Tuesday, October 23, 2007

You have got to be kidding me...

I guess old farts forgetting that the rest of the world exists are not only in the US. This article is from Australia. G'day mate.

Check it:

Concerns school will begin 'development by stealth'

Elizabeth Street resident Bruce Parsons is concerned a proposed Montessori School in Burradoo will begin a process of "development by stealth".

Mr Parson has written to Wingecarribee Shire councillors pointing out that under the State Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, council must consider the social, environmental and economic impact of developments.

"I cannot believe that council has considered the application in relation to the existing activities in the neighbourhood," he said.

Eridge Park playing fields, which adjoin the site and other properties, are in constant use at weekends for football or cricket and netball and on many afternoons for training, without any complaints from the adjoining residents.

"If this application is approved, the neighbourhood of mostly retired couples who are home a majority of the time, would be subject to noise, traffic, dust and parking problems seven days a week.

"When will we get time off for peace and quiet which we currently enjoy?"

Council will consider the application for the Montessori School at Wednesday’s meeting.

Many Burradoo residents are opposing the conversion of a residence into a school for up to 35 students, claiming the noise of children and additional traffic will disturb the neighbourhood and affect property prices.

Full story: SHN, Monday, October 22

The Me Generation and Why Baby Boomers Can Go Fuck Themselves

One publication that I very much admire and enjoy reading is the locally-based UTNE reader. The premise: taking the "best" of independent media and reprinting it in a magazine format. Quite genius actually, a sort of media conglomeration in a way that makes sense. (Read: the spread of useful information).

I was quite disappointed, however, when I saw that the UTNE had latched onto this topic that is very trendy to report on: the Me Generation (or Generation Y, because the baby boomers can't come up with a more creative title) and how the children of the Me Generation are essentially spoiled rotten, needy, incompetent assholes who are negatively affecting the workplace with their constant need to be included in meaningful work and given praise for doing as much as taking a shit.

The argument goes like this: Children raised in the 1980s and 90s grew up in an environment of excess and babying. Their parents focused all their energy and interest on them, pushing them to be the "best" at all they do, getting them into the best colleges (often filling out their child's applications themselves), the best jobs (through networking) and likewise labeling their child as "genius" "gifted" and what have you.

So now, we have a new workforce coming in which is made up of this Me Generation. These manchildren are apparently needy, overconfident (how paradoxical) and exhibit depression once found in the middle-age crisis due to the fact that the entry-level positions they (or their parents) are able to secure is not the "dream job" they had been told they deserved.

In other words, these workers are not willing to do hard work, they are not willing to jump through hoops, nor are they willing to put in the time that their now disgruntled older superiors did to get that corner office and say in the company meetings.

There are many things that bother me about this oversimplification of generational shift in the world place, but the thing that irks me the most is this superior anger that the older workers have for these "babied" newbies because THEY ARE THE FUCKING ONES WHO CHURNED OUT THESE ASSHOLES.

The article in the UTNE does a bit more than what most mainstream coverage of this "crisis" does, in that it does point out that workers of the Me Generation actually have stronger loyalty to companies which are loyal to them, they are more civic-minded, they want the companies they work for to be socially and environmentally responsible and that they want to engage in meaningful work. Still, the overall tone is one of condescension which is focused on these young people, rather than the society that shaped them into these terrible employees.

So I wrote another letter. Unfortunately, I don't feel like it entirely expresses my musings on the topic, but it will do.

The letter:

Dear Editor(s),

Perhaps characteristic of my belonging to the
oh-so-creatively titled “Generation Y” age grouping, I
felt irritated while reading Julie Hanus’ article “The
Kid in the Corner Office: Are Gen Y workers worth all
the coddling?”

While I am glad that Hanus presented positive
counterpoints to Generation Y’s apparent “impatient,
needy and arrogant” traits such as demonstrating
“civic-minded loyalty,” wanting to “engage in
meaningful work” and wanting their workplaces to be
“environmentally, socially and personally
accountable,” it is disappointing that they come up as
afterthoughts to the apparent negatives of this new

The idea of a company believing it can trick its young
workers into feeling as though their work spent
staring at a computer screen in a cubicle (which
“previous generations rebelled against” but is a
practice still very much at play) is worth something
by hiring praise consultants and throwing confetti
around is indicative of the actual issue so many young
people are struggling with in the workplace: that it
is easier to hire a consultant to force artificial
workplace spirit than it is to provide work that is
substantial and meaningful.

I would find it very interesting to learn what sorts
of companies are dealing with this issue in this way,
perhaps it would tell us a little something about what
is really going on.

This corporate thinking, mixed with the crisis of
schools and society placing too much importance on
outcomes and results (ahem, No Child Left Behind), is
challenging the workplace as it operates today. I do
commend Hanus for suggesting that there might be
something for older generations to learn from this
apparent trend but I wish that it were presented in a
way that was not so derogatory.

Respectfully yours,


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

conde nast can blow me; RIP Jane

I know I have been bitching way too much about the demise of a sub-par, slightly insulting publication: Jane magazine.

But goddammit! I was just thinking, sad and lonely on this cold, windy dismal day, how exciting it used to be to come home on a day such as this, with at least the prospect of having a little bit of guilty pleasure to laugh, cry and furrow my brow with. But alas, all that I have now (not considering the other magazines which frequent our home's mailbox), is a shitty shitty ass glossy with the fucking title "GLAMOUR" sitting, taunting me in our mail basket.

Fuck you Glamour; may you spend the rest of your days covered in credit card offers and holy mail and sausage and cheese platter catalogs for the possibly deceased, old resident of this place, Sister Mary Katherine O'Connor.

I had tried to cancel my "complimentary" "subscription" to "Glamour" that is supposed to fill this void in my soul, but I kept receiving "errors" while doing so online. So despite writing the strongly worded letter, fueled by alcohol of some mix, they keep sending me the goddamn magazine.

Well no more. Here I go again, resending my comment on the general shitty-ness of those bastards taking away the one piece of mainstream media I could handle with at least a small (however very small) grain of salt.

The letter:


For years I have been subscribing to, and buying off the newsstand, Jane magazine. Through thick and thin, seeing the magazine go through editorial and design changes, hating it and loving it, I have always had a special place in my heart for a publication that treated its readers as a little something more (though admittedly, at times not much more) than a consumer. Of course, that is not something that Conde Nast really cares about, so giving the magazine the boot after it failed to meet advertiser sales after many brainstorming sessions, editorial switch arounds and internet strategies, was not really that much of a heartbreak. Except for its readers, of course, who enjoyed having at least the option of a mainstream women-directed magazine that wasn't complete and utter bullshit.

The replacement of "Glamour" magazine for my subscription to Jane is an insult to my intelligence and existence. Please "cancel" my "subscription" to this piece of filth "publication" immediately. Do not add my "number" as a "subscriber" to any of your bullshit media kits or figures to sell ad space to advertisers. I will not be supporting Conde Nast or any of its backers after the cancellation of its one product that was actually worth putting my money and time towards.

At first I thought, upon hearing that my subscription to Jane would be "fulfilled" by Glamour, that I may as well give it a chance, considering the price of a subscription to Jane was practically raping the publication in the first place, but upon glancing over how I can be told the it is TRUE! that NOT only single women masturbate, that wildly colored hair is an embarrassing DON'T and that Syri Cruise's haircut means something, I felt insulted as a human being.

As stated before, cancel my "subscription" to the piece of shit magazine Glamour immediately. And fuck you Conde Nast.



P.S. I had tried doing this the more civil way, through your website option of “canceling subscriptions” and it refused to process my request.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Critical Mass: A Truly Self-Absorbed Concept

For those of you who don't know of Katherine Kersten, consider yourselves lucky. She is a "columnist" for the Star Tribune, the Minneapolis newspaper, who got her position presumably to provide a counter right-wing point to the paper's astonishing liberalism (fluffy articles about the newest gardening accessories and "diversity" at suburban pools come to mind). According to my boss, her column is actually read more by liberals, because it pisses them off, and hated by conservatives, because she is as dumb as a sack of shit.

Kersten isn't a reporter, or even a writer, by training or profession: she apparently was a lawyer. A religious conservative lawyer. Who now gets her own column in the city's newspaper. Makes sense? Right? Right.

Up until today, I had avoided her writing. That was, until a headline on the trib's website caught my eye:

Bike-riding mob owns the streets of Minneapolis

Immediately thinking the column had something to do with the unfortunate events of the August 31st Critical Mass debacle, I decided to click on the link.

Not ready to face the anger and disappointment in humanity that resulted from reading Ms. Kersten's musings on biking, "radicals" and environmentalism, I freaked out and wrote a letter to the editor. Which would have been much more below the belt had my co-worker not been there to talk me down from the tree.

So, ready to get pissed? Check out the article:


Needless to say, it made me want to run over that bitch with my three speed huffy. Or at least get her pubey hair stuck in my tire spokes.

Here is my rebuttal:

October 4, 2007

Dear Editor:

Regarding Katherine Kersten’s Oct. 3rd article “Bike-riding mob owns the streets of Minneapolis;” congrats Star Tribune, on pushing the right-wing agenda through a series of inconsistencies and ignorance.

Ms. Kersten claims that the face-less riders of Critical Mass are like civil rights protestors of the 60’s: self-absorbed, narcissistic and aggressive. Yet her issue with Critical Mass has to do with entirely self-absorbed motives: that a large group (excuse me, mob) of riders biking to raise awareness about pollution and the damage each and every car on the street does to our planet prevents her (or you or I) from getting to some specific activity that she must get to, by herself, using her car. Yes, you are correct Ms. Kersten, biking through the city to remind citizens about the value of pollution control is a narcissistic act. Being annoyed that you might have to wait a minute (or two!) in your car because of these aggressive, threatening bikers is truly a self-sacrificing act.

I question why she chose to use Richard Lichter’s musings on the psychology of the 60’s “radicals” to describe bikers.

One could draw parallels between using non-violent protest to bring awareness to a cause, or between the importance and immediacy of the cause for which is being protested about. She seems to forget that the protests of the 60’s were for, in the eyes of many, very important causes. Or, it could mean that Ms. Kersten holds African American’s in the same regard as a bunch of biker renegades.

If inconveniencing traffic is really the issue here for Ms. Kersten, maybe we should do way with all street celebrations, parades, sporting events and other happenings that make our city so appealing to live in.

Perhaps instead of getting annoyed that you have to sit in traffic for ten extra minutes (and may I ask if it is bikers who are the cause of stop-and-go traffic on the highways at rush hour?), we should start looking at the real issues at hand and work towards decreasing dependence on single car transportation.



Taking a crap on the media

Okay. So along with anxiety about only adding, oh approximately .025% of my music collection to my computer's "library," not having a facebook account, and feeling like a loser when no one responds to my comments on myspace, I can add "stress/ambivalence" about the age old (well new age old, which I suppose makes it age young) conundrum: to blog or not to blog.

Seeing as I set up this nifty little blog with its nifty little name and my nifty little profile, I should probably give in and start posting my thoughts and musings about the world in the self-centered/serving way that only blogging can really do.

My return to Yokoinmomjeans has more to do with giving into the self-absorbed world of the world wide web; it actually does have to do something with ridiculous claims of self-absorption, among a few other things, including the death of my guilty pleasures....

So I don't know who the fuck actually reads blogs (personally I am a fan of the "picture-type" websites: they are easy to get a lot of info in a moments notice, during a split second break from staring at the computer doing...work things), but I tend to get angry a lot. Angry about the powers to be, angry about politics, angry about traffic, and, most of all, angry about the media.

This anger, coupled with the annoying voice in the back of my head that I really should get off my ass (well, more accurately, on it) and start working on the glorious future publication Half & Half, is provoking me to turn yokoinmomjeans to what I should have done every time I have been pissed about some article, show, news clip or publication: blog about it.

So from here on out, just like the people who love aborted babies, I will use my blog to discuss matters of the heart: culture and media.