From the Desk of the Ombudsman

John Taraborelli has been appointed ombudsman of the Dose. Yeah, I had to look up that word too…

I have been appointed ombudsman because I represent a crucial minority among Daily Dose contributors: heterosexual, non-Ivy league gentiles. Truthfully, I don’t quite understand the task. I’ve been asked to assess the quality of an essentially useless product. It’s akin to working in the quality control department at the Pet Rock factory. However, as the countless shallow, unmarked graves that pock Lincoln Woods can attest, when given a job I see it through. And so let us begin the critique.

The first thing I notice about the site these days is how long it takes to load, which proves that good things don’t necessarily come to those who wait. This problem can be attributed to the “Digg” feature of unknown purpose and provenance, which on a slower computer can actually cause the web browser to freeze up. Of course, whether your computer crashes or you’re able to quickly check out the site and read posts, the end result is time wasted.

On the day of this writing in particular, the page is loading even slower than usual due to a video about “The Pill”, a Britpop club night in Boston. “Managing Editor” Eric Smith insists on leaving this displayed prominently on the homepage, even though he can’t figure out how to turn off the autoplay function because he is apparently under the illusion that his fetish for everything gay, pasty and British has not adequately been force-fed to Dose readers. I’d like to cite approximately 68% of his posts as evidence to the contrary.

The other recent trouble with the site is that it seems to have gone a bit stagnant. The design retains all the visual panache of an Ebay auction for Hilary Duff paraphernalia. A long-promised redesign still has not materialized, due to the fact that “art director” (a great example of job title puffery if ever there was one) Tim Blankenship has been out of pocket for a couple of months now. If he’s managed to evade the Daily Dose staff it probably means he’s simply been avoiding Local 121 and any climate change symposiums at Brown.

Beyond the drab décor, there has also been a notable downturn in the number of posts per day. For a long time, Smith could be counted on to keep things moving with multiple contributions. His daily posts about what’s in the news and who’s playing at AS220 on any given night help him to further his lifelong dream of regurgitating the work of others (see also: his band the Cold War) and adding his own smug commentary. However, his output lately has been spotty, which is probably due to the grueling nature of working at a used bookstore at the end of an empty hallway in Pawtucket.

Representative Dave Segal, “The Hipster’s Robert La Follette,” does an adequate job of keeping the site humming with new posts, which is proof positive of why nothing ever gets done in government. He is at the vanguard of the political wing of Daily Dose contributors, which spans a wide political spectrum from socially progressive liberals to dyed-in-the-wool Ivy League liberals to crunchy eco-liberals to artsy, grassroots commie liberals. Largely absent from that spectrum is the once-prolific voice of the Dose’s own crusading über-yenta Ariel Werner, who used to keep the site fairly overflowing with incitements to get involved in the plight of indigenous pygmy yam farmers in the Bolivian Andes.

Our notorious Jersey Girls are still doing their part to keep Daily Dose vital with their weekly response to readers’ burning questions about their burning urinary tracts. Apparently, in this town a willingness to sleep with half the raggamuffins who stumble into the E & O on a Tuesday night qualifies you as an authority on sex and relationships. Submitting a sex question to the Jersey Girls is kind of like asking for nutritional advice from that kid in your third grade class who would eat anything for a quarter. Personally, I wouldn’t ask their advice on how to get to Atlantic City from the Garden State Parkway, but people seem to enjoy the column. As my gym teacher used to say, there’s an asshole for every toilet.

But enough of my opinions. The job of an ombudsman is to represent the public, so leave your comments below and let the editors know what you think. I’ll be back to periodically kick sand in their faces. Hey, they asked for it.

8 thoughts on “From the Desk of the Ombudsman”

  1. Now that we’ve met, it is clear to me why your gym teacher was always going on about assholes and toilets. Too bad the Ivy League passed on such a promising prospect. You might have learned something useful such as, ‘slower’ is not an adverb, instead of turf management. And you are completely confused as well — that wasn’t Ariel talking about pygmies and yams, that was the Jersey Girls.

  2. Marina Zaydes

    Johnny Tabs, you sure are brutal. I would hate to be on your shit list.

  3. Besides being a spot-on ombudsman, I hear JohnT has an excellent feature story in the June issue of Providence Monthly, hitting local news stands this week…

  4. Would this be the proper place to mention LOADED, tonight at Local 121….okay, okay forget it.

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