The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly…. (but not necessarily in that order)

Haven’t had an opportunity to write much lately, and with things the way they are at work I may not have another opportunity for a while (although I’m going to try this weekend), but I just wanted to address a few things that are happening, in no particular order.

First, I am deeply saddened to hear that Borders Books has filed for bankruptcy and will be closing 200 of it’s stores. This is sad on so many levels, and especially hits me hard because I used to be a manager of Borders in California. I also find it sad that the book industry as a whole has taken such a hit with the advent of the Kindle and other e-readers. Sure, reading is reading and I am encouraged by anyone who explores the wonder of the printed word, regardless of the form it takes, but there is something special about holding an actual book in your hands, as well as a bookcase (or several) full of your collection. You don’t get that with an e-reader.

That being said, I am a proponent of the free market system, and in a free market situations like this do occur. The industry, just like several dozen other industries, is changing, and those who don’t change with it will get left in the dust. And Borders was slow to react to the changes in the industry.

Amazon.com and discount sellers such as Costco and Walmart have hurt Borders, and Borders’  lateness to e-commerce and e-reader sales has been detrimental. Amazon.com offered online sales in 1995, but the Borders e-commerce site was only introduced in 2008. And while Amazon introduced the e-reader Kindle in 2007 and Barnes and Noble brought out its Nook in late 2009, Borders didn’t enter the e-reader market with its Kobo until July 2010. While I doubt that faster action in the online and e-reader markets would have stopped Borders from any store closings, it may have reduced the number from the 200 that are currently on the chopping block.

Add to that the fact that Borders also specialized in movies and music – two other industries that have changed drastically in the last few years, and it didn’t take Nostradamus to see this coming.

I am happy to say that my old store in San Luis Obispo is not one of the stores that will be closing, but there are stores in my old district that will get the axe, and I have a number of friends at these locations that will be affected. I hope that a number of them are able to find work at the nearby stores. And, selfishly, I am also comforted by the fact that none of the Iowa Borders will be closing, so I will still be able to enjoy shopping at my favorite bookstore.

Next, I want you to look closely at the picture on the right. What is this, the latest doll from the folks at Mattel? No, it’s an actual young girl, a five-year old girl. Let me say that again, this is a five-year old girl. Well, to be fair, she’s almost six, so that makes it so much better, right?

I ran across a story in the Des Moines Register while I was having my lunch this afternoon. This little girl is a young lady named Eden Wood from Arkansas, and she is a Beauty pageant contestant who has apparently appeared several times on a show called “Toddlers and Tiara’s” on TLC. Wow, and I thought it was bad enough that we have Jersey Shore and those damn Kardashian chicks on T.V., now we’ve got what I can only assume is one of the top rated shows for pedophiles.

The reason Eden was in my paper this afternoon is because she is shooting a video for a song called “Cutie Patootie” at a local mall in Des Moines this weekend (apparently her manager lives in Des Moines). Now look, as a libertarian I firmly believe in individual rights and responsibility, and keeping government control out of as many aspects as possible in our lives, but I can’t see how something like this can not be classified as child abuse. I mean, I have no problem with the concept of pageants, especially since a number of them offer educational scholarship opportunities, BUT for god sakes let them only be held for people who are capable of understanding what it is they are doing. Putting children into these toddler “pageants” creates from me a level of contempt for the parents of these kids that I truly reserve only for racists, rapists, pedophiles (how convenient) and the like. What the hell goes through the head of a parent who does this to their child.

According to the article, “I want to make sure that this is what she wants to do … that she’s not trying to please me,” Mickie Wood (Eden’s Mother) said. Really Mickie? Of course she’s trying to please you, that’s what little kids do. According to the article Mickie first entered Eden in a pageant at 14 months old. Gee Mickie, did you sit down and discuss it with Eden first? Hell, she probably did… like this kid was capable of understanding how she was being exploited at that time. Shit, she’s not capable of understanding how she is being exploited now.

What a piece of work!!!

And finally, I want to end this little tirade with a plug. A good majority of this blog has, in the past, been devoted to political discussion, and as you know – if you’ve read the earlier incarnation of this blog – I grew disillusioned with the level of discourse that was out there, especially a couple of the real bottom feeding sites I was dealing with at the time, and decided to make a clean break from these hate mongers, cold turkey.

That’s been about three weeks ago, and I have to say that I feel as if a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Dealing with people that have so much hate and contempt is NOT a healthy thing, and I highly recommend getting these folks – on both sides of the political aisle, out of your life.

But here’s the dilemma: What if you, like me, are something of a political junkie, and like to be up to date with what’s happening in the world? If you’re going to cut out the hate from the left – Fox, Limbaugh, Beck, etc… as well as the hate from the right – MSNBC, Olbermann (gone and come back), Ed Schultz, Huffington, etc…. well that doesn’t leave much left, does it.

My suggestion: POTUS. POTUS is a Sirius/XM satellite radio station, and stands for Politics of the United States. It’s such a terrific channel, with plenty of raw, unfiltered content from both sides of the aisle. If the President is making a speech, they cover it live and in its entirety. It also covers all of the white House press briefings live, and in their entirety, and has guests from both parties on.

The Morning Briefing with Tim Farley (6am-12am est) is a magnificent program, and just when you think you’ve figured out what side of the fence this guy falls on, he throws you a curve.

Press Pool with Joe Mathieu (12 pm – 3pm est) Joe Mathieu rounds-up the best reporters and columnists to talk about the news making headlines in DC and around the world. Hear live event coverage, including the daily White House press briefing, as well as The Business Block, a business report heard at the bottom of every hour.

StandUP with Pete Dominick (3 pm – 6pm) ET Comedian and political satirist Pete Dominick talks about the issues as “everyday Americans” do. Dominick is billed as “Unbiased and independent”, but he definitely leans to the left, but that’s okay because he leans to the left AND possesses common sense, something you rarely see from left-leaning commentators (and never from left leaning bloggers…. at least the one I’m familiar with).

POTUS is also the home of  PBS NewsHour, starring Jim Lehrer, as well as numerous other wonderful shows.

So if you truly are a political junkie…. and you know who you are, you wonks…. get yourself a satellite radio, and GET THIS STATION. And hey, I still think there is room for the Limbaughs, Shultzes, Becks, and Olbermanns of the world, and I recommend throwing in a dash of these folks into your daily listening as well. BUT, you’re going to find yourself going back to POTUS more and more often.

I guarantee it!!

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One Response

  1. […] with hounds (and now I remember why). Second, in my discussion of the Borders closings (found here: https://planetofbob.wordpress.com/2011/02/17/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly-but-not-necessarily-in-tha…) I comment that the closings “especially hits me hard because I used to be a manager of Borders […]

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