Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Easiest Way To Fix Oscar -- More Categories

The Oscars are full of tradition.   They're traditionally old, traditionally white, and traditionally boring.   Contrast this with the Golden Globes, a meaningless award given great stature because they're usually fun to watch.   

While the Oscar telecast is already too long, I think that the Academy Awards' easiest fix would be simply to break up the awards into Drama and Comedy.   How would this help?  

1)  It would honor actors, actresses, and films who typically get snubbed because they appear in comedies.   

2)  It would allow us to see more winners we want to see and open us up to the potential for funnier and more charming presenters and winners.  

3)  It would fill the time where ridiculous stuff normally winds up being shoved.   

4)  It would bring back viewers who might actually get to see a movie they've seen honored.

5) It would bring more interesting celebrities to the broadcast itself.   

6) It would lighten the mood.   

Does it cheapen the show to do this?   I'd argue it doesn't, especially given the fact that an actor can crush it in a comedy and still see their efforts ignored because someone pulled off a good accent or malady on screen.     The Academy could still have a overall "Best In Show" award in some or all categories.    

Or they could simply pump laughing gas into the Kodak Theater.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Oscars -- You Look Mahvelous....ly Dated

Watching Billy Crystal host this year's Oscars, I was reminded of two things.   The first was seeing Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reprise their Wayne's World bit on SNL a year ago (coincidentally, for that year's Oscars).    The other was my 20 year reunion a few years back.  What all three have in common were a cringe-worthy nostalgia that made me question the good times we used to have together.   All three captured a bit of the era in  which I loved them, but carried none of the magic into the present.

Certainly Billy Crystal had a thankless job.  And he wasn't helped much by having only three writers (Carol Liefer!!?!?!?!? Was that really you?), none of whom were coming up with stuff as funny as what you found on Twitter last night.    But Billy also brought the Billy that made his own star flame out, the smug and self satisfied Billy that seemed content to say "I'm a star" without the confidence to poke fun at it.

Indeed, Billy seemed stuck in a time warp.   Again he was stuck in a montage of movies, complete with George Clooney and Justin Bieber cameos.  But really, did anyone think watching Billy interact with these movies was surprising, or even that funny?   And was someone really clamoring for him to trot out his Sammy Davis Jr. impersonation from 25 years ago?   The less we say about his trotting out his "Oscar! Oscar!" song, the better.  It was one place where the terrible audio for the night came in handy.   

Watching Billy when he finally hit the stage, I was struck by another name.  Jay Leno.  Billy was telling jokes that he didn't seem to think were that funny, laughing at them, and giving the audience a facial expression like somehow it was there fault for not being in on it.    

Of course, almost everything last night fell flat, from the host to the endless montage of "Great Actors (and Adam Sandler) Like to Watch Movies" to the unnamed (Hey, is that Sheila E?) musicians auditioning in the rafters, to the audio that seemed to have been imported from a 1990 hair metal concert in a night club, to a Cirque du Soleil performance that I'm sure was impressive in the theater, but looked like Cirque Du Confused Director to the home viewer.   Maybe it's just impossible to produce a decent Oscars show, or to find a host who can strike the right balance between ass kissing and ass kicking. 

So, for next year, may I suggest that Billy Crystal be retired?  Bring back someone current who understands what we're laughing and talking about in this century.  Some suggestions include Tina Fey, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Ferguson, and Chris Rock. Or perhaps J. Lo's wardrobe malfunction or Angelina Jolie's leg.   

Thursday, February 23, 2012

I'm Declaring Cultural War (Part 1)

I did not realize until recently that my daughter, who we thought was going to Girl Scout meetings to learn about different skills and careers, is actually part of a radical feminist cult that is hell bent on creating contraceptive cookies and who won't be satisfied until all "Girl" Scouts are actually feminized boys. 

Or something like that.  I didn't really read that closely.  

It never dawned on me that so much of what I grew up believing was innocent was actually a devious plot by the lamestream, liberal, godless, boneless, stir-fried, elite, knicknack, paddywhack, out of control media feminazis to ruin our American way of life. 

Because let's face it people, the Pilgrims didn't come to this new world seeking their freedom from being told what to do about religion.   They came here because they got tired of people asking "why you wearin' your belt buckle on your hat?"  The reason was clear.    Anything below that belt line was off limits.   Not just to sex, but to independent thinking.  

And so, with the spirit of the Pilgrims in mind, I have a list of targets in my own Cultural War that it is time that we go after.   

American Idol

Yeah, it's called American Idol, but it's run by some British.   Those guys couldn't be content leaving us alone after the Revolutionary War, so they came back across the pond to spread Satan's Messages through the insidious vessel of sex and charisma that is Taylor Hicks.   And Paula Abdul was a mass of home grown talent before she took that show, and now look at her.   Thank God that MC Skat Kat got out unscathed.  

The Andy Griffith Show

Admit it.  You're whistling the theme song now.    It's written in 6/6 time with the same notes repeating 6 times.  666 ring a bell?  And Opie?  Red hair.   Oh sure, they covered it by filming in black and white, but you know Satan has red hair.    And don't get me started on the way they've attacked the American way of life with Barney Fife, who represents Hollywood's view of America as an incompetent mess, with its manhood so messed up that it has to keep its bullet (more symbolism) in its pocket. 

American Idol

Yeah, it's called American Idol, but it's run by some British blokes.   Those guys couldn't be content leaving us alone after the Revolutionary War, so they came back across the pond to spread Satan's Messages through the insidious vessel of sex and charisma that is Taylor Hicks.   And Paula Abdul was a mass of homegrown talent before she took that show, and now look at her.   Thank God that MC Skat Kat got out unscathed.  

Apple Pie

There's a reason that Warrant didn't name an album after you.   


Yo Baseball, this ain't some high class joint like Mall of America, this is a ballpark.   So take your finely tossed pasta, crab cakes, gourmet French fries, and your sushi bars and send them over to the people who watch polo.   We're here to eat  hot dogs, drink beer,  and catch an exciting game of…..     Okay.   Perhaps I spoke too soon. 


We bail your company out and the thanks we get is a car you need an extension cord for and one that you can use to bungee jump with that same extension cord?   You used to make fine American cars that got 3 gallons to the mile like the Hummer, and now you're making these sissy mobiles?     We should have bailed out American Motors.   Now there's a company that knew how to make a fine automobile.  

Hot Dogs

Turkey?  Tofu?   Beef??????   If I wanted to know what was in a hot dog, I wouldn't be eating it.   The American hot dog is where we Americans first practiced culinary feats that prepared us for reality TV.   And now you've ruined it with your gourmet hot dogs.    And don't get me started on whole wheat thin buns.     


Squeeze bottles?   Really?   Everyone knows that ketchup can only be eaten two ways.    The first is in packets that hold enough ketchup to cover the tip of your pinky, and the other is in a big glass bottle that you could shatter at any time as you pound the bottom of it.     It ain't ketchup if you haven't got either three droplets or the entire bottle on your plate after hitting it a few times.   


Two words.   Cof-fee.   Hey McDonalds, we used to come to your place for good fattening food and coffee so hot we could erase those unwanted love handles with just a spill.   If we wanted Starbucks, we'd have stripped Ronald McDonald naked and put a mermaid costume on him ourselves.     If you want to continue with this coffee nonsense, at least have the decency to put some pink slime in it.  


Two words… Danica Patrick.   All I can say is you boys better have a mirror on the visor and Bluetooth for the car because you just know she'll be on the phone the entire length of the trip and checking her makeup between calls.   If I wanted girls in NASCAR I'd be rooting for Jeff Gordon

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rick Santorum Supports the Idea that Big Business is Undermining Families

In Rick Santorum’s book It Takes A Family, he said "The radical feminists succeeded in undermining the traditional family and convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness."   

When asked about this, according to the LA Times, Rick said his wife
"felt very much like society and those radical feminists that I was referring to were not affirming her choice.… All I'm saying is … we should affirm both choices.… That's what the book says, and I stand by what I said." 

So let's break this down, shall we?   

First, when Rick Santorum says "we should affirm both choices", he's framing the question of women working vs. staying at home as being an either/or proposition.  There's no discussion of what millions of men and women do every day, which is trying to balance career and family.   

Second, Rick now says that "society" pressured his wife, and not just "radical feminists".    This is interesting given how radically conservative Rick and his viewpoints are.  Why would a woman who has a husband like Rick and has been presumably been surrounded by men and women who share the viewpoint that staying at home is the most noble thing you can do truly feel ANY pressure from "radical feminists"?  Isn't the "society" that Rick's family lives in one based on these supposed family values?   What if the pressure that Rick's wife truly felt was her OWN desire to actually have her own career on top of family and not simply peer pressure?

Finally, the GOP has spent this and the last campaign cycle attacking the idea that the wealthy should pay more in taxes.  The underlying idea is that we are punishing their hard work by doing so.   So how does this fit in with  Rick Santorum's statement that the idea of "professional accomplishments are the key to happiness" is "undermining the traditional family"?   If the wealthiest among us are the hardest working and our "job creators", doesn't it stand to reason they've placed professional accomplishments first in their life?   And if they've done that, aren't THEY also "undermining the traditional family?"   Or is it different because so many of them are men?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Whitney Houston -- Unknowable

All weekend we've been hearing the voice of Whitney Houston from over 20 years ago as she powers through her hits.   There is no doubt that she had an amazing voice.  And there's no doubt she inspired numerous stars currently performing today.   But listening to those same songs 20 years later, I had the same feeling I had as a teenager.    Whitney always hit the notes, but she never hit me where it counted.    

Why?  Because when I hear Whitney Houston sing, all I ever hear is the notes.   I never hear the passion, soul, heart, or humanity of Whitney Houston, nor do I get the sense of why the song itself is important to her.   The lyrics never sounded like more than just words in her mouth to me. Every song was a "love" song, and deserved the same treatment,  regardless of what the words actually said or meant.   Maybe this is why the breakup song I Will Always Love You shows up at weddings.   And maybe that's why so many American Idol singers who bring only a voice to the table point to Whitney as an influence.    

This all hit me last night as I watched Jennifer Hudson and Adele perform at the Grammys.   In both last night I saw the humanity, soul, vulnerability, and even wit that Whitney never seemed to possess.   Perhaps it was context for Jennifer Hudson, but her rendition of I Will Always Love You crushed me in a way that Whitney's never did.  And Adele simply has crushed everyone not just with a voice, but by using it to convey the anger, vulnerability, and basic human emotions that go into failed relationships.     I walked away from both performances having connected with both Hudson and Adele in a way I never did with Houston.   A song from Hudson, Adele, or the greats like Aretha allows me into their world and to know them.   Sadly, Whitney Houston never seemed to let us in.    

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Anti-Social Network -- Setting my "friends" straight

Dear "Friends"

We've spent a few years together on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (just kidding, I hate those people),  and perhaps even in real life.  

As the years have gone on, I've noticed a few of you have looked upon this virtual life and mistaken it for being the same as the real one.    It's time we set you straight on a few things.

1)  Most of us are human, and care about you on some level.   But your cryptic "OMG, I can't believe my life right now messages" no longer impact us.   Either tell us what's going on or post another picture of your cat.

2)  We're all different in what we believe politically, who we find attractive, what we like to eat, and whether we think fart jokes are the height of humor.   Don't be offended if we don't like what you've posted and vice versa.    And if all of your posts are trying to prove a point, don't be surprised if you find your audience dwindling.  

3)  Nobody gives a flying falafel about the petty drama in your life.   If you want to get back at someone or send them a message, do it on a piece of notebook paper in class like the rest of the 10th graders do.

4)  Profanity has a time and a place.  If you think that's every post, remember that George Carlin could be funny and prove a point without using  those seven words.

5)  There's a reason that biographies of famous people are at most a thousand or so pages long.   And nobody needs a minute by minute account of your life or what you're thinking of on the toilet.

6)  Spelink countz.  

7)  Yes, I laugh at those cat pictures.  But I'll never admit to it.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

My Reviews of the Super Bowl Ads

Ads are given a rating from 1 to 10 based on my mood at that minute. Budweiser continued their trend of pretending like they didn't have the best ads 15 years ago. A great Honda CR-V ad was ruined by being released prior to the game. An amusing Seinfeld ad was ruined by Jay Leno, and Coca Cola has one really good Polar Bear ad in the middle of two "meh" ads.

Perhaps the most moving and best ad was Chrysler's wonderful Clint Eastwood ad that sounded like a campaign speech. Made better by the fact we'll probably not see it again.

Once again, the game eclipsed the ads.

Bud Light Platinum -- 2

A well shot snore introducing Bud Light Platinum.    Who let this piece of crap open the night?    

Audi LED Headlights -- Vampires -- 7   

An amusing commercial that sells the primary selling point, that Audi now has really bright LED headlights. As bright as the sun. Which kills vampires. Let's use them to project the next Twilight movie.

Pepsi -- King Elton -- 6

Brilliant casting of Elton John as a petulant king who won’t let anyone have Pepsi unless they sing well for him, but the ending is obvious and not helped by a Flava Flav cameo.  

Bud Light Platinum -- They Say  -- 3

Nice bottle, horrible commercial.

M&M’s Naked -- 9

A female M&M who happens to be colored brown has everyone thinking she’s naked, causing the Red M&M to follow suit.   Cute.  

Best Buy -- Innovators -- 5

A nice commercial showing different innovators that added to the functionality of cell phones topped off with the Best Buy crew saying that’s where you can get all of those innovation.   Good geeky commercial, but not Super Bowl Good.   

Coca Cola -- Cold Polar Bear -- 6

A polar bear with his arms stuck together needs a straw to drink.   Well done, but slight.  

Chevy -- Looks Like We Made It  --  8  

A well made play on the 2012 apocalypse with Chevy Trucks and Twinkies being the only thing to survive.   Not sure the frogs falling from the sky will win over the PETA crowd, though.  

Bridgestone Curving Football -- 4

Bridestone makes footballs like their tires, able to take curves with ease.   A potentially amusing idea poorly executed.   

GoDaddy.co -- 4

Well, for once the GoDaddy commercial isn’t inanely gross and crass, only crass.   Progress?  No.  

Lexus GS -- Breakout   -- 2

A Lexus breaks out of a metal container, but sadly not out of the car commercial cliches.  SNOOZE!

Battleship Movie Commercial -- 5

To put it in the words of my daughter, “That sounds stupid.”   I agree.  A movie based on a game where people say a letter and a number?   How about a movie based on Solitaire?  Some interesting effects, but nothing we haven’t seen before.   

Budweiser Clydesdales Prohibition -- 4

A bunch of people get drunk on cheap bear at the end of prohibition.   Horses show up.  Yay.  

Doritos -- Missing Cat --  8

A man gardening sees his dog burying a cat’s ID tag.   The dog’s owner catches on, but agrees to say nothing for the price of a bag of Doritos.   Funny.  

Camaro -- College Gift -- 9

A very funny commercial in which a graduating senior sees his parent’s gift (a refrigerator) and promptly ignores it, thinking they gave him a Camaro.   Over the top in a good way.

GE Turbine -- 3

Nice shots of a  turbine.   Boring spot that turns into a Budweiser ad.  

John Carter -- 2

Another meathead epic from Disney.   Yawn

Tax Act -- Peeing in the Pool -- 7

A little boy does his best not to pee in the pool as he runs through the house contemplating all the places he can go.   A nice ending with a revenge twist.  But what does this have to do with taxes? Oh yeah, piss on 'em.

The Lorax -- 6

Looks cute, but it’s a movie promo, nothing special.   

VW Beetle -- The Workout  -- 7

Cute commercial in which a dog works out so he can fit through the pet door and chase the new Beetle.   The Star Wars ending is pointless.  

H&M -- David Beckham -- 2

One for the ladies. Or gay men.    Meh. (Just jealous! I hear you shouting.)

Coca Cola -- Polar Bear Football -- 9

A potential classic as a tossed bottle of Coke turns a polar bear into an unwitting football participant.   Unfolds beautifully with a well done ending.  

Chevy Sonic -- Let’s Do This   --  7

The Chevy Sonic is put into several stunts that might be done by Generation Y(Z)?   A nice commercial with a huge budget, I’m sure.    Good promotional video.   

Star Wars Episode 1 -- 5

Seen it.   Hated it.   Don’t want to see it again because of the Commercial.  The shots of A New Hope are a mean tease.    

Avengers -- 7

The best movie commercial of the night, if only because it plays up the all star cast of stars and Superheroes.    

Teleflora -- Give and You Shall Receive -- 6

A hot woman gets dressed for a Valentine’s day date to drive home that if you give, you will receive.    This one’s for guys.   I approve.  

Sketchers -- Go Run Dog Shoes -- 7

A bulldog wearing Sketchers competes in a dog race, and wins with time to do a celebratory dance.     Very funny.   

NFL Play 60 -- Whole Body Highlights -- 3

Typical NFL promo.  Nothing special.   

Cars.com -- 3

A guy’s confidence (a second head that pops out of his back) sings that he wants a car.  Lame.   

Doritos -- Bungie Baby -- 6

A baby gets taunted by a kid with Doritos, but gets hsi revenge.   Predictable, but the images of the flying baby are priceless.   

E-Trade -- New Dad -- 5

The E-Trade baby talks to a new dad as they stare into a nursery full of babies.   With the exception of the last line, nothing that amusing here.   

GI Joe -- 3

Another boring action movie preview.   

Camry -- The Camry Effect  -- 3  

We get to hear about people’s life events that happen in a Camry.   What? No virginity stories?     Snore.  

HuluPlus -- 3

Will Arnett does the standard Hulu ad about getting the shows into your brain.   Funnier when Seth McFarlane did it.  

Bud Light -- HalfTime -- LMFAO  -- 6

The boys show up to a bar called Halftime.   Would have been funnier if they hadn’t shown up at the real event.  

Chrysler -- Halftime America -- 9

Clint Eastwood narrates a rousing appeal for America that sounds like a campaign ad, but is actually a commercial for Chrylser.   Well done.   Just don’t let anyone know who owns Chrysler.    

Fiat 500 Abarth --  3  

A guy spots a sexy foreign girl and goes to kiss her, only to notice he’s kissing a Fiat.    Are they really trying to push the sexiness of a glorified Smart Car?  

Pepsi Max -- 2

Pepsi goes to the Coke driver liking Pepsi well for the 100023th time during the Super Bowl.    Lousy.   

Toyota -- Reinvented -- 3

Toyota goes to some special effects and sex jokes to show how they’ve reinvented things like the couch.   Why not show me your reinvented designless cars.    Bad.  

Coca Cola -- Polar Bear -- Anger  -- 6

A polar bear goes outside to scream about the big game.    Cute, but odd if you don’t recognize the situation.   

Oikos -- Headbutt -- 5

John Stamos and a girl share some Oikos yogurt.  He teases her with it until she headbutts him and steals it back.  Stamos?   Is he still a thing?   And the sudden violence joke was funnier 10 Super Bowls ago.

Acura -- Seinfeld -- 7

Jerry Seinfeld tries to get the first new model Acura in America , but another guy is first in line.  He offers him everything, including an Area 51 alien, but a surprise guest steals the car away. Subtracting 2 because Jay Leno is the surprise guest.  

GE Appliance Park -- 4  

GE highlights my local plant in its commercial, which is a nice spot for GE as an American company,but a snore for the Super Bowl.  

NFL Evolution -- 9

A great commercial in which the field is a timeline that shows the evolution of the game through special effects of one continuous play.  Well done.    

Century 21 -- 2  

Deon Sanders, Donald Trump, and Apollo Anton Ohno show up in a pointless commercial for the real estate company.   

Budwiser -- History -- 3

We get it.  We have a history of liking bad beer throughout the ages.  Lots of shots of historical events with people drinking.  Well made, but a snooze.

Bridgestone --  Quiet Basketball -- 4

Bridestone creates a basketball that’s quiet.    Their tires are quiet.   Three million is wasted.     

CR-V -- Matthew Broderick’s Day Off -- 9

Docked a point for being completely ripped off from the movie and being leaked a week before. This commercial displays the vehicle’s high points well while paying homage to the charm of the movie.    

Act Of Valor --  4

Another action movie ad.  Yawn.

Met Life -- Cartoons   --  6

Snoopy and the gang are joined by an assortment of animated icons to show Met Life is for everyone.    Cute, but could have done so much more.  

Hyundai Genesis -- CPR -- 6

A guy uses his Hyundai Genesis to perform CPR on an elderly coworker.   So dumb, it didn’t have time to be tasteless.   

Bud Light -- Here Weego -- 3

Bud Light combines dogs and beer in a spot that makes me hate both.   The shout out to rescue dogs at the end is tacked on and makes me question if they consider fetching beer a valuable service a dog can perform.

KIA Optima -- Kickstart My Heart -- 4

An ad in which Motley Crue’s Kickstart My Heart drives lots of images of the Kia Optima.  Not a great ad, but some really nice shots of the car.   

Career Builder -- Monkeys -- 2

Enough already with the monkeys.    Was funny back in Super Bowl III, not anymore.

Samsung -- Galaxy Note -- 4

Samsung turns their phone into a party with their rockin’ camera and pen that allows you to be Perez Hilton on your photos.   

Cadillac ATS -- Green Hell  --- 3  

Another snoozer of a car ad.   

Swamp People -- History Channel -- 1

3 Million dollars spent to promote a show that costs 50 cents to make.   YAY!     

GoDaddy -- Internet Cloud  -- 2  

Ad asks “is this heaven” and proves GoDaddy is trapped in hell.    

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Let Me Google That For You

I was a weird child.   I'm a weird adult.   I started reading at 3, and couldn't get enough information in my head.  I read tons of books and had parents who, instead of answering my question, would tell me "look it up."

Of course, that meant going to the World Book.  The World Book, for those who have never known life without the Internet, was the wikipedia of its day, only without entries on every hair metal band that ever existed and 1,000 separate people flagging each portion of the entry for "citation needed".    Over 12 years of grade school I had teachers who shaped me from a kid that simply copied the entry down word for word into a  young man who copied every third word.    Yes, this led to some really strange reports, but it was my style and I made it work.

Okay, occasionally I would go to the library for some original research.    This meant using a large set of drawers called a card catalog to find random sets of books that might apply to the topic at hand.    You could spend hours simply digging through books to find information that supported or refuted the topic you may have chosen for your paper.   Then you'd take these books, read the information contained within, and use them to write your paper.

In short, learning about a topic was not necessarily easy, and to assist in writing the paper, you tended to look for the best sources from people who were experts in the subject at hand.

Fast forward 20 years.   The vast majority of us have things known as Google and the Internet available to us wherever we go, either on a computer, or on the smartphone we're using nonstop while out having a good time with friends.   Everyone uses Google.   Well, everyone except for that person at work who spends every hour on the Internet but wasn't aware that Michael Jackson died until a week ago.   What Google and the Internet have done is turn everyone you know into an expert in everything, from football to global warming.  

Unfortunately, that expertise comes not in exploring new concepts or ideas, and assessing their strengths and weaknesses.   Instead it comes in seeking out lots of websites that support your world view and citing those over and over again.    Believe vaccines are a conspiracy from big pharma to kill your kids and give them autism?   Hey, we got a website for you, complete with noted autism and vaccine expert, Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy.

Think cancer treatments.    Isn't it obvious that big pharma and doctors benefit from a disease that can't be cured?  Millions are spent to prolong lives a few months or few years.  Meanwhile brave doctors like Stanislaw Burzynski see their cures attacked by the establishment.     No matter that Burzynski refuses to provide real data on his successes, to honestly answer his critics, or carry out the kind of testing that would show his "cure" works.   And just ignore the thousands of dollars spent at Burzynski's clinic that no insurance will cover.   The man obviously is right.  Right?

Or global warming.   An overwhelming consensus of climate scientists can't be right if I can find some websites that say differently, right?   Those few brave people who challenge the status quo are just like the brave people who said the world was round, the earth wasn't the center of the solar system, and man evolved from apes.   Wait, forget that last one.   That one's just waiting for the maverick intelligent design scientist to prove it wrong.     After all, global warming is simply a conspiracy of climate scientists to...... well make us all pollute less.     And just ignore those people who criticize climate change skeptics as not being qualified to weigh in, or being politically motivated or funded by companies with an interest in preventing pollution controls.  They obviously are part of the establishment.  Ummm.  the establishment of climate scientists.   Yeah, that's it.

I won't even talk about our foreign born President who was crafty enough to put his own birth announcement in a newspaper in the US because he knew that odds were overwhelming back then that a black man with a funny name would get elected.  

The frustrating thing is that we used to have a world in which we trusted the experts over the skeptics, and where cranks and quacks weren't given equal time to spew nonsense.    Sure, there have always been conspiracy theorists and flakes, but they were kept on the fringes, and usually only surfaced on the anniversary of the Kennedy assassination.

I agree that skepticism is a good thing, but I also agree with the quote (often attributed to Carl Sagan) "Keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out."   With the overwhelming amount of information on the Internet, and the ease with which it can be posted, it's more important than ever to consider the source and dig deeper.   Unfortunately, most people seem to Google to prove themselves right, not to find evidence from reputable sources that may prove them wrong.  

And don't tell me I'm wrong about this.  Or I'll find you a website that proves you wrong.