WiR 5.06.08: Performance Anxiety

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mickey.pngWe're switching things up a little this week, because it's our site and we can do whatever we please. Certain things were unavoidable, others we chose to do and we take full responsibility for that. Like Roger Clemens, we apologize for our personal mistakes, but we wont disclose what those mistakes were. Unless you get us drunk, then we open the vault for anyone.

yahoo_logo.jpg Speaking of some re-shuffled web content, you have to be dead to have not heard about the Yahoo! and Microsoft fracas from this weekend. Or you have to not particularly care about that sort of stuff. Or you've gotta have a life. Either way, what a fracas it was. Yahoo!'s stock was at $19 a share on Friday but Microsoft offered $31 and then came up to $33. But that wasn't good enough for Yahoo! CEO Jeff Yang. After Microsoft's initial offer, Yahoo!'s stock surged and that seems to have bolstered his confidence and he stood firm at $37. Now, forget for a moment that these are all imaginary numbers based on possible projected earnings and that turning down billions of dollars is just about the stupidest thing one can do. Instead, let's focus on the larger truth here. That truth goes a little something like this: Jeff Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, Steve's Word is available. Our stock will cost you way, way less than $37 a share; nothing will come close to the $44.6 billion you were ready to pay. For a mere $5 million you can have everything that Steve's Word has to offer. We'll even all stay on in advisory positions to help you out and make sure the transition from indie web mag to cog in your global company is smooth and easy. Look, just think about it. That's all we ask.

8belles.jpeg To tell you the truth, it's a little hard for me to muster up some hilarity since I'm so broken up over the death of Eight Belles. This was the worst kind of storybook ending, a filly (that's a female horse to all you novices out there) runs the Churchill Downs for the first time in nearly a decade, and comes in second. She fights through all the colts (damn men) and makes it to the head of the pack, and even though she couldn't overcome winner Big Brown, she ran a hell of a race. No one can look her in her gigantic glassy eyes and tell her that she didn't give it her all. Actually, no one can look her in the eyes at all since she is currently dead. After crossing the finish line, she experienced two compound ankle fractures and was put down right then and there. This whole thing makes me sick, especially when I learned that a compound fracture means that the bones have sliced through the skin and that euthanizing becomes the clear option because the risk of infection from the dirt on the track is so high. And this comes just two short years after the untimely demise of another American hero, the great Barbaro. How can this keep happening? Why is the world so cruel? There must be something in the way these horses are being bred, or it could be that the fabric of the universe is coming apart. Either way, I don't like it one bit.

There's something really perverse with the whole culture of the these events. Really rich people are standing around in gigantic hats sipping on ridiculous drinks and getting richer. Meanwhile, gigantic animals put their lives on the line doing a mostly mundane thing - running around a circle. And don't get me started on jockeys. Man those little guys freak me out. Really, those events are like being thrust into a scene from the Wizard of Oz, but way less metaphorical. Really, it's just stupid and the fact these poor personified animals with their ridiculous stage names put their lives on the line. And I don't even like horses. Really. Some day I'll tell you about the time I had to ride one.

miley.png Speaking of courageous females going down in flames, how 'bout those Miley Cyrus photos causing such a stir? Don't get me wrong, I'm totally into fifteen year old girls in post-coital poses. Really, there's nothing wrong with this. Come on, now. I'm aware Annie Lebowitz is a big time photographer and the photo has a lot of classic themes - the pose, the contrast of white skin to dark hair, I took a semester of Art History in college - but there's a way in which this picture crosses the line. Except, that line isn't the line of underage sluttiness. It's the line of Disney's media manipulation. I've really had enough of them and their hypocritcal bullshit. They cast these young girls and set the stage for their sexualized rebellion and then get really upset, even as they reap the benefit of "no bad publicity." It's shameful, and they destroy lives. The argument against Disney almost writes itself; Britney, Lindsay Lohan, Hillary Duff. Why even bother trying to write jokes about it when the lives of these girls outdoes any witticism I might come up with? How can you verbally compete with a shaved pubic area?

I'm not saying that these gals aren't crazy and responsible and deserving of all the problems that seek them out. But, I have to reserve a little accountability for Disney. It's Disney that manufactures them, that creates their super-sexualized image. It's Disney that makes the most money off all the media attention that they disavow when necessary. Isn't it convenient that Disney creates a medium for these prepubescent chickies to thrive and then wants to walk away when they get attention for being sexy? They know what they're doing. Honestly, if you want to make money off latent pedophilia that's fine. I mean it's not, but at least be honest about it. Don't play this game where you package young girls in an extremely sexy manner and then ask them to be demure. Can the bullshit, Walt.

So, Mr. Ballmer, what do you think?

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