Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rewarding Bad Behavior

Recently a certain columnist at a certain Pittsburgh online newspaper wrote a sexist, misogynistic screed about women and the NRA. It was picked up by the blogosphere, driving lots of new traffic to that paper's website.

Online newspapers make their money from advertising, and in order to sell advertising their sites need lots of hits. They will be more than happy to hold their noses and keep the most disgusting so-called writers on staff if those writers' vile blatherings generate said hits.

Complaining to the authors of offensive articles, who are attention-whores anyway, accomplishes nothing. Like the dog who soils the carpet because being beaten is preferable to being ignored, any attention is better than none. And complaining to their bosses only confirms the "value" of the hit-generator.

So rather than link back to the crap itself, thus proving its value to the publisher, make one short visit to the newspaper's website. Take note of the biggest advertisers, and contact them. Explain exactly why you will never spend another dime with them if they continue to support such garbage. Copy the so-called writer and his bosses on that message so they understand precisely why their revenues are likely to decrease.

And just for the record, in case this so-called writer should blunder in here, "it's satire and you're too stupid to see that" isn't working for Scott Adams and it won't work for you.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Enough Is Enough

Posting has been nonexistent lately. I have power of attorney for my 94 year old aunt, who's in a nursing home with end-stage Alzheimer's. We've reached the point where there are calls from the nursing home at all hours of the day and night. I understand they have to protect themselves from liability. I'm sure there have been cases where family members previously stipulated "comfort care" only, then freaked out after the patient finally died and threatened to sue. But this crap is getting old.

She has come full circle, back to a state of existence worse than infancy: diapered, unable to turn over, unable to feed herself, unresponsive and unaware of her surroundings, making only random inarticulate sounds. She aspirates her own saliva. Were I in that state, I would not want to live. Going through this debacle has made me ensure I have the necessary paperwork on file to prevent it.

Her funeral arrangements are all prepaid under an irrevocable trust, so there won't be any expenses. There are, however, a huge amount of other people's expectations. I want nothing to do with any of them. I don't want to hover anxiously by her bedside. I don't want to have to manage and attend a funeral. I just want this over. I want her gone from my life, for good.

She was a thoroughly nasty person long before she had Alzheimer's as an excuse. Any time things didn't go her way she would throw tantrums worthy of the most spoiled two-year-old, screaming, throwing things, slamming doors. She spit on me on multiple occasions. About the only toddler ploy she didn't try was holding her breath until she turned blue. Her nickname among the staff at the local hospital before she lost the ability to terrorize everyone around her was "Cruella De Vil" and trust me, she deserved it.

Nobody else would step up to manage her affairs. For the last eleven years, I've filled out her paperwork, paid her bills, and untangled her Medicaid benefits when HHS messed them up. For this I have taken no compensation, despite my lawyer telling me I should. Every dime she had, including her serious six-figure inheritance from her sister (my mother), has gone to her care and upkeep.

My whole life has been cleaning up my family's mess. She's the last of them. I'm more than ready to be free of these people.