Super Bowl Commercials

The Super Bowl is on Sunday and I will be watching it with friends. Since the Browns won’t be participating (will they ever) I am hoping it will be an entertaining game.

I typically don’t get to see all of the commercials which are the highlight for a large number of people viewing the game.

Here’s a link to a preview thirty of the best Super Bowl commercials for 2012. I didn’t watch them all, but I wasn’t overly impressed by any of them. I did like clicking on the link and watching the best Super Bowl commercials of all time though – enjoy !

How Do I Brick Thee?

College basketball is one of my favorite sports.  Often, I’ll watch a game even if one of my favorite teams isn’t playing.

Last night I watched Illinois play Michigan State.  It promised to be a tough game between two teams fighting for the Big Ten lead — but it became an ugly brickfest in which neither team could make a basket.  Illinois finally won by the ridiculous score of 42-41.  The Illini shot less than 33% from the field; the Spartans made fewer than 25% — 25%! — of their attempts.

The absurdly bad shooting got to be comical, and moved me to verse:

How Do I Brick Thee?  (with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning)

How do I brick thee? Let me count the ways.
I brick thee by hurling thee against glass
And failing to make a capable pass
In an offense so far out of phase.

I brick thee on layup and on three-point shot
The efforts I launch all resound with a clang
And each ugly brick leads to coaches’ harangue;
I brick thee ’cause no teammate is hot.

I brick thee with all the pow’r I produce
Though the results be nothing but lame.
I brick thee and bear the fans’ harsh abuse,
With each miss I shrivel in shame,
I brick thee and see my shots leave a bruise,
I wish I was taught how to aim!

Mockingjay – Great Series

Mockingjay the last of the Suzanne Collins novels in my mind is the most thought provoking of the three. This novel tracks the war that breaks out between the repressive regime and the rebels and the book has an underlying anti-war theme. Below I have listed a few statements that had the most impact on me. Remember these books are written post apocalyptic United States of America.

What the rebels are fighting for – “The rebels want to win the war and form a republic where the people of each district and the Capitol can elect their own representatives to be their voice in a centralized government. Our ancestors did this, but there wasn’t much to brag about. I mean look at the state they left us in, with the wars and the broken planet. Clearly they didn’t care about what would happen to people who came after them, but this republic idea sounds like an improvement over our current government.”

Thoughts of one of the main characters on a cease-fire after the war has started – “Whether you’re on the Capitol side or the rebel side – stop for just a second and think about what this war could mean for human beings – we almost went extinct fighting one another before – now our numbers are even fewer and our conditions more tenous. Is this really what we want to do, kill ourselves off completely ? In hopes of what ? That some decent species will inherit the smoking remains of the earth ? There wont be enough of us left if everybody doesn’t lay down their weapons very soon.”

Just after the war is over – “So should we prepare for another war ? Oh not now – we are in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated, but collective thinking is usually short lived. We’re fickle stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction, but who knows maybe this will be the time the sweet period sticks and maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race.”

We can only hope that maybe, just maybe we have learned something from the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that we are evolving, but most likely we haven’t learned anything at all ?

Wimping Out In Florida

The big news out of Florida is that Mitt Romney soundly defeated Newt Gingrich in a contest that, by all accounts, featured lots of “negative advertising.”  I think the more interesting story, however, has to do with Rick Santorum and Ron Paul.

Santorum and Paul got clobbered in Florida.  Santorum ended up with 13 percent of the vote, and Paul got 7 percent.  However, they both have a “talking point” at the ready — they explain that they simply chose not to compete.  They’ve decided that they have better prospects in “caucus” states like Nevada that are coming up on the schedule.

It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry, after winning a footrace by a fluke as a kid, avoids later contests by declaring “I choose not to run.”  It’s as if an NFL team like the Cleveland Browns looked at the schedule in advance and decided they won’t show up for that ball-busting away game at New England.

Santorum and Paul likely don’t have a chance to win; this strategy allows them to hold on to their money, play out the string, and get a few more moments on a stage before an adoring crowd.  But doesn’t it say something about how ridiculous our presidential selection process has become that purportedly viable candidates can pick and choose where they fight and simply skip contested elections in large states like Florida that will be crucial in a general election?  Given the experience in Iowa — where some caucus “results” were lost and Republican Party officials couldn’t even say for sure who won — why are caucuses even used to allocate delegates rather than a primary election?

The presidential delegate selection seems to get tweaked after every election.  How about a rule that says declared candidates have to actually compete in every contest where voters will go into a voting booth and pull the lever for the candidate?