Thursday, June 30, 2005

Shut Up Bono

Successful rock stars are narcissistic and selfish bastards. You have to be that way in order to survive an industry that is laced with ego, greed and corruption.

If you don’t believe that, you have absolutely no experience in the music industry. I have some experience here, not a lot, but enough to know that if you are multi-million dollar rock star, you’ve achieved that by walking hand in hand with corporate endorsement, shady deals with concert promoters and attaching yourself to a billion dollar industry, that attempts to bilk every single penny out of the gullible 14 to 28 year old demographic.

So I truly think Bono needs to shut the fuck up. Any pansy that does a photo op in Eastern Africa with 500 dollar sunglasses on, is just a hypocritical piece of shit.

Consider the hypocrisy of someone who screams we need to pay attention to poverty, while they ride in limousines, stay in the best hotels and charge talks shows a fee to come on their shows and talk about poverty.

This is not charity work people, wake up. This is a self-serving marketing scheme. It is intended to get young people to believe Bono is iconic to their hopes and dreams for the world. If you happen to buy an album, or a ticket to a rock show along the way, so much the better.

I am all for helping the plight of countries crushed with debt and if forgiving debt is the best way to do that, count me in. But don’t try to convince me, that someone who made an entire career of standing in front of a stage and saying “look at me, I’m a rock star”, has any business preaching about how selfish and greedy the world is.

Shame on the media such as Charlie Rose and Meet the Press for giving Bono a free infomercial. Bono, if you must insist on continuing this charade, at least have the courage to take of your designer sunglasses and your 400 dollar shirt and talk to me like a concerned human being.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Sometimes opportunity presents itself. Sometimes elements combine to produce a shot at something unique, something special, something I can be proud of.

I am proud of so many things, and now if I do this right, I'll have something else to be damn proud of too.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Wallowing in the Gutter of Sports Media

Sports journalism has hit new lows.

It's always been the bottom of the barrel in terms of journalism. As Woody Allen once joked:

If you can't do, then teach and if you can't teach, teach gym.

So in my mind, you could rewrite that to:

If you can't write, become a journalist and if you can't become a journalist, become a sports journalist.

I have a confession. I am a hopeless sports addict, I have been since the age of six, where I would rush to get the morning newspaper and read the latest hockey scores.

So its possible my standards are too high, but I am so often very dissapointed with sports writers, sports television hosts and most especially sports radio hosts.

In fact, sports radio, is a wasteland. Our own local sports radio station here in Seattle, is easily the worst sports radio station I've ever heard. I remember one day, there was a prominent NBA playoff game, several intriguing baseball games with marquee pitching matchups the same day. Did I get to hear any of that? No.

Instead, our stupid radio station choose to broadcast an inter-squad exhibition football match for the local university. The freakin' QBs were wearing red jerseys for Christ sake, marking them as unhittable. That's not a football game, that's a freakin' extended passing drill.

That is just beyond weak and relegates sports radio in this town, to not much more than gossip columns and loud mouths.

Our local sports writers, are also for the most part, a huge joke. They are often vain, egocentric and tend to cover up a lack of analysis or knowledge of the sports, with cheesy humor and sarcasm, the kind we all mastered and perfected back in Junior High.

They also tend to be spineless. Villifying players and coaches when the lose, but turning the tables quickly should they succeed. They never hold themselves accountable to what they said in the past. In fact if anything try to ride the current tide of popular opinion, as their gospel truth. They are beyond populists, they are often, trend sucking whores, who just echo whatever the popular opinion is and call it analysis.

They are also, very often racist. Yes, racism still exists in sports, in particular with sports writers. They are often give black and latino players much less rope and room to fail, than good old white boys. Toronto is a city especially guilty of that. I will one day talk about that at length. But, Toronto is a very racist city underneath its surface anyway, so that racism doesn't surprise me.

A new ugly trend in sports programming is the increase in gossip and celebrity infomercials. Sports shows that bring in some cheese actor to promote Deuce Bigalow II and then ending the conversation with, "who do you like in the NBA finals" to clumsily tie it back to sports. The truth is you just watched a 2 minute infomercial for a movie you never intended to watch in the first place. But the canned audience applauds anyway, because the sign tells them too and they cut to a commercial.

Gossip has begun to abound in these types of shows. Who Alex Rodriguex is dating? is it true there's an imminent break up of some b-grade actress and some Nascar driver with bad teeth? The similarities between ESPN's Sportscenter and Entertainment Tonight are frightening.

The packaged segments on Sportscenter are beyond embarassing these days. I stopped watching Sportscenter for nearly a year now because of them, and when you start putting athletes on a big monitor, and then ask him things like: what's the best accessory to help 'pimp your ride'? Well ESPN, at that point, enough is enough and I just refuse to watch anymore.

The 'serious' sports shows can often be so dissapointing. Outside the Lines and the Gumbel/Costas shows on HBO are promoted as 'insightful sports journalism'. Then you actually watch a show and you realize the journalism usually very light, very shallow and often cobbled together hastily.

When was the last time you saw any real level of research or statistical information? What you get is, Bob Costas and his one guest, telling you for twenty minutes that steroids are very bad? Nobody takes an alternate view (say for example the libertarian notion that regulating what people can and cannot take to help their careers, is no business of government). They instead, just echo what everyone wants to hear, as fast, as easily and as cheaply as possible.

In fact, the last sports interview/show I saw that had any real merit was when Charlie Rose brought in guests to discuss the Red Sox last year.

That's pretty lame when you think about it, we're saturated with more sports shows, radio, newspapers and magazines than ever before, but the best sports related journalism I saw last year, came from a low budget PBS show.

Maybe there just isn't a market for 'upscale' sports journalism. Maybe if someone did a real examination of the utter corruption in the Olympics, the outright bias of NBA referees, the rampant racism still dominant in baseball, the collaboration of the baseball union and ownership to allow steroids to run rampant, the outright chicanery of the NHL that has seen millions swindled into the pockets of an elite few, maybe if there was real examination of these events, journalism will have bitten the hand that feeds them too hard.

Maybe sports journalists can't really be journalists, because they very thing that provides them their jobs, are also the very thing they are paid to analyze and critique. Maybe someone needs to do a documentary on just how shallow, passive and symbiotic sports journalism really is, I bet the media's cooperation with big league sports has provided some shameful moments.

I *do* know that sports has a million ghosts in its closet that are never examined or talked about. College sports is seething with corruption and graft, as well extremely complicit in its use of steroids. Other than the occasional weak 5 minute rant about the playoff system in college football, the rampant criminal activity of the NCAA is never discussed or analyzed.

All the real warts of sports entertainment is swept under the rug and instead we wind up talking about Johnny Damon's facial hair, or the new uniforms of the Cincinnati Bengals. We will never get beyond that, because its apparently all that America wants.

Actually to be more accuarate, we'll never get beyond infomercials and childish editorials, because the secret 'sugar daddies' of sports media, are the very owners, leagues and associations that sports media should be confronting.

When you wallow in the gutter of sports media, you learn quickly who butters the bread. The rich black athlete, can be cast as 'selfish' and 'cocky' at the drop of a hat, especially if popular opinion is already turning against him. But the greedy corporation behind the sport, the one that just swindled 800 million in tax dollars? Well you leave those boys alone, otherwise, its no more free meals at the buffet during the 7th inning stretch.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

That's America for You...

You know every once in a while, not often, but every one in a while, I am kind of ashamed of the US...

...that's just pure bullshit. 7 decades of playing friendlies and neutral game matches and a New Jersey Governor has to get his underwear in a wad, over it? Just for a little political "Look at me I'm patriotic" media time?

Like somehow America is so much more important than everyone else, that it has to break tradition, just so it can wave its flag and its anthem?

What the hell does that solve anyway?

What somehow we all hate our country, because a silly song isn't played when we are not even represented on the field of play. Should we sing 'America the Beautiful' at Olymic medal ceremonies too, just to be sure we don't offend anyone in Hoboken?

Meanwhile our bill of rights get pissed on, our governments lie to us daily and the electoral process has become highly suspect and even possibly high jacked by powerful interests groups, anyone who lives in Washington State knows what I mean by that.

...yet our patriotic duty and concern for the day, is to apparently ignore all of that and instead gripe about the anthems played at a soccer game...


That's America for you. That's Raible for you. Love it or leave it Snazel...and meanwhile enjoy a nice hot piping cup of shut the fuck up...