LIGHTS, CAMERA, LONG BORING PAUSE, ACTION
That’s it Gatorade, I’m officially calling you out. I’m all for giving consumer products catchy names, but enough is enough. While watching Criminal Minds (on my DVR) late last night, my friend Maya asked her husband Phil for a drink. He offered her his Vitamin Water.
“What flavor is it?” she asked.
I looked over at the bottle; it contained a light orange colored drink and had the word “ENDURANCE” written in big letters of the side.
“It’s peach flavor,” Phil responded.
Phil had skipped the product title (Vitamin Water) and the sub-heading (Endurance) and gone right for the line underneath which clearly read, “Peach”. Now why can’t Gatorade take the time to do that? Years ago, Gatorade only came in a few flavors, and those flavors had names that led the consumer to a reasonable conclusion as to the flavor of the beverage: Fruit Punch, Lemon-Lime, Grape, etc. These days, there are a wide range of flavors, each as confusing as the next. What if I had been at the store and called Maya to ask her if she wanted a drink?
“Sure,” she’d told me, “I’d love a Gatorade”
“Okay Maya, what flavor?”
What flavor is grape, “Rip-tide Rush”, “Midnight Thunder”, or one of the several other “flavors” that come in some shade of purple? “Cool Blue”, “Glacier Freeze”, “Alpine Snow”, “Whitewater”, “High Tide”, “Cascade Crash”, “White Ice”, and even “ESPN the Flavor” are not flavors! They are meaningless titles. They give the consumer absolutely no idea as to the taste sensation of the beverage. All we, as consumers, have to go on is the color, and even that can be misleading. There are several orange colored Gatorade’s so assuming that orange is orange flavored will get you no where. There are also several blue colored ones. What flavor is blue? There are even flavors that come in white and black. I don’t even want to think about those. This is why no one ever asks you to pick them up a grape or cherry Gatorade. Instead they say,
“Hey would you pick me up some Gatorade on your way to the game?”
“Sure what flavor would you like?”
Then when you get to the field, your friend is upset that you brought him strawberry or cherry instead of fruit punch, but how the hell were you to tell the difference?! Gatorade, I strongly suggest that you start listing actual flavors under the catchy headings that you assign to your beverages, otherwise, the only one I’ll be purchasing is “Not Gonna Waste My Money”.
Before all of the drink-related madness last evening, I saw the movie “300” with my friend Phil. For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, don’t waste your time and money. It isn’t terrible from beginning to end, but the profoundly dreadful scenes far outweigh the fantastic ones. It most easily compares to a porno movie with remarkable sex scenes, and a downright horrendous (and lengthy) plot. Using the porno format, in 300 the sex scenes were actually battle scenes, and they were remarkable. To further support my claim of a glorified action porno, the Spartans channeled the Persian army into a narrow gap in a mountain. For all intents and purposes, it was the vagina of Sparta. This is where the 300 Spartans clashed with wave after wave of Persian soldiers, as they tried to forcefully penetrate their way into Sparta, and held their ground for several days. Soldiers or Spartan chastity belt? In the end, the 300 were finally defeated. The Spartan King, Leonidas bravely perishing as the Persian leader Xerxes kills him with his explosive money shot (of arrows). Then, there was the “plot”. The plot was as utterly trifling as the worst porno plot you’ve ever seen. If you’ve never seen a porno movie, let alone one with a terrible plot, I suggest you stop reading after this post and run out to your local video store (if they don’t carry them, tell them to stop suppressing art and free-speech) and rent a few (of course I’m sure you could find one or two on this internet thing I keep hearing so much about too). The outline was so bad, that you didn’t even want to watch the actual sex scenes (which, when compared to the fighting, were no more exciting than two people in a porno just kissing for ten minutes. Enough is enough already, get to the good stuff). I kept wishing I had a remote control so I could fast forward through all the trivial plot scenes and get right into the hardcore battle action scenes. It was excruciating. While setting up the plot may have been necessary in explaining the mindset of 300 warriors who would take on an army of hundreds of thousands, there was no need to dedicate so much time to it. If I had made the movie, I would have gone with 95% fighting, and 5% plot. You just start off the movie with one of those written narrations that trails off into the distance (like in Star Wars), setting up the battle. Then, after a few minutes of that, the narrator’s voice (which was awful as well) could take over.
“And everything you’ve just read leads us to this moment now, as Leonidas and his brave army of 300, clashed with a seemingly undefeatable Persian force…”
Wait for it…wait for it…and BAM! You jump right into two hours of bad-ass fighting. Unless any of you have a hard-on for wasting your time (and about eight dollars) I suggest that you skip “300” in the theatres and wait for it to come out on DVD so you can skip the teasing and get right to the action.
IF “300” SOUNDS A LITTLE TOO VIOLENT FOR YOUR CHILD, WHY NOT JUST LET THEM SURF THE WEB FOR A LITTLE PORNOGRAPHY?
When it comes to protecting children from “indecent” internet content, the U.S. government will no longer be serving as the condom. Today, in Philadelphia, Senior U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed Jr., threw out a 1998 law that makes it a crime for commercial Web site operators to let children access "harmful" material. In the ruling, the judge said parents can protect their children through software filters and other less restrictive means that do not limit the rights of adults to free speech. The law criminalized Web sites that allow children to access material deemed "harmful to minors" by "contemporary community standards." The sites would have been expected to require a credit card number or other proof of age. Penalties included a $50,000 fine and up to six months in prison. “Contemporary community standards” (a.k.a. the Republican Christian Agenda) is finally being put in its place. It is the job of parents to decide what is inappropriate for their children to view, not the government. Further more, the website itself should not be punished for allowing a child to view its content if the parents of that child have allowed it. I agree that sometimes the government needs to intervene into a bad family situation but I reserve that right for things like sexual molestation or strong physical or emotional abuse. If parents don’t block their children for viewing “harmful” material on the internet, than the government shouldn’t either. And let’s get serious for a moment, what is “harmful” anyway? Is it harmful for a thirteen year old boy to view sexual content on the Internet? Sex is a very natural part of life. It should not be hidden from teens and adolescents; it just needs to be given context. If a thirteen year old (whose parents have chosen not to block certain content) comes across a porno website for the first time and has never had sex explained to him, it might scare him. What the hell is that guy doing to that woman? Why is she screaming out, is he killing her with his penis? But with context, that sex is not only the way babies are made but a perfectly acceptable form of enjoying ones’ self, it isn’t nearly as bad. If parents want to censor what their children view, they have every right to do so. It would be as dangerous to force parents to discuss sex with their children as it would be to punish them for doing so. However, it should be left up to every parent to make that decision on their own. That is why Internet filters exist. Parents who do choose to discuss sex with their children should be allowed to let their children view whatever they want. Judge Reed, while rendering his decision, said it best.
"Perhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection,"
Parenting, in this case, should be left to the parents.
GONZALES IS DOING ONE HECKUVA JOB
President Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress lurched closer to a full-blown legal showdown over the firing of federal prosecutors Wednesday as a House subcommittee voted to subpoena top administration officials in defiance of the White House. In response, an unyielding Dubya and his squad of goons threatened to rescind its day-old proposal for top strategist Karl Rove and other officials to answer lawmakers' questions away from the glare of television lights and not under oath. I understand that George Bush doesn’t want to embarrass himself or his staff on television anymore than I do, but the public has a right to know (through the media) when our government is conducting shady business (like political hits on federal prosecutors). Not under oath? Who are you kidding? So what you’re saying George is that, “They will answer questions without the presence of news media and without telling the truth”; as if something as silly as a little oath would persuade these criminals to convey accurate details of their dealings anyway.
"Anyone who would take that deal isn't playing with a full deck," Majority Leader Harry Reid said of Bush’s proposed compromise.
Despite the partisan rhetoric, Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, repeatedly suggested there was room for negotiations in a confrontation that has threatened Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' hold on his job and forced his chief of staff to resign. Many Democrats (and even a few Republicans) have called for Gonzales to resign. What is Dubya so worried about these days? He’s a lame duck President. He cannot be reelected (let’s count our blessings). He has threatened to veto any act of Congress that calls for a time-table for troop withdrawal from Iraq. He can pardon Karl Rove along with Scooter Libby and the rest of the good old boys who take the hits for himself and Dick Cheney. So why not let Rove testify under oath? Unless he’s going to get on the stand and say that he personally gave Dubya a blowjob in the oval office, it’s not like Georgie Boy is going to get impeached. He has committed the impeachable acts already (and they have been many) and yet Alfred E. Newman still sits in his mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue. It just goes to show that the Bush white-house will stop at nothing when it comes to misleading the American public and using this country for its’ own selfish agenda. The public deserves, and demands to know the truth. The Democratic Congress should settle for nothing less than testimony under oath (and if possible on television camera) from every single member of Bush’s staff (and Dubya himself). After personally starting a war between America and much of the Arab world, Bush’s legacy for the history text books is clear: un-uniting the country and the fifty states, and ultimately changing our Nation’s slogan to “Divided we stand, United we shall fall”. It’s time for the truth to come out; not just the truth about the firings of federal prosecutors, but the truth about his entire shameful presidency. It’s time for Congress to step up and do one heckuva job.
SPRING IS HERE
It’s officially spring folks! The days are now longer than the nights. So take some time this weekend, get outside, and enjoy some fresh air (while the oil tycoons still allow it to exist). If you’re not the outdoors type, another exciting round of college basketball kicks off tonight. I’m still alive (and doing quite well) in my NCAA pools. With all eight of my Elite-Eight teams still alive, I’m hoping to take home the top prize of several hundred dollars (wish me luck). For those of you who picked Texas, Wisconsin, Maryland, or Duke to make it to the Sweet-16…I’m sorry. You should be known better. In the end, I’m guessing the Final 4 will come down to UCLA, GEORGETOWN, OHIO ST (although I love Texas A&M and Acie Law IV) and OREGON (that’s right, M.R. DUCKS. O-S-A-R).
I hope you all enjoyed reading today’s post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please share it with as many people as you can. Together, we can spread the truth like bird flu (but with much more positive results). Check back next week for another Spoon, Full of Truth.