backyard progress, lakewood avenue, 10.24

backyard progress, lakewood avenue, 10.24

For the last few days, I’ve been setting up an outdoor work area in the backyard while I build the stairs. This includes plugging in the 13-year-old black-and-white TV my parents bought me when I first came to college and tuning in to The West Wing while I run the circular saw. (My neighbors love me.) In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been this idiotic nut running around shooting random people in the southern DC suburbs, which is far enough away that I’m not afraid to visit the Home Depot after work every day, but close enough that every dumbass local newscaster is having a brain hemorrhage attempting to channel Dan Rather.

Baltimore is a quiet, relatively peaceful blue-collar city where housing is cheap and the commute isn’t too bad. So we get the third-rate newscasters, who attempt to put a serious spin on the spiraling murder rate between cheerful program shills for “Crossing Jordan”.

Which is why I wince when the talking heads come on and fill up a half an hour of my time with in-studio and remote broadcasts dissecting what little information the PG County sheriff is releasing, injecting the most banal pop-psychology drivel imaginable into news items the size of walnut shells. Imagine Anna Nicole Smith giving a stream-of-consciousness dissertation on the socio-economic impact of the Gulf War and you understand my pain.

So it was with interest that I read the Baltimore City Paper’s interview with Michael Moore, who coined the phrase “Sniper Porn”:

“You have to ask yourself…after the first 15 minutes of sniper coverage on the 6 o’clock news, ‘Am I learning anything here? Does this help me or my family? And if not, why I am still watching it?’ Because at a certain point it becomes pornography—sniper porn.”

I found a really good website, run by the EFF and a consortium of law schools: Very good information about interent copyright law. Metafilter had this interesting link to some demographic information based on census data and purchase records: You are Where You Live. For the record, I don’t use call answering, I hate Face The Nation, and I certainly do not have a subscription to Elle.

Date posted: October 24, 2002 | Filed under Baltimore | Leave a Comment »

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