Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

I'm just trying to develop an online body of work (even if the work is throwaway nonsense) to advance my writing career.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Award Ceremony

On the cover of a magazine I recently beheld, there was a photograph of the Risk Manager of the Year Award recipient . How exactly is the winner of such an award determined? It can only be through recommendations and word of mouth because what publication or institution has the resources to travel around and observe risk managers doing their jobs? So the Risk Manager of the Year is awarded not necessarily to the finest risk manager but to the one whose boss is the best writer. Here are two examples of what I mean, taken from the 2004 Risk Management Archives, as the 2005 samples haven't been made available yet:

1. "In six successive games of Risk, Jorge conquered the world each time while playing against myself and the Chief Financial Officer, so I hired him."

2. "That Kate sure can manage her a heap of risk!"

Unabashed praise and eloquent prose like this help separate run-of-the-mill risk managers--who don't know Kamchatka from Irkutsk--from the true superstars of risk management, who realize there's little point in trying to protect Europe as it has twice as many entry points as North America for the same number of bonus armies.

So I started thinking about some other awards that ought to be distributed. My list is as follows and if you have suggestions of your own, feel free to send them to me ("Worst Blog: Yours" will only be funny once so bear that in mind!)

1. The Inverse Curve of Talent to Fame Award (popularly known as the Ringo Starr Award)
I don't intend to select a winner for every award I make up, but isn't Kevin Federline the runaway victor here, despite the presence of Paris Hilton, Dr. Phil, Ashlee Simpson and Simon Cowell? It seems almost unfair, really.

2. The Board Award
To the best carpenter

3. The Bored Award
To the person who listens to the most graduation speeches

4. The Ignored Award
I'd tell you what it is, but nobody cares.

5. The Dumbest Idea to Make Millions of Dollars Awards
This would have to be broken down into different sub-categories.

A. Illicit
Winner here is Crystal Methamphetamine, a drug that can not only kill you when you take it, but also when you make it. And if you've ever met a hardcore user of the stuff, one question you never have to ask the person is, "What was your major?"

B. Entertainment
So many choices here, but I'm going with "The Chipmunks." Some guy speeds up a reel to reel tape to make his voice sound high pitched and calls the characters "Chipmunks" and is still famous fifty years later. Say it ain't so!

C. Commercial/Entrepreneurial
Lifecoaches. If you can afford one, you don't need one. That'll be two hundred dollars, please.

That's a good start. All I need now are a bunch of bad one-liners for celebrity presenters to misread.

Special thanks to AO for additional contributions (particularly those regarding Kevin Federline).

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Loud Obbs

I don't have a definitive position on this latest immigration uproar. Let's just say there's a lot of pro-illegal immigrant in me and a lot of anti-illegal immigrant in me, and there are people on both sides who are reasonable and people on both sides who are crackpots; it's almost like any other big, complicated debate, such as war or abortion or whether anyone who still sends fruitcake as a Christmas gift should be executed. One thing worth noting that seems lost among all the rancor is no law we've proposed addresses the situation in Mexico and other Latin American countries, which is the impetus for this exodus. More vision and less political grandstanding could help, but don't expect that from our "public servants", as they mystifyingly like to call themselves.

I may be conflicted on the immigration problem, but one subject on which my position is unambiguous deals with hectoring idiots in the media. Whenever I sulked or pouted as a child, I was advised that my grouchiness would not be rewarded, that throwing a fit was no way to get what I wanted. The younger I was, of course, the more simple the terms used to explain this to me. And I didn't even have strict parents! So why on Earth are we rewarding television and radio bobbleheads for being so grumpy?

Who the heck is Lou Dobbs? This persnickety twit railed for ten minutes about "secure borders" without one specific suggestion or idea and mocked the Governator's Wall Street Journal article regarding immigration. He said Arnold alluded to him (Lou Dobbs) in his writing without mentioning his name. "Be a man and use names," he said, "You know mine." I'm not a big fan of the Governator, but I sincerely hope he doesn't know even who Lou Dobbs is. Why should anyone care what he thinks? We're forced to care what politicians think not because their ideas are intrinsically more valuable than our own, but because they can impact how we all live. But Lou Dobbs? What he thinks is no more or less valid than what you or I think. Such hubris this guy has!

There's nothing wrong with opinion-based news per se; it gets good ratings and has high entertainment value. But if you ask me, a lot of these guys are getting too big for their britches. Because their shows are popular, they're beginning to think way too much of themselves. But I should be a man and use names: Lou Dobbs, Lou Dobbs, Lou Dobbs! What are the first four letters in your name? Lou D! That's not only what you are; it's all you are! You should change your name to Loud Obbs; it would be more symmetrical and more accurate. Is that man enough for you? Do you care what I think? Well, you shouldn't, because my opinion is almost as meaningless as yours. The difference between us? I know it and you have delusions of grandeur. Speaking of which, where do you find those anyway? If I could get my hands on some delusional grandeur, I could probably enhance my income. I just have to practice being a grouchy loudmouth. I'm off to a good start in this entry, don't you think?

As a result of excessive Confrontational Television, I have become a committed "boring news" enthusiast. I listen to National Public Radio or the BBC when I can find it. These organizations are not wholly unbiased but at least they don't try to upstage the news with their on air "personalities". I want to learn something, not get my blood boiling. At what temperature does blood boil, anyway? 75 degrees O'Reilly? 110 degrees Dobbs? 308 pounds of Limbaugh? Okay, that was a low blow. Felt good, too! I'm ready for my audition.