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This is everything the title promises.

Update:  Found another one.  Older upload date.  Not sure if it’s the same guy or not.

Categories: Viral Things Tags: Bag Pipes, Bagpipes, Star Wars, Star Wars theme song, Unicycle

Thank you to all those that read “An Open Letter to Qwikster, Stop this Qwikster bullshit”  and used the contact information to respectfully contact Netflix and express your disappointment with their recent policy changes.

Due to user backlash from users and investors–their stocks dropping over 60% over a period of only a few momths, Netflix has announced in a blog post that they will not be creating Qwikster as a separate DVD service.  Good, because Qwikster was a terrible concept and a terrible name.

This outcome shows a willingness on Netflix’s behalf to change policies when hundreds of thousands of customers express dissatisfaction.

I still want to emphasize that we should hold Netflix executives accountable for what they say and promise.

“While the July price change was necessary, we are now done with price changes.”

Done, they say.  In the real world, “done” usually means forever.  In business, that means until its customers forget the last price change.  How long will that be?  We’re watching you, Netflix.

Categories: Social commentary Tags: dvd service, netflix, qwikster

Ezra Klein published a post this Saturday at his Washington Post-based blog about the current state of the US economy and how we got here.

The Washington Post blog article “Could this time have been different?” focuses not on what could be, but rather on the decisions that were made, the forecasts surrounding them, and the difficulty in making economic policy match economic models.

Summary:

In post-Lehman and post-housing bubble collpase December 2008, Christina Romer flew to Chicago to brief then President-elect Obama on economic forecasts with and without proposed stimulus plans.  Her models were considered the mainstream, implementing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Federal Reserve.

Her predictions were bleak. But after The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed, reality turned out to be bleaker.  When unemployment peaked over 10% in late 2009, the mainstream proved to be wrong.

In reality, the administration could only hit it with everything it could persuade Congress to give. And that wasn’t enough… But it is hard to credit the argument that the stimulus could have been much larger at the outset… Even if Congress had been more accommodating, there was a challenge to vastly increasing the size of the initial stimulus: The more you spend, the less effective each new dollar would become.

  • According to Klein, there were alternative stimulus models that the administration could have followed.  Unemployment benefits, state and local aid, and tax cut legislation could have been broken into separate legislation and spread over a longer time frame rather than being set to expire after two years.  But, even if that were done and coupled with short-term infrastructure plans, there’s little reason to believe they would have positively affected unemployment.
  • Klein believes that one of the Obama administration’s main failure was focusing on stimulus rather than housing policy.  The  leigslation they did pass, “The Home Affordable Modification Program” and “The Home Affordable Refinance Program” were weak and ineffectual, falling short on their goals to help homeowners.  Proposals to force banks to eat the debt, and forgive homeowners, were shot down due to fears of causing more unpopular bailouts.
  • The Fed could have proposed to increase inflation, which would decrease the real value of debt and make US exports more competitive.  But creating inflation is difficult when demand for goods is low and Bernanke was skeptical it could even be done.
  • While government-incentives such as subsidized salaries for private sector and a no-layoff policy  for all public positions are costly for short-term recessions, Klein argues they make sense for the long-term by preventing further stagnation and loss of employee value.

Ezra Klein believes that the Obama administration did too little, ignored its Keynsian roots, and could have had more aggressive legislation with better outcomes.  He shies away, though, from pointing to exact policies that would lead to specific numbers.

Klein also laments the unfortunate politics involved.  The voters don’t see the jobs we saved or give the stimulus credit for what it did do.  Yes, things could have been different, and could have been better.  But even as The Great Stagnation pans out, hindsight may never be 20/20.

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble Tags: Ezra Klein, keynesian, Obama administration failures, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, unemployment predictions 2008, Washington Post, wonkblog

I was at the OxyMorron’s GeekLife Embassy release party last night representing The Feminine Miss Geek.  Good times at the Rocawear showroom.  A little bit of mosh pit action and crowd surfing went on before the group came out and gave another energizing performance.

I downloaded their last album 2 Tone Denim and so far am really digging the way they mix and blend across genres.  This is some great alternative hip-hop and I hope these guys continue to climb in the NYC scene.

I should have a full review of the event, some pics, my take on the new album, and more up on TFMG sometime next week.

STFU and Listen was released for stream and download on their website:  http://www.geeklife.me/  Check it out!

Categories: Pop-culture, Reviews Tags: geek life, NYC Hip-hop, oxymorrons, stfu, STFU and Listen

There’s a bunch floating around Twitter, but most of them are pretty terrible.

Most of my page hits are based upon morally questionally, Louis CK-borderline uncomfortable humor.  Previous post about the political correctness of jokes after a celebrity’s death here.

But 98% of what I’ve read on the blogosphere are terrible as in not funny.  Anything iPun is terribly devoid of wit, even the iCloud ones are  stretch.  Sorry Slackatory. I would seriously be impressed though if you find a good pancreatic cancer pun.

Too Zune?

Read my satire of new iPhone reviews:  Apple iPhone 4S Apple Specs are Disappointing Times a Million

Categories: things that amuse me Tags: Slackatory, steve jobs, steve jobs jokes, twitter

My previous commentary are Slutwalk is here and here.

Racialicious blogged a post yesterday entitled “Which Women Are What Now? Slutwalk NYC and Failures in Solidarity” which features this picture from Slutwalk NYC:

The term, coined by Yoko Ono, became the eponymous title of  a song, “Woman is the Nigger of the World,” performed by John Lennon.

At first glance, the sign utterly confused me.  I hadn’t heard of the song.  The “of” was awkwardly place, making it grammatically unintelligible. It didn’t present as a coherent message, and that’s a possible explanation of why the sign’s holder faced delayed criticism.

After reading the article I believe that the theme the woman was attempting to convey here was the reappropriation of pejorative terms, by referencing what Yoko referred to as a pro-feminist song and making a analogy to the “nigger” reclamation movement to Slutwalk’s reclamation movement for word “slut.” (The analogy is flawed, anyway, since Yoko’s song wasn’t necessarily about term reclamation.)

Both the song and sign have been decried in the blogosphere as “racist.”  Slutwalk organizers have also announced their disapproval for the sign.

Racialicious posted a follow-up post,”Slutwalk, Slurs, and Why Feminism Still Has Race Issues,” in which the author included an emotional response to the comments on their previous post about solidarity in feminism:

Arguing that black people don’t have a monopoly on the term nigger is just fucking disgusting.

Wait, what?  When did the argument that they do have a monopoly on a language’s cultural meaning ever make sense?  The person who wrote this post is obviously not a supporters to those who have been trying to re-appropriate the word, for cultural purposes, for decades.  Ironically enough, the first post mentioned was about lack of solidarity in movements.

If you wanted to apply this type of logic onto Slutwalk, then men who are arguably ineligible for the defamatory title would have no place in the the pro-feminist movement, which I feel would be based on obviously flawed reasoning and hurts progression.

crunktasticCollapse had one of the more articulate comments on the topic of word reappropriation:

“But the idea that it’s fine to appropriate the term nigger without critical engagement of the word and what it represents to the women who are marching with you gives me pause.” Yes. Absolutely.

But doesn’t this critique hold true for the appropriation of the word “slut” as well? It seems to me that this kind of egregious misstep was bound to happen within a movement that has as one of its central tenets the reappropriation of an offensive word. There are a few major models of this kind of reappropriation–those which come out of queer activism and disability activism, in particular. But the “sexiest,” and most provocative of these models is of course, Black folks’ attempt more or less successfully –less I would argue–to reappropriate the n-word.

I’m not going to spend time to parse why semantics evolve, and why cultural shifts of pejorative words to neutral or positive words can be a good thing.  (For those who can’t parse language properly, that means I am for the reappropriation of words such as a slut. And no, “reappropriate” is not a logical inconsistently since the “re” refers to the act of defining again, not the implication that is was once “mine.”)

But I want to pose a couple questions.  You don’t have to limit your comments as answers. Unlike some blogs, I do not like to moderate my comments, even unpalatable or off-topic ones.  Questions may or may not be flame bait:

Has the movement to reclaim “nigger” been successful?  To what degree?  How would “success” be defined?

Categories: Politics or: the art of looking for trouble Tags: nigger, racialicious, racism, sexism, Slutwalk, slutwalk NYC criticism, Woman is the Nigger of the World, word reappropriation, word reclamation

Only 8 megapixels on the new camera? Ugh, that’s like only 60% more pixels than the last iPhone.

Only 14.4 megabits per second? More like will take infinity to download forever.

Dual-core processor? Schmuel-core processor. If my hardware doesn’t instantly give me a hard-on and make me orgasm with 10 seconds or less, I call bullshit.

iCloud will help me sync all my files from my computer to my wireless device?  Yeah, too bad it has a stupid name.

I mean, all I wanted an AI program that would anticipate my every want and need. That could comfort me when I’m ill-eased, that could support my decisions without being overbearing, that could whisper sweet nothings into my ear and make me feel like I’m still worth something to somebody even when I get fat. But I all I got was Siri, a voice-controlled, language-deciphering virtual assistant that is essentially a verbal Google that will open the appropriate applications for you. But the program is still in Beta, so it’s totally useless.

Sure, the phone is now available on Sprint, Verizon and AT&T, but what about all those other two carrier networks? It is my God-given right to be able choose a crappy service provider because I am a tax-paying American. Bless me.

When will my phone cook my dinner, pick my kids up after school, and simultaneously shiatsu massage my feet and nipples? For $200, why isn’t Barack Obama personally serving this phone to me on a white plush pillow, with golden tassels, alongside all his broken hopes and dreams?

Pox and boils upon your stocks, Apple! May your contracts be cancelled. May your warehouses burn. May Steve Jobs get canc…

Oh wait. Awkward.

Pre-ordering for the iPhone 4S begins online October 7.  It will available in stores on October 14, starting at $199.

[10/05 edit:

Steve Jobs passed away today from pancreatic cancer today at the age of 56.  While the tasteless joke made previously will not be removed due to Clantily Scad’s commitment to anti-politically correct humor and satire, I would like to take a serious moment to tip my blogger hat to Job’s tenacious leadership for remaining CEO of Apple as long as he did and his countless contributions to technological development.]

Categories: Nerd Out, satire Tags: Apple, Apple Stocks, disappointed, dual-core processor, iPhone 4S, new iPhone, Siri