Short But Sweet

No, that’s not a description of myself. Eat your heart out!

I hate most audio and video posts on the web.

Ok, no, I liked the cute video of the baby playing with the collie. And I don’t mind when political sites like Crooks and Liars link to interviews and even political ads that are of interest. Sometimes there’s nuance you don’t get in the transcript — which by the way is often included (it’s my favorite part of their posts). I like funny songs and game reviews, and I like some of the serial dramas out there too. There are even some very useful “how-to” videos for a lot of activities.

But seriously, at least half of the audio and video on the web is stuff that wastes my time. It’s stuff that takes 5 or 10 minutes to watch, that if you were to just put it in print, I could tell what I need to know in less than 90 seconds. I am sick and tired of feeling like I’ve been hoodwinked into sitting through somebody’s “important” presentation just to find out that they want $37 to tell me the real secret to success, or to tell me something I already knew, or even to give me one almost important thing in a sea of meaningless or redundant blah blah.

Now several people lately have been telling me that video posts are the freaking future. They claim that I can crank out a video post in half the time it takes me to type, grammar check, spell check, edit, and make sure I actually make sense in writing. I think that’s just got to be a lie! Even in a video post, if you want to get that “actually make sense” thing going on, you’ll need some sort of script or outline. And even if that’s 4 lines scribbled on a sticky note stuck to your notebook computer next to the camera, it takes time. Do you honestly think this happened with no rehearsal and no script?

For that matter, there’s a “looking presentable” thing. It’s going to take time to make sure you look decent, and that there’s nothing behind you that you don’t mind being seen across the interwebs. Am I in my pajamas? For the record, no, but you’ve got no way of knowing! Some video bloggers get around this actually having to get out of their pajamas by creating little PowerPoint-like slides that reinforce their point. Again, you’re losing the time savings and boosting the tech requirements to get rolling. And really, does anybody like PowerPoint?

Finally, putting stuff in writing makes it easier to quote you. It’s just “copy” and “paste”. Nobody has to listen 4 times to make sure the wording is right, and it’s a heck of a lot easier to find the quote in text rather than by trying to remember whether that good bit was at minute 16 or minute 27.

Look, if you can’t at least tell me what you’re going to say in a few sentences (I’m not even asking for a transcript), you’ve got nothing to say to me. It’s called a summary. You learned about them in second grade. If you insist on audio and video posts — and that includes podcasts! — you’d better have one or I’m closing the tab.

In Closing: Keeping you up to date on Sharron Angle (sorry, I’m from Las Vegas now); I’m with Digby on strategic default among the wealthy; on consumer credit and American exports; on immigrants and the work they do (truth is that some employers prefer easily exploited workers who are worried more about deportation than OSHA regs or minimum wage laws); does this look like something you would want to eat??; how to make real coin; and Marines fight bad guys but save cuddly animals.

Just another day in Vegas

I took this picture yesterday from the third floor of the Clark County Courthouse, around noon. It was a beautiful day.

In Closing: “And the recess appointment power doesn’t work why?”; common sense; keeping their priorities straight; yeah, I think many of us would have bought the T-shirt; NY Times catches up to the end of private practice (they’re only about a decade late); now can we work on the unemployment problem?; and as much as I hate to even think about it, lessons from the Baby Sitter’s Club.

Yeah, Right. I Totally Believe That.

You know I try to avoid local interest stories, but this is a big one.

Ok, now listen to that and ask yourself if that sounds like 7 officers — court officers, cops, marshals,  an FBI agent — taking on and killing one lone gunman, taking 81 shots to do so. Because that is what the officials want us to think happened the other day at the Federal Building and Courthouse in Las Vegas.

Despite early eyewitness reports that there were perhaps as many as 4 gunmen, official sources now insist that Johnny Lee Wicks acted alone, in an apparent suicide mission, because he was mad that his Social Security benefits case had been dismissed 11 months ago. But we have one dead court officer, and one dead bad guy, so it’s very convenient if they can convince us that’s what happened.

If it’s really true, all those officers need to go back for additional weapons training. No excuses for needing 81 bullets to kill one suicidal ex-con with a 12-gauge shotgun.

In Closing: If universities are having so much trouble making ends meet, why do they still spend lots of money on sports programs (which educate thousands of young people — mostly men — for hundreds of available jobs)?; you know things are messed up when I am happy to report that the economy only lost 84,000 jobs last month; speaking of which, 1 out of every 5 manufacturing jobs from 2006 no longer exist; Seattle is to Teriyaki as Chicago is to Hotdogs; let your Congressmouse know that you care about the MOTHERS Act (like they care what we think, but hey); “death panels” do exist, if you’re a dog (similar situations probably exist among medicines for humans, I am just thankful to have no direct knowledge); why grad school (other than to get a job at a university); the Senate health insurance reform bill just keeps getting worse; and the real threat to the Democratic Party.