Nathan (vovat) wrote,
Nathan
vovat

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Pinheads and Smart Operators

I recently read The O'Reilly Factor for Kids, which was actually a wedding present from slfcllednowhere. In truth, I didn't think it was as bad as I would have expected. In fact, I think the main problem with it is that Bill doesn't really practice what he preaches. He has a chapter on bullying, which is good since it's a problem a lot of adults seem to ignore, but he constantly bullies people on his show. Aside from that, the Most Ridiculous Item of the Book is his attempt to talk to kids in their language, which comes across pretty awkwardly. Not that I know how kids talk nowadays (and I had only a rudimentary idea of how they talked when I actually WAS one), but I probably wouldn't even make the attempt. There's also an undercurrent of the conservative "work hard and you'll succeed in life" philosophy, but I'm sure that's par for the course in kids' advice books (and probably adult advice books as well). At one point, O'Reilly dismisses cynicism as "lazy thinking," which I would say is cynical in and of itself. Of course, I'm a professional cynic, but my heart's not in it. So anyway, I didn't think most of its advice was that bad, which is probably a good thing for the kids who receive this book from Fox-loving relatives, but not so much for those of us who enjoy seeing what absurdity the Falafel King will come up with next. Maybe I need to read Culture Warrior.

Speaking of O'Reilly, a little while ago Newt Gingrich was on his show, and the two of them were talking about how great Fox News is. I've seen this kind of thing other times as well, and it just makes me figure that they have to spend a lot of time talking themselves up because watching the channel itself generally gives the impression that it's actually just a bunch of holier-than-thou old guys regurgitating Republican Party talking points. It's like how the people who make a point of saying they have a good sense of humor are often the ones who couldn't laugh if ordered to at gunpoint. (Okay, it would probably be hard for ANYONE to laugh if they had a gun pointing at them. Bad metaphor, but you get the idea, right?) By the way, Newt was promoting the two books he'd just written, one of which was fiction. (All right, they were probably both fiction, but he actually admitted that one of them was.) Is anyone at all surprised by the fact that the fiction book has a picture of something exploding on the cover?

Oh, and you know that GoPhone commercial with Meat Loaf in it? Earlier today, I saw an Internet ad for the same product was Sonic the Hedgehog in it. I felt that was worth mentioning, even though it has nothing to do with the rest of this entry.
Tags: books, commercials, television
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