Journalistic Malpractice

Posted in censorship, Cryptojournalism, Media Farce with tags on January 28, 2013 by The Cryptojournalist


And I could stop writing now, because the negligence and utter lack of coverage concerning this continuing news story is criminal.  But I won’t, because we’ve got an awesome example of media farce from The Washington Post’s website over the weekend.

Chico Harlan wrote a charming little piece, On Japan’s school lunch menu: A healthy meal, made from scratch.  For the normal news consumer, it’s a blistering piece against the type of school lunches American children must endure.  But from jump street, it’s a bare faced lie.  Here is his opening salvo:

In Japan, school lunches mean a regular meal, not one that harms your health.  The food is grown locally and almost never frozen.

Yikes!  If awards were given out for journalistic malpractice, Mr. Harlan would be in early contention for the 2013 award.  Of course, he means to slam the proliferation of GMO foods in the American diet.  Regrettably, he does not seem to grasp exactly what’s going on in the Pacific.  JUST LAST WEEK, The Independent in Britain reported on murasoi fish with (brace yourself) over 2,540 times the legal limit (whatever that means) of radiation for seafood.  This is not a report from 2011, no, this is from the middle of January, 2013.  Right now.  Today.  As in, this is a continuing global problem that nobody seems to recognize or care about.

Chin up, folks.  At least Japanese children are eating well in schools!  That’s fresh, local food they’re eating, not processed food (ew!) like American school children are subjected to in schools nationwide.  Disregard the fact that last year, Michael Collins at reported a doubling of radiation levels in nori seaweed wraps (that would be a doubling from his previous test), so popular with the sushi crowd.  Disregard France24 reporting 40% of children in Japan tested have shown thyroid abnormalities, because the school children get fresh, local food!  Rejoice!

Since the conventional press has gone collectively silent on the matter, it has been sites such as Enviroreporter and that have picked up the slack.  And since most of the news reading public does not frequent these sites nearly enough, a continuing environmental disaster is cast off to the dust bin of history.  Tourists to Japan are proving wiser than the news media, as they’re staying away.  In large numbers.  This is wise.  I wouldn’t eat a sushi wrap off Scarlett Johansson’s fine, bare ass.  That’s just me, though.

The major problem here is most folks (not just Americans, but everyone on Planet Earth) are just ignorant to the fact that Fukushima is a continuing environmental disaster.  People like Chico Harlan, in glossing over and obscuring the on the ground facts, do nothing to curb this trend.  I have to admit, it would take a lot of guts for a reporter at MSNBC or The New York Times or Fox News or The Washington Post to expose this nasty fact.  Courage unseen in the news anymore.

For a person to learn these kind of hard facts, they need to seek them out actively.  This is one of the grand flaws with internet news: when a case of journalistic malpractice does arise, unless you know what you’re seeking out, you will never know.  On the bright side, 50 years from now Godzilla will be a documentary and this guy will be an Olympic weight lifting champion.

Your 2062 Olympic Gold Medal Powerlifter: Toxie!

Your 2056 Olympic Gold Medal Powerlifter: Toxie!

Until then, we’re going to have to endure the journalistic malpractice we’re seeing more and more with every day.  And most people won’t even know they’re being lied to, because the lie of omission is the toughest to recognize.

When All The World Is A Stage

Posted in conspiracy theory, Cryptojournalism with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2013 by The Cryptojournalist

It’s been a while, so let’s jump right into something that’s been stuck in my craw.  2012 appears to have been the year of orchestrated news.  No, I’m not talking about Manti Te’o.

Not what I mean

Not what I mean

Consider many of the so-called ‘breaking’ news stories of 2012.  This discounts anything related to the 2012 Presidential election, which is purely manufactured news.  I’m referring to five stories in particular: The Dark Knight Aurora Massacre, Terrorcane Sandy, the death of Whitney Houston, the Sandy Hook tragedy and the September 11 attack in Benghazi.  What do all these breaking news stories have in common?

People have questions regarding the official story of each of these events.  Which is problematic, but not for the reason you’re probably thinking.

Take Superstorm Sandy.  A hurricane struck the Eastern Seaboard.  Seems cut and dry, right?  Well, not for the folks that believe it was a HAARP influenced frankenstorm.  The video below gives a taste of what I mean.

I’m not endorsing this viewpoint, nor do I believe the storm was manufactured.  Just stick with me here for a minute.

Let’s jump to Whitney Houston’s untimely demise.  A drug addict overdosed, no big deal, right?  Hmmmm, that is, unless you’re of the mindset that it was a giant occult ritual sacrifice.  You know, because some people believe that to be the case.  Vigilant Citizen has a unique perspective on matters of popular culture, and a lot of people buy into this belief.

As for the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, another matter of fact news story, right?  Depends.  If you reckon the Central Intelligence Agency is running al Qaeda (Webster Tarpley has passionately and aggressively made this point since the attack), the comments from ex-CIA chief David Petraeus after this fiasco don’t jive.

If al Qaeda was responsible for the attack, but the CIA runs the terror network, who’s actually culpable?

SIDE BAR – This is PURE SPECULATION, but isn’t banging a MILF more palatable to the American public than possibly overseeing the murder of an American ambassador?

So is the title 'All In' irony or foreshadowing?

So is the title ‘All In’ irony or foreshadowing?

Let’s be honest here.  People are much more likely to forgive a man for adultery than perhaps overseeing an attack on American personnel.  Especially when the woman is pretty (we do live in a country with a major ‘looks’ bias).

The face of 10,00 Conservative wet dreams

The face of 10,000 Conservative wet dreams

Whether Petraeus fell on his own sword to get out of a sticky situation (HA!) or not only adds to the specter of orchestrated news.  Back to the topic of discussion, and onto the next example.  Brace yourself.

Aurora, Colorado.  James Holmes.  The Dark Knight Massacre.  MKULTRA patsy?  Multiple shooters?  Crisis actors for an event that never took place?  You can find just about any conspiracy theory to explain what may have taken place in that movie theater.  Take a minute and check it out for yourself, but be prepared with a life rope…you’re apt to fall so far down the rabbit hole, you’ll never return to reality.

Finally we come to the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, dubbed the Sandy Hook Massacre.  Considering this video has over 11,000,000 views at the time of this writing, it’s clear many people question the veracity of the narrative given by the news media.

Now I’m not here to speculate on the validity (or lack of) to any of these theories.  What I would like you to consider is this: IF these stories are all orchestrated by external, shadowy forces, what in the sam hell is really going on in the world?

Say these stories are all concocted for ulterior motives (a major stretch).  Wouldn’t there still be newsworthy events taking place that just aren’t being reported?  I can’t make heads or tails of it, but what if all the world’s a stage, with crisis actors streaming across your television screen?

That’s the most unsettling aspect of the lingering questions behind all the conspiratorial angles.  If everything is staged, what’s really happening on Planet Earth?  Food for thought.

McMahon/Huntsman 2012

Posted in Cryptojournalism, politics with tags , on January 18, 2012 by The Cryptojournalist

Before I get too far ahead, I need to make a correction from my last blog.  I claimed Russell Simmons was not getting his due within the Occupy movement.  Well…..this is way after the fact, but allow me to tell you about Occupy Central Park.  You missed it?  Of course you did, because it seems to have never taken off.

Coincidentally, I met someone on the working committee for this event.  It was supposed to be a music festival, so I referred her to a couple of musical acts I know, including resolution15.  Things seemed to be moving forward, until Mr. Simmons stepped in.

The occupiers were getting nowhere regarding obtaining the permits for the event.  So Russell steps in, gets the permits, and that’s the last anyone heard of Occupy Central Park.  The guys from resolution15 explained that Simmons nixed all the acts booked till then for his own musicians, which does not embody the spirit of the movement.  Some would call it a co-opting or undermining.  Bad look, Russell.  Now that we’ve got that out of the way, onto more current topics.

Last week Salon ran an article on James O’Keefe and his attempt at voter fraud.  Alex Pareene wrote up this embarrassing farce of an article.  Here’s a direct quote, one of the most absurd statements I’ve seen in a long time:

There is nothing remotely resembling coordinated voter fraud, carried out with the intention of stealing an election, taking place anywhere in the United States.

Mr. Pareene, you foolish schmuck, you must not have been paying attention over the last decade.  This guy, posing as a journalist, is lying.  This dupe must have arrived on this planet in 2005, since he missed, oh, the top down voter fraud suspected in the 2004 Presidential elections.  He’s also never heard of Diebold.  Additional links covering the voter fraud of the 2004 election are here and here.  If you’re a more visual learner, as many are, watch this video of testimony from Clinton Eugene Curtis, speaking to congress about computer voter rigging.

Alex Pareene is either stupid or lying.  Or both.  He seems to believe voter fraud is a bottom up, local problem.  Where are the editors, to nix this sort of deceptive trash in the bud?

Now, onto what I’d really like to discuss: the bland options in the Republican field for president.  Bland is too kind a word.  Shitty would be more appropriate.  The 2012 presidential campaign is shaping up to be one of the worst in recent time.

Normal people don’t really care about politics; they’re too smart to care about a rigged game.  I’ve even heard politics likened to pro wrestling.  Faces and heels, clobbering each other on screen, back slapping and partying backstage…that’s Washington.

Why not give America what it wants: a really good heel.  Not a Willard Romney.  There’s only one man who could pique the interest of the American voter, and his business record is at least as impressive as Mitt’s: Vincent Kennedy McMahon.

Vinny Mac.  Mr. McMahon.  Yup, the guy from the World Wrestling Federation (err, from World Wrestling Entertainment).  The man turned a regional wrestling promotion into a publicly traded company worth over $700 million.  That’s at least as impressive as Mitt Romney’s work at Bain Capital.

Your CEO in Chief

But it gets better.  He likes firing people at least as much as Mitt.  Maybe more.  In fact, if you type “You’re Fired” into YouTube, Vinny Mac pops up BEFORE Donald Trump.

See what I mean?  Romney wishes he had that sort of zest.

And unlike Romney, McMahon is rather upfront about his finances.  His $400 million windfall last year from a bump in WWE stock was reported in Forbes.  Mitt has bent backwards to not disclose his finances.

Back in the ’90s, he even led a stable dubbed The Corporation.  The Republican base would drool over this man.  And his running mate?

Well, why do you think Jon Huntsman dropped out of the race?  He’s got presidential hair, but that’s about it.

That's a great coiffe of hair

Well, he’s got attractive daughters too.  Look, it’s just a fact: Jon Huntsman’s daughters are pretty.  This is the sort of stuff a promoter like Vince McMahon can exploit.  Did I say exploit?  I meant utilize, totally meant utilize.

Four of the best reasons anyone would have to support Jon Huntsman

A successful businessman with a penchant for firing people?  The Republican party is trotting out the wrong candidate.  If they really wanted a win in November, they’d go with a ticket of McMahon/Huntsman.  I could already see the McMahon announcement.

Rick Santorum is prattling on about condoms or sodomy or whatever talking point he’s on today, then “THWAK!”  Chairshot!  Standing over Santorum’s writhing body, ripping his shirt off and flexing his muscles, the next best candidate for President: Vince McMahon.

No chance, that's what you've got

A Sympathizer Critiquing Occupy Wall Street

Posted in Cryptojournalism, economics, politics with tags , , on October 26, 2011 by The Cryptojournalist

Out of character, I’d like to keep this concise.  Since clarity is one of my main problems with the aim of the protests taking place from Zuccotti Park, best to practice what I preach, no?

One of the main problems with the protesters is their only unifier is feeling deeply disenfranchised.  Vague, yes.  But with 120 opinions from 100 people, building consensus is contrived and impossible.  You need to look for actionable demands, even if they’re really not plausible.

Plausibility is a pipe dream.  If you don’t know, a large segment of the protesters actively work within the general assembly and work towards building consensus.  This video does more to explain than 1,000 poorly written paragraphs.

Coincidentally, it sums up much of the procedure and, for lack of better word, sheeple aspect of Occupy Wall Street.  Or #occupywallstreet.  However you find it.  I can say it a thousand different ways.  Building consensus around myriad pet causes and interests inevitably grinds to a halt.  Or ostracizes too many people.

So what’s the solution for now?  It’s not playing bongo drums, aggravating the neighbors.  It isn’t trashing the machine and starting from scratch.  What would we do with the torn up roads, anyway?

It’s just one modest opinion, but I’ve got short, medium and long term ideas which at least have a chance to work.

Short Term

This is two steps.  More for comic timing than efficiency.

Step 1: Audit Fort Knox.  Of course, Ron Paul is the only man anywhere stating this most obvious demand.  The Federal Reserve is private; some wrangling will be needed to open their books.  But Fort Knox?  That should be simple.

Step 2: Audit The Federal Reserve System.  Know what I was saying about comic timing?  After sifting through trillions of dollars worth of IOU’s to the Fed in Fort Knox, where better to turn than the Head Honchos?

In a nutshell, there needs to be an open, independent public audit of the organs of public fiscal health.  The Fed and Fort Knox.  Impossible, yes, but not TOO much to ask, right?

Which brings me to a more philosophical qualm I’ve got with the occupiers.  Zuccotti Park is a glorified free speech zone, like you would find at a presidential convention.  Rather than using the park as a base camp, it is their ONLY camp.  An occupying force needs to employ tactics.  Forming consensus and implementing action via working groups blunts spontaneous action.  Disavowing another protester is easy if they’re not speaking on behalf of the general assembly.

Here’s two bits of free advice.  The New York branch of the Federal Reserve is LITERALLY down the street from the park.  Cycle through there daily.  Then there’s Bowling Green Park…….a park feet away from the Bronze Bull standing guard on Wall Street.

Symbolism. Kids these days don't get 'words'

Bowling Green is a park which is literally empty during the day.  Blocks away from the rhetorical protest.  This lack of action awareness of ones surroundings is amazing.  So protesters, march on the NY Fed, and Occupy Bowling Green Park.  At least make the authorities react if you want to be perceived as a legitimate force.

Smoothly segueing into my second, medium term plank for the occupiers.  Bright enough people to run for public office, gasp, run for public office!  Jesse LaGreca is the best example that comes to mind.  He’s got face recognition, articulates himself very well, and is as grassroots as anyone is getting at this point in the movement.

Even if people from various occupations around the nation lose, presenting candidates is how this social movement will rise above the status of, “I’ve got some new Facebook friends, cool!” to “The 99 percenters actually stand for something.”  Germany can elect members of the Pirate Party into government and Americans cannot even muster a third party?  Embarrassing.

And that’s the long term best case scenario.  If the 99% really speak for most people, this is a slam dunk.  When Alec Baldwin is morphing into the face man for your movement, well, Russell Simmons isn’t getting the credit he deserves.  Do you want a rude, thoughtless little pig being the voice of Occupy Wall Street?

Without leadership and action, nothing will get done.  And the cynic in me pins the second snow between Thanksgiving and Christmas as the back breaker.  Sorry, guys.  The bums will scurry for hot sewer grates.  The young academic types will remember how much their families will miss them over the holidays.

Put it this way.  The FDNY and NYPD are working on contingency plans for the winter.  Protesters are not.  Trashing the system and starting on new, trillion dollar green communes are unrealistic.  So is demanding an auditing of Fort Knox and the Federal Reserve.  The difference being, a real conversation about the bigger banking and wealth infrastructure in the United States is needed.  Competent candidates for public office are hoped for.  And a legitimate 99% political party (doubtful) is a best case.

Auditing the greater bodies of U.S. wealth, grooming candidates and creating (emphasis on creating) a free standing third party are not unrealistic demands.  They’re also not an articulated opinion of the #occupywallstreet movement.  Without some forward progress, this spirit that’s been dubbed ‘aimless’ will crumple on its internal contradictions.  Below is my favorite tragic image from the site.

Bottles of water, y'see, are, uhhhhh, what's the world I'm looking for???

Collective disenfranchisement can only go so far before a demand is needed.  Audit Fort Knox, then the Federal Reserve.  Even if it just moves the conversation forward, that’s movement.  I’ll be back soon enough with more on the protests, but I’m still forming an opinion of it myself.

Forming your own opinion.  That’s your best bet.  You may be surprised how many people have smart, different opinions than yours.  If you can’t at least see the other side, you’re just not listening.

Because Lambasting the Tea Party Debate is What You Expect From a Cryptojournalist

Posted in Cryptojournalism, Media Farce, politics with tags , , , , , on September 13, 2011 by The Cryptojournalist

If you missed CNN’s Tea Party Express Republican Debate last night, good for you.  Hopefully you watched Tom Brady eviscerate the Dolphins and Wes Welker cause Miami fans to drink heavily.

That’s why I’m here.  Why be informed when you can read cryptojournalism?  Seriously though, there were a couple of gems to be plucked from this snooze fest, so let’s put our ankles in it!

Just like every news bureau, I’m going to start with hunky Rick Perry.  What a dope.  And I mean that in the kindest way possible.  What I gleamed from last night was the man prefers a loose interpretation of the US Constitution and is a high priced call girl.

First, his man whorish ways.  He revealed a little more than I expected in a tit for tat with Michele Bachmann over his mandating HPV vaccines for Texas high school girls.  From the transcript:

BACHMANN:  What I’m saying is that it’s wrong for a drug company, because the governor’s former chief of staff was the chief lobbyist for this drug company.  The drug company gave thousands of dollars in political donations to the governor, and this is just flat-out wrong.

The question is, is it about life, or was it about millions of dollars and potentially billions for a drug company?

BLITZER:  All right.  I’ll let Senator Santorum hold off for a second.

You’ve got to response to that.

PERRY:  Yes, sir.  The company was Merck, and it was a $5,000 contribution that I had received from them.  I raise about $30 million.

And if you’re saying that I can be bought for $5,000, I’m offended.

Hilarious.  If you’re trying to buy off Rick Perry, you better bring six figures, capiche?  Here’s where I throw in the obligatory make it rain image.

Lil Wayne & Fat Joe could do business with Perry, no doubt

Ahhhh, much better.  Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, did you see what Rick Perry did in that back and forth?  It wasn’t disavowing corruption.  No, he’s ‘offended’ by a paltry sum like $5,000.  Interesting, Rick, very interesting.

Then there’s his, shall I say feeble understanding of the Constitution.  Specifically, Article IV, Section 4.  First, here’s a Perryism, something that can only exist in his mind and the minds of other vulnerable adults.  [<—Did you see that?  You should boo, folks]  Back to the debate transcript:

…the federal government has to step up and do what their constitutional duty is, and that is to secure the border with Mexico .

Uh, but Rick.  That’s not what the Constitution says at all.  Bear in mind this is an argument between Rick Santorum and Perry over immigration.  Not the drug war, where the cartel has too free a reign.  Here’s what it says regarding borders:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

NOW….If you believe the various illegals crossing the border comprise an invasion force, you’re probably a fan favorite at a Tea Party Debate.  Thank you folks, I’ll be here all week.

Were he posing a rhetorical argument for tight borders due to drug violence, that may be more persuasive.  Pandering to bigotry and misconstruing foreign workers crossing the border illegally as some sort of invasion is wild.  Rick Perry might just be a cryptojournalist, the way he twisted Article. IV.  Impressive stuff, really.

But what’s REAL funny is how it contradicts his posture as a small government Republican.  Except when he’s not.

And now, for a short programming interlude.  During commercial breaks on the webcast, CNN ran hysterical Twits from Twitter and online questions.  So without further ado, here’s your winner for Most Ironic Internet Question from CNN’s 2011 Tea Party Express Republican Debate:

By abolishing the Tea Party

Moving on to one of those Tea Partiers known for creating a bipartisan environment to help move the country forward….Michele Bachmann!

For a bright woman (she’s a tax lawyer!), she sure doesn’t get it.  Whatever it is.  And in this case, it’s surprisingly the American way.  I know, right?  Let’s dip into the debate one more time (emphasis added):

…I think that the American way is not to give taxpayer subsidized benefits to people who have broken our laws or who are here in the United States illegally.  That is not the American way.

*cough* Goldman Sachs *cough*

I guess that means every financial device of the last decade is totally above board.  My fucking ass.  I found at least one outcast voice in the wild from 2008 willing to label a bailout as a subsidy.  Thank you, Gary North.  In reality, the American way is to give taxpayer subsidized benefits (in this case, money from the Federal Reserve discount window) to people who have broken our laws.

Whoops, I forgot.  Nobody’s been prosecuted from any of the fiscal fiascoes of the last few years.  Scratch that last paragraph, K?  As a nation, the United States most definitely does not aid and assist lawbreakers.  Never, ever.  Never.

Alright, and we’re back with more insane internet questions from the webcast.  Here’s the winner for Most Contradictory Internet Question from CNN’s 2011 Tea Party Express Republican Debate, brought to you by Carl’s Jr:

The only way to force another country to do something is by force

I didn’t have to throw in the ExxonMobil logo, but did.  It’s like a “Fuck You” to sensible voters nationwide.  The question itself is hilarious, almost unhinged.  The most practical way to force a country to build its own military is to attack.  Which isn’t going to bring troops home.  Moving right along…..

Sorry, Mitt Romney.  You were too damn boring to even garner mention.  But while his name is lingering in cyberspace right there, like a stale fart, let me state this as clearly and bigoted as possible.  America will never vote for a Mormon Businessman who founded a private equity firm *cough* Bain Capital *cough* as President of the United States.  People equate Mormons to Scientologists, and Scientology is literally the worst organization on Earth.  Just putting it out there.

Then there’s Ron Paul.  When Yahoo! is reporting how you elicit cheers for inadvertently endorsing letting uninsured people die in the name of freedom, things aren’t going great.  Poor Ron Paul.  Here’s the video of the incident, see how he’s baited into this weird death angle.

On the bright side, at least he’s not Jon Huntsman.  Sad sack Jon Huntsman couldn’t even get his zinger right.  Even worse, it’s being reported in America’s newspaper, USA Today.  Yikes.  From the article:

Huntsman mocked the plan Romney put forth in his book, No Apology. “I don’t know if that was written by Kurt Cobain or not,” said the former Utah governor, in what’s been interpreted as an allusion to the Nirvana song All Apologies.

When the legitimate news has to interpret an allusion, normally a valuable asset in the toolbox of the cryptojournalist, you’re fubared.  Nice try tho, buddy.

Before we begin wrapping this up, we’ve got one more internet question award to hand out.  This is our winner of the Education Question Which Most Illuminates Our Need For Education from CNN’s 2011 Tea Party Express Republican Debate:

Me fail English? That's unpossible!

Whoever the editor is that found an education question missing ‘an’ indefinite article, kudos.  That made my day.

My last thought on the debate: Herman Cain is a pretty funny dude.  Which brings about a major problem.  Now that Bernie Mac is gone, who’s going to play Mr. Cain in the 2013 HBO movie about the 2011-12 Republican nomination (tentatively called Dumpster Fire)?

"Herman Cain"

Spread your wings and flyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!

I mean, I’ve got Adam Scott (with some silver highlights) as Jon Huntsman, which fits perfectly.

"Jon Huntsman"

Do I have Nirvana on my iPod? I don't even know myself

Rick Perry is too easy to cast.  Just get that guy who plays Texas Governors, what’s his face?

"Rick Perry"

Up your ass, Liberals

Look, it’s not my fault Josh Brolin looks like he was minted to be Governor of Texas.  These things just happen sometimes.

Slick Rick Santorum?  None other than famed comedian Harland Williams a.k.a. Kenny from Half Baked.

"Rick Santorum"


Since this is an HBO joint, I’d imagine they’ve still got the Crypt Keeper lying around in some warehouse.  Perfect casting for Ron Paul.

"Ron Paul"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Tales from the Congress

Now I’ve hit an impasse with Ms. Bachmann.  If I really want to feed into the Old White Guy sexual fetishizing  of Michele Bachmann, you cast Kim Cattrall.  If you simply want to be mean, go with Mary-Louise Parker.  Bachmann would pitch a fit if the lady from Weeds portrayed her in anything.

Although if we were trying to capture that, how to put it….hmmmm……crazy eye look Michele’s got locked down, apparently Ramona Singer (whoever that is) has it on lockdown.  Supposedly she’s a Real Housewife, and by the looks of it, from Crazy Town.

Seriously, if you type ‘crazy eyes’ and search Google images, it’s Bachmann and Singer and nobody else of note.  They’re the Queen and Princess of the Kingdom of Insane Optics.

The myriad faces of Ramona Singer. All crazy

If you have not figured it out by now, the movie is being cast as a comedy.

"Michele Bachmann"

Or is she "Michele Bachmann"?

It took a lot for me to not post her eating a corn dog

I’ve still got some casting to do, but that’s shaping up to be an all star comedy cast.  HBO, I hope you’re pilfering my idea right now.

So that’s a wrap.  If you missed the debate, good for you.  Dumpster fire is too kind a phrase to describe the whole scene.  I hope this provides some color and accent (not necessarily news and information) for you about the most recent debate.  Till then…..

Rebranding “Retard”

Posted in censorship, Cryptojournalism, Media Farce, popular culture with tags , , , on September 8, 2011 by The Cryptojournalist

This is a topic that has me feeling ambivalent at best.  In the next few paragraphs, I’ll be mounting a halfhearted effort defending the word retard.

Hence the feelings of ambivalence.

But did you know that it’s been scrubbed from the law, government and medical lexicons?  Neither did I.  It’s been replaced by phrases such as “intellectual disability” and my personal favorite, “vulnerable adult.”

Let me state this clearly: I’m not vouching for the word retard.  Christopher Fairman, for The Washington Post, articulates part of the point I’m getting at very well in an article titled The case against banning the word ‘retard’:

..restricting speech of any kind comes with a potential price — needlessly institutionalized taboos, government censorship or abridged freedom of expression — that we should be wary of paying.

Sing it, brother.  I am also against anything quietly being censored out of the language (which is happening in slow motion), especially when it is replaced with a blanket term which can do more harm than good.

Which is exactly how I feel about the phrase vulnerable adult.  I stumbled onto the phrase in this article, from CBS Minneapolis.  FYI,  the young woman from the article has been found.  (P.S. It’s the second story of this kind in Cambridge, Minnesota.  What the shit is going on in Cambridge, boys?)  My problem is the wide net cast with phrases such as vulnerable adult and intellectual disability.  Put it this way: I know plenty of people, not retarded in the 1970s-80s use of the phrase, that I would easily identify as vulnerable adults.  Here’s a mean, unscrupulous downhill word game to prove my point.

Is a female graduate student roofied at the bar a vulnerable adult?

Is a soldier suffering post traumatic stress a vulnerable adult?

Is a compulsive gambler a vulnerable adult?

Is a Scientologist a vulnerable adult?

Is a student loan applicant a vulnerable adult?

You see my point.  Suicide candidates, prescription pill poppers, Charlie Sheen’s goddesses, chronic masturbators and marks in a Three-card Monte game could all (however obliquely) qualify as vulnerable adults.

How many vulnerable adults do you see? Depends which clinician you ask....

And *poof* just like that, the rebranding of the word retard to mentally challenged developmentally disabled handicapped handicapable vulnerable adult is undone by one stupid blogger.  How long will it really take for vulnerable adult to morph into a pejorative term?

Even worse, what if (and this is a big what if, bigger than What if Captain America had been elected president?) people without physical or mental handicaps begin to be identified as vulnerable adults?

Betcha Steve Rogers is a Republican

Florida, Minnesota and Mississippi all explicitly contain the word ’emotional,’ inferring a person with stunted emotional maturity is a vulnerable adult (The United Kingdom, North Dakota and Washington State do not), in their legislation defining the term.  Do we really need to go there?  How many people would NOT be vulnerable adults in that instance?

It doesn’t take more than a hack screenwriter to write a horredy (or comror) [a comedy/horror, for those who don’t know] envisioning a dystopic future where government technocrats decide who is and is not a vulnerable adult.

The same logic holds with intellectual disability, but to a lesser degree.  Taken from the CDC’s website explaining intellectual disability, I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting some parts:

characterized both by a significantly below-average score on a test of mental ability or intelligence and by limitations in the ability to function in areas of daily life, such as communication, self-care, and getting along in social situations and school activities.

Many mentally and physically disabled adults would be covered by this definition.  But as someone who deals in misinterpretation and conjuring things that are not there, well, that getting along in social situations and school activities sounds like a couple of roommates from college.

And that’s my point.  How much does an idea like intellectual disability or vulnerable adult need to be nudged before whole swaths of people who are maladjusted or socially awkward or simply disgruntled are deemed vulnerable adults?  Trying to alleviate the stigma of the word retard has the unintended consequence of creating a phrase that can describe anyone with any kind of unresolved mental, emotional or psychological issue.    Is a crack whore not vulnerable adult?

Hey now, the word whore is disparaging to sex workers.  I need some outcry on this!

Plus, there’s the flip side to the rebranding coin.  As retard is replaced in the intellectual lexicon, we’re seeing a very strange criminalization of the word.  From all places, New Jersey.

Northern New Jersey.  OK, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.  We’re derailing right into an episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Yup, same show that made the phrase “prostitution whore” famous.

In case you forgot.  And, c’mon, that whole scene is hysterical.

Contrast that to this clip, which you need to watch on Bravo’s website for those zany housewives.  It’s Melissa and Joe Gorga, discussing the turmoils surrounding some text messages.  Notice specifically at 3:53 into the video, Joe says, “Calling me a re*beep*.”

Go and watch it, the whole scene at their house starts around the 3 minute mark.  It’s really amazing when you think on this for half a second.

A cable television show rated TV-14, airing at 10 p.m. bleeps out the word retard.  We’re not talking about iCarly dropping R-bombs, no.  This is a show that obviously caters to adults, which revels in whoredom.  Don’t believe that, Google Danielle Staub Raw.

Those are some staub wounds to which nobody should be subjected.  Zing.  And who am I kidding, I’d shag her, if only to plug Rhyme and Reasonable on TMZ or Perez Hilton.  I’m no vulnerable adult, more an exploitative jerk.

My point is, a show for adults, airing after safe harbor hours, is practicing needless censorship.  Of course, this is something not even the crudest Pop Culturist or TV blogger has noticed.  And while that must please everyone pushing to abolish the R-word, that does not equal progress.

First, I’d like to hearken back to Fairman’s article from the Post.  Here’s a quote I’ve plucked off the end of a paragraph.  You’ll see why in a moment:

….stigmatizing the word has elicited new problems, including an overeagerness to detect insult where none is intended and the use of excessively harsh punishment against those who use the word wrongly.

This is in reference to an observation made by Randall Kennedy in his book, “Nigger.”  I’m allowed to type that, because it’s the book’s title.  But I can say no more than it is a book about the N-word.  Well, that’s where people want to shelve the R-word.  Next to nigger.

From the R-word website, um, yeah.  This is serious.  And, uh, I should probably be sorry for making light of this, but, you can’t censor everything:

The R-word is the word ‘retard(ed)’. Why does it hurt? The R-word hurts because it is exclusive. It’s offensive. It’s derogatory. The R-word is hate speech. See why supporters think the R-Word is hurtful when used in jokes or as part of everyday speech.

I did not even bold that.  That’s straight from the website.  The R-word is hate speech.  I think the words slut and cunt have some gripe with you there, retard.

And not to be too prickish, but if we’re abolishing things that hurt because of exclusivity, how will all those American Express Black cardholders flaunt?

I am not supporting use of the word retard.  I AM against banning the word retard.  It’s also surprising the front line for this battle is cable television and news headlines.  Cable television shows airing after safe harbor hours have as much latitude as possible, which makes the censorship on the Jersey Housewives (TV-14, so bitch and whore are kosher to say, but retard….not so much) startling.  It’s not a daytime show, like The View or something.  I’ll have to throw palms up on this one.

I dunno, coach

As for the phrase vulnerable adult, well, that is regrettably too funny to give up.  Palms up.  If the term made sense, that’s great.  But I’m still unsure if a vulnerable adult is the man with down syndrome or the man going to the strip club ATM for the fourth time.

The rebranding is over and done.  Mr. Obama signed Rosa’s Law in 2010 (hell, North Dakota began use of the term vulnerable adult in 1989.  North Dakota, progressive on mental retardation rights!), it’s just time for popular culture and people to get wise that retard has been replaced by R-word.

Which has probably been deemed incendiary by the time I finish this sentence.  Like the cleaning of a house……

Simpsons did it

What Do Katy Perry And Hurricane Irene Have In Common?

Posted in Cryptojournalism, entertainment, Inoculation, popular culture with tags , , , , , , on September 3, 2011 by The Cryptojournalist

Mind control.  Wow, shortest blog ever.

Now that we’ve got out of the way, link up to Rhyme and Reasonable’s Facebook page and, well, Like it.  Sorry, I’m contractually obliged to Globochem to promote the page for the next 36 months.

We Own Everything So You Don't Have To!

Before we actually get on track to poor Katy Perry’s susceptibility to mind control or the consumption shell game dubbed ‘Hurricane Irene’ I’m contractually obliged by the Pac12 conference to make fun of their unbelievably shrewd crassness.  Time to wander into my imagination for a moment.

In a perfect world…..I’d have persuaded more than one person (The Rat Pack’s Joey Bishop) of the virtues of a 9/11 10th Anniversary Memorial Gathering.  With dual ice luges.  Symbolism, people.  If we don’t party, the terrorists win.  That’s the gist of the newly minted Pac12 Conference tethering their league debut with the 10th anniversary of 9/11, right?  College football IS tailgaters heaven, right?  RIGHT?

Dual commemorative ice luges: Joey Bishop approved

Enough yelling.  I could also point out the money grubbiness of the NFL’s salute to the ‘American spirit’ on Nine Eleven.  Yeah that’s right.  Their PR mavens recognized ‘American spirit’ as the go-to-phrase.  Alas, I enjoy football too much to truly criticize.  Any word which commandeers a global sport (soccer) is as American as Patrick Bateman, or Betty White.

I’ll guarantee tho, fans will have every opportunity to purchase memorabilia emblazoned with the commemorative ribbon logo.  And people kept telling me side by side ice luges (symbolism!) that may or may not have a toy plane flown into them at the end of the evening was in poor taste.

Picture them standing upright. Or terrorism wins

Apologies for prattling on about this stupid ice luge idea.  I just want to get this out before the 10th anniversary of 9-1-1 for posterity.  And in case any sociopaths are looking for a good party theme next weekend.

Now if you’re a partying sociopath, you may have heard of cocaine.  Apparently it’s some sort of party drug.  The LA Times reports on a seizure of 36 pounds of cocaine.  Dat’s a lotta yayo.  Something vexed me.

Of course it did.  This wouldn’t be cryptojournalism if there wasn’t some oblique nugget to put on blast.  That IS cryptojournalism, after all.

Department of Homeland Security, also called DHS in the biz, valued 36 lbs. of the white stuff at $324,000.  Which to my peasant ears, does not sound like much.  It comes to equal $9,000 per pound.  A pound containing 453.6 grams, that’s $19.84 per gram.  Good wholesale price in the states, whatever that means.  Now here’s where things get a little murky.

I don’t do coke.  So I had to look elsewhere for street valuation for a gram of cocaine.  As someone who puts words out into the internet, I do not really trust the web.  Do you?  Don’t.

This website claims a street price of $100 a gram.  Then throws out an assumption on how much a dealer will step on the package.  In more mundane vernacular, how much a drug dealer will cut his product.  In other words, how much filler the coke a consumer purchases contains.  Enough word play.

Now this website claims a diluted product selling between $20-$100 per gram.  Woo-ba-doo.  Another website emphatically boasts EXACTLY $94 a gram on the streets.  Right.

Forgetting the foolishness of regurgitating internet ‘statistics,’ I cast the net out to a few friends I was confident might know a street price.  A few people came back with a ballpark figure between $25-$60, with more than a couple honing in on $50 a gram.  Of cocaine.  I’m going to run with this.

In a perfect world….that $50 a gram fetches $22,680 per pound.  Not quite the $9,000 DHS claims, is it now?  In this fictional world of $50 grams of pure coke the Mexican seizure fetches $816,480.  This does not take into account “The Wire” logic.  Put otherwise, pop culture, TV and movies tell me people step on packages.

Tell it, Stringer.  Mr. Bell is talking about degrading a degraded batch of drugs.  So let’s, for shits and giggles, assume the cocaine on the street is 1/3 filler.  I’m being generous.  All of a sudden, there’s 48 pounds of cocaine.  At $50 a gram.  That $324k seizure, through the magic of presumption, aspirin, baking soda and hypothetical numbers, is $1,088,640.  More than triple the reported street value.

Which just goes to show how valuable the black market is.  I won’t even vouch for that million+ figure, since I have no clue how much coke is actually cut, or what it’s really worth.  Tacking on an arbitrary wholesale number is strange, even for a government bureaucracy.

Speaking of ineptitude, let me give a shout out to all those naive people who stocked up for the storm of all storms, the devastator and precursor to December 21, 2012, HURRICANE IRENE.

Here’s an after the fact, posthumous example of how swiftly and blindly shoppers shopped at the drop of a Pavlovian computer model trotted on the TeeVee.  This was Monday morning at a PathMark in North Babylon, New York.  An area where there was barely minor damage.  After the storm had been long gone.

”]I can’t say this was surprising.  To hearken back to the aforementioned Facebook page, I chose “Gimme the Loot” by Biggie Smalls as the theme song for Irene.  Yup, I’m plugging the shit out of that page, no homo.  The song was a perfect fit.

Only paraphrasing a tiny bit:

Lock your windows, close your doors

Hurricane Irene, I’m a bad bad storm

The cynical conclusion I immediately jumped to was this hurricane was being used as a ploy by Lowes and Home Depot to boost sagging 3rd quarter numbers.  Only time will tell if we see those “surprisingly strong” third quarter figures.  I’ll let you know.

Employing scare tactics and computer assumptions models to compel shopping is a fairly obvious form of mind control.  No, not MK-ultra mind control.  Sorry, conspiracy theorists of the web.  Good old fashioned Bernaysian manipulation and sheeple shepherding.  To the stores.  To purchase bottled water, plywood and batteries for your flashlights.

I’m not downplaying the damage.  There was damage.  People died.  But a whole slew of people went through the motions of buying whatever the fuck they’re told to whenever the fuck they’re told to.  All fucks aside, that’s not the only place where mind control was on display last weekend.

That’s right.  I’m talking about the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.  Were I, say, L. Brent Bozell, I would have plenty to bemoan.  But I’m not a preachy douche, so I’ve only got one, ahem, point (using the term as loosely as possible) to make.

If you’re a Katy Perry fan, um, what the hell are you doing reading this?  And, you should probably close your browser asap.

I’ve never been one to really believe in the force and power of mind control.  After seeing the train wreck that is Katy Perry, I’ve done a rhetorical one eighty.  Not to be mistaken with the going nowhere fast and often misspoken 360.

No person in their right mind would present themselves in public looking like poor, poor Katy.  It’s impossible. Only someone under the sway of powerful mind control could so easily be swayed towards presenting themselves in such a foolish manner.

If it pleases the court, allow me to enter into evidence Nicki Minaj’s Cobra Commander outfit.


When you’re competing with (and trouncing) a fashion statement which says, “I’m dating Cobra Commander,” you’re on another planet.  Planet Mind Control (bang a left at Neptune, cruise for about 10 light years, it’s on your right).  Your honor, with the next few photos, you should see my point.

And no, this is not simply railing on a pop tart for looking like a nitwit.

Good look. For an anime with tentacled vagina monsters

I’ll admit, it’s kind of a hot look.  In a blithering idiot sort of way.  Now if that was it, I wouldn’t have batted an eye.

Oh, that’s not it.

Ixnay on the urplepay

No, that’s not it either.  But it really brings out the crazy in her eyes.

I’m going so far as to say, “Drum roll, please.”

The money shot in Dali's wet dream

I’m not simply assailing a gullible singer’s poor choice in clothes.  Watching her accept the acclaim, admiration and awards from her contemporaries revealed someone who looks like she doesn’t comprehend her surroundings.

MTV has her acceptance speech with Kanye West: Corporate Lobbyist on their website.  Consider this a suggestion to watch it.  It’s amazingly awkward to watch her eyes darting around, trying to process what’s going on around her.  Almost as amusing as this gem.

“Tonight has been a night of firsts.  This is my second moon man.”  It’s my affinity for Rickyisms (aka nearlyisms), but that tickles my funny bone.  The premise that a person is so desperate for attention from other they will wear whatever the fuck they’re told when they’re fucking told to betrays a mental weakness I do not grasp.  We ARE talking about super famous Katy Perry, not some nobody.  Being so susceptible to whatever some misguided designer or person tells you looks good or is right, that’s mind control.

In a way, Katy Perry’s the perfect embodiment of the regular American schmuck.  Ready and willing to do whatever they’re told on command.  Giv’er a round of applause, folks.

I'm just a sucker for a gal in a smart lookin' hat

Bobbing And Weaving Around The Impact of Globalization on Income and Employment

Posted in Cryptojournalism, economics with tags on August 23, 2011 by The Cryptojournalist

It has always been a dream of mine to own a cash only business.  For a person of my ilk caliber, that would mean a laundromat or a hair salon.  IF I were to own a hair salon, it would be called Bob and Weave.  It would be boxing themed (in case you missed it there in the title).  Like a homeless man told me, a play on words is worth two in the bush.  Too right, sir.

Ok, enough juvenile foolishness.  We’ve got another Foreign Affairs article today.  “The Impact of Globalization on Income and Employment,” by Michael Spence is the most recent farcical article from the esteemed publication.  So let’s get into this piece, see if we can pull any interesting bits from this dry white paper.

Please check your coat and enjoy deception, baby

I sincerely encourage everyone reading to click the link above to the actual article.  Remember, most of cryptojournalism is taking things out of context and ferreting out bullshit.  Do not take this as an honest interpretation.  It’s cryptojournalism, so get your salt shakers ready.

Please note, this was published before the most recent tanking of the stock exchange.  But since at least 5 of my 6 readers are too poor to own stock, that’s a moot point.  Jumping right in:

By relocating some parts of international supply chains, globalization has been affecting the price of goods, job patterns, and wages almost everywhere. It is changing the structure of individual economies in ways that affect different groups within those countries differently. In the advanced economies, it is redistributing employment opportunities and incomes.

C’mere son, sit on grandpa’s lap as he tells a tale about the haves and the have nots.  If you’re a little fuzzy with the paragraph above, it’s smoothly describing globalization as a vehicle for class warfare.  Those ‘different’ groups of people are (spoiler alert) rich and poor.  This is not very promising.

On the bright side, at least Spence is spot on concerning redistribution.  He’d only be better off declaring it’s time for plebes to take up driving a gypsy cab, or webcamming for the ladies.  I know, I know, the women reading this are shaking their heads.  Webcamming?  Yes, webcamming.  Hey, when the economy consists of pushing paper at a financial institute, working in the vast service sector or being unemployed, why not venture into a liquid market, safe (for now) from the IRS.  Setting up a web cam, PayPal account and mortgaging your dignity probably sounds pretty good to some people these days.  Especially if you can’t get into the paper pushing racket.

Moving right along….

the structural evolution of the global economy today and its effects on the U.S. economy mean that, for the first time, growth and employment in the United States are starting to diverge.

Ahem, this is the FIRST time for a divergence of growth and employment?  After a decade of flat growth for wages?  The Economics Policy Institute has a nifty article FROM 2007?!!? touting how growth (strictly in wages) has been flat for 95% of Americans since the turn of the century.  Take a look for yourself.  It’s astounding that now, today, in the year 2011, we’re actually starting to see a divergence.  I’m just going to call bullshit and trudge ahead.

Spence continues on:

major emerging economies are becoming more competitive in areas in which the U.S. economy has historically been
dominant, such as the design and manufacture of semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, and information technology services.

We’ve still got Mariah Carey, and nobody can take her away from us.

Mariah Carey?

Yes, Mariah Carey.  Put it this way: if you’re traveling abroad around the holiday season, you’re probably going to hear “All I Want For Christmas Is You” at some point on your journey.

In other words, we’ve still got entertainment.  It’s our most reliable export: culture.  That’s not going to change anytime soon.

Entertainment and culture are not real brick and mortar industries, though.  Lucrative, yes.  But not lucrative in a meaningful way.  If that makes sense.

Hey, I’m grasping for something we export.  Basketball, movies, Beyoncé…..uh, financial disarray and porno spoofs.  All entertaining, yes.  Not always necessary.

An appropriate metaphor for contemporary America

We’ve become so complacent our pornographers aren’t even trying.  Choosing the above graphic was tough, since there are so many shitty spoofs to choose.  Enough of that smut, we have important issues to discuss.

Before I get into this next blurb, allow a short rant.  Writers and journalists of all stripes do an admirable job of pointing out the myriad problems surrounding whatever topic/issue they’re covering, but rarely have answers.  Case in point:

…job opportunities in the United States are shifting away from the sectors that are experiencing the most growth and to those that are experiencing less.The result is growing disparities in income and employment across the U.S. economy, with highly educated workers enjoying more opportunities and workers with less education facing declining employment prospects and stagnant incomes.The U.S. government must urgently develop a long-term policy to address these distributional effects and their structural underpinnings and restore competitiveness and growth to the U.S. economy.

Radical.  There’s a problem.  “Distributional effects and their structural underpinnings” is the problem, but what’s the solution?

There are two possible solutions, neither of which is elaborated upon: a tax hike on that segment of the populace on the winning end of that income disparity OR a wholesale devaluing of the dollar.  One could contend through quantitative easing we’re seeing that devaluing (gold bugs would tend to agree), but this is not addressed.

What good is an article on income and employment issues without solutions?  Not bloody much.

Don’t fret.  That will just make you think about things.  And who likes thinking?

At least Mr. Spence gives some real information on the U.S. economy, specifically how it has grown over the last two decades:

Between 1990 and 2008, the number of employed workers in the United States grew from about 122 million to about 149 million. Of the roughly 27 million jobs created during that period, 98 percent were in the so-called nontradable sector of the economy, the sector that produces goods and services that must be consumed domestically.

Wow, what a buzzkill.  98 percent of the jobs created since ’90 are (no offense to workers nationwide) useless outside the United States.  Now, watch this nifty trick of the tongue:

The retail, construction, and hotel and restaurant industries also contributed significantly to job growth.

He forgot to mention the reality television industry.

I’m going to go out on a limb and call that the service industry.  Why the author is compelled to parse the service biz into specific components is beyond me, unless it sounds better to perceive these things as different.  They’re not.  They’re people serving other people.

Don’t worry, folks.  The service sector is not the only part of the economy that’s grown:

Employment is growing, however, in other parts of the tradable sector-most prominently, finance, computer design and engineering, and top management at multinational enterprises.

All you’ve got to do is ditch that shitty job at Zumiez and become a top manager at a multinational enterprise.  No big whoop.  Ok, maybe it’s a medium whoop.

Ready for a truth bomb dropped on your head?  If you’ve got a bomb shelter, I’d advise taking your laptop down there before reading this next passage:

the range of employment opportunities available in the tradable sector is declining, which is limiting choices for U.S. workers in the middle-income bracket.

And there it is, laid bare for all to see.  Like Lenin’s body.  You’re a worker in the middle-income bracket in America?  Well, soon you’ll be a copper thief.  Or a gypsy cab.  Or doing the aforementioned webcamming.  Because your choices are limited.  I’m only speaking slightly with the slightest twinge of hyperbole.

As a random (and generally unread) blog, I’ve got to go fishing for page views.  Honestly, who WANTS to read something from a cryptojournalist?  So I try to link to articles featured on The Drudge Report.  And boy, Matt Drudge loves articles about copper theft.  It’s like a trend or something.  For criminals.

I’m beginning to see a trend emerging in this article.  Most everyone is getting crunched.  Except the highly skilled or morally bankrupt financial wizards.  I imagine Mr. Spence chuckling as he actually states things clearly:

The overall picture is clear: employment opportunities and incomes are high, and rising, for the highly educated people at the upper end of the tradable sector of the U.S. economy, but they are diminishing at the lower end. And there is every reason to believe that these trends will continue.

Sorry to burst the bubble of everyone reading this with a Masters Degree, but he’s not talking about you.  Highly educated people get their MBA, not a teaching degree.  They study at MIT and Harvard, not University of Phoenix or Hamburger University.

Sorry, thought I had a zippy graphic for Hamburger University.

Oh. There it is

This wouldn’t be cryptojournalism if I did not take umbrage with some of what Spence lays out in this article.  Look again at that last quote above.  It’s misleading, but it’s so soft and subtle that it’s very easy to gloss over.  Specifically, his use of ‘at the lower end’ needs to read ‘everyone else.’  I’m at a loss for a zinger, so let me hand this one off to Maude Lebowski.

Don't be fatuous, Jeffrey

With our SAT word of the day out of the way, we can get back to the cruel joke education plays in the American economy:

The highly educated, and only them, are enjoying more job opportunities and higher incomes.

Well, the highly educated, and the Kardashian Klan.  Mr. Spence keeps forgetting the reality stars who’ve made it big.  I cannot overstate that a Masters Degree DOES NOT QUALIFY one as ‘highly educated.’  Post graduate is the game here, which in stunning turn of events, costs money to acquire.  Yup, you’ve just been zung.

Now let’s touch on one of my favorite aspects of cryptojournalism, which is calling out misleading qualifiers:

[the global economy’s structural evolution]…is creating a distributional problem in the advanced economies.  Not everyone is gaining in those countries, and some may be losing.

Some, not most.  May be, not are.  Sleight of hand, not lying.  I think you see my point.  It gets better:

Declining employment opportunities feel real and immediate; the rise in real incomes brought by lower prices does not.

Lower prices?  Where?  In Venezuela?  I guess that the 15% rise in food costs the World Bank reports took place between October 2010 and January 2011 is poppycock.  Fuck, even the United Nations admits a 39% bump in food costs from June 2010 to June of this year.  In which fantasy realm does the author of this article reside?  Asgard?  Big Titty Heaven from South Park?  Where can I buy a slice of pizza for $1.25?

If you’re going to deceive, try a lie that’s not so easily refuted.

This passage is what I like to consider cute, in a ruthlessly cutthroat sort of way.  It’s a bit of truth with some deception, baby:

according to recent surveys, a substantial number of Americans believe that their children will have fewer opportunities than they have had.  The slow recovery from the recent economic crisis may be affecting these perceptions, which means that they might dissipate as the situation improves and growth returns. But the longterm structural evolution of the U.S. and global economies suggests that distributional issues will remain.

We’ve already shown that growth, well, didn’t grow for the overwhelming majority of Americans.  But don’t fret.  As soon as these stupid perceptions dissipate, it’ll be back.  And better than ever!

Don’t be fatuous, Michael.

At least he has the nerve to couple that with the factual statement that people believe their children are being shafted.

So, uh, what exactly is crippling the economy in slow motion?  It’s not technology or multinationals, that’s for fucking sure:

If giving technology as the preferred explanation for the U.S. economy’s distributional problems is a way to ignore the structural changes of the global economy, invoking multinational companies (mncs) as the preferred explanation is a way to overstate their impact. Mncs are said to underpay and otherwise exploit poor people in developing countries, exporting jobs that should have stayed in the United States.

I hope this paragraph is dripping with sarcasm, and it’s jut lost in translation from statement to print.  For one, shrinking multinational companies into an acronym is simply adorable.  I’m also fairly certain there should be air quotation marks around “said to underpay and otherwise exploit poor people in developing countries,” but that’s just a hunch.

MNCs are 'said' to 'underpay' and 'exploit' people living in a van down by the river

Now here’s something which is so painfully obvious, it almost hurts to type:

In short, companies’ private interest (profit) and the public’s interest (employment) do not align perfectly.

Oh, that’s it.  The alignment is off.  I’m not even going to throw an axle joke out there.  That’s too easy.  Once again, I’m fairly certain there are ironic quotation marks that should be around “align perfectly,” but I never can tell what’s irony and what’s mere farce.

Know what I was saying about misleading qualifiers?  Here’s a doozy.  Warning: this is a half a quote taken completely out of context.  Still, it’s too funny to pass up:

…the risk of a second economic downturn…

Silly me.  Here I thought it was one long, slow decline.  Nope, we had a rebound there, and now there is a RISK of a second economic downturn.  I don’t need to rub the Dow Jones in the author’s face.  He probably realizes how dumb that sounds now.  Especially when that risk is biting the stock market on the ass.

*cough* Corporate Fascism *cough*

With considerable uncertainty about the efficacy of various policy options, a multistakeholder, multipronged approach to addressing these distributional problems is best. The relevant knowledge about promising new technologies and market opportunities is dispersed among business, the government, labor, and universities, and it needs to be assembled and turned into initiatives.  President Barack Obama has already appointed a commission, led by Jeffrey Immelt, the ceo of General Electric, to focus on competitiveness and employment issues in the U.S. economy. This is an important step forward. But it will be hugely difficult to invest in human capital, technology, and infrastructure as much as is necessary at a time of fiscal distress and declining government employment. And yet restoring opportunities for future generations requires making sacrifices in the present.

We’ve got business, the government, labor and universities with seats at the table.  How about, oh, I dunno, regular taxpayers?  Some shmuck off the street?  Feh, what do they know?

Here’s a zinger, plain and simple.  Nothing more, nothing less:

Improving the performance of the educational system has been a priority for some years, yet the results are in doubt.

‘Bout that highly educated workforce.  Where is it?  Seemingly not coming from most educational institutions domestically, according to Mr. Spence.  He doesn’t just throw wild statements out there.  He backs them up with vague almost statistics, but, well, without the numbers:

…the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development administers a set of standardized tests, the Program for
International Student Assessment, across more than 60 countries, advanced and developing, to measure the cognitive skills of teenage students. The United States ranks close to the average in reading and science and well behind most countries in math.

Close to average….is that above or below?  Vague and generally useless.  It’s like I hit the cryptojournalism lottery!  Once again, we’re confronted with problems, but no solutions.  Oh, there are suggestions.  Hilarious suggestions.

And when I say hilarious, well, see for yourself:

To break this pattern, it will be necessary to shift communities’-and the country’s-values about education through moral leadership, at both the community and the national levels.

Moral leadership.  Good thing this is an article and not a speech, since I doubt anyone could say that with a straight face without bursting into hysterics.  All along, all we’ve needed is moral leadership (from the national level!), and our students would magically be better performers at reading, math and science.

So I have this bridge in Brooklyn for sale, I sez.

One last tidbit, then we should have this wrapped up tightly:

Mncs with earnings outside the United States currently have a strong incentive to keep their earnings abroad
and reinvest them abroad because earnings are taxed both where they are earned and also in the United States if they are repatriated. Lower tax rates would mean a loss in revenue for the U.S. government, but that could be replaced by taxes on consumption, which would have the added benefit of helping shift the composition of demand from domestic to foreign.

I may be mistaken, but wouldn’t consumption taxes, I don’t know, fall on consumers?  Sounds like just another way ‘the lower end’ would get fucked over.  Yes, the author claims that the burden would be shifted to some foreign entity.  He also claims we’ve got low prices.

Like I try to do with many of these articles, I want you to think about what you’re reading.  If you’re reading.  Often, you’ll find the most egregious lies are balancing on a qualifier, or a quip.  Keep your eyes open and your brains sharp.  Even if you can’t afford to be highly educated.

Kelis Is A Pharmacologist

Posted in Cryptojournalism, Music, popular culture with tags , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by The Cryptojournalist

If you remember a while back, I wrote about Kanye West’s Gold Digger.  Well, we’re back with another strip club anthem, this time “Milkshake” by Kelis.  One of my personal faves.  And once again,we’re going to break it down, lyrically, that is, and see what Kelis is really talking about.

Those are italics.  That should indicate I mean business.

Ok, enough posturing.  I just believe many of the more popular strip club anthems can easily be misinterpreted to mean all kinds of craziness.  Is Kanye West really portraying a corporate lobbyist within the lyrics of Gold Digger?  Only as much as Kelis is a pharmacologist.

A pharmacologist is one who practices pharmacology.  Sweet.  Study of drug action.  Sounds like junior year of college.

Just a few of the ingredients in Kelis' Milkshake

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Dude, it’s a song about her milkshake.  Her milkshake.”  There are those damn italics again.  Much as Peter Griffin wants you to think so, that is simply not the case.  Not for a cryptojournalist, at least.

The belief this song was made to do nothing more than get hoochies to shake their jubblies is, well, exactly the point.  I’ll tell you, though, after this, you’ll probably never hear it the same again.

Here’s the video.  Oh so good.

Let me clarify before we get into the lyrics, Kelis’ Milkshake is nothing like a Darvon Cocktail.  Although, it is killer in its’ own right.  Suicide jokes aside, it is a tad disturbing that you can Google Darvon Cocktail and, well, get multiple recipes for a suicide mixer.  Just….odd.  That’s one use for prescription drugs.

I’ve found this link has the most comprehensive lyrics.  Other websites spell “they’re” like “their” or “thee” like “thee,” and these are vital matters!  Exclamation point worth matters, even.  Who wants to misinterpret something that’s already misspelled?

 My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,
And they’re like
It’s better than yours,
Damn right it’s better than yours, [DING]

That Mrs. Nas Escobar sure is a confident one.  I’ve already begun to lay the fatuous claim her milkshake is indeed a pharmacological milkshake.  The Pavlovian ‘Ding’ throughout the beat does nothing to dispel the notion the song is about elaborate methods of mind control.  Or so the legend goes.  I’m taking the liberty of adding the dings to the lyrics.  They say as much as any word.

Word thru the rumor mill is the song was originally going to be called “Fribble,” but a marketing agreement between Friendly’s and Kelis fell thru at the last moment.

My Fribble brings all the boys to the yard.....

Fake internet rumors aside, who is the ‘they’ in “they’re like”?  Skeptics?  Haterz with a Z?  The FDA?  Astra-Zeneca?  Only Kelis and The Neptunes may know.

I can teach you,
But I have to charge

Get those sexist thoughts out of your head immediately.  I know where you’re going with this.  You think Kelis is an escort?  Psh.  That does not even dignify a real word.  Kelis is talking about her day job, as a professor at the University of Minnesota.  She works in the Graduate Pharmacology Program.  What did you think?

Great program, from all I’ve heard.

Now that we’ve established this song is NOT about selling sex, but about the pharmacology business, let’s get to it.

Before getting too far ahead of ourselves, please note this first verse is repeated.  Repetitiously.  Throughout the entire song.  Over and over and over again.  There is no need for analysis of the same verse.  Right?

Moving right along…

I know you want it,
The thing that makes me, [DING]
What the guys go crazy for.
They lose their minds,
The way I wind, [DING]
I think its time

There is no way to move forward without first giving a tip of the cap to perhaps the greatest face in any music video, ever.


With it established that Kelis studies pharmacology, we clearly see what she is saying here.  Pretty straightforward.  You just need to realize the thing that makes the guys go crazy is probably Xanax, or perhaps Oxy’s.

You may be wondering, “But what about the way she winds?”  Good question.  This is an example of the rare double entendre by word pronunciation.

Yes, she has proven quite apt at winding people up.  That’s what you get with effective use of Pavlovian triggers.

BUT, and this is a mild leap of faith, she also winds.

Like the winds in the sky.

In other words, she is a blow hard.  Instead of saying someone’s ‘talking shit’ you can say he’s ‘blowing winds.’

It’s like that famous Welsh saying, “Blood is Irony.”

Most people do not see the ironic nature of blood.  But it sure is packed with iron.

Thanks, folks.  Don’t forget to tip the wait staff.

[Chorus x2]
La la-la la la,
Warm it up. [1st Chorus DING]
Lala-lalala, [2nd Chorus DING]
The boys are waiting

In case you’re confused, the dings are staggered between the two repeated choruses.  Note the use of the word boys.  When you have someone snared with a pharmacological cocktail as powerful as Kelis’ Milkshake, you are not dealing with men.  Even the most powerful mind can be reduced to mush.

It has a very powerful sedative effect.  Like a TNA television show.  Just look at all those sad faces in the background.

I'd probably be dazed too if I saw this live

Look at those glazed over faces.  Apparently the girls is dubbed ‘Cookie’ (smrt!) and the guy’s name is, I don’t know, The Conundrum?  I’m not willing to take the time to find out, because then I’d know.  And if knowing is half the battle, that’s a losing fight.

So never forget: always be careful as possible with prescription pills.  Lord knows what you’re doing to yourself.  We know Kelis knows, but tuition these days is steep.

I can see youre on it,
You want me to teach thee [DING]
Techniques that freaks these boys,
It can’t be bought,
Just know, thieves get caught, [DING]
Watch if your smart,

Hmmmmm, it sounds like we’re dealing with someone beyond mere pharmacology.  Freaking techniques are not tips for the dance floor.  She’s talking about freaking out your mind.  Like the 60’s, man.  The 60’s.  Man.

No, Ms. Kelis seems to be boasting a mastery of some other sort of mind altering practice.  Does she use DMT?  I bet it’s DMT.  If it isn’t DMT, then it has to be marketing.  Focus group market studies.  That’s some hardcore shit, either way.  But…if it can’t be bought, how could it be marketing?  Has to be N-Dimethyltryptamine, slyly referring to its natural occurrence in the brain.

As for thieves getting caught, that’s probably a veiled reference to Canadian generics.  Or to outright industrial espionage, to turn a phrase from a time ago.

We’re about to leap right into the sickening underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry.  Namely, how there appear to have been so many dodgy drugs put on the market over the last 15 years.  Here is a list of various prescription drugs pulled from the market.  Note how much more frequent it has become since 1995.

Some of this, undoubtedly, is due to new knowledge on older drugs.  Darvon, on the market since 1957 and only taken off the market in 2010, proves that point.  There were only thirteen drugs withdrawn from the market up to 1986.  SINCE 2000 there have been twenty six.  Twice as many over the last dozen years than from the 50’s through the 80’s.  You want an example of pure malfeasance?  Take a look at the pharmaceutical business of the 21st Century.

That’s why Kelis provides words of wisdom.

Oh, once you get involved,
Everyone will look this way-so, [DING]
You must maintain your charm,
Same time maintain your halo,

Consumer advocates, the FDA, nosy health food devotees, they’re all skeptical.  Be charming, look virtuous.  Here’s a note to aspiring pharmacologists: take a public speaking class.  It always helps to nip those pointed questions about whatever dangerous prescription drug was brought to market with pesky side effects. And there have been more than a few.   A witty story, or a proper aside about nothing in particular, can defuse these tense situations.

Take notes, pharmacology students!  I could teach you, but I’d have to charge.

It’s really good advice for any aspiring criminal: halo maintenance and charm go a long way in the world.  Further than you’d think.

Side note: my favorite epic fail of the pharmaceutical industry this past decade has to be Vioxx.  Merck knows the problems with the medication in 2001?  Check.

Merck was advertising in 2004?  Check.

You must maintain that charm.  That’s a must.

There’s one last half verse, then this bit of cryptojournalism is in the books.

Just get the perfect blend,
Plus what you have within,
Then next his eyes are squint, [DING]
Then he’s picked up your scent,

Not anyone can be a pharmacologist.  You need something within, and that something would be a brain.  Laboratories aren’t full of monkeys on typewriters, not by my knowledge at least.

This isn't Pfizer's main lab, is it?

So there you have it.  Second in a not-too-frequent series of a cryptojournalist’s interpretation of strip club songs.  Hopefully you see how easy it is for what might be called prevailing thoughts to be found in music.  Till next time…..

Rhyme and Reasonable is on Facebook

Posted in Cryptojournalism on July 25, 2011 by The Cryptojournalist

You can find my Facebook page for this zany corner of the web right here. nixes the ‘Like Box’ or I’d add that.  So hop aboard!

And for no reason in particular, here’s a picture of Hank Scorpio.


Bit of a task master, but Globex Corporation DOES have a great severance package