Now digg this
Unfunny times: This ole world sure gets Bites down sometimes. Nothing’s funny anymore. Last week’s column, which ostensibly dealt with the inability of California’s congressional delegation to carry out the will of the people and bring a halt to the war in Iraq, was no exception. There’s just nothing all that humorous about sending young Americans overseas to incinerate innocent people and perhaps lose an arm or a leg or even a life in the process.
Or is there?
Turns out there is, at least for those possessed by what must be called an unhealthy appreciation of irony. We turn now to the Internet, where items of questionable taste abound, including “Get Your War On,” a gut-bustingly hilarious comic strip by David Rees that generally features innocuous-looking cubicle farmers engaging in idle chit-chat on topics varying from illegal immigration to the War on Terror to the offshoring of their own jobs. Rees first gained notoriety with a similar comic strip, “My New Fighting Technique Is Unstoppable,” which can be viewed with his more recent work at www.mnftiu.cc.
Those blessed with similarly sick senses of humor, as well as wider bandwidth, also will enjoy Mark Fiore’s animated political cartoons, which can be viewed at www.markfiore.com. Fiore’s latest, “State of the Resolution,” charts the same territory Bites visited last week, poking a sharply pointed stick at the efforts of both parties to reign in the utterly lawless Bush administration through “huskily mild” non-binding resolutions that will “like a creamy salve … seep into the president’s brain” and cause him to call off escalation of the Iraq war.
Just digg it: What’s up with all the Internet references? Well, dear reader, it’s a crazy little thing called the future. Bites has seen the future, and this week it looks a lot like a kinda cute dark-haired guy wearing sneakers, blue jeans and a hoodie by the name of Kevin Rose, founder and chief architect of the San Franciso-based Web site Digg.
Digg is an online community whose members read, rate and recommend the content viewed at digg.com, unlike sites such as Google News that select stories using a computer program. The result is an alternative, up-to-the-nanosecond take on the current buzz, as expressed by Digg’s members, a group initially composed of Bay Area techies that gradually has diversified as the site has grown more popular.
What’s it all mean? From a news consumer’s viewpoint, Digg offers up a selection that feels almost random compared to the staid material on other Web sites. While working on this column, for example, Bites discovered, via the Digg porthole, that Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Francis Crick discovered DNA while dosed on LSD, women prefer to date masculine men but are more inclined to marry men who are more feminine, and no one in the White House believes a word Dick Cheney says.
Folks in the biz believe Rose and Digg are on to something. Exactly what, Bites is uncertain, but Digg is hecka fun and useful, except for all those stories detailing which video games are now available for Nintendo’s wildly popular Wii system. Every time Bites clicks through to the story, the game in question is right there on the screen, waiting to be played. Not exactly conducive to a deadline-orientated environment.
Good sports: Speaking of the unobtainable gaming console, it’s been three weeks since Rancho Cordova mother of three Jennifer Strange died after allegedly drinking too much water while participating in a “Hold your wee for a Wii” contest on KDND’s Morning Rave show. Many things have happened in the interim: KDND has canceled the show and fired 10 employees; Strange’s family has filed suit against the radio station, to name but two.
Meanwhile, life goes on in the Strange household, minus one breadwinner.
With that in mind, on Monday, February 5, Mandango’s Sports Bar & Grill is donating half of its food proceeds at its locations in Sacramento, Elk Grove and Roseville to the Strange family. Check your phone book or go to www.mandangos.com for more information. Tell ’em Bites sent ya.