Quick Links for September 1st/This Week in Filler Stories…

It’s Wednesday already? Shit, guess I should post about something. Unfortunately, once again jack shit is going on. The beauty of doing this site though is that if nothing happens, I can just go eat a taco with some friends or just flat-out not post. Working writers don’t have that benefit, which means we get random filler stories that aren’t time sensitive or really newsworthy at all. Today’s Quick Links will be a collection of those stories from throughout the week. Yes, it’s a themed Quick Links!

This Facebook thing might just catch on

We’ve ignored Don Blount for a while recently. No real reason behind it, you can really only say “this guy is a bad writer” so many times before it gets repetitive. Monday’s column caught my eye though because it was about a subject near and dear to my heart, the internet! Could Ol’ D.W. finally be expanding his horizons past writing about physical things he observed? Of course not, because about halfway through the column I realized he was just parroting facts/stats he had seen in the wire article on the front page about senior citizens and social networking. Yes, back to square one, shit Don Blount saw.

Aside from restating shit from the front page, Blount also let us know where he fits in in relation to those statistics. He tells us that social network use by internet users older than 50 (hooray small sample sizes!) increased 88% over the part year. Blount isn’t part of that statistic as he joined Facebook 2 years ago. He then proceeds to let us know just how he uses various social networks and throws in a cheap plug for his Twitter account. Reading Don Blount try and prove how hip he is (he text messages! GTFO!) because he was ahead of the old people curve on Facebook is as riveting as it sounds. Although that part about how he avoids posting “innocuous information on my every move” in a stat-padded column containing innocuous information on his social networking habits is unintentionally hilarious.

Either way, this totally reads like someone transcribed a break room conversation amongst the internet illiterate and the put it in the paper for anybody else who hasn’t figured out that Facebook is an easy way to stay in touch with friends. If my Grandma ends up friend requesting me as a result I’m never forgiving The Record.

Wasn’t this an episode of The Simpsons? (note: It was)

I’m not even sure what to make of this Mike Fitzgerald blog post. It’s an obvious tongue in cheek followup to today’s column (which can be summarized as “cystic fibrosis sucks” with a plug for a medical bill benefit), in which Fitzy further explores the “supernatural” portion of the column. Maybe he didn’t mean that Joshua Mompean felt rejuvenated and better than before, maybe he meant he felt the spirit of the previous owner of his lungs inside him. Yes, ghost lungs.

Naturally, questions arise, how do ghost lungs work? Apparently, it’s a symbiotic relationship. Assuming you and your new organ have similar hobbies (Mompean claims an earlier set of transplanted lungs came with a love of shopping, which obviously means their previous owner was female), the lungs allow its new host to inhale air and the host’s body sends the proper nutrients and such to the lungs to keep that tissue alive. Or as it’s otherwise known, breathing.

I’m not trying to belittle the trials and tribulations Mompean and Brogle went through, but I think Mike Fitzgerald might be just by a little bit. Clearly these two went through a lot. Brogle tragically passed after post-transplant complications and Mompean had to go through the excruciating process of organ rejection before he received a working set. The coping process for being dealt such a bad hand can be a tough one. Those suffering (both directly and indirectly in the case of family members) attempt any and all ways to find peace and many times that leads to supernatural explanations. You know how many people swear by those little magnet bracelets that are total and complete hoax? A lot. “I don’t know how or why, but it just works” is what people would tell me. It can be a “visit” from the previous owner of your new lungs or something as simple as feeling like a new person when you finally get a set that works. Obviously Mompean hasn’t been inhabited by the spirit of the person whose lungs he’s now using, but if that explanation works for him, that’s perfectly fine. We’re in no position to tell him how to cope with his long, excruciating journey.

But when he starts mentioning how his new, female lungs drove him to shop, it’s probably better just to nod and leave that part out. When I say the Record’s blogs are a great place for a notebook dump, that’s not exactly what I mean. Relay personal stories all you want to really make the story hit home, but leave out the possibly sexist anecdote about how his body helped him realize his lungs were rejecting their new host.

Oh, and thanks for letting us know there’s no concrete evidence of the existence of ghosts instead of explaining to readers that the mental gymnastics one in that situation does which might explain their supernatural claims. It’s much better and more caring to just relay these stories and essentially infer “Crazy shit, right?”

Let’s hear what a guy who doesn’t live in Stockton thinks about what we’re doing to other people who don’t live in Stockton!

Finally, in missed filler opportunity news, former Mayor Gary Podesto sent the Record a 2-page letter arguing against Measure H, a ballot measure that would change minimum staffing requirements for the Fire Department amongst other things. The Record ended up using only 2 paragraphs and even that was in Daniel Thigpen’s blog (at least it’s not paywalled). I’m not sure why the Record declined to post the letter in its entirety, it’s not like that have space issues to worry about on the internet, but the second excerpt seems to point towards Podesto making some potentially libelous claims against current city officials.

It’s a shame really since I would love to address some of Podesto’s claims but we don’t have his entire argument (here’s an actual, complete argument for both sides). Sure, it’s hard to argue against a 4-man truck being safer than a 3-man truck, but that excerpt ignores the budgetary crisis we’re facing. Did he address it in an unquoted portion of the text? He can’t be ignoring the crux of this entire issue can he?

So yeah, missed opportunity. Not that I particularly care what he has to say, but if he’s going to hang himself in print, let him do so. Especially if it’s in an embarrassingly long, rambling, letter. That would’ve been awesome.

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~ by Slick Diaz on September 1, 2010.

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