Archive for February 2006

Now a Word From Our Sponsor

February 26, 2006

I was doing an errand recently, driving and listening (mindlessly) to a local talk radio station. The show was an interview with, of all things, someone who either made or analyzed advertising. To my amazement, the man enthusiastically described current trends in advertising, the moves to and from various media and where the “smart money” is today. At one point he pointed out that soon cell phones will carry ads to subsidize some of the costs of phone service. And he was happy about this! That woke me up.

How could anyone be happy about this? How could someone with a conscience be so self-satisfied with this prospect? This guy would put ads on the insides of my eyelids if he could. I had to turn off one TV station this morning when they ran the 10th commercial in a row. I spent five minutes on the next station, and saw two ads there before returning to Fox, which was either onto the next set of ads or continuing with the first. Either way, they just lost a viewer, and the sponsors lost a customer. I have to flip channels way too often on the TV and radio because of ads as it is. DVD? They start with ads now too. I don’t carry a cell phone. I don’t want hear ads on the phone. I don’t want to see ads in my mail box (it’s called junk mail for a reason). E-mail? Forget it – 90% spam. My eyelids are still ad-free, for the time being.

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What’s Wrong With the Olymipcs?

February 12, 2006

Plenty. And it’s been that way since at least 1972.

It’s only day 2, and already I’m appalled at the commentary (um… would you please let me decide for myself if a performance is appealing or not? Hum?). But lousy sports commentary is almost a sacred tradition with the Olympics. There is a problem that goes much deeper.

And that is the lack of competition. No, I don’t mean the athletes are not competitive, I mean that the sports are not competition. Any sport (and this especially includes gymnastics) where the winner is decided by a judge holding up a scorecard (who’s based the score on a smile or a haircut or a backroom deal) has no place in the Olympics, or perhaps in any international forum. That leads inexorably to Munich, 1972, and should not be given such a venue.

Now please don’t get me wrong and think that I don’t believe that gymnastics, or ice skating or ice dancing or snowboarding isn’t great and athletic and fun to watch. All of those events are fun to watch and worth good money to see. But they should not be forced into some competitive-sport mold, when they are clearly art. There may be great art and lesser art, but to decide which is better by a tenth of a point is idiotic, and as we saw with the ice skating controversy in 2002, dangerous.

So how about this. If you cannot measure it, time it, definitively score a goal or a point, can we eliminate it from the Olympics? Please?

Something Out of Balance

February 2, 2006

Judge Sam Alito became Justice Sam Alito this week, by a vote of 58 to 42. You may remember that 40 votes would have been sufficient to filibuster his appointment to the Supreme Court indefinitely, although only 25 votes could be garnered for that effort. Liberals seem in a panic over this. Money quote: With these two Robertson-Rove disciples on the Court there may well be greater losses in the decades ahead. “It’s become a contraceptive issue,” Thomas said. “You’re going to be seeing unmarried women being told that they have no access to contraception.”

To quote Dr. Evil, “Um…Riiiight.” Not to be a pessimist about this, but Roe still has 5 votes on the Supreme Court. It’s not going to go away soon, certainly not soon enough for the 1.1 million babies who will be aborted this year in the U.S. In the mean time, the 9th Circuit Court has (once again, this time along with the 2nd Circuit Court in Manhattan) has declared the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional. In other words, perfectly healthy babies two seconds from birth to perfectly healthy mothers can be (and are) legally murdered (oh – and it’s inconsequential that this happens absolutely without the father’s conscent or knowledge, by the way). This is where conservatives stand on the eve of their great political victory.

And how goes the war, if I may ask? Well, let me tell you the tale of two cartoons, cartoon A and cartoon B.
Here, my friends, are the reactions to cartoon A and to cartoon B (this is a pdf file).

(Ok, I could have labeled these “Your Brain” and “Your Brain on Leftist Dogma”, but I feel mellow tonight.)

Ultimately, I do not understand the pessimism of the left when the defeat of evil, though certain, is still so far away. I do not understand their defeatism when they are getting everything they’re asking for, especially from the press.