Anything from current events, campaign finance reform, sports (especially baseball), corporate/political/legal ethics, pop culture, confessions of a recovering comic book addict, and probably some overly indulgent discourses about my 3-year old daughter. E-Mail: sardonicviews -at-
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Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Reassured, Reminiscing and Security

Okay, maybe I was feeling a bit too paranoid about the Gator Bowl plotting to job Pitt even if Pitt beats WVU. Apparently the Gator Bowl will pick the Backyard Brawl winner (assuming ND beats USC or gets invited to a BCS Bowl).

Meanwhile in Morgantown (home to numerous federal appropriations courtesy of Sen. Byrd) they are beefing up security for the Backyard Brawl being played in Pittsburgh!

he Backyard Brawl with Pittsburgh is 75 miles away, but campus police at West Virginia University are calling in extra officers Saturday and tinkering with shift times to handle any postgame mayhem.

Thousands of students celebrated the Mountaineers’ 21-18 road upset of No. 13 Virginia Tech on Nov. 20 by setting more than 30 couch fires and tearing down the goal posts at Mountaineer Field.
“I think the rivalry has always been a classy, hard-fought game (between) two football programs that obviously care a lot about winning and the pride between the state of West Virginia and western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh,’’ said Pitt coach Walt Harris said.

Give me a break! Classy and WVU fans? Hello, oil? Meet water. (Old-timer alert!) Hell, when I was at Pitt in the late 80s, fights in the stands were common place at Pitt stadium. There was a chain-link fence dividing one endzone where Pitt and WV fans were on either side of. I watched insults, cups, bottles of booze fling back and forth culminating in one drunk starting the charge to climb the fence to get at someone -- this was never smart because someone on the other side was waiting to pummel the schmuck when he invariably became snagged on the fence. Good times.


No Apologies, Please

Oh, give me a break. This is eye-rolling crap.

An episode of the American television cartoon "The Simpsons (news - Y! TV)" reinforces Hungarian prejudices against its Roma or gypsy population, a rights official has said.

In a letter to the ViaSat3 commercial channel, Hungary's minority ombudsman said one episode of the satirical animated show featured a Roma character who proves his ethnic origin to a school inspector by saying: "I will drink your blood."

Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Why do I have the feeling the Gator Bowl is looking to shaft Pitt? It could be because they have already invited NC State to be the ACC rep. The same NC State Pitt beat last year in the Tangerine Bowl.I accept the fact that the Gator Bowl is praying for a Notre Dame loss to USC that would knock ND out of the BCS, but I suspect that they want to invite anyone but Pitt (Pitt doesn't travel real well). Paranoid? Perhaps.

Meanwhile, the WVU Alumni Association has put its ancient moonshine jug up for grabs.

"The WVU-Pitt football game needs a new twist to serve as a symbol of the revival of a great series by two up-and-coming programs," said Steve Douglas, executive director of the WVU Alumni Association. "Therefore, we are offering our fabled Founders Jug to the victor of the game.

"The Founders Jug goes back to the turn of the century, when spirits would be distilled in the West Virginia hills, corked in a clay vase and transported up the Monongahela River to Pittsburgh. The contents of the jug are long gone but the spirit of the tradition remains.

"The Founders Jug has been on the shelves of the Alumni Association since 1873," Douglas continued. "We've dusted off the jug, polished it up for the big game. We are so confident of the Mountaineers' victory that we ware wagering one of our most valuable possessions as a prize. Touting the Founders Jug is a much safer alternative than a goal post."

But WVU Coach Rodriguez is trying to play down the hype.

Now it is the end of a fanatical season and it carries the weight of the football world with it. Both teams are 8-3, both are ranked nationally, the prize is probably second place in the Big East (mathematically, the winner could take the title, but Miami would have to lose twice and there's a better chance of the sun turning into a ball of ice), and that would probably bring the Gator Bowl with it.

"It seems like it's a lot more important now than it was when I was playing. You wanted to win but you could still sleep if you lost," Rodriguez said.

He still isn't overly hyped on the Backyard Brawl.

"Me? I want them all. It doesn't matter if it's Chattanooga or Pitt. They all count as one," he said. "Our fans would probably say you have to beat Pitt worse than anyone but it's still just one game."

So far both sides are playing the quotes out of the cliche handbook.

Still Looking for the Right Wing Violence

Now I could go off on how people like Michael Moore, Susan Sarandon, Paul Krugman and Susan Sontag bear responsibility for inciting this sort of activity, but I won't (link via Instapundit).

Red Bluff, Calif., police officer David Mobilio, 31, was shot once in the head on Nov. 19 as he was refueling his cruiser. A man identifying himself as Andrew McCrae claimed responsibility in a posting Monday to a Web site for San Francisco news,

"Hello everyone, my name's Andy," he said in one of two letters. "I killed a police officer in Red Bluff, California, in a motion to bring attention to, and halt, the police-state tactics that have come to be used throughout our country.

The writer said the killing also was "an action against corporate irresponsibility," which he blamed for "all of the major problems in America and throughout the world today."

If this is the revolution, sign me up with the establishment.

Monday, November 25, 2002

Now It's Bad '80s TV

NO! NO!! NO!!! Not this!!!

Looks like 21 Jump Street could be jumping to a new address.

The Gen-X Fox police drama, which gave the world Johnny Depp and Rupert Murdoch's then-upstart network its first ratings success, would get the big-screen treatment courtesy of Paramount Pictures, according to Daily Variety.

Series mastermind Stephen J. Cannell, the man behind such hit '80s shows as The A-Team, Wiseguy and The Commish, and cocreator Patrick Hasburgh will adapt Jump Street into a feature film, in a deal reportedly worth more than seven figures if the flick gets made.

How to make Sex P.C.

In the underrated movie Singles, there is a flashback scene Kyra Sedgwick is relating about meeting her ex-boyfriend in college, at a "safe sex" party. I thought of that when I read about Oberlin's Safer Sex Night, an annual event, that manages to include a demonstration of proper use of a dental dam and a "Tent of Consent." The really pathetic homage to PC world was this.

This year, for the first time, men were required to cover their nipples. Women can't go topless because of Ohio indecency laws, and allowing men to do so was deemed sexist.

Walking the Dog in Protest of War

This is a rather good article on the "anti-war" protest that took place in Cleveland last Saturday -- I'd link to my post on the event, but @&*$! Blogger seems to have eliminated all my archives from November 7-12. To recap, though, there was a protest last Saturday in Cleveland that according to reports, drew about 1,000 people. One local tv station's website actually headlined the story as a "Massive Rally." Here's another view:

Father and child are crossing the Veterans Memorial Bridge, braving 35-degree weather and the country's pro-war climate. They're among about 1,000 protesters -- if you count kids, reporters, and people waiting at bus stops -- marching toward Public Square to rally against the looming U.S. attack on Iraq.

Of course the weather sucked leading to this observation

Speakers who address the throng at Public Square say much the same. Yet most do so while frothing less than the lattes they've carried, staying composed as a light drizzle begins to fall. One exception is a hyper young man in a wool cap who screeches, "Go to the Gap and yell you're against the war!"

Maybe, as Hartle suggests, it's just too damn cold for others to get angry. "There's a reason you see more protests in California -- the weather's a helluva lot nicer."

Still this was my favorite take on the matter

Protests, I've always thought, are parades minus the floats and marching bands. If there's no green beer, what's the point? Call me jaded, call me a typical Gen Xer, but I've yet to feel moved to chant bad poetry with strangers.

So I go into Saturday's rally without clear conviction -- while generally anti-war, I'm also very pro-bomb-the-living-shit-out-of-Saddam-himself. I want to ask people why -- beyond a possibly obvious desire to hate George Bush in public -- they've decided to protest in the cold. Especially when they could be -- let me see if I can find the right word here -- inside.

For Roxy Ward, the reason turns out to be the chance to chant bad poetry with strangers. The Case Western Reserve senior and two friends clutch a large red banner with a slogan that doesn't quite roll off the tongue: "Collateral Damage, Addiction to Violence, Allegiance to Oil. Is This What We Fight to Preserve? No Blood for Oil!" They wisely rely on other slogans to fire up the crowd, alternating old standbys like "No justice, no peace!" with new faves: "One, two, three, four -- our grief is not a cry for war!" They're a peacenik spirit squad, missing only the hemp pom-poms.

"I'd always thought it would be kind of weird to stand around and yell with a bunch of people," Ward says. "But when you do it, there's actually this kind of cohesion. You feel like there are a lot of other people who feel the same way."


(Copyright © 2002-2005 Chas Rich All rights Reserved.);
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