Monday, February 28, 2005

Victim #2

We continue to plow headlong into the gooey caramel goodness that is the Pittsburgh's Mayoral Race by shamelessly mocking the hypertext skills and political ideals of those who wish to lead. The previous victim [Senor Bill Peduto] is found here. Now, on to Victim #2:

Bob O'Connor

I remember an old episode of "Super Chicken," where our hero saved the City of Pittsburgh from a giant head of hair. Eventually Super Chicken manages to turn the head of hair bald and it is relocated to Houston to become the Astrodome.

No, I'm not kidding... why do you ask?

Ever the Jay Ward fan, the episode's climactic battle scene is obviously being reenacted out on Bobby O's main page, as the citizens of Pittsburgh cower in fear from his massive 100ft silver main. The damned thing is bigger than the Fort Pitt Bridge, and probably better constructed.

I, for one, welcome our giant haired overlords.

Bobby actually looks really, really creepy in that main picture, sort of like that shop teacher you had in high school who drank too much. Sure, he was kinda cool and all, but he kept leering at the girls in the hall and he smelled of cheap scotch. Makes you wonder what happened to him after the police took him away for those magazines in his trunk.

Anyway, maybe Bobby's just uncomfortable because he knows that Super Chicken is on the way.

The site's MAIN PAGE says something to me. Specifically, it says "You will be reading very small print for two hours until your eyes bleed."

For those of you that don't wish to share my increasing myopia, here's the gist of The Big O's MAIN PAGE:

Son of Pittsburgh, Great City, Bankruptcy, Mismanagement, Life Experience, Relationships, Manage, Relationships, Governor Rendell, Success, Vision, Building Bridges, [Various Business Analogies], Mismanagement, Turn City Around, Business, Turn Around, That's what it's all about.
Word Counts:
Business (2)
Path (3)
Management (1)
Mismanagement (1)
Relationship (3)
Neighborhood (2)
Omphaloskepsis (0)

And just to prove that he can use a smaller, more unreadable font, Councilman Luke Ravenstahl has a side bar. I can't make it out, but I think it has something to do with Bob O'Connor. I could be wrong; it might have said Robert Conrad. I just don't know.

Bob has successfully filled his MAIN PAGE with trite cliches and vague paeans to the City, but nothing that makes me want to roll my eyes, and no pesky "issues" yet at which I may scoff. Good Job Bob.

You find out really quickly in Bob O'Connor's Biography that he is a "True Son of Pittsburgh," unlike Edmund O'Connor, the "Bastard Son of Pittsburgh and Des Moines," who was conceived after a rough night of tax increment financing and a forced congressional redistricting. Edmund, who was never recognized by his father, swore revenge and conspired with Bradford Woods and Pennsbury Village to usurp the crown and marry the Queen. Once safely on the throne, Edmund slew Bradford and Pennsbury in the tower, burying their bodies in shallow graves near the abbey. Only after Edmund's treachery was discovered by a wandering mendicant friar, was Bob presented with the proof he needed to avenge his father's death and slay his brother. And thus the winter of our discontent was made glorious summer by this "True Son of Pittsburgh".

Or so Bob's bio should have gone if it had been written by Shakespeare.

Instead, the biography runs pretty much the way you'd expect for a guy who was a VP of Operations for a restaurant chain: he "created performance audits" and "reduced natural gas consumption." Lots of business cliches: "'go-to-guy'", "putting the customer first", "relationship building", "crushing the souls of the infidels", etc. You can almost hear the thirty requests for the TPS reports.

Despite my gut feelings, I'm allowing Bob to survive for another round.

And by the way, Bob is a "True Son of Pittsburgh."

For those of you that thought political campaigns were all about who can raise the most money or who has the best hair, you are wrong. Political campaigns are about money... er... issues, which apparently is supposed to mean something to me.

Bob has four "issues," which is actually a one month's subscription if you join now.

Building Bridges
I remember building bridges in High School physics class. They were gloriously complicated balsa wood structures, with an attachment that we could hang weights from until they broke. Oh what fun we had as they shattered into dangerously pointy fragments surging towards our eyes! Granted we never learned about stress or force or any of those other critical engineering skills, which would have been useful to know in building bridges.

As I know nothing about real bridges, I'm assuming that Bob is referring to building Todd Bridges. Child stars always seem to have it hard, so good job Bob in drawing their plight to our attention.

Professional Management for Pittsburgh
Apparently, I deserve nothing less.

Professional Management sure worked well for Enron, Tyco, and WorldComm, wouldn't you say? Isn't it about time that Pittsburgh did the same?

And then Bob launches into a non sequitur about the schools. Management and schools are the key. Schools and management and ruthless efficiency. Schools, Management, ruthless efficiency, and nice hair. Those are the key.

Doing More With Less Through Cooperation
Bob promises to "promote" cooperation with Allegheny County, he doesn't actually say that he's going to cooperate. I mean, why should he, considering that Stowe Township never learned how to share and keeps hogging the good crayons.

Treating Citizens Like Our Best Customers
Does this mean that I get a free souvenir glass with every fill up? Or at least a buy one get one fee coupon with every entree? Can I super-size anything?

And he's a True Son of Pittsburgh.


At the end of all this, Bob has decided to forgo the pages and pages of text, and focus instead on one simple concept in five short lines: SEND MONEY HERE.

Bob's pictures have been getting increasingly creepy too; this one makes him look like the bran muffin just kicked in. Maybe this is his "O" Face?

Just like a True Son of Pittsburgh


So far, it's just the press release saying that (surprise, surprise) Bob is running for mayor (as if you couldn't have guessed by now). I'm pretty sure that the web designer for this site took this press release, put it in hypertext format, added the words "on the right path" and "True Son of Pittsburgh" a zillion times, spliced in a creepy picture of Bob, and called it a day. Total development time: one Episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. "No point in re-inventing the wheel," as those executives from Pappan Enterprises might say.

But it goes on, and on... so many words; so little actually said.

No mention if Bob is a True Son of Pittsburgh here, although it insinuates that Bob's niece is a third cousin twice removed from Milwaukee.


In a break from the previous pages where Bob inundated you with lines and lines of text, now it's YOUR turn to return the favor. I tried to put my master's thesis in where it said "Last Name," but apparently it wouldn't accept the 125 pages of text. Bob's going to miss out on Destruction of the Metanarrative of Linearity through HTML. His loss.

I volunteered as Mr. Bruce Wayne, of 1 Wayne Manor Lane, Gotham City, NY 00215. Mr. Wayne has volunteered to "Fight Crime for Bob."


Again, as with the CONTRIBUTE PAGE, this page is surprisingly sparse. Bob still looks creepy.

The email address looks like it goes a "Bobo Connor," which beats out both "Bozo Connor" or "Peabo Bryson" for the silliest names so far. I wonder if "Bobo Connor" is related to "Sarah Connor" and if Bobo can bring down Skynet?

Final scores:
(1) Eye Roll: None... eyes shut in quiet slumber.
(2) Yeah...and...: None... Bob needs to stake out a position before I can act all smarmy.
(3) Buzzword: None or All... I can't tell. There are so many business cliches and so much nonsensical jargon on this site that I've lost my ability to form a well reasoned opinion. None of this jargon seems to rise to the level of "Buzzword," merely crouching to the level of "triteness". Conceivably, I could have failed Bob at "On the Right Track," which is in the creepy photo on the main page, but then I wouldn't have had anything to write about. I'll let him go this time, but Bob has to write "I will not proactively empower paradigms" 500 times and also has to promise to design a new site that can't be used as a sedative.

Didn't have time to read all the text; decided to read War and Peace instead. In large print.

Bob is a True Son of Pittsburgh with the Management Experience to Build Bridges on the Right Track

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