Category Archives: NPR Morning Edition

Hot Air

Let There Be Light

Hallelujah!

Winter solstice zips in tonight at 11:49pm in the Eastern Time Zone of the United States.

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Winter Solstice Sequence

[Image: Danilo Pivato]

The days, after that moment, will become longer, brighter, and more amenable to my overall mental health.

Yay.

Talking Headless

It is important not just to shoot, but to aim.

That’s the advice Barack Obama would give his successor regarding how to kick the crap out of ISIS. He was talking with NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep in the public radio network’s annual end-of-the-year chat with the boss of this holy land.

It’s vintage Obama — measured, considered, sober, calm.

As opposed to, say Sen Ted Cruz, the foreign-born pretender to the throne who not long ago told the same interviewer that Murrica oughtta “carpet bomb” ISIS.

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Carpet Bomber Cruz

That’s something your idiot, uninformed brother-in-law would say in the midst of a holiday meal pontification. What’s scary, natch, is the fact that Cruz is a valid contender for the 2016 Republican nomination for president.

Cruz tried to justify his remark by saying this country has dropped more and bigger bombs many a time before so why in the world aren’t we doing so now?

Do we really have to answer that? Okay, let’s say we must. The reason we dropped more and bigger bombs in other wars was because we were trying to destroy an enemy’s war-making capabilities, its factories, its railroads, its air bases, its military installations and key infrastructure sites. None of which ISIS really possesses. What Cruz doesn’t grasp is, ISIS is a marauding band of lunatics invading semi-urbanized, semi-permanent outposts, terrorizing frightened tribal groups, and imposing its will mainly through the use of scimitars and other medieval tools of war. Obama said earlier in his interview, “Well, who is it you are going to bomb? Where is it that you are going to bomb?”

But what Obama doesn’t understand is Cruz’s blatherings resonate more with the American people than his own rational utterances. The vast majority of citizens herein want the bold, decisive, action-oriented palaver of Ted Cruz and Donald Trump more than the aforementioned measured, considered, sober, calm reasonings of Obama.

I don’t suggest that Obama start word-vomiting à la Cruz, Trump et al. I do insist he begin talking more to the limbic brain of the American electorate. Be more of a cheerleader, Barack. Tell us you’re gonna stand on your head to beat ISIS. Reassure us that we’re the biggest, strongest, baddest-assed nation on Earth. We want to hear it. It doesn’t matter if it’s all bullshit. We want the bullshit.

We have no interest in wonk-think. Obama can continue to be the policy wonk behind closed doors. He should be. He must be. But when he’s addressing Murrica, he’s got to be more Ronald Reagan than the University of Chicago senior lecturer he once was.

You’ll pardon me while I go drink my depression away now.

Vox Pop

So, Bob Zaltsberg and the brain trust over at the Herald Times have decided to suspend public comment on stories during the holiday season.

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H-T Chief Zaltsberg

Hmm.

I can’t figure out why readers’ sensibilities might be more fragile during this two-week period than any other. Zaltsberg writes that he and other gatekeepers have had to delete a few dozen comments in recent weeks because the commenters violated the paper’s civility policy.

Me, I’d leave even the most egregious, insulting, offensive stuff in — with the proviso that everybody who comments use their real names. I like the idea of knowing who the haters and flamboyant ignoramuses are in our town.

Cosmic Comedy

The contestants from Uranus, the Andromeda Galaxy, and Kepler 452b protest.

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Hot Air

Faster, Pussycat

You want further proof this holy land is becoming more deranged by the nanosecond? Okay, you’ve got it.

A report on NPR’s Morning Edition today reveals that sales of breakfast cereals have been off the last few years. In fact, trade in sugar-coated sugar cubes upon which aficionados sprinkle sugar before adding their milk have been dropping since cereal’s high-water mark in 1996. (Which, BTW, was the heyday of the sitcom, Seinfeld. In case you’ve forgotten, Jerry was noted for keeping an enviable stash of breakfast cereals in his kitchen cupboard. Coincidence? I think not.)

From "Seinfeld"

Seinfeld And His Cereals

Anyway, people apparently are shying away from breakfast cereals — either the aforementioned glucose bombs or the less hyperglycemic varieties — because…, swear to god, I can hardly believe what I’m typing…, it takes to long to make a goddamned bowl of cereal.

What are we all, firemen? Honest to the Big Daddy-o in the Sky, who in this crazy, mixed-up world is in too much of a hurry to pour out a bowl of Count Chocula? A crystal meth addict?

BTW: in researching Count Chocula for this entry, I learned that its sister cereal, Frankenberry, was responsible for a condition known as, well, Frankenberry Stool. That is, certain kids who slurped that slop were physically unable to break down the dye used in it, so their daily deuces (AKA feces) emerged a rich carmine. Chemistry, my friends, can brighten up your world.

Frankenberry

“Red Is The Ultimate Cure For Sadness.” — Bill Blass

Pluckin’ And A’picnickin’

Whaddya doing Sunday night? Huh? You don’t know?

Silly.

Everybody who’s anybody will be parked out in front of the Bryan Park bandshell to take in the annual outdoor performance of Krista Detor, backed up by her boy band including hubby David Weber, Steve Mascari, and Tim Moore. The yearly Detor outdoor gig is the best excuse on the planet to lay out a blanket and open up the pick-a-nick basket in the South Central Indiana e’en.

Detor

Krista Detor

The shindig is part of an action-packed end-of-summer month for this world class hamlet. The 6:30pm Detor show serves as the unofficial coda for the 4th Street Festival of the Arts & Crafts, which will have just wrapped up at that time some half a mile north of the bandshell. And just as soon as locals recover from those two bashes, the 2014 Lotus World Music & Arts Festival kicks off less than three weeks later.

Time for a shameless plug: Krista Detor’s book/CD, Flat Earth Diary, is on sale now at the Book Corner. Twenty two bucks, babies — as Alfred E. Neuman used to say, cheap.

Check, Mate

So, news has emerged that a large fellow who this year will earn more money than you or I will ever see in our lifetimes because of his ability to prevent other large fellows from catching a football received a $15 million bonus check on July 29th — and he hasn’t cashed it yet!

Patrick Peterson, defensive back for the Arizona Cardinals, got the check when he signed his five-year, $70million contract extension with the NFL team that day. And now it’s been nearly a month and it’s still sitting, presumably, on the passenger seat of his SUV.

Peterson

Payee Peterson

Sheesh. I think of the times I copped $25 checks for stories that’d taken me a week to write and cashing them so fast that I doubt if I left any fingerprints on them. Then again, I have no idea how to prevent a large fellow from catching a football.

Citizen Journos

Kudos to big boss Alycin Bektesh over at the WFHB News Department. She’s conjured a 21st Century solution to an age-old problem at the volunteer scoop shop. She calls it the Wordy 30 Club.

One of the biggest problems Bektesh faces is a dearth of vols to fully staff the Monday-through-Friday news writing shifts at the Firehouse Broadcasting outlet. She and her ass’t, Joe Crawford, have had to pen Daily Local News scripts too many times to count of late. This is especially so in summer when Indiana University journalism students are off for the summer, thereby whittling down the vol pool. Most days in June and July, Bektesh can practice firing off her cannon in the ‘FHB newsroom and not worry she’ll hit anybody.

WFHB

The Wordy 30 ought to remedy that. The way it works is Alycin and Joe will curate a list of news leads that will be available to any volunteer at, well, any place on Earth. All the vols need are their computers or other hand-held devices and they can pick and choose, say, three news leads, then proceed to write headlines or what we in the biz like to call “readers.” These are quick, concise news bits that don’t really deserve the full Woodward/Bernstein treatment but may well be of interest or use to listeners.

Each Wordy 30 shift will last — yep — 30 minutes. Perfect for our fast-paced, short-att’n-span world, nay?

I can see the Daily Local News becoming much more snappy and info-packed once this scheme is in full swing. Those, by the way, are two descriptors few employed in regard to the DLN in the past.

Oh, and don’t fret if your taste in news trends toward long-form, in-depth coverage. WFHB will still churn out those stories. A mix of penetrating journalism and bang-bang headlines ought to make the DLN the indispensable news source for Bloomingtonians.

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