Monday, November 05, 2007

The Time, it Changed

I stayed up 'til 2 a.m. on Saturday night, to watch the time get automatically turned back on my computer, catching up on YouTube and other video sources, like which has six different takes of the ‘Don’t Tase me, bro!’ scene when University of Florida student Andrew Meyer aggressively asked questions of Senator John Kerry in September.

Meyer was wrestled to the ground and "tased" (or "tazed") with an electronic stun gun) in a shocking use of police force at a democratic enclave.

Because the tase phrase has entered the cultural lexicon, I got to wondering if TASER was a brand name like Kleenex and Xerox? Say yes? Bullseye! According to CBC News In Depth:
"TASER stands for Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle, from the Tom Swift series of children's novels written in the early 20th century, including Tom Swift and his Electric Rifle. The real stars of the series of science-fiction novels were potential advances in technology. Who makes them? Arizona-based Taser International makes virtually all of the 'stun guns' being used today. In fact, Taser is the brand name and the technical term for a stun gun, a conductive energy device, or CED."
The word is a shoo-in for the next edition of the next dictionary.

Speaking of brand name product promotion, Stephen Colbert recently noted candidate Sen. John McCain's "triple cross promotional pander 720" when McCain told the Smith & Wesson folks he will "follow Osama Bin Laden to the gates of hell, and I will shoot him with your products." Isn't that a great phrase?! Give Osama a cigar, while you're at it, John.

Colbert took dead aim at this, of course. Especially since his campaign coverage is being sponsored by Doritos -- the "Hail to the Cheese Campaign Coverage" of his campaign for President. The money can not go to the campaign, only to the coverage of his campaign.

Of course, now that Colbert has been kept off the ballot in South Carolina, the nacho cheese flavor of the crunchy Dorito snack is moot.

But, speaking of campaigns, a ghost from Carbondale's recent mayoral contest showed up at Greyhound this afternoon, Kyle Raccio, who I thought was a pseudonym. In fact, Kyle is a freshman at SIU, majoring in Political Science. He volunteered for Sheila Simon, and now supports Hillary Clinton. To further his education in political science, I offered to give him a paperback copy of Restoring the American Dream by Robert Ringer, which was setting on the bookshelf by the ticket counter (a political manifesto for Libertarian philosophy). But Kyle declined, since he is a confirmed left-wing Democrat, unlikely to change into a right-wing freedom ringer, like Judge Andrew Napolitano, who lets loose a blistering tirade against the Patriot Act's abridgement of 1st Amendment rights, in a recent FOX-TV editorial. A Nation of Sheep on YouTube. Worth watching. Much-digged. It's short, but not sweet.

Perhaps if the 1st Amendment had a corporate sponsor, Freedom of Speech, brought to you by McDonald's.

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