Thursday, November 15, 2018

Classic Sports Thursday: In Memoriam, David Gene Pearson

We just received word that Spartanburg NASCAR legend David Gene Pearson has died at 83 Monday.   The 1976 Daytona 500 winner is one of seven drivers to have been recognised as a winner of all four majors.

Here was that 1976 Daytona 500 finish where he defeated Richard Petty by over one lap (under NASCAR rules, Petty's last lap did not count because the crew pushed the car to the finish line).

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Paying $30 for the final episode of a season?

In college, we had a group of friends that went to the student centre and organised pay-per-view watch parties for fake fights (aka "Professional Wrestling").  I learned from them that professional wrestling was a femme genre of television, the daytime serial drama, for a male audience, in effect each week's episode was a continuing story as we see with the five-day-a-week dramas that appear in the afternoon aimed at women (and it's proven that way;  Pop TV reairs all Sony dramas in the prime-time access hour).  As I researched the importance of pay-per-view in the fake fighting industry, whether it was WWE, New Japan, AAA, or Sinclair's Ring of Honor, which is the current squabble as Fox affiliates in many markets -- including mine -- air Ring of Honor, as it is owned and operated by the station, I learned that a wrestling pay-per-view is designed as a tie-up to end numerous storylines or keep extending them into another season.  In essence, they are season finales and a new season starts with the first episode after the pay-per-view event.

With that fact, I wondered what would happen if network television shows such as the NCIS franchise had a similar angle.  At the end of the 22 to 25 episode season, the season finale is aired not on network television but on pay-per-view at a cost of $30 for the final episode.  What might viewers think if those season finales, which may be double episodes, are pay-per-view shows after the other 21 to 24 episodes aired on network television?

That is how professional wrestling "seasons" are organised.  While Royal Rumble is a "season finale" for one season, it starts a story arc that will run to two seasons (No Escape* and WrestleMania).  Viewers pay for the pay-per-view that ends the first "season" and again for the end of the second "season" in this story arc.  Just imagine if Dallas had "Who Shot J.R.?" as a pay-per-view and then the opening of the next season on network television began the investigation, and the next pay-per-view episode determined who was the shooter.  That is exactly how professional wrestling works.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Television prophetic?

As I drove up US 378 to the area near the start line of Saturday's half-marathon that ended in complete disaster (disqualified at the sixth mile), I saw a sign promoting a play by a local theater company in the area.

Angrily after the disqualification I had thought of suicide and hearing "Suicide is Painless" in my head afterwards came (see "The Pain of Losing" for references). That theater sign was the problem.  And that's because of that sign from the theatre promoting a play based on a 1970 movie and later a television show that even to this day is known for its ratings shares that are higher than any Super Bowl could ever have. What show was it?

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Let's all sing some Pumpkin Carols!

I don't know; perhaps if you're of a certain age - my age, for example - you'll recognize this. I came across this typewritten sheet (which alone may tell you how old it is) in the archives of Thomas Jefferson University, from 1967. It would have been about that year that I first saw this, when I was in grade school.

Nowadays we'd use the term viral, as in "This went viral," but back then things like this were just copied and shared, until more or less everyone everywhere had them. So it's quite possible that this song sheet of Halloween "Pumpkin Carols" is the exact same sheet that we had in school in Minneapolis; and if not the same, then very much like what we had.

Pumpkin Carols, of course, come from the Peanuts cartoon It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and, like A Charlie Brown Christmas, it was popular right away. Hallmark came out with a book of Pumpkin Carols, which I suspect is where this came from, again back in the day where plagiarism wasn't that serious if you didn't profit by it. Anyway, here are some that I remember quite well - do they seem familiar to you? If so, you might want to click on that link above and look at all of them - and maybe get together tonight with your friends and sing some. I'll be looking out the window, waiting for the Carolers to come.

Opera Wednesday

This week the Church celebrates two of the year's greatest feasts: on November 1, All Saints; and on November 2 All Souls. All Souls in particular is a poignant commemoration, as we pause to remember friends, relatives, loved ones; those deceased souls who have no feast day of their own, no moment in which they are remembered by all, but as one philosopher put it, those "known only to God." It's a perfect occasion to meditate on Verdi's Requiem, which although not an opera, is often categorized in the operatic canon because of its length and style. Here is the beginning - the Kyrie, containing some of the most lovely music Verdi ever composed. It's performed by the Vienna Symphony and the Friends of Music Choral Society of Vienna, and conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

1968, here we come?

As you may recall if you read my interview with Joseph Benti over at the TV site, 1968 was a pretty bad year. I've long had a fascination with '68, and a frustration with it as well. I don't go much for the music or the clothing or the hair; I don't care for the drugs or the sex or the Haight Asbury lifestyles of the times. It is, however, an intensely interesting time historically; the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy; the civil rights and antiwar riots sweeping the country; the chaos of the Democratic Convention in Chicago, the comeback of Nixon in Miami, the cliffhanger election night.

As we see our world seem to collapse before our very eyes, you hear 1968 brought up a lot in comparison. Patrick Buchanan, who was there in 1968 working on the Nixon campaign, asks the question: is it worse today than it was in 1968? The answer may surprise you; read it and see what you think. And if we're not there yet, is it where we're headed?

Wish I'd written that...

Life is hard. It's even harder when you're stupid."

- Attributed to John Wayne, but actually from George V. Higgins in The Friends of Eddie Coyle. It just sounds like something The Duke would have said.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Flashback Friday: The perversion lobby is out of control (social media attacks)

Writing this column days after being slapped with a social media suspension for saying the truth of the Kardashian-poisoned Bruce Jenner's appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight refusing to answer Mr. Carlson's question has allowed me to see the true form of “Bay Area Values” being imposed by elites on anyone who opposes their feelings.

During the episode of the Fox News program, Mr. Jenner (I refuse to use his Daytime Serial Drama for Men* gimmick) said he could not find any advantage of having men who claim to be women participating in women's sporting events, despite the contrary to incidents in New Zealand with weightlifting (man claiming to be a woman won national title), a mixed martial arts incident (man seriously injured woman in a woman's mixed martial arts event), and the previously mentioned incident we posted here regarding a lawsuit against CrossFit where the organisation's counsel sent a letter .

*In college, a few friends would get together and watch The Monday Night Wars every Monday night at the student union;  I had no idea of its popularity, but I learned they had called it a “soap for men”. A few times there was a pay-per-view  As we have referenced here in the past, the last “soap” went off the air in 2010, when the last daytime drama produced by a soap company ended.  These shows are daytime serial dramas, and “professional wrestling” would be called a male daytime serial drama, a derivative of these afternoon serial dramas being aimed at a feminine crowd.

The first I had heard of such stupidity was a 2002 movie filmed in Metrolina*, “Juwanna Mann,” where a man in a professional basketball league tries out in a women's league. Now we have seen the elimination of gender verification tests, and what standards are there next to be removed?

*Metrolina denotes a sixteen-county area around Charlotte.

In contrast to Mr. Jenner's spin doctors on Mr. Carlson's show, we must remember this:  Mr. Jenner was born with an X and Y chromosome, and the anatomy of a male of the human race. Notwithstanding hormone therapy or even surgery, he still has an X and a Y chromosome.  Sir, as the CrossFit letter to the competitor who sued to be in a women's division states evidently, he still has a genetic makeup that confers both physical and physiological advantage over women. No “sex reassignment surgery” will change any discussion. That's the genetic advantage CrossFit's attorney notes, Mr. Jenner and many supporting the perversion movement refuse to understand in order to advance an agenda.

Of course, the perversion movement takes advantage of elite cities and judges out of touch with an entire country to force their way when it was rejected, sticking their tongues out in front of everyone, and working to demolish any organisation (especially churches, Fox News, anyone with a Biblical worldview) that refuses to submit to their agenda. It is why Ted Cruz called out the Stonewall Values (which he referenced that drew the ire of New York City newspapers) being pushed at everyone else's expense. And after I answered Mr. Jenner by saying he is a male, and referenced that men should not be in women's events, I was reported probably by a perversion lobbyist and banned from social media for saying the truth.

Is there any truth left when the sexual perversion and humanist lobbies can dictate what can be said in society today?  Why is referencing CrossFit's letter to a male who claims to be a female wrong?  Why is saying the truth of Mr. Jenner wrong?  Why can a tiny group of crybabies impose their way as a CCCP Dictatorship?  I do not submit to these perversion lobbyists.  Why do we have to make their kayfabe be mandated as a “gospel” when the anatomical truth is banned?

Originally published April 27, 2017

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Stupid is as stupid does

Earlier this month I posted a brief quote, usually (but incorrectly) attributed to John Wayne, that "Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."

Let us now welcome to the world of the stupid the Kimberly-Clark company (stupid number 1), which has caved to a social media campaign (stupid number 2) to rid the world of the sexist term "Mansize," as in "Mansize Kleenex."  I don't know that Kleenex, mansize or not, ever harmed anyone unless it was used to stuff the mouth of a kidnap victim, and even then it would take a lot of mansize to accomplish the deed.

I try not to be stupid, though, or any more stupid than I normally have, so I'll let Joe Bob Briggs do the heavy lifting on this critique.

Classic Sports Thursday: Literature class in a sports broadcast!

Going back to literature class!

In this well-known 2017 clip at the Watkins Glen 355 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event, MRN's Mike Bagley (on loan to NBC for selected races) made what many race fans called the call of the year, and NBC had fun with it in their notes the next week.  But in analysing the call, we learned Mr. Bagley had referenced one of the greatest authors in literature and his work.  Can you spot the literary reference in this call?  Those who appreciate reading classics that the modern Left wants removed from schools will see it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Opera Wednesday

The news has been anything but positive lately, so let's have something a little more lighthearted. I've probably done the Overture to "The Barber of Seville" before, possibly with its Bugs Bunny tie-in, but here it is straight, performed by the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Yuri Temirkanov. It's one of Rossini's most charming pieces, and considering his lifetime output that's saying a lot.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Flashback Friday: Economics and technology

Courtesy of 2Blowhards, here's some very interesting stuff from Tom Wolfe on the cause of the current economic unpleasantness:

The whole thing, starting with the subprime, is the fault of the computer. I was just talking to a banker the other day, and not that long ago, 20 years ago, an investment banking house, let’s say, Lehman Brothers, when it got a package of mortgages, they would go through every mortgage, every single one, and they’d throw out the ones that just seemed absurd, they just wouldn’t accept them. Things used to arrive on paper. Today things arrive on a screen, and a screen is back lit, and one of the biggest pains in the neck is trying to read something dully written and complicated on a computer screen. It will drive you nuts—I mean, try it sometime. Now they say, ‘Oh, to hell with it,’ and they just accept the whole package. And if it hadn’t been for that, they’d be going over each loan. What’s happened is the backward march of technology.

"The backward march of technology." In an era where we too often think that all progress (like all change) is good, that's refreshing to hear. It also suggests just how lazy technology has made us. . .

Originally published October 16, 2008
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