Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stop reading and start talking.

Tiger Woods spoke today.
The world stopped for fifteen minutes while Tiger s-l-o-w-l-y read a prepared speech about his "transgressions." It's interesting to me whenever a celebrity has to read a speech that supposedly says what is in his heart. It would have been much more fascinating if he had spoken extemporaneously rather than looking down every 5 seconds to read the next phrase. At one point, he stopped mid-sentence, looked down and finished it with 2 words.
What I don't understand is why he feels that he owes us an apology. He owes his wife, family, friends and associates an apology, but me? Not so much. I don't particularly care what people do in their personal lives, as long as it doesn't affect me.
At one point he told us that what happens between himself and Elin is a matter for him and his wife and nobody else. Meanwhile, he was apologizing and explaining his misplaced sexual behavior to strangers. Either it's public fodder or it isn't.
If he wants to run around and cheat on his wife, I don't have to like him. I can stop caring about what he does on the golf course because it has no bearing on my life whatsoever if he wins 50 Masters tournaments. Fortunately for me, I never liked him to begin with, so his faults, flaws and other such human characteristics were apparent to me before. I've always thought he was a spoiled brat whose petulant behavior is a sign that he thinks he's above the rest of us somehow. It's nice to be right once in a while.
If you are shallow enough that you would drive a Buick or drink Gatorade because Tiger or any celebrity endorses it, you have bigger problems than Tiger getting his prick wet. The trouble with advertising is that it is tied into celebrities, events, places and things to the point that they leave themselves open to bad press when something goes wrong. It isn't enough to say "Gatorade tastes great," they have to have Tiger Woods tell us that it tastes great, because as a group, consumers believe what celebrities say. That becomes a problem when Tiger (or any celebrity) fouls up. Then, Gatorade might not taste as great if people think Tiger likes it. That's how advertisers think. That is a sad commentary on us as a race of people. Are we so incapable of making rational decisions on products that we need a celebrity to tell us to like it? Apparently, yes.
Tiger Woods stood in front of a camera today and apologized to us because he is a selfish jerk who thinks about himself first and others in some distant place beyond second or third. That's a pretty human way to think and act. He doesn't owe me or any stranger or fan an apology.
Now, it's time to laugh at something...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Olympics and other things.

How do you practice the ski jump? A little at a time, I'm guessing. Start out with a 10 foot hill and move up to the big 300-footers? "OK, this one's gonna be a little bit bigger." Then, you just push him down.
Falling down a hill on skis wearing spandex. And that helmet? It's very colorful. It seems more like a test of nerve than a sport.
I'm watching the speed skaters. I always thought that if I could try anything in the winter Olympics, it would be speed skating. I'm way too frightened to ski or snowboard, I can't (won't) figure skate and I don't do hockey. I'd like to try speed skating, but I don't think I could wear sunglasses like some of them. Why do they wear sunglasses?
What color is Bob Costas' hair?
On a brighter note, our Phillies season tickets came in the mail today. Unlike the groundhog, it means that there is only 8 more weeks of winter, then the ballparks open up and the cracks of the bats begin. April 5 will find my ass in Washington, D.C. (our nation's capital) watching the Phils and Nationals battling in the first game of the season. It will surely be cold and dreary - but there is baseball, and that warms the soul. Haiku alert...
now there is baseball.
the equalizer of time.
and that warms the soul.
I upgraded my cell phone today. The thing I can't figure out about the cell phones is why they are so expensive. Some of them are $400. I went with the Samsung Impression and an unlimited data and messaging plan which means that, if I have your cell phone number, I will be bothering you with needless text messages at all hours of the day (and night) regardless of your plan. That's part of the fun of an unlimited data and messaging plan.
I chose the Impression because it has the best screen image of all the texting phones, and I got tired of not being able to see the screen of my crappy Pantech Slate when I was outside during the day. But you don't really care about that.
Now, for something completely different...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Attention whores.

I have a day off work today, thanks to several American presidents, for whom the day is dedicated. Mostly though, it's a day for selling stuff. Five years ago I purchased an automobile on this day and I'm proud to say it's still running. The interesting thing about Presidents' Day (if there is an interesting thing about it) is that the day is meant to honor all presidents, even the lousy ones. It's quite the holiday that doesn't distinguish between creeps, scoundrels and incompetents and says, "Nice job guys! Even though some of you sucked."
I could spend the day watching the daytime coverage of the Winter Olympics. Or not. It strikes me as a big attention grab. People that we don't see for 4 years are all of a sudden in the public eye and they seem determined to bicker, complain and otherwise shine a light on themselves whether we like it or not.
A snowboarder named Nate Holland is complaining because the other snowboarders' pants are too tight. He said he is worried about "the integrity of the sport." Right.
The Chinese speed skating team is fighting with the Korean team. One of the Chinese delegation was seen videotaping the Korean practice, and this angered the Koreans to the point that one of them threw a water bottle at the cameraman. What's to see? Skinny Asians skating in a circle. Another big training secret unearthed.
Then, of course, there is Hannah Teter and Lindsey Vonn - a couple of skiers who posed in bathing suits for Sports Illustrated. The skiing community is outraged. I think it's great. Not only for the photos, but for the fact that two weeks ago we couldn't have picked Hannah Teter and Lindsey Vonn out of a police lineup.
The Canadian Women's hockey team beat Slovakia 18-0 and that angered the hockey people. Who it should have angered was Slovakia, who stink at hockey to the point that they shouldn't be involved in the Olympic games.
And of course, the death of luging legend Nodar Kumaritashvili was shown on television news broadcasts, and the luging community ... oh ... people are outraged. I suppose the problem is that it happened in practice and wasn't on live television, so now that the news broadcasts picked it up it isn't supposed to be on television. That makes good nonsense. If he had merely been paralyzed or seriously injured it would have been a nice piece of journalism. But since he died it is now considered in bad taste to show the video.
Meanwhile, (and here comes the Presidents' Day tie-in) how many times have we seen the Zapruder film, where President John F. Kennedy gets a couple of bullets in his head? Have you ever heard any complaints about showing that? It's a luge, for Chrissakes.
I don't understand you people sometimes.