Picture source: http://grin.hq.nasa.gov/

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Becoming A Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkey (Learning French: Part One)

If you don't get the title, please click here.

For a while I have been wanting to learn a new language. In high school I took a year of Spanish and then found out that it was not required to graduate. Needless to say, I took no more Spanish. When I first enrolled at the college, I signed up for Japanese. (They did have a language requirement for graduation.) I dropped that class halfway through the semester. After taking several classes about Canada  I became interested in Quebec and in order to travel there, I decided I would have to learn French.

Now that the question of which language to study had been settled, I needed to figure out how I was going to accomplish this feat. Classes are behind me now that I have graduated. Tutors sound expensive and will require a rigorous commitment. So, how am I going to learn anything? Turns out there is another way.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Breaking Down "The O'Reilly Factor"

Before you read any of this, you may want to know my political affiliation. But, I won't be going into that. This isn't necessarily an attack on O'Reilly or Fox for their viewpoints. Rather, this will mostly focus on the nonsense that is produced on the show, The O'Reilly Factor. That being said, let's get into it.

On February 3rd and 4th, The O'Reilly Factor aired parts of a 45 minute interview with Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." This intrigued me and I watched. The way that O'Reilly has his February 3rd show organized bothered me, so I decided to take a closer look at the next episode and go over everything that irked me.

O'Reilly begins his show with a segment called "Talking Points Memo."
This is where he goes over the big news story of the day (on this day it was response to the first part of his interview with Stewart). The words that he says out loud are written on the right of the screen while he says it. This is the most blatant form of talking down to an audience I have ever seen. Every other news and "news" show presupposes that I am smart enough to follow along with the person on screen while he/she is talking. From now on, I will use time stamps to help you keep up.