13 January 2012

Has Anyone Else Given Up on The Daily Show?

I come and go with television in general.  I have spent portions of my life without TV at all, yet when I am sick or burnt out on work I do enjoy watching certain programs.
Over the past year I have been lucky enough to live with a wonderful person, unrelated to her wonderfulness, she also gets cable and has a dvr.
One of my guilty pleasures over the past year has been watching Jon Stewart's The Daily Show.
I enjoy the anger, sarcasim, etc. as well as Stewart's sense of humor.

Over the past month or so I have found the show becoming almost unwatchable.  This is mostly due to the coverage of the Republican primaries.  I don't dispute that the collection of candidates (as well as our current president from the other party) make for some amusing moments with their idiocy and ability to ignore what politics is "really about".  My problem is largely that The Daily Show writers seem to have forgotten that a world exists outside of the Republican party.  The Daily Republican Party might be a more appropriate title for the show over the past 30 or so days.

Of course Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and my personal hero Ron Paul*cough* (as far as contemporary American politicians go), deserve criticism and coverage of their idiocy but enough is enough, and a couple minutes a day is enough!

Essentially by spending all of the show on Republican politicians (even in a critical light) the writers of The Daily Show are sending the message that these politicians, and the broken process of pseudo democracy that exists in this country are worth devoting more time to than anything else (including the ongoing collapse of capitalism, and the occupy movement) currently happening in the US or world.

I have made this same argument about spending too much academic energy on critiquing some of the lesser points of Neoclassical economics, too much energy spent in the critique validates the existence of the object. Are these people really worth covering? The US political system is broken.  If we spend to much time on these clowns it will only encourage them.

This then is a call to The Daily Show:  Stop making these bourgeois idiots feel important by devoting all of your time to them!  I would love to start watching again.

12 January 2012

Verlander and Taco Bell: Marketing at its Best!

I wonder how much Taco Bell payed Justin Verlander to publicly announce the he ate their crap before every start in last year's Cy Young winning season?
Anyone who actually eats Taco Bell 30 plus times a summer would; best case scenario look like me, and worst case scenario be dead. 
Oh well...Product differentiation through advertising remains important in the non-neoclassical world of fast food. 

Surplus and Conditions of Existence.

The following is just a short piece that I posted in response to a common oversight by students in my current Marxian econ course. 
I figured I would share it with all of you as well.

The surplus value in the equation C+V+S=W
is necessary for capitalist growth and expansion, as many of you have written.
I want to add that there are many other conditions of existence of our modern capitalist society that are also fulfilled out of the surplus. 
Many (in fact a majority of) workers in a modern society are not productive (of surplus value).  Managers, service industry people, merchants, bankers, even myself, do not produce surplus, as we are not creating commodities (although the case could be made for education as a commodity). 
All of the value in society has to come from productive activity (by definition) and the rest of us who fulfill necessary conditions for the reproduction (and growth) of the system live off the surplus of the productive workers. To paraphrase the old man in dramatic fashion; we are the vampires of capitalism.