Don’t Wanna Be An American Idiot? Sorry, We All Kinda Are

It’s the end of yet another month where I’m still looking for something resembling a break, so forgive me if I’m in a bit darker mindset than usual (or, some of you may believe, this may be more the norm than not).  It seems almost every place I turn for advice or help, I’m consistently reminded that despite having both facts and spellcheck to back up my viewpoints and beliefs, somehow, some way, I’m the one who is perpetually an idiot.

This started when I recently came across a report from yet another Parrot Analytics advertorial published by THE WRAP–which Parrot pays a handsome fee to use as their propoganda outlet– that tried to assert that SEINFELD reruns on Netflix had a hidden value which Sony should be aware of.  Citing yet again their recall and intent data rather than actual consumption metrics, the author–once an independent journalist, now a paid shill for Parrot–asserted that a significant chunk of the show’s viewers on that platform claimed to have watched (HBO) Max immediately prior to their viewing session.  Immediately, this author assumed that not only must this data be true, he further asserted that it HAD to be viewers of CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM that drove that “audience flow”.  Now, I haven’t seen actual data from MAX that supports exactly how popular CURB may be but given what I’ve seen from Nielsen for the show’s lengthy run, and even accounting for how incomplete Nielsen is, I would be stunned if CURB were somehow at the level of popularity that, say, FRIENDS or THE BIG BANG THEORY is.  But what would I know. since, according to Parrot’s founder, I’m little more than a “parent waiting upstairs for the cool kids to finish their rave”?

So let’s suspend reality enough to say that, yep, there’s a massive overlap between the two services.  The contention that Sony could or would utliize this information to somehow try and upsell the show to MAX away from Netflix is not only preposterous, given the length and size of the Netflix deal  (a reported $500M for rights that only began in October of 2021), but at a time when MAX is cancelling shows produced by its own studios and attempting to sell those rights outside its platform, and with the pressure that our friend Yosemite Zas is under to somehow improve its economics while he lays off thousands of employees across many other WBD divisions, could this “reporter” say with a straight face that there would actually BE an appetite for MAX to make an acquisition at a price point even close to what Netflix paid?  And if this “reporter” knew anything about the breadth and layers of the Sony-Netflix deal, one that also includes rights for many other series and an onramp for several originals (including the recent hit NIGHT AGENT), I would love to hear how he thinks his “data” would be sufficient enough to get either side to rethink what they have.

And yet, this “analyst” is more than likely not as worried about paying his rent or mortgage (or the cost of his cold brew) as I am.

When I turn outside the world I still feverishly believe, with evidence, that I’m worthy of being a part of, I see countless other examples of how attention to detail has truly become a lost art.  An online friend who recently retired from decades in television regularly sends screen shots from newscasts where lower thirds are inexplicably misspelled, including this gem from a recent FOX 29 sports report where the hometown Phillies apparently were playing cricket.  I’m informed that actual humans still pre-program these graphics and supposedly proofread them before they hit air.   He’s pretty consistent about this. and for those who might criticize him as yelling at clouds, the idea that simply expecting someone to be able to correctly SPELL–when they have apparently have access to SPELLCHECK in the software that programs their graphics–doesn’t seem all that ridiculous, at least to me.  But they apparently draw their inspiration from our political leaders.

The leading candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency apparently believes a word used for a meek person that was the surname of a cartoon character created in the early 20th century by H.T. Webster is spelled in a way akin to the meal he likely devoured when he was draft dodging., as NEWSWEEK’s Aila Slisco reported yesterday, while he also apparently followed Parrot’s lead of conflating data:

Trump blasted McEnany in a Truth Social post on Tuesday, calling her “milktoast”—an apparent misspelling of “milquetoast,” an insult for a timid or bland person—and condemning her current role as a Fox News host.

During a Fox News broadcast earlier in the day, McEnany said that DeSantis may be “closing the gap” in Iowa’s GOP primary race, although it was unclear which polls she was referencing. Trump insisted that McEnany had provided the “wrong poll numbers” while laying into her for supposedly promoting the Florida governor, whom he has taken to calling “Ron DeSanctimonious.”

“Kayleigh ‘Milktoast’ McEnany just gave out the wrong poll numbers on FoxNews,” Trump wrote. “I am 34 points up on DeSanctimonious, not 25 up. While 25 is great, it’s not 34.

I’d ask if he knew what the difference was between the two numbers, but I wouldn’t want to disrespect the potential once and future leader of our great nation.

And his rival provided a cable news reporter with the kind of release I only wish I were capable of yesterday when this incident, reported by HUFFNEWS’ Ed Mazza, occurred:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has made taking on “woke” a central part of his identity and a key to his 2024 presidential aspirations, even using the word seven times in 20 seconds during an event last month. 

But MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace wasn’t having his latest attempt to use it as a talking point. 

On Tuesday’s “Deadline White House,” she played a clip of DeSantis once again vowing to end “woke” if elected.

“I will be able to destroy leftism in this country and leave woke ideology on the dustbin of history,” DeSantis said Fox News. 

After the clip, Wallace let out a loud laugh. 

Then she got serious. 

“A woke mob did not storm the U.S. Capitol. A woke mob did not shoot up Uvalde. A woke mob does not represent the threat that domestic violent extremism does, but OK, Ron, you go get the woke mob,” she said.

Yet my very ability to stay housed is being determined by someone who believes these genuises are superior alternatives to anyone else who might want to run our country.  Forget whether or not this person actually has the legal right to take any action against me.  It didn’t them once before, and somehow because this person has an advanced degree from a prestigious institution that makes ME wrong.

I’m told that a consulting gig is imminent, I’m told to “be patient”.  It’s been several weeks since I began hearing those assumptions.  So even though you might be able to reassure me that “everything’s gonna be all right”; it can’t not be, I’d say my experience suggests I’m not all that unjustified to be more than a bit scared.

I despise being this vulnerable and scared.  I despise having to constantly defend myself against people who simply can’t grasp how petrifying it is to face the imminent prospect of homelessness while they have no such worries now and often never did.

And I truly despise people who get farther ahead than I do by being wrong.

But, I’ll admit, I’m often no better.  I once befriended and trusted someone who claimed to be part of the band that recorded the now-classic tune that served as today’s inspiration.  Turns out that person knew some of the band’s members, but never actually played with them.  Were you to ask any current member of GREEN DAY about this person, they would say “no comment”.  It took a successful lawsuit on my part to get him to simply pay me back for money I lent him to pay for a small celebration.   This person has made financial restitution, so I won’t drag their name into this.  But it doesn’t take away how much time and money I had to invest simply to prove I was right, and get someone else in a position of authority to agree.

I guess you could say I’m as much of an idiot as anyone else.

I hope you don’t think the link I yet again provide below in the pious hope someone might read it and offer a smidge of help to get me past another panic-inducing end-of-month trial makes me even more of one.

If you did, you won’t be alone.  But you won’t necessarily be correct.  And as long as I have access to an internet connection, I’ll be here to remind you when you aren’t–but I also will praise you when you are.

Consider yourself on notice.

Until next time…

Fundraiser by Steven Leblang : Steve Leblang (

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