Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Anniversary

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The son of a pastor who suspended plans to burn copies of the Quran to mark the 9/11 anniversary says Islam's holiest text will not be torched at their Florida church Saturday. Luke Jones, the son of the Rev. Terry Jones, told reporters Friday that the event will not take place Saturday. But he says he can't speak about whether there will be a future event.

The pastor called off the Quran-burning event after claiming he had commitments from Muslim leaders that a mosque would not be built near ground zero in New York. When that was met with denials, the minister said the burning event was suspended.

If any of you are ever in doubt as to whose God is the right God, give Reverend Jones or his son a call and they'll set you straight. They'll even hand you a match so you can burn the other religious texts that may be infesting your bookshelf. No point in wasting space on books that describe Gods that aren't the right God. We always want to be right, and nobody is more right than Americans and their God. And don't even try to burn a Bible, you heathens.

It's nice to know that some people's idea of what should take place in a church is the desecration of others' religious beliefs. That's why I have so big a problem with organized religion. They organize things like this. I can organize things myself, and I do not need to be led. Most of the problem with being led is that there is a pretty good chance that the person leading you will turn out to be a rotten human being.

And (your) God forbid somebody builds a mosque near the sacred site of what we call Ground Zero. We take our sacred grounds seriously, and we'll go as far to burn your religious guidebook in protest to your defacing our sacred ground with your place of worship. I guess those people would be happier if a Starbucks went up there or [ahem] another giant office building.

It's great that Americans have the freedom of religion. Just as long as you follow the right one. And we'll be happy to tell you which one it is. Just ask somebody and they'll tell you. But don't be surprised when you get about a hundred different answers.

Are any of them right?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Watching the first game of the NFL season ...

I'm watching a TV commercial for Coors Light. It features something they call a "re-sealable cap." For those people who can't finish an entire Coors Light beer and have to put the cap back on to finish it tomorrow. Amazing. Just drink water. It costs less and you get the same buzz.
Later, there was another ad (Bud Light?) featuring a guy who had replaced the gas tank of his vehicle with a beer tap and filled the trunk with ice and cold beer. This, in spite of continued messages discouraging driving while intoxicated. I suppose it's OK as long as you're trying to sell beer. The ads are always followed with that small print "remember to drink responsibly" caveat, as though we're thinking about that while we're pouring beer down in our faces. Shouldn't it be one or the other? Either we don't want people drinking and driving or we do. Make up your mind.
I see a lot of junk food with notes on the label that says "0 grams Trans Fat." I'm guessing that foods didn't have a lot of trans fat in them to begin with. I'm also guessing that most people don't know what a gram is or what a trans fat is. But marketing tells us that "Zero Percent" of something that is supposed to be bad for us is good. We'll buy crap in a can if there is zero trans fat. Meanwhile, it's full of sugar, sodium and real fat, but it's the trans fat that is killing us.
I'm watching the NFL Kickoff Show from New Orleans. Harry Connick came out and sang "When the Saints Go Marching In," which is oddly appropriate, since the Saints are playing in New Orleans. I'd guess that native New Orleans residents are as sick of hearing "When the Saints Go Marching In" as we are of hearing "The City of Brotherly Love" being used to describe Philadelphia. It's the easy way, and why bother trying to come up with something different?
Al Michaels is interviewing Brett Favre as though he just came back from Iraq. He's a football player, but they approached the interview with all the seriousness of some actual life and death scenario. Put Favre in a bunker with a rifle and a real helmet and see how he reacts. I'm guessing he woudln't take $25 million to go back to Iraq like he did to go back to Minnesota this year. There are a lot fewer people shooting at him in Minneapolis.
During the player introductions, the starting lineups are featured and players get to say their name and their school. Most use their college (Jeremy Shockey, University of Miami) but some say the name of their high school, as if to disregard the college that gave them a scholarship and provided their pathway to the pros. Nothing like being disrespectful.
I'm tired of hearing people refer to their stadium as a "house." There's a self-aggrandizing TV commercial where Cowboys owner Jerry Jones calls that palace in Dallas his "house." If he lives there, then call it a house. Otherwise, it's a stadium and a monument to excessive wealth.
They're taking the Heisman Trophy away from Reggie Bush (University of Southern California) because he took money while he was playing for the school. Meanwhile, O.J. Simpson gets to keep his even though he was convicted in a civil trial over the murder of two people. That makes good nonsense, and shows where the NCAA places its values. God forbid you give a kid a few bucks or buy him a suit. They should know that the NCAA are the only people allowed to earn money off them. Don't they teach them that in college?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Shit That's on TV.

I suppose it's time for me to embrace the changes in society. Otherwise, I'll be mired in old-style thinking and forever be left in the wake of society, and who wants that?
There is a new TV program starting this fall called "Shit My Dad Says." Except it's not actually called that. Since you can't say shit on TV, they had to spell it with symbols, so it looks more like $h*!, which is a strange way to spell it. When they promote the show on TV, they have to say Bleep My Dad Says, since you can't say shit on TV, but you can say bleep, so they say bleep my dad says. As though we aren't supposed to know that bleep means shit.
I think the show is a comedy, since I can't imagine a dramatic program using the word shit (or the word $h*!) in the title. The Wikipedia entry says that $h*! is pronounced bleep. I guess I can't read, either.
So, here we have a new television program on a major network (CBS) that uses a profanity in its title, but they can't say the profanity because they can't use profanities on network television - especially in the title of the show. I'd guess that's bad for marketing, but I'm mired in old-style thinking. I wonder why the producers had to include the word Shit in the title and couldn't just call it "Stuff My Dad Says," unless the show itself is shitty and they figured that making the title controversial would draw viewers.
On May 19, 2010, CBS announced the show's official name and 8:30 pm time slot at its upfront presentation of the Fall 2010 schedule. Addressing reporters' concerns regarding the title, the network assured them that the expletive would not be used in promos. Soon thereafter, the Parents Television Council announced that it was protesting the title because it alluded to an obscenity. The PTC is threatening CBS with broadcast license challenges for any affiliate airing the show or its promos before 10 pm.
Responding to the controversy, CBS stated, "[The show] will in no way be indecent and will adhere to all CBS standards. Parents who chose to do so will find the show can be easily blocked using their VChip." Show star William Shatner has commented on the show's title, saying "We say spit; why can't we say shit?" In addition, Bill Gorman from TVbytheNumbers wrote that the PTC protest was just giving the show more publicity, which he expects will boost ratings.
At the July 2010 Television Critics Association press tour, Shatner further commented on the title saying, "The word 'shit' is around us. It isn't a terrible term. It's a natural function. Why are we pussyfooting?"
Can you say pussyfooting on TV? I thought Shatner was one of those old-timers who remembered when "All in the Family" created controversy by flushing a toilet on TV. The controversy might boost ratings, but people won't watch $h*! if it's shit. Perhaps the bigger problem is that television is at a point in its development that they have to resort to a program with a profanity in its title.
Certainly, there is a lot of shit on television. Most of it gets huge ratings numbers. While most of them should have the word shit in the title, I suspect that actually putting the word in the title might be a bit of overkill.
P.S. Blogger would not allow the actual title, $h*! to be used as a title, since the symbol ! isn't allowed. Why then, is it allowed as a network TV title?