Just Thursday I rambled about a few things and the Mike Daisey story was among them. It was enough of an issue in the press that it made the political cartoon page. This real question is whether it will hurt Mike’s career or is any press, good press?
Today, I get to ramble. completely unrelated items, each of which I’d not go on about for too long. Ready?
My Well Done Burger
I’m in a restaurant with a friend (hey, I’m going to say something nice, so I’ll tell you, it’s a local small chain called The British Beer Company) and I ordered a Wensleydale Burger. Never heard of Wensleydale cheese before, but the waitress said it was popular. The punchline? I had to tell the waitress that every burger I’d have for the rest of my life will pale in comparison. I ordered medium rare, got medium rare, and the cheese and onion topping was just great. So why I am sharing this chart pulled from Wikipedia? Because last weekend, I took the Janes and J2’s friend to a local pub, and ordered a burger. I ordered medium rare, and the waitress kindly offered “the chef really undercooks, so if you want medium rare, just order medium.” There’s a word for this, I’m sure, like how American sizes keep shifting to make fat men and women feel better. I get the burger, and it’s gray inside. So we’re talking “well done.” Instead of a bit undercooked, it was two levels overcooked. I’m not sure why, but Jane thinks sending anything back to the kitchen, except bleeding chicken, is “making a scene.” It took so long for the food to come out that I ordered a second beer before the food was served. We ate the meal, and along with the check, the waitress delivered the beer. Politely saying, “uh, we’re leaving, and I’m no longer thirsty” is still scene-making so I paid the bill, drank a bit of the beer and left. I have no idea why I am sharing this today. Next time, I’ll drive a bit and go to where they know how to cook a burger. How bad must an order be for you to return a restaurant meal? Should I have quietly returned it?
Mr. Daisy and the Apple Factory
Mike Daisey is not a journalist. Mike Daisey is not a reporter. Mike Daisey does monologues on stage and for purposes of his performance, accuracy is not graded. On PRI’s “This American Life” Mike repeated portion of his stage performance “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” in which he exaggerates, piecing together bits of his trip to China along with his observations and hearsay to come away with a story that is not journalism. The punchline is that he makes the working conditions in the Chinese factory making out iProducts worse than reality. A brief tangent – “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.” –Hillary Clinton, speech at George Washington University, March 17, 2008. — This is Mrs Clinton’s quote from the press. It seems she had some faulty memories as no one there confirms any shooting at the time. It made for great theater and accusations she was lying.
Let’s cut Mike some slack. It was great theater. The audio has been taken down, but you can still read the transcript. Have you heard the show? It aired the week of January 6. As Mike describes the journey to the factory he offers “Everything is under construction. Every road has a bypass, every bypass has a bypass. It’s bypasses all the way down.” Am I the only one who hear this line as a reference to the expression “turtles all the way down“? Can’t be, someone must have caught this besides me.
The Path to Prosperity
The House Budget Committee advanced a 2013 resolution calling it The Path to Prosperity. At 99 pages, it’s slow reading. It proposes to remove the AMT, which is probably a good thing as it ensnares those it was never intended to. There’s also a plan to reduce the current 6 tax brackets to a simple 2, just 10% and 25%. This is as far as it goes, it doesn’t offer any insight as to the income level these two rates start, nor does it discuss exemptions or deductions, not that I could find. As always, the devil is in the details, and in this document, the details are lacking. I’d be curious if there’s a much more detailed plan that will be voted on, and we’ll only have access after it’s passed or rejected. If the details show a simplified code with lower rates, fewer deductions, etc, it may be a good plan, I’m keeping an open mind.
That’s it for today. Enough Rambling for a while.