Tag Archives: critique

A Critical Squint: Judging That Thing Your Friend Just Shared

A lot of recent talk around ‘fake news’ focuses on blatant lying and overtly partisan bullshit. Those sites are usually grossly apparent to people with brains, so I’d like to look at a different sort of example – plain old junk news. This is a mediocre flavor of fake news — pseudo-news sites swiping content and adding a little commentary. I thought I’d do a little case study on a link that recently popped up in my Facebook newsfeed. Continue reading

Bob Dylan: It Must Be Satan


I think Bob Dylan’s “It Must Be Santa” is a good song. Good video, too. Especially if you pretend that Bob Dylan is playing an unseen, malevolent devil character who is spiriting around the party making people dance and do crazy things. I don’t know if that’s what the video is actually about, but I like pretending that it is. Continue reading

Stupid Ads For Idiots

Have you ever noticed how hard it is for advertisers to convincingly push their products on consumers? It’s usually because, upon the slightest bit of reflection, the product is revealed to be rather pointless. It’s so pointless, in fact, that advertisers will go to great lengths of entertainment to disguise the fact that the latest feature/advancement/innovation isn’t really worth mentioning in the first place. “New” is almost never new, and sometimes “improved” is just the old product repackaged. Let’s take a look at two random ads because I’m bored and it’s late and I’m typing. Continue reading

A Very Bad Comic Strip: John McPherson’s Close To Home

There’s a lot of crap out there when it comes to syndicated comic strips. I could get all Comics Curmudgeon on your asses and pick apart tons of strips for a variety of different reasons, but today I feel like picking apart one in particular. And that would be John McPherson’s Close to Home. This strip debuted in 1992, apparently an unabashed Far Side ripoff, except less weird and drawn worse. In the intervening bunch of years, it has apparently gotten much much worser. It consistently delivers the blandest stereotypes and joke set-ups, which is the worserest thing of all. It is a comic featured in my local newspaper, The Daily Hampshire Gazette (syndicated in like, 700 other papers, too, says wikipedia), and I look forward to reading it with great relish every morning. Because I hate it so so much. Because it perfectly encapsulates everything that is wrong and bad about newspaper comic strip writing. Because it is so poorly executed, I usually spend more time trying to comprehend what I’m looking at than I do not laughing at the punchline. Continue reading