torsdag, februari 28, 2008

Acts of Theft


The above photo and the following note that went with it were sent to me by my friend John, a reference librarian in Illinois. The combo of image and note kills me. I'm posting it here without permission:

My new exercise regime: Run at a barbed wire fence, leap into full body flip, then chuck an axe at a target. Three sets of ten, twice daily.


Two matters grab me today: blogging and political insiders; and the spreading virus of celebrity endorsements in the political arena.

Yesterday the Wall Street Journal's "Portals" columnist Lee Gomes published a piece about the vast availability of political news and analysis, and how bloggers decontextualize and recombine those elements to become, in essence, something of Washington insiders. He's got a fine point, though certainly those "insider" types are still few and far far between. Just try reading the crap comments on Jack Cafferty's "Cafferty Files" blog at CNN. The comments on there provide ample evidence for negative world opinions about Americans.

To judge by the obstreperous statements of those commenting on political blogs, we are as a people grossly uneducated, quite possibly illiterate, callous, self-absorbed, and reluctant to learn more of pretty much anything than just the gist. Even the gist seems exhausting for us.

(Mob mentality and mob posting are, of course, almost always to the detriment of reason.)

And in the recent election cycle we've seen an unusually high number of celebrities not just commenting on the election, and not just getting actual coverage from major media sources--and I mean news sources, not just Entertainment Tonight--but actively appearing on the campaign trail (a la Chuck Norris' "Huck & Chuck" stops and Oprah's rallies with Obama).

I love the popular interest in our politics, certainly. But I detest how it has grossly altered our media coverage.

It apparently means that newsworthy political endorsements extend everywhere. Sports Illustrated published a piece about injured rookie center Greg Oden of the Portland Trailblazers. What was this piece about? How's his rehab going? How does he plan to fit into the team's scheme next year now that they seem to have functioned well without him? Nope.

Oden has endorsed Obama.

Good on ye, Greg Oden, for a fine choice, but SI--stay out of politics. Really.

(I suppose this is where SI responds: then shouldn't Congress stay out of sports?)

Just pack it in, Senators Clinton and McCain. Oden hath spoken.


Anonymous TK said...

What makes the Greg Oden story particularly obnoxious is not that he is a rookie who has never played a game in the NBA, it's that this is the first time Oden has been old enough to vote for president. The man was born in 1988, making him 16 years old the last time the American electorate ingested hallucinogens en masse and reelected W. Even as an ordinary citizen, he is not overly qualified to weigh in on the election.

Interestingly, Oden was born in Buffalo, the same city where William McKinley was assassinated. I live on McKinley St. Coincidence?

1:00 em  
Blogger cK said...

In Vonnegut's CAT'S CRADLE novel, tK, all that would be connected.

1:42 em  
Blogger hdk said...

Yes, but baseball's special antitrust exemption makes it the business of Congress. Senator Leahy has a good bit on his website from a few years back: - these are the things you know about when you've worked for a US senator.

6:32 fm  

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