Of Change And Doughnuts And Cultural Appropriation

This ridiculous editorial in The Globe and Mail about Rogers Sports NET terminating Hockey Night in Canada's host George Stromboulopolous got me thinking about a bunch of stuff including cultural appropriation.

Here are some snippets:

"Sports fans are creatures of habit. Innovation just isn’t part of their vocabulary."

Alrighty. We're off to a bad start. This sets the mood for where this is gonna go.

"Rogers executives thought the old CBC Hockey Night in Canada approach was staid and out-of-date, and undoubtedly they were right. In particular, they focused on HNIC host Ron MacLean, whose insider status and intimacy with hockey lore weren’t enough to compensate for his forced folksiness, excruciating puns and deferential encouragement of Don Cherry’s simplistic rants."

I wonder what wine they were drinking and the color of their ascots the day they wrote this.

I've said this in the past and will say it again, Don Cherry is a sports phenomena. People embrace him - including myself- for whatever reasons. I find it appalling and annoying as I do hilarious having been subjected to media rail against him over the years. It's a classic case of 'We can't believe people like this guy. How can they not be enlightened like us? We'll have to fix them up' smugness to which I cared little for.

Also, more importantly, I've learned more about hockey from his 'simplistic rants' than I have from the vast majority of hockey writers through the decades. More often than not, Cherry has been bang on about what ails hockey and what makes it interesting; from his thoughts on equipment to rules to general insights (insights that have proven to be subtle in their usefulness making mockery of the claim he's simplistic) often overlooked by the mainstream press.

"Mr. Stroumboulopoulos, despite or indeed because of his skinny suits and hollow-eyed ex-rocker gaze, is reportedly out as a host, to be succeeded by the staid, outmoded icon he toppled."

We get it. It was outmoded. You open-minded trend-setters you. Jesus, I would love to meet and slap this person off the side of the head with a Brontasaurus rib.

And what is this? A teeny-bopper show? As an alternate and personal take, I consider myself a man of good taste and sharp dressing and those skinny suits didn't exude professionalism or hipness to me. It just didn't transfer well on television.

"Hockey broadcasting didn’t need some corporate idea of the latest thing, it turns out, and who’s surprised? The pleasures of being a fan are grounded in a conservatism that is hard to explain or justify in a culture of innovation but easy to recognize in a more intimate sports milieu that thrives on familiarity and predictability."

Ah yes. Let's get to the lazy portion of the argument and blame 'conservatism'.

Hockey as a whole, as the G&M knows, is an old boys network where innovation among teams and coaches tends to be limited and copy cat. They circulate and shuffle the same people around when in sometimes, it's probably best to bring in someone from the outside. I get this point.

However, this editorial could have made this point without the dreary and typical disdained arrogance all too common among media today.

And let's not over blow George here as some leitmotif for 'culture of innovation.' He just didn't connect. Why, I don't know and it sounds as though the G&M doesn't either preferring to blow smug steam out of its ass.

I admit to not paying much attention to intermission where sports are concerned. It doesn't interest me to sit and watch a bunch of heads just gargle stuff I pretty much deduced on my own. They all sell themselves as providing real insights but not really. You could have had a muppet hosting and it wouldn't change much.

I was indifferent to George. Not because I didn't like him, I just didn't see the point. But I can see why people may like him.

Michael Strahan on the other hand. Jesus, what is the attraction?

"Mr. MacLean, like the bombastic, irascible Mr. Cherry, has held court for decades, and that very longevity, however imperfect, became part of the draw for hockey regulars."

But you repeat yourself.

Is this a new writing-style technique? To rinse and repeat?

"In a world where change is a little too relentless and beyond our control, hockey can still supply stability and connect people across cultures and generations who otherwise have little in common.
Marketers, for their own mercenary interests, want to shunt us off into demographics and sell us on change. But the habits of hockey are powerful, and every now and then they provide this useful reminder: Sometimes the old ways are the good ones."

Aaaaand then they shift gears a little.

Yeah, sometimes the classics are great but too bad you're to ignorant to see innovation!

Bah humbug.


I've grown tired of the 'wagging finger' style of media where some journalist incredulously tells their readers what's good for them. The media does seem to think itself as some sort of gatekeeper to 'good tastes' of some sort.

A few years back, and for some reason The G&M article above reminded me of this, the media strangely went hard after Krispy Kreme's incursion into the Canadian market. It was almost as if they were offended that an American company was stepping on Tim Horton's turf. Heck, that probably was exactly why. I digress.

Everyday they were pounding away at how much fat and calories a KK doughnut had vis-a-vis its competitors. It became a farce. 'KK d'nuts have 800 calories versus "just" 770 for a Timmy'! leaving the viewer with the impression KK was *bad* for you when in fact both are basically junk food.

I don't know the details as to why KK has, what, just one location here, but maybe the stupid scare-mongering worked.

Yet, somehow, I doubt they turn down going to Tim Hortons for a doughnut, right?


Which, in turn, again with not real rhyme or reason led me to 'cultural appropriation' which I've discussed before. In a nutshell, if you invoke it or believe it to be a legitimate form of intellectualism, you're an idiot. No other way to put it.

No, wait. I apologize.

A profoundly ignorant idiot.

Cultural appropriation (of which there have been many examples), really, at its roots, is a form of insular thinking. It's a metaphor for the current intellectual dark age we're witnessing.

The rise of the welfare state has helped to contribute to the closing of the mind -a shrugging atlas if you will. It leaves people to their own devices locked up in a world of their own vomit and nonsense susceptible to stupidity and quackery.

It's easy to buy into all the crazy shit about climate change, vaccines and patriarchy when you're shut off from facts and reality. And when your little bubble of retardation is threatened, lash out incoherent assertions of 'racism' and 'sexism'. And when that's not enough, just censor and call for people to be imprisoned.

How can it be but a product of intellectual isolation to believe in cultural appropriation?

I personally find the thing about 'dreadlocks' to be interesting. Dreadlocks go back thousands of years and were originally found in Northern European cultures. Only later on did it become connected to Rastafarians. Is this not cultural appropriation? Ironic, no?

Whatever you do, never apologize to these idiots. Ever.

In any event, welcome to humanity. One big Amazon shelf of cultural appropriation.


I know there's a way to link all of these to form a full circle....but I'm just too lazy at the moment.

Now where's my doughnut?

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