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Raging Pencils by Mike "iceberg!" Stanfill

Famous Disasters

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"One-tenth of the folks run the world. One-tenth watch them run it, and the other eighty percent don't know what the hell's going on." - Jake Simmons

The May 2008 edition of Wired magazine did a story about memory and how to improve it. One of the techniques involve memorization, so they printed a chart  listing subjects which run the gamut from hard/easy to embarrassing/impressive.

According to Wired, "state capitals" are dead center in the chart, being a relative cinch to commit to memory even though it won't exactly get you laid. Except, one would think, by another state capital freak.

"String theory" is the second most difficult subject to memorize, right behind "debunking string theory". I'm not arguing.

"50 Shakespearean quotations", "20 German phrases" and/or "50 Bible verses" are certain to stump your family at Thanksgiving... unless you happen to be the runt of the Mensa litter.

So what's the very easiest thing to remember, the Jeopardy category that won't even net you $20?

"TV theme song lyrics".

You know what the editors of WIRED are really saying here, don't you? They're saying:

"Quit watching that bloody TV and do something meaningful with your lives!".

Hopefully involving reading their magazine.

They're right, though. Each week Americans waste almost a billion man-hours watching TV... and that's just the commericals.

I am not kidding. Do the math. Oh, that's right... you can't. You've been pummeling the integers out of your cerebellum watching Scrubs re-runs.

It's dispiriting enough that Americans advance the hands of their personal clocks towards oblivion with vacuous twaddle like Fantasy Island or JAG, but now we have active propaganda machines like Fox News filling in the gaps with disinformation.

Need to know why you need duct tape? Watch Fox News. Need to know where to buy duct tape? Watch Fox News. Need to know about all the fools who bought duct tape? Look in the mirror.

I turned off commercial media over twenty years ago, except for the Simpsons (Hey, I'm only human). I used to devote my spare TV time to PBS but even that's been compromised since the Bush administration infiltrated it with their operatives.

Thanks, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, you crooked SOB. I hope they fry your nuts off.

Without putting too fine a point on it TV has turned out to be the biggest time-waster in the history of mankind, second only to early commercial radio. We probably could have been dangling our tootsies in a cool stream on Alpha Centauri by now but at least we'll always have that special place where everyone knows your name.

Gott in himmel.


Raging Pencils is a minor personal conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
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Fox News Sucks

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Famous Disasters.
Pangaea, Titanic, Chernobyl, Fox News.