Friday, 18 May 2012

Journeys in Black and White

It's a nifty title.  It would have been a decent book....if it'd been written.

In 1991, some book publisher paid a up-front fee to then Mr Barak Obama, to write up this book about life as a black and white kid growing up in America.  This whole episode was kinda forgotten about in the end....because he just couldn't write the book that they wanted....so he ended up writing a totally different piece that was about his own personal life, which ended up including some composite characters (meaning that it's not absolutely totally true).

None of this would really matter, but the fancy advertising booklet that was hinting of upcoming books from the publisher was found, and published this week.

The booklet had twenty-two lines describing the great upcoming writer....Barak Obama.  There are several things which are partly true or just plain fictional on this advertising booklet.  Barak Obama was indicated as being born in Kenya.....which he wasn't.  It talked up his short career as a financial journalist....which I've never heard of anything that he ever wrote....relating to business or finance.

These advertising booklets tend to be written by some kid just out of college and working on the cheap for some book publisher.  The boss calls the 22-year old in.....starts talking about upcoming books and wants the kid to write up a fancy hand-out....so the publisher can hand these to fancy dressed folks at their lunch and dinner operations.

The kid goes back (remember, this was 1991....so computers really hadn't hit the big-time yet).....so the kid writes some long-hand material, and gives it to the bosses secretary who tries her best to read what the kid wrote.  When finished......I doubt if the boss even reads the material....and just hands to the local printing press company to make 10k copies.

No one ever remembered these....or counted on them for accuracy....if you ask me.

The college kid who wrote the material?  He or she....is probably laughing right now.  They had some idiot boss telling them all kinds of stuff, which they barely got written down, and then were fearful to ask about accuracy later.  My humble guess is that the kid has grown up and actually works for the New York Post today....and really doesn't want anyone stumbling onto their past writing these stupid advertising pieces.

As for the title of Journeys in Black and White?  Well...it's still sitting out there and any idiot could write a book and probably publish it.

Local Observations

We have had this continuing saga around the DC government itself....over corrupt folks being brought in as employees of the city government of the District.  Last year, things finally reached a peak where the city council agreed to have a vetting process as a guy gets hired for any position....where they checked you out.  It'd be public knowledge of an arrest record or some IRS-situation.  Well....this week, someone did a long read on the new finance bill floating through the city council....submitted by the chief of the city council.  Somewhere in the middle of this....was a couple of small lines that basically said that a guy hired to work for city council members themselves.....would be allowed to skip the vetting process.  This discovery got folks to asking the city council if they were going back on their word.....not much was said though.  I pondered over this, and would admit....in ten years....almost everyone of significance in DC local government activities....will have an arrest record of some type.  So I don't see how this vetting matters....just bring on the criminals and hire up more investigators to roam through city business on a daily basis.

We will finally have our first Sikh cop in DC shortly.  Sikhs are those religious folks....mostly from India....who have a few traditions tied to them.  Two of these....are the wearing of turbans and carrying along a fancy knife on their belt.  The Sikh cop in the DC police academy asked for a waiver to allow him to wear a turban and the knife.....and the DC police chief agreed to allow this.  I don't see an issue with this.  Sikhs tend to take their jobs serious and maybe this guy will have an effect on the rest of the force.  As for the fancy knife on the belt.....it'll accompany his pistol, and he'll be twice as effective in a bad situation....if you ask me.

Finally, we had a bit of excitement this week on Metro.  We had a subway car that the doors on one particular car opened up (while in motion), as they traveled from one station to another.  Luckily, this was in the mid-afternoon, before the rush-hour.  Typically, with 250 folks on a car.....there would have been five folks leaning against the door in the late afternoon.....and they would have likely fallen out of the car.  Just lucky I guess.  The maintenance guys?  Best they can say is a faulty switch of some type.  It probably won't happen again.....or again....or again.