Saturday, August 30, 2008

"Stumpy" And "Hottie"--Olympic Thoughts

Wow, it's hard to believe that the Olympics have been over for almost a week now. I have to say, I enjoyed the NBC coverage a lot more than I thought I would. The network seemed to deliver on its promise about more live coverage and there seemed to me to be fewer athlete "background stories."

NBC's pre-Olympics hype was centered on Michael Phelps, Natalie Coughlin and Shawn Johnson so, of course, I felt compelled to follow their progress. I was particularly interested in Natalie Coughlin and Shawn Johnson because the NBC commercials made them look hot. Let's not kid ourselves here folks, sex sells-- even with respect to coverage of the Olympics.

Natalie Coughlin lived up to her aquatic mer-babe hype. Here she is after winning gold in the 100m backstroke:

She came across as demure (and sexy!) in all of her post-victory interviews. Apparently, she's getting married to another swimming type who is now a coach. Lucky, lucky, lucky guy!

I have to admit, I turned pretty quickly on Shawn Johnson. She's just weird looking. It's as if someone grafted a cute-girl head onto the stumpy body of a freakishly muscled little man. Not for me, thanks. Also, I felt like the ultimate perv when the announcers mentioned that Shawn Johnson is only sixteen! Shame on NBC for sexing up the coverage of somebody so young. Sheesh, keep the exploitation to the legal ones for goodness sake.... In that spirit, I felt perfectly within my rights to ogle Nastia Liukin. Nastia didn't just win the gold as the world's all around best female gymnast, she's also eighteen. Here's a picture of Shawn and Nastia:

See what I'm talking about? I propose that, going forward, Shawn and Nastia's nicknames be "Stumpy" and "Hottie," respectively.

On a completely different topic, I think congratulations are in order for the Canadian team. I took a ton of abuse over Canada's seriously slow start. But with eighteen medals by the end of the Olympics, Canada did better, on a per capita population basis, than the United States which managed to win one hundred and ten medals. So, good job Canada!

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Cheap And Italian"--A Bad Combination

In my June 1, 2008 post where I pointed out how much Joe Clark and Hillary Clinton look alike (and they DO--check out the pictures of the two of them on my June 1 post and tell me that they're not freakin' twins separated at birth!) I mentioned that I had a photo of me standing with Joe. An anonymous commenter requested that I post the photo. Always eager to please the readership, I'm happy to oblige:

The day after I received the photo back in early August 1988 (twenty years ago!), I showed it to all of my much older co-workers in my unit at the Department of External Affairs. The economic desk officer for Cuba burst out laughing when he saw it. "Look at Joe's suit!" he chortled. "It's cheap. And Italian. That's a bad combination!"

Sartorial commentary aside, it's not every day that you get to have your photo taken with a former Prime Minister. The photo of me and Joe is on prominent display in our living room.

Is Avril Lavigne Too Sexy?

Have you seen the article in the on-line edition of The Globe & Mail about the opposition party in Malaysia urging the government to cancel Avril Lavigne's concert because--wait for it--she's "too sexy!" If you haven't seen the article, check it out here:

It's funny how Avril started out as a tomboy and now, well, let's take a look shall we:

So what's the verdict? Is Avril "too sexy?" YES SHE IS! And that's exactly the way we like her thank you very much!

Friday, August 8, 2008

American Jingo-Fest: Here. We. Gooooooooo!

Well, the Beijing Summer Olympics are finally here. I can't say that I particularly care. I'm just not that into the Olympics, especially the Summer Olympics.

A large part of what turns me off about the Olympics is the TV coverage. I want to see the freakin' events live with a particular emphasis on the finals of every event, regardless of the nationalities of the finalists. In recent Olympics, the NBC coverage has been heavy on tape-delays and human interest stories about American athletes, even those (sometimes especially those) who don't have a shot at a medal. What happens if there are no Americans in the final of an event? You can read about it after the fact.

I also hate the over-the-top homer-ism of the NBC broadcasters. It's kind of like watching a supposedly neutral Toronto-based Hockey Night In Canada crew calling a Leafs playoff game but ten times worse. Look, there's nothing wrong per se with a little pro-US boosterism. Just don't be so obvious about it.

NBC has promised more live coverage than ever this time. That's a promising start. Let's hope that there's a little more balance to the coverage, too. If the coverage turns into a tape-delayed, American Jingo-Fest, I won't be watching.

Louis Ramey's Canadian Connection

I was extremely disappointed with the season finale of NBC's Last Comic Standing that aired last night. I was absolutely dumbfounded when Louis Ramey was the first of the five finalists asked to leave the show. I'd never been a fan of Last Comic Standing before this season. About a month ago, I caught part of one of Louis Ramey's acts and found myself in hysterics. The guy is HILARIOUS! From that point forward, Last Comic Standing was "must see TV" for me.

Wanting more Louis Ramey, I did a quick search on Youtube to see if any of his performances were posted. There were a few, including a performance he gave in Toronto! Check out the first few minutes of his show at Massey Hall here:

Louis Ramey deserved to win Last Comic Standing. If they know what they're doing, one of the networks will offer him a development deal. We need more Louis Ramey!