Friday, March 10, 2006

Customer Service Alert

I haven't had Subway in a good long while. Tonight I got a wild hair and went to the one by Blockbuster on Union. I could have sworn I ordered the Turkey BLT but when I got home, it was just a BLT. And I stood there dull-eyed the whole time he was making it, not noticing. Now, I do have a tendency to mumble, so I don't know whose fault this might have been.

So I trudged back with the sammich and asked whether the manager had heard BLT or turkey BLT. He said just BLT, but was more than willing to remake the sammich. It wasn't a revenge remake either, where they skimp ingredients and do a crappy job. It was a well made sammich.

So, kudos to the Subway on Union in Midtown. It might well have been my fault but he didn't care and was willing to make it right by me without any complaint or attitude. That's just good customer service.

And he gave me a free cookie! Alright.
I Have a Banner Now, So It Must Be Official

Yup, it is official. I am campaigning for Wendi Thomas' old gig. Here's the banner:

Feel free to use this banner on your blog or website. Spread the word. Help me get the job.

And I need a campaign slogan. Any suggestions?
C-yA Wendi

It's now official: Wendi Thomas is leaving the Commercial Appeal and being traded up to the Baltimore Sun for a columnist to be named later. I am, as regular readers can imagine, heartbroken.

LeftWing Cracker caught the story first from the Media News site. Here's how her new employer describes her:
Wendi has been a columnist at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis since August 2003. Her columns -- known for their flair and humor -- include taking on a prominent and controversial political family and calling for elected officials to sign ethical codes of conduct. She has examined potential budget cuts to after-school activities in Memphis and told stories of redemption among ex-gang members. And she has challenged a ballet teacher who won't let a pupil with dreadlocked hair perform in a recital.
Ooooh, that'll teach that mean old ballet teacher! Putting the full weight of a metro daily newspaper behind that crusade sure made a difference in Memphis. I bet Andy "3 On Your Side" Wise is so jealous.

Her popping up for a City Council meeting (and sitting at their table no less!) to demand they sign a behavior pledge is the kind of thing you expect from a high school paper. It's a juvenile stunt.

I was pretty excited when I learned that the paper was hiring its first black columnist. Given that it was already 2003, it was long past time. But Thomas pretty quickly proved herself to be useless at best, generally a panderer, and at worst a self-righteous scold.

In a city as dysfunctional and as rife with political and civic abuse as Memphis, one so loaded with targets it's just not fair, Thomas managed to make her column a blank-firing pistol. A guaranteed portion of tapioca every time in a city crying out a chef with sharp knives. Go back and reread her accomplishments. Take a look back at what's been going on in Memphis during that time. See the disconnect?

Say what you want about Susan Adler Thorp -- and I have -- but she at least knew that a columnist in her position needs to jab. She abused her column in the worst of ways -- including self-enrichment -- but she knew how to throw a sharp needle. Thomas throws Nerf... like a girl.

So, Baltimore's gain is Memphis' gain. It's a win-win.

Now, as to the newly opened columnist position, I humbly submit myself as her replacement. Imagine the headlines: "Memphis paper hires local blogger as new metro columnist." It's a PR coup waiting to happen. National media attention par excellance.

During her tenure, Thomas wrote three regular 1000-word columns a week and the occasional longer column. That's 3000 or so words a week plus some extra. Times 50 weeks (vacation time factored out) that's maybe 15,000 words a year? Maybe 45,000 words over the course of her tenure at the CA. Let's be generous and bump that to 60,000 words. And roughly 500 columns.

In that same time I have blogged over 500,000 words -- over 2000 posts! In three years. It's enough for a six novel career. I'd be a mid-list author well into his alloted life on the bookshelf racks had I written fiction instead.

And all without a salary. While Thomas has profitted handsomely, I have done this for nothing more than love. Well, OK... and a grudge.

I write well, and entertainly entertainingly. I can do political analysis, as even Jackson Baker has admitted. I have broad interests and a wide-ranging curiosity. I have peculiarities, which means the occasional curveball in any column I write, always sure to stir things up a little. I'm not afriad of controversy and can handily and willingly defend myself.

I live by this code:
1. Intelligent people discuss ideas and concepts.
2. Average people discuss current events.
3. Ignorant people discuss each other.
Thomas hovered somewhere between 2 and 3. I always strive for number 1. Now, that may conflict with "telling the stories of Greater Memphis" but someone has to uphold a higher standard and I'd be willing to shoulder that burden. Without being all snobby like Koeppel, too!

I live right down Union Avenue from the paper, so I'll take the 56 Union MATA bus to work every day. How's that for street cred? Won't that fit in with y'alls Pacific Northwest liberalism?

And I'm a conservative Libertarian! Hey, instant points with one-third of your "Greater Memphis" readership that's been feeling shut out all these years. I promise not to start any inter-office fights, too. I'll even sign a pledge.

But wait Mike, you're always taking hiatuses (haiti?)! you say. Good point, but look at my work record (resume available on request) and you'll see dependability is my middle name. I was at work during Hurricane Elvis -- hell, I walked to work during the onset of the that windstorm -- and was the only employee to show up at the store every day until power came back! I rarely get sick and come to work even then.

Hell, I'll even work for half the salary you paid Thomas! How's that for cost-savings? You'll make my mother happy in the same deal. She's been wondering since day one why I don't get paid for this blog and all the writing I do. Make her dream come true! Get her son a real job.

So, come on Commercial Appeal. Take a real dare this time. Hire the middle-aged white guy. Hire a blogger and make him your own. Put some spice back into the stew. Do something really revolutionary this time.

I double dog dare you.
That Cheney Pic

I don't understand why everyone is making such a big deal of that Cheney pic from Reuters. Judge for yourself:

No subliminal messages here, right?
Fancy Ford Outrage

So there's a new website, from the National Republican Senatorial Committee, making fun of Harold Ford Jr and boy are the liberals howling! (Go to comments for links to more outrage.)

Some are calling it a racist site, and making all kinds of contortions to prove the point. They have a picture of white Playboy bunnies! Well, there aren't that many black Playboy bunnies, are there? And the F-Unit (nickname courtesy of Chris) does go to the Playboy mansion.

Washington and New York gossip columns talk about Ford's taste for cigars and fine living, and WDIA's talk shows are full of disparagement for Ford's purported preference for white blondes.

But, as usual, the Lefties' outrage is late and selective. Yours truly has already blogged on this whole subject in July of last year! It's all there, documented with links and everything. Harold the Lesser likes the high life.

And what of it? His father and grandfather both worked very hard to propel Junior into the upper reaches of American society. He was given a private school education and went to an elite East Coast prep school. His father got him a job where he used to work.

He's got about as much to do with the "Memphis street" as I do. He's been content to not worry about it because to the constiuency that elects him to Congress he's a symbol of the black man getting ahead. He is their dream.

But no, to the Left it seems that if you point this out you must be comparing him to a pimp, the only model of black success they seem to know. F-Unit was brought up to transcend the color line, and he has. That's fine. But you can't have it both ways, as the Fancy Ford site points out. You can't "keep it real" to your poor voting audience and live a color-neutral high life on the down-low. Someone will -- and now has -- point it out.

As I noted in comments at the Flypaper Theory, what worked for the Ninth Congressional district won't fly for Tennessee as a whole. Ford now needs lots of white voters. They'll look at this double standard and turn away. This "black on the ballot, white in Washington" life is hypocritical. Pointing that out isn't racist, it's saying the emperor's son has no clothes, or rather very, very fine clothes indeed.

Of course, the press will botch the story. They'll pick up the liberal outrage and, rather than investigate the story and report Harold's double life, will blithely ignore that and just report the one-way outrage, as if that's the story. The focus will be the charge of Republican racism, and not Harold's hypocrisy. You watch.

Longtime Ford watchers and Tennesseans have known this was coming. Heck, I've even mocked Junior on this:

What really kills me is the perceived hypocrisy of Republicans for daring to confront Ford on charges of high living. Because, you know, Democrats all live in modest homes, just-enough-to-live-on salaries, and practice chaste, moderate lives.

After all, he didn't learn it from his father, who lives on an exclusive island in Miami, Florida, far from his "home" in Memphis, where he never bothers to visit any more. Or from, say, Ted Kennedy or John Kerry, both ultra-wealthy elites; or the Clintons, or well... lots and lots of Democrats!

And anyway-- You want real gossip on Ford? Try Vaginal Cream Davis and his/her juicy story:
On the last night of the convention I went to this party on the Beach in the People's Republic of S' Aunt Monica at the exclusive Jonathan Club. I got to make out with this good looking mulatto representative from Tennessee named Harold or Henry Ford Jr. or something like that. It was fun to really get down and have some brother-to-brother, dinge on dinge love. Honey I was partaking in the ultimate revolution.
It's been on that website for years now. I first saw a link via a commenter on Thaddeus Matthews blog. He should be glad that one's not getting general circulation!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bonus Quote of the Day

Over at Achewood the Great Outdoor Fight is on. "Three Days. Three Acres. Three Thousand Men."

In one conversation Ray and Beef talk:
"Beef, why do I get the feelin' that our army's made up of ex-kids who were always picked last for kickball?"

"Can you think of anyone who has a more gigantic and deep-seated fury at the world?"

"Huh. Good point."
Quote of the Day

From Tim Blair's blog comes this:
For readers unfamiliar with the metric system, one metre equals 2.18 cubits.
Hey, I think it's hilarious.

There's a coven of cats that live near my building, about 8 of them. Two of them are kittens, the last remaining of a litter of six; the other four are all dead.

One is solid black, very cute. She was the runt of the litter and we all thought she'd die during the winter, but she's held on prospered. If you sit still long enough, she'll come over and sit about eight feet away or so, just chillin' with you.

One afternoon I was sitting at the computer and saw something from the corner of my eye. She was tentatively poking her head around the open kitchen door, seeing what was inside. She froze when she saw me, but I froze too until she relaxed. She explored the kitchen a while, warily keeping an eye on me. For a while, she tucked her legs up under herself and sat contentedly. Bennie never knew what was happening as she was in the bedroom napping.

I've trained this group of cats badly, I fear. I dump Bennie's bowl of uneaten food outside for them to scavenge. It's not much, but they come running from all over when they see me and the bowl. It's fascinating to watch them. Some come bolting straight for the spot; others will trot over and circle around a moment; some hang back until most of the food's gone. They sniff and peck furiously for every bit.

Anyway, the other night I was outside with a flashlight and swept it around a group of those cats. Of course their eyes all flashed greenish-gold in the reflected light.

Except the black kitten. Her eyes were a bright, clear, strong blue, like late afternoon sky. It was startling and beautiful.

I would so love to adopt this kitten before the window of her ferality closes, but of course Bennie is a jealous mistress. This is her home and not to be shared. Ah well....