December 18, 2003

Ripple Fire*

I’m one of those folks who listens to Christmas music on the radio. I found the local easy listening station, which has become the self-proclaimed “home for Christmas”, and that’s what plays on the way to work. I love singing along too. But I have a tip for musicians everywhere: there’s not a thing wrong with slow and solemn songs, but for God’s sake don’t turn an upbeat song into a dirge trying to make it ‘your own’.

Country Music Christmas songs fall into two categories: Trailer Trash Tunes and Treacly Tearjerkers. Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer and Who Put the Dick on the Snowman are perfect examples of the first sort, and this years apparent winner in the sickly-sweet division is I Want To Buy Those Shoes for Mommy. You see, she’s going to meet Jesus tonight and she has to look good, so dad sent the kid out to get her new shoes. Barf.

Burger King has once again backed a loser, this time the Cat in the Hat movie. BK commercials in general are obnoxious, and adding the Cat into the mix just makes it worse. Tip time (I’m on a roll today): Next time you have an idea for an advertising campaign, throw it in the trash and do the exact opposite. My consulting fee for that wisdom is ½ of 1% of your advertising budget for next year. If that’s a problem, just dock Herb’s salary.

Lyndon LaRouche is running for president – again. The ad I heard this morning was a pip, even for him. This isn’t a perfect quote, because I’m probably off by a word or two, but the money words are exact: “If the Democratic Party excludes me, they. Will. Be. Destroyed. If the Democratic Party doesn’t include me this time, they are dead meat.” Wow, all the features of ‘Compassionate Conservatism’, except the compassion and conservatism.

In the military, I had to get a flue shot every year, and every year I’d get sick for a few days from the ‘live-virus’ vaccine. I haven’t had one since I got out over ten years ago, and I’ve had my butt kicked by the flu twice in that time.

The way it was explained to me, the makers of the vaccine take the two or three most common strains from the previous year and combine them into the next years vaccine, making an educated guess about what’s coming along next and hoping that the current strains will be close enough to the previous ones to provide some measure of immunity. It’s a crap shoot - possible to win, possible to lose badly.

So this year, flu season comes along early and kills some kids. Not to seem unfeeling, but the flu kills about a hundred kids a year, not to mention thousands of older folks. Maybe it was a slow news day or something, but the media has blown this so out of proportion that people are panicking. Now there are hours-long lines waiting to get one of the last hundred doses of vaccine at the local clinic, and then folks get pissed because their baby didn’t get a shot. Why the hell didn’t you get the kid vaccinated when it became available months ago? Shut the hell up. And it’s not the government’s fault. The vaccine companies made enough to cover normal demand (thousands of doses get thrown away unused each year), so don’t blame them either. Just shut up.

Meanwhile the talking heads on the news show video clips of lines outside of clinics and horrifically sick kids while they whisper in voice-over “don’t panic”. You too, shut up. Mr. Green, your services are needed here.

Hmmmm… need to lighten up and end this…

Since my wife doesn’t read my blog (and the girls know death awaits if they open their big mouths), I’d like to publicly thank Daniel for pointing out this! I got one for Liz for Christmas (, and it looks like it’s going to be fun.

Kickin' it old school, indeed.

* ‘Ripple Fire’ is a mode whereas multiple military rockets are launched at a (usually ground) target in rapid sequence. It’s similar to machine-gun fire, but with big booms at the receiving end.
I use the title for disjointed snippets and thoughts too short for their own posts.

Posted by Ted at December 18, 2003 08:03 AM
Category: Square Pegs

Ripple fire...I like it, kinda like the wine, it hits you from a few different angles!!

Posted by: jim at December 18, 2003 11:41 AM
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