Archive for October, 2007

hannah-montana2.jpgIt looks like the “Hannah Montana” ticket fiasco has finally caught the eye of Uncle Sam. On Monday, a federal judge prohibited the use of automatic software to purchase mass amounts of tickets from outlets such as Ticketmaster.

Little did I know that a Disney star, the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus no less, would be the harbinger of things to come.

The decision was brought on by a lawsuit Ticketmaster filed in April against a Pittsburgh company, RMG Technologies.

Ticketmaster successfully argued that the company’s software allows scalpers to move ahead of other customers in line and purchase mass amounts of tickets that can be resold at higher prices.

“They’re cheating consumers out of a fair shot at these tickets, and we’re not going to stand for it anymore,” said Joe Freeman, a lawyer for Ticketmaster.

Frankly, we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised by this recent trend in ticket sales. Incidents like this, along with predatory lending practices that have brought us the brink of a real estate collapse in some economists eyes, are symptomatic of a much larger issue.

This “free market fundamentalism“, a combination of unregulated “robber baron capitalism” merged with merchantism, is also becoming known as “corporatism”. The usage has expanded to well beyond it’s original definition, one that was strictly industrial, and has come to include political and governmental structures.

The underlying belief is that free markets provide the greatest possible equity and prosperity, and that any interference with the market process decreases social well being. I, for one, disagree. I truly belive that there is such a thing as “too much of a good thing”.

Corporations are similar to sharks in that they exist merely to consume and our pocket books are their food of choice. I don’t say this to imply that they are inherently evil or to be demonized in any way. They are a vital part of our nation’s fabric.

That being said, we should be hesitant to just “hand over the keys” to either the economy or our national treasury. Remember a shark is a shark and we all know that sharks tend to bite anyone & everyone, even each other.

Moderation in all things” is universally considered wise counsel. We as a people should heed this advice.

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No, this doesn’t have anything to do with Katrina, Bush’s lack of response to said hurricane, or anything else of substance.  But it DOES have something to do with one of our nation’s greatest natural disasters…Britney Spears. 

Word came down to day that the troubled pop star may not even visit with 2-year-old Sean Preston and 1-year-old Jayden James — who are in the custody of Spears’ ex-husband, Kevin Federline — until she complies with a court order, Superior Court Commissioner Scott Gordon ruled.  Evidentally this stems from her failing to provide contact information needed to conduct the court ordered random drug screenings. 

Now I don’t want to kick a woman while she is down, but what the f@#$ woman?  Do she realize just how f@#$ed up you have to be to lose custody to K-fed?  The entire system is set up where short of a woman being Halle Berry in Losing Isaiah she gets to keep the kids.  It is just that simple.

Yet somehow, someway she has managed to lose all of her visitation rights.  ALL of them.  Right now her behavior is somewhere between Paula Abdul and Nicolas Cage from Leaving Las Vegas.  I know that with Anna Nicole’s passing there is now a power vacuum in the region known as “Bimbodom”, but for god’s sake let Paris take her rightful title as that nation’s queen.

But then again, why should we be at all surprised by this recent assault upon our senses?  The woman was the flag bearer for what was arguably the most shallow and vapid era in music & entertainment.  I know, it’s hard to believe anyone could ever make a claim like that one, but that is pretty much what the late 90’s were. 

Talentless purveyors of candy coated kid crap thrived, and none more than her.  They bombarded the airwaves with some of the most contrived shite that was ever thrust upon the american public.  And we lapped it up like a kitten does a bowl of milk.  And they raked in money like a private contractor in Iraq…by the truckload.  Well, at least the ones that didn’t have the misfortune of signing with Lou Pearlman  back in the day.

Now most of them seem to have adjusted rather well to adulthood.  The Justin Timberlake’s, Christina Aguilera’s and Nick Lachey’s of the world have moved onto other things.  But not poor old Britney.  For years she desperately clung to the belief that she was somehow relevant, rather than recognizing she was just the lucky recipient of an unjustifiably large amount of fame and fortune (her net worth has been estimated at $150 million).

She now tries to paint a picture of herself as a victim, trapped by her own fame.  And while I have no doubt that the attention can be suffocating, I refuse to feel sorry for her.  She did it to herself.  Over and over and over again.  When we tried to cast her aside to land of the forgotten she would pop up like a real life version of whac-a-mole, marrying an old high school buddy only to have it annulled 55 hours later.

Now it is time for her to remove her head from her now less-than-sculpted-ass and smell the java.  Hopefully her family (if she lets them back into her life) and her friends (whatever ones she may have left) can come together to help her get through this.  Because as entertaining, in a macabre kind of way at least, as this has been, her children’s well-being is at stake here.