Friday, August 23, 2002

ZoNotes: Fever Nights Fever Nights

From 26-30 August ZoNotes will be taking a brief hiatus to conduct some personal business. Pride of the Fall will get rolling a little faster, with some postings about last night's UVA-Colorado State season opener and the case of Colorado Buffs underclassman/world championship skier Jeremy Bloom.

Ernesto Cortes heads down to Kingsville, TX tomorrow to attend Texas A&M-Kingsville for the 2002 Fall semester. Good luck to Ernesto in the valley!

Whining Idiots
Usually this would only get play on Pride of the Fall, but I want to address this issue directly, given the stupidity of local DC sports media types. Yesterday on John Thompson's radio show, one of the weenie hangers-on went on a 5-minute whinefest about the Dallas Cowboys' HBO special, "Hard Knocks." This broadcaster argued that calling the Cowboys a "family" was like calling the Mansons a "family." Now, look, I've heard all sorts of insults and inanities uttered by the catty sports types in Washington, but this was ridiculous. Comparing a 5-time world champion to a coven of bloodthirsty murderers is beyond the pale, even for a deliberately provocative weasel. Then the sports broadcaster then went to dump on retired all-pro cornerback Deion Sanders for coming to Cowboys' training camp to help our young stable of defensive backs. Why is he doing that if he's drawing a Redskins' paycheck, courtesy of the deal he signed in 2000, the sports weenie asked. Well, first off, Deion didn't win a Super Bowl ring with the Redskins. Secondly, the reason why Sanders is drawing a paycheck a full 2 years after his retirement is because Redskins owner Emperor Daniel Snyder forked over a loaded contract on Sanders when he clearly was passing his prime as a player. The money that Sanders took from Snyder is the result of the greatest confidence trick in the history of professional sports. The sports broadcaster mocked Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' other title as general manager. Well ring the bell here because even if Snyder doesn't call himself anything besides owner, judging by his 4-coaches-in-three-years managerial style, who's the bigger joke at the moment?

The FCC Won't Let Me Be...
Notoriety follows opportunity. The decision by New York's WNEW to cancel the Opie and Anthony Show for the ill-advised sex stunt at St. Patrick's Cathedral in the Big Apple, for better or worse, catapults the pair from run-of-the-mill shock jocks to First Amendment test case. WNEW, facing the wrath of the FCC and looking at the very real prospect of losing its license for the stunt, had to pull the trigger on the O&A Show for financial and public relations reasons. That said, the process opens a door for a slippery slope. If the FCC can brandish license rights like a crowbar to provoke cancellations of tasteless radio shows, what other types of programming could it target? Conservative talk-radio? Rap music stations? Look, the defense here isn't primarily for O&A themselves. And, naturally, I would discourage copulation in major centers of theological worship. However, my beef here is with the FCC. WNEW was free to do what it felt that it needed to do given a) the sex stunt itself, b) the public outrage over the incident, and c) the potential corrosion of advertising support. That the FCC is going to step in exacerbates the enforcement side of this controversy. O&A will likely find another home, when and where have yet to be determined.

Thursday, August 22, 2002

ZoNotes: Faster Pussycat, Kill! Kill!

Pete Renz (C'00) pointed out to me yesterday that Georgetown's Class of 2000 indeed maintains a homepage for interested alumni and their fellow travellers.

Californian Response
San Diego litigator and ZoNoter Gil Cabrera responds to the assertion that California isn't on board the war on terror:

"On behalf of my state I strongly object to the statement by Mr. Ammerman. First, I am not sure where he has seen much resistance (outside of Berkeley) to the war against Al Qaeda from Californians -- I think even Boxer was supportive. Second, given that California's defense industry is supplying a lot of the firepower and that many of the men and women currently in harm's way are from and/or stationed in California, I think we have supported the efforts above and beyond the call of duty."

Apparently two other ZoNoters noticed the Monday Wordplay error and chose not to point it out. I admire the willingness to be nice, but if you guys catch an error, buzz me! I left that up there for at least a day and a half.

"Life is too short for bad coffee."
--General Java's coffee shop, Quantico, VA.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

ZoNotes: I've Got Some Oceanfront Property In Arizona...

Goodbye, We Hardly Wanted to Know Ye
In an interesting primary in Georgia, both uber-Republican Rep. Bob Barr and Marxist agitator Rep. Cynthia McKinney were sent packing by the voters, defeated by John Linder and Denise Majette, respectively. Since the last contact with a Georgian was when I dated one a few years back, I'm not going to comment much more on the goings-on in DeKalb County. Still, this was an interesting devleopment, especially regarding the Majette/McKinney race, where we saw a mini-Arab-Israeli financial war, with McKinney receiving solid support from Arab and Muslim groups and Majette scoring support from Jewish lobbying organizations.

Have You Had Your Phil? No, Yo Soy AB Negativo!
After pioneering the modern talk show format in the 1980s, Phil Donahue returned from the periphery of retirement and solitude to assume MSNBC's 8 PM time slot, directly opposite Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly. Donahue was supposed to provide a liberal counterpunch to the existing rightist hegemony on major cable tv. After an initial ratings blossom, Phil has lost 40 percent of his viewership and is steadily careening towards cancellation. All that said, last night's opening segment on Jewish-Christian relations was a Matrix-like descent into the surreal. In the opening question to a Southern Baptist minister, Phil asked if regular-practicing Jews would go to Hell if they didn't believe in Jesus Christ. First off, there is no way that a major Southern Baptist official is going to sit on national television and proclaim that Jews are going to eat the eternal fires of the damned if they don't convert. The minister's safe, evasive, nonanswer answer was met by ethereal discontent by our host. The ensuing discussion included an obnoxiously eccentric Jewish advocate who compared Southern Baptists to Nazis and a somewhat converted Jewish reverend in the studio clamoring for the need to get on board with Jesus Christ. The "debate," as such, was so grindingly terrible that I simply switched to more intellectually stimulating programming over on Univision, the gripping telenovela Salomé

ZoDad makes a rare appearance today on ZoNotes, having noted a slight typographical error that I have since corrected. It seems that on Monday's Wordplay I misspelled occasionally, instead typing in "occationally." How did we all miss that?

Aaron Ammerman (F'00) shares his thoughts on the Al Qaeda murdering of innocent dogs to test chemical weapons:
"So yesterday I'm quizzed- "hey Aaron, have you seen
the dog videos?! what do
you think?"

And my response was "Nope. haven't seen them.
really don't think I need to.
I mean, I kind of got soured on Al Qaeda after the
whole 'killing 3000
people' thing. I mean, I'm not approving of
torturing puppies, but in terms
of margins, I don't know how much worse they can
get. On the other hand, if
Saddam and Osama want to go to the dog shelter and
pick out the cutest dog to
kill, I suppose it'll bring California onboard the
whole anti-terrorism thing
in a way that killing 3000 humans won't."

"Anonymity breeds empowerment."

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

ZoNotes: All This and a Bag of Chips

I do hope that all of you watched CNN last night and caught the disturbing imagery of Al Qaeda operatives testing chemical weapons on dogs. Remember that these maniacs have demonstrated the ability and the willingness to smash planes into buildings and kill thousands of Americans. Their makeshift covens of destruction are a breeding ground for both the most barefaced evil and warped "creativity." CNN treated this as a revelation, as if to say "Look! Al Qaeda is evil!" Imagine your friends and family gasping for air and convulsing in death strokes, victims of a chemical or biological strike. These savages have made evil portable in a way that would make a Nazi commander or Soviet commissar green with envy.

"Waiting doesn't make the problem go away."

Monday, August 19, 2002

ZoNotes: I'm Carrying Your Love With Me, West Virginia down to Tennessee...

Pride of the Fall has been updated with a Cleveland Browns capsule and a note about Ole Miss QB Eli Manning.

If you're by a tv right now, be sure to catch CNN's screening of Al Qaeda training videotapes -- including some heartbreaking and angering imagery of chemical weapons tests on dogs. If you needed a reminder of the outright evil that Al Qaeda represents, this is a perfect specimen.

Israeli forces are preparing to withdraw from Gaza. If you are operating on the conventional wisdom after the Israeli forces withdraw, expect a major terrorist attack on an Israeli civilian concentration sometime in the next week, which will trigger an Israeli reprisal and eventual reoccupation of the areas that they are withdrawing from. This is the way things work. For all the whining about the Israeli Defense Force's preeminent role in the current Israeli climate, it is important to understand why the army plays such a visible role. Given Israel's conscription requirements, the relatively small population, and the way that the Arab-Israeli conflict permeates every other policy question in the country, the IDF inevitably plays a dominant role in domestic politics.

"Occasionally, the flaw of success is that you incorporate some of the problem in the solution."