All purpose vertically integrated publishing empire for cynicism, hopelessness and misanthropy. Mild nausea is common when using this product. Other symptoms may include, but are not limited to: dizzyness, headache, homicidal rage and yellow discharge. Rarely, users may begin to hear voices urging them to kill. If this occurs, discontinue use and seek psychiatric attention. Do not read when pregnant or nursing; the author thinks that's gross.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Nero Watch Day 39

GeezSo it's official, the guy from Nero who *was* handling my complaint is ignoring me. It's been something like 48 hours since I showed him the photo proving that I own two copies, and no matter how many messages I send I can't get a reply.

Tomorrow I'll have to look into other options. I definitely want to talk to his manager now. I can't believe their TS people are allowed to, in essence, hang up on a customer and take the phone off the hook.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Oh God, Is this *It*, GOP?So, Obama, who is not shaping up to be my favorite President by any means (*cough* Bagram *cough* State Secrets Abuse *cough*), gave his big speech selling the still-half-assed stimulus plan to Congress last night.

It apparently went over very well, as most of his speeches do.

As a side note, I don't actually think Obama is a fantastic public speaker. He's decent, and stays unruffled/on the script. But his up and down psuedo-musical presentation always struck me as a little... sing-songy.

Fortunately, Louisiana Governor "Bobby" Jindal exists to show us what sing-songy REALLY MEANS.

Honestly, this moron from Baton Rouge is so not worth our time, nationally. He's a religious kook who thinks he exorcised a demon from his college girlfriend. He's a big pusher of Intelligent Design. He's from a state that has fallen into complete and utter ruin under Republican rule (first via Bush and FEMA and the botched Katrina/levee engineering disaster's response, then under his control). He opposes stem-cell research, equal rights for gays, even going so far as to oppose a bill that would let the feds *help* with hate crimes against the GLBT community... and also, the disabled.

Man, that'd be a great campaign ad against Jindal. 'Bobby Jindal Hates The Handicapped'.

But I digress. This clown, this rube, this utter baffoon, was selected to give the rebuttal to Obama's speech by the GOP, who are almost completely tapped out for 2012 candidates.

The consensus is that they might be down one more after last night.

DEAR LORD he is a terrible, terrible public speaker! He sounds like Mr. Rogers! Some people prefer to compare him to an informerical huckster; others, to a preschool teacher, and others still to various sitcom parodies.

(Actually, to me personally, he also sounds a lot like my ultra-religious Uncle Brad, who buys 'Army of God' t-shirts for his kids and attends one of those speaking in tongues type Protestant churches, but that's not a reference most people will get)

As for substance to his speech, there was no 'there' there, so to speak. It was awful, and shallow, and trite, the story of how his hardworking immigrant parents had it tough, so everyone else should, and oh by the way, he was actually working during Katrina, NOT LIKE THEM GUBMINT TYPES, har-har, and, oh yeah, the stimulus bill spends money on things he's too ignorant to understand, like Volcano Monitoring (who really cares when volcanos explode, not like we have them in the United States, right?).

Man a friend of mine from the Seattle area was pissed about the Volcano thing, living as he does in the general Doom Zone of Mt. Rainier.

The point is, he's a mealymouthed, platitude spouting, soft-spoken, treats-you-like-a-child half-wit of an orator, and the almost whole country, even Fox News, acknowledged this.

What a disaster, hehe. About the only person rushing to defend him was Ann Althouse, about whom I'll be very, very polite, since I will hopefully be starting UW-Madison's law school in the fall, and there's every possibility she might be teaching me a class someday.

No, I'm not sucking up. I do believe, however, in codes of conduct for Universities.

(Both in the sense that, I think they're a good idea... and in the sense that, I believe they exist regardless of my opinion, and have the power to smash a lowly student flat.)

Still, I will comment on her theory that liberals (and Andrew Sullivan), are being too hard on Jindal because he's brown:
Expressed by Josh Marshall (“absolutely cringeworthy”), Andrew Sullivan (“Jindal’s entrance reminded one of Mr Burns gamboling toward a table of ointments”), and others.

Why are all these people so confident that they are not manifesting racism? There’s just something about this man that doesn’t seem right, that you don’t care to examine exactly what it is, but you know it deep down in your gut somehow. Seriously. How do you know this is not racism?

ADDED: Andrew Sullivan proffers an answer to my question: “Maybe because there is not a trace of evidence of any kind that we are. Unless comparing Jindal to Kenneth the Page or Mr Burns taps unknown wells of racist hate in my heart. I mean, seriously.” I think deeper reflection is needed. Why the urge to paint him as a white white man? Where did that come from? Of course, there are unknown wells inside us all. When you have an instinctive response to a person of another race, why not seek knowledge?

Well, for one thing, as one of 'these people', I'm fairly confident I'm not just mocking him because he's brown... because, well, I'm not. I'd never heard Jindal speak for any length of time before the clips of the anti-Obama speech went on the radio; my jaw *literally* dropped when I heard them. It's not racist, or racist-overcompensating, to suggest that Jindal sounds like Mr. Rogers.


See, here's the thing, about Jindal being Indian, ethnically. A: It doesn't bother me one bit, and B: part of the humor in him being a genuine Mr. Rogers soundalike is that he doesn't look, or act, anything like Mr. Rogers. If you had never seen him before, had no idea about his politics or past insanity, if your very first exposure to Jindal was on the radio, hearing his voice, you could SWEAR that Rogers had crawled out of hell to give GOP talking points to a national audience.

(Or my Uncle, if you know him. Except for the crawling out of Hell part, he's not dead. Though he does live in rural Indiana..)

If anything, that is the polar, exact, absolute opposite of racism, in that one instantly leaps to the correct sensory conclusion (Bobby Jindal sounds like a dead, beloved children's host who has sold his soul to the devil in exchange for power), despite the glaringly obvious (and heavily marketed) aspect of his non-white ethnicity.

Jindal strikes me as something of a pathetic figure. His whole life has been one long series of accommodations to White Conservative America, from his selecting a new, whiter name for himself based on a goddamned sitcom, to conversion to ultra-conservative Catholicism, to joining the party of immigrant bashing and xenophobia and becoming its new, designated Non-White Spokesman.

Supposedly one of the reasons he exorcised his girlfriend, that he knew that she was 'possessed', is that she wanted to sleep with him. Really.

Basically, you can see here a man filled to the absolute brim with self-loathing, who is trying to force himself into a mold so that White Conservative America will love him.

News flash, Piyush "Bobby" Jindal: they never, ever will. Though they're happy to use you... for a while.

Nero Watch Day 38

Not Much to ReportReally, just another day of them ducking, or at least not responding to or acknowledging in any way, my emails.

I guess I have to start all over again, possibly on the phone, which is sub-moronic. Honestly, I'm supposed to read two giant cd keys over the phone?

Plus, how would I supply the photographic proof I own them?

Argh. A friend of mine who works in tech support says I should call them, on the phone, and demand to speak directly to a manager, and reference the lengthy email chain to date.

I suppose I'll do that soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Nero Watch Day 37

It goes on and on my friends...So I've spent the last few days in email conversation with Nero's tech support, and last night, well, Monday night (now that it's technically Wednesday), I got an email: my problem has been resolved! My key is reset!


Which key? And that hardly solves the problem, I thought!

So I emailed back, asking which key and if they knew they still had work to do.

The response was priceless: the key I've been using for two years? The one that came in their shrinkwrapped box? It's invalid! So, presumably, they don't have to fix it!

Sigh. Gods.

So I got out the old digital camera, took more photos, this time of the old serial key emblazoned on a nero jewel case, side by side with the new key, and sent off the whole batch to Nero tech support.

Naturally, they then went radio silent. You've probably been hearing the stereotypical cricket noises on the internet tonight.