Friday, October 27, 2006

Pop Culture Roundup

Don't Eat This Book has a chapter on "The Nag Factor," which is the real title of a report circulated among some big corporations in 1998 talking about the benefit of gearing marketing to kids so that they'll nag their parents to buy crap for them. We have Ronald McDonald, we have the Trix bunny, and a whole bunch of other cartoon characters shilling candy, toys, fast food, etc. all to get kids to say, "Hey, the Rugrats eat Happy Meals. That must mean that I want one too. MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!" This is a good book in an infuriating sort of way. Spurlock also says that he once had lunch with Jared from Subway, and concludes that it definitely wasn't just their sandwiches that helped him loose weight. He reoriented his entire life, and it happened to include the healthy sandwiches on a Subway menu.

The other day on ESPNClassic, they showed Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. To many people, this game is better known today as The Buckner Game because it features Red Sox 1st baseman Bill Buckner fumbling a ground ball between his legs, costing the Sox the game. I settled in to watch the entire bottom half of that inning because I wanted to watch it in context. Here's the wasn't just Buckner's fault. Not by a mile. After two easy outs (and already at that point I could sense why Sox fans would have gotten so flustered), the pitcher (the PITCHER) gave up hit after hit, and a run. So the Sox bring in another pitcher (another PITCHER), who throws a ridiculous wild pitch, allowing the tying run to score. While all this is happening, Buckner is just standing over by 1st base because he doesn't need to help the pitching staff screw everything up. And after all THAT is when Buckner lets that ball by him, costing the Red Sox the World Ser...oh, wait, that was only Game 6. Boston had to lose another game altogether.

Which brings me to the 3-1 elimination that my Tigers now face...due to some of the same types of things that Buckner did. Zumaya and Rodney are having some issues throwing to bases and Granderson had an issue in the outfield. I'm not counting out my guys yet, but this was the Series that I wanted from the beginning (or at least from the point I realized that the Tigers had a shot in getting this far) so if they lose, at least it'll be to the Cardinals. From the way Detroit was falling near the end of the year, I was all set to settle for a Division title, and was upset when I thought they wouldn't even get that. Instead, I got to watch them eliminate the Yankees, I got to watch them win a pennant, and I got to watch them in the World Series. That's all been very gratifying in itself. We're having a bunch of people over tonight (Halloween is Mrs. Jeff's favorite holiday ever), so I'll have to sneak in the other room for updates.

I've really been digging Robert Randolph's new album.

Around the web, iMonk has a great piece on a former student.