Thursday, September 30, 2010

Tea for Me, no Tea for You

"A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can't imagine it. "
While this isn't the most comprehensive or groundbreaking article on the so called Tea Party movement, Matt Taibbi does hit on some great points in tracing its evolution and current status.  

I'm not sure what would be more infuriating: if these people get what they say they want, or if they don't.  I wonder if they would even know the difference.

Badvertising: Junk vs Junk

Americans eat crap. And we eat a lot of it. And so do our kids, and as a result a lot of them are overweight and develop poor eating habits which affect their health for the rest of their lives. This is a serious issue, which needs to be addressed in serious and honest ways and with adjustments to our public policy, much of which actually fuels the problem with

But ads like this aren't the answer. Sure, its entertaining and sick and engaging on a gut level. I wondered, I cringed, I laughed. But it doesn't get the right message across, and its extreme to the point of self parody, which pretty much kills any power it might have had to sway the diet choices of its viewers.

Cheeseburgers are not heroin. They aren't the healthiest thing in the world, but they sure as hell aren't heroin. It would have been better to play up positive food choices, or to focus attention on educating people on why things like HFCS are unhealthy, or what the role of moderation in diet choices. Instead we get this admittedly shocking but ultimately empty and feckless ad.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Half Full, Half Empty

Two games into the season, its time for some snap judgements!  The optimist in me sees big things ahead, while the pessimist in me is grumbling over another tumbler of scotch. 

Empty:  Ryan Mathews is averaging a fumble a game.  He's Adrian Peterson without the production.
Full:  Its only because his enormous muscles make it hard for him to secure the ball.

Full: Ryan Mathews apparently has magical healing abilities.
Empty: If he's so tough, why did he get hurt in the first place?

Empty: We're gonna trade VJ to the Vikes, who will then beat us in the Super Bowl on a TD he scores.
Full: At least we'll get their draft picks in a draft which probably won't happen.

Full: No punt coverage breakdowns this week.
Empty: No need for coverage when the punt is blocked.

Full: Ryan Mathews respects his elders.
Empty: Calling him "Coach Norv"?  Come on kid, that's just wrong.

Full: We are strongly favored against the Seahawks.
Empty: An incredibly loud stadium in an place where it rains 90% of the time.  Sound familiar?

Full: Antoine Cason is playing great and is also a great interview.
Empty: Mathematically, compared to Cro, there's a far lower chance he will produce a talented offspring.

Empty: has apparently gone away, so we don't have our coverage maps.
Full: "The game is blacked out".  What else do you need to know?

Empty: The Chiefs are currently in first place.
Full: The Chiefs are currently in first place.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A goo by any other name...

Apparently those really awful PR commercials didn't do the trick.  Despite all the money spent by America's Corn Refiners, people just don't seem to like High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Wait, scratch that.  America LOVES HFCS, but for some reason they don't like its name.  Which is totally bogus, given that its made up of 4 words which are, at worst, neutral, and at best really great (who doesn't love syrup?)

But faced with a fat and hateful public, our patriotic corn syrup makers have decided to face the music and change things.  No, they won't be halting production on our blessed obesity sludge.  Nor will they be tweaking the formula to make it healthier.  They've done the best thing of all: given it a new name!


Its sugar!  Made from corn!  Which is healthy (sort of, but not really this particular kind of corn). 

So rest easy and eat up America. No more harmful fructose syrup for us.  Just good old fashion corn sugar, like Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to grow.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A lot of Blue Hokie

College football fans, I beg of you: can we please stop the BCS debate circle jerk for 5 freaking seconds and just enjoy the fact that its football season?  Is it possible for us to just reflect and enjoy the spectacle that was Boise State vs. Virginia Tech for what it was, and not try to weigh it down with a lot meaningless baggage?  Its bad enough that ESPN was and is shoving the narrative down our throats constantly.  But we all know that ESPN and the whole sports media is filled with soulless, brainless hacks and hype makers.  So I implore you, ignore the sound machine and enjoy the ride.

Here's what happened last night: two good football teams beat the shit out of each other for our amusement.  It was a glorious thing to behold, and a worthy candidate for inclusion high on a list of reasons to love college football (or sports in general).  Enjoy it, because its a great thing and a great way to kick off the football season, which I shouldn't have to remind you is a marathon, not a sprint.  Maybe Boise stumbles, maybe they run the table, maybe they do or don't "deserve" a shot at the big one.  All I know is that I'm gonna focus on the games this Saturday instead of gnashing my teeth over a hypothetical game next year.

Other random thoughts from the game:

-Kellen Moore has one goofy throwing motion, but damned if he doesn't get the ball where it has to go. 

-Tyrod Taylor looks like he's growing into his potential, and its gonna be fun to watch what he can do in the ACC this year. 

-I was lukewarm about the new uniforms that Nike designed for both teams, with the exception of the Tech helmets, which were bad ass.  Reminds me of a motorcycle helmet from Sons of Anarchy.

-I realized that my observations sound a little PKish.  I apologize. 

Badvertising: Sunday NFL Countdown (featuring a special guest apperance)

This is a weird one, because its a great bad commercial.

Philip Rivers has 5 young children. As trying as that must be for parents early on a weekend morning, I guarantee its better than having to babysit for these guys.

This is not a great commercial, because it doesn't make me actually want to watch Sunday Countdown. Its a great bad commercial, because it accurately distills why its such an unwatchable, soul-grating program. That look on Rivers's face at the end is perfect. Spending your Sunday morning with these moronic, braying chuckleheads would be agony, especially since you know you are just hours from the blessed glow of watching actual football being played.

There is one good line in this spot, which rings partially true because, despite his great movement in the pocket, Rivers does run like a goofy kid wearing snowshoes.

I'm also curious about whether that's his lucky jersey shirt that he wears the night before a game. I always figured he wore his piggy wiggly shirt for good luck.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I DEMAND that we have fun!

Now I want a snack!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Quote of the day: HST returns

              "There is nothing supernatural about it, but I have seen it happen over and over. Football fans share a universal language that cuts across many cultures and many personality types. A serious football fan is never alone. We are legion, and Football is often the only thing we have in common. We recognize each other instantly, even if we have to speak in sign language. No doubt it has something to do with the gambling instinct, which is also universal.

              The next time you find yourself in need of conversation in some backwoods foreign airport, as I have from time to time, take this tip and look around for the nearest public TV set that is tuned to a football game. That will be your oasis, no matter how long your layover may. You will get your questions answered."


Another piece of wisdom from the always quotable Dr. Thompson.