Friday, April 20, 2007

Some Random Thoughts, Viewing, and Reading for a Friday Morning

The Phone Relationship:

Is there anything more disconcerting than meeting someone for the first time, and in the process shifting the phone-based relationship into an association that is based in actual reality? By some strange coincidence, this happened to me three times over the course of the past week. I don't know what it is, but you always have this image in your mind of what the person is supposed to look like (what that image is based on, I have no idea), and then when you finally meet the person, they invariably look nothing like the way you thought they would. And it's not even like it's a disappointment when you finally meet the person, it's just that they're... not what you expected. And what's more, that image you previously had of that person is so completely obliterated the second you meet them in the flesh that it becomes impossible to even recall what you originally thought they were going to look like. Reality has a way of doing that, I guess.

In all three cases of eradication by the forces of tangibility this week, the phone relationships I'd been previously engaged in were with dudes. It should be noted that it would be categorically impossible for girls to live up to the expectations that guys will invariably have for them within the bounds of the phone relationship. These are the things we do. We talk to a girl on the phone. She is polite to us because she doesn't know us and because this is the way humans generally interact on the telephone with people they've never previously met. And simply because this particular girl is nice to us on the phone (ie, she hasn't slapped us or thrown a beer in our face), we, as guys, automatically fashion this girl in our minds to be the hottest female entity on the face of the planet. And we probably begin trying to pick her out in crowds of people when we're bored. And of course, because this girl hasn't overtly shot us down based on the conversations we've had in the phone relatioship, this ultra-hot girl obviously wants to sleep with us. Always.

I can't speak for how disappointed girls invariably are when they finally meet me face to face, but I'm guessing it's somewhere in the neighbourhood of: extremely.

The Mars Bar

I was taking the subway home from the Jays game last night - no, not the game where Daisuke Matsuzaka, the human strikeout machine, was pitching; but the game in which Tomo Ohka, the human one-time-Bart-Simpson-punchline was on the hill - and couldn't help but notice the girl sitting across from me unwrapping a Mars Bar and chowing down. Which got me to wondering. When the hell was the last time anyone bought a chocolate bar and ate it? I can't even recall how long its been. Years? I think I had a Snickers bar last March in Ecuador, but other than that, I'm stumped. I think this is a sure sign that I'm getting waaaay too old for my liking. There was a time when, if I was making as much money as I'm making now (which isn't, for the record, a substantial amount - it's just that it's substantially more than the $0.35 per paper I was getting to deliver the Toronto Sun at six o'clock every Sunday morning as a pre-pubescent reading the funnies, eating Shreddies, and waiting for my other ball to drop {wasn't actually afflicted with retractile testicle, for the record - just thought it was a good line}), it wouldn't be inconceivable for me to buy 3-5 Wunderbars every day, and maybe a can of Jolt and some of those green, $0.15 Gore bars we used to get at the River Oaks Convenience. But now? Can't even fathom it. Apparently I'd rather have a salad and an extra hot, no foam, soy milk latte that costs more than a Bud Light at the gentlemen's club. Kill me now.

By the way, in mentioning the Toronto Blue Jays: did you know that Doc Halladay's real name is Harry? I had no idea. Harry Halladay. And his middle name is Leroy. If you had to list one thousand people whose real name wasn't Leroy, I'd have to put the Doc somewhere near the top of that list. Who knew? Harry Leroy Halladay.

Kent Huskins

Who knew that our boy would make a name for himself in the 2007 playoffs by being on the receiving end of a vicious knee by the 6'7 Boogie Man, Derek Boogaard. We were at Revival on Friday night and recieved a text message from Sully, asking whether or not we'd seen the knee Husker took, and implying that there would be some form of ensuing Donnybrook... which there was. Good to see the lads in Anaheim sticking up for the pride of Almonte, Ontario.

And then Tuesday night, Husky decided to take matters into his own hands. Atta boy, Commish. You've come a long way since we brought you out as a ringer and managed to eek out a tie against that girls' team two years ago.

The Mercury Mistress

This might be the funniest SNL fake commercial of all time. I blatantly stole this clip from the Simmons blog, but it was simply too good to pass up. I give you: The Mercury Mistress.

Putting Imus to Bed

Thank God CBS decided to fire Don Imus late last week in the wake of his attempt-at-humour gone horribly wrong. And I'm thankful not because firing Don Imus was the right thing to do - because it was decidedly not the right thing to do. But I am thankful for his firing because it at long last made that ridiculous story; which was never anything more than an excuse for special interest groups to grandstand and get on TV and take advantage of a media so desperate for a sexy celebrity story that they'll literally broadcast anything (see the media scrum for the results of a Paternity test for a slutty mother's child listed below as exhibit A); but the firing of Don Imus, at long last, made his story go away. And for that, I am must truly grateful. I haven't heard anything about Imus or Rutgers women's basketball or nappy-headed hoes for almost a week.

Jason Whitlock used to write for, but he had some kind of a falling out with the network at some point last year, and now writes exclusively for The Kansas City Star. He's a great columnist, and often offers a point of view that you probably otherwise would have never considered. He was on The Fan590 with the Bobcat last week, and made a great point regarding the entire Imus debacle, and one that really puts the entire controversy, if you can even call it that, to bed. What he basically said was: "I call myself Jason. Therefore, it should come as no surprise when other people call me by that name."

It should also be noted that Jason Whitlock is black. His entire column can be found below.

Imus isn’t the real bad guy

Instead of wasting time on irrelevant shock jock, black leaders need to be fighting a growing gangster culture.

Thank you, Don Imus. You’ve given us (black people) an excuse to avoid our real problem.
You’ve given Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson another opportunity to pretend that the old fight, which is now the safe and lucrative fight, is still the most important fight in our push for true economic and social equality.

You’ve given Vivian Stringer and Rutgers the chance to hold a nationally televised recruiting celebration expertly disguised as a news conference to respond to your poor attempt at humor.
Thank you, Don Imus. You extended Black History Month to April, and we can once again wallow in victimhood, protest like it’s 1965 and delude ourselves into believing that fixing your hatred is more necessary than eradicating our self-hatred.

The bigots win again.

While we’re fixated on a bad joke cracked by an irrelevant, bad shock jock, I’m sure at least one of the marvelous young women on the Rutgers basketball team is somewhere snapping her fingers to the beat of 50 Cent’s or Snoop Dogg’s or Young Jeezy’s latest ode glorifying nappy-headed pimps and hos.

I ain’t saying Jesse, Al and Vivian are gold-diggas, but they don’t have the heart to mount a legitimate campaign against the real black-folk killas.

It is us. At this time, we are our own worst enemies. We have allowed our youths to buy into a culture (hip hop) that has been perverted, corrupted and overtaken by prison culture. The music, attitude and behavior expressed in this culture is anti-black, anti-education, demeaning, self-destructive, pro-drug dealing and violent.

Rather than confront this heinous enemy from within, we sit back and wait for someone like Imus to have a slip of the tongue and make the mistake of repeating the things we say about ourselves.

It’s embarrassing. Dave Chappelle was offered $50 million to make racially insensitive jokes about black and white people on TV. He was hailed as a genius. Black comedians routinely crack jokes about white and black people, and we all laugh out loud.

I’m no Don Imus apologist. He and his tiny companion Mike Lupica blasted me after I fell out with ESPN. Imus is a hack.

But, in my view, he didn’t do anything outside the norm for shock jocks and comedians. He also offered an apology. That should’ve been the end of this whole affair. Instead, it’s only the beginning. It’s an opportunity for Stringer, Jackson and Sharpton to step on victim platforms and elevate themselves and their agenda$.

I watched the Rutgers news conference and was ashamed.

Martin Luther King Jr. spoke for eight minutes in 1963 at the March on Washington. At the time, black people could be lynched and denied fundamental rights with little thought. With the comments of a talk-show host most of her players had never heard of before last week serving as her excuse, Vivian Stringer rambled on for 30 minutes about the amazing season her team had.

Somehow, we’re supposed to believe that the comments of a man with virtually no connection to the sports world ruined Rutgers’ wonderful season. Had a broadcaster with credibility and a platform in the sports world uttered the words Imus did, I could understand a level of outrage.
But an hourlong press conference over a man who has already apologized, already been suspended and is already insignificant is just plain intellectually dishonest. This is opportunism. This is a distraction.

In the grand scheme, Don Imus is no threat to us in general and no threat to black women in particular. If his words are so powerful and so destructive and must be rebuked so forcefully, then what should we do about the idiot rappers on BET, MTV and every black-owned radio station in the country who use words much more powerful and much more destructive?
I don’t listen or watch Imus’ show regularly. Has he at any point glorified selling crack cocaine to black women? Has he celebrated black men shooting each other randomly? Has he suggested in any way that it’s cool to be a baby-daddy rather than a husband and a parent? Does he tell his listeners that they’re suckers for pursuing education and that they’re selling out their race if they do?

When Imus does any of that, call me and I’ll get upset. Until then, he is what he is — a washed-up shock jock who is very easy to ignore when you’re not looking to be made a victim.
No. We all know where the real battleground is. We know that the gangsta rappers and their followers in the athletic world have far bigger platforms to negatively define us than some old white man with a bad radio show. There’s no money and lots of danger in that battle, so Jesse and Al are going to sit it out.

To reach Jason Whitlock, call (816) 234-4869 or send e-mail to For previous columns, go to


Anonymous said...

One of my favourite blog entries thus far. I was literally wiping away tears, sitting here at my desk, until I had to explain to three female colleagues what was do damn funny. They just didn't see the humour the same way I did.

And by the way, I think yer man is my new hero. I love people who tell it how it is. And who don't care about things that no one should care about. But that's just me.


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