No excuse, sir — it was just one of those days. Got to bed late, slept badly, woke early, went back to bed, still slept fitfully. I always take a pulp novel to bed to help me sleep. Since I reread almost everything, reading one of my well-thumbed Travis McGee paperbacks is like hugging a well-loved teddy bear, and just as calming. Someone comes to Travis for help. Travis comes to the corrupt town to hunt down his quarry. A babe falls into his lap. And so on. I can drift off knowing the universe is still in proper order.

But today’s — “A Purple Place for Dying” — just kept me turning the pages. I couldn’t remember reading this one, although I obviously had. It kept me awake. That’s usually a good thing, except today it was bad.

Finally rose and shone close to 11, although I still felt cloudy. Showered, drank a gallon of coffee, took myself out to lunch (Thai). Problem…solved! There’s little that can’t be fixed with those three, is there? It’s like a good cry.

But since the day was effectively truncated, I have little more to add. Onward to bloggage!

He feels so princessy, so it’s not surprising the gay community has adopted Johnny Weir as one of their own. Regrettably, he’s a sore loser, but at least one who gives good quote: “I missed the bus. They changed the schedule,” Weir said. “It was every 10 minutes. Today it was every half-hour. I was late getting here and never caught up. I never felt comfortable in this building. I didn’t feel my inner peace. I didn’t feel my aura. Inside I was black.”

Girlfriend, I know just how you feel.

Hang on to your wallets, suckahs: Detroit is asked to bid on 2008 GOP convention. Wanna rent my house? Lots of fellow travelers here in the Woods.

Loved the book, looks like I’ll hate the movie. “Freedomland,” that is. Casting Julianne Moore as the white-trash mama? I know she’s a brilliant actress, but come on.

Finally, this Muslim cartoons thing is proving revelatory in so many ways. Not publishing them is becoming the newspaper equivalent of a 40-year-old virgin — the irrational protection of something now so overvalued it can hardly be brought into proper perspective. I’m glad to see college journalists trying their best to do the right thing, equally disheartened to see many getting nipped in the bud. Eric Zorn looks at the case at the University of Illinois, and is, in the bargain, exactly right.

Posted at 8:39 pm in Media, Popculch, Same ol' same ol' |

27 responses to “Yawn.”

  1. brian stouder said on February 16, 2006 at 10:20 pm

    The Zorn piece – and especially the banter in the comments – was very good. I liked the commentator who pointed out that the U of I staunchly fights to keep it’s nickname “Chiefs” – even though it offends Native Americans’ sense of what is reasonable.

    Zorn reflects that indeed, Native Americans will have to sharpen their tactics (so to speak) if they want to make an impression upon the administration of that institution!

    Re the Olympics – forget the figure skating, and tune in the snow boarding! What a wild sport! Although I must say, Bryant Gumble’s grumbling anti-Winter Olympics rant makes several salient points

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  2. Danny said on February 16, 2006 at 10:25 pm

    The first interview we heard with Johnny Weir he was holding forth on how he basically doesn’t give a crap what anyone else thinks and how he feels like a Diva and that will probably offend some of the more Republican types. I was conflicted. On the one hand, I thought, good on him for being true to himself. On the other, I thought, shut up you snobby little jerk. You’re too young to know much of anything, especially what I think.

    My wife and I looked at each other, laughed and said, “Wow, he is like super-humanly gay!”

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  3. Danny said on February 16, 2006 at 10:31 pm

    Gumble’s grumbling anti-Winter Olympics rant makes several salient points

    Brian, if by salient you meant feculent then you are correct. Gumbal’s comments are offensive and racist. It would be like some white dude watching basketball and saying that it looks like an Nation of Islam convention.

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  4. brian stouder said on February 16, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    Gumbel said the following [and I will comment in these brackets]

    “And finally tonight the Winter Games. Count me among those that don’t like ’em and won’t watch ’em.[fair enough, eh?] In fact, I figure when Thomas Paine said, “These are the times that try men’s souls”, he must have been talking about the start of another Winter Olympics. Because they are so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like try not to be incredulous when someone tries to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing.[hahahahahaha] So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of Blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention.[c’mon Danny – it was a JOKE!] Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a psuedo-athlete waits in what’s called a “kiss and cry area” while some panel of subjective judges decides who won. [Amen!! Amen!! Huzzah! Huzzah! I like the sports where points get scored on the field of play, rather than in the French or Chinese judge’s laptop] And try to blot out all logic when announcers and sports writers pretend to care about the luge, the skeleton, the biathlon, and all those other events they don’t understand and totally ignore for all but three weeks every four years. Face it, these Olympics are little more than a marketing plan to fill space and sell time during the dreary days of February. So, if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, and we can move on to March Madness, for God’s sake, let the Games begin.”

    [Fair points all, I say]

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  5. Danny said on February 16, 2006 at 11:39 pm

    Well, maybe I am being grumpy about the GOP comment (though if a white guy said something like that, they would lose their job). But I will take issue with his assessment that these are not some of the world’s greatest atheletes. The downhill skiiing, the cross country? Very cool stuff. I also love the speed skating and the figure skating. I’ll concede that curling is just an excuse for Canadian guys to drink Mooosehead on frozen ponds, but most of these things are real sports that only real, world-class atheletes could compete in.

    The US snowboarders need to change their outfits. They look like prison fatigues.

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  6. Danny said on February 17, 2006 at 9:21 am

    Having thought a little more about Mr. Gumbal’s comments, I stand by my original assessment that they are offensive and racist. Think back, Brian, to every recent election cycle. The race card is continually pulled by liberals: Whether it be stories about how black voters are being kept from the polls, or pamplets being circulated showing police using firehoses on black civil rights protesters.

    I say enough of the bullshit. It just serves to divide us. Gumbal should be fired.

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  7. Laura said on February 17, 2006 at 9:45 am

    Fire Gumbal for what? Offending the GOP? Plu-eeze.

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  8. basset said on February 17, 2006 at 9:56 am

    I would jump in on this, but as a middle-aged, Southern, pickup-driving, multiple-gun-owning, hunting, fishing, country-music-playing, beer-drinking, straight white male, I’m not allowed to have opinions on issues of racial division.

    that said… Gumbel is still a gaping and inflamed rectal orifice, Olympic comments or not.

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  9. Joe Kobiela said on February 17, 2006 at 10:18 am

    They should stap Brians ass to a luge and let him take a ride down the track. That brown streak following him would either be him unloading his bowls or the black coming off as he scares himself white.
    What a ass.

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  10. nancy said on February 17, 2006 at 10:30 am

    I seem to recall a story during the last winter Olys that said the cold-weather games were getting increasingly diverse as winter sports penetrated the country’s warmer climates, where more of the nation’s non-white people live. In fact, isn’t speed-skating, particularly short-track, being transformed by SoCal kids who grew up on Rollerblades? It’s not all Minnesotans and Cheeseheads anymore.

    Although luge — that’s probably going to stay pretty pale for a while. I noted about 7/8ths of this country’s lugers are from Lake Placid, NY, where they have luge runs in city parks.

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  11. alex said on February 17, 2006 at 12:56 pm

    Danny and Joe: Regarding the last GOP convention, Outkast sure knew what side its bread was buttered on when it performed there. And those pro-abortion-rights, pro-gay keynote speakers Giuliani and Schwarzenegger should have put to rest any notion that the party is home to racists or bigots or luddites of any sort. Such magnanimity is never a part of a Dem convention. You never see any angry white males singing or speaking at one of their events. Good thing good people like you are taking them to task for it.

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  12. Danny said on February 17, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Alex and Laura: you two ignore Gumbel’s racist comments because he is liberal so I guess you are all cool with THAT. Shame on you.

    Me, I don’t care what political persuasion a person is or even if they are family or friend. I hear racist talk, I call people on it.

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  13. alex said on February 17, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    Danny, I think you’re overstating the case here. A racist comment by a black person is the sort of inflammatory crap you here from a demagogue like Louis Farrakhan when he alleges AIDS is a conspiracy by white physicians to wipe out the black race. I don’t think Gumbel’s comments rise to that level much less even compare. In fact, it sounds exactly like the sort of thing Jon Stewart says all the time on Comedy Central.

    He’s a bit heavy-handed, perhaps. The relative absence of blacks in winter sports cannot be attributed to racism in the same way their absence in a co-op condo might be. But he’s pretty dead-on about the fact that blacks are little more than window dressing when it comes to Republican politics.

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  14. Danny said on February 17, 2006 at 2:32 pm

    Alex, Gumbel is saying that one of the reasons he is not interested in watching the Olympics is because it is too white. I think that is pretty bad.

    And as far as window dressing issue, George Bush has appointed more blacks to his cabinet level and other political positions than any other president in history.

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  15. Laura said on February 17, 2006 at 2:39 pm


    Ouch. All that anger isn’t healthy.

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  16. alex said on February 17, 2006 at 2:40 pm

    Yeah, for the purpose of deflecting criticisms of the GOP for otherwise ignoring minority and urban issues, Danny. As I said, window dressing.

    Gumbel doesn’t watch the Winter Olympics for the same reason you probably don’t watch Gospelfest or Chitlin Circuit movies. Which is the same reason, really, a woman like Ariana Huffington probably doesn’t watch NASCAR and Dubya probably doesn’t watch HGTV. Interest. You get it?

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  17. Laura said on February 17, 2006 at 2:45 pm

    Let’s get on to happier posts. If you look the most recent string, you can join in the discussion of my son’s most fabulous hair. Then we can talk about me. Kidding!

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  18. MichaelG said on February 17, 2006 at 2:47 pm

    I didn’t see Gumbel’s comments on TV but they sure appear racist when read. Wonder how much of that stuff he would have said if he still worked at NBC.

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  19. brian stouder said on February 17, 2006 at 3:15 pm

    “I didn’t see Gumbel’s comments on TV but they sure appear racist when read.”

    They struck me as pretty funny. I think you have to begin with the essential, definitive pomposity of the ‘by God Olympics’. It is (supposedly) all about godly athletes and human achievement and blah blah blah blah.

    So when you tune in and all the godly human athletes are plain-white bread, the illusion of some sort of athletic meritocracy is immediately pierced.

    But I will go this far in arguing with Gumbel’s point of view; he has no room to scoff at the Olympics show as being nothing more than a platform to sell soap! Or maybe his spoken remarks were more intentionally ironic and self-aware than the written words convey

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  20. nancy said on February 17, 2006 at 3:39 pm

    Racial insensitivity does not equal racism. What Gumbel said was blunt, but it strikes me as little more than a simple truthful observation. There are hardly any blacks in the winter Olympics, period.

    Actually, the way it struck me was just a grumpy little rant of the sort you see pretty often these days, designed to get a rise out of someone. Looks like it worked.

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  21. Joe Kobiela said on February 17, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    If Dan Patrick on espn came out and said, you know I don’t like the nba because there are so many blacks playing it looks like a democratic convention,every Liberal in this country would have a fit and call for his resignation. Yet Brian G can say it because he is black, and the first thing you do is apologise for him.That right there tells me he is WRONG I do not see it as a grumpy little rant, I see it as a racist statement by a pompass ass that was not good enough to play the game so he writes about it. Gumbel should stick to something he knows about. Like adultry.

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  22. Danny said on February 17, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    Yeah, I hate to break it to you, but bascially everyone who agrees with me on this thread is correct and everyone who doesn’t is incorrect.

    Sorry, Nance, Laura, Brian and Alex, but look at the bright side. At least it is the weekend you will probably be getting together with some of your friends who will think you are correct. 🙂

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  23. joodyb said on February 17, 2006 at 6:33 pm

    it’s not tv, people. it’s HBO. that makes it more democratic in some respects than network tv, if you think about it. maybe that’s why Gumbel took all that money to leave the loser network that can’t even get anyone to watch what it thought was a sure bet to sell This Great Free Nation of Ours beer and cars.
    so, Danny: what is it, then, that makes us so damned compelling? as for my weekend, as Groucho said, ‘I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.’

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  24. MarkH said on February 17, 2006 at 7:07 pm

    Gumbel deserves all the criticism he gets for one reason: he has always been an arrogant ass. He showed it every day while on the TODAY show, especially to his colleagues, and it led to his downfall when left for CBS and their new morning show. What he thought would be a triumph turned into a ratings disaster for all concerned and he was rightfully bounced. He is back in sports reporting, where he started, and in a none-to-visible venue, where he only gets attention with comments like the one up for discussion here. It’s ironic that his brother, Greg, who started his career after Bryant, is now more visible and popular having stuck with sports. I did enjoy Bryant’s documentary on UFO’s a few years ago, however.

    But let’s take this point further: Does anyone have evidence that minority athletes have been competing/clamoring for participation in the winter olympics and been shut out because of race? Lack of color=racism? I strongly doubt it. I think the organizers would welcome them just as they did the Jamaican bobsled team, and not just as tokens, but as magnets for greater visibility. It’s been in the news this week that ratings for the winter games are down.

    Finally, I, for one, and getting weary of the notion that minorities automatically owe their allegiance to the left/liberals/democratic party. Or, somehow the notion that affiliation with republicans or a conservative political philosophy makes them irrelevant. Please…

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  25. brian stouder said on February 17, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    “Sorry, Nance, Laura, Brian and Alex, but look at the bright side. ”

    point of order; I don’t think the person who posts in the comments as “nancy” is THE Nance. I think Nance comments as “Nance”.

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  26. alex said on February 18, 2006 at 10:41 am

    MarkH, no one says minorities automatically owe their allegiance to Democrats or liberals. Minorities place their allegiance where they do because the other side is too busy pandering to interests inimical to theirs. Angry white males don’t automatically owe allegiance to conservatives or Republicans either, but that’s where they put theirs by their own choice.

    And Gumbel disparaging an event where blacks are absent isn’t the same as a white commentator disparaging an event because they’re present.

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  27. C. Maoxian said on January 11, 2007 at 3:42 am

    The most amusing thing about these comments is not seeing Bryant Gumbel spelled Bryan Gumball. All other variations were covered.

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