Catching up on my news after a long work week, it turns out my favorite stories this week are pretty much all rants:
-Chris Beam rants about the four types of crappy debates this political season.
Viewers are… subjected to a fire hose of context-free assertions and vague cant. Arguments are oversimplified. Rhetorical pivots are uncreative. Personal attacks are never as vicious as you hope. Even a great train wreck is too much to ask.
-Here’s a nice rant about nine common sportscaster cliches. “You hate to see that.”
-Paul Schmidtberger rants hardcore about the trend of misspelling baby names.
Misspelling a child’s name won’t make Junior special, creative or unique. Y’s and I’s are not interchangeable, and apostrophes are not some sort of newfangled confetti to be sprinkled liberally throughout groups of letters. Parents shouldn’t impose cryptic, incoherent or foolish spellings on their own children, nor on society as a whole. And they shouldn’t condemn their children to a lifetime of bleakly repeating that, no, the name in question is spelled “Shaiyahne,” not “Cheyenne.” (And while I’m at it, don’t name your child Cheyenne, either.)
-Here’s a story about the likely ownership change of a popular DC bar about which I often rant — the Brickskellar.
Almost everyone I contacted mentioned that the new owners must fix the longest-running joke in D.C. bar circles: the Brickskeller’s beer list, which at one point promised as many as 1,300 different bottles and cans. The list has a higher AWOL rate than U.S. soldiers during the Vietnam War.
“Even if you tried really hard, you’re probably not going to be able to get” all the beers on that list, notes the Big Hunt’s Coleman. He thinks as many as 25 percent of the bottles on the Brick’s list are unattainable on any regular basis. Coleman, and others like him, would like to see a smaller, more manageable, perhaps more reality-based beer list. The biggest crap shoot in D.C. bars could then officially come to an end.
-Ole Miss declared the Rebel Black Bear its new mascot. Okay, this is not so much a rant as a belated plug for the dark horse contender: Rebel Alliance leader Admiral Ackbar. ESPN’s “documentary” is a must-watch!
-Grant McKracken rants — okay, politely worries — about how misinformed Baby Boomers have become culturally out-of-step yet are still running the country as though they know what they’re doing.
I’m not saying boomers should be forced to submit to show trials or forced exams. But I am saying that there is something odd about giving power to people who do not have reliable access to one of the streams of intelligence on which competitive success depends.
Related to this last point: my age places me squarely in the no-man’s land between Gen X and the Millennials, and true to form I know all ten of the top entertainers on EW’s “most powerful” list, but I didn’t recognize any of the first five “40 under 40″ celebrities!
Sigh. I have a feeling the world is going to hand power directly from the people who don’t understand me to the people I don’t understand — many of whom I just posted rants about. This must be how Prince Charles feels.