Tag Archives: Television

An Amish Centerfold

A friend of mine sent me this TV commercial. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. Enjoy.

Wedding bells for Bert and Ernie?

When I first heard about this idea, I thought it was a joke, and actually, when you step back and take a good look, it probably is. None the less, there is a group out there circulating a petition to have Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street declared gay and have them get married.I look forward to ideas like this because it gives me the opportunity to laugh and make fun of people. (Hey people, they are PUPPETS!) Fortunately, I think the chance of this actually happening is pretty close to zero.

On the more serious side, here is one good reason this is a really bad idea. Sesame Street is a television program aimed at pre-school children. When I was that age, all I knew about the differences between boys and girls was that boys had short hair and wore pants, while girls had long hair and wore dresses. When my sisters were born, I discovered anatomical differences. However, aside from going to the bathroom, I had no idea of their uses. Maybe I had a stunted childhood but I suspect my view of the world as a three- or four-year old wasn’t unique.

So why would you want to inject sexuality into a program aimed at very young children? I’ve already expressed my disgust over the amount of sexual content in mainstream television that airs in the early evening. What parent wants to discuss the concepts of homosexuality or gay marriage with a four year old?

This is a bad idea, but hey, LGBTQ folks, you keep on trying. Laughter is good for the soul.

On a roll…t-p roll, that is.

For some reason, I have taken note of some recent TV commercials, advertising, of all things, toilet paper. It is probably one of the least glamorous products to try to advertise. As important as it is to all of us, it is not easy to discuss.

Here is one that caught my eye last week.

The history of television advertising is full of famous and effective positioning statements.

“You deserve a break today.”

“When it absolutely, positively needs to be there in the morning.”

“The real thing.”

“Tastes better. Less filling.”

So where does this implied slogan fit in?

 “Our toilet paper won’t stick to your ass!”

Clever.

And here is a trend that I missed out on completely. Apparently, there legions of people who consider a roll of toilet paper unsightly.

I know it doesn’t look very good on a tree in your front yard, but on a roll in your bathroom? It would have never occurred to me. Maybe that’s why I’m not making the big bucks in the TP industry.

What will you be watching?

What are you going to be watching on Friday? There are two, big, televised events that may say a lot about who you are.

The Royal Wedding?

Day 2 of the NFL Draft?

What do you think?

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I had a nice thing happen to me this morning. I had just completed printing annual membership renewal letters, labels and insert tabs for a bunch of our foundation members. (Since I’m a one-man shop, my job runs the range from cool stuff like trips to barrier islands and research cruises to the absolutely mundane, like stuffing envelopes.) I was about to start the tedious process of stuffing the envelopes, attaching labels, etc., when one of our faculty scientists walked into my office.

“Hey, Poolman, my daughters (teenagers) need some more community service hours. Do you have anything you need done, like stuffing envelopes or something?”

“Funny you should ask…”

Talk about perfect timing. I don’t get lucky very often. I’ll enjoy this one for a while.

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We should be swimming within the next week. Our water temperature is up to around 82 degrees, if you trust my thermometer, which I do not. And Mrs. Poolman likes WARM water. I think it has something to do with growing up in Florida. In any case, I ordered a new solar blanket and it arrived today. These blankets have worked very well in the past. It is basically a blue plastic bubble-wrap that floats on top of the pool. It magnifies the sunlight a little during the day, but most importantly, I think, it insulates the pool from heat loss at night. If we keep having sunny weather, I should get a boost over the next few days and be ready to start the five month swimming season.

A big weekend ahead

This is Florida-Georgia week. This is a big deal in this part of the country. There are numerous stories of recent arrivals planning a big non-football event for the Fla-Ga Saturday, only to have no one show up at their party or event. It may be one reason Halloween parties aren’t that big around here. If you aren’t planning on having the game on, you won’t have many guests.

For the first time in many years, I am concerned. The basic background is this. For many years, prior to 1990, Georgia regularly “schooled” the Gators in the annual rivalry. However over the past 20 years, the Gators are 17-3. Even a blind hog finds an occasional acorn.

Having lived in Georgia for the past 18 years, we have enjoyed that run. Each year, Georgia fans have gotten in our faces and predicted their domination.

“This year you are going down. DOWN! DOWN! DOWN!”

And in 17 of the past 20 years, our friendly rivals have drowned their tears in large amounts of alcoholic beverages.

This year, UGA started off miserably, winning only one of their first five games, while UF won their first four. Since then, however, the “Poodles” have won three straight, and the Mighty Gators have dropped three in a row.

It has been our tradition at Casa Poolman to host a fairly large viewing party for the game. Being very ecumenical, we have a good crowd of the red-and-black crowd, as well as true Gator fans.

One thing about this year that is different. Fans of neither team are doing any trash talking. Neither team’s fans feel they have any real cause to stick their chin out.

I just hope we aren’t embarrassed on Saturday. I really don’t want to have to move out of the state.

‘Why don’t I have a mother?’

Last week it was same-sex-marriages. This week it is same-sex-parents.

I heard on NPR this morning that actor Neal Patrick Harris (Doogie Howser) and his partner have gotten together with a surrogate mother to produce a set of twins (who are yet to be born.)

Neal Patrick Harris (l) and partner David Burtka

I’m not a homophobe. I really couldn’t care less what someone does in the privacy of their bedroom, so long as they aren’t hurting someone else. That’s the problem I have with this trend of gay and lesbian couples having children. There is potential harm.

I believe both mothers and fathers matter to children. Children absorb and learn different things from the different genders. In this case, why would you go through an incredible amount of effort and expense to create a child who will not have a mother? Did your mother not play an important part in your life? Why would you deny your child the benefit of having both a mother and a father?

The nephew of some of our friends went through the same process about a year ago. The two guys ended up with twin girls. While I’m sure these two guys will love and care for their daughters to the maximum extent of which they are capable, but they are limited biologically in what they can provide. Neither is female. The two girls will be raised without a mother or mother-figure. How will that affect the girls? I don’t know, but it can’t be ideal.

It seems like an incredible act of self indulgence. The same-sex parents get a baby to play with, but the child is the one who is missing one parent.

Of course, in today’s climate of “starter marriages,” “no-fault pregnancies” and high rates of divorce, missing parents are all too common with “straight” families.  The difference is that, usually, the parents do not plan to make it that way from the outset.

I feel the same about single women who elect to have a baby without benefit of a functioning father?  I don’t understand the benefit to the child of not having a father.  I guess some mothers really think you are going to be so good as a parent that they can fill both roles. Some of the time, and maybe even most of the time, many parents I know feel they stretching their abilities to handle one job, let alone two.

It may sound contradictory, but I don’t have any problem with gays or lesbians adopting children. Why? Because usually they are improving the lot of a child. By adopting, they are providing a child with a set of parents. While a male-female set of parents would be ideal, same-sex parents are better than no parents at all.

The question is simply this: In the grand scheme of things, is a would-be parent’s desire to have a child of greater importance than that child’s need for both a mother and a father? It’s something to think about.

Ironically, Harris is also the star of the CBS sitcom, “How I Met Your Mother.” That is one story he won’t have to tell his real-life kids.

Stick with the other “football”

I am one of the legions of Americans who just don’t get why anyone would want to spend their time watching soccer. I understand it’s a great game to play, but it is deadly dull to watch.

Compare it to basketball, for instance. Imagine an NBA final in which the players played for 90 minutes. Almost every possession resulted in a turnover. The two teams combined took only eight or nine shots, and only three of them were good.

The fans would be throwing hot dogs onto the court and be leaving in droves. But that  pretty much describes a typical World Cup soccer match.

My friend, Craig, says he loves to watch the skills of the tremendous athletes and the amazing things they do with the ball. From watching the game on Saturday, it seems that the most of the time, the amazing athletes were just turning the ball over to the other team.

I do have some suggestions to improve the sport, like anyone cares about my opinion.

1.) Enlarge the size of the goals.

2.) Eliminate the goalie.

3.) Install a shot clock.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen, just like you shouldn’t hold your breath waiting for someone to score a goal.

Children, cover your ears!

I have posted on this subject before, but after watching my favorite Monday night sitcoms on CBS last night, it is worth another entry. The former “Tiffany network” should really be ashamed of what they broadcast during the early evening hours when children are watching.

I love the comedy lineup — How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement, Two and a Half Men and The Big Bang Theory. However, I’m an adult. I am very glad I don’t have young children with control of the remote on Monday evening. It used to be you could rely on the major networks to be at least sensitive to young ears and a little respectable during the early evening hours. The adult stuff was saved for later, when the kids were in bed. That is the case no more.

A good example is “Rules of Engagement,” which I dearly love. If I am not home for some reason, I’ll definitely record it. I laugh out loud at some of the jokes. But I no longer have small children who might ask questions about scenes like this.

Engaged young couple Adam and Jennifer are discussing a birthday present Adam just gave Jennifer. She jokingly accuses him of getting the present just so he can get some sex. Adam readily agrees and begins to walk to the bedroom.

When Jennifer doesn’t follow, he turns around and asks her, “You did mean right now, didn’t you?”

Jennifer looks down at her short dress and replies, “Oh what the heck. I AM wearing a skirt.”

I can just imagine the questions an elementary school aged girl might ask her mother about that one.

The following show, “Two and a Half Men,” is nothing but an on-going sex joke, but last night it stooped to a new low for any family viewing.  Charlie and his girlfriend, Chelsea, pretty much spent the entire episode naked in bed.

Chelsea and Charlie out of bed

The plot centered on Charlie being unhappy about not being able to give Chelsea an orgasm. It wasn’t just an aside reference. It was the main plot of the program. Much of the episode’s dialogue centered around Charlie’s efforts to sexually satisfy his girlfriend.

“Mommy, what’s an orgasm? Can I get one for my birthday?”

I wonder how many adults CBS thinks are available to watch their programs at 8:30 and 9:00 pm(Eastern) without children around also. Could it be another reason the major networks’ ratings continue to decline?

We used to joke that TV was so backward and censured during the days when Ozzie and Harriet slept in separate twin beds. Maybe that wasn’t so bad.

Let’s go ‘live!’

I am reading a book I discovered in our clean-out project a few weeks ago, CNN-The Inside Story.

I spent more than a quarter century in the TV news business. I never worked for CNN, but I know many people who did. The story of the network’s beginnings is fascinating. It’s neat to run across mentions of people I know (or knew at one time.)

Several passages I’ve read also give me “flash backs” to the fun and perils of live television. Overall, I don’t miss the business. TV news is not the same industry it was in the 70s, 80s and even 90s. It’s gotten entirely too squirrelly for my taste. However, being a part of live coverage of a breaking news story is a rush. Being on the air or calling the shots when all h___ is breaking loose and you are flying live without a script or a clue what might happen next, is exciting, and very satisfying when you pull it off.  Reading about some of the CNN adventures does bring back some related memories … many of them good.

French burkas, racial profiling and the Tebow-Super Bowl flap

Listening to the news on the radio while I drive to work is a great source of inspiration for blog material.

As a sign I saw in a gift shop recently said, “Everyone is entitled to my own opinion.”

They are fighting over burkas in France these days. Those are the robes for Muslim women that cover their entire body including their face. France is considering banning them in public buildings, citing subjugation of women and security as the reasons. Naturally, those on the other sides are yelling about freedom of religion and France’s national identity. It’s interesting how Muslim leaders will cry for religious freedom when they are in the minority. However, try to wear a tee-shirt with “What would Jesus do?” written on it and see how far you get in the streets of Saudi Arabia or Iran. I suspect the mullahs would be singing another tune.

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A bill is scheduled to be introduced into the Georgia General Assembly today that would outlaw racial profiling. I am ambivalent about this issue.

On one hand, I don’t think someone should be arrested or harassed because of the color of their skin. ie: driving while black, etc.

On the other hand, crime is a serious issue in Savannah. Even out in our little suburban enclave, it is something to be concerned with. And at least here in Savannah, the vast, overwhelming majority of street crimes (assault, robbery, burglary, etc.) are committed by African Americans, primarily young, male African Americans. A story in yesterday’s local newspaper described arrest activity from the weekend and showed the mugs of the 12 people arrested. Ten of the twelve were black men. Unfortunately, this is not an anomaly. This brings me back to the initial question:  Do I want to take away from the police one tool that might help them keep myself, my home and my family safe?  I don’t know.

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Our favorite-son quarterback, Tim Tebow, is taking hits this week, and not just at the Senior Bowl practice in Mobile. He and his mom are going to appear in a anti-abortion Super Bowl commercial paid for by the Christian advocacy group “Focus on the Family.” Supposedly, the ad will have Tim and his mom talking about her experience when pregnant with Tim. As the story goes, she had a difficult pregnancy and was advised to terminate the pregnancy for her health. She refused to do so, and the end result is Tim, a remarkable young man by any standard.

I am not a big fan of Focus on the Family, for what little I know about them. Nor have I seen the TV spot, but then again, neither had anyone else.

Nonetheless, the Women’s Media Center, with backing from the National Organization for Women, the Feminist Majority and other groups, are throwing the penalty flags in Tim’s and CBS’s direction.

“An ad that uses sports to divide rather than to unite has no place in the biggest national sports event of the year – an event designed to bring American’s together,” said Jemhu Greene, president of the Women’s Media Center.

“…an event designed to bring American’s together”??? I thought it was an event designed to determine the champion of the National Football League, provide an excuse for some Sunday afternoon parties and to make a lot of money for a bunch of people. I never knew it was supposed to be some kind of national unity event. Silly me.

I wonder if Ms. Greene has ever been to a viewing party or a football game where there were decent percentages of fans of both team? (Super Bowl, Florida-Georgia, Texas-Oklahoma, a BCS championship game, etc.)  I suspect she has not. If she had ever actually been to one of those games, she would know that unity is not a concept that comes to mind.

I don’t believe the women’s advocacy group really have much to complain about except that the Tebows’ message will probably be something they will disagree with.

The funniest shot comes from SI.com’s Greg Doyel.

“If you’re a sports fan, and I am, that’s the holiest day of the year,” he wrote. “It’s not a day to discuss abortion. For it, against it, I don’t care what you are. On Super Sunday, I don’t care what I am. Feb. 7 is simply not the day to have that discussion.”

The irony is just pure honey. According to Doyel, Super Bowl Sun“Thou shalt keep holy the Lord’s…” day is too holy to be despoiled by any talk of morals, ethics, or, God forbid, religion. No further comment is necessary.

For myself, it just gives me something to look forward to watching the game.