Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you all have a great time with your holiday trees, holiday Menorahs, holiday (whatever they use at Kwanzaa), holiday dinners, and holiday presents! Further, I hope you all have happy day-after holiday shopping day
This non-denominational message of love brought to you by Flash and the ACLU.
That headline grabbed your eye, didn’t it? Now that you’re here, I don’t think I’m going to say anything. I’m taking the ESPN road – the sensationalized headline with nothing to back it up.
Okay, I can’t take it anymore. Being ESPN sucks – I’m retiring and rejoining the Haterade Brigade. No, the Brigade doesn’t really exist. And no, Stuart Scott didn’t come up with the name. I just made it up because I’m clever like that. If you ever read or hear that phrase again, remember, you saw it here first. It’s a Flash Original.
When I was a precocious youngin, I was allowed to watch five channels without parental supervision: CNN, Discovery, Disney, PBS, and ESPN. ESPN was my father’s contribution to the tv-watching experience. My mother didn’t like the idea of it but my pop is a man of sport and there was no way I was going to be raised without a healthy dose of it in my day to day life. I quickly learned that ESPN meant all sports, all the time. A 24/7 feast of athletics.
As often as I could, I’d park myself in front of the TV to eagerly absorb every play, every tidbit, every moment. Sometimes this was trouble for I was an undersized runt with plastic cokebottle glasses. Sitting too close to the tv sometimes caused my eyes to cross.
My ocular troubles notwithstanding, I watched religiously, and when the screen faded to black for the commercial break, I had no concerns. The 30-second spots were just as enjoyable (and sometimes, moreso) as the game/match on which I’d locked my brainwaves.
Yo money, it’s gotta be the shoes!” Michael Jordan and Mars Blackmon, the lovable, high-spirited little man that watched in stunned amazement as Air soared and slammed his way into legend while wearing the Air Jordan III’s. I had seven pairs of the years, and I have that poster. It’s been on my wall since I was 8 years old. And there was Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, one of the greatest individual rivalries of all time, duking it out in pairs of Chuck Taylors.
And “Bo Knows.” You’re damn right, he knew! The poster on my wall said so. So did his bat as he rocked Rick Reuschel with a 448-foot rocket (and he still got robbed!) at his first at-bat during the 1989 All-Star game. So did his feet as he juked that overrated, Sooner fraud known as, “The Boz,” out of his knees on Monday Night Football.
I remember a maniacal Stanley, Dennis Hopper’s defrocked ref who inhaled the pungent aroma of Bruce Smith’s (shame on him for being in a Coors “twins” commercial) shoes with crazed fervor and waxed poetic on Barry Sanders’ moves with the same demented wonderment previously reserved for Colonel Kurtz.
It’s been 8 years but even now I hope the Gatorade song and dance of “Like Mike” will return to the screen… like the kids in the commercial, (cue music) sometimes I dream.. that he is me. You’ve got to see that’s how I dream to be. I dream I move. I dream I groove. Like Mike. If I could be like Mike (/music).
And then there was the Sports Center jingle; a tune that still sends me to the TV faster than Pavlov’s dog could salivate. 6:00 pm. Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann. It wasn’t about the headline, the hype, or the sick amount of played-out, hip-hop catchphrases that a glass-eyed bastard could use to describe the awesomeness that is a Vince Carter slamdunk. It was just sporting news – raw, fun, informative.
It was before Stuart Scott and his “phattest, illest plays of the week.” What was that Stu? Don’t hate the playa, hate the game? No playa, I hate you. Here’s a tip – “all that and a bag of chips” sucked when the Fresh Prince said it in ’91 and it sucks now. Remember when we could get through an hour of highlights without hearing the low-rent, sad sack impressions of Tony Montana saying ‘ello to his lil fren? When Screamin’ A. Smith wasn’t the self-proclaimed beacon of light for we troubled masses that cannot guide ourselves through the dark, infested mire that is the Kobe-Shaq feud?
Those were the days. Sure, there was Chris “rumblin, stumblin, tumblin” Berman but that was in his pre-Swami, “whoop!” days when he and Tom Jackson (one of the few good things about ESPN) were just getting their NFL ball rolling. Dan Patrick was around, too… he hadn’t yet turned into the smug, sloppy, shock-jock that pimps headlines and throws about baseless invective before slinking into the shadows when his obnoxious assertions are proved to lack merit.
ESPN has slowly degenerated into a completely subjective, high on style, low on substance piece of fecal matter. It used to be about sports the way MTV used to be about music. Now it’s all about pushing the envelope with gripping, C-grade drama – Playmakers, The Junction Boys, Season on the Brink, Hustle, and 3; it’s about smacking us around with 5 separate forums for asshat talking heads that can’t walk and chew gum at the same time but can ruthlessly jockey for soundbites every afternoon on thoroughbreds known as Uninformed Smack, Rumors & Conjecture, and Rhetorical Bullshit [Wilbon, Reali, Mariotti, I'm talking to you]; sensationalizing us with the headlines and throwing down the shock, the awe, and the drama with yellow journalistic tactics that make the National Enquirer look like amateurish clowns.
Instead of analysis, we have gameshows/reality tv. Their first attempt was “Dream Job.” The winner, a painfully witless Mike Hall, has narrative style that makes the high-pitched yap of the papillon sound like Seraphims singing from the heavens. There is also the inane “Hear/Say” that has taught me one thing: of all the contestants, the NBA ballers struggle mightily when playing ESPN’s version of the $25,000 Pyramid. Freakish, world-class athletic ability but the talent to form the most basic of word associations… not so much.
How did all of this happen? I never saw it coming. Did you? It’s like you wake up one day and realize that the icon of sports programming decided that mere coverage was no longer sufficient, defining sport was the one true goal. Perhaps I never noticed because for all the bitching and moaning I do about this channel, it remains the #1 source for my sporting news. In fact, I’m watching it right now… one of 14 SportsCenters that will be aired today and when it’s over, I bet I haven’t changed the channel. I would guess that I watch a good 90 minutes of ESPN each day and listen to another 5 hours as background noise. Christ, I’ve inadvertently seen “3,” the Dale Earnhardt biopic starring Barry Pepper, nearly four times.
I hate ESPN and yet, I can’t live without it. I would boycott but where am I gonna go? Fox Sports to watch “Best Damn?” What about Rome? On top of his radio show, I can tune in to Jim Rome Is Burning and absorb his opinions while ignoring the fact that he looks like Don Johnson meets American Gigolo circa 1987. True, he’s a self-aggrandizing Napoleon whose ignorance, delivered in clipped monotone, often borders on the pathological.
And yes, his interviews, which, he informs us, will be great before they even begin, thrive on the provocative “non question” and obvious sports cliche. But when his opinions are actually based on fact, he’s pretty spot on, and when he isn’t bashing Notre Dame, he’s the funniest guy on sports radio. But look at his competition. Mike and Mike? Tony Kornheiser? If you laugh at Tony Kornheiser’s show, then I weep for you.
ESPN is as cool as the other side of the pillow in comparison to everything else that’s out there. It’s sad but true and I don’t think there’s anything to be done. Can I get a witness? Probably not. I guess it’s just an ESPN world and I’m just a squirrel – tryin to get a nut.
I don’t watch most reality shows, at least, not the ones that show up on ABC or CBS. It’s not that I’m opposed to the networks.. it’s just that their shows reek. However an incident on The Amazing Race recently caught my eye… not enough to watch the show, mind you, but enough to base my complaints on the subjective opinions of others.
Apparently, Team Domestic Abuse, carries on like a couple of 14 year old girls coming to blows over which is better – Malibu Barbie or Skipper. Highlights include Jonathan, an LA spa owner, holding the back of his hand to his wife’s face and screaming, “Will you shut up and let me talk!” Ehhh. And there was that other time when Jonathan told Victoria, a 1996 Playboy Playmate, that his “whining is her incompetence.”
I don’t know what that means but apparently neither does Victoria because this over-tanned Dapper Dan pushed her down in a moment of schizophrenic rage. According to their blog , which was working earlier tonight but seems to have been shut down, it’s all bad editing… and even if the editing turns out to portray the beauty of their love in its true light, well, Jon just missed a few of his meds.
I did manage to swipe this picture off their site though…
It seems Victoria isn’t as pleased with her situation as Jon would have us believe. But that’s okay! She can find a better man because hey,
there’s always love for ya out there.
Old news – Rush Limbaugh admitted to an oxycontin addiction and did so having stated all the way back in 1995 that too many whites get away with drug use, abuse, and illegalities and need to be “sent up the river” with the rest of the addicts. Thanks for sacking up, Elmer Gantry. But enough with trashing the King of Moralists. If Rush can own up to his shortcomings, then so can I.
I am an addict – a television addict. Shocking, i know. But my addiction has shown me one thing in the last couple of months and it is my duty to report on it — advertainment is mind-numbingly, egregiously stale. The spots that pepper every prime time commercial break smack of the corny, unimaginative vision that only twenty-something ad execs recalling the glory days of a cat-eating alien can dare express. “Remember Alf? He was cool! Let’s use him in a spot with the most amazingly irritating former football player on earth!” “Michael Irvin**?” “No silly, Terry Bradshaw!”
Why do they force us to suffer so? It’s not right! It’s not fair! I think we, as a public, can make a case of intentional infliction of emotional distress. That could be a class action, baby. If we all team up, we’d be looking at a settlement paying out at $.83 per person! The only mitigating factors for the ad universe are the Peyton Manning commercial, the soul-filled Rubber Band man for Office Depot, Levi’s, ESPN, and a rather interesting Crown Royal commercial that fooled me into thinking I was drunk already.
But for some of you freaks out there, what’s your pleasure? Pepto Bismol takes on Immodium AD. Gastrointestinal song and dance versus squirt sufferers whose neglectful treatment of their “condition” forces them to shuffle sheepishly off-screen to void themselves rather than take advantage of their life’s first and last fortuitous situation.
There’s also the corporate sibling battle between GAP and Old Navy. Pre-menopausal Sarah Jessica Parker frolicking through a human wallpaper of spinning, dancing barely legals while she pimps scarves, striped prints, and rhinestone-studded hobo bags versus 21-and under, ethnically diverse models (plus an obnoxious little boy with a shit-eating grin) that magically appear in bakeries, stores, and closets to sing personalized Christmas carols and teach us that the true reason for the season is ensuring that the whole family can be festively clad in catchpenny, bargain-basement knits & fleece.
I think I’ve seen this premise before. A freakishly ginormous Kirstie Alley bounds out from behind couches and out of corners to traumatize and harass random homeowners until they have a nervous breakdown and buy a Pier One duvet at 20% discount. And now I hear Kirstie has a new show… my shudders continue. That said, at least the GAP features NSync’s JC Chasez in a career resurrecting rendition of Earth Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star” that leaves me quakin’ in my knickers.
But my original point to this post – why is that Elizabeth Taylor “White Diamonds” ad still playing? I remember the first time I saw Elizabeth Taylor trying to convince the masses that though getting on in years, she was still the violet-eyed vixen that could bewitch a man with her come-hither stare. I couldn’t have been more than 5 when that went on the air. I remember the first time I saw it like it was yesterday.
My siblings and I were roughhousing with my dad in the living room, and in the split-second of calm, we heard a haunting flute (or maybe a clarinet) that spawned a flowing, enchanting theme. Enter a 50-something Taylor, who strolled up to a man 30-years her junior with all the seduction and mysteriousness that few women could ever muster. “These have always brought me luck.” Elizabeth Taylor… White Diamonds. Ooooooooooooooooo. “Who’s that Papa?” “That’s Elizabeth Taylor, children. She’s an Academy Award winning actress. She was Cleopatra, Virginia Woolf, Maggie in–” “She’s old!!!”
My father paused, recognizing both our astuteness and the futility of battling with an 8, 7, 6, and 5 year old, but what else could be said? She was old. And since that night, she has continued to be old. And year after year, this commercial airs. Through cancer, through Parkinson’s, through Glllllaaaaaaaaaaaaadiatorrrrrrrrr!!!, this commercial lives on. But how?! But why?! I’m rooting for a new fragrance from the now addlebrained Liz. True, it may make one may smell like senility but hey, that’s gotta be a fun time!
**Believe it or not, I like Michael Irvin. Yes he’s loud and, from time to time, has outbursts like a crackhead having a PCP fit but if you can get past that, you can see that he’s pretty insightful and has good things to say. Rah, rah, Mr. Irvin.**
To think, the art history books and critics have been lying to us all this time!
Wings. Beer. Sports.
That bogus ESPN bowl week commercial claims that this is the most wonderful time of the year. In the words of that Mel Brooks lookin, no-talent, gasbag, Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend!” And no, I’m not going to launch into an anti-Corso tirade even though he is a pot-bellied ninny. There is but one wonderful time of the year and guess what! It occurs every single week.
The Buddhists call it nirvana; the Christians, Heaven; and for the Vikings, it is Valhalla. But for me, it’s Wing Tuesday. A veritable cornucopia of succulent delights unparalleled by any other experience one can have at any other time of the week. It is the day where BW-3′s drops the prices of their wings to 35 cents, enabling one to order 20 mouth-watering, finger-licking, hot and saucy wings for only $7. The thought of this makes me weak in the knees.
[And the Lord said, "Let there be wing," and there was wing. And the Lord saw the wing and said, "it is good."]
Every Tuesday, my crew and I make the hop, skip, and jump to B-dubs to partake in the taste sensation that is the wing. I order 20 wings in medium sauce, a basket of buffalo chips – golden-crisp, natural-cut potato slices whose taste compliments the wing, and a lot of wet naps. After picking the bones clean and unbuttoning my pants, I sit back, marinate, and decide whether I will again succumb to the wing’s siren song that night for dinner. Tonight, I think I will.
Wings are manna from heaven. They are the Lord’s food.
So weather.com says snow squalls for us here. I can’t say that I actually know what a snow squall is… I did, however, see that horribly abysmal yet extremely well cast White Squall .. replace Robin Williams with Jeff Bridges and you’ve got the Dead Poets Society of the high seas. riveting drama. life lessons. love. mmmm. But i digress. upon giving this movie further mental review, I think everybody died in the end. I hope these impending snow squalls aren’t anything like that…..
In other news.. it appears 21st Century hippies are, in fact, go for take-off:
When i was but a youngin, I had dreams of taking a VW Microbus cross-country on a whirlwind adventure of Route 66, the PCH, and every Ben & Jerry’s in between. My psychedelic rolling palace of love and I would stop off at communes for s’mores and singalongs and such. I’d ponder life, write poetry, and maybe, just maybe, get interested in the world of the ganja. but I guess that’s no longer a possibility.
But from the looks of this badboy, it’ll shoot out those tent wings and fly me to Mars, which, well, may not be so awful. I’d be taller than everyone and they’d make me their queen.