The Infinite Echo

B. Thomas Cooper is a freelance journalist, photographer, blogger and historian. Topics include Political Commentary, Satire and History

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday, it’s All About the Green!

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

The holiday shopping season officially begins in earnest today, as millions of anxious shoppers spend long hours jostling for parking spaces among throngs of irritable, but willing participants in this annual ritual. Black Friday, yes, it’s tradition now. Up goes the brilliantly illuminated but obviously artificial Christmas trees, standing testament to what’s really behind this seasonal cash-letting frenzy. It’s all about the cash, my friends. Black Friday is all about the green!

Ah, tis the season. Our new plasma, wide-screen televisions are just jumping with adorable digital images of ice-skating bears, and beer bottles going for the field goal. None of it’s real of course. Not even the fat, jolly guy who get’s all the credit for what many of us will still be paying for next year at this time. The fat guy did it! I’m a victim of identity theft.

And you really feel alright about letting your three year old site on this guys lap? I’d swear, without the hat and beard, he looks like that sex offender who just moved in across the street from the comic book store. You don’t suppose?

And should Santa care who’s been naughty? Isn’t the holiday supposed to be about sharing? If we didn’t share with those who have been naughty, we would have the whole world to ourselves. Correction, you would.

List or no list, I would undoubtedly fall into the ‘naughty’ category, primarily, because I am categorically naughty. You know the bit. Sometimes, when I am angry or impatient, I speak in tongues. I go into fits, slurring and flailing about like some madman, spewing vindictive even the Bible wouldn’t repeat.

In fact I suspect a lot more people can relate than care to admit. Furthermore, I would be willing to be all the money that changes hands this holiday season, thousands, if not millions are speaking in similar tongues at this very moment, shouting, and slurring, as they drive endless circles through endless parking lots in search for a lone space, any space, in a sea of cars and humanity, all in quest of a green tinted nirvana. Black Friday, if you prefer.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

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Friday, November 16, 2007

If I Were President and Other Bad Ideas

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

If I were president…
A question pondered by many, but one that can only be answered by a select few. What would I do, you ask? Well for starters…

As president of the United States, I’d probably spend much of my time in the White House rose garden, hanging with the gardener. I would undoubtedly seek his advice on a variety of subjects, starting with perennials. I might even appoint him (or her) to the Supreme Court should the opportunity arise. (After all, it almost worked with Harriet Miers).

If I were president, I would use my executive powers to insist upon the completion of the Mount Rushmore busts, which have been left unfinished for over a half a century. (Let’s see the Taliban try to destroy these busts).

I would hire an architect to install some corners in the Oval Office. I would fire Richard Cheney, and replace him with a lawn sprinkler. Actually, I don’t think it really matters what I replace Cheney with, just as long as I replace him.

I would take cooking lessons from the White House chef, and demonstrate my exquisite taste to foreign dignitaries. I would have a Taco Bell installed next to the Lincoln Bedroom. I would stay up late at night watching Conan, and fall asleep on the couch with a mouthful of pretzels.

Come to think of it, I probably wouldn’t make the best president. Then again, who would? Some of us were simply never cut out for the roll of President of the United States, and frankly, the current administration is going to be a tough act to follow.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Online Publishing

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Welcome to the paradigm.
Publishing, as we know it, will never be the same.

With the explosion of the internet, information of all nature has become available at the touch of a finger-tip. Conversely, newspapers, magazines, and other print medium have seen a sharp decrease in circulation, as more and more households go online. For aspiring writers and journalists anxious to break into the business, it is understandable there would be uncertainly as to which team one should hitch their wagon.

The answer of course, is quite simple. Diversify. Each project should be approached individually. Just as a painter might use multiple brushes, it is reasonable to consider the various options.

Obviously, the internet provides endless opportunity for writers of all styles, with few of the stumbling blocks normally associated with an established printing house. An author can reach a large audience immediately, and can interact with readers in a way not available to print authors. However, having your work published online should not be the end all. Publishing is still a business, and as such, your writing must retain a high level of quality if you wish to be taken seriously.

As a freelance writer, I have found the internet to be artistically satisfying, but financially less appealing. A six hundred word article written for the Daily Planet usually pays in the neighborhood of fifty cents to a buck per word. Online publishers, however, often pay little if anything.

As with any endeavor, success is determined by work ethic. There is no free lunch. As such, one can only expect to receive as much as one is willing to give. Creative writing is indeed, a gift to be shared, but as with any craft, one must constantly be learning and practicing, or risk atrophy.

Enter online publishing. Think of the internet as the shallow end of the publishing pool. Jump in, get your feet wet. It’s really not so bad, once you get a feel for it. You’ll know when your ready for deeper waters.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bonfire of the Bushisms

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

For those of you somehow still unfamiliar with the president’s unique elocution, perhaps this post will assist in bringing you up to snuff. Fair warning dear readers, this stuff is as disturbing as it is funny.

So grab yourself a fresh cup of coffee, and enjoy a few Bushisms. If you find them as funny as I do, you can read a whole bunch more at:

With that having been said…
Ladlies and Gentlemums,
Let’s Rumble!

"America better beware of a candidate who is willing to stretch reality in order to win points." —George W. Bush, aboard his campaign plane, Sept. 18, 2000

"We'll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers." —George W. Bush, Houston, Texas, Sept. 6, 2000

"I'm gonna talk about the ideal world, Chris. I've read — I understand reality. If you're asking me as the president, would I understand reality, I do." —George W. Bush on abortion, MSNBC's "Hardball," May 31, 2000

"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?" —George W. Bush, Concord, N.H., Jan. 29, 2000

"I am mindful of the difference between the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of these leaders that I know the difference, and that difference is they pass the laws and I execute them." —George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2000

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." —Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

"If you don't stand for anything, you don't stand for anything! If you don't stand for something, you don't stand for anything!" —George W. Bush, Bellevue Community College, Nov. 2, 2000

"I'm not really the type to wander off and sit down and go through deep wrestling with my soul." —George W. Bush, as quoted in Vanity Fair, October 2000

"Never again in the halls of Washington, D.C., do I want to have to make explanations that I can't explain." —George W. Bush, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 31, 2000

"They said, 'You know, this issue doesn't seem to resignate with the people.' And I said, you know something? Whether it resignates or not doesn't matter to me, because I stand for doing what's the right thing, and what the right thing is hearing the voices of people who work." —George W. Bush, Portland, Ore., Oct. 31, 2000

Now then, wasn’t that fun?
It’s just such a tragic shame it’s true.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

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