Thursday, January 7, 2010

Random Thoughts w/ Abe (1.7.10)

New year, new random (albeit brief) thoughts.

So I guess Plaxico Burress' sentence was not harsh enough after all. At least it's not if you subscribe to the theory that prison serves as a deterrent. It has even't been a year since former Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was sent to jail for illegal possession of a firearm, and we already have another instance of an athlete toying around with weapons in places where they shouldn't. In case you haven't heard, NBA player Gilbert Arenas, of the Washington Wizards, is believed to have brought four guns to the Wizards locker room. This was done to jokingly settle a gambling dispute with a teammate. Well, the DC police, as well as the NBA commissioner did not find the incident funny. Arenas has been suspended indefinitely from the league, and the police are investigating to see if they can bring up charges against the NBA star. I'm not sure what can be to prevent this sort of thing from happening again, but it seems like two years is not nearly enough.

Do you remember back in the 1980's when Coca-Cola rebranded and redesigned their popular soda drink? Remember how miserably the transition went and how they quickly scratched the whole idea? Well, I don't. I wasn't around these parts back than (too busy in some madrasa in Saudi Arabia). But I did see a documentary that chronicled the disastrous campaign. It seems that we may be witnessing another, similarly botched transition. Over at NBC, the late night shake-up that occurred back in June is being looked at as a disastrous mistake. Conan O'Brien, who took over The Tonight Show, is struggling mightily in the ratings. Ratings for the once-popular show are down 52% over the year before. It appears that Conan retained very little of Leno's audience, and it's likely that not all of his 12:35 audience followed him to his new timeslot. This is nothing new for Conan, though. Things started very rough for him on his old show back 15 years ago, but the network brass stuck with him
long enough for him to build an audience and he eventually became a hit. I'm not sure why that same patient strategy isn't being followed this time around. This story is just a rumor for now, though, so nothing may come of this. But Conan can't be all that comfortable in his new LA pad with this hanging around him. I'd hold on the pool expansion for now.

This Artie Lange story can't end well. Just as the Howard Stern side-kick was turning his life around, word has come out that he stabbed himself nine times in an apparent suicide attempt. Nine times! Holy fucking shit. That is a brutal way to end one's life, no? Not sure what defensive role his extra weight played in surviving the self-attack, but it couldn't have hurt. Either way, at this point I just don't see any way Artie Lange's life can end on a good note. It's practically a fait accompli. Sad story.

Right before I went to sleep last night, I caught the tail end of a documentary on the controversial head of PeTA, the animal rights group that often use aggressive and provocative means to get their point across. The film interviewed animal rights supporters that were divided on whether they thought PeTA's tactics were ultimately an effective or harmful approach. I wasn't aware that there were so many like-minded people who hated the 'in-your-face' approach that the group used. It's a very interesting expose on the whole movement. It's currently on HBO, so do tune in.

Speaking of hippy propoganda, there was a recent shake-up in the species power rankings. The chimpanzee has been leapfrogged by the
dolphin. That's according to many scientists. Not only are dolphins the second smartest in the world, they should be considered as 'non-human persons' and strong consideration should be made about granting them certain rights. Now, whether this story is politically or scientifivally motivated remains to be seen. There is, after all, an ongoing battle between Japanese fishermen and animal rights activists. When asked for comment in light of this scientific finding, the Japanese Prime Minister was quoted as saying:

"Fuck you, dorphins!"


- Abe

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