Monday, July 21, 2008

Andy Rooney Sucks

Ok ok, I know it's off topic. But for two weeks now I have, inexplicably, found myself watching Andy Rooney's segment at the end of 60 minutes. Basically he is a cranky old man who gets to complain about one thing at the end of each installment. And it's terrible. It made me want to start an Andy Rooney Sucks blog except that I suspect that no one else likes him either so what would be the point.

This past week he spent a few minutes complaining about one aspect of American society that you don't hear about much: the unpleasantness of airline travel. He pointed out, astutely, that it can be a hassle when planes are delayed! and that even when they are on time it is often uncomfortable on the plane! Ha ha, good one, Andy!

But that was the better of the two segments I saw. Last week he complained that milk does not taste as good as when he was a boy.

Click the screen cap for the video, if you really want.


  1. Part of me wants to believe that segment was a subtle performance art piece satirizing people who are nostalgic for a time that never really existed. And maybe that, along with what remains of his legacy and journalistic credibility, is why segments like that are still on the air. It also stands to mention that an old man ranting about how things were different in his day, yes they were, fills up a good three minutes or so of air time? But honestly, what's the point of that? If they wanted to go for it, 60 minutes could have done some actual journalism and scrapped together a piece on the reasons why there are so many brands and types of milk at the supermarket, why packaging is so flashy, why preservatives are key ingredients, and why typical dairy farms have given way to postindustrial factory farms. But instead of an expose of how capitalism and mass-production has influenced the foods that we think of as simple and untouched, they present an old man's ramblings as an editorial piece. Just look at the anchor introducing it and her self-indulgent smile of "isn't he just adorable? We let him do that because it makes him feel special." This is the kind of thing you see in small town newspapers next to an article on the success of the church car wash, not national news.
    P.S. - Carl, I enjoy the blog. And pardon my verbosity, I just hate this sort of bullshit filler that is done precisely because it's easier than doing research and actually trying to educate the populace. But I like the site, as I do your normal dealins'.

  2. While I don't think your theory-of-andy-rooney-as-intentional-satire is correct, it is something I am going to have to think about. If I imagine him as trying to be as cranky as possible, it might be entertaining. Maybe if I imagine John McCain's face superimposed over Mr. Rooney.

    I do think 60 minutes does very good journalism otherwise (at least compared to other things on television) so I won't complain too much but, yeah, you do wonder if the people who introduce him are going "god, gotta do the andy rooney shit again, when is he going to just die already."

    Today's segment was very similar to the milk one - he was complaining about funny chemicals in his food that he didn't recognize. "Why does this jello say 'lemon flavor' when it's really chemical flavor? Why, there's no lemon in it at all!" THANKS ANDY. YOU'RE STUPID. Why can he not accept that some chemicals are very important for food and just because they have long names doesn't make them Shady.

  3. First he complains that a 38% fat reduction isn't enough to make the milk reduced. Then he whines about the grammar of "skim milk." Then he grouches that his FATFREE half-and-half isn't actually half-and-half. No shit? And it does have something to do with something as good as milk? Look at the first two ingredients, "nonfat milk, milk." And do you know why they call it "whole milk?" Because they want to make it clear that it's not any other kind of milk, the same reason you called it "3.2 percent."

    Dammit, Rooney.