Current Affairs: Pop Culture

-In the toy department today I came across a product that was repulsive, repugnant and regressive all rolled into one burrito. It reminded me of Lisa Simpson's crusade against Malibu Stacy's corruption of girls everywhere. Everything she worked for pretty much failed in the cartoon and it proved prescient even for reality. The toy was called 'Bratz'. Never mind, for a moment, that the name already lends some insights into the mindset of the modern child. It was the way these dolls were presented. Scantily clothed, they looked like tramps. The could just as easily called it Little Hookers or Baby Whores. Here were tiny little girls dressed like Britney Spears - which isn't saying much both on a fashion and quantity sense. "Mommy, I want to look like a ho like Paris Hilton." "Oh honey, our little girl has ambition!" "Shut up and give me mo money, suckers. I want to make porn." Any parent buying this junk for their girls is not doing their job. "I don't know where she went wrong" will be their defense.

-The NBA is legislating a dress code. I have no idea what's motivating the NBA to do so. Perhaps I'm the last guy to comment as I have always been a proponent of uniforms and dress codes. Organizational standards are crucial for not only the success of a company but the well-being of its workers. Athletes today have been fed to believe they are invincible on every level. They consider themselves on the level of owners. True, there is no money without the stars but equally true there is no league without owners taking the risk.

Not surprisingly its players are lashing out. In a league that thrives on self-absorption, self-entitlement and meism, we can't expect millionaire athletes to readily govern themselves appropriately.

The NBA is indeed a different sports culture than any other league but at what point does the athlete cease being unique and crosses the line of being decadent in their excessive search for uniqueness? The NBA has to respect the cultural background of its players. On the flip side, the players have to recognize this isn't the 'hood' either. The usual 'it's about my right to express myself as I choose' angle will be spewed but the bottom line is that the NBA is the boss. Anyone turning this into a race issue has to be reminded that as long as you GET A PAY CHECK from someone else you don't exist. That's just the way it goes. I was #2345 at my job for years. Sure I wanted to 'express' myself but I instinctively knew my limits. Whipping out 'ol Jasper during a meeting wouldn't have been a good idea come to think of it.

Anyhow, the NBA suffers from an image problem. It has become the breeding ground for Thugs 'We' Us. Basketball players, some of them, have to leave behind the street mentality and treat with respect that they have entered a more serious realm. They belong to a professional league and they earn a fabulous wage - no one is robbing them of their uniqueness. Their still going to use the cell phones during practice and cut bad rap CD's.

The NBA is asking that on their time and clock they act like true PROFESSIONALS. The again, it's a double edged sword. Tim Duncan, the model athlete, is considered too 'boring'. Marketing the NBA is a tricky thing. They not only want to be treated with respect and like businessmen but they also want to act like irresponsible children too.

It's about time the NBA does this. I remember, on a side note, when a bank I worked for, falling into the 'new paradigm dress code' pushed by the tech industry during the bubble, agreed to allow a casual Friday dress code. The very first Friday people came in looking like either they were going camping or out to start an escort service. The experiment did not last long and of course everyone complained - including, which freaked me out, the guy who were shorts to work.

-I witnessed a person make a call in a movie theatre the other day. Hey, look at the dolls I mentioned off the top. Look at modern NBA players. Everyone is just too important. Civil respect is a concept that went out when everyone stopped saying 'thank you' when a door is held for them or when people stopped letting the people coming out of the elevators first or when people actually used their turn signals. All dead arts. I see a connection between this and the loss of the universal principle.

-In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Pakistan, that country is refusing aid from Israel. Even in time of dire need, their backwardness remains in tact. I've said once and I will say it again, the imperfect Jews are the only rational players in that whole region. It was all a Jewish plot by the way.

-A Manifesto was issued in Quebec by former esteemed politicians and thinkers warning about this Province's path to destruction. No really? Tell us something we weren't aware of. All this is amusing of course, when they were in power they turned a blind eye to this. I think they knew what they were up against. Who is leading this? The one man who would have taken Quebec into oblivion by cracking Canada. More on this on a separate blog.

-Speaking of intellectualism, Foreign Policy magazine asked its readers to rank today's most important intellectuals and thinkers. Noam Chomsky topped the list. Naomi Klien - I still don't get it - also made the list. Which leads me to ask - Who are FPs target market? Who make up their readership? Chomsky and Klein. So railing against something and yearning for a "simpler" time passes as "intellectual" now? A paranoid genius and a ranting socialist made the list. I'm surprised Bobby Fisher didn't make the list.

-I have not been able to get the tune of 'Diff'rent Strokes' out of my head for a few days now. Which got me thinking. If television influences, why did the wholesome message of the show fail half of the cast? This suggests to me TV has its limits. It all begins with the family folks. The family.

-Today, there are imply is too many cereals to choose from. Like Law and Order and CSI, the cereal industry too has several variations of their product. How many Cheerio's are there now? 23? Feeling daring, I usually am as I'm not exactly price conscience, I bought into this 'what the Ancients used to eat' cereal. It had things like spelt and kamut in it.

The first thing I said to myself on my first bite "Hmm, that's strange. I didn't realize that the fucking Mayans, Aztecs and Incan's ate Sugar Crisp." I hate Sugar Crisp - By far, to me anyway, the worst cereal ever invented next to that atrocity Honeycombs. Count Chocula and Boo-Berry were bad but they were fun bad. With all this health revolution crap (low carb is such a crock. 57 million Italians with a culinary heritage and sophisticated diet can't be wrong. Can it be they simply know how to eat a healthy and balanced meal while we exaggerate giving into all our excessive pleasures?) we've taken the fun out of everything. I bought Ricotta and what do I read? 50% less fat! Hell, I need the fat to make a real rigatoni al forno ! Take care of your own families you nannies!


  1. Anonymous10/25/2005

    I'm laughing again! I forbid my little princesses to even consider uttering the word "bratz" in my our house. My neices play with them because my brother doesn't see anything wrong with letting them play with them as long as they don't try to emulate them. Yeah, I tried explaining it to him and it was futile.

    The NBA makes me want to scream. They're part of the problem that our society faces now. MTV, BET, NBA...omg. The thug mentallity has got to stop. With the exception of letting them all kill each other, how do we stop them?! Bill Cosby has even been ostracized by that culture for speaking out against the thugs. WTF?!

  2. That's the problem. "As long as..." is a cop out. Once you think this you lost and relinquished all control. Kids should not be given the option. It's a stupid toy to begin with. Interestingly, NBA players - not to mention other modern athletes - always claim to be misunderstood or blame the media for their bad public image. Yet they are the authors of their own misperceptions.

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