Archive - Feb 2009

February 25th

For Stupid, Press The Pound Key

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Memo to Derek Broes: FOR YOU, I'M BREAKIN' ALL THE RULES.

I am being forced to break a number of rules with this post, and it's all Derek Broes' fault. For example, Wednesdays are normally for Idiots Say The Damndest Things, and I certainly have plenty of choice quotes in the bank to use up. I'm gonna break that rule. Also, I try very hard, even though it may not seem like it from the other side of your screen, to not oversaturate on Big Hollywood content. I'm gonna break that rule, too. And third, when I do mock Big Hollywood, I try to keep it to people talking about the intersection of politics and the entertainment industry, not just generic political bitchery. Yeah, I'm gonna break that rule too.

Because Derek Broes, executive vice president of digital entertainment for Paramount, started his inaugural post on Big Hollywood with what may be the single stupidest paragraph posted on the site in its short history. And we both know how high a bar that is. Brace yourselves - here's how he starts a piece ironically titled "Press #1 For Reverse Logic". ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"If you call 411 or customer service for almost any service-related company today, you’re greeted with, “Thank you for calling. Press #1 to continue in English.” Excuse me, but when did English cease being the default language in this country? And this is just one of the politically correct or (PC) aspects invading our culture and stifling free speech."

This paragraph leads us to an inescapable conclusion. The executive vice president in charge of digital entertainment at Paramount, a man who "lead [sic] the global wireless strategy and business development team for Windows Media at Microsoft Corp" according to his BH bio, does not know the meaning of the word "default".

Did they not cover this in Microsoft orientation, dickcheese? The default option is the one that you're presented with if you make no alternate selection. So when you call 411 or that customer service number, and the robovoice speaks to you in English, and gives you the option to bypass other language selections by pressing "1"? You know what that means? That means English is the DEFAULT FUCKING LANGUAGE, you unrepentant brain-dead executive vice president of pissing me right the fuck off.

It's bad enough that he's recycling ten-year-old Rush Limbaugh talking points. You know, where the mere presence of multilingual options is somehow insulting to English speakers. Never mind that these people are simultaneously free-market absolutists who should realize that companies make more money by also appealing to non-native speakers. That's garden-variety cognitive dissonance, nothing to write home about. But he starts off with an example that's the exact fucking opposite of what he thinks it means, because he doesn't know what it means, because he's an idiot.

And then he follows it up by blaming "political correctness". It's not political correctness to offer multilingual voice options. Even if you disagree with it, it's not political correctness. It's not stifling free speech. This isn't a philosophical difference - it's basic definitions. Even in its most twisted, wingnut wet dream version, political correctness would mean that you'd get yelled at for complaining about the multilingual options, and maybe fired from your job as part of a witch hunt or incorrectly-defined "blacklist". The options themselves are a kindness or a service extended to other people.

After setting record levels of ineptitude with his intro, Broes then launches into the usual anti-PC bullshit constantly leveled by people who want to avoid all consequences of being an asshole. It's an Abu Ghraib naked pyramid of strawmen, set alight by a flaming torch of stupidity, exemplified thusly:

"Stupidity is seen as smart, capitalism is a failed system regardless of it being the most successful in history, socialism is great even though it’s proven to fail every time, and Obama is a genius for doing the same thing Bush was hated for in building big government and massive spending."

Jumping Ba'al on a pogo stick, this guy is thick. If the first thing is true, then Broes really needs to stop biting the hand that feeds him. The second item denies the existence of degrees of capitalism, which is like denying that some farts smell different from others. Or like pretending Windows Media had a wireless strategy. Same goes for "socialism" and its "proven failures". In one sentence, Broes equated and dismissed Obama's stimulus package, functioning European social democracies, and totalitarian Marxism, which would be an impressive feat if he hadn't learned it from his fellow morons over the past few months.

But the best part is when the guy who doesn't know what "default" means tries to catch "the left" in Orwellian doublespeak by claiming we hated Bush for "building big government and massive spending". Dubya didn't build big government, he eviscerated it. He just didn't fire anybody. He spent big on government salaries and then told the people he was paying not to do their jobs. And his "massive spending" wasn't hated because it was massive spending. It was hated because it consisted of airlifted pallets of untraceable cash that nobody bothered keeping track of, and no-bid contracts to his buddies for services they didn't bother providing.

For fuck's sake, Bush as "big government" guy is something CONSERVATIVES had to make up to pretend that Bush wasn't a conservative and that eight years of Bush didn't completely discredit their movement. They needed to keep their jobs as TV hosts and op-ed columnists and think-tank circle-jerkers, and did their damndest to wash all the tar and feathers off their suits so they could slip back into acceptable society.

Like anyone who still has three dusty books on business writing tucked onto his shelf at Paramount next to his copies of Atlas Shrugged, The Bell Curve, and Liberal Fascism, Broes makes sure to tie his premise, which as you may recall was completely and utterly wrong in the factual sense of the word, into his conclusion, which is therefore also wrong in the factual sense of the word.

"So the next time you dial 411 and are asked to press #1 for English, being angry doesn’t mean you’re racist, it simply means you’ve not fallen victim, like so many others, to PC indoctrination."

I have a pretty good idea what it means when you're a racist, and still get angry when you're told, in English, that English is #1. It means you've fallen victim to mad cow disease, Alzheimer's, mercury poisoning, and accidental self-lobotomy at the same time, and should make your way to the nearest gutter, where you can curl up and die before writing any more articles for Big Hollywood.