It’s been years since I’ve watched the news, but earlier this week I found myself trapped in a mechanic’s waiting room with a widescreen television blaring CNN. I expected the midday anchor to be terrible, and she did not disappoint. One of the topics she touched on was AT&T’s plan to acquire T-Mobile. What sorts of questions did she ask her guests? Did she explore the impact this acquisition might have on customers’ phone bills? How about network quality? Potential anti-trust violations? The fate of small carriers in a more consolidated mobile phone market? No…all she really wanted to know was whether or not T-Mobile customers would be able to purchase and activate the latest iPhone. Sadly, it only took CNN five minutes to remind me why I get my news from newspapers and websites.
Archive for the ‘Curtis’ Category
Something tells me the parents in this strip aren’t exactly hip to technology. They’ve been coaxed to the couch by the promise of an “incredible video clip” that was shot by a pedestrian using his iPhone. Giddy with anticipation, they joke about what they might see on the evening news. Snooki joining the Mensa Society? Michelle Obama asking Lady Gaga to be her fashion consultant? Those would be unusual stories, but they sure as heck wouldn’t show up on anyone’s iPhone camera. No, viewer-submitted video tends to be visually arresting, along the lines of this clip from Snowpocalypse 2011.
I understand the need for traditional banking – really, I do – but that doesn’t mean its rules don’t grate on me from time to time. When I was in my early twenties, I incurred an overdraft fee thanks to an emergency car repair. I thought I had enough money in my account. I didn’t. So how did I respond to being charged $25? I closed my account and opened a new one with Washington Mutual, a “consumer-friendly” bank that promised every goodie under the sun: no fees, no overdraft charges and, to make the deal even sweeter, a no-questions-asked home loan. Well, we all know how that turned out. After Washington Mutual imploded, I went looking for a stodgier, more conservative bank that understood how to properly assess risk. I still dislike overdraft fees and other safeguards (PMI is what sticks in my craw these days), but I also understand their importance.
A few weeks ago, I moseyed past a row of old furniture stores and noticed a couch in the window. My wife and I already have a couch. It’s a fine piece of furniture, really, but it’s starting to lose its luster after years of wear and tear. The cushions (once soft) have started to sag and the cloth (once clean) has become stained with food. With those shortcoming in mind, I made a mental note and promised myself that I’d come back to the store with my wife. When she saw the display, she was as excited as I was. The color, the cost, the cushions; everything about the couch was agreeable to us. So, you see, it’s really not that hard for married couples to agree on furniture; at least not as hard as Curtis would have you believe.
Earlier this year, my wife, my dad, and I made plans to see the independent film Genova. Unfortunately, we were rebuffed when we tried to buy tickets to a (surprisingly) sold-out screening. We wondered…how could an under-the-radar movie about a grief-stricken widower moving his young daughters to Italy pack the house? A quick glance at the multiplex offerings gave us our answer. That weekend, moviegoers were limited to Iron Man 2, Robin Hood, and Shrek Forever After. Given those options, who wouldn’t be tempted by an art house theater and its mature, engaging alternatives?
I’m not a big fan of strips that take aim at contemporary television. For one thing, there are tons of great shows that are either in their prime (like Lost) just completed (like The Sopranos) or still going strong after long runs in syndication (like The Simpsons). But a more important point is that, even though there is plenty of muck to make one weep for the future (like Rock of Love), nobody is being forced to watch anything. That said, I was thoroughly taken with this depiction of Donald Trump as an angry duck who wields a pint-sized bat and threatens a trio of game show contestants. Sure, The Apprentice has been off the air for a few years, but this caricature is so inventive that I’m willing to overlook the fact that it’s not timely.
Wrigley Field is considered a baseball shrine by many Chicagoans, so when the old ballpark is finally torn down (or renovated) the Cubs are sure to make a killing on memorabilia. This is unlikely to include bathroom fixtures, however, as the the men’s rooms at Wrigley are equipped with long trophs instead of urinals. Then again, some fans are probably more than willing to empty out their savings to purchase an authentic Wrigley Field troph, stained with decades worth of (ahem) reprocessed Old Style beer.