Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Jersey Shore is the Key to National Success

My apologies for the delay in this post. Saying goodbye to Long Island friends and preparing to say hello to York ones has been pretty time consuming.

Much to update as life has been as complex as Deanna's fireplace. Other than generic relaxation sessions and the great times and memories that have resulted, two events are worth discussing a bit.

This past Saturday, Poli's Third Annual December Disorder took place. I'm aware that the event did not take place in December, but the first one did, and you don't change the name of March Madness just because the most important games occur in April. My father is kind enough to open the doors of the Suffolk gym once a year, and I take the time to make the space available to my friends to shoot around and get some burn. As I'll soon describe, burning was quite the appropriate word. We had 11 people total. A little below average, but this year the event was a bit later in the season than usual. Regardless it was still a great time. We in attendance felt quite audacious and decided to run strictly fives for the duration of the night. This was compelling and fast paced for about ten possessions, until the tolls of a long winter began to add up. Some were out of shape, some had a bunch of rust, and others, like me, had their feet give out on them.

I'm far from in great shape, don't get me wrong. But I still had plenty of gas in my tank when we decided to call it quits that night. My feet, nestled within worn shoes and pretty thin socks, were on fire within about 20 minutes and soon made it agonizing to move despite the rest of my body's ability and desire. Such an awful feeling. However, I've learned my lesson and will soon be swapping up shoes. Hopefully, we all use this as a learning experience and are ready to roll with the summertime beckons. One thing I learned for sure, Sean Taylor will be prepared to dominate with his teammates, The Four Lokos.

Went to a Scrabble tournament on Sunday. Such a great time. I went 3 and 0 in my matches and won some cool prizes as a result. I had some really talented opponents and I didn't have any monster words for once, but I was scary consistent, laying down 20-25 point words every turn. Those don't sound too impressive, but they really add up... literally. I'm honestly really proud of myself and I'm trying to take my Scrabble competing to the next level. There is a Scrabble Association of pro players and employees and stuff. It's all really legit, and appealing to me quite a bit. Who knows? It could be the next poker-type craze where something the general public never thought was all that interesting is suddenly all over the place and on ESPN. I can only guess that there is already a World Series of Scrabble. Maybe I can someone that helps Scrabble young and hip (two adjectives that describe me quite well). As you can imagine, the majority of people at the tournament were on the older side. There we like a couple of 14 year olds, a seven year old, and one girl my age (sadly in the beginners section, but I'd love to have given her some pointers) and the rest were anywhere from 40 and beyond. A great time to say the least. I'll keep you posted of related endeavors.

Advice of the Day: If you wish to emphasize what another person is saying, try repeating the main points of their speech in question form just after they finish speaking.

Example: Richard is becoming quite good at tying his shoes.
Response: Richard, tying shoes?

Thought of the Day: While not ignorant, I'm far from a politically minded person, but for better or for worse, America is not one of the most popular of nations in the world. There are plenty of countries that don't necessarily hate our nation, but definitely look down on us in certain aspects. There are plenty of reasons for this that I won't expound upon because, like I said, I'm not as knowledgeable as I could be in that regard, and wouldn't have much to back up my claims. However, with that said, I do think that one of these reasons, no matter how small, has to do with the exportation of our popular culture. While not setting the bar in most things worldwide like we used to be, I do feel that in most ways, we are still very much the entertainment capital of the world, and a lot of fads (except fashion) I think have roots in America. I'm basically referring to American movies and television. I think part of the reason countries can potentially see us idiotic has a lot to do with reality television.

Now, I actually don't have too much of an issue with reality TV. I'm guilty of a couple Survivor seasons, The Amazing Race, and a couple MTV things like the Gauntlet and True Life, when there's nothing else to do (which is not often). I was even a religious watcher of the first season of America's black eye, The Jersey Shore.

I think reality TV has its place in American culture. I think the flaw of reality TV, its participants, and the nation as consumers is the idea that these people try to stay in the limelight after their fad has passed. What I mean to say is, I despise when a newscast refers to "Nicole of Flavor of Love in the same sentence as actual talented people like Russel Crowe, or Jack White, etc. I'd much rather watch The Jersey Shore if I chose than hear about Snooki getting arrested on ABC News. Reality TV should be kept its own little bubble and never break the plain into other forms of media. I think the cycle of these people be treated like celebrities after their time on TV is the flaw in the vicious cycle of reality TV in American culture.

Back to my original point, think about the emphasis in our culture that is placed on shows like the Jersey Shore. Most people watch these types of shows not because we actually idolize these people, but we can't believe that people like that exist. Those who don't think that these people are morons, tune it to watch their antics because we're curious creatures and can't wait to see what these people will do next. Love it or hate it, these people are on TV because they ARE so different from your everyday person and their life.

However, people from other nations see that we watch this stuff, and generalize that we idolize these people and if we aren't already like them, we aspire to be. What other nations, I fear, don't realize is that we're laughing at these people right along with them. Perhaps a culture shift in what we value as entertainment can be the first step in mending some international bridges.

That's a pipe dream.

Song of the Day: Adrianne - River City Extension

Jazz Song of the Day: N'Teri - Regina Carter

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