Thursday, January 07, 2010

If I ran the Knoxville News-Sentinel

A fellow named Scott Bishop had a letter to the editor in the Knoxville News Sentinel, lambasting the paper for referring to 2010 as the beginning of a new decade. Specifically, Scott writes:

The year 2009 was the ninth year of the decade, which will end Dec. 31.

This is not a triviality — it goes to the core of your newspaper’s job, which is largely concerned with being accurate and truthful.

It is not truthful to say that we are beginning a new decade when we are not.

Were I the owner/editor of said paper, I would respond thusly:

Dear Scott:

You're a douchebag. Anybody who takes time to argue with somebody about when a decade or a century or a millennium begins is a douchebag who's never gotten over the fact that being the smartest kid in the classroom counts for very little in the real world.

On the one hand, I'll say that the rest of us decided, that since anybody who was alive in the time of that first decade, has long since been dead (with the possible exceptions of Jesus Christ, the Kurgan and Vandal Savage), that that first decade would simply be a 9 year decade. Further, the first century? A 99-year century. They've been given their chance for 2,009 years to voice their concerns. We'll just consider it something along the lines of starting a song on the third quarter note of a measure, instead of the first.

On the second hand, I can declare that the week begins on Tuesday. Or Thursday. Or Saturday at noon. And that the year actually begins with the Spring Equinox. Or on the Opening Day of the baseball season. None of this truly means all that much. It's simply a way of keeping track of stuff, mostly so that the trains run on time and everybody knows when the new season of Wheel of Fortune starts.

As an addendum to that thought: Those calendars and years probably got screwed when we made the Julian/Gregorian transition anyway. So I'd get over it. We're due to be taken over by a calendar-changing tyrant any day now, anyway. Don't get attached.

And also, can I say that our friends the Jews and the Chinese probably don't have these kind of arguments, mostly because they've been playing with the calendar for a couple millennia more than we have. They probably decided, that in the face of a few thousand years of history, arguing about when a decade starts and ends just so we can rank our favorite Oasis albums is probably not all that important.

Look, I get it. I sat there and argued with my TV for weeks last spring, when the WWE referred to Wrestlemania 25 as the 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania. So I get the whole thing about being smarter than everybody. At the end of the day, it got me nowhere, except a sore throat for screaming at my television.

My advice to you is this: Keep it in your pants, and remember that there are always bigger douchebags than you in the world (like me) who are more than willing to write inane posts about your writings and/or deliver a Nature Boy Chop to the first person who declares themselves the arbiter and watchman of who it is that delivers truth in the world. I'll just say that if it's in your craw just how little the Knoxville News-Sentinel is dedicated to the truth, hit them where it hurts, and stop buying their paper.

Me? I enjoy it because they're kind enough to run Get Fuzzy on a daily basis. Our priorities are decidedly different, but then, I tend not to send many bitchy letters to the newspaper. Also? If you are no longer going to buy the Knoxville News-Sentinel, I want to let you know that I'll be buying two copies. For shits and giggles, and also because I tend to work the sudoku puzzle in pen, and sometimes I'm not nearly as smart as I like to pretend.

Lastly? Looking for truth in the newspapers is like looking for decency in our elected officials...if it's in there, it's purely by happenstance and not design at all. That seems to me to be your biggest mistake.

Knock it off.

Kindly get fucked,

Tommy Acuff

P.S.: I'm not sure what you're referring to with the K not meaning 1,000, but I'll say that it depends on the usage. We have got the Metric system, where K is the accepted abbreviation for Kilo.

Kilo, of course, is 1,000 or so of the accepted base measurements for volume, length and mass, etc. I'm not defending Y2K for Year 2,000 as 100% correct, but K does mean 1,000 from time to time. I would have to see what you're referring to before I smacked you in the mouth, though. I have a feeling you might be on to something there....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo and bravo.


12:12 PM  
Blogger drc said...

And this is why I love Tommy!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Newscoma said...

You make me happy.

9:20 AM  

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