Archive for December, 2012

Monday Medley

What we read while the name “Sandy” took another big hit...

Scattered Thoughts On Gun Control

Guns are bad...Like everyone, I’m sad and angry about Friday’s tragedy. But I keep hearing that now is the time to discuss gun control. So, fine, let’s discuss…

 

—It’s unfortunate that so many people now dismiss the idea that there should be a window of mourning, during which political discussions ought to be tabled, after a national tragedy like Friday’s shooting. I understand why that is: Calls to postpone talk of politics are so often themselves politically motivated, a way to put off a conversation one side never intends to have, that they seem cynical. But it should be obvious that the time for policy discussions is not when people are angry, sad, depressed, scared, emotional, and irrational. This is what leads to laws like the Patriot Act. It’s not that policy discussions should never flow from a national tragedy, and obviously knowing how long to wait is tricky, but I suspect the answer is at least a few hours, maybe even a day or two.

 

—Why do so many of the same people who (rightfully) laugh at the idea that drug prohibition decreases drug use, endorse the idea that gun control will solve the problem of gun violence? Gun control does not mean that bad or crazy people won’t get guns; it means the government will get to decide who gets to have guns. This is the same government, of course, that kills foreign Muslims almost indiscriminately, that imprisons blacks at six times the rate it imprisons whites, that systematically harasses young men based on their ethnic background. But for some reason people think new gun laws would be enforced fairly and equitably.

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Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, Week 11 Power Rankings

Team San Diego

“Everyone’s puking. I’ve never seen so many people go to the medic in my life.” —Zach

 

“I have the endurance of a young, virgin colt.” —Chet

 

As is the custom for the penultimate episode of the Challenge, MTV relocated somewhere even more remote in last night’s episode, in this case Namibia. The contestants always get really excited when they find out where they are going, which makes sense, but from a viewer’s perspective, it’s like, Eh, one foreign country’s the same as the next.

On the other hand, the location of the final challenge always shapes its look, and Namibia seems to mean deserts. Last night’s challenge, though, was pretty basic, as they have generally been all season long: Called “Sling Shot,” the team’s were split in pairs, where one player rode a four-wheel ATV that pulled the other along a ramp and shot them into the water. Once in the water, that player had to swim to a bell and back. Continue reading

Monday Medley

What we read after knocking out Manny Pacquiao…

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, Week 10 Power Rankings

Robb and Marie

“Realistically, I think Brooklyn is a strong team. Do I want to test that theory? Hell no.” —Devyn

 

“People in the house may think it’s me protecting Jonna. And, actually, that’s what it is.” —Zach

 

 

MTV is really drawing out this nadir of a Challenge. Normally, we’d be at the final challenge by now, ten weeks in, but there’s at least one more episode left, and possibly two. Throw in the two off weeks, for Halloween AND Thanksgiving, and this season will have been on for over three months.

And honestly, I’m sick of it. I can’t even figure out what they’re fighting about anymore. After last week’s hissy fit from Dustin about Trishelle’s refusal to volunteer for the Arena, he backed off of his threat to go home in a scene that took about five seconds. So last week’s big “cliffhanger” amounted to nothing. Instead, last night’s episode was devoted to Marie and Robb screaming about how the rest of the teams were all “corny” and “sleazes.” Continue reading

Monday Medley

What we read while asking Bob Costas his thoughts on the fiscal cliff…

The Sports Revolution: And-One Penalties

PI's just like a bench press for Ed.Let me set the scene for you: A quarterback launches a long pass down the sideline toward an emergingly open receiver. The defensive back, sensing what is about to occur, prevents a completion through less than legal means. And yet, even while a flag is being thrown, the receiver makes a tremendous catch anyway. The penalty is declined.

Let me reset the scene for you: After the flag is thrown and the catch is made, our referee announces the penalty while his assistants march off additional yardage. How much exactly? Why, the amount gained on the play, to be precise.

That’s right: Football needs its and-one. A catch made in spite of pass interference shouldn’t render the interference irrelevant. The same penalty should be meted out regardless of the completion of the pass, and thus a 20-yard pass despite PI should become a 40-yard gain.

Pierre has argued this point before, in regards to that officiating shambles of an indoor winter sport. While watching my beloved Ligue canadienne de football this autumn, it has struck me that North American football does an even more piteous job acknowledging degree of difficulty than its indoor companion. Penalties that do not alter the final result of a play are simply declined—overlooked, ignored, erased from the annals of the postgame almanacs.

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