Sunday, October 30, 2011

"Hi, Siri. Do I look stupid to you?"

I know you've seen the latest Apple iPhone commercial where everyone is an idiot. Yes, you've seen the little girl who wants to see a weasel. But did you realize that most people in that commercial are idiots?

I've seen this ad on TV about 15 times. And the first time I noticed that the woman who is rushing to the hospital is smiling. She says, "Tell me the quickest way to the hospital." And she's smiling. Is she rushing there because she's sick, or because someone in her family has been injured? Maybe a friend had a baby; that might have her smiling. But then, why is she rushing? The baby isn't going anywhere. Or is it? Her whole world seems alien to me. Stop smiling! Someone is selling a baby on the black market, you monster!

And the woman who gets locked out of her house? Why the hell is she telling her phone, for? Because if you watch, Siri doesn't unlock the door, but does a business search to locate nearby locksmiths. "No, Siri, unlock the fucking door!"

And the guy who tells Siri to move his appointment from 3 to 4, what does he expect? Because if Siri can't unlock a door or even call the locksmith automatically and get someone who *can* unlock a door, is she going to call everyone scheduled to attend the meeting to tell them about the change? What the fuck do you pay her for if she can't make a simple phone call WHEN SHE ALREADY LIVES INSIDE YOUR PHONE?

And the flat tire lady with a car full of child ballerinas? She tells Siri she has a flat tire. Will Siri inflate the flat? I don't understand. Will Siri call her husband? Or will we just repeat that same stupid response about locating 3 tow trucks in the area. That does not solve the fucking problem of being stranded with five children in the car. Siri should say, "I will entertain the children with videos while you curse yourself for not being a member of AAA. Asshole."

So if you haven't seen the video, here are the questions the idiots ask, followed by Siri's responses, assuming she's anything like me:

We have a flat tire. "I thought you wanted a flat tire so you didn't have to sit through that shitty ballet recital."

How do I tie a bow tie, again? "Again? Just buy a clip-on, asshole." (Since Siri is only about 2 weeks old, this guy has asked about this at least once, and forgotten what Siri showed him. Already.)

What's the fastest way to Hartford Hospital? "Step in front of a bus."

Do I need an umbrella in NY this weekend? "No, you don't need one. Unless you don't want to get wet."

Remind me to call Chris when I get home. [Siri deletes all the contacts from the phonebook.]

Move my meeting from 3 to 4. "Meeting moved to November 4th."

Remind me to get milk when I leave work. [Siri posts her work address to Facebook/ Foursquare/ Twitter, with the message, "Who wants milk?"]

Tell my wife I'm gonna make it. [Siri tells the wife, "Your husband is making it with his secretary."]

Wake me up at 6. "Do you think I'm getting up early just so you can hit 'snooze' 3 times?"

Play some Coltrane. "Playing some Coldplay."

I'm locked out. [Siri snaps your photo and posts it to your networks with your location, "Can someone break into my house for me?"]

What does a weasel look like?

Oh, sorry. Too soon?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wanted: Librarian Censor

Isn't it about time that censorship had some authority control? The thought of censoring a book or film may seem abhorrent to you, but what about haphazard censorship, without any standards or rules? People will censor. It's our nature to remove from view what we don't want to see. So shouldn't censorship have the same kinds of policies and ethics that guide the profession of librarianship?

We just celebrated Banned Books Week and I was appalled by the randomness of what is challenged in America's schools and libraries. One YA book is pulled for profanity, but some stay on the shelf. Sexual, homosexual, religious, violent or political content is alright in one book but not in another.

Don't people have any standards? Like, what if one day we censored all the gay penguins but not gay elephants? What if we hide the Koran in the basement but keep the Book of Mormon on the front shelves?

We have lists and lists of books that have been "censored" over the years, but those book challenges are so haphazard and random. I wonder if I need to start a site like Goodreads but called CensoredReads where people can tag everything that's offensive or possibly offensive in every published book. I think that would a useful selection, or deselection, tool.

"Find a reason to hate that book, at CensoredReads."

I'm tired of the morons who want to bowdlerize texts and replace words with friendlier terms. These are the same cowards who say N-word or F-word. We know what you're saying; you're not hiding anything. You say N-word so often that it's become the word it was meant to substitute. You say, "Oh, I would never say the N-word." Guess what? You just did.

But if we have to be cowards, at least let's gets our terms straight. We have a few resources to start. I know, based on a skit on Saturday Night Live, that dinosaurs can officially be changed into Jesus horses.

So that's one. But we need more.

That's why we need to begin teaching censorship in library school with classes on "How to Censor Responsibly," "Censorship Terms and Authority Control," and "Censor 2.0."

Here is your textbook, AACR: Anglo-American Censorship Rules.

I really want to hear a librarian who has graduated from the program say to someone who's complaining about a book, "I understand you find this book offensive, but you're hating it wrong."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Working Dead.

I guess you've heard about the Occupy Wall Street assholes, um, protestors. They're the group leveraging social media to protest the corporate screwing of America. No, wait. They're not using social media; they're actually marching on Wall Street. With picket signs. And getting busted for it.

They aren't just virtually there with a Google map representing the greed on "the street," or creating an augmented reality app with facial recognition cloud resources to identify the richest trader cocksuckers in the crowd, but are physically there in NYC. And not one protester has signed into Foursquare to claim the mayorship of the intersection at Wall and Broad streets.

Wikipedia tells me, "The participants of the event are mainly protesting against social and economic inequality, corporate greed, and the influence of corporate money and lobbyists on government,..."

Ah, a political manifesto. Why not just be about jobs?

Here is their dickhead philosophy, "The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%."

You know what? I don't care about the greed and corruption. I'm glad Wall Street is making money. What I care about is their refusal to share.

I would protest the seeming collusion by big business to create a two-tiered America where the few blessed earn $10 billion a year and the rest of us earn $10 an hour. I would protest the union busting. The professional downgrading. The extreme costs of education that leave us in debt just for the empty promise of a decent living wage. I've complained for the last three years that corporate America has some plan to turn us into the working dead with lower and lower paying jobs.

Where is my American Dream? That should be your fucking mantra. Don't criticize the greedy. Greed shows that there is money out there to be made. But find a way to make those greedy bastards play fair and create jobs, good jobs.

Nobody cares if Mr. Big has a billion dollars if we also have good jobs, health benefits, safe places to live and play.

All you idiots with any other political agenda need to shut the fuck up until we all have jobs with a good future, with benefits to keep us healthy and productive and with pensions for loyal hard work.

Create Good Jobs. Any other message and you're wasting your fucking time. And mine.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Librarians Need Pimps.

Have you seen the movie Taken where Liam Neeson is asking the hooker about his daughter and the pimp comes up and takes Liam's money for wasting the hooker's time? Librarians need that.

How many times have you answered your patron's question only to get another question fired right back at you? And sometimes while you're still in the middle of the first question?

I mean, if you don't have your shit together enough to wait to get an answer for something before you want to know something else, you're either a mentally unstable adult, or a 4-year-old.

"Why is the sky blue?" "Why do I have a penis?" "Why can't dogs and cats have babies?" "Where do farts go?"

That was the adult.

But from what movies I've seen, a pimp can help a ho stick to business and not waste time with bullshit. Like eating. Or bathing. Or getting an education. Or anything else that doesn't bring in money. A pimp is like an extremely violent and unstable life coach.

Here comes the Pimp now. After the movie, Taxi Driver, we'll call him Sport. Here is a sampling of his guidance. Here's a thought, has anyone written a book like Tuesdays with Morrie, but with a dying pimp?

Sport (promoting his merchandise):
This librarian here, she's been on the job five years but you'll swear she's done it for twenty. She will blow your mind. With knowledge. She will fuck you up and down with information. You can ask her anything you want. And she will find it. But no rough stuff, no legal or medical advice, all right?

Sport: Are you bothering the librarian? Because I'll bother your ass with my foot.

Sport: Time is money. And your time is about to run out. Like your blood.

Sport: Asshole, the librarian has helped you. She found you a source in India for 12-foot long unfinished mahogany boards and she sent the contact information to your iPhone. And she found you a local periodontist who uses no anesthesia and let's you hold your dog during your gum scraping. And she gave you the phone number for Zooey Deschanel's agent. Now it's time for you to go. Do you really want this to go to the next level?

So, yeah, having a pimp sounds real cool. I'm just not sure how it works with the money thing, since I get a salary and don't get paid by the trick. I'm sure pimps have a sophisticated formula for figuring it out, like taking my whole paycheck. And then punching me in the mouth. Because I'm a librarian and don't make very much.