I hate when people on television try to pass off, as their own programming content, websites they found which other people made. They always try to make it seem like they "discovered" stuff. No, the person with the digital video camera and the firewire cable discovered that doughnut truck catching fire or kid on a skateboard hitting a wall or kid on a skateboard falling down an escalator or kid on a skateboard setting a doughnut truck on fire and then getting hit by it. It's like America's Funniest Home Videos without the obligation to credit sources or give prize money (I'd say "decent image quality," too, but standard VHS video with the time in a corner is also pretty lousy). And they don't really report on it, either. It's just "oh, lookie what we have here! How about that. Aren't I special for showing you this?" No, you aren't, because you're not my friend (like the cat), and I didn't ask you to show me that.

No one ever reports the weather like that."You're not gonna BELIEVE the low pressure systems Dopple Force 7 picked up!" And they equipment they use to get that is generally more expensive than a typical computer telephone connection. I couldn't find those things out on my own. Not in advance, I mean. If I look out a window, I have to wait.

If you switched through channels at all last October (which I don't do because I already know what I want to watch when and don't want to accidentally get stuck watching an additional thing) you possibly saw, at varying levels of insetness, one of those jibbityjab flash cartoons being shown. You know, the ones where various identical business suit bodies with different politician heads sing about something or other. Hey, television! Those aren't for you! I mean, if they were mine, I'd give them to you, because the last thing I need are the same political jokes I've heard for the past three years set to some of the worst repetitive public domain music ever written, but I'm not here to defend the substance, just the format.

The local nbc affiliate selected the dorkiest dork in their employment (try to imagine Jared Fogle before the Subway deal; still fat and in no financial position to be making demands) and, rather than fire him, assigned him to host something known only as "the download." This isn't even on their slappy local morning show; it's on their website. By the way, if you watch "morning shows" with any planned consistency, you're as much at fault as they are. I realized, only after playing this back a bunch of times that, it's not actually about websites, it's just on one. While it technically does not fit the topic of clueless television mopes pretending they own the internet, the adverdtisements for it do, so I am entirely justified in pointing out that this is one of the most horribly retarded things I've heard since "last night I turned into a dog." TAKE IT EASY, MAN!

What is about websites and also about as awkward to watch is "On The Download," from a show called Mad-TV, and I'm sure countless others as well because apparently "the download" is a clever phrase that means something. I'm not about to renew my internal debate about which Saturday evening sans-cable-gettable show I should be observing the coveted 11:30 to 12:00 half hour of, because I think I'd be better off using the time to shave my eyebrows or eat seaweeds.

If TV folk think setting aside <5 minutes per program for internet junk will make real internet users watch the whole program, they're wrong, because "we" will come across that junk ourselves, if we want it, and probably already have. Fat dork mouthing along with Scandinavian pop song was surely around for weeks before any televised tool tried to look "tech savvy" by acknowledging its existence. I hadn't seen it, but I hate it, so I'm glad I didn't see it. As if I plausibly could with dial up internet that's only available at irregular intervals, I mean. I've found that as long as I have internet access, I'm coming across more things than I have time to look over. I don't need extra homework, Mrs. Wilson! (and no, I haven't forgiven you for making me read The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe yet.)

It's one thing for Jay Leno to murder program time and let his writers go home early by utilizing the stories of woe from the fraggles in his audience, because I'm afraid to go near them. 99 cent store items, also, I like to stay away from.

Weird newspaper objects? Well, it's certainly not like I can pick up the Columbus Dispatch myself and look through it for mistakes, nor am I guaranteed that I will find any or the ones that I do having been worth the time and travel. The Headlines segment is a public service.

However, given what I've whined about already, I find the "stuff we found on e-bay" segment particularly annoying. Maybe it's not as bad as "correspondent" segments featuring Mitch "Hedberg is dead so we had to settle for" Fatel, Mo "Didn't learn from Craig Kilborn's example" Rocca, and Ross "I can't believe Vh1/Mtv hasn't given me my own 3 episode perpetually rerun reality series yet" el Interno, but idealy I would be watching another channel entirely or none at all during this period of the evening (2:05am to 2:35am). That, combined with several such periods before it, is when I make pictures. Unless I'm eating seaweeds (because I don't like the paper to get wet).

E-bay items, I was talking about those.
I don't like that Jay Leno makes people shout out "sold" or "not sold," because with 200 people calling out at once either response, and "not sold" having a sound remarkably similar to "sold," it's typically impossible to tell what the majority response is. This takes on an almost David Letterman like quality when the absense of a joke, but consistent, repeated absense of a joke becomes a joke. Will it float? Sold or not sold? All the Tonight Show audience call-out bits are like that, also. Tattoo or no tattoo? Good dancer or bad dancer? Aborted or stillborn? There's no possible way for the audience to know the answer, and there's no possible way for me to know what the audience's answer is. Even if the choices were made to sound dissimilar I would not know because I always press Mute when they call out. Not so much because there's about as much chance of me knowing what they're saying as me wanting to know, but because I know I couldn't deal with the awkwardness if they ever didn't call out.

More importantly, whether it sold or didn't is completely irrelevant, and arbitrary, as well. Only that some ever sell is relevant. My theory is that there is an obscure duke or baron in Luftwernia with 37 billion dollars and a mental disorder who goes to E-Bay every day, searches for the word "and" and bids on whatever the twenty-eighth item that comes up is, regardless of what it is, regardless of what it costs. With centuries of monarchy and hereditary procession of titles that were probably only given in the first place to keep someone quiet about a purloined goat or manservant, there are probably a couple thousand obscure dukes or barons about Europe with no idea what to do with whatever remains of their ancestors' ill-gotten peasant plundered gains. No idea what to do, that is, but to compete with each other over Dick van Dyke's dentures or jars full of air. And it's only because of weirdos like them that there are so many profiteering yahoos selling what they know fully well is valueless junk, hoping to be lucky number 28. It is probably a triflingly small number of these which are actually purchased for absurd sums, but those are the ones which will get national media exposure. Also, biblical tie-ins don't hurt. The others which sell will be for disappointing amounts to website owners worse than me with a $50 monthly ironic purchase budget. While I've given some insincere devotion in my day, it's usually over something I got for free, and additionally, as a receiver of ironic gifts, I can tell you that the joke doesn't last when it occupies physical space /expends monetary funds that I would have preferred to use for something I actually like and have a use for.

A Hacksaw Jim Duggan championship belt? Sure, what can't you do with one of those?
(hold your pants up, surprisingly)

The rest of the E-Bay e-rubbish, which does not sell, is never seen at all by anyone but contentless linker-blogger twits. Post some links once in a while, but don't have that be all you do. Then you're no better than the people I just spent most of this page complaining about, except that you don't demand a salary for it. At least say something more than "Hurr hurr, look what this idiot is selling!" No, hurr hurr at you for saying hurr hurr! Fools and extremely lucky fools who ran out of money for lottery tickets when they bought computers probably account for 80% of the active eebay accounts! It's just like gambling, except you don't need to bet anything with worth, and you can keep it and try again later if you don't win! It is entirely a matter of who sees the item during the period it is listed. If it were possible to see every available thing, you would know that! Unless you have Princess Leia's original earmuffs, signed and authenticated by Moses, no one wants to buy what your parent/spouse/new subletter is making you throw away.

We can't all be like Virginia.