Monday, January 11, 2010

First Post of the 2010s!

It's been a while since I blogged, so I thought I'd weigh in on three things that are really annoying me right now. I have OPINIONS!

1) Yes, I admit that the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien hasn't been very good, and most of that has to do with Conan's (excuse the cliche) losing his edge. The day Conesy lost me was when he had Paris Hilton doing a Bob Hope-style walk-on, complete with golf club. It wasn't spontaneous, her jokes were not particularly funny, and worst of all, it let Paris Hilton in the club.

The thing that was great about Conan's old show is the way that it allowed all the nerds in. Those of us who were never the "cool kids" were able to relate to a guy like Conan -- although his self-deprecation is often too belabored. People like Paris Hilton were the target ... they shouldn't be allowed in the clubhouse. When Conan legitimized this talentless tart, I realized that he wasn't one of "us" anymore, he was one of "them."

Now, I do give him a little slack. It's not like I hate Conan, or think he's a true sell-out. But I was no-longer compelled to watch his show, because he wasn't getting the laughs. But I had expected Conan to find his groove ... eventually. After about a year or so, he probably would have found his new voice -- a la David Letterman, who holy shit will have been on the air twenty years in 2013.

But it looks like Conan won't get his chance, because for some reason, NBC seems to think that Jay Leno is the answer. Jay Leno, who milked Bill Clinton and OJ Simpson jokes for well over a decade, but somehow inexplicably trounced Letterman in tv ratings. (Well, actually, it's very explicable... Americans are fucking idiots.) So now, as if he was some sort of automatic ratings machine, NBC is going to move him back to 11:35, and then Conan to 12:05. Keep in mind, Leno has been ON TV FOR THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS. Maybe people got tired of Leno, and you have to give them just a tad bit more credit than to think they would have forgotten he existed just because he was on at 10pm.

So after the Olympics are over, Leno is going to be on again AFTER the local news instead of before. And my hope -- as well as my prediction -- is that the public realized from the 10pm experiment that Leno is old and stale, and just not that damn funny, and that Conan bolts for another network and can do his own thing again without having to live up to the "Tonight Show" brand. Because at this point, who gives a shit.

2) The "Rooney Rule" is the rule in the NFL that all teams must interview minority candidates before they can make a hire. The idea is very noble: to get exposure for more minority candidates so that they will have more chances at jobs. It is affirmative action, yes, but it's also been proven to be very effective. (The Steelers, to their credit, put their money where their mouths are, as they hired Mike Tomlin, a black coach who led them to a Super Bowl championship last season.)

But this past week a pair of Washington teams -- the Redskins and Seahawks (see what I did there, football fans?) -- hired high-profile coaches without following the spirit of the Rooney Rule. The Skins did a cursory interview with their assistant coach Jerry Gray, and the Seahawks did a sham interview with Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier. Both teams knew they were going to hire established coaches, which makes the interviews of the minority candidates seem especially hollow, and condescending.

But you can't really blame the teams for hiring who they did -- two of the most well-known football coaches of the last fifteen years. Back in 2003, the Detroit Lions fired their coach because recently-deposted 49ers Steve Mariucci became available, and they knew they wanted him. The Lions got fined because they didn't interview a minority candidate. (The Cowboys, incidentally, did not, even though their sham interview consisted of a phone call with Dennis Green.)

But think about it, why force these teams to interview a minority when they know with 100% certainty that there is no chance that any of the minority candidates have a chance... not because they aren't qualified, but because the teams had pre-existing coaches in mind. But you can't just throw the Rooney Rule out, can you??? There's got to BE a better way!

I have the solution, and I'm not the first to come up with it, but I'll tell you about it. The Rooney Rule should be this: if you only interview ONE candidate (eg. Pete Carroll, Mike Shanahan), you don't have to do a phony interview with a minority candidate. This would allow these teams to expedite their hirings and stop with the phony bullshit.

If your team does MORE than one interview, however, that team has to interview at least as many minority candidates as they do white candidates. This, you might think, is also a sham, but it shouldn't be. A wider net cast would mean that teams would open up their searches anyway, so the more exposure the better for all. If they just implement this in the Rooney Rule, all will be well.

3) Mark McGwire is a selfish asshole and I hope he never gets into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I have never liked him, because of what an arrogant cock he was in 1998 when he broke the then-home run record and went on Letterman talking about what a service that he and Sammy Sosa did for the country. Not for the NL Central, not for Major League Baseball. For the COUNTRY. He can shit in his hat.

It's interesting that when he didn't get immunity in the 2004 baseball steroid hearings, he decided to pull his "I'm not here to talk about the past." And then he remained silent about the matter for over five years.

But today, he decided that he wanted to fess up about it. Why? Because his conscience was weighing on him? Because the truth needed to be told? Because he wanted to tell kids not to do it? No, of course not. It's because he wanted another job in baseball, and this was the only way that anyone was going to let him do it. If he wanted to take credit for saving the nation 11.5 years ago, he can take the heat for being a sack of shit.

4) I read a Facebook group called "I Shouldn't Have to Press '1' so Speak English!" Of course, this is blatant anti-immigration racism in the guise of pro-America populism. It's horseshit. If you don't like brown people, just admit it. Stop acting like somehow you are a more legitimate American just because you speak English. Remember, America has NO official language, and that's the way the Founding Fathers wanted it.

Of course, when you go onto the site to read the comments, there is a lot of "go home to your country" and "learn to speak English!" and other such nonsense. But do you know what's so ironic? Spanish speakers are not ruining the language in this country: English speakers are.

If you've ever listened to a NASCAR-loving hillbilly speak, you can tell that they don't have what we might call a "command" of the English language. Not only do they mix their metaphors, but they usually leave the "g" of gerunds, such as "learning," "talking" and "eating." They use phrases like "that dog don't hunt," and "git er done!" but somehow get upset about Ebonics. (Also, they are under the borderline retarded notion that Ebonics was something proposed to be TAUGHT in schools to students. It wasn't: it was meant to be taught to TEACHERS so that they could more effectively communicate with their students.)

Also, can we agree that even common language is dying? And it has nothing to do with people from other countries trying to usurp our linguistic dominance. It has everything to do with lazy Americans (blacks AND whites both) who don't feel like learning the correct ways to say things, instead relying either on what "feels" right, or what they thought they heard once.

The best example of this is "irregardless." I'm sure that a bunch of these shit-kicking hicks have used this combination of letters. But the truth is, there is no such word. It came about by some numbskull combining "regardless" and "irrespective." Before "Bennifer" and "Brangelina," there was "irregardless."

But do you want to know the infuriating part? Some dictionaries actually recognize "irregardless" as an actual word. Basically, the least educated of our society has somehow come to dictate language, and infiltrate the intelligent, correct-spelling world with their stupidity. If these "I hate pressing '1' to speak Inglish" people had any integrity at all -- or any LEGITIMATE respect for the English language, as opposed to using it as some kind of patriotic wedge issue -- they would be storming the offices of Webster's and demanding that such heresy be stricken from the books, to PRESERVE OUR LANGUAGE!

But no, these cro-magnon faggots will flip over their Bill Engvall cassettes and LOL whenever he says "Heerrrrrrrrrre's yer sign!"

Ahhhh... I feel so much better now. Happy New Year!


'Don' Cialini said...

As one of the "cro-magnon faggots" you are referring to since it was my "becoming a fan" of said Facebook group that got you all fired up, I do have to respond.

I have no problem with immigrants, or immigration. None at all. Immigration is what helped build this country into what it is today - the greatest country on earth. Sure we have our problems and flaws, but I wouldn't want to live anywhere else. Our great country was built in large part to the back breaking labor that Mexicans, Irish, Germans, Italians, Dutch, Chinese etc all did. My thing is that they did it correctly. They came to America leagally and in essance correctly. They integrated themselves into the American way of life learning about the country and becoming citizens. They managed to immagrate and still keep their own culture while becoming part of America.

Now a days, that isn't so. In our way to politically correct world now, its all about not offending people. Catering to all those who want to be different or have their own unique things. I'm all right with that to a point, however there is a reason why you are coming to America, so do it right and become truly American in the process. I shouldn't have to hear a Spanish disclaimer then press 1 or 2 for English when I call my bank, inusance company, or to find out what the Atomic time is. Nobody caters to foreigners like America does now. Go check out the rules for immigrating to Mexico if you want too. While as Americans we have it easy in that English is tought in school almost all around the world, Mexican law states that you have either 1 or 2 years to learn the language...That would mbe Spanish too, because you won't find a "Press 1 for Spanish" option down there. And I have no problem with this. There are plenty of other thigns I could talk about on this part, but only the language part is really applicable right now.

And just so you don't brand me a hater, I feel like this for all groups. Growing up we had a handful of Italians at my family picnics that had been in the country for 40 and 50 years, however you would have sworn they were fresh off the boat. They refused to learn the language, adapt to the American culture etc. I was talking a week ago with my 90 year old Great-Aunt about this topic. She was telling me how her mother-in-law was basically Italian trash so to speak. Came over to America and refuse to adapt, learn the language and most were embarrassed by her actions. She said her parents (my Great-Grandparents) came over and learned the language, learned the culture, the customs and were able to keep their own as well.

I don't think it's too much to ask for foreigners to enter the country legally and have to work just as hard as I do for all the benefits this country provides. I don't think it's too much to ask that said people learn English. Call me a rasicst or a faggot or whatever else you wanna call me, but I don't think it's unreasonable to have some type of National standard - "irreguardless" (sorry, couldn't resist) of what you say.

Bill said...

First I want to say that you made some salient points there, Michael. I agree with some of what you said, about how it's advantageous to assimilate to any culture you choose to become a part of. I wouldn't expect to move to France and refuse to learn the language ... it would be pretty dumb of me.

And also, let me say that I know you specifically are not one of the ignoramuses. I wasn't referring to you in this little ditty of mine. But what I would ask you to do is to go on to that Facebook site and read some of the comments that people are leaving. It's more than just "hey I'm a proud American." There is a lot of "go back to your country" shit on there. That's not cool.