Monday, April 06, 2009

Get your rules on

Rule #86: Gun, Nut
If you're afraid that Barack Obama's going to take away your guns, killing cops is not the best way to make your point. In fact, it's goddamn stupid. The term "gun nuts" exists for a reason, and that reason is not to condemn law-abiding owners. "Gun nut" is a perfectly accurate term when applied to those who complain most about weapons laws, yet serve as the best examples of why we need even tighter controls. At what point does shooting an officer in the head from your front porch constitute self-defense? How is shooting up a class full of aspiring citizens an exercise of the Second Amendment? When does a weapon go from protecting your family to killing your family? What accounts for the sudden, intense burst of gun violence in the U.S.?

The answers are, no doubt, complex. But one thing is clear: if responsible gun owners and groups don't own up to the insane elements in their midst, then gun-grabbing might actually happen. I don't want to see that occur any more than they do. But if it does, they will have no one but themselves to blame for their self-fulfilling prophecy.

Rule #87: GMC Hammer
If you're going to chastise Obama for being de facto CEO of General Motors, then you must offer an alternative. Tell us who would be better. So far, the only answer anyone seems to have is to let Rick Wagoner remain in his CEO capacity. Apparently, it's preferable to keep on the catalyst for much of the company's failure than give even the appearance of government involvement. Except for the bailout money, of course.

GM could have said no to Obama's deal. They could have refused the latest round of bailout money, told Obama to screw off and go be the pinnacle of private entrepreneurial know-how. But they couldn't say yes fast enough, because the so-called geniuses of the private sector ran the company into the ground. Now that GM has taken the money, free-market fetishists complain about the strings attached, as if it's somehow wrong for the government to insist our money not vanish into a pit. Boy, those socialists sure have nerve, don't they?

In any case, GM and other failing companies need a new vision from new leadership. Someone cool-headed, even-tempered, future-minded and accountable. Hmm. Where ever could we find a model for that?

Rule #88: Getting the message cross
Ads should not crash Web sites. Recently, my browser stalled halfway through an article — causing me to restart it — because the Flash insurance ad on the right wasn't able to load properly. I'm irritated enough with the constant sensual assault of obnoxious and invasive advertising for things that I will never, ever want or need, without that being the reason I can't get the content I want.

In a similar vein, a magazine I was interested in buying online crashed my entire laptop when I clicked the "purchase" page. That's just self-defeating.

Finally, enough with the free-floating ads that cover exactly the part of the site you want to read, flutter slowly and choppily and are nearly impossible to close. I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate those!

I'm not against advertising. Some ads are very clever, and the rest are tolerable if they serve the purpose of allowing access to content. But when they complicate access, that just causes resentment. If a Web site must crash, at least have a massive Hayden Panettiere background to show for it.

Rule #89: Short and succinct
The more you Twitter, the less interesting you are.

More rules


rhonda said...

now, ian. say how you really feel about those cute little free-floating ads.

Nathan said...

Try Google Chrome. It runs add-ons, like Flash, in a completely separate process; meaning if that ad crashes, it won't crash or bog down the whole browser. For that matter, every tab it loads is a separate process, so if a specific page crashes, you only lose that page and not the whole browser.

Give it a try: