Trompé Setsuled (setsuled) wrote,
Trompé Setsuled

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Regulating Love and Information

I'm still thinking about the mysterious and sudden departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC yesterday. One of the highest rated programmes on the network, one of the signature programmes upon which nearly all of the network's other shows are clearly modelled, on the face of it this decision makes little sense. As replacements, the bland Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell and the obnoxious Ed Show don't appear to cut the mustard in terms of ratings or content. The two main theories for Keith's departure seem to be that Comcast is responsible, as they recently acquired NBC, or that network executives still bear a grudge with Olbermann over his refusal to apologise to them for contributing to three campaigns of Democratic politicians.

To-day, information has come out that Olbermann and the network reached a deal similar to Conan O'Brien's that restrains Olbermann from commenting on his departure and prohibits him from working on television for a period of time. These two incidents together paint for me a picture of clueless, petulant brutes in charge at NBC. They didn't know how to handle Conan O'Brien, didn't have the patience to let his show grow and build an audience, and now they've fired Olbermann over what sounds to me like pure, petty jealousy. Because the apology they wanted from Olbermann was for not toeing the line--it wasn't for any ethical violation or damaging PR. Olbermann's contract allowed him to make campaign contributions, his only crime was in not telling his bosses first. A level-headed boss would say, okay, Olbermann made a minor procedural transgression, but nothing good would come from fighting over it. It's only a desperate need to be acknowledged as a superior that would generate this kind of grudge against Olbermann, who gets the kind of respect it turns out money can't buy.

Most of yesterday afternoon I had what I think is indigestion, possibly from the mountain of black pepper I dumped on the pea soup I had for lunch. Alka-Seltzer seemed to help, but I can't help thinking about how I keep getting "sick" just before events I'm anxious about--Comic-Con, the conclusion of my comic, and now the start of school on Monday. I feel like a three headed monster--part of me feels totally calm about school, part of me is telling myself that I'm freaking out and making myself feel ill, and part of me feels genuinely ill. I don't know what to think of what I think sometimes.

To-day I've been practising writing hiragana and katakana, two of the Japanese systems of writing, in preparation for class on Monday. I figured I needed some review since I took Japanese I something like a decade ago. But I was a bit annoyed to find neither of the text books I bought for my Japanese II class tells me the proper stroke order for writing the characters, despite the fact that both books are also used for Japanese I. Googling for the information online, I predictably found a few sites that wanted money for the information, but they're all undercut by Wikipedia, which has handy charts like this. People spend a lot of time criticising Wikipedia's flaws, but sometimes it's worth noting what an extraordinarily useful thing it can be, particularly for a free service.
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