Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Call to Boycott ABC Family

Here's an email I just sent to ABC Family. If you agree with me, please sign a comment declaring your participation in the boycott. I won't watch until they apologize and correct their commercials and programming to make it so I feel like I can trust the channel to not show something inappropriate to my kids.

Dear ABC Family,

So, I’m watching Cars with my son and daughter the other night on your network and along comes an ad for Victoria’s Secret. The women in the ad are very attractive and the lingerie carefully selected for them accentuates all their positives; the commercial’s producers are to be commended for their mastery of the attention-grabbing visuals of the erotic medium.

I didn’t like the question my daughter asked me though, “Dad, why are those women dressed like that?” That’s not the kind of question I’d like to answer, yet, to my six-year-old daughter. I was mildly miffed that the sexy outfits were on display on a “Family” channel during a “Christmas” movie (what Cars has to do with Christmas, other than toy sales for Disney, you’ll have to explain to me), but I was willing to let it go since it wasn’t over-the-top sexual.

What got me upset enough to write this letter was the commercial for Arby’s that aired shortly thereafter. During a family movie, on a family channel, during a family hour, you showed a man reclining on a bed surrounded by candles talking to his wife in the bathroom. Sexy music plays when she exits the bathroom in an Arby’s outfit, holding a tray of food, and the phallic Arby’s hat logo suddenly appears over his head, stiffens, and makes a boing noise as if his erection engorged so quickly as to be audible. What the ****, people!?

How dare you show this on a family channel!

It’s bad enough that you show Greek and that other show about an unwed teenage pregnant girl with “Viewer Discretion Advised” before each one on a damned family channel, but you have the gall to call it “A New Kind of Family.” Keep your “new kind of family” away from mine. Might I suggest you ask what audience you are after and change your channel’s name to fit that.

You are NOT a family channel. You are evil, because you call evil good.


Dr. Mac Williams



The commercial in question:


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'Twasn't all bad

http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/12/23/cookie.factory.reopens/index.html

This makes me more prone to purchase Lance products over Keebler. The debit card gift was a classy thing to do.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

My 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

My votes:

Dale Murphy (YES):
I am completely biased because I consider Dale Murphy to be my all-time hero. His arm was one of the best in either league. Were it not for Mike Schmidt he could have been THE star of the National League at the time. As I said before, only he and Cal Ripken hit 20 or more homers every year from 1982-1990. He hit 40 homers once and 30 several times. He did make the 30-30 club back when it had few members (1983). He wound up with 398 homers. I'm not sure, but I think he is the all-time leader in home runs lost to rain-outs. That might be wrong, but I think I remember him passing Bobby Bonds for first place. He won back to back MVP's. He played in 740 consecutive games, the 12th longest streak ever. He was an All-Star in 1980, 82-87 and the top vote getter in 1985; he started five times. He
hit .302 in 1983 when that was good enough for 6th place in the league. We cannot judge him by today's offense benchmarks. Imagine if someone hit .302 now and was 6th in the league! He led the National League in HR 1984-85, in RBI 82-83, runs in 1985, and OPS in 1983. He won five straight gold gloves from 1982-86 and four straight silver slugger awards from 1982-86. His number (#3) has been retired by the Atlanta Braves.But he shouldn't be measured solely for his on-field accomplishments. Let's not forget the class and honor that he brought to the game. He was a tireless supporter of the Huntington Disease Foundation, the 65 Roses Club, MDA, Make-A-Wish, The March of Dimes and many many others. He won the Lou Gehrig Award in 1985 and the Roberto Clemente Award in 1988. He was never ejected from a baseball game. He thanked reporters for interviewing him. In Philadelphia once, a stadium security guard didn't recognize him and wouldn't let him into the stadium. He just laughed it off. I can only imagine what Barry Bonds might have done in that situation. Murphy didn't have an "All suites" clause in his contract, nor did he have his team guarantee him charter jet flights home to his ranch during the season like Kevin Brown. I mean, he even had kind words to say about people like John Kruk, Lenny Dykstra, and even Ozzie Virgil. I think we should point out that when Murphy finished 4th in homers in 1986 that he only had 29 homers. In 1987 he hit 44, but Andre Dawson had 49, so Murphy's awesome power that year was overshadowed in the NL, and by McGwire’s 49 and Jorge Bell’s 47. Homers were much harder to come by in that day and age. No one hit 50 from 1977 (George Foster) until 1990 (Cecil Fielder). If Murphy had connected twice more in his career, I think that he might've gotten into the Hall.Murphy was universally respected by all players (to be redundant). Imagine this scene: It's 1991, Braves vs. Phillies. Otis Nixon gets beaned by the Phillies pitcher next time up after hitting a homer. The bottom half of the inning, Tom Glavine has to respond and hit the first Phillies batter. Only it's Dale Murphy. He can't do it; no way. So he does the meanest thing he can bring himself to do; he throws Murph four high and inside fastballs to brush him back and put him on. Murphy got the base, and Glavine got the boot by the ump. Glavine said the ump later told him, "I only let you throw four, because that was Murphy and because I knew you wouldn't." It was not merely because they had been teammates, but because Murphy was so respected that he was off limits (by the umpires) for stunts like that. Glavine is a class act too, he's in the Hall for sure, and Murphy will make it somehow, someday, someway.If anyone deserves to get in, without the numbers we're used to seeing, he does, for being the nicest, most polite gentleman to ever grace the field.Murph's stats: http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/murphda05.shtml

Rickey Henderson (YES):
I predict that Henderson will get the highest voting percentage ever. He is the all-time steals and run leader, and when he retired he held the record for walks. He was always good, and always a game breaker. No need for a long defense of this one. I just want to hear from the people who think he doesn’t belong, why they think he doesn’t deserve it.

[From wikipedia] On May 18, 2007, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Oakland general manager Billy Beane was considering adding Henderson to the roster for one game in September, provided it did not "infringe on the integrity of the roster or of the season," so that Henderson could retire as an Oakland A's player. A month later, Henderson appeared to reject the overture, saying, "One day? I don't want one day. I want to play again, man. I don't want nobody's spot... I just want to see if I deserve to be out there. If I don't, just get rid of me, release me. And if I belong, you don't have to pay me but the minimum — and I'll donate every penny of that to some charity. So, how's that hurtin' anybody?... Don't say goodbye for me... When I want that one day they want to give me so bad, I'll let you know."

I miss Rickey.

Bert Blyleven (NO):
While many people clearly favor letting him in, and he was impressive on the Twins, I just don’t see it.

David Cone (NO):
Big game pitcher though he was, he never put it together enough for me to deserve Cooperstown. No awards, not even 200 wins; sure, he had lots of Championships, but those weren’t due to the “David Cone Show.”

Andre Dawson (YES):
I think Murphy, Dawson, and Rice were all part of an era that suffers from the effects of the homerun surge that followed. Dawson terrified pitchers, was one of the best fielders around, and could absolutely change the game with his bat. He has 400 homeruns and 300 stolen bases…there’s only two others who have ever done that: Bonds and Mays.

Mark Grace (NO):
Solid for a long time, but never came up big in the clutch (save the 2001 WS). 2,500 hits doesn’t quite make it. If he had gotten to 3,000, yes. But he didn’t, and 500 short is very short.

Tommy John (NO):
He pitched a long time….but his losses are really high. Sure he almost had 300 wins, and his WL totals are similar to Nolan Ryan’s, but Ryan had other stats that overwhelmed opponents, whereas John just pitched a really really long time.

Don Mattingly (YES):
If you compare Mattingly’s stats with HOFer Kirby Puckett, you’ll see there’s not much difference. And Mattingly had MVP clout.
Career Hitting
[7]
G AB H 2 B 3B HR R RBI SB BB SO AVG OBP SLG OPS
1,785 7,003 2,153 442 20 222 1,007 1,099 14 588 444 .307 .358 .471 .82
Vs. Puckett 1783 7244 2304 414 57 207 1071 1085 134 450 965 .318 .360 .477 124

Mark McGwire (Undecided):
I want to see what happens with the other guys like Sosa, Palmeiro, and Bonds, before I vote for or against McGwire.

Jack Morris (YES):
He started three times in the 1991 series, including the 10-inning masterpiece in Game 7. He went on to win again with the Jays. He was solid at the end of his career and was a big game pitcher. He deserves the Hall.

Tim Raines (NO):
As good as he was, he falls into my Strawberry, Gooden, Davis category. His off-the-field failures soured me on him….and he wasn’t feared.

Jim Rice (YES):
Even though he was not very nice when I met him, if I vote for Murphy, I have to vote for Rice. An article supporting him can be found here:
http://proxy.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?id=2268868

Lee Smith (NO):
Never a contender, crappy ERA for a “dominant” reliever, and most of his “saves” were one-inning deals. I never liked him and his lack of votes for awards show I wasn’t alone.

Alan Trammell (NO):
Middling consistency doesn’t a Hall of Famer make.

Dave Parker (NO, but I feel bad about it):
He’s got great stats, and had he used less coke, he might already be in….he was good, but I can’t elect him to the Hall of Fame on what-could’ve-beens.


People I don’t think even deserve to be on the ballot:

Harold Baines, good player but not HOF material
Jay Bell, yeah right
Ron Gant, I still think that motorcycle accident ruined him
Jesse Orosco, imposible, no lo merece
Dan Plesac, not even if he were a Brave
Greg Vaughn, I had such high hopes…I smell steroids on him
Mo Vaughn, good for awhile, but no.
Matt Williams, solid, consistent, never awe-inspiring.

From the mind of a six-year-old

"Dad, where did Santa Claus go to college?"

--"I don't know that he did."

"Well, he had to learn how to fly somewhere"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Bullshit



Per my wife's request, the Playboy cover image has been hereby hotlinked.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/12/15/playboy.virgin.mary.transcript/index.html





Playboy claims the above image isn't meant to portray the Virgin Mary. Bullshit. "Te adoramos, Maria" means "We adore you Maria."


The model's name might be Maria, but this is clearly meant to sexualize the Virgin; it evokes countless images, paintings, icons, and such of the Holy Mother. The breast she is baring isn't to suckle the Savior, her robe is being opened just like the purchaser hopes to open her "lessened gates."


Shame on you, Playboy....but then again, you lost any sense of shame in the 1950's.

UPDATE:

I will concede to my critic that swearing to defend Jesus's Mom is wrong, but I'm a Christian precisely because I'M NOT PERFECT. Calling someone a "virgin" does not sexualize them, indeed, the virginal state would mean an absence of sex. In my mind the word "virgin" doesn't conjure up images of coitus with the unexperienced. This image is akin to Madonna's "Like a Virgin." The woman, virginlike (ergo, highly desirable to the male viewer) offers the parting of her robe for a sexual experience. She is clearly not a virgin, but takes on that appearance of one for the seductive game.

My outrage here isn't with the image so much as the denial by Playboy that it isn't suggestive of images of the Virgin Mary. Given the overwhelming numbers of women named "Mary, Marie, Maria" or some version thereof in the world, the cover seeks to strike a common chord with every man who's ever lain with a woman named Maria and irreverently joked, "Te adora, mi Maria."

People can insult Christianity all they want, but don't deny it when you get called to task for things done in poor taste. It's the lie that rubs, not so much the image.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Recommendation

If you're a journalist, you should always, always, always, read your headlines aloud to someone else for approval:

http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2008/12/13/news/local/21-meatpacking.txt

Monday, December 08, 2008

Update

So, apparently, you can lose weight too quickly. After losing 20 lbs inside of a month, I have some kind of gall bladder disease. I don't have stones that can be detected on an ultrasound, and my abdominal CT scan showed no tumors, abcesses, or liver flukes, but it still hurts like a mofo whenever I eat eggs or lie on my side.

DIETING SUCKS!

South Beach Diet is suspended until I get this problem fixed.