Thursday, December 11, 2008

Over and Under Rated 2008

Over Rated

The most over rated people, places and things of 2008

Wu-Tang Clan “Reunion” Tour: Last time I checked a Wu-Tang concert did not consist of Rza, Masta Killah and U-God performing selections from the “Golden Arms” album and Inspectah Deck doing “C.R.E.A.M.” sans Rae and Meth. No offense to these guys, but a Wu show without Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface, Gza or ODB (RIP) is like watching an NFL game with scab players.

Brittany Spears being “Better”: We are so obsessed with “happy endings” and the VH1 Behind the Music story arc (meteoric rise, disastrous fall, redemption) that we refuse to believe that this chick is still insane, still a threat to her kids, still only barely passable as an entertainer and still not at all prepared to deal with reality.

Over-Specialization in training/education: This year’s sports scene was dominated by guys like Eli Manning and Michael Phelps that are basically socially retarded off the field or out of the pool (if you doubt this watch any Eli interview or Phelps on SNL). These guys were raised from the day they were born to do one thing and for the ones we hear about, this is not really a problem (the ones that succeed make enough money to never have to think about social interaction again), the problem lies with the ones that do not make it for whatever reason and end up with no skills, no education and no prospect of doing anything productive when competitive sports are over. Just something to think about when you are signing your daughter up for 37 hours of dance lessons a week or scheduling “Tommy John” surgery for your 9-year old that reminds his little league coach of “Greg Maddox, but with better mechanics.”

The War on Drugs: 20 years ago the presidential race was all about how to address this country’s drug problem, this year we elected a guy that admitted to smoking pot in the past to replace a president that got a few DUI’s, who happened to replace a president that “didn’t inhale.” We have largely thrown in the towel at the idea of not being a nation of drug-addicted (pain pills, liquor, cigarettes, “street drugs”, ant-depressants and Starbucks, to name a few) zombies. For proof of this look at the biggest stories in entertainment this year: Lil’ Wayne’s glorification of codeine abuse, Heath Ledger being out of his mind to play The Joker, numerous NFL players failing drug tests, the popularity of “Celebrity Rehab,” the public’s morbid fascination with Amy Winehouse and an international biochemistry experiment that is so epic in scale it can only be held once every four years...the Olympics. What happened to “Just Say No”?

Bonus Content: This trend started as soon as DVD’s became available, but with the expanded memory of Blu-Ray discs gaining widespread acceptance it has gotten way out of hand. After watching “The Matrix” for 3 hours you know what I don’t need? More Content.

Under Rated

The most Under rated people, places and things of 2008

The stupidity of professional athletes: Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, this stuff happened:

Chad Johnson legally changed his last name to “Ocho Cinco” I am not Hispanic and I am offended by this.

Plaxico Burress “Cheddar Bobs” himself at Latin Quarter.

Stephan Marbury gets $21M dollars after being a prick to his teammates, a bad employee to the Knicks and bankrupting

Steve & Barry’s (where will sports fans with no fashion sense and self-esteem shop now?)

Sean Avery calls his ex-girlfriend “Sloppy Seconds” in the media. This guy is just the epitome of class and refinement.

Jason Taylor picks ballroom dancing for a few grand over his multimillion dollar deal to play football for the Miami Dolphins.

Note: These are just 5 that come to mind, we could obviously talk about this for hours.

Jordan Countdown Packs: These get a lot of hate in the sneaker community because they force you to buy two pairs of Jordans (one of which, you probably won’t like). However, try finding the black/cement 3’s, black/red 4’s or white “Hare Jordan” 7’s for less than the Countdown Pack price and you will be as frustrated as Mike D’Antoni watching a team of 7th grade girls run the Princeton offense.

Malcolm Gladwell: On 2007’s “Ignorant Sh*t” Jay-Z stated he was “the greatest writer of the 21st century” and I automatically believed him (the same way I did when he said X5’s were for women and throwbacks were over). However, after reading “The Tipping Point,” “Blink” and “Outliers” it is safe to say that Gladwell can at least give Hov a run for his money.

Amount of Air Brushing (and other photo-trickery) in Magazines: They have been air brushing women to look better in men’s magazines for years, but this year it seemed to move beyond “Maxim” and “Playboy” and into women’s and fitness magazines. I saw covers of Faith Hill and Mariah Carey that looked more like cartoon characters than real people. For years women have railed against men’s magazines for presenting an unattainable standard of beauty (unless you were Jessica Rabbit or Bugs Bunny dressed up like a girl) and now they are supporting the same chicanery in media geared for them. If you buy “Shape” in order to follow the workout that Kim Kardashian used to get in shape for the cover it probably involves dropping anvils on the heads of unsuspecting people, carrying around huge boxes of ACME explosives and running off cliffs and not falling until you realize you are in mid-air.

The Entertainment Value of the Oakland Raiders: I used to like the Raiders, actually I rooted for them because I wanted a hat and Starter jacket that would make me look like the 6th member of NWA, but that is another post all together. Now they are run by a maniacal old man, have fans that wear scary Halloween costumes to every game and every time they line up for a play there is a chance the other team will pull off the most spectacular play you have ever seen, now that’s good TV.

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