Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How I Lost 85 Pounds Through Paid Professional Videogaming with Elvis Presley, and Blake Shelton, and Erykah Badu...

Or, in a word: BOSH. What this mini-post is really about is that I'm soooo tired of getting e-mail with obviously untrue "made you look" headlines. (Especially when there are embedded links...I'll tell you up front, this post contains some links to Amazon. They're legitimate links you can use to buy books and records I suspect most readers might like--if you don't already own them, which you probably do; these are very popular books and records.)

I've not lost 85 pounds--even after "starving a fever" for eight days in October, I lost only about 20 pounds. Nobody would want to look the way I'd look if I'd lost 85 pounds.

If anybody's getting paid for professional videogaming, I have no idea who it might be.

Elvis Presley died in 1978. (Lots of other guys have earned decent money by enhancing any natural resemblance to him they had, at the time, and lip-syncing with his records.)

What Blake Shelton and Erykah Badu have to do with this post is that I remember seeing their names on Yahoo's list of "What's Trending Now" as I opened my e-mail.

I wouldn't open an e-mail from you that used the headline I've used for the title of this post, and you'd be ahead not to open one from me that used this headline. It is soooo...obviously...garbage! 

And so are some of the e-mails I deleted this morning. "The next Reagan"? The "Reagan" who's famous enough that his name can stand alone, President Ronald Reagan, had children; according to a quick Web search three of them are still alive, albeit retired. "The next Reagan" would be a decent headline for any actual news about anything Michael, Patti, or Ron Reagan, or any of their children or any children Maureen Reagan might have had, might have been doing. In fact Michael Reagan interests me enough that I actually opened that e-mail. But no, that was the headline on an e-mail about somebody's selection of Republican presidential candidates for 2016. Duh...one of them is likely to be the next President, but none of them is going to be the next Reagan.

Another e-mail screeched that somebody "has been accused of a serious crime. You be the judge." Er um, that's why we have judges and juries...so that people aren't "convicted in the court of public opinion" by one or two misleading bits of evidence. It was brought to my attention last week that somebody has a video sequence showing me, the writer known as Priscilla King, taking a bag full of groceries through a supermarket checkout line, holding the cash to pay for them, but not having paid for them. If the video sequence is complete, it will also show two store employees squawking in chorus, "You forgot to pay," and me returning to the counter and paying. I'm not a thief, nor can I imagine that a real thief would ever use that particular technique; it ought to be painfully obvious that everyone involved in that episode was distracted by figuring out how to use the automated cash register. I don't think people should try to "be the judge" even if the viral video shows what appears to be Elvis Presley shooting Erykah Badu in the back...when, if such a video had been made, the rest of it would show the film crew carefully wiping the paint off Erykah's coat before she stands up.

Or how about, "Don Trump's pretty much a Nazi right?" This kind of thing can be found in the context of a conversation, but it wasn't; no fact-based comparison between anything the #BankruptcyBillionnaire said or did and anything any Nazi said or did; pure, kindergarten-level verbal abuse, so far as I could tell. (It came from an attention craver whose e-mails often contain garbage, so I didn't actually open that one.) "Rump," obnoxious jerk, egomaniac, spoiler pseudocandidate, woman-hater, Clinton crony, mocker of family values, world-class liar, bogus Republican whom nobody should trust, yes...but I not only have no reliable documentation of his attempting genocide, I don't even have solid documentation that he intends to be even a Franco-variety fascist. You want to call people Nazis, you need some sort of basis for choosing that label other than "I don't like him or her."

"Long-tailed tags" for things people post or e-mail on the Internet can be fun to play with. After becoming accustomed to using a limited number of "tags" or "labels" as sorting tools to help people find related content on Live Journal or Blogspot, I'm having fun with Wordpress-hosted blogs' policy of using just a few "Labels" for sorting and endless "tags," the longer and more peculiar the better, for attracting readers from search engines. Why be limited to "math/humor" or "math/fiction" when you can use a one-time tag like "math in Alice in Wonderland"? But people need to maintain some sense of what they're talking about. If you tell readers it's about math in Alice in Wonderland, kindly make sure that it is.