LowComDom Performances Presents
The Crapolla According to Fek'Lar
You know you're screwed when...
You're a Native American Nation and the Federal Government shows up wanting to "talk".
You've stumbled onto another issue of The Crapolla, a journal written for software professionals. No not the managers; I mean the people who do the work.
This Crapolla is sponsored by...
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In This Issue...
This isn't the hero we're looking for.
Harold Peterson writes...
Hey, this is Harold. Just wanted to say thanks for a note in a previous Crapolla about calling a soda company's 800 number. I had left some Diet Sunkist in my car, unopened, and when going to retrieve it found several of the bottles were leaking. (Less CO2 dissolved in hot liquid + expansion of hot gas = too much CO2 pressure.) After calling Dr. Pepper & Friends, they sent me a $2 off coupon, which went toward a 12 pack of Diet Sundrop, in aluminum this time.
-Harold (still with NASA)
Thanks for the physics lesson.
I regularly send links to stuff I find either interesting or funny to a group of friends, and my Twitter account. These items range from the benign to the "definitely will get you fired" categories, and are appropriately rated as they go out.
On July 7th I was surprised by a bounce I received. Every sbcglobal.net, pacbell.net, and yahoo.com address I sent one of my emails to had bounced for "policy reasons" when it hit Yahoo's mail servers. (SBC the successor of Pacific Bell contracted with Yahoo to have the internet company handle the phone company's customer's email.) The link I sent was to this URL http://www.imgzzz.com/pic/1277079844 If I wanted an explanation, I could go to this URL http://postmaster.yahoo.com/errors/postmaster-27.html (I've looked at the source of the URL I sent, and see nothing that looks malicious.)
Following Yahoo's URL, one learns that Yahoo! checks email for links to sites known to distribute spyware or spam. Ok, we all want less spam, right? But why had my mail tripped the alarm? I followed another link to a form where I could make an inquiry about the incident. I filled out a form and asked my question. Was I tripping the alarm because everyone was on the BCC line? I always use the BCC line when doing a mass mailing because not everyone wants their address broadcast so widely.
Less than a day later, I received a letter from a guy named Frank who repeated mostly word for word what the URL said with one exception. Frank said, "If you are the administrator for the website address content below, we ask that you review the material located within the Web address for potentially objectionable content. Please know that Yahoo! is unable to disclose specific information regarding our filtering practices."
My further inquires about why my link to a page with a picture of a Grizzly Bear chasing golfers off a green entitled, "GET DA FUCK OUTTA HERE!" were never answered. Yahoo! stopped the mail and would not say why. But there was that phase, "potentially objectionable content" which interests me. Does this phase mean that spyware and spam are objectionable, or is Yahoo! censoring content that really is just content? Maybe they didn't like the word fuck? That's hard to believe concidering how much Yahoo! CEO Carol Bartz has been recorded saying the word. Maybe Jerry Yang doesn't like pictures of bears? The world will never know. Apparently what Yahoo! censors is a extremely proprietary, and could tank their stock price if it ever got out.
I've been trying to figure out what is so inherently wrong with the Star Wars saga. Having been a student of film, and a particular fan of Star Wars, it's been bugging me since Episode 3 came out. No, it's not Jar Jar. It's not that Han shot first. It's something else very fundamental to story telling. I think I've finally sussed it.
In 1977 I was in high school. (I told you I'm an old fart.) I had manipulated my schedule so I had no classes after lunch. (Even then, I was playing the system.) I saw Star Wars on opening day. There was no one in the theater. When it was over, I went home and told the kid who lived two doors down that the world had changed. I dragged my parents to it two days later, and not only was the theater packed, the audience was already booing Vader when he made his entrance.
Here was a simple story about how any one of us could tap into our inner strength and change the world. The good guys won, most of the bad guys died. This was a classic western. Oh, and the special effects were good.
Three years later, I was in college and Empire comes out. I was blown away. This movie was dark. The message was simple, the world isn't so simple when you grow up. But it was Yoda who made the film for me. Not the puppet, the philosophy. I wasn't yet versed in eastern philosophy, but Yoda's might have been what started me down the path. The emotion of this movie is carried by Leah. Carrie Fisher never got the credit she deserved for the scenes that started with the the freezing of Han. You can see on her face the angst of losing a love while still needing to hold it together long enough to escape. Oh, and the special effects were good.
Another three years, I was looking for a job. Jedi hits theaters. Seemed like kind of a re-make. Did we need a new Death Star? This movie fell flat for some reason. I always thought it was because it felt like a re-hash of the first one. Now I know that's not why. But the special effects were good.
Spin into the 90's. I'm working at the Klingon High Command. The whole company walks out to go to Phantom Menace. We had very high expectations for this film. One wonders if any movie could have lived up to the expectations. But it seems very sterile. Jar Jar didn't help, but Jar jar didn't let the air out of the tires.
A young slave boy is discovered to have more of the stuff that makes you strong with the force than even Yoda. Wait a minute, I though we all could tap into the force by just believing in ourselves, clicking our heels three times and saying, "There's no place like home." No? You need to be in the medi-clorians club? That kind of blows. But when the "Chosen One" is presented to the Jedi suits, they dismiss him. Ok, good commentary about how we get set in our ways. This movie is emotionally drier than a popcorn fart. But the special effects were great!
Clone Wars, almost all action, almost no emotion. We learn which side of the family Luke got his whininess from. The only emotional piece is when Anikin's mother dies. Lots of other people die, but they're just clones and aren't important. There's no real philosophical lesson to be learned. But the special effects were orgasmic!
Finally, Revenge of the Sith pops out of the machine. More whininess from Anakin. Big lightsaber dual. Padme dies, no one cares. Anakin dies, no one cares. Darth Vader is born. But the special effects were mind-blowing.
Do you see what's wrong yet? Star Wars is an unusual saga in that the main character dies twice. The only other story I know where this happens is in Romeo and Juliet the Pirate's Daughter. Anakin Skywalker dies at the end of Sith. Darth Vader metaphorically murders him, and no one in the audience cried. Then at the end of Jedi, Anakin commits suicide when he over-powers Vader and tosses Palpatine down the shaft. (By the way, according to Uncle George, this is the act that brings balance to the Force. Sorry, I don't see it.) Luke takes the mask off to reveal his 50 year old father who then dies. And no one in the audience cries.
There's something very wrong with a story when a main character dies and the audience isn't moved. I remember the end of Star Trek II The Search For Rich Corinthian Leather, Spock committed suicide to fix the warp drive. Kirk gets down to the engineering deck and calls out to him. Spock stands and straightens his uniform, then walks into the transparent aluminum barrier between them. Someone in the audience gasped, "Oh, God! He's blind!" The audience loved Spock, and cried through his funeral. What a great end!
Star Wars is the story of a wonderful boy who is perverted by an evil man, and later in an act of love for his son sacrifices himself. The audience never loved, nor even liked Anakin Skywalker. We cared about Luke, Leah, and Han. Starting with Empire, we cheered when they made their entrances. There was great emotional chemistry between these three people. But there is virtually no emotional chemistry between Anakin and anyone. Padme is the love of his life, yet the romantic scenes are not passionate at all. (Ladies, did you swoon at any point?) Obi-Wan is both father and brother figures. But he's blind to Anakin falling in love? Anakin fails to make any strong emotional bond that we can vicariously live through. Because of that, we also have no strong emotional bond with him. But that's not quite the fatal flaw.
Who did we love in Star Wars? Vader! There's a couple reasons why this happened. First, LucasFilm realized what a great merchandising character Vader was, so they put him up front. In Empire, he was choking people an entire Stardestroyer away. This guy was cool. In Jedi, they turned him into a pussy. He didn't kill anyone in that movie. This was done to make the emperor look more evil. (Who, by the way, only killed one person in the entire saga.) The movies were over and the Vader merchandise kept flowing for 10 years.
Next, episodes 1, 2, and 3 were produced and we were told we would see how Vader came about. Notice the point? We were waiting for Vader to show up for almost three movies. Because of the bass-ackwards presentation of the order of the films, we decided that Vader was the main character. Some people only went to Sith to see Anakin fall and put on the mask.
Had the films been presented originally in the correct order, perhaps things would have been different. First, you wouldn't have known about Vader until the end of Sith. You would have been shocked that the filmmaker had turned the good guy into the bad guy. For the rest of the series you would have remembered who was under the mask. In number 4, you would have been shocked during the torture scene. "Does he know she's his daughter?" In the original 70's and 80's presentations, we had never met Anakin. How were we ever supposed to bond to this character? We bonded to Vader.
Whoopsie! George, I know you made billions, but as a story teller, you screwed the Ewok. Vader, not Anakin was the main character of the Star Wars saga. Had you presented the story in the proper order, you might have produced an epic emotional roller coaster to go along with your special effects roller coaster.
May the force be with you. (Those of you with medi-clorians.)
Old Spice Guy's Voice Changes!
It's Now So Deep, Only Insects Can Detect the Vibration
Heard in the halls of various software companies.
"I'm getting a vent in my cube."
"You're going to freeze!"
"I can turn on more servers if I get cold."
"If you've got to have it, do it electronically."
"You know all those SUVs out there? They're really short buses."
"We have the funny agricultural experiment going on at my house."
"Me too, ours is called The Fridge."
"You the new guy?"
"Are you bored yet?"
I need to mail my resume to HP. I hear they're looking for a new CEO. Sounds like a fun job, you get free Cinemax!
They pay me to think. These are my thoughts. Do you think they are getting their money's worth?
Remember: The Crapolla contains my personal opinions. That's right they're mine, so get your own! And you kids get off my lawn!
Although written with the software professional in mind, my mind tends to wander all over the place, and I sometimes write about politics, mass stoopidity, dumb things I saw, and whatever else comes to mind.
From time to time, I use salty language, thus The Crapolla is not intended for children, or certain people from the Christian Right.
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