Friday, August 31, 2007

YouTube Friday- Bunnicula edition

I was thinking about demented bunnies today so here they are.

In case you do not know the movies the first is Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail and the second one is Donnie Darko. These are both awesome movies, obviously very different movie, but both are great. If you do not know either of them, check them out. Finally, the Bunnicula reference is to these books.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Now this is funny

I first saw this clip on Mock, Paper, Scissors, so I am sure everyone reading this has seen it to, but just in case here it is, the South Carolina contestant on Miss Teen America.

Now of course, we need to see her when she is under real pressure like calling 911, so someone graciously has a clip of that as well.

I'm a Mog

I have had this scene in my mind the whole day so here it is. I hope you enjoy it as much I do.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

WTP: Lance Briggs edition

I am not sure how many of you follow sports at all, as I have mentioned I love sports and so I do watch ESPN's Mike and Mike every morning and every once in a while there is a sports story that I want to talk about here. I was going to talk about Michael Vick, but I felt many others had said what I wanted to say and much better than I could have said it. But the recent story about the Chicago football player, Lance Briggs, was a story that I wanted to briefly mention. Apparently, early Tuesday at about 2 AM, Briggs was driving his brand new Lamborghini and crashed along a highway. He then fled the scene and the police found the car and Briggs hours later when it was too late to test for substances in his system. I do not want to dwell on whether he was drinking and driving because, well, he probably was, but maybe not, we will probably never know for sure since it was too late to perform a Breathalyzer by the time he was found. What I wanted to mention was the press conference that he gave. he said that he panicked and that is why he fled. Ok so I can buy that, he is out late at least speeding if not intoxicated and he loses control of his car, he panics and calls a friend to come and get him. I am not saying this is right, but he was fined for leaving the scene of a crime and I guess it is understandable to panic in that situation. But what comes next is the part that I am like, what the poop? Briggs goes on to say that after the crash, he calls a tow truck and then calls 911 to report his car stolen. He then says, "I called back [the police] and accepted responsibility for what I did because it was ridiculous in the first place." The Chicago police do say they have a call from Briggs at 4 AM after they initially said he had not called till between 8 and 9 AM, but there is no report of Briggs saying his car was stolen.

So, what did Briggs say to the police? And why does Briggs say that he reported the car stolen and then reneges and decides to take responsibility when apparently he never reported it stolen. This makes no sense to me and is yet again a case of a professional athlete who screws up with very few consequences. Now I am not sure what can be done, they are grown ups so there cannot feasibly be a curfew, but maybe that is what is needed. There is no proof, yet, that he was drinking, heck the traffic citations he received were for failure to report an accident immediately and improper lane usage in addition to the leaving the scene of an accident charge, which is a misdemeanor. If I were the Bears team owner or Head Coach, I would be really pissed as this is yet another incident where a player does something which then provides negative publicity and right now the NFL does not need anymore negative publicity, after Michael Vick and Pacman Jones.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

What we are telling our children-part 2

So I had already thought of the Disney post earlier, but I saw this and decided that it was a nice complement to the other post. At rest time we have stories for the children to listen to as they fall asleep and one of the ways for telling stories is this website This is a great site for stories for children as it has a lot of them and the storyteller has a great British accent (I know many of the people who check this out either have no children or their children are too old for bedtime stories, but just in case some with a young child sees this, I really like this site). Anyway, I put on Little Red Riding Hood for the children to listen to and noticed a little note that they were telling the original version by Charles Perrault. I found this interesting as in this version Little Red Riding Hood is eaten by the wolf. There is no rescuer, no woodsman and no safety for Red. So the moral of this story should be, not to talk to strangers and this is generally the accepted moral. But apparently as the authors on put it,

When Andrew Lang published this tale in the Blue Fairy Book of 1889 he added these thoughts:

( Moral: Children, especially attractive, well bred young ladies, should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf. I say “wolf,” but there are various kinds of wolves. There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all. )

This got me thinking about two things, first how different fairy tales are in the original and how we continue to use that same blame the female mentality. The authors as storynory give us the opportunity to examine and compare the Perrault version and the Brothers Grimm version. Honestly, both are much more gruesome than the versions I am familiar with which reminded me of this post that I had done earlier. We have sanitized these stories so much we forget what the original stories said and that they were more macabre than much of the stories we tell our children today. I am also reminded that many of the fairy tales we now tell were written more for adults than for children.

Secondly, it has been over 100 years since Andrew Lang wrote that moral to Little Red Riding Hood and yet we continue to have those same thoughts and place that same blame on the females when they are assaulted by men. We still say that women who are attractive...provide dinner for the "wolf". We blame women when they are raped or sexually assaulted. We say that they must have done something wrong, did they dress too provocatively, were they flirting, when they said "no" they meant "yes". We blame them for what happens and don't blame the wolf. It may have been over 100 years, but I am not sure times have changed that much.

What we are telling our children-part 1

I was sitting listening to one of the little girls in my class talk about how much she loves princess. She was wearing a princess shirt, her whole room is "in princess", she even has a princess car. Several of the other little girls started talking about all the princesses stuff they had as well. Of course all of them were talking about the Disney princesses and I thought back to this video that Manila Ryce had done on YouTube and I saw when it was linked last night at the BG Salon.

And that got me thinking abut the messages that society sends to our children, especially our little girls
1. They are little princess which of course means they have to be dainty and "ladylike".
2. They have to look a certain way which is super skinny and white. Now granted there are some of the princess or Disney females which are supposed to be another ethnicity such as Jasmine in Aladdin who is supposed to be Arabic, but really don't they all look the same except maybe a bit darker skin? But the skin is also never too dark it it?
3. They are weak and men have to be there to save them and in many cases their lives are controlled by the men such as Jasmine, again, who Aladdin as the song goes, has to show her the world. She is not able to discover anything or think without being told what to think and what to see.
4. They have to dress a certain way and that is either very scantily like Jasmine or the little mermaid or in long dresses and what would be considered very feminine such as Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty.
5. Also, they have to ensnare the men as the men are not intelligent enough, I think of the Jungle Book here, where although there is only really one female character and she is right at the end, the little "man village" girl that Mowgli sees and is so entranced by and that is when he decides that he will go back to the village.

I am sure if I continued to think about this, I could come up with many many more stereotypes that are perpetuated by the Disney princess (some of these will be addressed in part two). Now I worry, of course, about the little girls and their self perception, but I also worry about the little boys. We have begun to tell the little girls that they can be anything they want to be, that they can grow up to be strong individuals and as they get older that they can be independent. I don't believe we do a very good job of reversing the damage that we do in the beginning by inundating the little girls with these images, but at least we do something. We, as a society, do nothing for the little boys. We do not tell them that this is not how we should expect women to act. We do not tell them that little girls are not helpless. We do not tell our boys that women can be strong and independent. We do not tell our boys that women can think for themselves and that we as men need to allow and encourage the women around us to be their own person. This leads to men who are confused when they grow up and the women do not reflect what they saw in the movies growing up. This leads to men who expect women to need to be rescued. This leads to men who feel that women need to be controlled. This leads to men who see women as merely objects for them.

I know there are plenty of women out there who I am sure help their male children to break through much of the misogynistic bullshit ( I am thinking of my mother for one), but is this enough? Are we able to help children to get beyond what Uncle Walt tells us and become the generation who increases equality across all lines whether they are gender, race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation?

Monday, August 27, 2007

The life of a dog owner

So driving home from work today, I was thinking about what I was going to blog about tonight. Would it be the guilty plea of Vick, or the resignation of Gonzalez or maybe I would see or hear something else that would spark my interest? But when I walked in the door, I knew that tonight was a post about my dog. What did you do, you might ask? He ruined my dinner is all. I had taken out a pack of corn tortillas that I had in the freezer from the last time I went to Trader Joes (I only go there about once a month as I like the other stores that I go to, but they have good tortillas, both flour and corn, and they have pizza dough so that I can make pizza without having to make the dough from hand) so that the tortillas would defrost and I could at them with my black beans and rice that I was going to make. I was actually going to cut them up and make nachos chips out of the tortillas, an easy cheat to make homemade nachos. Anyway, he had eaten the whole package of 12 tortillas. I thought that I had put them up on the counter enough that he could not reach them, but honestly I didn't really think about it when I put them out. I have put other things out and he has never eaten them before, although I know I have to be careful with things I put in the trash so that he does not fish out the leftovers. So he ate the whole package, but of course he left the plastic wrapper. And how smart s this dog, he did not even rip much of the packaging, he ripped where the zip lock is and then ate the tortillas without ripping the rest of the packaging. If he had not left the bag on the carpet and put it back on the counter, I would not have know for an even longer period of time and may have even given him a second dinner, since he ate 12 tortillas, I figure that is his dinner for tonight and he doesn't even seem to be complaining. Normally after our evening walk, he goes right to where the food is kept and wants to be fed and stands there till I feed him, but not tonight. After I sat down, he just laid down too, I guess the tortillas were enough for him. So, I have two tortillas that were in the refrigerator that I guess I will just have to eat and not make the nacho chips

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Why the big four TV stations suck

ABC is putting out a new show this fall called Big Shots. It is, as far as I can tell, Desperate Housewives with men. It is about four executives and their problems.

So basically it is sexist, homophobic and unintelligent. There is a line at the end of the trailer shown above, where the character played by Dylan McDermit says, "Men, we are the new women." Now what is that supposed to mean? I guess it is supposed to mean that women have all the power now or that men are so stupid that women can easily play us. As a man, both of these interpretations annoy me. They are both so blatantly false that I don't understand why this is thought to be funny. I would think about getting rid of my cable if I didn't like sports so much. I love to watch football, hockey, college basketball, tennis and most any other sport. But that really isn't enough for me to have cable, it is also because there are shows once I get beyond the big four TV stations, that I do enjoy and think are worth watching. Shows on BBC America like Hex, Robin Hood and a new show I just started watching Jekyll. I like Food Network especially Alton Brown on both Good Eats and Feasting on Asphalt. At times CNN has shows worth watching. I love watching Boomerang for the classic cartoons like Johnny Quest, Loony Tunes and the multitude of '70s and'80s cartoons that were all basically the same, but still so entertaining (Smurfs and Snorks or Jabber Jaw as a take off on Scooby Doo). There are others shows and sometimes you can catch a good movie on TV such as Karate Kid which was on this morning.

So why do the basic four cable stations suck so badly? It is simple, they are all trying to copy each other rather than trying to find new and interesting programming. They also take the same stupid concept and beat it into the ground sometimes even copying the same idea that they have on their own network for example Desperate Housewives and Big Shots. I never watched Desperate Housewives, but shows like Dallas and other night time soap operas have always had a bit of a place on prime time TV, so the initial concept may not have been totally a bad idea, but just taking the same storylines and using men instead just seems lazy and pointless to me. I would guess that the success of shows like the Sopranos, Sex in the City and Entourage are fodder for the big four as well. They are trying to compete with networks that can truly push the envelope and use sex and swearing and show an idealized reality, but a version of reality nonetheless. ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox cannot get away with the same things due to the censors, so they have to try and push the envelope in tamer ways while still trying to titillate those same interests.

There is also a move toward mediocrity as there are more channels for people to choose to watch. It is almost as though the big four are trying to catch lightning in a jar, they find one show that sort of works and than hope that the fans that watch that show will follow the network to other shows just like it. The move toward mediocrity as encompassed Fox. Fox used to be at least somewhat cutting edge, when they had shows like In Living Color, the Simpsons, Married with Children and Greg the Bunny. These shows pushed the bounds of what was acceptable on TV and so Fox got this bad boy image, but they too have now become just like everybody else. If I could get a TV package that got rid of the big four and maybe substituted HBO and Showtime, I think I would do it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Youtube Fridays

Ok so I admit I am stealing this from Konagod's site, but I laughed so hard when I saw it on Tuesday I knew that I was going to have to post it today.

Here is another routine, his famous football routine. Ok so I had never seen it before, but apparently it is famous and it is funny that I can attest to.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gratuitous Irene Bedard photos

These are gratuitous Irene Bedard photos. I saw a picture of her over at Dr. Monkerstein and decided that I wanted to post some totally gratuitous pictures of her.

My mom is haute

I saw that on a T-shirt of a five year old girl who is in my class and I loved it instantly. Yes, I know we are using a five year old to make sexual comments, something that I guess could be considered inappropriate. I still loved this shirt. I thought it was so great on several levels. One, the mother is attractive, but yet I can totally going out with the mom and dad to get a beer and having a lot of fun. And so they just seem like a cool couple. Second, the word haute definately is a good way of describing this mother. I couldn't remember who made the shirt, but I just found it and it is a Christine Price. It is part of their Haute Mom collection which also sells tees for adults as well. The shirt also had a little pink ribbon on the back so I am assuming that the proceeds for at least this shirt benefit Cancer Research as well, which is cool in my book. Finally, how many people are really going to get this shirt, are they really going to know how to pronounce "haute" or know what it means?

This ties in at least in my thinking to an interview that was on NPR today. Now as a disclaimer I only heard like 10 minutes of the beginning of the interview, but I found the book online so I have looked at that as well. Wendy Shalit wrote "Girls gone Mild" as a follow up to an earlier book about how many young women are becoming more modest in their dress and attitudes. She emphasizes that this is a good thing, but that the pressures for children, like young children, to become sexual beings is overwhelming. Wendy talks of young women who do not want to be open about their sex lives with their parents and that their parents then condemn these women. She also seems to believe, at least to my understanding, that there is a growing number of women who are virgins in to their late twenties and even thirties. This book is of course hailed by the Conservatives as the best book ever. My issue is not with really anything she says, that we do pressure little girls to be too sexual too early and that you should wait till you are older to have sex rather than 13, but... My issue is with the conflicting information, according to many Conservatives, it would seem that everyone is having sex and that there are a select few that are so pure that they can wait and yet Shalit talks about a growing movement toward this more modest desire. She also blames much of this on a generational gap, that baby boomer parents who lived through the '60s and the sexual liberation movement some how push their children to have sex at an earlier age and that their children are now rebelling.

Maybe I am wrong, but it would seem to be that an over generalization of parents is dangerous and likely wrong. I do not know too many parents who are encouraging their teenage daughters to have sex. I am sure there are parents who want their daughters to be safe and hence help provide birth control and also talk to their daughters about sex and the dangers. I know I know, this is of course encouraging these women to have sex, I mean really why would you discuss sex if you didn't secretly want you child to have sex and get pregnant at 14. It wouldn't be because you are trying to make sure you child is safe if they are having sex. It wouldn't be because you feel that by having an open relationship with your child you might be able to discourage them from having sex. Nope, of course not it is because you want your child to have sex. And remember people since this is of course the non-Christians or not good Christians who are having sex and getting pregnant than of course these people will just tell their daughter to have an abortion as all people who are pro-choice are baby killers.

I found this t-shirt on her website, WTF

I actually do think you are emotionally repressed if you are so worried about what other people think of you that you have to wear this t-shirt.

Really isn't modesty what Islam is preaching when they make women wear a burqa so maybe we should just have all women wear a burqa to prove their modesty. I am all for letting people wear what they are comfortable wearing, so if you want to wear more modest clothing more power to you, but condemning people because of clothing choices just seems immature and wrong to me.

Finally, why is that we focus so much on women in this dynamic. Somehow, men are not expected to be modest. We are expected to want to have sex 24/7 and women are supposed to be the sensible ones who are able to control their own and men's libidos as well. I know that the pressure is placed on little girls with the belly shirts and the bikinis and such, but shouldn't we as a society try to tackle these issues. This seems to herald a time when women wore "more practical" clothing and stayed at home. It also heralds a time when women were not supposed to be sexual beings and that men had to bring it out of them. This thinking is still very true today, where women are not supposed to have sexual thoughts and men have to bribe, cajole and threaten women to get them to want to have sex. I just think that the more we become prudish about sex the more people are going to try and figure out ways to do it and have sex on the sly because they are not supposed to.

I am not sure that post was totally coherent to anyone other than me and for that I sort of apologize. Also, I am not sure why again I am on a bit of a soap box about women and clothing issues, anyway...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Random thoughts

This post is just a lot of random thoughts that I have had recently.

1. I was typing the word "non-sequitor" for my post on The Manchurian Candidate and the spellchecker thingie does not recognize the word sequitor. I thought maybe I had spelled it wrong so I checked in the dictionary and I had spelled it OK. I just don't understand, I guess there is no word "sequitor", but with the prefix "non-" shouldn't that make it OK. Yet another weakness with letting a machine think for you.

2. I lost some tomatoes between picking them up at Earth Fare and getting home. I swear I had them in my cart and I was excited because they were local tomatoes too, but on Monday night when i went to look for them I couldn't find them (I had shopped on Sunday). I thought maybe they were in the back of the car, but they weren't there either. I threw away the receipt, so I am not even sure if they were paid for or not. Which meant Tuesday night when I was craving a tomato sandwich, I had to drive to the local grocery chain just down the road and get some tomatoes, which leads me to my next thought.

3. I am trying to decide whether my recent grocery shopping trips are really worth it. I have begun to go 7 miles up the road to the state farmers market and then drive probably about 20 miles in the other direction to go to the Earth Fare and then drive 11 miles back home. That seems to be a lot of driving to get food, when there is a local grocery chain about a mile from my house. Now the farmers market I can easily justify with the fact that it is local produce, bread and milk, eggs, and butter, although I haven't actually gotten eggs or butter or milk at the farmers market, I easily could. So then I could just go to Harris Teeter and get anything else I might need like pasta, fish, ice cream, ya know the essentials. But I go to Earth Fare and get organic stuff, which I prefere for a multitude of reasons, but if I really using more gas and energy and ultimately carbon load than I am saving by going to Earth Fare. I think I could probably get much of the organic stuff in the local grocery store. I wouldn't be able to get some of the vegetarian stuff in the local chain, but since I don't really eat a lot of veggie stuff, I am not sure it is worth it. All this came up because while I was getting the tomatoes last night I got some milk that is from a local dairy farm at the local chain. I just looked up the dairy farm and they are a family run farm that doesn't use synthetic hormones, just the kind of place I want to support. I am sure I can get local milk at Earth Fare, but am I really saving anything with the extra mileage that I am driving? The reason I got milk was because I had gotten cookies at Earth fare, which brings me to my next point.

4. The cookies at Earth Fare were those just pop them in the oven and they are done in 12 minutes variety, I do like making cookies from scratch but they caught my eye so I got them. But they were only 70% organic, so I was trying to figure out what was not organic. I got the chocolate chocolate chip, mmmmmmm, and the chocolate chip were also 70% organic, but the sugar cookies were 100% organic so I am guessing the chocolate, just thought that was interesting and wondered why they could not do organic chocolate.

5. I had my first trolls on the last post that was the meme thing. The first one said "Harry Potter sucks, and so do you." The second one said nice weblog, here check out these two.". Ok on the first one, if a troll wants to criticize me and disagree fine and I will leave it, but just on that meme and that stupid, I delete you, now what. As to the second one, yeah if you use weblog, I will not take you seriously and will not check out anything you suggest, so you two get deleted.

Well that is all for now, I will return with more random thoughts and maybe some coherent ones too.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ya got me...DCup

So DCup tagged me with this thing that I have seen other places that is a meme of fours.

Four jobs I've had or currently have in my life:
  • Preschool teacher (have been one for the past 2+ years)
  • Lifeguard (this is how I made money throughout high school)
  • Swim Instructor (I did with the lifeguarding in high school and then again for several months this past year. I love teaching swimming and if I could I would do this as a living.)
  • Mentor Coordinator (I worked for Americorps* for two years in DE with a project to provide mentors to children who needed them.)
Four countries I have visited:
  • The U.S.
  • Mexico (I went for nine days after my senior year in HS.)
  • I have not gone anywhere else, but I want to go to Costa Rica, Ireland, Japan, Thailand, China, Belize, Canada (Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa), South Africa among probably anywhere else that anyone is willing to pay for me to go to
Four Places I'd rather be right now:
  • Well anywhere I listed as where I want to visit
  • Seattle (I went last year and want to visit the Northwest again)
  • New Orleans (I have wanted to visit for a while.)
  • On a road trip across I-40 (I have dreamed of this trip for a while as well, maybe one day when I have plenty of money and can afford to take two weeks off from work I will make it happen)
Four Foods I like to eat:
  • Homemade Mac and Cheese (I can't do the blue box stuff since I started making it myself and it is good. Speaking of, I made some last night with ingredients from Earth Fare, so organic milk, organic macaroni and cheese that had no rBGH.)
  • Fried Catfish and hushpuppies (They do not have to be together, I love them separately as well, but when they are together with a glass of sweet tea that may be Heaven in my book)
  • Luchen Kugel (If you are not Jewish, this is a sweet noodle pudding that is possibly my favorite Jewish food ever, here is a recipe. This is not the recipe I use, I do not use sour cream and substitute apricot nectar for the preserves and have a crispy topping, but at least it will give you an idea.)
  • Matzo Ball Soup (Again a Jewish thing, I even used a veggie broth last time rather than chicken broth, it was not the same but cut down on the fat and calories)
This question may be the essence of me, Jewish with an adopted Southern thing.

Four personal heroes, past or present:
  • My paternal grandfather who was a minister during the '50s and was run out of a town in Illinois for voicing the opinion that blacks and whites should be treated the same at a baccalaureate. He continued to fight for civil rights in his own ways.
  • My maternal grandfather who came over from the Ukraine as a child and continued to follow his faith, Judaism, until the cancer that eventually took him prevented him from going to synagogue.
  • Mahatma Gandhi for leading a revolution using non-violent means.
  • I don't know if I can come with another person, I admire. I could name a lot of people I am interested in, such as Che Guevara, Ceasar Chavez, or Abraham Joshua Heshel, but I am not sure I admire any of them as I do not have enough information to make that judgement.
Four books you have just read or are currently reading:
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (I really liked this book and was happy with the ending of this series.)
  • The Wind's Twelve Quarters by Ursula La Guin (I have just started reading the short stories in this book, but they are interesting.)
  • Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (Such an interesting and great book)
  • Cesar's Way by Cesar Milan (A dog psychology book that my mom sent me after the little incident with Logan and the neighbors dog and mine attacking hers. I really like and agree with Cesar most of the time, so this was an interesting book for me.)
I love to read so if you have any other suggestions for me, then please just put them in comments. I found by the Le Guin book and the Dunn book from reading other people thoughts on books on their blogs.

So now I have to tag four others, and here you are:
Mathman (because well someone other than your wife has to tag you and I am interested in your answers)
Whiskey Marie
Comrade Kevin
Ok so I can't think of anyone else to tag as I think I have seen this on everyone else's blog that I have read lately, so if you want to answer them again, please do and if not, then I guess I have failed in my obligations to name four other bloggers.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Movie Review/commentary-The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

This is an incredible film. I watched the original movie and was amazed at how good it is. I did look up the update that was done in 2004 and after watching the original have absolutely no interest in seeing the update, it seems so distant and contrived versus the original from what I have read that why was it even created. The original could have bee re-done in basically the same way maybe using a different war than Korea, but the same thing and it may make sense. Anyway, on to more of a review. Angela Lansbury is incredible as the mother. I really only know her from Murder, She Wrote and as the voice of the teacup in Disney's Beauty and the Beast and this was such a different role fro her that it really was a bit of a surprise. On the Special Edition DVD that I watched, there is an interview with Lansbury about how different this role is for her compared with so many other roles she has done and she does acknowledge the difference. This is, again, a women who is a total bitch in the truest sense of the word as I described Nurse Ratched in my previous review of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. She is so controlling and devious that you never are able to fully understand her motivations even at the end of the movie. But she looks the same 45 years later as she did when she did that film, with only the hairstyle changing. We talk people who never seem to age and she is definitely one of them. Frank Sinatra is awesome as the tortured and yet somehow very lucid major. His scenes with Janet Leigh are so very good. The two of them are able to interact and play off of each other so perfectly, you really believe that they truly had a relationship in this movie. I especially love the scene on the train with this exchange:

Leigh: Maryland is such a beautiful state.
Sinatra: We are in Delaware.
Leigh: I know, but Maryland is still such a beautiful state.

I continues from there with these seeming non sequiturs which creates a great interchange. Lawrence Harvey who plays Shaw does a fabulous job of playing man who has two different facets to his being. When he does become entranced, he indicates a difference with not much more than facial expression and voice tone and yet it is instantly recognizable. So if you have not seen this, than see it. If you have seen it already, than see it again.

That was the end of the review, now for a brief commentary. It is interesting that even after over 40 years, it still seems to be perceived that the Chinese are the primary threat to America's way of life and world dominance. In this movie, there is a Russian element as those were the largest Communist countries at that time, but it seems so much more focused on the Chinese or maybe that is my perception. This perception of the fear of the Chinese still seems to permeate our country. We are still afraid of their size, military possibilities and at this point consumer abilities. They are still the largest Communist country and are moving closer toward Western style market economy even if the government is not changing toward democracy and yet we still fear that the Chinese will at some point launch a military attack on the U.S. and we will become Communists. I know we are also afraid of the Arabs too, but we really don't think we will become Muslims, just that they threaten our existence in some way. They threaten our democracy and hate us because we are free. This makes no sense to me, but that is a whole 'nother post. Back to China, I also look at Firefly and Serenity which, are awesome by the way, in this universe Joss Wheden posits that the Chinese will become a superpower and that at some point the only cultures left will be the American and the Chinese cultures, so again we are pointing out the might of the Chinese culture. Although I do not think Whedon fears the Chinese, he does seem to point out that they are a large country who could wield real power on the international stage.

Finally, when Angela Lansbury's character says, "We will make Marshall Law look like anarchy" toward the end of the movie about what will happen when she and her husband take over the presidency, I couldn't help, but see Dick Cheney saying that to Bush. Cheney really is the puppet master, Angela Lansbury's character, to Buch. In fact the Iselin couple really do mirror Bush and Cheney with Cheney being the puppet master looking for absolute power through control of another person. While Bush is Senator Iselin, the slightly buffoonish, naive character who allows someone else to tell them what to say and do at all times.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Work meetings

I had a new faculty orientation today and boy did it suck. First, it was on a Saturday. Second, it was all day from 8-4:30. Third, it was on a Saturday and all day so I basically lost the day and couldn't do my grocery shopping on Saturdays like I want to. Fourth, why are there always that one or two people who have to ask all of the stupid questions. They always ask questions during all of the sessions, but they also save up all their questions for the end, where it takes an extra half hour or more for this person to just shut up. I didn't have anything to do after I was done with this training, but that was the entire point. I was ready to go home after lunch and yes they did feed us, but still... But I had to sit through another 3.5 hours. It was annoying and most of it was stupid, most of it could have been have been condensed down to half the time. Why, why, why do we put ourselves through this shit for and why does it always take so long?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Liam Sullivan aka Kelly

VH1 has this new great show called I hate my 30's. I find it very funny especially as I near my 30s. Anyway. Liam Sullivan otherwise known as Kelly of the video "Shoes" fame is on it. Well next week he is going to appear as Kelly, this is very exciting if you love the video for "Shoes" or anther Kelly creation. If you have not seen "Shoes" and I am not sure if there really is anyone who hasn't here it is:

Here is also the song that they will be doing on the show next week, I think.

Just in case you are interested the show is on Thursday nights at 9.

YouTube Fridays

This first one is from Post Secret, if you are not aware of this website and project then check it out.

Since that is a bit of a downer, I decided to add another video that is a bit lighter. This is one of the greatest rants from the best sitcom ever, IMHO, Coupling.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What kind of nerd are you?

Apparently I am a social nerd. I don't really agree, it all sounds good, except saying I am not a nerd really doesn't fit. I am actually a nerd and I know so anyway.

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Social Nerd

You're interested in things such as politics, psychology, child care, and peace. I wouldn't go so far as to call you a hippie, but some of you may be tree-huggers. You're the type of people who are interested in bettering the world. You're possible the least nerdy of them all; unless you participate in other activies that paled your nerdiness compared to your involvement in social activities. Whatever the case, we could still use more of you around. ^_^

Literature Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Drama Nerd
Anime Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Artistic Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

But second on my nerd list is literature nerd and that also fits so maybe there is something to this whole quiz. This quiz is brought to you by the fine folks at Harp and Sword, ok so he didn't actually bring it, but that is where I found this link initially so I wanted to give a big ol' hat tip to him

I love Jon Stewart

This interview of the biographer of Dick Cheney shows yet again why I say Jon Stewart is the greatest news person currently on TV. He is also possibly the greatest interviewer currently. I know that this show is biased and I know that his responses to Stephen Hayes are very biased, but he make such great points that I was literally cheering as I heard him talking. I have also heard him go after "liberals" as well, so he does not seem to be quite as biased as anyone on Fox News and in my opinion most any other news people who just throw softballs at whoever they support.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Follow-up to bikini post

I realized that I had a lot more to say about the issues I mentioned yesterday about bikinis and I did not want to just write a super long response in the comments section, although maybe I should have. whiskeymarie and Monkey brought up some great points, that I agree with and wanted to point out here. First, as a male I didn't think about some of the things that marie had mentioned and so I guess I shouldn't just spout off like that without thinking. Second, and more importantly, I am a firm believer in wearing what you feels makes you sexy and feels comfortable. If that is a bikini go for it or if it is a one-piece go for it. I guess my issue is that we let fashion dictate how we dress, I see this more with my female friends, but men also allow this as well. We don't feel comfortable or sexy, but Cosmo or GQ (I had real issues coming up with fashion magazines) tells us that this is what we should wear and so we do. We wear what we are told by others to wear not what we feel comfortable wearing. It also seems to be a reflection of that male-centered thought that women have to show off their body to be sexy. In the same vein, women should constantly be on display so that men can ogle them. My sister-in-law related a story on their blog that she wanted to get a bathing suit before she and my brother went to Israel as they knew they would be at the Dead Sea and would be swimming. She wrote, "I was having a super hard time finding a one-piece that wasn't frumpy and old-ladyish. Apparently the young people only wear bikinis these days." So I guess I shouldn't say women shouldn't wear bikinis as there are few other options that are attractive. I feel like I am beginning to ramble and although I have tried to make this post a bit tighter, I just can't and say everything so I will end on this note. Ultimately, what I am trying to say is that you should wear or not wear what you want and what makes you feel sexy, but don't do this because you are trying to impress someone else, do it because you want to. And that I find all women sexy no matter what they do or don't wear, but at times I like a bit of mystery and not to have it all hanging out.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bikinis and the beach

So, as I wrote earlier, I went to the beach this weekend and it was wonderful, but I do have one complaint. I have had this theory for a while that most women should not wear a bikini or two piece bathing suit. I think most women look sexier in a one piece bathing suit. If they have the right suit all women look sexy in swim wear. I know the women out there do struggle to find the right suit to make themselves look good, but then why are there so many people who look so bad in their suit? Why do so many women buy a two piece that just looks horrible. Some women think that just since they are skinny they should get a two piece, some women think just because they have boobs they should get a two piece, some women think that just because it is the fashion they should get a two piece, well I hate to break it to you ladies, but don't get a two piece unless you really do look great in it. I also hate to put age limits on buying a bikini but really if you are over fifty, maybe you should rethink the whole bikini idea. I saw a women who was, I swear, sixty-five or seventy, wearing a bikini and it just looks silly, you look like you are trying too hard and it is not attractive. In my humble opinion, 95% of women look better in a flattering one piece bathing suit that in a bikini. Now, if you do want a two piece, than go with a tankini, yes, I know what those are and most women I have seen do look good in them. Just the thoughts of a heterosexual male who loves women and wants them to look attractive at the beach. As always if you disagree with this or if you feel I am being sexist, than please let me know in comments. And really I am not trying to be sexist as I think Speedos should be banned for men, but since I did not see that many Speedos than I did not comment on that as much.

Politics, again, and the movies

So I went on a mini-vacation his weekend, just Saturday into Sunday. It was nice to get away and I do have a thought about the beach which is where I went, but that will be in the next post. This one is about the movie I saw in the hotel room Saturday night, no it was not that kind of movie and no this is not a review although there may be some elements of review to this post. I saw Man of the Year with Robin Williams. It was billed as a comedy, but it becomes a bit of a suspense/thriller about midway through and as a thriller it was not so good, but as a comedy it was OK. So anyway, the movie has an interesting premise where a late night talk show host (I think that is his job as I missed the first bit of it) decides to run for president, I don't know how or why as I missed that part. Anyway, so I started watching at the point in which he goes to the last debate, but the first one that he is involved in. Robin Williams character begins the debate in calm fashion, but finally gets fed up with the bullshit answers being given by the Republican and Democratic candidates. The answers are the same bullshit that always seem to happen in these debates in real life. For example, when the candidates are asked why they entered the race, the two main stream candidates talk about how much they love their families and how thankful they are that people support them, whereas Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams) says he is sick of the other two parties and their bullshit and wants to make changes. Tom Dobbs later starts an actual debate with the other candidates rather than waiting his turn during the debates and is yelled at by the moderator that he has to wait his turn. He is actually challenging the candidates on their positions on the issues. The movie continues in this vein with Tom Dobbs as the voice of change and being fed up with the two other parties and the fact that they are so similar all the time.

This got me thinking about several things in this presidential campaign. First, I wish there was someone who was running as an independent or even with the two parties although, I think an independent would be better, who really did stand for change. I do like Kucinich and I think he does represent such a break from the other candidates that it would be really good if his positions were more talked about, but he is so dismissed by the main stream media that he cannot get his message out. Possibly he should run as an independent as then maybe he would not get buried in the whole democratic party mess and ignored. He might actually make a difference in the campaign or maybe Al Gore needs to run as an independent, I just want to see someone who represents real change and not just the same ol' BS. I also thought about how the debates are not really debates, they are so structured and scripted that really the differences in the candidates if there are any (I am not sure there are always differences) are not highlighted. I want to see more candidates being challenged, if not by their fellow candidates than by the moderator. I want to see more of these people have to actually defend the inconsistencies and tell us what their positions are rather than being able to waffle back and forth on an issue. I want a real debate, not a forum for the candidates to stand up there and yammer for two minutes about nothing with no cosequences. I want the moderator to say, "Ok that is nice that you like puppies and flowers and pretty things, but what the hell do you stand for?" It is easy to say we should pull our troops out of Iraq, but how would you do it? It is easy to play to your base, but what about outside your base, you are basically interviewing to become the president of the entire United States, not just your base, not just the conservative or liberal, not just the straight or gay, not just the military supporter or the non-military supporter, but everyone, all of us.

I don't have to agree with your stance on an issue, but I want you to have thought about it and have an answer that you can stand behind and not waffle on. I think about an answer that John Edwards gave about gay marriage. He said, and I am paraphrasing, that he had issues with gay marriage as within his religious beliefs homosexuality was wrong, but that he was working on this and that he was trying to justify what he knew was right, that homosexuals should not be treated differently, with his own personal religious beliefs. He still does not support gay marriage, where his wife does and hence I love her for it, but at least he was honest about this issue and said that he was struggling with it. He acknowledged that he was human and that this issue was not black and white for him as it seems so many other candidates seem to see this issue as simply a yes or no question and yet there may be an actual grey area that they have to figure out.

Finally, as I feel I have ranted enough about this, why is it that in movies and television shows the speech writers are always so good and why can we not have this in real life. I used to watch West Wing and I would wish the speech writers on that show would actually write for the president. On television it was always so much more thoughtful and inspiring than the dribble we get to hear on a daily basis from Bushie. I would grant you that it is at least partly that Bushie cannot really speak English good (yes that was intentional), but still maybe if someone with half a brain was writing for him, as we all know he does not write his own speeches, they could make him sound like he had half a brain rather than two brain cells that were always fighting for control.

Friday, August 10, 2007

My thoughts on politics

Maybe the Dems should take their own advise rather than just giving Bush whatever he wants, FISA, anybody or what about the fact that they gave more money for the war in Iraq. What the hell are the Dems talking about in this ad? They are so full of bullshit especially the great pic of Harry and Pelosi, we actually need the picture of them bending over and taking it up the ass for it to be accurate.

YouTube Fridays

I loved this show growing up. I remember playing the game first on a small green screen (although the screen was actually purple) laptop my dad had for work. I credit this game the the show with creating my love for geography and history which I still continue to this day. So here is, "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?" I am using the end credits as this is the song that I really remeber and loved.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

New blog

So I found this new blog through Dr. Monkerstein. It is hilarious and so it must go on the blogroll, but this is the post that was the clincher. I mean really who hasn't tried to wait to get home to pee and then realized that it took you way longer than you thought it would. It doesn't hurt that she has a dog who seems to be very cool as well.

Boys and their toys

What is it with boys and matchbox cars? I was working today and two of the boys were playing with cars. I rememeber playing with cars when I was little and I loved it, I still do sort of I guess. But I am not a car guy by any means. I have no mechanical inclinations and I do not ohh and ahh at sports cars or really any cars. I do like some trucks, but even that is not the obsession that I know some guys have with cars. I think that it must me so ingrained in our cultural teachings that little boys just do like playing with cars. I had a mother who I know tried not to expose her two boys to the cultural misogyny that says that boys play with certain toys and girls play with other toys and yet I did love cars. I had a doll as well when I was little (kind of like a cabbage patch doll, but my mom made it), so I didn't just play with cars or guns (well we weren't allowed to have guns, but still...). I just started to think about this. I also see in my classroom boys that like to play in the dramatic play area with the kitchen set and dress-up clothes, but I rarely see little girls who play with the cars to race and bang them into each other. The little girls do like the blocks and will build as much as the boys, but there seems to be something about the cars that just holds a fascination for little boys. Maybe we are already beginning to try and compensate for penis size at a young age and hopefully some of us grow out of that, but it still was an interesting observation for me.

Bonds and the homerun record

I just learned this morning that Bonds broke the homerun record last night. Of course the record is tainted as there is constant suspicion of steroid and other performance enhancing drugs being used by Bonds. But if it was as simple as take some steroids and then you get the record or even you can hit a homerun than there should be a lot more people out there with a lot more homeruns as I believe that Bonds was not the only baseball player who used performance enhancing drugs. Also, if I took performance enhancing drugs I still could not hit a baseball as I have no hand-eye coordination, so just because he is bigger does not mean that he can hit a little ball. I still would like to see another person get the record so that Bonds is not at the top of the list as I do believe that he used steroids, but since we cannot erase the past and we do not know which homeruns he would not have hit if he had not taken drugs, than for right now I will say congratulations to Mr. Bonds and we have to move on as sports fans. The ironic thing about me making this post is that baseball is my least favorite sport of the major four (baseball, basketball, football and hockey) and yet if I turn on ESPN or ESPN2 it is all they are talking about so I had to post my thoughts on it too.

Monday, August 6, 2007

PDB- What if...

I was slightly undecided about doing this blogswarm as I had no idea what I wanted to say, but then I saw this post by Jess Wundrun and it got me thinking. She plays a game of "what if" as well, but I am taking it in a slightly different direction. What if Bush had actually paid attention to the memo and done something about it? What if the FBI agents in Minneapolis, Arizona and Florida had been able to get their warrants for suspicious people taking flight classes?

Well, then maybe we would have stopped 9/11 which it would seem, would set off a chain reaction of events.
  • There would have no reason for the creation of the Patriot act.
  • Bush would not have been able to sell fear as a way of getting re-elected.
  • Possibly Bush does not even get a real chance at being re-elected considering how close the presidential elections in 2000 and 2008 were.
  • The Democrats reclaim the presidency after only one term of Bush the Terrible.
  • There is no reason to go into Afghanistan.
  • There is no reason to blame Saddam Hussein for anything.
  • We never have to hear the words Weapons of Mass Destruction.
  • We never invade Iraq on false pretenses (ok so that may have happened anyway, but maybe not).
  • Millions of innocent civilians and soldiers do not need to die in a civil war (yes despite this administrations protests, this is a civil war).
  • Giuliani does not burst onto the national scene as quickly and for many people outside of NYC as positively (from what I hear he was not well liked in NYC until 9/11).
  • The new FISA law does not exist as there is no reason.
  • We never have to hear the words Guantanamo Bay Prison as there is no reason to create one.
  • We never have to hear the words Axis of Evil.
As to the Axis of Evil, that was one of the dumbest things Bush ever said from an International Relations standpoint (I got my bachelors in International Relations, so this is a point I feel I must make). The relations between the U.S. and both Iran and North Korea had actually improved during the Clinton years to where there was some diplomacy going on. Much of the diplomacy especially with Iran was behind the scenes, but it still existed. If Bush had not lumped these two nations in with Iraq for no apparent reason other than he could, possibly the relations could have stayed at least somewhat cordial and we wouldn't be dealing with two nations that have nuclear capabilities or are working on them with the expressed intent to use them on us and our allies. Just because we were and still are a hegemony does not mean that we need to fuck around with international politics. I actually see it as a positive that China is beginning to rise is power as this may help to balance out the U.S. or maybe we will fall like Rome, either way we are in for a rude awakening on the international scene rather soon. Sorry that last bit was a bit of an off-topic point, but still at least sort of tangential in my mind at least.

Anyway, so without this one stupid mistake by Bush and his administration, the world and the U.S. would be a very different place six years later. I guess the saying is right, "A butterfly flapping its wings in the Amazon can cause a tsunami in Asia."

Sunday, August 5, 2007

I've been tagged, ahhhhhhhhhhh

Ok so it really isn't that scary. The good Doctor, Dr. Monkerstein, has tagged me as a thinking blog.

This is actually a great honor as I really do not think of this little blog as a thinking blog, although I do try on occasion. I just blog about the random thoughts in my head so that they will not drive me totally insane. Anyway, here are the rules:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.

2. Link to this post so that people can find the exact origin of the meme.

3. Optional: Proudly display the Thinking Blogger Award on your site with a link to the post that you wrote.

And so now I must tell you who makes me think:

1. Blue Gal- I am sure others have given her a thinking blogger award, but I have to mention her as well. She is the reason I started to blog, I was inspired by her posts and decided that I needed to put my thoughts out there as well.

2. The Cunning Runt- He has some of the most amazing pictures posted on his blog. He is also a great writer and makes me think whenever I see what he has written.

3. Phydeaux Speaks- As a fellow Carolinian, I must honor him. Phydeaux also makes me think and laugh many times as I read him. He also reminds me of a garden gnome which is an extra bonus feature.

4. Mock, Paper, Scissors- Tengrain who creates this blog is possibly a genius. I love the captions to all of his posts and many times I laugh and then they get me thinking, which is of course awesome.

5. Figleaf's Real Adult Sex- Figleaf does an amazing job of talking about sex and the realities that surround sex in the modern world. I have not found anywhere else where on one day he talks about the double standards about sexual promiscuity in regards to boys and girls and the next day he posts about morning wood.

I could have of course talked about several other blogs that I love including Captain Dyke and Harp and Sword, but I was limited to five and so I had to make some very difficult choices. And of course if Monkey had not been the one who had tagged me, I may have had to put him on that list.

Movie review-One flew over the cuckoo's nest

So I saw two movies today, the second one was One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. I had read this book several years ago and had wanted to see the movie since then, but never had until today. This was a great movie. Jack Nicholson is great as a character that you cannot be totally sure if he is sane or insane. Those seem to be characters that Jack excels at or maybe all of his characters are a bit loco, but he does such a great job of bringing out the humanity in all of the characters he plays. I also marveled at Danny DeVito in this movie, it took me a minute when I first saw him to be sure that Danny was the actor. Christopher Lloyd is also a great actor in this movie. This movie really shows the humanity behind individuals who are considered mentally disturbed. I also love the characterization of Nurse Ratched. I didn't remember the book very well and I was thinking that Nurse Ratched was going to have a stronger personality in terms of being loud and demanding. Louise Fletcher did an amazing job of showing this women as a dictator and in total control of the entire ward including both nurses and patients and yet she always seemed so in control of her emotions and feelings. She never seems to yell or have to really intimidate anyone and yet everyone is so afraid of her. I hate to use the word bitch as a descriptor for Nurse Ratched as that word is so demeaning and misogynistic especially when used against a women in a position of power, but I feel like it really fits this character. She controls the lives of these men from what they watch to when they eat to whether they have cigarettes and then at the end of the day, she tells them goodbye as though it was just a day at the office. It may be a day at the office for her, but these men are totally under her control that they talk about how much they hate this place and her and yet they will not leave even though several of them can. It is a great movie and great performance by everyone involved and since I have not mentioned him yet, Will Samson is amazing as Chief.

Movie Review- Born into Brothels

This is an incredible documentary about children who are born in brothels in Calcutta, India. It documents their lives and the efforts of Zana Briski to help them through teaching them photography. I was not totally clear if she intended to become as involved as she did, but beyond teaching them photography, she also went to great lengths to get them out of the red-light district of Calcutta and into boarding schools, so that they had other opportunities other than prostitution or other illegal activities. The film has all of the elements needed, it is both sad and happy. These children live in such poverty and yet many of them mention that this is their life and they do know of any other way to live. In fact one of them, says something to the effect that life is supposed to be hard and sad. But these children also have a real desire to show their lives and the conditions in which they are living. One of the young boys mentions that this is the dirtiest places he has ever seen. He talks about how everywhere there are dirty dishes there are also shoes. These children truly were incredible artists. Yes they were taught how to use a camera and there are scenes where Zana is talking to them about composition or other technical aspects, but still they were able to compose some amazing pictures that if you did not know better could easily be considered photographs by professionals. I was in awe of this movie and would recommend this movie highly. Also if you want to see some of the photographs and learn more about the project that Zana Briski among others started, go to this site.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Whatever happened to...Saturday morning cartoons

I am sure some of you reading this will not have the fond memories of the great '80s Saturday morning cartoons that I grew up on, either you are too old or too young. But seriously what happened to Saturday morning cartoons. I was up early walking my dog and then decided that I would sit and watch some cartoons before I really got my day going. I turned on the TV and all that I could find on the major channels were there talk shows like the Today Show or CBS this morning. This was at 7:30, what the hell. At 7:30 as child I was up and watching cartoons for at least a few hours. I don't think my parents woke up before at least 9 or 10, so this is when I could watch what I wanted. Maybe kids are sleeping in later now becaue the Saturday morning cartoons don't seem to come on till at least 9:30 or 10. And what happened to the good cartoons like Muppet Babies, Bugs Bunny, Rainbow Brite, Care Bears, M.A.S.K, The real ghostbusters, Jem and the Holograms, the Smurfs or the Snorks. Ok so I had to look up the names of some of these cartoons, but I instantly remembered seeing all of them when I was growing up. Have we raised a generation of kids who only watch Power Rangers and Pokemon or other Anime. I usually don't care about buying American or American products, but really what happened to American cartoons. Yeah, I know many of those cartoons were probably drawn in like Korea, but still they were intended for American audiences, we were not watching the creations and spin offs of another culture like Japan. I just wonder what this world is coming to when my children (when I have some) will not be able to get up at 7 AM and turn on the TV and watch great cartoons that corrupt your brain forever. Although I do not remember if this cartoon was one that was shown on Saturday mornings, it is still one of my favorites.

Although, as I looked for the theme for this show apparently I remember the version or at least the opening for the 1964 version of Johnny Quest and I wasn't even alive at that point, heck my parents hadn't met yet and wouldn't for another at least 10 years. They must have shown this version at some point during my youth on re-runs.

Friday, August 3, 2007

YouTube Fridays

Here is my favorite Shakespeare play, Othello, being done (sorta) by a great company of the actors, the Reduced Shakespeare Company.

Fantasy football and Vick

So i was listening to Mike and Mike in the Morning this morning. Mike and Mike were not there, but the two replacements who I cannot remeber their names were talking about the fallout from the stuff surrounding Michael Vick. The one mentioned that he is in a Fantasy Football league that apparently is really really competitive and the league had decided that not only was Vick not available to be drafted this year, but even if he was able to start in the NFL this year or next, that he would never be available to be drafted again. I found this interesting as it shows the extent to which he has been convicted in the court of public opinion. I personally think that he should never be able to ever play football again and should be sent to jail for a long period of time. I would never draft him, but the fact that people are taking these charge so seriously is great in my opinion, I just wish that people took all criminal charges this seriously like rape, murder and DUI. Any player that is convicted of a felony should be banned from sports for life or given a several year suspension at least. In all other parts of life and jobs, if you are convicted of a felony it is tough to re-enter the workforce, we should hold people in the public light to the same if not higher standards.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

NFL network

Ok so it is the start of training camp for the NFL and that means preseason games, which for me are almost as exciting as regular season games. I love football and so this is very exciting to me. I know there are problems with the NFL, but I still love it. I grew up on football, literally, as my father used to have me resting on his stomach at 6 months of age and younger so that my mother could do other things on Sunday afternoons (not that this in the only time he spent with me, but this illustrates my point). This was and still is in many ways a lot of the father-son bonding we do. We do other things now as father and son, but this is still one of my favorite things with my father watching football games. So I realize that my favorite team, the Steelers, have their first preseason game this weekend and it is the Hall of Fame game. The first game is meaningless as is much of the preseason, but it is the Hall of Fame game which i always kind of cool as typically a lot of the guys who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame are interviewed and it is the first football game. And by george I want to see it, but of course I can't. The NFL has created an NFL Network so that they can make even more money off of football fans. This network has certain games that are only available on it and there is a lot of talk shows around football and well I am not sure what else this channel has especially when the season is over, but still it exists. So the Hall of Fame game is being shown on this channel and only this channel this year. The only way to get this channel was to have a satellite dish for a while, but now some of the cable companies have been buying the channel to show. But the one I use, Time Warner Cable, refuses to allow this channel to be added to their lineups. As I understand it, the NFL wants their network to be just a basic channel like ESPN or CNN or any other channel that subscribers can get. Time Warner wanted to put it on their sports package so that cable subscribers could get it if they wanted, but did not have to get the channel. The sports package is normally like four or five additional channels that cost like five dollars more a month. Now, I would pay the extra money for this channel as it is only five dollars and I am honestly that crazy of a football fan, i am not sure I would watch it all the time or anything but for the extra eight regular season games and some preseason games, i feel it would be worth my extra five dollars, but this is not an option to me. I feel like as the consumer I should have the right to choose what programming I want that is available. I am not sure who I should blame, the NFL or Time Warner Cable. The NFL should just let Time Warner do what they want and add it to the sports package although I am sure part of the issue is that the cable companies have to pay more money to add a channel if it is considered part of the extended basic package, than if it is an add on channel like HBO or any other movie channel that subscribers have to pay extra for. This would of course help the NFL to make more money and isn't money always the name of the game. But on the other hand, Time Warner Cable does not seem like the good guys either. First, they have all these other channel that are considered standard like SoapNet, the Inspirational network (or I refer to it the Christian channel), the golf channel, ShopNBC, and Fit TV that I would gladly give up if I could have the NFL network. I mean really how many people really watch the Golf Channel or SoapNet. All of the major golf tournaments are on the major channels like CBS and NBC and if you miss your Soaps because you are at work is it really that big a deal, isn't that what DVR or even if you go old school VCR tapes are for to tape shows you miss. Secondly, TWC bought Adelphia Cable which did have NFL Network and TWC took the channel off the lineup out of spite for the NFL. I guess I will just have to find a sports bar to watch the game or find another way to watch this game.