Building The Perfect Beast

Reading, Writing, Wanderlust, and Commentary

Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Michelle Obama Cites View of Growing Segregation

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Michelle Obama Cites View of Growing Segregation

Today, by some measures, our schools are as segregated as they were back when Dr. King gave his final speech.

—Michelle Obama

Interesting that this should appear in the NY Times this week as I was just making mention of this to my wife and my mother.

Just this past week I had the pleasure of meeting the young man I’ve spent time corresponding with this past year. He is a student at a school west of Atlanta, where a friend of mine teaches 5th grade. The population breakdown of the community is about 50/50 black to white, but what I found most interesting was that the school where my friend teaches, based on my totally unscientific observation, has a white population of less than 5%.

According to my friend, who has been teaching in this district for quite some time now, the school district lines have been drawn and redrawn over the past several years so as to keep all the poorest children and children of color in the school where she teaches.

If you don’t think segregation is alive and well in the US you are greatly mistaken. It may not be as obvious as it once was, but it exists and it is, perhaps, more insidious than it ever was.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

May 18th, 2014 at 10:39 am

Dear Son, Don’t Let Robin Thicke be a Lesson to You

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Matt Walsh on bludgeoning Miley Cyrus while giving Robin Thicke a pass:

In any case, this gives you an idea of the full scene: A 36 year old married man and father, grinding against an intoxicated 20 year old while singing about how she’s an “animal” and the “hottest bitch in this place.” And what happens the next day? We’re all boycotting the 20 year old. The grown man gets a pass.

Must read.

Tip o’ the hat to Josh Cohen. While you’re at it, give his Kickstarter a look.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

August 29th, 2013 at 2:48 pm

There Are A Million Ways To Sell Yourself Out…

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…And I guarantee you’ll hear about them.

Perfect.

Watterson print

Via Zenpencils.com

Written by Jeffery Battersby

August 27th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Posted in Commentary,Featured

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Make Every Word Matter

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Make Every Word Matter.

Be concise and clear.

Fewer words.

Less meandering (without purpose).

Using too many sounds like bull$hit, and usually is.

Via The Loop

Written by Jeffery Battersby

August 27th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Posted in Commentary,Featured

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More On Why You Should Be Reading (And Watching) David Simon

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And those who know me understand that while it is refreshing to meet people with no opinions, I am not that fellow. I like to argue. I don’t take the argument itself personally — and I am often amazed at so much outsized commentary that assumes otherwise — but rather I delight in pursuing a good, ranging argument. It’s why I value a writer’s room so much. It’s why I used to love a healthy newsroom, which I have described as a magical place where everyone disagrees with everything all of the time. Arguments make the work better; when people stop arguing, or at least arguing intelligently, absent the usual half-assed, rhetorical cheating, the work invariably suffers. So, for me, any dialectic is a temptation.

I’ve been reading David Simon since I first started watching Homicide: Life on the Street back when it was on NBC. Two books and several TV series later, Simon remains one of my favorite writers and commentators on culture, news, the inner city, politics, you name it…

His TV shows, Homicide, The Wire, Treme, The Corner, Generation Kill, are smart social commentary that’s compassionate, true, intelligent, ambiguous (like so much of life), and not preachy. If you haven’t watched them, you should.

What I love about Simon is summarized in the previous paragraph from his blog, The Audacity of Despair.

I like a good fight. Nothing personal, just a good, hard, thoughtful fight that makes you think differently and challenges what you believe. This is also why I hate and refuse to watch any television news shows. They’re mostly didactic schlock with no interest in anything productive. Best line in the paragraph?

It’s why I used to love a healthy newsroom, which I have described as a magical place where everyone disagrees with everything all of the time. Arguments make the work better; when people stop arguing, or at least arguing intelligently, absent the usual half-assed, rhetorical cheating, the work invariably suffers.

You betcha.

Now, go read…

Written by Jeffery Battersby

July 26th, 2013 at 10:26 am

Apple Acquires HopStop

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CNet is reporting this morning that Apple has acquired HotStop.

While this isn’t the Waze acquisition I was hoping for (damn you Google!!), I reviewed HopStop a little over a year ago and it remains my goto tool for using mass transit when I travel.

Great pickup for Apple.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

July 20th, 2013 at 7:39 am

Posted in Commentary,Featured

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Sad To Say…

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My review of Office 365 for iOS is up at Macworld.com.

Sad to say… not much there.

Written by Jeffery Battersby

July 9th, 2013 at 10:02 pm