Monday, March 01, 2010

Sentential Links #197

Linkage time:

:: We're in for some hard times. We need to pull in our belts, pay more taxes, demand more value for our taxes, and say no to an ideology that requires converting our health money into corporate profits. We should to raise the lowest wages, and lower the highest ones. We have to return to the saying my father quoted to me a hundred times: "A fair day's work for fair day's pay." No, I don't think everyone should be paid the same wage. If you earn a lot of money, you have a right to a lot of money. If you earn it. But when Wall Street bosses are paid millions in bonuses for bankrupting their firms, and their political tools in Congress oppose a better minimum wage, that's plain wrong. It's rotten. People who defend it with ideology are strapped to a cruel ideology. (Some of the comments are a hoot -- you have the standard conservative talking points -- "Government bad! Market good! Oooga booga!" -- and then you have the people who evidently can't tell a blog from a newspaper movie review site and therefore tell Roger Ebert that he should "go back" to reviewing movies. And of course, digging deep enough, you have my all-time favorite stupid conservative response to just about anything: "We don't live in a democracy, we live in a republic!" Fun wow.)

:: She really is the best female character in superhero comics.

:: I can just imagine men wooing their significant others with the tune to "Danny Boy": "My darling dear, the pipes, the pipes are calling." You can substitute "My darling dear" with any four syllables of affection (darling, dear, dearest, lover), including the beloved's name. Or not. (The mind will go where the mind will go.)

:: It seems like every time I tune in to watch the Olympics, instead of sports I see a couple of people sitting in comfortable chairs talking about sports and I get impatient but I don’t think that’s the whole reason. (Lynn prefers the NBC coverage to CBS's old coverage. I don't recall much about CBS, but I'm sick of NBC's approach of mixing a bit of taped this with a bit of live that, interspersed with Bob Costas sitting by the fake fireplace and conducting what are frankly some of the worst interviews I've seen in years. I'm not sure if interviewing was ever Costas's strength, but by the lights of merciful Jeebus, he's been just bad this year. His interview with Even Lycasek, in which he really really wanted to bait Lycasek into expressing anger with Evgeni Plushenko ("Let me read you another quote by Plushenko and hear what you think!") was utterly embarrassing.

Additionally, I've always loved the sense of world that the Olympics generate. NBC has undermined that by seemingly only showing medals ceremonies if the Gold winner was either the US or Canada. Those are the only anthems I heard in the entire course of the Games, and it annoyed me to no end.)

:: While there is no questioning the athleticism needed to succeed in figure skating, it's still a performance sport. Costumes and makeup play into the overall appeal of the sport. How do those figure skaters keep up their look on and off the ice? (This is a new blog. As in, really new -- only a few weeks old. I learned about it via Jennifer. The posts I looked at are about makeup, something I know nothing about, but as soon as I saw the masthead image over there -- a pic from Spirited Away -- I was intrigued. So, welcome to Blogistan!)

:: What's the point peeling broccoli stalks and stir frying bok choy if he's going to go and get himself tangled up in biopsies every eight months or so?

:: Hi. My name is Jason, and I have gout. (Ouch. I remember my father's gout attacks, and at times it was scary to see him in so much pain. Not to make light, but I also remember an episode of King of the Hill in which Bobby suffers agonizing foot pain which Hank proudly diagnoses as turf toe -- meaning his kid's an athlete at last! -- only to have it turn out to be gout because Bobby's been eating three meals a day at the new Jewish restaurant that's just opened in town.)

More next week!


Jason said...

Heh - as it so happens, I love that episode of King of the Hill. They hit so many things about gout right on the head...

Call me Paul said...

I turned on NBC last night, to get a sense of what the American coverage was saying about the games. I watched for no more than thirty seconds before Bob Costas completely pissed me off. The Canada/USA Men's hockey final had just ended (actually, it had been over for more than an hour, but I assume NBC was showing it delayed for some reason), and the one announcer was saying that it was probably the most important sporting moment ever. Costas replied, "yeah, for Canada."

As if that wasn't insulting enough, he continued: "it's almost as important as that time the Montreal Alouettes beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders for the Grey Cup." If I had been in the same room as him, I would have punched Costas in the face. What a dick!

They went on to show a series of great moments from the games. It wasn't so much that all they showed were American gold medal performances - that was to be fully expected. But they only showed American gold medal performances in which the American athlete had beaten a Canadian for the gold. They showed not one single instance of an American gold medal performance in which the silver medalist had been from any other country in the world. It was like their own private version of a Kathy Griffin quote: "suck it Canada!" Is the American psyche really so fragile that it has to resort to adolescent Canada bashing just to feel good about itself?

Mimi said...

I don't know if this change affected you, but we used to watch the Canadian coverage, which is far superior.

Unfortunately this year, CBC was not the Canadian broadcaster for the Olympics, so we missed the far better coverage.

Roger Owen Green said...

Paul- NBC is taking a lot of heat for their coverage.

Call me Paul said...

@Roger Green:

In the hindsight is 20/20 department, it's easy to say that NBC didn't show the thrilling, historic upset of Canada in men's hockey, but let's look at that with clearer eyes. First, this US team was not expected to even make the podiums, so when the broadcast decision was made, NBC believed that they were relegating a sound drubbing of the "good guys" during a meaningless game in the first round to MSNBC. Second, that evening was the original dance program which would decide the gold medal for Ice Dance competition. And, though hockey fans are a vocal lot, I guarantee you there are more figure skating fans in the USA than there are ice hockey fans. So, while, in retrospect, the decision looked a bit off (to hockey fans), in terms of pre-scheduling, it only made perfect sense.

Call me Paul said...

And, besides, it wasn't the choices of scheduling and coverage that bothered me. It was the condescening attitude the American commentators had towards Canada that ticked me off.

JS said...

How cool!!! Thanks for linking to my friend...dearest friend from High School. :)