Dispatches from Andyland "Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever!" — The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

May 27, 2008

Is ethnicity how one perceives themselves? Or how the world sees them?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 2:12 am

I saw an article Major changes urged in transracial adoption and although I can see the point to the changes they are suggesting, it brings up an odd question for me. If I can paraphrase the point, it is that mandating entirely color-blind adoption programs prevents adoption agencies even asking the questions of adopted parents to see if they understand the race issues that they will be bringing into a family by making it transracial. But I find it interesting that a child of mixed race needs a different sort of scrutiny if he or she went to caucasian parents vs. African American parents. Then I think of a man I know who was born from an African man and a white woman and then adopted. The report seems to be implying that he would have fit in better with African American parents. But that isn’t really the ethnicity of either of his biological parents, but one that he could perhaps fit into easier.
What that implies though is that his ethnicity in this case isn’t derived from either his biological or adopted parents, but rather something that is imposed on him from the society at large.

Has anyone tried to submit a correction to the Boston Globe? Do they respond?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 1:36 am

A few weeks back, I saw this article on Boston Globe article on Boston.com : Globe marks golden milestone. One of the things that struck me was the part that described William O. Taylor as a descendant of one of the newspaper’s founders. According to what I remember being told of Globe history, (and what they publish in their Company History link on their web site) they Taylors didn’t get involved with the paper until about a year into things. So I tried to send them a note to point out what might be an error, and figured that maybe they would publish a correction. (and if I got lucky, have correction published on Regret The Error)

I spent a while trying to figure out how to send them a correction. Boston.com has a link at the footer that says “Contact the Boston Globe”, so I gave that I try. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem easy to contact them unless you know who you want to talk to. I didn’t know what section the article was published in originally, so I wouldn’t know which department to contact, and most of them don’t have email addresses, just phone numbers. Also, no main contact point that I could tell them my problem and have them figure out who to talk to. So then I tried the menuy titled Newsroom, but besides telling me that the Editorial page is separate from what people call the “editorial content” (non-advertising) part of the paper (which
at this point just sounds to me like they’re getting annoyed at people contact the wrong editor to complain to.) They have online directory to find telephone numbers and addresses of reporters, but the writer of this article isn’t in the database.

Finally, I go back to the corrections pages on Boston.com, and notice in the left hand nav it says to contact “comments@globe.com”. I send them a note telling them what I thought their company history page contradicted the article page. And I get back: nothing. Not even an automated “thank you for writing, due to the volume blah blah blah.” Its been about two weeks now. Should I give up waiting?

Who knows, maybe I’m wrong. (Maybe one of the Taylors married one of the a Jordons and he is descended from both the Taylors and the newspaper’s founders.) Maybe the article is right and the corporate history page is wrong. Maybe the “General Taylor and his heirs grow the Boston Globe into the formidable news source it is today” is a better story than “The Eben Jordan of Jordan Marsh and his friends thought that the newspapers of the day were too lowbrow, but their “literate” newspaper failed anyway.” Maybe they just don’t care what they write anymore.

Or maybe they would have cared more about what I said if I was a subscriber. Oh well, I just missed that one. We stopped getting the paper delivered just about a month ago. After months of complaining about declining newspaper service and the obnoxiously petty responses from their customer service department. (“They have until 8AM to deliver your paper. It is only 7:45AM right now. If they don’t deliver it in the next 15 minutes, you can call us back for a credit…”) we decided we had enough. The dog wakes up a 6AM and on Sunday the person who lets him out drives down to the convenience store to pick up the paper. (but unfortunately the person more likely to be up at 6AM for the dog is probably not the one blogging at 2AM.)

It wasn’t until we called to cancel that they seemed at all interested about our delivery problems. Two weeks free sounded like a good deal until we found out that it would be two weeks of late delivery. A call from they guy in charge of the carriers, was a nice touch, but since it was after the “one last chance” and after the months of complaining I don’t know what he expected to do. And then after that, there were more calls trying to keep us from quitting. Who knows. Maybe after canceling we skewed their advertising demographics in some way they didn’t want them to go. (Michelle disagrees with that theory, saying that we aren’t in the youth demographic anymore. I say for a Globe subscriber, we probably were the youth demographic.)

I felt a little regret about finally dropping the paper. Until I saw the error in the article I mentioned above and the problems I had submitting a correction. If they can’t even get their own history right, should I expect any of the other news to be better? If I can’t get a mistake corrected, what other corrections are they ignoring?

May 11, 2008

I am scatterbrained, impatient, and generally flighty

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 9:39 pm

There was a CD that was recently released that I wanted. When I came across advertising for stores that sell CDs, I’d scan for it being on sale. I saw a copy on eBay, so I put what I really thought was a low bid on it. I figured that if it came up, great. If not, I could keep waiting. Yesterday, I was at Best Buy, getting Michelle her Mother’s Day present, and happened to see a copy. Forgetting about the ebay auction (or already discounting it as lost) I picked up a copy there too.

Of course, as soon as I brought home the copy I bought in the store, I had to rip open the package and start listening too it. I’m not even sure if I got to the second track before I had to turn it off and go do something else.

Of course, now that I have a copy (in an open package that I can return) I find out that my lowball auction offer wound up winning, and it is arriving in the mail in a few days.

Do any of my friends or family who read this have a want of a copy of The Odd Couple by Gnarls Barkley?

May 8, 2008

and I just keep thinking, “that could have been me!”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 8:55 pm

I just saw this blog post, Angela’s run-in with the po-leese and thought about all of the late nights I used to have at my old job. (and of the time that a sysadmin had to go to the office late and wound up getting robbed.)

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