Sports Shmorts

July 2, 2010 at 11:11 am | Posted in Snobbery | 16 Comments

My father and my aunt are religiously tuning in to the Wimbledon Cup. Being another avid fan of tennis, my idol and the future ruler of the universe, Jessica Zafra, if I’m not mistaken from the posts in her blog, is currently in Wimbledon watching the whole competition live. My cousins and cousin-in-laws are hardcore basketball fans, one pair for the Celtics and the other for the Lakers, with a few disappointments for the one whose favorite team lost a couple of weeks ago(?). Most of my friends are passively watching the FIFA World Cup, every each one of them rooting for her preferred country and almost everyone cheering for the popular favorites and never for the underdogs.

This summer seems to be quite a sportsfest for almost everyone, and there’s a little something for everyone. And where am I in all this? I absolutely don’t care for sports, whether it is being watched or played, whether actively or passively. Everything I learned about sports and games in P.E. went in one ear and quickly worked its way out the other ear. All I know is Novak Djokovic is hot and Cristiano Ronaldo is not.

Ohh-la-la, Novak Djokovic ♥.

Here’s my reasoning. Sports involves either two teams trying to shoot, kick or throw the ball to the other team’s goal (soccer, football, basketball, hockey), two or more individuals trying to outrun or outmatch the other (car racing, horse racing), or a ball or a projectile going back and forth between two opposing individuals or teams until the ball hits the ground (volleyball, tennis, table tennis, badminton). Any differences may be in the variations in sports equipment and rules. Golf is another thing, but then again that’s quite a dull sport for mostly rich wealthy men who have none of the strength and vitality to play anything else, and baseball and cricket are just a little bit more complicated but it all boils down to the same thing. I know I’m oversimplifying the whole thing but that’s the way I see sports.

And all these sponsoring, commercial advertising, several sports players with the looks, pizazz, and the personality gaining celebrity status, and their managers trying to give specific players all the publicity they can get aren’t my kind of thing either. And just like with TV and film celebrities, the idiotic masses always feel the need to know everything and anything that happens to these celebrity players outside the court.

And I never understood those hardcore sports fans who do stuff like painting their faces up with all the colors of either the team’s logo or the country’s flag. And I just heard that they auctioned a sports player’s shirt, a hockey player’s if I’m not mistaken, for more than a million dollars. Um, I know the meaning of value is different for everyone but I just wish that whoever bought that hopefully dirty, unwashed, ragged, thing regrets buying the completely worthless thing. What’s the best you can do with that thing? Hang it like a poor animal’s head on your wall and boast about it to your friends? Pathetic. And they call geeky people like me freaks.


The Idiot Box

May 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Snobbery | 22 Comments

I don’t watch cable TV anymore. Well, okay, fine, not entirely. I still check the weather on channel 24 and, during dinner with the family, I am forced to guess the word puzzles in Wheel of Fortune, answer the film-related questions in Jeopardy and favour the likeable contestants over the obnoxious and cocky ones when we could just easily turn off the damn TV and talk to each other about the past and the distant future.

I just can’t help but frequently roll my eyes whenever I watch TV. If it’s not Willie Revillame’s gloating and ugly excuse for a face hogging the whole screen, it’s news reporters with their fake smiles and obligatory small talk, talking about the most humdrum things happening in Toronto. If it’s not an awkward stand-up comedian who claims to have socially relevant jokes when he’s just really reinforcing stereotypes rather than mocking them, it’s Donald Trump with that grumpy look in that capitalist show of his whom I would be nothing but pleased to kill.

Now that I have grown an affection for films, I think that TV preys on caters too much to idiots, naive and/or uneducated people and people with short attention spans. Or maybe it is the other way around and the short-attention spans people have is the cause of their excessive TV exposure.

Okay, they start off with stuff like American Idol and Survivor. They find out that millions of people are into this stupid shit: judges acting like they know what they’re talking about, white people congratulating and complimenting each other (yet again), and the viewer having the illusion that they control the lives of these contestants with a single text/vote. Next, they start coming up with the most farfetched ideas and create reality shows in the fields of culinary arts? Modelling? Fashion designing? Business? Interior designing? Travel? Even dating?  What’s next? Surgeries? Oh wait, right, you can already watch people performing surgery operations in TV nowadays. Shouldn’t work and entertainment be two entirely different things? Is nothing sacred anymore? Does everything in our lives have to be watchable? Must they create such artificial melodrama about the dullest part of our lives?

And what’s so dramatic about life at the hospital? Must they really create countless shows about that? Do doctors really get that involved with their patients? Um, I think there’s this something that they call confidentiality. I don’t think there’s anything romantic and interesting about overfatigued nurses and capitalist doctors.

Kids and teens have no idea what satire is. They only get a kick out of shows like The Simpsons and South Park because they are crude and offensive, unlike wholesome family shows, and Bart Simpson, Homer Simpson and Stewie are supposedly people they can look up to. But those weren’t the creators’ initial intentions. Bart is a brat. Bart, brat, get it? No? You’re a nitwit then. And Homer is an obese, irresponsible, uneducated, couch potato: the average American. I don’t think we should make T-shirts and other merchandise out of them.

Cars marketed to define ourselves and what we are? Commercials reinforcing typical female/male roles and mainstream gender relations? Consumerist, capitalist agendas? Women in humiliating and degrading situations and roles for the pleasures of prepubescent boys and perverted men? All for business and no room for art? TV viewers and producers getting a kick out of untalented and uneducated people on TV? So much for human progress.

Snobbery, the superior form of emotional expression.

February 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm | Posted in Snobbery | 5 Comments

I am a snob, at least when it comes to films. Yes, it does feel great to know that I seem to know more than most people and that I am not ignorant when it comes to different kinds of issues. You should hear the dumbest and most awful things I hear from people when they talk about serious issues and stuff. I know I am limiting myself to one medium but maybe next time when I do find the time and when I think I have watched enough to know almost everything there is to know about cinema (which may be never or in the far future), I will get to read more books that are outside the bestsellers and the canon, more of the ones that really make you think and get you out of your comfort zone, that really test your patience, and that offers a lot of possibilities and a whole lot of new points of view, of perceiving things. In the meantime, I expect to get all of those in celluloid, along with the frequent doses of entertainment, camp and escapism which keep me sane.

My taste in books and music is pretty much the same as the average person’s. So I don’t get to laugh at people’s poor and superficial choice in books. Although I do not want to end up being caught reading those readable yet awful bestsellers that seem to be dumbed down for our Hollywood movie-going audience, I still have yet to read sci-fi, philosophical novels, graphic novels, pulp magazines, and all other subgenres and forms of literature. I do read but not as obsessively as I do with movies. Just last year, I only read a number of books, probably around 6-10. Can’t recall. That’s not a lot especially since I didn’t include books that I didn’t bother finishing out of boredom and lack of interest.

When I don’t like a film, I still force myself to finish the whole damn thing even if it means doing something else or having my mind someplace else while watching it. Maybe, the ending will make up for the rest of it. Maybe, my patience will be rewarded. Nah, usually the case is that I still think the film is awful. With books, I can’t do that since I don’t want to spend weeks or a month finishing something that I am not really interested in. At least, films are, what, a minute to 10 hours long. I still have yet to prepare myself for a film more than six hours long. And to think that most of the time, I think a two-hour film should be cut because it is too long or just too boring. Oh, I can handle minimal activity and dialogue in films… when I love them and I see the point of the whole thing. Not when it is too self-indulgent.

I literally roll my eyes whenever people, usually people who label themselves as cinephiles or film buffs, imitate critics and pull off “personal” lists of their favorite films, including only films either listed in IMDB’s top 250 films (which is just a ranking in popularity, the same thing as the box office list) or claimed as the greatest movies ever by film critics, students, and historians. If personal favorite films are only films that aren’t outside the film canon, only films that are widely recognized, highly promoted and loved by most, then I don’t know what personal means anymore. Isn’t something personal supposed to be something that is unique, individualistic and of your own?

And why are people unwilling to watch anything that is not in the English language, is slow-paced, is non-narrative, has minimal dialogue, has been made more than a decade ago, makes you question your own belief system, and gets you out of your comfort zone? Must people only watch films that reinforce their preconceived ideas about the world? Must people only watch films that make them comfortable and cozy in their world of goodness, hypocrisy and abundant wealth? Guess what, there’s a whole world out there that you don’t know of. Films aren’t only about white people either whining about their superficial problems and how life sucks or indulging themselves in their first-world comfort. There is also… War. Poverty. Indifference of the bourgeoisie. Evil. Other religions. Communism. Feminism. Revolutions. Art. Sodomy. Sadomasochism. Discrimination. Repression. People of other races and countries. Non-English languages. Terrorism. And all other themes that I can’t think of right now. Why limit yourself when there is a whole different kind of world other than what’s been laid out in front of you?

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