Posts Tagged ‘Magic’

Will A&E win the award for dumbest business decision of the year?

by Doug Powers on Friday, December 20th, 2013

This is article 103 of 114 in the topic Hollywood
Do you find it as funny as I do that A&E could lose the most lucrative, highest rated non-fiction cable series of all time just because they were in a rush to appease people who don’t even watch the show?Also, any “boycott” of the show’s advertisers isn’t going to work because companies like Under Armour know their customer base, and that base doesn’t look like this.

In spite of their “offense” at Phil Robertson’s comments, A&E continues to milk every last dollar out of the show. Get it while you can, A&E, because that money might go elsewhere soon.

A&E may have made the dumbest broadcast media business decision since somebody gave Magic Johnson a talk show.

- See more at: http://dougpowers.com/#sthash.YGHqMbkY.dpuf

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Government is Magic

by Daniel Greenfield on Monday, October 28th, 2013

This is article 551 of 683 in the topic Healthcare

Our technocracy is detached it is from competence. It’s not the technocracy of engineers, but of “thinkers” who read Malcolm Gladwell and Thomas Friedman and watch TED talks and savor the flavor of competence, without ever imbibing its substance.

These are the people who love Freakonomics, who enjoy all sorts of mental puzzles, who like to see an idea turned on its head, but who couldn’t fix a toaster.

The ObamaCare website is the natural spawn of that technocracy who love the idea of using modernity to make things faster and easier, but have no idea what anything costs or how it works.

It’s hard to have a functioning technocracy without engineers. A technocracy made in Silicon Valley with its complete disregard for anything outside its own ego zone would be bad enough. But this is a Bloombergian technocracy of billionaires and activists, of people who think that “progress” makes things work, rather than things working leading to progress.

Healthcare.gov showed us that behind all the smoother and shinier designs was the same old clunky government where everything gets done because the right companies hire the right lobbyists and everything costs ten times what it should.

If the government can’t build a health care website, how is it going to actually run health care for an entire country is the obvious question that so many are asking. And the obvious answer is that it will run it the way it ran the website. It will throw wads of money and people at the problem and then look for programs it doesn’t like to squeeze for extra cash.

The Navy had to be cut to the bone and the Benghazi mission had to make do without security so that a Canadian company which began employing a classmate of Michelle Obama’s could score over half a billion to build a broken website. Obama mocked Mitt Romney’s criticism of his Navy cuts by telling him that we don’t fight with bayonets and horses anymore. Bayonets and horses are outdated. In our glorious modernity, we spend fortunes to build websites that don’t work instead.

Modernity has to be built. It has to be constructed brick by bit by rivet by cable by people who know what they are doing. Modernity without competence is as worthless as the ObamaCare website which looked pretty enough to give the illusion of technocratic modernity, but didn’t actually work.

Competence is the real modernity and it has very little to do with the empty trappings of design that surround it. In some ways the America of a few generations ago was a far more modern place because it was a more competent place. For all our nice toys, we look like primitive savages compared to men who could build skyscrapers and fleets within a year… and build them well.

Those aren’t things we can’t do anymore. Not because the knowledge and skills don’t exist, but because the culture no longer allows it. We can’t do them for the same reason that Third World countries can’t do what we do. It’s not that the knowledge is inaccessible, but that the culture gets in the way.

It’s our very hollow modernity that gets in the way of our truly being modern.

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The Emperor’s Magic New Debate

by Daniel Greenfield on Sunday, October 7th, 2012

This is article 1050 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections

The outcome of the debate between Obama and Romney had less to do with any extraordinary qualities possessed by Mitt Romney than with the purely ordinary qualities of Barack Obama. No matter how much Team Obama tried to warn the media faithful against any enthusiasm, the expectations were high and remained high until the Chicago Messiah began to speak. And then there was nothing.

Obama did not blatantly fail. He didn’t forget the number of states or stand there stammering for five minutes before throwing a chair and storming off the stage. That would have been extraordinary. Instead his performance was ordinary, a bland heavily rehearsed stew of big government talking points with nothing behind them. It lacked confidence and inspired no confidence.

Romney did not come to the debate and deliver a brilliant performance. The former Massachusetts governor is not Ronald Reagan. He was just qualified and that word is more damning than any other because it highlights Obama’s incompetence. His debate performance was the work of a professional politician who prepped for it, as he preps for everything.

Mitt had spent most of his life talking to people and trying to convince them of various things, religious, economic or political. His way of doing that is through methodical preparation for a presentation that convinces people of whatever he is trying to sell them on. He’s not particularly charismatic, but he is qualified. And qualification means working to exceed the standards of your chosen profession.

Obama has spent most of his life convincing people that he is qualified for things that he isn’t qualified for. He has faked his biography a disturbing number of times, padded out his resume and leaped from position to position until he became the living embodiment of the Peter Principle. He doesn’t work for things, but skates by on doing the least amount of work possible. When he falls behind, then he quickly tries to get up to speed and dives in while hoping that no one notices.

That is what happened at the debate where Obama gave the kind of performance you would expect from an Illinois Congressman, which is the job that he should have had about now. And had he been running for that position, few  would have questioned his abilities or qualifications. But it’s not an acceptable performance from a presidential candidate.

Romney is a qualified professional. Obama is a talented amateur. None of that is really new. What is new is the product comparison that the debate made possible.

We’ve all seen ridiculous trends take off, bad art, bad music and bad writing. The power of such trends is that they exist in isolation. They are either so different as to be presented as incomparable or comparison is carefully avoided. A legendary image is manufactured for their creators. They are iconized and elevated to a unique stature so that no one can possibly judge their worth by a real world metric.

The iconization of Obama elevated an ordinary ambitious junior machine pol with a funky bio to the status of a deity. And it was done by singling him out, by treating him as a unique incomparable quantity, a force of history, a living embodiment of poetry, a racial healer and a thousand other empty titles.

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Everything is Fake Now

by Daniel Greenfield on Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

This is article 348 of 555 in the topic Media

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away,” Philip K. Dick said, when asked to define what reality is. Dick was a Science Fiction writer and that seems appropriate enough we are living in a Science Fiction world where there is no reality anymore, because the real goes away, but the unreal does not.

Virtual reality, it turned out, was not some complicated gizmo that made you look like a blind skier and allowed you to enter into another world, instead it was an unreal world being comprehensively overlaid on top of our own. The lines between the real and the unreal haven’t blurred because the unreal has gotten so much more sophisticated. The unreal is more fake than ever, but discerning that has become more difficult now that the real has gone away.

As we watch the news covering a story, what we are actually watching is the media making up a story and then telling that story incessantly and embedding it in every nook and cranny of their coverage. This blurring of the lines between the real and the fake is not happening thanks to the magic of technology, but the prosaic methods of complete insincerity.

The fake is being overlaid on the real, like men fighting on top of a board with a movie of a train passing by in the background to give the impression that they are fighting on top of it. Such cheap trickery defines our media environment where reporters barge into events and badger the participants into playing along with their movie. Or they just play the clip of actual events and frame them so that everyone hears their version of what is going on.

There’s Godzilla and we know he’s real because we can see Tokyo in the background. There’s the latest media narrative and we know it’s real, because we can see Tampa in the background as some blow-dried buffoon does breathing exercises before commencing to tell us that the Republican Party, which supports things that would have made Ike and Ron have coronaries, has gone so far to the right that it might as well be a Godzilla of reactionary running dog capitalism.

This is our shoddy virtual reality with a CNN or MSNBC logo planted on top. There is you still sitting on your same old couch, watching Chris Matthews yelling himself hoarse about racism, because racism is our virtual reality. It is the world that we are supposed to live in and Chris’ job, for which he receives some 5 million a year, is to convince us that we are living in it.

“Racism,” Chris yells at the screen, like the idiot shaman of some stone age tribe, and those dull-witted enough to believe him nod knowingly, because it makes them feel as if they know something. And in a world where nothing is real, knowing something makes them feel a little less confused. They don’t understand why the prices are suddenly so high and the bank won’t give them a loan– but they can understand that Republicans are bad people and somehow responsible for it.

Some 70 percent of Barack Obama’s Twitter followers may be fake, but why quibble at such numbers.

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Dueling Headlines, Full Presidential Plate Edition

by Doug Powers on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Actually, in the interest of full disclosure, it’s headline vs. Tweet today.

Remember this from just a few days ago?

null

Obama’s got a “lot on his plate” according to White House Spokescomedian Jay Carney.

Here’s a glance at the president’s plate this evening:

By my count, Pres Obama’s 3 events tonight bring to 185, the number of fundraisers he’s done since filing for re-election last year.

Obama’s used to seeing a lot on the plate though… upwards of $35,800 per as a matter of fact.

In other news, Obama must be a worried about the Jewish vote this year — but only a little. An Obama campaign aide said that, for the first time as president, The One will visit Israel… in his second term.

Nice message: “Hey Jewish voters, if you want the Lightworker to take the magic on the road to Tel Aviv, ya gotta pony up in November!”

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In The Past Four Years

by Bob Livingston on Friday, June 15th, 2012

This is article 726 of 1300 in the topic 2012 Elections
In The Past Four Years

UPI FILE
In 2008, Barack Obama promised change.

In 2008, Presidential candidate Barack Obama boasted of hope and change. Progressive liberals were convinced their savior had arrived. With Obama in office, there would be no reason to worry. The “Magic Negro” represented peace of mind in otherwise turbulent times.

But  the median net worth of households has declined, falling from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010.

In the past four years, 4.6 million jobs have been lost.

And State spending has increased by 14 percent.

Obama promised change. Things changed.

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Obama’s Official Campaign Video Released: The Debt Road We’ve Accumulated Traveled

by Doug Powers on Saturday, March 17th, 2012

This is article 537 of 986 in the topic Obama

Last night, Obama campaign released their 2012 documentary, helmed by “Inconvenient Truth” director Davis Guggenheim (so you know it’s gotta be factual).

The actual title of the video is “The Road We’ve Traveled,” but the implied title is “How Obama Saved the Country from Years of Bush.”

The Tom Hanks narration might leave you feeling like you’ve watched an Apollo 13 documentary… provided the film ended before the successful re-entry and splashdown that this video desperately wants you to assume went well:

Shorter version: “I spent a sh*tload of your money, killed Bin Laden, spent another sh*tload of your money, passed a health care law that’s going to cost at least twice what we told you, and… did I mention I killed Bin Laden?”

Loved the flashback scenes to 2008 featuring the teary-eyed mounties in the Hope & Change Unicorn Cavalry along with the message, “Remember what it felt to feel like this? Wouldn’t you like to feel this way again? Force yourself!

Oddly enough, the film didn’t feature any follow-up interviews with Peggy to see how that free gas and mortgage is working out for her.

Among the true faithful however, The One hasn’t lost the magic.

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Yet Another Fainter Hits the Deck at an Obama Speech

by Doug Powers on Thursday, March 8th, 2012

This is article 527 of 986 in the topic Obama

Obama: “People faint all the time at my meetings.”

This is from just a little while ago at a speech in North Carolina… The Deliverer still has the magic:


*****

I’ve noticed that the number of fainters at Obama speeches has increased in number lately. There was another one just last week. As election season heats up, we’ll see many more. Is “designated fainter” at Obama speeches a union gig or does the campaign use scab labor?

I smell the formation of a new Super-PAC: “Syncopers for Obama.”

In 2008 they were fainting because they were overcome by The One’s awesomeness. In 2012 they’re fainting because they’ve been standing in the unemployment line too long.

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Jay Carney: Obama Doesn’t Really Spend a Lot of Time Campaigning

by Doug Powers on Saturday, January 21st, 2012

It’s Friday afternoon, which means we’re sitting around waiting to see which documents get dumped out a second floor window of the White House before everybody heads off for the weekend. Until that happens, Jay Carney’s taken it upon himself to keep everybody entertained:

WH reporter: “Do you understand the optics when, at the economy event he was on the ground in Orlando for less than three hours, yet he spent roughly seven hours at these four different campaign events. The way this is viewed, you hear from Republicans…”

Jay Carney: “…I would challenge you to look at what the President does on any given week, including this week and many weeks going back, and not come to the conclusion that he spends a relatively small amount of time — at this stage — on campaign events. That’s a simple fact”:

The Press Corps would ask the President himself if he’s spending much time campaigning, but yesterday Obama’s completely non campaign-related photo op at the Magic Kingdom was followed by the four non campaign-related NYC fundraisers the reporter was referring to (one featuring an Al Green impression that by now is probably Chris Matthews’ cell phone ring tone). Those were followed today by another non campaign-related fundrasier, so the press isn’t able to reach him quite yet:

null(h/t HAP)

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Obama Going to Disney World

by Doug Powers on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

This is article 238 of 443 in the topic Immigration

nullI was really excited about this at first because I thought we’d finally get a photo of Obama in the Magic Kingdom with Goofy. But sadly, Joe Biden won’t be travelling with the President this week.

Why am I guessing that this POTUS assistance will culminate in Disney going bankrupt before summertime?

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will visit Walt Disney World on Thursday to “unveil a strategy that will significantly help boost tourism and travel,” a White House aide said today.

The president will deliver his remarks inside the Magic Kingdom, with Disney’s iconic Cinderella Castle as backdrop.

That “strategy” is looser visa policies to get more visitors to places like Disney World. Loosening visa policies is not a good idea.

And of course, whenever Obama visits a state these days, Dems in toss-up districts scatter like cockroaches when the light gets switched on. Florida Democrats are offering the usual “uh, I have to re-arrange my sock drawer” excuse for missing Obama’s visit and avoiding a possible kiss of political death:

It doesn’t appear, however, that Obama will get much love from local politicians. Aides to U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said the Florida Democrat was unlikely to attend because the office “got word too late” of the visit and had meetings planned in other parts of the state. And Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer is scheduled to be in Washington that day for a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Barack Obama — the Maytag Repairman of presidents.

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