Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, October 07, 2021

Watching “And You Don’t Stop”, a historical documentary on the origins of rap/hip-hop. Lots of reminiscenses from the oldtimers, including Grandmaster Flash, Fab 5 Freddy, Run-DMC. Plenty of footage from the late ’70s and into the ’80s, with enough images of striped polyester jumpsuits to put a smile on my face.

Now I don’t feel so bad about staying in tonight. Even if all this is coming at me on VH1.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/07/2021 08:40pm
Category: Pop Culture, TV
| Permalink | Trackback | Feedback


Why did so many consider John Kerry the winner in his first debate with George W. Bush? It could be that the President’s usually sharp parrying skills are rusty, thanks to the protective bubble he’s created for himself during his Presidency.

“Presidents tend to listen and make decisions; they don’t engage in debates with their opponents or really with anyone else. They listen and make decisions,” Karen Hughes told Fox News Channel on September 28.

Many media analysts, including some who scored the first debate as a draw, noted that the camera caught the president frequently looking bored, annoyed, unsettled or distracted during Kerry’s attacks on his leadership.

“Bush has been living in a bubble for too long,” Richard Reeves, who proclaimed Kerry the winner last week, wrote in the Charleston Gazette.

“What’s wrong with him? I would say he has a bad case of Ovalitis - an ear infection endemic to the Oval Office. Sit there long enough, and you don’t hear anything you don’t want to hear,” according to Reeves.

One of the pratfalls of power is a tendency to overrule or dismiss anything you don’t want to face. Bush’s resoluteness is often touted as a strength, especially in his role as Commander in Chief. But the other edge of the sword is the development of a bit of tunnel vision. If you get out of the habit of arguing your points by seriously engaging other viewpoints, you have trouble getting back in that groove.

By contrast, consider Kerry’s service in the Senate. Senators do nothing but argue, negotiate, glad-hand, influence. In a sense, he’s been rehearsing for these debates for years. Add to this that Bush’s political career has never included stints in a legislative body: He’s been a governor, another executive-level role where you don’t have to engage in discourse unless you want to (or really, really have to, which is rare).

Let’s hope the President busts that bubble in time for Debate No. 2.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/07/2021 08:30pm
Category: Political
| Permalink | Trackback | Feedback (1)


I’ve lamented the sad state of sub-literacy in the Digital Age before. But that doesn’t mean I can’t derive some humor from it, as in the case of Florida artist Maria Alquilar and her idiotic misspellings of well-known historical names on her public-library mural.

It’s bad enough to commit spelling errors on a computer screen or in print; but because it’s relatively effortless to generate letters in those mediums, it’s almost understandable. Doing it through the process of inlaying ceramic tiles, though? That takes a lot of work. You’d think she would have taken five minutes to check on the names, and avoid any mistakes.

Not that something so fundamental would occur to this artiste:

Reached at her Miami studio Wednesday by The Associated Press, Alquilar said she was willing to fix the work, which is 16 feet wide and made up of brightly colored ceramic pieces. But she offered no apologizes for the 11 misspellings, including “Eistein,” “Shakespere” and “Michaelangelo,” among the 175 names.

“The importance of this work is that it is supposed to unite people,” Alquilar said. “They are denigrating my work and the purpose of this work.”…

Even though I was on my hands and knees laying the installation out, I didn’t see it,” she said.

Anyway, she said, the mistakes wouldn’t even register with a true artisan.

“The people that are into humanities, and are into Blake’s concept of enlightenment, they are not looking at the words,” she said. “In their mind, the words register correctly.”

I guess cracking open a dictionary dashes your artisan credentials.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/07/2021 08:13pm
Category: Creative
| Permalink | Trackback | Feedback


Almost a month ago, Rachel* at SoHoTampa made note of the opposition to putting in some sidewalks in south Tampa neighborhoods.

The anti-sidewalk sentiment appears to be a cross-Bay phenomenon: Residents in Largo are spurning efforts by city government to sidewalk their streets.

Cited reasons against sidewalks usually emphasize the encroachment into large front yards. It’s a valid enough reason, but I have my own opinion regarding the real, less often expressed reason:

Generally, I’m in favor of more sidewalks being built around the Bay area. Sidewalks encourage pedestrian traffic, which is sorely lacking in a sprawl-based community like this. That’s the very same reason residential neighborhoods don’t want them, of course, because the implication is pedestrian=no car=poor/homeless/bum. Who wants to make it easier for bums and other shady types to make their way to your front door?

I was just in a meeting today where a recent survey about perceptions on Florida was mentioned. Among other things, a knock against most of the metro areas was a lack of cohesiveness and pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods. Rolling out sidewalks all over the place won’t completely solve this, but I think it’s a positive step.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/07/2021 08:00pm
Category: Florida Livin'
| Permalink | Trackback | Feedback (1)


everybody wants you
Filing this under my “the world is in my mind” section:

Just turned on the TV to TBS in time to see a new promo for their “Sex and the City” reruns. The background music on the promo was the Fischerspooner vs. Billy Squier mashup, “Everybody Wants You To Emerge”.

It just so happens that I’ve been addictively listening to that very same song on my iPod lately. It came on the “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” Soundtrack.

I don’t know if this means I’m cooler than I thought, or exactly the opposite.

I guess this kind of linkage between the shows makes sense. It fits right in with the original conception of “Sex” as a gay-man ensemble cast.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/07/2021 07:23pm
Category: Pop Culture, TV, iPod
| Permalink | Trackback | Feedback