Seth Meyer has ruined Venn Diagram Humor (Not that it matters)

So, for my first foray into the post-Craig-Ferguson late-night tele-pocalypse, I thought I’d try watching Seth Meyer’s version of the Late Night show over on NBC. (Not much choice, CBS apparently gave up on guest hosts for the remaining LLS and went with reruns of “The Talk”. Talk about a late-night hellscape… but I digress.)

Anyhow, I enjoyed Seth’s work on Weekend Update, and the few bits and pieces I’ve glimpsed have seemed promising, so, what the heck, let’s give it a shot. This night he was following the standard Carson formula, in between the monologue and the first guest you do a behind-the-desk bit. His bit this night was Venn diagrams…

Okay, an easy enough premise, reveal circle one and circle two, each containing seemingly unrelated things, then reveal the intersection containing the punchline that relates the two. Okay, fine. Nevermind that this shtick is all over the Internet already, that’s okay, it’s everywhere because it works. It can be funny with the right writing.

Here’s the problem with Seth’s Venn diagrams. With almost every single one, the intersection containing the punchline wasn’t a proper intersection at all. Out of maybe a dozen or more, there were two, only two, that could be considered intersections. The rest were all supersets. Now, the bit could have been just as funny if the punchlines were presented as supersets. Funny and mathematically correct. As it was, the punchlines were funny, but their inaccuracy in the diagram was absolutely grating.

Now, please don’t misunderstand. I don’t care that Seth Meyers doesn’t understand Venn diagrams. I could care less. What bothers me is that he would attempt using Venn diagrams in bit without understanding them. If you make jokes about things you don’t understand you’re likely to get the details wrong, and that detracts from whatever humor was in the joke. Rookie mistake. I can’t believe in a whole room of writers there’s not one nerd who would catch that.

Even that shouldn’t matter, but I know me, it will. From now on, if I happen to flip over to Late Night, I’ll be like, there’s the idiot who does Venn diagrams when he knows fuck all about how they actually work, and I just can’t respect that. Sorry Seth.

So the search continues. I’m telling you guys, Netflix is looking better and better….

Vaccinate. Your. Children.

It’s not a matter of choice, or of preference, or of belief…

The simple truth is this — if you do not vaccinate your children, you are putting other people’s children at risk. Period. Other children MAY DIE, as a direct result of your action. If you have a legitimate reason to not vaccinate (immune deficiency, allergy, etc), then it is just unfortunate, but it cannot be helped. We will not hold it against you.

On the other hand, if you do not have a legitimate reason, if you are acting only out of fear, uncertainty, and doubt, or worse, out of “belief”, then you are, quite simply, a despicable human being. You can “believe” anything you like, but when your “belief” causes harm to others, it becomes a problem. The word we usually use to describe such a problem is “evil”. If you unnecessarily risk the lives of others, you are evil. That’s it, evil. It really is that simple. There is no way around that truth.

Don’t be evil.

Easy-Bake Oven

A recent discussion on kids and gender identity reminded me of an incident from my childhood.

When I was a little kid, I wanted an Easy-Bake Oven. Now, my parents were generally pretty tolerant of whatever weirdness I threw at them, but apparently this is where they drew the line. I can picture my dad saying “No son of mine is going to play with an Easy-Bake Oven.”

But…. I don’t think they “got” why I wanted it. It’s not that I wanted to play housewife, pretending I was cooking and baking in the kitchen all day. (Not that there would be anything wrong with it if I did, but that wasn’t it.) Here’s the thing: These things made REAL cakes.

Now, mom might bake a cake once in a blue moon, and I understood they were a lot of trouble to make, but they were delicious. But now, thanks to modern toy science, here was this machine, made just for kids, that could bake a little tiny cake. I could make it myself. All by myself. At any time. Think about it… I could have cake ANY TIME I WANTED. I love cake. This. Changed. Everything.

Seriously, this was a game-changer. No more waiting, no more begging mom, I could have cake whenever I wanted, thanks to this little miracle of a machine. I didn’t know exactly how it worked, but if kids could do it, how hard could it be? I was excited, downright giddy over the possibilities.

But alas, it was never to be. I never got my Easy-Bake Oven. And all because they just didn’t understand. I didn’t want to play at being a mom. I just wanted cake.

An IT Story

True story… My very first job in IT. My very first day at work. I met my team leader, a lovely woman named Mavis, my manager, whom I don’t remember, and everyone in the office, including our lead technical guy, a “Senior Engineer” named John Popp. I mention his name only because I will never forget it, because of this story.

He was an older guy (well to me then anyway), and was presented as THE go-to guy for all things technical. I don’t remember if they used the word “guru”, but you get the idea. We talked for a while in his office, but then it was time for me to actually log in to the system and start doing some real work. But, being my first day, they didn’t have an account set up for me yet. John Popp kindly volunteered to let me use his account until mine was ready. Fantastic, I was all set. Username? “johnpopp”. Great. Password? “johnpopp”. … …. ….. I was stunned for a moment. The only thought that came to mind was “Really?” but I at least had the sense not to say that out loud.

And THAT was my very first experience with the realities of the IT world. (For what it’s worth, not much has changed since then.)