Archive for April, 2012

Friday the 13th … be afraid

Friday, April 13th, 2012
Brian Golden

I’ve never been what you’d call a big believer when it comes to all that Friday the 13th, voodoo-hoodoo, superstitious nonsense, although a black cat did cross my path first thing today while I was walking under a ladder, smashing a mirror on an old wife and spilling the salt. Other than that, I’m having a great day. What can I say? The sun is shining, another week in the Evening Sun office is coming to a close and – once again – there’s not a whole lot on the agenda for the weekend. Which means, of course, some good-old relaxation time … I hope.

Well, it seems the Trayvon Martin shooting case is one step closer to resolution, which is – in my opinion – a good thing. And while I’m uncertain exactly where I stand on this one, I must admit Florida’s shoot-first, ask questions later self defense legislation is, to put it mildly, absolutely ridiculous. People are far too unpredictable to be allowed such leniency and the violence that resulted in the Zimmerman-Martin incident is a perfect example of this. Regardless of how anyone feels, Zimmerman was told he did not have to follow Martin and did so anyway, so there has to be some sort of consequence for his actions. If he’d done as he was told, none of this would have happened.

And now, my Ridiculous ‘30 Seconds’ Post of the Week, brought to you by Man from Pharsalia …
“I’ll tell you what, I’m sick and tired of all you ‘30 Seconds’ people, all you do is complain all the time. I’m about ready to come down there to Norwich and do something about it, because it’s getting really, really ridiculous. Now stop all the nonsense already.”

While I agree with Man from Pharsalia up to a point, I must admit I liked our esteemed editor’s response, “Please tell us what you intend to do about it!” And yes, Man from Pharsalia, there’s plenty of ridiculous to go around (and then some) in regards to ‘30 Seconds,’ but I don’t think the nonsense is going to stop anytime soon. Why you’re coming to Norwich to “do something about it” is beyond me; crazy ‘30 Seconds’ contributors come from all parts of the county (and beyond), trust me.

Finally, to wrap things up for this week, my quote of the day, which was also included in this week’s column.
“We’re not hosting an intergalactic kegger down here,” Rip Torn, as Zed in the film “Men in Black.”

Don’t ask me why, but that one just cracks me up.

See you Monday!

Friday, April 6th, 2012
Brian Golden

Well, well … that was an interesting start to the day. Nothing like waking up, beginning the morning routine and … BAM … house fire in Greene. As always, I feel terrible for the home owner, as the house was a complete loss. Thanks go out, however, to our area firefighters and other emergency personnel for their bravery and dedication. And at least no one was hurt.

My thumbs down this week, for those of you yet to read today’s paper, went out to the absolutely twisted individuals who voted down an extremely positive online ‘30 Seconds’ post regarding the Norwich High School production of ‘Aida.’ Some people – to put it plain and simple – make me sick. These students work so hard, spending hours in rehearsal and building sets, and continue – year after year – to put on an amazing show. To vote down their efforts is not only ignorant, but downright mean-spirited. So, for those of you with no remorse (or manners, for that matter), just go away.

One more occasion where I’m forced to use language other than that I would like to, simply because I’d like to keep my job. Just so you know.

Speaking of complete and utter idiocy on ‘30 Seconds,’ here’s my Ridiculous Online Post of the Week!
“Has anyone in Norwich looked in the Police blotter? All the druggies are on welfare. Why are they getting aid from tax payers?” – Man from Norwich

Well, Man from Norwich, to answer your questions (and in response to your statement) … 1) Yes, people look at the Police Blotter every day. 2) Generalizations can be dangerous. Not all druggies are on welfare and not all welfare recipients are on drugs. 3) They get aid from the tax payers because that is the system that’s in place.

That being said, I did edit your post (question marks and spelling corrections) … I hope you don’t mind.

Okay, let’s see … what do we have in the news today? Romney and Santorum, of course. Ugh, yawn. The Masters at Augusta … Nah, I’ll watch the final round on Sunday. Coast Guard sinks “Ghost Ship.” Interesting, but I’ll pass. Man steals crane and destroys power lines … Yes! Now that’s my kind of story. People, seriously, if any of you are thinking about doing this kind of thing here in Chenango County, contact me first, because I’d love to get a picture … before you’re arrested, of course.

And with that, the weekend is almost here. Please refrain from committing any major crimes or causing any major accidents for the next two days, because I’d like to relax, if possible. Come Monday, let the chaos begin, that’s fine. Just keep it nice and mellow until then.

Thanks so much.

No one ever says “Bully”

Thursday, April 5th, 2012
Shawn Magrath

No one ever says “Bully.” I mean, people say it, just not in the context I’m talking about. What I mean is that no one uses the term “Bully” as an adjective to explain how extraordinarily great something is. Granted, it’s possibly because it’s not 1910 anymore, but it used to be a common expression, so why don’t we still use it?

I’ve always thought language and communication is an interesting topic. I wonder, why does slang and common pros change as culture changes? How much influence does culture have on language anyway? And why isn’t the average person in this country as well versed in reading, writing and spoken language as we once were?

I have a theory that over the years, we’ve become a little lazier in our written and spoken language, which of course, I’m plenty guilty of too. I might even go so far as to say that abbreviations and acronyms are more understood in writing and much more widely used than the complete spelling of words. Avid Facebookers might know what I’m talking about: LOL means laugh out loud; IDK, I don’t know; BTW, by the way; YNTTMWTMBISACDK; you need to tell me what this means because I sure as crap don’t know (which is one I made up for myself. It seems pretty obvious to me). Sure, it’s fun to use this stuff in social media, but when high school students write these acronyms in formal essays (which is happening more than anyone would like to admit), it becomes sort of problematic, doesn’t it?

We’ve become so lazy in oral communication that we don’t even finish a full sentence – even the most simple, single-word sentences. If you’re like me, “Thank You” has been shortened to “Thanks.” “Yes” has become “Yeah” (which isn’t even a word more than it is just the sound of someone exhaling with a “Yuh” in front of it) and one of my favorites, “I don’t know” is dumbed down to “iouoh” (pronounced i-uh-oh, slurred together in one easy, single syllable, grunt-like noise).

What happened to us? Maybe it’s time to put more emphasis on great literates like Hemmingway, Conrad and (loud gulp), Shakespeare. Not that I think doing so will encourage anyone to speak in pros that hasn’t been used in 300 years, though it would be fun. “Yay, thou hast held the door open for me and surely for it, I offer my deepest gratitude.” Maybe just a full “Thank you” would be nice enough.