Douglas L Perry, The Author blog

September 24, 2010

Dancing with the Stars

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 11:24 pm
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Who knew it would last 10 seasons… I thought it was doomed from day one. I simply couldn’t figure out the appeal. I mean, who wants to watch supposed stars fumble around the dance floor looking like idiots for an hour.

Well, as it turns out, lots of people.

It’s no secret that the average amount of fabric per participant is close to zero, and the quantity of silicone shaking is about the same as stored on the shelf at your local Home Depot, but that can’t be the main attraction. That’s mostly for the male viewers.

It’s probably also true that the female viewers (which I assume is most of the audience) probably enjoy some of the fantastic costumes, the crazy hairdoos, and the over the top jewelry, but that still can’t be what has kept the show going on this long.

Nope, I figured it out.

You see, Dancing with the Stars, is like a living, breathing Star magazine.

You’ve seen them at the supermarket. There is always the fantastic headline such as “Elvis has alien baby”, or “Angelina and Brad donate both kidneys to science”. Yeah, pure, unadulterated drivel….

But you see what’s appealing about these, right? These kind of stories knock the superstar off from their ivory tower. It brings them down to the readers level. After reading one of the stories the customer snickers and thinks “Ya see… they’re no better than me.”

And that’s exactly what Dancing with the Stars is all about. When the audience sees the star fumbling in practice as if they have three left feet, or storming out of the studio like a spoiled brat, they have the same reaction. “I told ya…They’re no better than me.”

September 15, 2010

Reader Comment

Filed under: Books,Writing — douglaslperry @ 7:52 pm
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I just got a message from a reader who was pretty upset. Not for my fiction book, but for one of my computer language textbooks. It wasn’t about the actual content of the book, but the way that it was printed.

By the indignant tone, it seems the reader must think that I have have a set of quill pens in a backroom where I hand print each page, carefully glue them together and give each one a final hug, before they are sent into the wild.

Let me give you a hint. I don’t do that.

What I actually did was type a bunch of characters into a word processor and emailed the files to the publisher. A little while later, I received some galley proofs, which I looked over, and waved a rubber chicken over them to bless them for publication. That was it. End of story.

I had no input on the cover image, the margins on the page, what type of paper was used, what color ink was used, what font was used, the line spacing, whether or not it was translated into Swahili first, nothing else. So to complain to me that the printing looked of inferior quality, doesn’t really help all that much. Yes, I can and will complain to my editor, but at the end of the day, I’m not really expecting that my comment will go very far. It won’t be for lack of trying, but honestly, I’m pretty far removed from where those type of decisions are made.

Given today’s economic woes, I can imagine that publishers are trying to cut costs, and maybe the quality of the printing is suffering. If so, I’m not happy about that and I will do my best to fix it, but at the moment, I’m feeling pretty powerless.

I don’t fault the consumer for complaining if the product is substandard. I would do the same. But talking to me about it is like telling a musician that his CD sounds like crap. It doesn’t really help. Once he plays the music, it’s pretty much out of his hands.

If you don’t like the quality of a book, CD, or other manufactured product you should complain, but complain to the guy with the printing press, not the artist.

September 11, 2010

When you’re right, you’re right

Filed under: Thoughts — douglaslperry @ 8:44 pm
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On the upcoming anniversary of one of the most deadly attacks on American soil, this post made me smile and nod my head. Tam always has that effect on me, but today I nodded even harder.

I have no idea why 9 years after the attack, we are just barely seeing signs of life at the site. I went to the NY Trade Center site in July and was amazed at the lack of progress. What I expected to see was a gleaming new building that epitomized the spirit of the American people after such a tragedy. Instead, I saw only the beginnings. You would think that 9 years would be plenty of time, but I guess a few people had to talk about it for a while, or 9 years or so.

September 7, 2010

Call of a Lifetime

Filed under: Books,Stories — douglaslperry @ 12:41 am
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I got to talk with a real live Hollywood Producer about my book the other night. I wrote about it here. Go check it out.

September 3, 2010

Lunchroom Posters

Filed under: Thoughts,Writing — douglaslperry @ 11:16 pm
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I crack up everytime I see one of them in a lunchroom of a company. I mean, who reads those things?

You’ve seen them. They say stuff like “watch where you’re going while traveling up or down staircases”, or “wear appropriate shoes for the type of job you do”, or “There are five classes of fire”.

OK…. the first couple sound pretty much like common sense to me.

And for the third one, I’m not quite sure what good does it do me to know that whether a grease fire is a class K, while a fire in a refrigerator is a class C. If there’s a fire, I’m pretty much grabbing the local fire extinguisher and squeezing the life out of it while pointing it in the general direction.

And if someone is choking in the cubical next to me, do you really think I’m going to take the time to run to the lunchroom to read the notice on how to do the Heimlich maneuver and run back in time to save my neighbor. Either I’ve been trained to do it and can immediately apply it, or I can call 911 and hope for the best. Any other solution is pretty much pointless.

So why are companies required to have these notices in their lunchrooms?

Pretty much to cover their asses if something bad happens to one of their employees.

Company spokesperson: “We’re sorry that Mr Smith choked to death, but we had the proper signage in our lunchroom”

The ideal solution of course would be to have people at the company who are trained to perform the appropriate safety functions, so Mr Smith gets the help he needs right away, but the last thing I would want to see is that “regulated” into being. Companies already have enough anti-business regulations to maintain, they don’t need more.

I’m just saying that the poster basically provides no value other than it allows the HR person to check off a box on a form that the proper signage is located in the proper place. No one reads it, and if an emergency situation happened where someone had to apply a technique from the poster, it’s too late. They don’t have time to figure it out.

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