Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sarcasm? (Please & Thank You...)

I love well-placed sarcasm, especially when you are given an incredibly easy set up. Take Baseball Toaster, for example... thanks, Ken! >;)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Now That's Effed Up: Sue Simmons and the Negro Moment at 11...

By now EVERYONE has seen or heard about this one (and hopefully it's still here when you click the screen above). When I read about it, I didn't think much about it, assuming that is was an innocuous comment that she mumbled under her breath and someone with good hearing happened to overhear and transcribe for everyone. And despite the number of people who called in after seeing it happen (around 125 from the earlier reports), I still didn't think much...

...until I told my friend Alcatraz about it, and suggested that he search on YouTube for the inevitable clip. Alcatraz is a hard-edged cat by most standards, so I was piqued when his response after viewing the clip was, "OH, WOW!!!" He turned it up on his speakerphone so I could hear it; me not having a computer in front of me at the time...

Wowzers...! A new national icon for precipitously dropping standards, not to mention fresh meat for the late night hosts, has been newly introduced. Unfair as this may seem, and mind you I have a lot of respect for Sue Simmons as a newscaster for her disarmingly charming demeanor, you know that this is going to be analyzed and overdone like prime rib on a charcoal grill in Uncle Bob's backyard. 

She's not done per se; Arthur Chi'en did the same thing three years ago on CBS Channel 2 and now he's on CW11 after they "overreacted" by firing him (he won a ruling against them in which the court agreed they should have instead disciplined him), but if memory serves me correctly, the circumstances were a bit different; some idiots promoting Opie & Anthony's show snuck in behind him while he was doing his live report, while Ms. Simmons, umm... was in the studio teasing a report. No matter how annoying Chuck may be by not paying attention (but I guarantee ol' boy's eyes will be glued on her the moment he looks away from either the camera or the telescreen imbedded in his desk!), this was certainly not a duress situation.  Unless... 

There is much speculation that she'll ride out the rest of her contract and summarily be replaced by someone younger and cheaper. NBC's news department is currently under new management, and that likely means new faces and lower budgets; Simmons and Chuck Scarborough are the highest-paid local anchors in the regional news industry, and that means a lot in the current economy. Simmons did herself no favors, even if it was a mistake, conservative news programs (and make no mistake, they're all extremely competitive and conservative to a larger degree than they would have you think) don't take controversy of this sort likely. Arthur Chi'en, who has every right to comment on this, has smartly chosen not to say a word.

Let's get into deeper questions, though. Did it bother you, and why? Did it not bother you, and why? Does this indicate a deeper and darker complex of personalities and intrigues within the world of broadcast news, or was this simply an isolated incident? What does it say about yourself and your view on society if you think this was an important issue or a non-issue? As the standard-bearer of all present-day media would say, inquiring minds want to know...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Re: Sports Media as a Class Struggle by Mike Carminati

How hard is it to put the perspective of class struggle in American society into how sports journalists perceive bloggers? Mike Carminati of Mike's Baseball Rants easily accomplishes this with his thesis on the clash between traditional sports writers and the blogsphere as a whole. Among the replies is my own thoughts on the subject, which I've often sprinkled liberally among the comments at Bronx Banter.

To further my own point in support of Mike's rant, I believe that media is a key component of any ruling class' ability to enthrall the general public, either positively or negatively. A great possibility of how a dictatorship can actually create an ostensibly progressively democratic society than the system currently in place is written out in science fantasy form by the great Piers Anthony in his series Bio of A Space Tyrant, in which the title character outmaneuvers a renown member of the fourth estate to insulate him by making it the writers' obligation to criticize him; a de facto ombudsman of sorts.

Now, I'm not advocating dictatorships, but I'd like to point out that some of this country's greatest leaders have gathered the reigns of power to themselves alone by delegating not the decision, but the action to those they oversaw, and convinced the masses that it was by their own power that the results were indeed accomplished. Abraham Lincoln was a master at this in his speeches and addresses to his cabinet, to Congress and to the country at large during a great war, as was FDR with his fireside chats and JFK with his use of television to secure his public image. You can also include Martin Luther King, who during his lifetime secured the sympathy and humanity of millions by projecting himself as the face of the subjugated (willingly or not) via the same method of utilizing the press as a means to communicate his principles, ideas and vision to the world. Today, we can argue about the proposed visual aesthetics of the largest memorial statue to inhabit Washington, DC's National Mall, quite an accomplishment for a Black man in any regard, never mind that it will outdo some accomplished leaders already memorialized in statue there.

But I digress somewhat. I do that, but believe me, it all connects. Go read Mike's column and get back to him or me, whomever you wish >;)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

throwin' it UUUUUUUUUUUUUP!!! for obama...



the video is courtesy of taz arnold from sa-ra creative partners. at one point, i thought that they were going to be funkadelic's successsors, but it ain't really that deep. they're more skin than sonic substance, but they have their moments, especially with some of the music they've produced and/or remixed for others.

this, however, is taz proclaiming his support for barack obama. be warned: this is not the introspective, "we can change the world" vibe you get from the will.i.am clips over at dipdive.com. it's quite indescribable, really. after watching this, i have come to the conclusion that reverend jeremiah wright is the least of brother barack's problems. may GOD have mercy on us all...

(truth be told, i'd rather cast my vote for jeremiah wright, but i digress...)