The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012


December 13, 2008


Wiggles, Where Have You Gone?!

So, being the parent of a 16-month old extremely active boy can be a bit difficult. I always said that I wouldn’t use TV as a babysitter, but to some extent the new shows are a lot better than the old Tom & Jerry and Mighty Mouse I grew up with. Given how much Wyatt loves us reading to him, I’m not worried about him watching a lot of TV.

The Wiggles has been a godsend. It’s musical, it’s fun, and sometimes Joanna and I find ourselves getting sucked into it. But it recently had a change. A while back, the main guy who started it, Greg Page, had health problems and had to turn over his spot to a new person. The new episodes have just started showing up on Disney. And they suck!

Not only is it so hokey that Joanna and I can’t watch it any more, Wyatt doesn’t care about it any longer. It has completely jumped the shark…

So now it’s Higglytown Heroes, Baby Einstein, etc.

And yes, for those of you who know me personally — this really is what my life has become!

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 1:16 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, Pop Culture, Wyatt


June 24, 2008


George Carlin, RIP

As a comedy buff (my XM radio is regularly set to channel 150), yesterday’s news of George Carlin’s passing was not a happy day. Carlin had a knack for taking ordinary parts of life and simply looking from them from an outside perspective, only to show how absurd and funny we all are.

It’s only fitting, then, to post one of his later bits, about our response to the death of friends and family.

Thank you, George. You will be missed.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:18 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: Humor, Media, Pop Culture, YouTube


May 24, 2008


Really?

Just heard this on Fox News, related to the upcoming NASCAR and Indy races this weekend, regarding Del Earnhardt:

He was a legend in life, and he was a martyr in death.

I’m reminded of The Princess Bride: “I do not think that means what you think it means.”

Dale Earnhardt’s death, while tragic, was an accident. He wasn’t martyred. To suggest as such would be nearly as bad as comparing a presidential candidate to another who was assassinated in June– to score cheap points.

This is just one more reason why I’m glad I no longer watch Fox News (or any of the cable news channels) on a regular basis any more.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:13 am || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, Motorcycles/Racing


February 4, 2008


For My European Reader(s)?

Well, I’m not sure that anyone is interested in this, but I got a request from a reader*, and I thought I’d pass this along. If you’re looking for a copy of the movie Faster dubbed into 6 European languages, you can find it here.

So, for the few people who still read this tiny plot on the interweb, you can now order Faster in German. Good for you!

Read more of this entry… »

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 12:41 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, Motorcycles/Racing


July 22, 2007


Yorkshire And London Are Two Different Places

Britney Spears has apparently joined the trend of buying Yorkshire Terriers, a trend which I* spotted years ago when I purchased mine.

Of course, in an attempt to show that she actually understands what nation these dogs are typically associated with, she named the dog “London”. I don’t know if anyone bothered to explain to her that London and Yorkshire are two completely different cities, about 200 miles apart? It’s like going to someone’s house where they want to impress you and serve steak, but give you Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese as a side dish…

Besides, I don’t think Britney’s dog could ever be as cute as Guinness anyway…

sleepingguinness-custom.jpg

Read more of this entry… »

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 6:29 pm || Permalink || Comments (5) || Trackback URL || Categories: Dogs, Media, Pop Culture, Snark


June 9, 2007


Free Leonard Peltier Paris Now!

I don’t care for Paris Hilton. In fact, whether or not she goes to jail means nothing to me. I’m not even going to use it as an excuse to argue about the validity of DUI laws or the travesties of our justice system. I wish this whole sordid detail would be relegated to the E! channel and the metro section of the paper, not CNN and the front page.

However, I am an opportunist, and I will gladly and shamelessly self-promote anything which might make me a buck. So head on over to my wife’s cafepress store and buy stuff!

The shirts (front & back, multiple shirt styles):

And in true Paris Hilton fashion, a dog shirt and trucker hat…

If you like it, give me a mention at your blog (linking specifically to here, of course)…

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 12:44 pm || Permalink || Comments (3) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, Pop Culture


April 20, 2007


Did They Just Say That?!

Last night I was listening to XM Radio online, Channel 47 (Ethel). This was while I was reading, so it was probably already well after midnight. I heard a little promo (they don’t have commercials, but they do occasionally have segues), and it took my attention away from the book.

Ethel Channel 47: Delightful tunes, even if you’re stoned.

All of a sudden the statist brainwashing I got in public schools kicked in… “Are they really allowed to say that?!” Then I realized it’s XM, but I was still surprised they had the cojones. Of course, then as I started to settle back into my lawless personality, I was pretty impressed… Even if they’re not allowed to say it, good for them! After all, when the FEC was considering regulating blogs under campaign finance rules, I pledged that regardless of what laws and regulations they imposed, I wouldn’t stop blogging. If they wanted to come after me, they could come after me.

But I thought about it a second… XM radio, along with the internet, and the rest of the “new media”, is a sign that they’re losing control. Not XM, of course, but the FCC and regulatory establishment. They can do all they want to punish Viacom for letting a breast be shown on national TV, and they can fine Howard Stern, and 15 years ago, that would have been enough to actually put a stop to a lot of that activity. But now, they’ve been outflanked, and people are getting used to having the ability to choose for themselves what to listen to and read.

Don’t get me wrong, that’s a dangerous thing for the government to accept. And they’re not going to take it lying down. They’re going to try as hard as they can to get their regulatory hands into the new media. But I think the arguments they used back in the days when they were regulating TV and radio won’t work. People aren’t as willing to submit to the government as they once were. The regulators can’t claim that bandwidth is limited on the internet. And there are too many voices out here that are willing to be loud and fight.

So to answer my original question, “Did they just say that?!” Yeah they did, and what the hell are you going to do about it, bureaucrat?

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 1:33 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Blogging, Internet, Media, Pop Culture


April 17, 2007


Big Networks Have Jumped The Proverbial Shark

Or, so the WaPo laments:

“Everyone can appreciate the business pressure that the networks are under, but when did they [start] ceding their responsibility to cover these stories?” said Tom Kunkel, the dean of the University of Maryland’s journalism school. “It does kind of make you wonder how big a blood bath there has to be warrant their attention in prime time. How bad does it have to be to supplant ‘Dancing With the Stars’?”

I actually got this story sent to my by my buddy Jim, who gave his own thoughts on it via email, with which I heartily agree.

with this. obviously it was newsworthy, it led every newscast in the country and was on the front page of every newspaper i looked at today from overseas. but how much more did we NEED to know last night? Had things changed? Were we headed to war? How would exploiting the tragic event for an extra three hours of coverage have helped fulfill the networks’ responsibilities to the nation?

Below is my response to his email…

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I hear you on this one, Jim… You know what this article is lamenting? Not that the big networks didn’t cover this, but that the big networks are no longer the driver of the news cycle:

“They’d rather run reruns than preempt their regular programming,” Rosenstiel said. “It’s not a surprise, but it is unfortunate. If the networks have lost their role as arbiters of what’s significant in our culture, then they’ve been complicit in that loss.”

They’ve been outdone. They can throw up the local news at 11, but really. If you wanted coverage, where were you going to turn? CNN. Fox News. The internet.

We don’t need the big networks to be the main arbiter of how to handle the news. We’ve got much more specialized avenues of getting that information that do a much better job. Yes, that may mean that Granny Eunice, with her rabbit ears on top of her 19″ Zenith, doesn’t get the same sort of news she got back in the old days. So what? She can wait until the news at 11, or she can catch it on the Paul Harvey show on her hi-fi.

What really gets me, though, is that when you actually watch the constant coverage of cable news, you begin to see that sometimes the news cycle is faster than the actual news:

“Well, although we just talked to him 12 minutes ago, we’re going to go back on scene with John Ondaspot, who is standing outside the Virginia Tech building where this all happened. John?”

“Well, Wolf, if you can see behind me, you’ll see that one of the detectives has moved 6 feet to the left of where he was 12 minutes ago. Other than scratching his ass, he hasn’t really done a whole lot since. No new information has been released on the gunman, of course, and probably won’t for several hours. Back to you, and I’ll check in with you in another 12 minutes.”

Worthless, the whole damn lot of them. Life got much better when I sold my TV.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 5:48 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, News, Ponderings, Snark


April 5, 2007


Interview — Blogging vs. Pamphleteering

One of the regular readers over at The Liberty Papers is doing a college paper on the similarities between bloggers & pamphleteers. He was looking for an expert to interview, and when he couldn’t find one, he contacted me. With his permission, I’m posting his questions and my answers below the fold.

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Read more of this entry… »

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 5:34 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: Blogging, Books, Education, Internet, Libertarianism, Media, Politics


February 18, 2007


Watching A Person Melt Down

I’ve said before that I’m a big fan of schadenfreude. But as I said then, when a person is actually self-destructing, it’s not funny at all. Which is why I find this to be incredibly sad…

britney_bald1_180

Britney Spears checked into a rehab facility and then abruptly checked out, a source confirms to PEOPLE. And then on Friday, she returned to Southern California – and she shaved her head completely bald.

There’s something wrong in her bald little head. You stick a semi-normal little girl into the celebrity pressure cooker, and eventually it gets to be too much. If anything, I think it might be an issue that nothing in her life is really “hers” any more. No matter where she goes or what she does, she’s in the public eye. No amount of money can give you back your life, when the paparazzi and the celebrity hounds have turned that life into a product, for which their demand is insatiable.

The cult of celebrity in this country is sickening, and Britney Spears is a casualty. She just wasn’t strong enough to own her life when the “fans” (which, of course, is a word short for “fanatic”) tried to take it for themselves.

I’ve often said I want to be rich, but I NEVER want to be famous.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 10:43 am || Permalink || Comments (11) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, News, Pop Culture, Uncategorized


December 1, 2006


Big Ten Network Ready For A Fight

Big Ten watches NFL as it readies network

But if the NFL Network’s experience is any indication, the Big Ten’s new 24-hour channel might need to enlist its fans for some arm-twisting of cable companies to see games they’ve had easy access to in the past.

While the Big Ten’s best games will still be on CBS, ABC or ESPN, the rest will be televised only by the Big Ten Network. In 2007-08, that will include 35 football games and 105 men’s basketball games.

The Big Ten said it made that decision in part because, with costs rising for college sports, it will guarantee each school an extra $7.5 million annually.

But if a cable company doesn’t carry the Big Ten Network, the fan who wants to watch, say, an Indiana-Northwestern basketball game is either shut out or must switch to satellite television. That’s what is happening with the NFL Network, which is involved in a dispute with Time Warner, the nation’s second-biggest cable carrier.

When I highlighted the first news of the Big Ten Network, I was cautiously optimistic. It has the ability to be a very positive change, or it could end up making it harder for me to watch Purdue football, as the trees around my house make it impossible for me to get satellite TV.

If this network takes off, and Comcast picks it up as an affiliate, all will be well. I’ll get great Big Ten content that I don’t get now. If it stays with only DirecTV, though, I’m going to be spending a lot of fall Saturdays sitting in sports bars watching Purdue. Again, being down here in SEC country, that will entail trying to convince some bartender to devote at least one little TV, maybe in the corner, to a little ol’ school like Purdue.

But after this year, I’m not quite as concerned about this. This year, many of Purdue’s games were televised on ESPN360 (internet), ESPN Gameplan (pay per view), ESPNU (uncommon ESPN variant) or ESPN Classic (not on basic cable). I couldn’t watch a single one of those games at home. I did watch the game televised on ESPN Gameplan at a neighbor’s house, but otherwise it was off to sports bars.

So for me, I see this as either a positive thing, if Comcast picks up the network, or neutral. In the linked story, they show that the Big Ten Network will get any game not on ABC, ESPN, or ESPN2, so they won’t be competing with ESPNU for broadcast rights. Now all I need to do is start emailing Comcast every other day to make sure they’ll carry it, and all will be well in the Warbiany household!

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 1:03 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || Trackback URL || Categories: College Football, Media, News, Purdue, Sports


November 30, 2006


Ethnic Cleansing — Now on C-SPAN!

Wow… Just……. Wow.

Submitted without comment, because… Uhh… I got nothin’.

Hat Tip: QandO

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 9:45 am || Permalink || Comments (3) || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, Snark, YouTube


November 24, 2006


War On Christmas Blog

I don’t have the time to devote to this idea, so I’m throwing it out there. If anyone decides to give it a shot, please let me know…

I was thinking after last year’s stupid media frenzy over the “War On Christmas”, of creating a satire blog just to see how easy it would be to get people into a lather. So here’s what I came up with this morning. You start a blog, devoting maybe 50-70% of your posts to outrage-laden tirades about how the ACLU is trying to take God out of the public square, highlighting businesses who say “Happy Holidays”, highlighting every attempt to turn “Christmas Break” into “Winter Vacation” in schools, highlighting every attempt to take down public nativity scenes, etc.

That much focus will give you credibility with the idiots. But it’s what you do with the other 30-50% that is key. Throw out posts about how Christmas carols like “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” are taking away from the glory of Christmas by also highlighting New Year’s. I mean, really take it over the edge. Any time something encroaches on “Christmas”, highlight it as if it’s the end of the world. Phrases like “slippery slope” will come to good use here.

And to really hammer it home, sign every post with the pen name “Jesus Claus”.

This is one of those things that could work very well, because the people who get the joke will think it’s funny as hell, and the people who don’t get the joke won’t even know it’s a joke. You can probably get the entire conservative blogosphere in line with you, and the liberal blogosphere debating you, and a nice little subset of the population can laugh at both. So if anyone is willing to give it a try, I think you’ve got one month to see where it can lead.


The Liberty Papers»Blog Archive linked with “We Need” Doesn’t Obligate The Government
The Unrepentant Individual linked with “We Need” Doesn’t Obligate The Government
Secularists Tossing Around Bad Ideas | Help Save Christmas linked with Secularists Tossing Around Bad Ideas | Help Save Christmas
Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 8:22 am || Permalink || Comments (8) || Trackback URL || Categories: Blogging, Media, Snark


November 8, 2006


ESPN Power Struggles

Over the past few years, cable companies have been battling ESPN over the cost of carrying the ESPN channel. It’s long been part of the “standard” cable offerings, but ESPN, knowing their status as the “WorldWide Leader in Sports”, have steadily been raising their costs to the cable providers. It’s gotten to the point where cable providers have been threatening to make it a pay channel.

ESPN, though, rather than taking their foot off the throttle, have kept the pressure up. ESPN GamePlan was understandable, because they were offering pay content for games that wouldn’t normally ever be broadcast nationally. That works well for fans who have left their alma mater’s locale, like I have. For a cost of $99 per season, you can subscribe to ESPN GamePlan and get all the games you desire. But ESPN decided to take it to the next level. They created a new channel, ESPNU, which is dedicated to college sports. And they’ve used this to exert more pressure on cable providers.

You see, ESPN GamePlan games are often available through local affiliates. I have had situations where I’ve caught Purdue games on CSS (Comcast Sports South), which normally would have required a subscription to GamePlan. Those games are usually broadcast locally to the school on ESPN+ channels. But ESPNU is different. It’s a channel like ESPN or ESPN2, in that games broadcast on ESPNU are only available on ESPNU. And they want all cable providers to carry ESPNU. Many have chosen not to, at this point.

Games carried on ESPNU require me to head out to a sports bar to watch. It’s actually been a little tougher than normal, because one place I would normally go to watch games doesn’t even carry ESPNU. So it requires going to certain sports bars. Granted, since I’m a fan of Purdue, a mid-level Big Ten team, I understand that it’s going to be a little tough for me to always find my team on TV. But ESPN knows that if they really want to get cable providers signed up for ESPNU, they must piss off fans of bigger programs. So earlier this year, Ohio State played a conference game on ESPNU, much to the chagrin of Columbus residents. OSU fans seem to think it’s a god-given right to watch Buckeye football on basic cable. Last weekend, I believe (I could be mistaken) that the Michigan – Ball State game was on ESPNU. ESPN is trying very hard to use their “monopoly” power to ensure local cable providers will add ESPNU to their lineups.

I use the term “monopoly” in quotes for a reason. ESPN is the “WorldWide Leader in Sports” for a reason, and that’s because they’ve done it better and cheaper than anyone else for quite some time. But they’re not a state-enforced monopoly, they’re a natural monopoly. And they’re pissing off their customers. You know what the result of that will be? As I pointed out before the season started, the result will be the Big Ten Network. In a natural monopoly, competition will arise which forces the monopoly power to change its ways, or lose its monopoly status. The Big Ten Network is the first attempt at doing just that, offering the games not carried by ESPN, ESPN2, or a major network, and putting on its own channel that may carry less of a price tag than ESPNU.

This is a real-life example of the natural breakup of a natural monopoly. And I’m not going to guarantee it’s going to be a clean fight, and I’m not going to guarantee everything will come up roses. But I think it will work itself out, and it will do so without the power of government. Not that anyone will pick up on the lesson, but I feel like someone has to point it out.


The Liberty Papers»Blog Archive linked with ESPN Power Struggles
Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 9:30 pm || Permalink || Comments (5) || Trackback URL || Categories: College Football, Economics, Media


November 7, 2006


Woke Up This Morning

(which is also the title of a great song, the theme song from the Sopranos, sung by A3)

On the way to work this morning, I was listening to talk radio as usual, and they were playing some quotes about today’s election. Specifically, the quotes were from Howard Dean and Ken Mehlman.

It was funny. They were both so upbeat, so confident. Dean was popping off about America “wanting change” and talking about how great having both houses of Congress was going to be. Mehlman, was pontificating about a “shift” towards the GOP that would help the GOP retain both houses.

One name came to mind:

Baghdad Bob

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 9:53 am || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: Media, Politics, Snark, YouTube

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