanley Robinson, a science-fiction novelist:

Justice is a technology, he said. When women have equal rights, the birthrate plummets; population growth, which imperils human existence, “is solved by justice.”

I want more of that technology and way less of the grim no win scenario that Comcast is perpetuating through its technology.