Wednesday, June 7, 2006

Random Ruminations Yet Again!

I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain. ~Jane Wagner

666, My Aunt Fanny
We have survived 6/6/06. In doing so, we have established the following:
  • The media is even more shallow than I had ever imagined.
  • People don't understand the meaning of 666 in The Book of Revelations (or the Apocalypse, for the Catholics out there).
  • Things that were supposed to happen on June 6 included the announcement of the arrival of the AntiChrist, the end of the world, and major terrorist attacks because "666" has such incredible significance to Americans. Yeah, right.
  • People don't know the difference between 6606 and 666.
  • Just like they did with the coming of the second millenium, people were unable to realize that 6/6/06 had been occuring ever since the invention of the Julian calendar, with no notable catastrophes associated with the day.
  • Somehow, Conservatives, who seem to attach all sorts of signifcance to 666, fail to remember that there are 6 letters in each of Ronald Wilson Reagan's (used to be President of the U.S., remember?) names, thereby making him the AntiChrist by some of the loonier associations of the number.
  • Just to prove how evil Reagan was, one of his home addresses was 666 (he had it changed to 668; didn't want people to find him out, I guess).
  • People don't know that the bulk of Biblical scholars regard 666 as a reference to Nero, being the total of the numerical values of the letters in his full Roman name.
  • Most amazingly, apparently everyone forgot that it was the anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944, because in all that media burbling about 666, there was scarcely a word about one of the momentous events in modern history.

Legitimizing Bad Behavior - Again
It is being reported that more than 7% of people in the U.S. have -- are you ready for this one? -- "Intermittent Explosive Disorder" (IED). This problem has been discovered in people as young as fourteen years of age.

Hell's bells, I've seen this in people as young as two. It's called a tantrum, and people used to be taught to outgrow them. Now, it's a disorder. That means we'll soon be seing ads, sandwiched between the weight loss and erectile dysfunction pills, for drugs to help control IED. Unpleasant side effects will include being polite to strangers, yielding the right of way in traffic, and occasional death (from someone who doesn't take the pill).

I'm willing to bet this study came from the same people who have determined that: People who are overweight tend to eat a lot and mem and women are different (except where they're the same).

Political Followup
Lucy Baxley and incumbent Governor Bob Riley won their respective primaries outright, ousting a former governor currently on trial for taking bribes and a former State Supreme Court Justice who believes that he's the only law south of the Talapoosa. I'm not sure what the vituperative types who were going to campaign for the losers are going to do to occupy their time for the next few months, but I am sure Ms. Baxley and Governor Riley are hoping they don't try to help them.

In the Wild World of Sports
The World Cup starts today, and early predictions are that computer networks worldwide will be brought to their knees by rabid fans watching streaming video at work. Well, perhaps in other parts of the world, but in the U.S., I sincerely doubt we'll see a blip. Despite the fact that youth soccer and even college soccer have been relatively popular as participation sports, the average U.S. sports fan would be hard pressed to even name a world class soccer player. I think the problem is that the game is too cheap to play.

You see, here if you don't need five hundred dollars of equipment to play a game, it doesn't catch on. All you need for soccer is a ball, a couple of crossbars, and a big field. The uniform is just shorts and a t-shirt. To outfit an American football player costs a king's ransom for protective gear. In baseball and softball, you need the glove, a bat (preferably more than one), and a spiffy uniform. Now you might say that basketball is inexpensive, needing only a bar and baggy shorts. You might until you consider what a pair of basketball shoes costs.

Elsewhere, it appears that the Outdoor Life Network's coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup is being watched only by the families and close friends of the players involved. ESPN's coverage of the NCAA Women's Softball tournament is actually getting more viewers. Part of this is due, of course, to the year-long strike by NHL players, which caused many in the U.S., and apparently some in Canada, to forget that the NHL existed. In the spirit of stupidity that got the NHL where it is today (somewhere behind pro lacrosse), OLN decided to block their NHL programming from carriers (like DISH network) that didn't have them in their basic packages. As a result, not a lot of people watched regular season hockey, so they had TWO years to forget that the NHL ever existed.

OLN, realizing that they had shot themselves in the foot with a magnum round, relented when the playoffs came around. Apparently, that was too little too late. Instead of having a season to get used to the poor play (a year off does not usually improve one's skills), lousy officiating (which wasn't all that good before the strike), and oddball rules changes (touch someone with your stick and you're hooking; two minutes bub), the viewers were clobbered with this during the playoffs. Many, like me, said, this sure ain't my daddy's hockey, and went back to watching women's softball.

Which is pretty good, actually.

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