Thursday News Chum

For some reason, finding good news chum this week has been harder than finding a solvent US-headquartered automobile company. But I know my audience, and did find a few things worth commenting over a few days of skimming the news over lunch:

  • From the “Maybe We Need A Part-Time Legislature” Department: I’ve commented on this before: our state legislators seem far too eager to introduce bills, without realizing that each bill costs money… and so, one significant way that California could save money is probably by making the legislators get real jobs. Two articles this week highlighted that for me: The first was a story from the SLO local paper about how there is a bill in the assembly to make pseudoephedrine prescription only. Yes, I’m aware of its use to make meth. But it is also one of the few effective decongestants out there, and it already requires a log to get, with quantity limitations. Prescriptions will just make it more expensive, with respect to doctor charges. On the state Senate side, there’s a bill regarding mandatory spay and neutering. Now, I’m all in favor of having animals spayed and neutered, but according to the AKC, this bill is unnecessary. When you look at all the bills introduced, and look at the specifics of the interesting ones, you wonder how much of our current fiscal problems come from the legislator feeling they need to do something to justify their salaries.
  • From the “It’s an Original” Department: Playbill brings news that the 1983 film comedy “Valley Girl” is being turned into a movie musical. There are also plans to make a movie based off of “Stretch Armstrong”… yes, the toy. This has led some to argue about the dearth of original movies, and how there are too many remakes of recent movies. However, just as with theatre, being original does not guarantee success. What we need is not necessarily original movies or theatre, but movies or theatre from good sources. There are plenty of excellent books out there that could be well adapted, but this would require that folks actually read books. Perhaps that’s too much to ask.
  • From the “Teach Your Children” Department: Sorta related to conclusion of the last item… Viacom is discontinuing Nick Magazine, because of the usual problems with print media. It seems that kids these days don’t read… and don’t buy from advertisers. Soon, the only successful kids magazines might be the ones that don’t have ads (such as Ladybug). I’m not holding Nick Magazine as a paragon of great writing (it is more in the category of great marketing), but its death does say something about these shill magazines. I wonder what the future holds for the Food Network magazine.