Thursday, February 24, 2005

Victim #1

As promised, I've decided to sit down and go through the web pages for the Pittsburgh Mayoral candidates. This is not easy; this is going to take several minutes out of my day where I could be watching the Weather Channel or old DVDs of Red Dwarf.

I bleed for you people.

Before I get started, I've outlined some of the criteria I'm going to be using to judge these things.


(1) The "Eye Roll" factor: How long is it going to take before I read something so smarmy/sappy/self-serving/something with similar sibilance/and so on, that my eyes roll back in my head?
(2) The "Yeah, and...?" factor: How long will it take before I read an unsubstantiated claim, an appeal to an abstract concept or an unrealistic promise?
(3) The "Buzz word" factor: How long will it take before I read a mindless buzzword. At this point, I will consider the web page over and will not log any futher score.
(1) Um... The Style...
Sorry, I'm a substance guy. Seriously though, bad Web pages are like pornography: I know it when I see it.

Enough with the idle chit-chat... on to Contestant #1:


MAIN PAGE: Ah... there's Bill in his yellow tie, coifed hair, and a smile that says Hey! Has my web page given your child a seizure yet?

Seriously Bill, Bud... the flashing bit has got to go. Yellow... Blue... Yellow... Yellow... Blue... Blue... It's like Piet Mondrian's bastard child went on to design web pages. The page is dying for a circle, an oval, or an arc of some kind.

Main page is seriously devoid of content though. Good job.

ABOUT BILL PAGE: Cheers to Bill for understanding that the web is based on "Links going to other links." Jeers to Bill for linking to his City Council website. Was Bill worried that he couldn't handle the bandwidth of the, literally, dozens of people like me? Feh!

Still, because Bill threw it out there, I'm going to nit pick at his homepage:

Li'l Jonathan Soisson is cute and all doing the pledge of allegiance, and he's not making my eyes roll back in my head, so that's good. That winsome grin, however, is making me a little nauseous. Oh how I loathe him.

The Guyasuta Fellowship narrative is definitely causing some ocular action, though:
Guyasuta, the leading spirit of the Seneca Native American tribe in Western PA, was one of the most powerful chiefs of his time. Paying homage to his name, the Fellowship empowers young people to engage in public policy by providing recommendations to Pittsburgh City Council.
Young people are then given blankets laced with small pox and driven from their land.

In the narrative, he used the buzzword "empowers," which should be cause for termination. We will, however, be allowing this since he is linking to his City Council page and, technically, Bill is cheating anyway.

At least the City Council page isn't flashing.

I get the feeling that Bill's mother put every damned drawing her son did on the fridge, no matter if they were of people that looked like cookies or of cookies that looked like trees. The Press page is a bit like that and a bit like a pile of old newspaper clippings strewn about someone's studio apartment, waiting for recycling day.

Those headlines range from the mundane ("Traffic control system gets the all-clear signal"), through the self-serving ("I'm Just a Bill: The political education of Bill Peduto"), to the God awful ("Standing up for the trees so they will stand for us"). Still Bill didn't write them, so no points lost.

Special bonus feature is, of course, the movie at the bottom, which is specially designed for those hard to seizure kids.

And the "P-Signal" goes out to "P-Man" to save "P-burgh" with his "P-ness".

Wait..that's disgusting. I should quit now.

Anyway, the movie uses the trite phrases "Tough decisions," "Proven Leadership," and "New Pittsburgh"... which all have to do with something or other. I couldn't tell as I was trying to avoid swallowing my tongue.

Bill's laid out an agenda here... says so on the page, right after "New" and "Urban". Not quite sure what a "New Urban Agenda" is. Makes me think that Snoop Dog and his "fo'shizzle" have something to do with it. I wonder if Bill would be willing to pop a cap in someone's ass, 'cause you know they never found out who killed Biggie.

So after introductions, the luncheon, and the awards ceremony, let's get on to the rest of Captain P's Agenda.

(1) Do more with fewer tax dollars.
Good job. Way to go out on a limb there Billy-boy! Lord knows there are those candidates that were proposing doing MORE with MORE tax dollars and LESS with MORE tax dollars, but you've really set yourself apart there. +5 points, reduced by 10%.

(2) Streamline government services.
What exactly is Bill talking about in his "Vision"? Does Shadyside have its own zoning board? Does Squirrel Hill run the buses? Who are these "various communities" who will save "taxpayer dollars" by "eliminating government services?" Oh...Good Lord! Is Bill suggesting that we take over Mt. Oliver? Wall? Penn Hills? There's some aggressive leadership. Annex those piece of Western Pennsylvania that are naturally Pittsburgherian! McKees Rocks must capitulate in order to secure peace in our time! Deutschland Deutschland uber alles! Well done!

(3) Solve today's problems with tomorrow's technologies.
This is largely the same strategy used in the Terminator movies. Bill seems to be on the fence, however, as to whether or not he is in favor of killing Sarah Connor. Ironically enough, Bill's fate will also be to die in a vat of molten steal.

(4) Actively seek out input from all Pittsburghers.
Just what we need: MORE people with stupid ideas. Who should we talk to first, Sombrero Man or Richard Mellon Scaife? [My vote: Sombrero Man!] I've got some input: why don't we hold an orgy? That'll bring in the revenue... but only chicks... and hot ones... and me. It'll be trickle down... OK, that took an unnecessarily dirty turn.

Moving on.

(5) Encourage development throughout the city
Basically Bill is saying: "Previously, I did stuff. I will continue to do stuff... only more." This one fails the big "Yeah...and...?" test. Bill, when you got nuttin', say you got nuttin'.

(6) Preserve what makes Pittsburgh great.
And BAM! we've empowered a panel! Huzzah! Next we're going to embiggen the citizenry. All of which is exceptionally cromulent. Seriously though, Bill is proposing a policy of not knocking down buildings as a great contribution to his political strategy. Which, of course, is fine if you have people that want to rehab and live/work in these buildings... unless they deal in rocks... little, white, rocks. Rehab strategy works great in places like Friendship or Shadyside. I wonder how it will work in Larimer.

(7) Clean up our neighborhoods as we clean up government.
"Nuisance crimes will not be tolerated by the Peduto administration." Sounds like someone lost a frisbee on old man Peduto's roof. Damn kids with their "rap music" and their "small pox," don't give a damn about the blight of urban bike trails. [Speaking of which, will Bill remove the graffiti from the Eliza Furnace Trail? Or is that "Urban Expressionist Art"?]

So, Bill effectively lost at Point #6 with the Buzz word "Empowered". Sorry Bill. I let you go for "Leadership" and "Streamline," but I couldn't forgive "Empowered."

The DONATE and the VOLUNTEER PAGES have little to add, 'cept that I did volunteer to sit naked in the City-County building from the hours of 3-5 PM on weekends. Gotta stick with your strengths.

Final scores:
(1) Eye Roll: Page 3, "Proven Leadership"
(2) Yeah...and...: Page 3, "Tomorrow's Technologies"
(3) Buzzword: Page 3, "Empowered"

Flashing and blinking and blinking and flashing and flashing....

SUMMARY: "Empowering tomorrow's proven leadership through flashing technologies."

1 comment:

fester said...

The official Snoop Translator is at if it will make your evaluation of future webpages any easier or more enjoyable.

And no one should be in the city-county building on the weekends in whatever manner of dress... you should be burned at the stake, or at least grilled to Pittsburgh rare for this horrifying image.