Obviousness, Redux

Mitch has had a run-in with someone who appears to be a legend in his own mind, but who probably would not thrive in an Obvious Society:

Richard Bennett posts inaccurately and insultingly about me.

For an Obviousness mind bomb, compare two posts. The first is from the Home Recording Rights Coalition (linked from BoingBoing by Xeni Jardin):

How Mr. Rogers Saved the VCR
In ruling that home time-shift recording of television programming for private use was not copyright infringement, the Supreme Court relied on testimony from television producers who did not object to such home recording. One of the most prominent witnesses on this issue was Fred Rogers.

The Supreme Court wrote [1/17/84]:

” Second is the testimony of Fred Rogers, president of the corporation that produces and owns the copyright on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The program is carried by more public television stations than any other program. Its audience numbers over 3,000,000 families a day. He testified that he had absolutely no objection to home taping for noncommercial use and expressed the opinion that it is a real service to families to be able to record children’s programs and to show them at appropriate times.”

(Excerpt from Mr. Rogers’ trial testimony: ) “Some public stations, as well as commercial stations, program the ‘Neighborhood’ at hours when some children cannot use it. . . . I have always felt that with the advent of all of this new technology that allows people to tape the ‘Neighborhood’ off-the-air, and I’m speaking for the ‘Neighborhood’ because that’s what I produce, that they then become much more active in the programming of their family’s television life. Very frankly, I am opposed to people being programmed by others. My whole approach in broadcasting has always been ‘You are an important person just the way you are. You can make healthy decisions.’ Maybe I’m going on too long, but I just feel that anything that allows a person to be more active in the control of his or her life, in a healthy way, is important.”

And then we have the reaction of Mr. Bennett to the passing of Mr. Rogers:

Our long national nightmare is over
At long last:

Feb. 27, 2003 — Fred Rogers, who for more than 30 years touched the lives of children and parents as host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, died of stomach cancer Thursday at age 74.

Thank God. Now we can raise a generation of children who don’t believe each and every one is “special” even if they never do anything special. Fred Rogers’ legacy is narcissism, nothing more and nothing less. His special effects really sucked, too.

Posted by Richard Bennett at 3:03 PM |Comments (0) |TrackBack (0)

Look at me! I’m Outrageous!

The miracle of the web and the obviousness beyond is that, as in meatspace, Who we are leaks through our words, speaking so loudly no one can hear what we’re saying.*  Mr. Bennett’s web site raises narcissism to new heights—his archive is labeled Richard Bennett’s Omphalos, The navel of the blogosphere, mother of all blogs, and vainest of the vanities.

His writings come off as look-at-me ad hominem attacks on, seemingly, everything he hasn’t personally authored. This inspired me to Google the possibility of positive comments on the blog. From a search for “fine” and “excellent” on Bennett’s site, I found only 143 hits, and only a handful as expressions of the quality of other people’s work. Most were references to the many recipes on his site calling for spices to be ground “fine”. Many others were user’s comments, yielding only a dozen or so that hinted at a positive rating of another’s work.

The surprise discovery from the search was the excellent curry recipe collection on Mr. Bennett’s site—21 tempting dishes.

These kinds of statistics will be obvious and explicit someday, and will allow us to route around those who say grand things about themselves and harsh things about others. Perhaps, it’s already working. Mr. Bennett’s site notes that he’s currently interviewing, and his resumé (pdf) indicates he hasn’t worked since last year. That alone would give you a negative attitude and the time to trash busy people with a positive agenda.

2:36:09 PM    

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