Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rant: my pet peeve, poor writing.

I'm a writer. It is what I do for a living, as a hobby, and just as part of my nature. As such, I am constantly aggravated by the lack of regard for the skill of writing that I encounter at every turn. Even so-called professionals in the field of journalism hurt my brain on a regular basis with idiotic phrases and poorly thought out sentences. CNN and MSNBC regularly publish crap so poorly written that I want to take a hammer to someone's typing hand to put an end to their horrible writing.

As if that would do any good. They'd just dictate their crap.

I will give you an example of how someone mistakes writing something that "sounds good" for actual good writing. This one was on a popular Web site, so I don't expect too much, but it just tweaked me:

Let's ignore the "looks like more like" phrase. That's a clearly stupid error. The more insidious problem is: "more like a work of art than an architectural masterpiece."

Merriam-Webster defines "architecture" as "The art or practice of designing a building". So an "architectural masterpiece" damn well better look "like a work of art." If you're going to compare something to another thing that it isn't, you ought to be sure that it isn't actually that thing.

This is what gets my blood pressure up the most when I'm reading. Not grammatical or spelling errors, but things that don't make sense or clearly weren't thought out properly.

I know I shouldn't care and I should just let it go, but if I give up hope that my fellow humans will learn to write properly, then I will have to give up hope in my fellow humans altogether.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mopar, More Power

Some time ago, I test drove the bad-ass 2007 Dodge Charger R/T. It was pretty cool.

Since then, though, Dodge has gone retro again, offering up a new Dodge Challenger. The original Challenger and it's Plymouth counterpart the Barracuda ranked in my top 5 favorite muscle cars. I haven't gotten to test drive one of the new ones yet, sadly. And now Jay Leno has made me think I wouldn't be happy driving one of the stock ones now that Hurst is making a supercharged 09 Dodge Challenger mod.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Reading list

I'm a big fan of reading. Without, one's brain atrophies, and one learns little. Even fiction can be educational, exposing you to new philosophies and ways of thinking. On the Road resonated with my soul, Naked Lunch changed my whole concept of what "narrative" and "story" meant. Catch-22 changed my perception of what WW II was all about.

I've never been in danger of running out of things I want to read. Recently, though, I decided to start a reading list to codify what it is I want to read, and what I should select next. It is a mix of old and new, fiction and non-fiction. Next on the list is No Surrender: My Thirty Year War, the autobiography of Hiroo Onoda, a Japanese soldier who emerged from the Philipinne jungle in 1974. He spent 30 years dodging U.S. military, Philipinnos, and even Japanese trying to get him to surrender; all because he believed WW II was still going on and claims that the war was over were just tricks used by the "enemy".

So I put to you, all both of my readers, what do you suggest I add to my list? Throw 'em out there.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

When good artists go bad

I'm a big fan of Tony Iommi and his work, and am very glad I got to see the original Black Sabbath line-up in concert (twice!). I am also, quite unapologetically, a fan of Billy Idol. However, today I stumbled across a song they did together on Iommi's "solo" album Iommi from 2000, which I didn't even know existed...and it's just so bad. Not even "so bad it's good." More like Huey Lewis and the News' song "Bad is Bad".

Yes, I did just reference Tony Iommi, Billy Idol, and Huey Lewis (and the News!) in one post. And yes, I am also unapologetically a fan of Huey Lewis and the News.

So, I present for your listening...what should I say? Unpleasantness? Torture? What's the opposite of listening enjoyment? Anyway, here's Tony Iommi with Billy Idol, "Into the Night":