Six decades ago in December, the Japanese bombed the United States’ key naval facility in the Pacific, yet left all of our shipbuilding capacity intact. Germany and Italy declared war on the United States days later. We responded in kind, defeated Italy and Germany, and dropped two atomic bombs on Japan. Bad Idea? Yes.
Fidel Castro announced his commitment to Marxist-Leninist Communism in December 1961; bad idea? Not for Castro, but Communism has not worked out too well for the Cubans (especially bloggers there who dare to write about neat ways to make Cuba even better). Bad Idea.
And while Nirvana’s Nevermind debuted in December (which, arguably did not work out so well for Kurt Cobain, in the long run), record companies also use this time of year to dump horrific Christmas albums on us every year; are YOU the consumer who buys the .38 Special Wild Eyed Christmas Night singles and keeps this tripe coming at us year after year? Yet another bad idea.
December 2008 is shaping up to be typical, with politicians, movie and recording studios, and the web sloughing off their worst ideas before the promising start of a new year. Here are a few bad ideas I have seen so far, although surely there are others.
Tom Cruise. Nazis. Christmas. If I owned a movie studio, I would have jumped out of my window before I gave the green light for this movie (with Tom Cruise?? ); and now this nazi film is going to open on Christmas? Who wants to see a nazi film about a plot to kill Hitler on Christmas? Even the neo-nazis will probably stay away from it (because of the plot to kill Hitler part), what a loser movie! Is MGM/UA trying to go bankrupt and get some bailout money or something? This is definitely a bad idea.
2. No Buffers. “The Family had a lot of Buffers.” Am I the only one who watched Godfather II and remembers crap like this? If you are a Governor and are going to be insanely corrupt and try to enrich yourself through graft, you need to have a bunch of cutouts between you and the act. That is gangster 101. If the Governor of some po-dunk little state like Nebraska or Wyoming was as stupid as Blagojevich appears to be, it would almost be understandable. But this is freakin’ Illinois, Chicago is in that state, Al Capone worked there, for God’s sake. People expect the pols who hail from Chicago to be corrupt, but horrendously incompetent as well? No Buffers = a bad idea. Bonus: Did Jesse Jackson Jr. have any buffers? We’ll see. . .
3. Open for Questions. Why is having a website that allows people to pose questions to the incoming administration (with a Digg style popularity rater) such a bad idea? Because internet-savvy sycophantic followers will censor the site (is that Orwellian by proxy?) and allow questions like “Have you decided what kind of puppy you are going to get for the girls yet?” in, but block any question regarding contact the Obama team has had with the Illinois Governor recently. Even though the latter is well, news, and people want to know. And once something gets censored, people in the media start talking about it, and the censorship story becomes news. And then defenders of the censorship offer a cult-like defense of the President-elect and write comments on websites like:
I’m one of the people that has [effectively censored] many of those questions. Why is it even necessary to ask [the] Obama these questions? He has done nothing wrong and he should be left alone as there are far more pressing issues than worrying about a man with a bad haircut.
And, instead of having a structure that provides more transparency and a chance for the President-Elect team to truly interact with voters (instead of just, for lack of a better term, followers) , you end up with system that filters out like 40-60% of what is truly on the country’s mind. And the people who like you a little too much come out and defend you a little too forcefully, and it creeps a bunch of other people out. Open for Government is a bad idea. NOTE: I cannot access Open for Government? Is it down or being re-tooled this fine morning?
4. Chinese Democracy. Axl Rose is the last original member of GnR; why not kick him out too, hire a decent singer, change the band’s name, the album’s name, record different songs that don’t blow. . . How can anyone even listen to this crap? Does it sound better if you’re totally wasted or something? I cannot imagine it does, even comatose people would be offended by this album. Democracy in China is a good idea, but GNR without Slash, Duff, and Izzy, and in 2008, is a very bad idea.
5. Killing Bruce Wayne. There are reports that Bruce Wayne, Batman, is going to die this month. Come on, that is a bad idea. Sure it is a comic book, so DC can have some kind of convoluted Crisis on Infinite Earths storyline involving other dimensions and alternate realities to un-screw things later on, but why freakin’ bother? The time spent before that happens will find some other vigilante taking on the Batman cowl for awhile (probably Dick Grayson), until Wayne ultimately returns, which is a foregone conclusion. This is a bad idea, stop it now. DC, if you want to sell comics, why not generate some controversy by issuing that scary Holy Terror, Batman, storyline, you cowards?
There are plenty of other bad ideas out there this month, these are just a few samples to whet the appetite. Let’s hope some better albums, movies, politicians, comics and ideas await us in the coming year. . .