I have heard a million tales; I have told a million more

9 03 2012

Been falling down on the blogging beat. . . and this post isn’t really going to rectify that.

Quick hits, nothing more.

~~~

Rush Limbaugh is boring. Bore bore bore boring.

I don’t care about his advertisers, I don’t care about a boycott, I don’t care if he disappears from the radio forever.

Yes, he was a total shit to Sandra Fluke, just as he was a total shit to Chelsea Clinton (and Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama and. . .) and if he doesn’t understand that women can actually enjoy sex then I can only say “ur doing it wrong!!!”

But he lacks anything other than bile and ego, and as I have my own bile and ego, I see no reason to indulge his particular brand of narcissistic nonsense.

~~~

I did coupla’ posts a while back deriding the concept of “free” (put in quotes because it was about a price point which wasn’t really zero, just offloaded on to someone else), but the notion has reemerged in another form, as a kind of justification for theft of copyrighted materials.

As someone who participated in the SOPA/PIPA protest, who believes that copyright laws are waaaay overdue for an overhaul, and who doesn’t pay for the third-party content (videos, photos) that I post, I am as much in the moral muck—if not in as quite as deep as some—as my fellow. . . thieves.

Still, I am unmoved by the argument made by some that the delay in release of DVDs or streaming of movies justifies piracy. “I’m not getting what I want as soon as I want it” is less about copyright overreach and more about selfishness.

Anyway, I’m not so much interested in filling out that argument than I am in tossing out the following stray bits:

One, is not the justification for “free” (in either form) some kind of end-state of a labor-dismissing form of capitalism? That is,  value was first removed from labor (in the forms of laborers) and relocated to the anarchic (if manipulated) realm of supply-and-demand; now value is being removed from the production process itself, such that the costs of production are irrelevant to those who demand the end product for “free”.

All that matters is the desire of the consumer, to the detriment of the processes and relationships which enable the desire to be fulfilled.

Two, is the academic publication model in any way relevant to this conversation? Professors produce content for “free” (journal articles, conference papers) or nearly “free” (books, book chapters) as a price of admission into the academic guild.

Produce a sufficient number of these “freebies” and one is granted tenure, which in turn allows one  to produce more such “freebies”.

(Yes, there are salaries and teaching commitments and of course the horrid practice of making authors pay for their own reprints, but I don’t know that any of those throws off the comparison.)

~~~

Pundits have nothing to offer people who pay attention.

There’s nothing Cokie Roberts or David Brooks or EJ Dionne has to say that anyone who hasn’t been paying long and sustained attention to politics couldn’t have said for themselves.

Now, I happen to have particular contempt for Cokie Roberts (god, her smugness!), and I may have suggested once or twenty times that all pundits be loaded on to a cruise ship, sent out to sea, and never allowed to dock anywhere ever again, but a decent pundit actually has something to offer someone who wants a quick hit of info on a topic about which she knows little.

But pundits talking to pundits about their punditry? Useless.

~~~

And because it’s been awhile, a coupla’ shots of the absurd household’s fuzzier denizens:

Catman! Catman! Catman! Nana nana nana nana CATMAN!

You have GOT to be kidding me.

Trouble, both of ’em.

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4 responses

9 03 2012
Pete from Baltimore

I would agree with you about Limbaugh being “boring”.Ive often compared him to Howard Stern.In that while they both have a reputation for being “controversial”, they both are actually pretty boring on the air.

Ive had to listen to both Stern and Limbaugh , at work[when i used to work for other people] or while riding in someone elses car. And it really is hard to exaggerate just how mind numbingly boring Rush Limbaugh is. He the type of guy that people try to avoid while at the neighborhood bar.

Like Howard Stern, Limbaugh says something controversial and shocking,every few months or so.But putting aside his occaisonal repulsive remarks, Limbaugh is much more tedious and boring than controversial

9 03 2012
dmf

Rush like Faux News really has a pretty small audience in terms of electoral politics but the failure of the republican leadership to castigate him shows how paranoid our politics have become, we are lead by fear and hedging against it.

9 03 2012
absurdbeats

@Pete: I was actually disappointed to discover how dull Rush was. Years ago I was driving from Minneapolis to my parents’ home and was feeling very tired. I zipped around the dial, landed on Rush, and thought ‘perfect, this will get me nice & riled up’. So he talked about himself, and then he talked about what he thought of himself, and then he talked about how right he was about everything, and then he talked about himself some more. . . and I thought, man, people want to listen to this?

The old-school evangelical hosts were much more entertaining.

@dmf: Sullivan had a post or two on radio ratings which put paid to the notion that he had 15 million [unique] listeners—probably closer to 1.5M.

I thought George Will (!) had a good line: These folks want to go to war with Ahmadinejad and yet they can’t stand up to Rush?

10 03 2012
dmf

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