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Summit Up

Summit Daily staff

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column trying to figure out if the fish knows he’s in a fishbowl.

We mentioned the other day that we got stuck fish-sitting. It’s all the fun of baby-sitting and more, since there’s no diapers. But instead of complaining about the burden of it, instead of telling you all how hard it is, and getting everybody sour at the beginning of what should be a happy week (’cause it’s a short one), we’re trying to use the experience as a positive one.

So we’re sitting here looking at the fish, flitting its little fins around inside the old decaf coffee pot (it’s not like anyone around here was using it, you know). It’s not a grim existence, as far as we can tell. There’s gravel lining the bottom. There’s a cutting from one of the office plants floating around. And the guy (we’re pretty sure this fish doesn’t even have a name) seems to be content just hanging out.

But with our metaphysical, introspective, hypercogitative tendencies, we can’t help wondering if our scaly subject even recognizes his relative confinement. This fish’s owner put him in the coffee pot after other Summit Up Staffers threatened to call Amnesty International because they thought the 10-ounce jar was way too small. They were a phone call away from getting Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Al Sharpton down here to march, protest and sing. Fishy quickly got an upgrade.

How often do humans lament about their fishbowl, though? When’s the last time you saw someone, head in hand, whisky bottle at their side, singing dirges about how they can’t seem to escape the atmosphere of the ant-farm we call Earth? Even if it does upset people, they make up comforting stories about angels and a “great beyond” they’ll get to eventually. You don’t see fish jumping off the rooftops of their little plastic castles to hasten this process.

The question, then, is if fish are happier than us. And, oh, what a hefty thing to admit if they are …

***

Congrats! to Lake Dillon Fire-Rescue’s Kim J. McDonald. We received a note saying Kim completed the National Fire Academy’s Fire/Arson Investigation course in Maryland a couple weeks ago. She’s now equipped to figure out how and where fires start, investigate it and take it to court.

Hopefully, she’ll never have to use what she’s learned, huh?

***

The gall some people have. It really is amazing.

Jamie Kellner, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting (a division of AOL/Time Warner, if you’re interested) says you have a moral obligation to watch TV commercials, according to a story in the San Jose Mercury News.

“Your contract with the network when you get the show is you’re going to watch the spots,” he says. “Otherwise you couldn’t get the show on an ad-supported basis.”

If our Corporate Double-Speak Translator is functioning properly, what he’s saying is that, because cable channels don’t want to have to beg you for money like PBS does, you better watch commercials. The read-between-the-budget-lines message is “and buy the advertised products, too.”

Kellner says people who use VCRs to tape shows and then play them back while skipping over the commercials are “particularly irresponsible.” When you don’t watch the ads, “you’re actually stealing the programming.”

Can I go to the bathroom, you ask? What if I need to take my fish for a walk, you say? Well, according to your “contract” with the networks, there’s only “a certain amount of tolerance for going to the bathroom.”

And people try to tell us TV doesn’t brainwash.

***

It’s Tuesday, unless you’re floating around in a coffee pot, in which case, what’s the difference, right?

We’re out inventing the human equivalent of food pellets …


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