Saturday, May 14, 2011

Famous people make the news

Still can't post pictures on Blogger, so I'm reduced to this:

The Good:

Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe on the importance of careers that require one to actually get off ones ass and work for 8 hours a day with little or no fanfare from the so-called "intellectually elite":
I'm here today because of my grandfather. 

His name was Carl Knobel, and he made his living in Baltimore as a master electrician. He was also a plumber, a mechanic, a mason, and a carpenter. Everyone knew him as a jack-of-all-trades. I knew him as a magician.

For most of his life, my grandfather woke up clean and came home dirty. In between, he accomplished things that were nothing short of miraculous. Some days he might re-shingle a roof. Or rebuild a motor. Or maybe run electricity out to our barn. He helped build the church I went to as a kid, and the farmhouse my brothers and I grew up in. He could fix or build anything...

Thirty years later in San Francisco when my toilet blew up again. This time, I didn't participate in the repair process. I just called my landlord, left a check on the kitchen counter, and went to work. When I got home, the mess was cleaned up and the problem was solved. As for the actual plumber who did the work, I never even met him.

It occurred to me that I had become disconnected from a lot of things that used to fascinate me. I no longer thought about where my food came from, or how my electricity worked, or who fixed my pipes, or who made my clothes. There was no reason to. I had become less interested in how things got made, and more interested in how things got bought...

Right now, American manufacturing is struggling to fill 200,000 vacant positions. There are 450,000 openings in trades, transportation and utilities. The skills gap is real, and it's getting wider. In Alabama, a third of all skilled tradesmen are over 55. They're retiring fast, and no one is there to replace them...
In general, we're surprised that high unemployment can exist at the same time as a skilled labor shortage. We shouldn't be. We've pretty much guaranteed it.

In high schools, the vocational arts have all but vanished. We've elevated the importance of "higher education" to such a lofty perch that all other forms of knowledge are now labeled "alternative." Millions of parents and kids see apprenticeships and on-the-job-training opportunities as "vocational consolation prizes," best suited for those not cut out for a four-year degree. And still, we talk about millions of "shovel ready" jobs for a society that doesn't encourage people to pick up a shovel.
Unfortunately, on the subject of honest, humble, hard work he wasn't exactly preaching to the choir.  Read the whole thing here: Mike Rowe's Senate Testimony.

The Bad:

From Yahoo: Celebrity tweeters risk boring fans.  Seriously, they just now noticed this?  I can't tell you how many famous people I followed early on in the mistaken belief they'd be as interesting on their own as they are scripted or edited down to short, snappy soundbites.  WRONG!!! 
Tweets on singer Katy Perry's page include: "What does it mean when you see the number 33 all the time? For instance, I've seen it over 7 times today."
While actress Demi Moore, one of Twitter's most prolific celebrity users with over 3.5 million followers, wrote on Friday: "Kind of digging soft curls with a side part. A good change from straight with a middle part?"
One of my earliest Twitter reality checks was when I realized indie-cool actor Steve Buscemi wasn't and he became one of my first unfollows.  It pained me to do that, really it did.

The Ugly:

The New York Post owes everyone a big bucket of brain bleach for this headline.   Seriously, no one wants that mental image.  Now having said that, when all other fishwraps have gone the way of dinosaurs, I wouldn't be surprised if the Post is still around with its un-PC, in-you-face, "Hey, we were all thinking it!" headlines.

And the just plain ridiculous:

Jennifer Aniston bought an NYC penthouse in her dog's name.  In fact, not just in the dog's name, but in the dog's trust's name.  Yes, her dog has a trust.  I hope thanks to the tax breaks that this stupid thing is no doubt meant to create means that Jen can avoid going broke and having to live out of her car, and ensuring that she can keep making bad movies that tank at the box office.  Seriously, who are these people who keep casting her?  She hasn't had a hit since Friends.

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