Friday, October 03, 2008

Well, I was playing a gig last night, so I was put in the strange position of getting home and listening to some of the commentators and pundits talk about and analyze the V.P. debate before I had watched any of it (I did, eventually, watch significant portions of it, which I recorded on my DVR). When I got home and first heard the commentary, though, the first two commentators that I listened to both talked about how Palin had performed extremely well in the debate, but then they both went on to say that the reason she had done well was because she managed to do things like speak in coherent, articulate sentences and avoid looking confused too often (both of these ridiculous commentators were on CNN- it just slays me to hear conservatives talk about "the liberal news media" and what a hard time they're giving Palin when this is the sort of ridiculously low standard they're holding her to).
Anyway, is this what it's come to in terms of what we can expect from our "leaders"? Are congratulations and claims of success in order because our Vice Presidential candidate can manage to string together coherent sentences? (after weeks of practice, mind you) I understand that our current president has significantly lowered the bar in terms of both oratorical skills and command of facts related to domestic and foreign policy, but I really thought we were going to try to do better this time. I mean, I'm a lawyer who prosecutes misdemeanor cases for county government, and even in my line of work I don't get to declare victory just by managing to get some coherent sentences out of my mouth.
Biden clearly won the debate (and managed to do it in a style that didn't seem to be harshly attacking Palin or beating up on her), but the Republicans are going to try to claim victory just because Palin didn't fall on her face (never mind that we shouldn't have to fear that possibility from a candidate in the first place). Arrrgggh.
On the other hand, in some sense I'm glad that Palin sort of held her own, because I don't want to have a female vice presidential candidate in the race who totally makes a fool of herself (Palin does, after all, continue to set some precedent here), but let's be honest, kids- Biden looked much more capable, intelligent, experienced, and presidential during the debate than Palin. In any case, with two more presidential debates to go and the country facing economic meltdown, I don't think the VP debate is going to hold the public's attention for very long. There are just too many other things going on.

In other news, Mono Ensemble played last night at Somnio's Cafe on South 1st (between Annie and Mary, next to Flashback vintage clothing). I'm going to be honest- it probably wasn't our strongest gig. We were playing in a sort of wooded area off of the parking lot back behind the restaurant, and it was kind of hard to see what was going on (I think I can probably play in complete darkness, but there was something about the weird, low lighting back there that kept throwing me off), and Eric was playing keyboard for the entire evening, so we're still kind of adjusting to having him on keys instead of guitar. I don't really know what was going on, but our feng shui was just all screwed up, and we had a few hiccups.
On the other hand, we also had some nice moments and played some things which sounded really good- and, of course, I think we all still had a pretty good time playing (and most of the mistakes that we made probably went unnoticed by people who were listening).
We're going to take another run at it on Saturday, playing between 5:30 and 8:00 at the same place. Hopefully things will go a little more smoothly. Anyway, we're bound to have a good time. You guys should come out to see us (and thanks to Ryan, Jamie, Heather, Stephanie, and anyone else who came out to see us last night).
And here's a kick in the jimmy- KXAN has apparently gone dark for Time Warner cable subscribers as Time Warner and KXAN argue about whether or not the large cable company should have to pay anything to broadcast the NBC programming people with rabbit ears are getting for free. Apparently KXAN is asking for less than a penny a day per subscriber, but Time Warner is ticked off because they think they should receive the signal for free.
I don't get it. Time Warner cable already costs more than the subscription service for most satellite providers, and they provide me with a whole bunch of channels that I never, ever watch (and I don't think I'll be watching the Golf Channel any time soon). I really don't think that this issue is about keeping costs down for Time Warner customers (they seem happy to continually raise our rates). This negotiation is really about profit margin for Time Warner and their traditional ability to sell their viewers a product which they receive for free. I don't have all that much sympathy for Time Warner since they seem pretty happy to nickel and dime everyone else to death and because the satellite companies seem to have worked this situation out with local network affiliates a long time ago, and still provide their services at a lower cost than Time Warner.
If Austin Time Warner doesn't get this sorted out pretty soon, I'm cancelling my cable and calling a satellite provider. Swear to God. (I only watch a few shows, really, and Heroes, The Office, and 30 Rock are all in that group). I probably should have done it already.

Ain't got much else. It's been a crazy week. ACL Fest left me tired, work has been very busy, and then there's been the gigging with the Mono E. Glad it's the weekend.



The League said...

I'm not too concerned about missing any NBC shows. They turn up on Hulu or the NBC site quickly enough, and I think I only watch two or three of them. Sunday Night football is probably my biggest concern.

I don't blame people for wanting to switch to satellite, but I'm still distrustful of satellite v. weather.

I'll be very surprised if they don't figure this one out fairly quickly, and TW isn't ust waiting it out to see how many subscribers they lose before they cave.

But as much as I pay, I doubt I'd notice the extra $4 a year for NBC.

Time Warner's stance seems pretty ridiculous to me. Especially as I've also thrown in with Cable for years so I wouldn't have to worry about the old satellite issue of having to switch to tuner for local stations.

J.S. said...

Well, that's part of what bugs me. I also rmember when satellite subscribers had to tune in for local channels with their rabbit ears, but that issue was cleared up years ago, and the cost for satellite still seems lower than the ever-increasing cost of cable. In other words, I don't think that this KXAN thing should even result in a hike increase for TW subscribers. I think that the profit margins are just really high for TW cable, and they don't want anything eating into them. If we had any competing cable companies in our area, this whole thing would be a moot point b/c TW wouldn't be able to use its cable monopoly to play hardball (I know that some parts of Austin have Grande service, but a lot of us don't have the option).

Meredith said...

Not even touching the political comments on here about the VP and I have enough heated exchanges on it to leave well enough alone for once. BUT I was glad to hear you had a fun gig, despite your 'feng shui' problems....did you really blame it on 'feng shui'? :) You find a way to crack me up quite often...

We have TWC up here too in NC and roll our internet and digital phone into it all too and I feel ripped off often. Greed is astounding.