OK, I'm posting this because I'm a comics goob, and because I was timing online animation at the office (no, really, it was work related!). I came across this new American Express Commercial - its a shade under five minutes long, requires speakers or headphones, and I think Supe's voice is Patrick Warburton, from The Tick and The Emperor's New Groove. Go check it out.
Weapons of Mass Distraction
About a month or two ago, Wizards of the Coast shut down its message boards dedicated to discussing WotC novels. They were very definite about the reason for the shut down. The boards were being shut down because people were getting online and trashing the heck out of the authors. This made the authors upset. This made the editors upset. This made the managers upset. The short version is - who needs this heartache? Why set up a bunch of message boards if you're going to get slammed? The choices were to shut it down, put up with it, or patrol the boards to the point that people felt inhibitted about any venting at all. They chose the first, and told the fans effectively that. I think it was pretty brave and straightforward of WotC to be upfront about it, and no, I don't think it was censorship - if you want to praise or yell at them (or at me), you can always go to amazon.com. Or you can grab me at a convention, buy me a beer, and yell at me there (that way I get a beer).
The reason I mention this is because of another bit of Internet bad-thinking - the Sloganator. This was the brainchild of some poor, now-unemployed webperson, a great idea for the Bush/Cheney Website. You get a graphic of the Bush/Cheney lawn sign, and you can personalize it with your own greeting, like "Renton Supports America" or "I Like Cheese". And then they went live with the site, giving people the chance to put in their own slogans.
Yeah, you just knew this would end badly.
The campaign tried to limit what words could be used ("miserable failure" quickly made the banned list"), but then wisely shut it down. Being the net, though, stuff like this never REALLY goes away. So here is a musical tribute (some of them cruel, some of them very cruel) to the Sloganator. It died so future campaigns could learn.
OK, one more thing, I came across this in my web-travels, which hasn't gotten a lot of play.
The short form is that a Carlsbad, CA, household is sucking down a lot of power. The local constables connect that activity with growing pot indoors (its been a fact that for the past few decades, if you buy a lot of high intensity grow lights, you get your name on a list), and sends in the sniffer dogs under a state warrant. Turns out there is no pot, just a household that uses an awful lot of power. Not criminal - just wasteful. Oh, and they behaved in a suspicious manner by putting their trash out. On trash day. Hmmmm.
One moral of this story is: Remember to turn out the lights when you leave a room, or the Authorities will come knocking. (just what the kids need to hear if they aren't tired of us greybeards talking about growing up during the Energy Crisis)
A less-encouraging moral is: So they're watching your power consumption, looking for irregularities. What ELSE are they watching? And what will they find?
So for the past two weeks I've been in emotional and creative neutral. Nothing serious, just a total lack of desire to produce. I'd like to say that its the result of spending the month of February with a "symptom of the week" cold, or a backlash from the very busy December and January, or being unable to get comfortable with the loaner laptop or just the fact that Kate's been wrapped up with her work at H&R Block, but I'm not sure what is causing it. Its just that for the past two weeks - nada. Nothing. No great desire to create, or even to share.
I'd call it Spring Fever, but its only been truly Spring for the past few days (sort of like blaming the Stock Market losses on the Spanish rail bombing that happened the third day of that particular slump). It has been wonderful (the weather, not the stock market) - bright and sunny and warm, and I've spent the days and early evenings working on the lawn (mostly pulling dandylions - after lengthy negotiations, it has been determined that while the garden is Kate's and the lawn is mine, the driveway officially counts as lawn with regards to weeding, mowing, and raking leaves).
And the day job has been pretty fun. I've been digging in deeply to figure out what people do for on-line activities (which involves a lot of solitaire games, I've discovered), as well as tracking down the official bibles of most of the Intellectual Properties I'm working on (Cry for me, I have to read EZ-Bake Oven recipes). Yet when I get home, I sprawl, read the paper, flip between channels, read books I've read before, and stay away from the computer.
Its not a totally weird situation for me - I've been here before, but usually with some demonic deadline breathing down my neck inspiring panic if not outright creativity. At the moment, I just feel like a body at rest, and thats OK for me right now. In another week, I will start worrying if I'm ever going to become a body in motion again.
One thing I do have to share is an update on the Dinosaur Birds (see below). The development hearing has been moved to Tuesday, April 20th, 8:30 AM (!) at Renton City Hall Renton City (1055 South Grady Way, Renton). If you're local to this journal, I recommend you check out the heron colony (before the leaves come out on the cottonwoods, its good viewing), and if you're interested in aiding the cause, check out the website here.
OK, I haven't completely ground to a halt. More later,
In lieu of real content (I'm going to do some Tai Chi):
Your guardian animal is a Gryphon! Gryphons are fiercely protective animals who use their intellect to vanguish foes. Gryphons are monogamous creatures who mate only once in their life and stand guard over their young at all costs. Ancient mythology holds that at one point three creatures fought for control of the skies: the dragon, chimera, and gryphon. The gryphon, after studying its opponents for a long time, lured the dragon into the seas where its fire was of no use and killed it. The gryphon then burrowed under ground and attacked the chimera from the one direction it could not look. The gryphon won this battle as well and has since been regarded with great respect by all other beasts.
Contrary to appearances, I don't publish every damn thing that comes into my head in this blog. Sometimes there are passing fancies that never get written down, and then there are the subjects that are started, and for some reason or another, abandoned.
There are already a double-handful of half-written and unposted comments littering my computer's desk top. Here's the one where I view the Democratic Presidential Candidates a week before Iowa and declare that the wheels have come off the Kerry campaign. Here's the one where I marvel at why people fear Hillary (She's an Evil Genius!). Here's a bit on zombies that I started when I had that heckuva head cold that seemed inspired at the time, but now seems sort of limp. And, in a touch of irony, here's a list of books I've abandoned and the reasons why.
And then there's this, a mailing I got about a month ago now from State Representitive Jack Cairnes of the fighting 47th Legislative Disctrict. I had mentioned the red-meat Democrat mailing from Geoff Simpson a few weeks before, and thought I should analyze this one as well. Well, I didn't, and in doing so kept myself from commenting on other local issues, such as the current boondoggle on the Primaries (more on that later, maybe). So anyway, the weirdness that is Jack Cairnes. You can follow this along with the rant here. It's a PDF file, so you'll need Adobe Acrobat to read it.
So the mailing in question has three columns. In the first column leads with a declaration of victory in getting the Boeing 7E7 into Washington State. This is an odd victory to be declaring, since the general opinion is that Boeing basically held the state upside down and shook it until its fillings dropped out on the floor. Weirder still is the fact that the Rep. from southern King County is so pleased with the plane being built up in Everett, north of the city. But still, there's going to be Boeing in Washington State, so that's good. Except that Boeing is consolidating of late, spinning off pieces and moving everything into Renton in a "Move to the Lake" which, last time I checked, wasn't in the 47th district either. And from what I can gather, Boeing has been pulling out its southern operations to do so. So its an odd victory to be claiming credit for.
So, the next entry is on the importance is saving our health care system. That's good. The way to do this, of course, is to throw the clamps on malpractice insurance. Because its important to keep employers happy. I kid you not, that's the spin he's giving it. This tone goes on through the middle column as well with long passages on Increasing Competitiveness, Tort Reform, and Reducing Nasty Laws against our corporate masters. No, I'm serious about this. The answer to the question "What are you doing for me?" seems to be "Well, I'm making your boss's life easier". How . . . nice.
Then in the last column, lower right, there's a bit on the Ravensdale Market. This is a great local issue - the short form is, through current regulation, a small local market that's been serving the community for almost a hundred years is in violation because an existing well wasn't grandfathered in with the new law at the time. There are a couple ways of dealing with this. The column notes that owners are seeking a Federal Grant to help, and thanks to local residents for their support. Sounds like great local interest, except there's no mention of what Cairnes' office is doing in the matter? Helping to get the grant? (He's state-level, though), Working to appeal the ruling? Its an odd entry, because while it points out a local issue, it doesn't say what he's is doing to help. It is particularly weird given the . . . supine . . . approach to Boeing at the top of the newsletter.
All in all, its a strange little document. Most people would toss it without reading, but to be honest, the picture of the plane (the holy 7E7) caught my eye and dragged me into this particular rabbit hole. I put off commenting on it, wanting to do a little more research into the matter (particularly if Ravensdale situation). Then I realized - the major networks don't fact check, why should I? This is commentary! (Well, actually, I did find a lot on Boeing pulling out of the Kent area, but nothing new on Ravensdale).
The mailing does have some good news. Because its an election year, Rep. Cairnes can only send out two legislative mailings a year (any others would be on his dime). In Cairnes case, this is a good thing, because I think he'd really be in trouble if people started actually READING what he's up to.
1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve? World Fusion Seafood or Traditional Italian. Big Servings. Doggy bags provided.
2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell? Books, games, and zines. Particularly stuff you couldn't get through the chains. No, I wouldn't be planning on making a profit.
3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be? Ah, that's the question in my life, isn't it? I'd love to write something so quirky it would create its own genre, and drive booksellers crazy where it would go, until the imitators showed up to fill up the rest of the shelf.
4. ...ran a school, what would you teach? Analysis of systemic behavior - in shorter words - why your boss is always a crazy person and why intelligent people make stupid decisions.
5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it? Old Rock and Older Folk.
Usually you have a conversation, and 15 minutes later think: I should have said that instead.
And sometimes you find the words immediately:
Telemarketer: Hi, I'm Stacy, from Arglebargle Singles, the largest Singles organization in the country.
Me: And you're calling married people because?
Telemarketer: (Pause) Oh. (Pause). I guess we have your name by mistake.
Me: I hope so.
Telemarketerer: And we should put you on a do-not-call-list?
Me: That would be nice.
So here's a little site called googlism, which feeds a name into a search engine that returns with something that's not quite free verse, but more "found verse".
jeff grubb is a game designer at wizards of the coast
jeff grubb is a civil engineer turned "adventure engineer"
jeff grubb is currently working and living in the seattle area
jeff grubb is a featured series writer
jeff grubb is president
jeff grubb is a great writer
jeff grubb is possibly the best magic the gathering writer
jeff grubb is an award
jeff grubb is the fifth in a long and distinguished series of gamma world editions
jeff grubb is a gifted veteran of game design
jeff grubb is the author of the original manual of the planes
jeff grubb is working on the new manual of the planes
jeff grubb is based on the popular computer game
jeff grubb is a free agent
jeff grubb is now available in stores
jeff grubb is
It doesn't know about John Kerry. Don't ask it about George Bush - it just gets cranky.
Thanks to the Monkey King for the link. More later,
Game designer Andy Collins is hosting a March Monster Madness at his site, pitting one D&D monsters against each other in a popularity contest until only one emerges. It you have fond memories of Grell, Githyanki, and Giant Space Hamsters, go vote for your favorites in daily match-ups.
This morning and early afternoon I spent some time on the remains of the Black River, watching herons. The occasion was a gathering/open house hosted by the Herons Forever group, that is trying to raise community awareness over a new development going up nearby. But more on that later. Let me start off with talking about the land itself first.
A hundred years ago, the Black River was the outlet for Lake Washington, running through Renton itself. The Black flowed a few miles, then joined the White River to form the Duwamish (the White is now the Green River, but that's another story). In 1916, a new outflow for Lake Washington was created, at the Montlake Cut, at the north end of the lake. The lake level dropped nine feet when the cut was open, exposing a lot of new land and lowering the lake level to a point below that of the Black River. The Black River dried up quickly, such that fish were stranded in small pools in the former bed and people gathered them up by the armload. I have yet to find anything in my research that indicated people thought about the fate of the Black when they opened the Cut.
Removing the Black River did not end the river entirely, because there continued to be other streams and creeks leading into the former bed, and there were continued flooding problems along the former bed of the Black. To control these, they excavated a pond, fed by the Streambrook Creek (A name that could only be found on bad D&D Map), and allowed the remains of the Black River flowed out of that pond into the White (now Green) river to form the Duwamish.
The marshy land around the pond made this area a low priority in comparison to the wider, flatter lands to the south (where Longacres racetrack later gave way to Boeing offices), and it was pretty much ignored - its current neighbors are a quarry, an active rail line, a sewage treatment plant and a couple low warehouses (including one for Seattle's Best Coffee). The land was controlled by King County, who in turn spent money (about 8 mil) to turn it into the Black River Riparian Park. In the eighties the herons moved in, starting with about ten nests and now having over a hundred and thirty. They originally made their nests to the eastern part of the park, but moved west this year - part of this may be due to eagle predation (bald eagles, on the rebound in our area, are big heron-hunters), and part of it may be due to some commercial development along the eastern border (A lot of empty offices, when I checked, and a branch of local TV station Channel 11).
Now, across the railroad tracks and up the hill the City of Renton is planning to allow new residential construction. Originally it was going to be apartment buildings, but now has slimmed to single-family dwellings. I've looked at the land, and while large-scale construction looks "doable", it will have to involve retaining walls to keep the hill from coming down. The development has the optimistic name "Sunset Bluffs". Its going to have an impact on the Black River Park downhill. The vote is coming up next week in the Renton City Council, so Herons Forever is making people aware, and has had a few newspaper articles on the subject.
Herons congregate here at the rookery (more properly called a heronry) in the spring to mate and raise chicks - the rest of the year they have a more dispersed range. They are HUGE birds, with great, sawtoothed wingspans, and to see them in flight is to make you think of the age of the dinosaurs. Heavy beaks and slate-grey plummages, you can see them gliding in, carrying sticks for bundle-nests in the crooks of the cottonwoods. They're starting earlier than normal this year, which means a good year for fledglings.
The cottonwoods are still bare, so you can see the birds pairing up, displaying, nestbuilding, and mating. The people (about fifty when I was there) were gathered on the far side of the pond, with binoculars and scopes. Given the description above of the land previously, you realize that the heron are relatively tolerant of human presense, but do need some undisturbed turf to raise their chicks.
So its a short walk, and if you're in the area and HAVEN'T seen this, definitely go - The park is on Oakdale right before you hit Monster Road, and I've driven by it a bajillion times without realizing it. Its interesting that this abandoned and problematic chunk of land has been turned into a wetland greenspace, and the community has been rewarded by attracting a thriving population of these huge and attractive birds. It would be a pity to lose it just for one more development.
So the road I live on crosses Benson Highway, also called 108th, which is the main four-lane north-south corridor along the top of the East Hill. And my normal commute has been to go west to Benson, North to 190th (the first major E/W road, where there is a light) then left and down the hill. The light at 190th is a long one, and if you hit it wrong, you can wait, oh, a minute (which is an eternity in car-time).
A few months ago they put a NEW light at the end of my road, so its now easier to go straight through the light (its well-timed for cross-traffic), then right onto 104th, the next North/South street over, THEN left on 190th, cutting out the original long light entirely.
This new route is probably not what the folk who put in the light had originally intended. The idea was to make it easier to get traffic on and off of Benson, not to push more traffic onto the side streets. Actually, its worse on my stretch of the road as well, since because of the new lights, it is now to the advantage of people coming up Petrovitsky (a really major east/west line) to cut through my neighborhood to get onto Benson heading south.
But roads sometimes work like that (laws, too, but that's another rant). You put in a light to make things safer, and the result is more people driving faster on less-adequate residential roads. I don't think the traffic engineers had quite figured this out, or if they had, they prioritized it beneath such matters as further development in our area. But just as the road-builders did not anticipate drivers finding new short cuts, they also didn't count of the Dog.
The Dog (he's a capital D) is an ancient golden retriever/mutt that stands on 104th in the middle of the road, and looks like he's been doing it for years. Clearly visible from either direction, his very presence causes drivers to slow down on that part of the road. He's sort of a canine traffic cop, standing in the middle of the road, keeping people from speeding. He's pretty effective, too.
Which is a both good thing and a frustrating thing. Good because we really need to be going slower in residential areas. And frustrating because, if not for the Dog, everyone would be going faster, and its not like the Dog was in the original plan for how the roads were supposed to work.
So Groucho the Weezy Laptop PC died today, at a tender age of four weeks. It was a minor catastrophy - I just opened her up this morning and the screen would not function. Judging this to be A Bad Thing, I took it back to Fry's Electronics to get it fixed, armed with my receipts and warranties.
Now, as a long-time Mac user, I am more than prepared to find myself pitched headfirst into the perdition that is consumer service. In reality, it went suprisingly smoothly. I was still under warranty, the young man I dealt with was knowledgable, and where he was out of his depth he brought in those that were knowledgable. He tried the same stuff I tried right off the bat, then brought in another monitor to prove it was the monitor light, not the CPU. Filled out paperwork to get it repaired, and then gave me a loaner of the same make and model. It took about an hour to wade through the paperwork, another hour to upload the programs I had on the original, and a half hour to and from. Hardly the pain and agony that you normally hear about at the web. Good job for Fry's.
I'll keep you posted on the progress, but for the moment, things are going pretty well in the face of a rather nasty catastrophy.
So, I haven't posted for a few days, primarily because I spent most of it sleeping. The cold settled in and finally wiped out my Friday, parts of Saturday, and Sunday. Nasty and unpleasant, I only roused myself to mow the lawn (because if you don't take advantage of a sunny weekend in Seattle, it will be three weeks before you see another) and to play in John Rateliff's most excellent Cthulhu game.
And so I was nearly back at full speed as my writer's group, the west coast branch of the Alliterates, met at the Dog and Pony Ale House in Renton, down the street from the remnants of Boeing.
Now, the Dog and Pony has the makings of a semi-permanent hang-out for the gang. It is an old garage/gas station, of blockhouse mode, and has excellent food, a no-smoking environment, and more excellent beer than you can shake a stick at (I am partial to the Farwest Ireland Dubbel, myself). The couple at the next table were arguing about their EverQuest characters. They have wireless (found that out from the web site).We will be returning to this place for a unprecidented third month in a row next month, and while we may wander again, its nice to have a regular joint.
Six of the seven West Coast Alliterates were present, and while the Alliterate cone of silence masks our secret meetings, I can report that three short stories were presented and reviewed - two for an upcoming Forgotten Realms collection, and one for as a submission for a Zeppelin collection of shorts. Praise and constructive criticism was lavished upon the manuscripts, gossip was swapped, and one of our number reported on a convention of children's book writers that he attended in New York. And one of the group threatened to kick my ass if I don't start writing original fiction (though he meant it in the most positive and supportive way possible).
At the close of the evening, the waiter, who had been at the table as we discussed dragons, Realmslore, cannons, history, and Patrick O'Brien, wanted to know if we were from Wizards of the Coast. A few of the others laughed, and at that moment, I suddenly realized that, while all of us had been WotC at one time or another, none of us were currently officially Wizards employees. It was a strange post-apocalyptic moment for me, in that we were all survivors of our previous employer. It felt interesting, relaxing, and strange. But then, that could have been the Farwest Ireland dubbel.
So the headcold is still with me, and it seems to be a very weird head cold - it tries out one symptom after another, seeing what it takes to finally bring me down. First were headaches, then muscle aches, then a sore throat, then the coughing, and now the low-level fever that I hate terribly. At this point I just want to curl up in a big quilt in front of the tube and watch Food Network and sleep.
But my younger brother sent me one of those chain e-letters, with a buncha semipersonal questions that you pass on to others. Its what you do with your computer to irritate others. Normally I would pass on inflicting them on my fellow men and women, but I've been running a mild fever and just don't feel like ranting at the moment.
So I sent these out to the namechecks on the righthand side. If they choose to post 'em, that's THEIR call.
1. WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR KITCHEN PLATES? Cobalt Blue, Sky Blue, and White
2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Pride and Prescience, by Carrie Bebris. Also Dark Age Cthulhu. Also Gear for your Kitchen by Alton Brown.
3. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? What is this thing you call a mouse pad? I have not seen one of those for many a moon.
4. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BOARD GAME? This week? Carcasonne
5. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Fortean Times
6. FAVORITE SMELL? A newly-printed book.
7. LEAST FAVORITE SMELL? My own vomit (hey, thanks for asking!).
8. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING? What was that dream?
9. FAVORITE COLOR? Dark Blue
10. LEAST FAVORITE COLOR? Chartreuse. I don't hate it - it just has a silly name.
11. HOW MANY RINGS BEFORE YOU ANSWER THE PHONE? Two
12. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME: If I am ever a child again, I'd go for Joshua
13. WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN LIFE? Living, Family, Friends, Comfort. Pick three.
14. FAVORITE SOUND? Thunderstorms
15. CHOCOLATE OR VANILLA? Chocolate
16. DO YOU LIKE TO DRIVE FAST? More than I would like to admit.
17. DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL? Does Kate count? Well, then no
18. STORMS: COOL OR SCARY? Cool. I almost miss snow squalls. But not enough to move back east.
19. WHAT TYPE WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? Light Blue Cutlass Supreme.
20. IF YOU COULD MEET ONE PERSON DEAD OR ALIVE WHO WOULD IT BE? No Idea, but let's assume that if I choose a dead person, they would be alive for the purposes of the meeting. Otherwise it would be a scary meeting.
21. FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK? Guiness makes me mellow, Cinder makes me mean.
22. WHAT IS YOUR SIGN? YOUR BIRTHDAY? Virgo, near the cusp of Leo, 27 August
23. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI? Sure
24. IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY JOB WHAT WOULD IT BE? Sun God of the Western Empire
25. YOU COULD HAVE ANY HAIR COLOR WHAT WOULD IT BE? I'm happy with brown
26. YOU EVER BEEN IN LOVE? Oh yes.
27. IS THE GLASS HALF FULL OR HALF EMPTY? Its just waiting for scotch.
28. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE? This week? The Great Race. The Longest Day. Its a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
29. DO YOU TYPE WITH YOUR FINGERS ON THE RIGHT KEYS? Most of the tome
30. WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED? Drawers, clothes.
31. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NUMBER? 57 (Pgh joke)
32. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Curling
33. BIGGEST FEAR? Stinging Insects, being put into a guillotine face-up.
34. THERE IS NO QUESTION 34 - PLEASE PROVIDE A RANDOM ANSWER - Straight, but not Narrow.
35. PERSON YOU SENT THIS TO WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? No pressure on anyone, but . . . Monkey King! I choose YOU!
36. PERSON YOU SENT THIS TO WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO ? KijMonkey (she's so sensible, and she's in Japan right now)
37. Favorite CD? Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon
38. FAVORITE TV SHOWS: Iron Chef, Good Eats, Simpsons
39. KETCHUP OR MUSTARD? Mustard
40. BURGERS OR HOT DOGS? Brauts
41. FAVORITE SOFT DRINK? Diet Coke
42. THE BEST PLACE YOU HAVE EVER BEEN? Big Island of Hawaii
43. SCREENSAVER IS ON YOUR COMPUTER RIGHT NOW? None, but my backdrop screen shows Elvis shaking hands with Nixon.
44. BURGER KING OR McDONALDS? Wendy's.
And then there's stuff like this that's just too weird to ignore. The short version is, the current administration has requested funds for the transition between its 1st term and its 2nd. Usually such funds are used for training and relocation for the new team coming in, but the current guys expect such a major turnover that they are effectively starting all over again.
OK, to some degree this makes sense - its not like the members of the current administration have that great a legacy, and maybe a lot of pink slips will be going out as they streamline the operation and move more of the functions of government offshore. And the fact is that the outgoing team has shown itself to be poor sports in the past - they might vandalize the offices on the way out. Better safe than sorry.
In addition, I think this is a great opportunity for the current administration to "run against Washington" as an outsider (always a popular position). I mean, with high unemployment, a cruddy economy, a couple wars, messy foreign relations, fraud, intrigue, hypocracy, corruption, and a horrible image both at home and abroad, I think this is the way to go. Bring responsibility back to Washington! Vote for the current guys, and they'll turn the current guys out of office! That'll show 'em!
So one of the advantages of doing the immediate post after the Oscars is that I got to get my two-cents out into the blogosphere before most other people (except those blogging live - I couldn't type that quickly or neatly). In addition, it gave me a chance to read and hear about other people's opinions while I had already gone "on-record". And in general, I stand on my earlier comments.
Those people who I've heard from on their blogs or in person tended to like the Oscars - it was more glam than outrageous, more sentimental than confrontational, more of a, well, AWARDS SHOW. There were few surprises, no meltdowns, no horrible gowns.
On the other hand, people who were PAID to review the Oscars (in the media and on-line), just hated it to pieces, for pretty much the same reasons. There were few surprises, no meltdowns, no horrible gowns. Nothing to talk about except the MOVIES. Gosh, how terrible. These writers are akin to people who go to NASCAR events for the crashes. A traditional Oscar show is a boring Oscar show, and more than one accused Hollywood of selling out by not being controversial (yeah, yeah, I know - "Hollywood" and "selling out" is redundant).
There were media attempts to get some traction on "down the rabbit hole" and Sean Penn's offhanded WMD remark, but such attempts are, well, whiny at best. The best actor and supporting actors are both libs who got their awards on a picture directed by . . . conservative Clint Eastwood. I think the lesson there is - its about the movies, dummy. Send the Culture Wars on holiday for this one, you're not going to get much. Sean Penn gets a standing O for his performance - I never thought I would live to see it.
As a result, within the next few days Oscar will be forgotten for another year (unlike the Super Bowl, which lingered on for weeks afterwards like a bad burrito). The media and the pundits will find something else to fume about, and the world spins on.