Monday, December 20, 2004

For want of something to rant about...

Some updates to the sidebar I wanted to announce to my reader(s). Finally got around to adding the Rice University link to the alma maters section, and I added a few more links to the general links section. Be sure to check them out.

Also, it has recently come to my attention that I have been blogrolled by the late great Zhubin Parang and the late great Chad Wilcox (both of whom are actually still alive - I just like rhyming things). I have decided to return the favor, so check out Zhubinness and Quiet Declarations.

Zhubin and I worked together on the freshman production of "WASP" at Vandy, and he also wrote a couple of great Slant articles, including "Area Jerk Rides Elevator One Floor". He's a die hard liberal and Democrat, but we like him anyway, even though, as he points out, most of his readers "probably don't like" me.

My fondest memory of Chad is when he accidentally hit some parent with the Aerobie when we and Jacob were throwing it on Alumni Lawn. However, we also had a lot of fun driving people nuts at Cafe Philo and VSC meetings (where he was a particularly supportive member-at- large). He's a big Tennessee Titans fan, which makes him inherently cool.

And even though he has no blogroll, it seemed remiss of me not to have my former roommate Bradley Metrock on my list. Check out his website here. It's got some MP3s for download from his CD "Maintain Radio Silence", so be sure to have a listen.

Anyway, enjoy the free publicity y'all. I don't have anything to rant about at the moment, but don't worry, I'm sure I will soon enough.

Song lyric of the day:
"This is nothing like we ever dreamt
Our lust for life had gone away with the rent we hated
And 'cause it made no money
Nobody saved no one's life"
- The Shins, "So Says I"

Sunday, December 05, 2004

There's no sex in your violence (or drugs)

I wasn't gonna write about it because I really didn't care, and it was a pretty silly thing anyway, but an article in the Washington Post today made me shake my head at how silly people can be. The article talks about how scandals are ruining sports. It cites the Giambi/Bonds steroids scandal as an example of this for baseball, the slugfest between the Indiana Pacers starting roster and the Pistons fans for basketball, and for football... (drumroll please) a cheesy Monday Night Football skit in which desperate housewife Nicollette Sheridan seduces Terrell Owens.

Because obviously, the three events are oh so comparable.

Get real folks. The steroids scandal and the Pacers-fans brawl hold serious implications for their respective sports (and not to mention the music scene, since now, much to everyone's dismay, Ron Artest will have more time to focus on his rap album). The MNF skit, by comparison, was just an actress and a football player having a little fun and entertaining some people. A network having some fun with its most popular Monday Night program and it's most popular new program. No implications for football. No implications for society. Period.

What it does highlight is how immature American society still is.

There were two issues in the skit that upset some people. One was the race issue, which exists only because Terrell Owens is black and Nicollette Sheridan is white. I'm not even gonna touch on that one, it makes me laugh so hard. I mean, honestly, have we not come farther than that in 40 years (or 140)?

The other issue was the sex issue, the argument there basically being that a skit so blatantly sexual and erotic does not belong in so-called family programming. You may remember the same argument over Janet Jackson's, er, "revelation" during the Super Bowl earlier this year. Okay, I guess I can concede that, even though I would argue that kids under 10 would have no clue what they were seeing, and kids over 10 would just think it was hilarious (and frankly no worse than anything they hear at school). But even if this is a valid issue within the scope of this particular "scandal", it completely invalidates any comparison to the other far more legitimate scandals.

Let's be clear: of violence, sex, and drugs, only one is not only wonderful but vital to human existence. (Okay, I concede there may be an argument there for drugs too.) But sex is just sex. Comparing sex to violence or drugs is not only ludicrous but irresponsible. If we keep sending the message that sex is wrong, disgusting, and perverse (to paraphrase a particularly closed-minded columnist for the Vanderbilt Hustler), before long we'll be moving back instead of forward, which is absurd (to paraphrase a particularly awesome band). Sex ain't going away. Get used to it.

Anecdote time: A friend of mine here who detests reality TV even more than me observed that maybe when someone finally dies on one of those shows, it will finally come to an end. I replied that no one will care, as long as they died fully clothed. And to a certain extent, I believe it. That's where we are as a society.

Song lyric of the day (you knew it was coming):
"We're so bored, you're to blame
There's no sex in your violence
There's no sex in your violence
Try to see it once my way..."
- Bush, "Everything Zen"