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Rantasaurus – Part 1

**WARNING**
The following contains strong content that may be offensive to the reader. If you are faint of heart, have a weak stomache, or bend far to the left, turn back now. You have been appropriately cautioned. Enter at your own risk…

It’s taken me a few days to calm down enough to actually write about what’s on my mind. For the most part, I don’t have a defeatest attitude concerning the larger world with all its ills and ugliness, but sometimes it just gets to be too much. In these times, my natural cynicism goes to Def Con 9 or so.

Late last week was one of those times that took me to a level PISSED-OFFness that I didn’t know existed. I could actually feel my blood pressure rise.

It started with the seemingly impersonal happenings in Madison, WI concerning Public Workers’ Unions protests against having their collective bargaining power eliminated via state legislation. I’m not a Civil Servant and I don’t live in Wisconsin, so initially I saw the rucus as just more hot air coming from the bowed up chests of the political egomaniacs that reside in State (and National) politics.

However, once some of the detailed facts began to be reported (ad nauseum), it was evident that this situation is/was a microcosm of the larger problems facing our society today. After a 17-hour debate, Democrats who were on the obvious losing side of the argument skipped town to avoid a vote on a bill to reduce or eliminate the collective bargain ability of public employee unions. Nice. They couldn’t have their way through Democracy (majority rule), so they effectively QUIT. How hypocritical…they did the EXACT opposite of what their party is NAMED FOR. So, what this shows us is that when you are on the short end of a vote, simply run and their is no vote. Yeah, that’ll solve alot of problems.

Let me be clear, if it’s not already evident. I am NOT in support of Government Unions or Unions, in general, for that matter. I think that it’s patently unfair to have such dispartity between the private and the public sector in terms of labor structure. The danger of these unions has been obviously apparent in this latest “Great Recession”. While millions in the private sector have (AGAIN) taken cuts in pay structure, paid higher portions and overall medical costs and seen employers Retirement plans reduced, the public sector employees have continued to “bargain” for yet more benefits and more guarantees.

The math is EASY. You cannot spend what you don’t have, yet our consumption society continues to do just that. The U.S. is largely owned by China (who holds our bonds), due to the fact that our government is leveraged to the tune of over $14 TRILLION dollars. How can state and national governments continually be allowed to operate without a balanced budget? When people we know do this for an extended period of time, eventually the piper arrives for payment, right? Well, why should we think that this is not going to happen with our global governments? The real problem is the path we’ll have to travel BEFORE meeting the piper. $5.00 gas; $6.00 loaf of bread; $8.00 gallon of milk; $100 pair of Levi’s…is everyone prepared for that?

At some point, everyone has to do their part to fix this mess. Individually, we have to be responsible in our own finances. Much of this has already taken hold. Part of my job is to keep up with consumer attitudes towards finances and to understand the associated behavior and one of THE biggest trends that we’ve seen over the last three years is the massive shift of consumers from “spend” to “save”. As a whole, credit card balances have dramatically decreased and average Savings and Checking balances have risen. Everyday, people around the country have tightened their belts, put off unnecessary purchases, and tried to “live within their means”.

The federal government continues to try to “save” homeowners who couldn’t afford the home they bought a few years ago and can’t afford it now. Mortgage “workouts” are largely a failure as homeowners without wherewithal still can’t pay and ultimately end up in foreclosure…just six months down the road where more interest has been tacked on. These foreclosures produce a glut of inventory that is battered and fire-sale priced, adversely affecting other home values of people who have diligently paid their debt and taken care of their properties (ahem).

So, I AM PISSED. Pissed because I’ve worked hard, paid my taxes, paid all my bills on time, stretched to save for a “rainy day” and for retirement, and in the end I get screwed. We’ve often sacrificed what we “wanted” for what was prudent, yet it feels like we’re the only ones. Young people today think that they should own a house by age 25, have a job with 6 weeks (or more) vacation, a 30 hour work week, and a $100k plus annual salary. The current culture immerses this younger generation in entitlement and instant gratification. The character traits of hard work, dedication, and honesty are largely forsaken for the path of least resistance to get what they want, now.

In many ways, I see these public employees doing the same thing. Guaranteed higher salaries, platinum healthcare plans, FULL pay retirement after 20 years of service are ALL fully subsidized by the taxpayer, who are largely facing lower salaries, higher healthcare costs and cuts in their retirement (not to mention the on-going risk of 401k losses through a volatile stock market). While these public employees SAY they are willing to discuss cuts in benefits, the collective bargaining agreements allow them to re-address and effectively reverse anything put into place at any time — like when the political environment is more favorable. All they need to do is dedicate a larger portion of their union dues to Democratic candidates who become beholden to their bidding, and we’re right back where we started.

I think that unions’ focus on worker safety and protections, particularly in the age of sweatshops and gender inequality, were and are important. Negotiating FAIR wages is also a benefit of union strength. However, multi-millionaire union bosses are WORSE than multi-millionaire CEOs. They are, in effect, riding the backs of the working man for their personal gain. Additionally, I firmly believe that NO union dues should EVER be used for supporting political candidates or lobbying specific issues. Government unions have a blatant conflict of interest in this regard. How can you fix schools when the behemoth teachers’ unions keep a stronghold on legislators who purposely avoid teacher accountability tied to merit and in effect, are creating an inferior school system because of it? I don’t know about you, but in my job, if I do a great job, I get more pay than if I do an ok job. Good teachers aren’t afraid of accountability — BECAUSE they are good!

When I first started out in the working world, I was 17. I got a much coveted job at a local bank — starting at the bottom. Because I wasn’t going to college (my stupid choice), I was extremely fortunate to land a job that had great benefits and relatively good job security. People I knew had worked there for 10, 20, 30 years. So, at 17, I figured I had hit the jackpot. I would put in my 30 years of service, get my pension and retire to a bayou somewhere. At that time, the bank fully subsidized all health insurance premiums and the coverage covered just about everything. Deductibles were somewhere south of $200. Each year at Christmas, employees received up to three MONTHS’ pay depending on length of employment as a Christmas bonus. There were lavish Christmas parties where thousands of dollars and prizes were given away to employees. Each morning, pastries were provided in every break-room on every floor (there were 12), where refrigerators held free soft drinks, milk and juice for employees to enjoy on their guaranteed break time (2 at 10 minutes each) or mandated lunch hour.

At 17, I had excellent pay, paid health insurance, a pension plan, AND those mighty Christmas bonuses. By 18, the bank had started a new fangled thing called a 401k plan, where they matched 100% of what I put in. Not up to a certain percent, but a full 100%. I was set.

Then, the recession took hold. To survive, the bank had to address expenses. So, soon, the pastries disappeared, a coke machine replaced the refrigerator full of free beverages, the Christmas bonuses were folded into a one-time “raise” for employees and done away with, and we started to have to PAY part of our health insurance. No more big Christmas parties — our department received a nominal amount for each employee for us to have a small get-together. And the pension plan was discontinued. Those of us who had been hired with the benefit, kept it, but it was frozen at that point (I think that mine was worth $318) and distributed to the employee’s 401k. While everyone was very disappointed, no-one complained much because everyone needed their job. Plus, every other company was in the same boat and doing the same thing. Bottom line is that the boom days were gone and austerity followed.

I bore you with my worklife infancy to illustrate that yes, providing such great benefits was very motivating and created a very secure workforce. But, in the end, it couldn’t be sustained without bankrupting the company. We all had to make sacrifices just to survive.

And, here we are again. The private sector continues to cut benefits to a minimal amount, yet public employees are receiving benefits considered obscene by most of us in the private sector. Guaranteed monthly salaries for life, total paid health care (not available to the general public), along with other paid benefits simply can’t be sustained by municipalities and taxpayers, given the large number of public workers getting ready to retire.

Unfortunately, that bank has been bought three times and is now part of Chase, one of the largest banks in the world. Bank consolidation has been driven by gaining efficiencies through lower costs, i.e., shrinking the overall employee workforce and their associated expenses. Along with that, benefits are a fraction of what they used to be, but what’s the alternative? All that has produced a very indifferent work force whose average tenure is less than 3 years. The turnover provides huge costs in recruiting and training, as well as lost opportunity cost in not having qualified, trained employees ready to produce and in effect, lowers the standard of service to customers who are increasingly disappointed with their bank. (Don’t believe the Ally commercials.)

Bottom line is that the problem needs to be solved. Government needs to govern, not run to the next state. Not everything will go your way when the people are largely opposed to benefits through bullying for a section of the population that creates a disparity of inequality. Remember, the American psyche hinges on “FAIR”, so things have to get more in line. I’m sorry that the gravy train ends for public employees, just as I was when my own gravy train ended nearly 30 years ago. I truly appreciate teachers, policemen, firemen and mail carriers, but, if we are all to survive and create a general “better world”, then everyone’s got to give some to get some. It’s simply your turn.

So ends Part 1 of my Rantasaurus. I mean not to offend, but simply to rant. And, I can do that…because it’s MY blog.

…Part 2 to come and it’s a doozy.

 

Another Example of Legacy

While I adored David Ryan Harris’ tribute, this one I’m a little skeptical on.

  I’ll Be There, State Farm Commercial

Watching TV last night, this commercial came on and I immediately thought about the inappropriateness of State Farm resurrecting this ad.  The description of the video says:

Since this ad first aired May 20, the songs lyrics have helped make a strong emotional connection with people. This Jackson Five song is just one example of Michael Jacksons impact and legacy as a pop culture icon. Our condolences to the Michael Jackson family and fans.

 

That’s convenient, but I don’t recall seeing this ad more that once or twice in the last month or so, so I don’t think it was as compelling as State Farm likes to make out.  Nothing had made them look good in recent months where they have increased the hurricane deductibles to 5% of total coverage and have flat out stopped coverage for some areas.

But I digress…

I could be totally off base, but I think that this is using the hype of this superstar’s death to hawk your product.  The commercial did not have a “tribute” to MJ attached or a condolence, it simply was a commercial using a highly identifiable Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 song to get the viewers attention.  All about taking advantage of the moment, ignoring the respect and dignity of the person.  Unfortunately, it’s the dark side of legacy.

 
10 Comments

Posted by on June 27, 2009 in Marketing, rant, TV, Uncategorized

 

Righteous Richard’s Revolutionary Rant

Righteous Richard

Righteous Richard

I heart Rick Santelli. For years, Mr. D and I have shared coffee, the newspaper and CNBC Squawk Box, each weekday morning.  I, in particular, LERVE the Chicago Exchange guru, Rick Santelli and his faithful sidekick, The Wolfman.  Santelli is of the Larry Kudlow vein and an unapologetic capitalist.  He’s also had enough.  Reminiscient of my recent “Mad as Hell”  and “Tax Man Cometh” posts, Santelli’s impromptu rant a week or so ago was like a shot heard around the world.  The Interwebs, and eventually the regular media, was abuzz with Santelli’s comments and how they seemed to encapsulate what ALOT of people, including me, feel.  In case you missed it…  I totally agree 100% with Rick Santelli.  And furthermore, I am greatly offended by Mr. Obama’s criticism that “our day of reckoning has arrived”.  Is it just me or is he paraphrasing that our “chickens have come home to roost”?  Let me be clear…most everyone I know has lived within their means and saved for the future.  They didn’t go out and buy a home they KNEW they could not afford or cars they could not make the payments on or buy the latest gadget by “charging it”.  But now, that diligence is being repaid by asking us to pay for the people who lived beyond their means.  How is that fair? Evidently, Mr. Santelli’s rant struck a nerve with the “Administration” (and, I use the term loosely)…as Obama’s Press minon, Robert Gibbs dismissed the concern and anger that represents many of the feelings of REGULAR people out here in the real world.  Does he just NOT get it?   Gibbs’ idiocy Then, as if on cue, left-wing pundit, Chris Matthews invites Santelli on his “show” and promptly minimizes Santelli’s concerns by asking him who he voted for?  What does that matter?  What a shill.   Santelli’s response Is this kind of crap not transparent to people?  Do people really believe guys like Chris Matthews?  Can’t “the media” be the least bit objective?  Jeez, makes my blood boil. Mr. Santelli is a trader and market expert that has been in the business of analyzing markets for 30 years, but it was his sincere, impromptu outrage that gave him instant credibility.  He tapped into exactly what ALOT of people out here are feeling, as was evidenced by the floor traders’ cheers.  As for the mortgage “crisis” and for those who bought more than they could afford…NOTHING is going to help them.  No matter how you re-structure their debt, they WILL NOT be able to afford the homes they are in.  You can blame the Mortgage industry, but if you do, blame Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and then follow that little trail to two Senior Congressmen….Barney Frank and Chris Dodd — two “architects” of the new, wonderful legislative initiatives we will all be victims of. America has survived and thrived via free markets.  All of the proposed “intervention” throws a cog in the wheel and can actually make the problems worse.  As Mr. Santelli says, “let the markets correct themselves”.  There will be winners and there will be losers, but our economic recovery will be substantially prolonged if the free markets are manipulated by governmental policy.  The best solution is for our President to support the stock market to rescue our savings.  Stop the class warfare and realize that a good Wall Street is a GREAT Main Street. The majority of workers today are involved in some kind of Wall Street investment.  Most people have lost half of their life savings or more.  Until you fix the markets, you will not fix consumer confidence and until you fix consumer confidence, everyone suffers.  Mr. Obama has evidently declared war on the likes of Rick Santelli and others on “The Street”.  Even everyman, Jim Cramer, is now coming out with “Obama-proof” stock picks. Problem is, we have met the enemy and he is us.  America needs a surging stock market to restore the savings of the majority of hard-working Americans who “pay the freight”.  In his rant, Santelli suggested a Chicago Tea Party.  As a symbol.  Not so much to protest taxes, but to stand up and let those in charge know that we are here, we are watching and we want it fixed. That WE ARE NOT HAPPY and that we are going to get up and stand up to protect what we’ve worked our whole lives for.  Notice that you are not hearing anything about the protest Tea Parties even though there are many planned.  Just why is that? I invite you to “get up, stand up” and fight for your right.  Let your voice be heard…   Get Up, Stand Up, Bob Marley & The Wailers

VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!! 

  NOTE:  If you are interested in participating in the Tea Parties across the country, visit this blog for how you can Get Up, Stand Up.  <—-click here.

dont-tread-on-me-gadsden-flag

 
14 Comments

Posted by on February 27, 2009 in Calling Bullsh*t, Obama, rant, the economy

 

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Mad as Hell…

Ok, here’s the deal…here’s how I feel today:

  Peter Finch in Network

I’m tired.  Exhausted even.

I’m sick of worry.  I’m sick of people taking advantage of others.  I’m sick of senseless crimes that basically go unpunished.  I’m sick of doing the right thing while others go through this life using and abusing the civility and politeness of others to enrich themselves with little or no regard for the affect on others.  I’m sick of paying the freight for others who choose not to help themselves.  I’m sick of being prudent in my finances by being frugal and others live high on the hog while my “investments” dwindle to nothing, endenturing me into my senior years just to pay the utility bill.

The new President might be the cure, but I’m not going to be patient.  While I know it takes time to right the ship, I want to see progress.  I want to see the stock market going UP each day.  I don’t want to pay additional taxes or more insurance or higher health costs with high fuel costs and lower property values.  Put simply, my pay just doesn’t increase at the rate that all of this is increasing, so I’m basically walking backwards. 

We’ve worked hard.  We’ve sacrificied.  We’ve saved.  We’ve lived by the law.  And, for what?  To sit on the sidelines and watch others who have done none of this walk away scot free with a pile of money with the final insult of us paying the bill for it.  Parents are killing their children and instead of swift and just punishment, we make excuses, protect their rights and create a society of allowance.

I’m nauseous.  Where is the balance?  Where is the moral outrage?  Where is accountability?  Is there simply no more structure in our society?  Everyone just do what you want with little or no consequence?

I’m pissed.

  We’re Not Gonna Take It, The Veronicas

 
 

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Is YouTube Down the Tube?

 

In the on-going battle between media moguls Viacom and YouTube/Google, Viacom has had to take the defensive and quell fears of invasion of privacy of hordes of internet video purusers of the wildly popular YouTube.  It seems that as part of the $1 BILLION dollar copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Viacom against YouTube and its parent, Google, a judge ruled that YouTube must turn over it’s vast database of videos and the usage data along with it.  This data would include user names, IP addresses and profile information that users have included such as hometowns and even names. 

Privacy advocates went ballistic, accusing Viacom of trying to acquire the names of YouTube uploaders and viewers in an attempt to pursue, in the vein of the RIAA’s prosecution of those downloading illegal music.  Viacom suddenly was thrust into a PR nightmare and had to substantially back-pedal and qualify that they only wanted the usage data to either prove or disprove that the majority of YouTube’s content is user established and proprietary to uploaders, rather than copyrighted programming.  As such, YouTube agreed in principle to provide the data “masked” through other naming or numbering to hide the actual user names and information from Viacom.  This may or may not appease the ACLU-types, as masking doesn’t necessarily protect users if they can be tied via a usage pattern to other databases that could provide user data.

It is interesting to me that Viacom had no real issue with YouTube until Google and their deep pockets made the scene.  Perhaps Viacom sees this suit is an easier money maker than, say, providing quality programming that would attract more and better advertisers. 

No, Viacom has chosen to pursue a company that has repeatedly shown that it proactively tries to prohibit copyrighted material from its servers and has always complied with taking down material upon request.  That complies full with the DMCA — the law by which this case is governed.  Confused?  Perhaps this video can shed some light.

In the meantime, there is speculation that Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart will actually be called as witnesses in the case.  Why?  I have no idea.  Perhaps it will be to lament how their pockets are being picked by wanton pirates who are uploading their shows, as well as nefarious viewers who are illegally watching their shows through YouTube instead of on The Comedy Channel, where advertisers pay hordes of money to Colbert and Stewart, by way of Viacom, for viewers to tune in there.

Here is a NEWSFLASH.  Viacom, along with many other media companies have MISSED THE BOAT.  Again.  Instead of joining forces with YouTube to further distribute their programming and broaden their audiences, they are once again, shooting themselves in the foot by trying to cripple or destroy one of the outlets that are actually helping them to sustain viewers.

Go through this with me.  Let’s use The Daily Show for an example.  Now, certainly, there are people who watch The Daily Show every day.  They consider Jon Stewart a god and tune in every day at x:30 to soak up his sardonic witticism and sarcastic political diatribes.  Let’s say that he gets a 10 share or 10% of American TVs were tuned in (a generous number, here).  That leaves 90% of us who are not watching him or maybe not watching anything, for that matter.

Common sense tells us that unless they happen to miss an episode, the loyal 10% are not relying on YouTube to provide their Jon Stewart fix.  So, YouTube is really a big, ole billboard for The Daily Show in that people like me may tune in to a YouTube video linked onto a blog that I read or that someone emails me.  Then, perhaps, Mr. Stewart intrigues or entertains me enough to take a real interest in what he has to say.  Well, I will want to hear him say it at x:30 on the days that he’s on and if I can’t make it, I can always set my DVR to record it.  Regardless, I am going to the source to get my content.

Let’s face it, old movies and TV shows don’t make YouTube until they’ve already been played on TV.  How does this affect my viewership of something like The Daily Show on The Comedy Channel?  They aren’t running every show in re-runs for me to catch up.  Some networks like NBC do provide episodes of their TV programs to watch via their websites, so I can understand their beef.  But, again, isn’t YouTube simply providing trailers for people to find these shows?  Very rarely are you going to find ALL of the episodes of a particular TV program on YouTube.  But, a snippet of one might just cause you to seek out the TV program (on its network), if you are appropriately stimulated to do so.

I also find it interesting that The Daily Show can be found on the front page of Hulu.com, so evidently they are not above having viewers watch their show on a competing network’s vehicle.  (Hulu is owned by NBC/Universal.)  While I understand that they are getting paid, why not try to strike a similar deal with YouTube.  YouTube actually approached Viacom about cutting a deal that would allow them to broadcast Viacom shows and in return, YouTube would build filters (similar to their porn filters) that would block material from Viacom projects from being uploaded without consent.  Viacom views this as strong-arming and has declined.  It just appears a bit hypocritical to me that Viacom agrees to sell its programming to Hulu (a competitor) and won’t work out a deal with YouTube and Google.  Sadly, what they miss is that if they did, they would be viewed as pioneers of progress and amply rewarded by increased viewership. 

While the revenue stream for musicians and writers is more convoluted, they are missing the same boat by not embracing the awareness-building outlet of YouTube to gain exposure for their music.  Some artists “get it” and that’s why you’re starting to see YouTube channels like Radiohead, AliciaKeys, mayermusic, and AmosLeePodcast.  These guys understand that YouTube is a vehicle for distribution.  To engage the viewer/listener.  To evoke enough of an interest to have that viewer buy tracks, seek out concert tickets, and become A FAN.  Once you’ve got fans, then the word of mouth of people like you and me become more precious than diamonds and gold.  The label is not getting the arist the kind of exposure YouTube and other non-traditional on-line outlets, like blogs, are providing.  Again, why not embrace the change instead of trying to eradicate it.  In the annals of history, there is no-one who has ever stopped progress through limiting technology.  Why try something that has been proven to fail every time?

YouTube may have a bit of a rock road to travel, however because of Google’s deep pockets they are here to stay.  IMO.  If not, I’m going to be really pissed.

Here’s some Tubeliciousness that I came across today.  Imagine being deprived of these?

  Astral Weeks, Van Morrison

  Street Corner Preacher, Amos Lee

  It Take Two to Tango, Aretha Franklin & Ray Charles

  Slip Slidin’ Away, Paul Simon (live @ Abbey Road)

 

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The News That’s Fit to Print…and then some.

ma-rant.jpg

Up until last Friday, I somewhat chose my words carefully on this blog as to never have my opinions or thoughts adversely affect my employer if some internet nut ever connected the dots between me and my job and decided on some inane act of revenge. (Don’t laugh….I’ve seen it happen to a good friend.) While I’m not in the CIA or anything like that, I take my responsibilities to the folks who pay me very seriously and would never want to jeopardize their business or reputation by someone hiding behind a keyboard in dark room somewhere looking to settle a score for something I said on this blog.

However….last Friday was my last day of employment with my employer. I still love them all dearly but it was just time for a change. I’ll eventually be working in an independent roll for another company, but for the next few weeks I am unemployed. Unemployment provides me with the opportunity to say a few things that I have been biting my tongue about. So, allow me this rant. Just for today. And, maybe tomorrow.

Today’s rant is about delusional people.

I am so sick of reading and hearing the opines of delusional people. While some are harmless, like Alabama’s fans thinking that Nick Saban is the re-incarnation of The Bear; other “theories” can and do cause irreparable damage to people’s reputations, careers and lives. Take the Les Miles to Michigan situation. On the morning of the SEC Championship, before the game, Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN quotes a “reputable source” and says that it’s a done deal. Les Miles is leaving LSU for Michigan and the announcement would be made before Monday.

Now…I have to question…why? Why make that announcement before the guy is going out to coach a bunch of young men who don’t need to be hearing that their coach is leaving? And, as it turns out….it WASN’T TRUE. However, Herbstreit’s bogus announcement caused Miles to have to distract himself from his pre-game preparation, call an impromptu press conference and effectively take himself out of the running for the Michigan coaching job (his alma mater and dream job), even before getting to discuss an offer with the Michigan administration. Of course, there has been no apology from ESPN or Herbstreit for breaking a FALSE story and potentially jeopardizing a team’s shot a National Championship. I can promise you this….if LSU had lost to Tennessee, there would have been hell to pay at ESPN for that move.

As if that wasn’t enough, even after Les Miles signs his contract extension with LSU, the ESPN minions continued to call him a liar and lump him in with all of the scruple-less coaches who have lied about staying when they were actually going. **cough**Nick Saban**cough**. Matter of fact, right up until the Michigan announcement that integrity deficient Rich Rodriguez of West Virginia would be stalking the sidelines in Maize and Blue next year, ESPN was still berating Les Miles and saying, point blank, that Les Miles was going to be coaching at Michigan next year. Are they trying to affect LSU’s preparation to play Herbstreit’s alma mater, Ohio St.? One has to wonder. Maybe there’s no “motive”, just stupidity or a wanting for there to be a story so bad that you’ll make one up just to have it.

With the proliferation of the internet, in particular, people just say what they want even though there is no basis of truth to their assertions. One such preposterous claim is that these are not the same woman:

ears3.jpg
You tell me….

For those of you who are not enlightened, this is Caroline Lyders — the girlfriend of Taylor Hicks. However, there’s a faction of fandom that is proclaiming that the woman on the left — who happened to accompany Mr. Hicks to Hawaii in May and is currently in Asia with him — is an impostor. As the theory goes, Ms. Lyders was “hired” by Taylor Hicks to pose as his girlfriend to hide the identity of the chick on the beach. Why? Dunno. Makes no sense to me, but there are folks out there hell-bent on “exposing the sham”. They are determined that these two are not the same person. I’m like WTF? Unless that’s her identical twin, it’s her. But nooooooo, they say (among other very nasty things about this girl).

I’m a black & white kinda girl. Logical to a fault. That “conspiracy” defies logic. But, these folks go right along printing fairy tales and trying to get legs underneath the “story”. Despite the rationalization of “part of the sham” each time Taylor is seen with Ms. Lyders, will it ever be true that this lady is, in fact, involved with Taylor Hicks for these folks?

Maybe, like Les Miles, when something happens that is irrefutable proof that what they are doing is really what they are doing, people will just “Let it Be”, no? Sorry, I just had to work The Beatles in — this is a music blog, after all.

As for me, I hope that I can get as much satisfaction in Taylor and Caroline’s happily ever after as I’ve received from Rich Rodriguez’s move to Michigan. Taylor’s looking pretty happy to me…..

Rant over. For now.

 
 
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