Monday, July 11, 2005

Sour grapes, but perfect for making a fine French whine, er, wine

Well, that didn't take long. Less than a week after London upset Paris for the rights to the 2012 Summer Olympics, the mayor of the French capital, one Bertrand Delanoe, is screaming foul play, accusing Tony Blair and British Olympic head Sebastian Coe - Lord Coe to his friends - of crossing the line when it came to their campaigning tactics. Delanoe speaks specifically of criticism of the Paris bid by British officials, and that Blair sinned by having a private meeting with IOC members in his own hotel room in Singapore days before the final vote.

You know, the French have many redeeming qualities - pretty buildings, good cheese, Catherine Deneuve. And not to get political, but I defended them when they chose not to back the U.S. in the war in Iraq. But it's times like these when I get why they are hated by much of the developed world. Forget the fact that Delanoe may be better served yelling at his country's president, Jacques Chirac, for possibly torpedoing the Paris bid with his stupid bashing of British cuisine (see below post). But did it ever occur to Le Mayor de Paris that he is speaking ill will of London and the UK at a particularly inappropriate time in their own history? What, he couldn't wait until the mourning period was over? Idiot.

Besides, what kind of name if "Bertrand," anyway?

This Internet marketing is really something

It must be, as I've received three spams promising a year's supply of Oreo cookies in the last 24 hours. How did they know? :)

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

It's too bad Li'l Kim is going to the pokey for a year ...

Not because she's innocent of the charge of perjury. (And frankly, that's a pretty lame way for a rapper to get set to the Big House, no?) But because the great prison nickname M. Diddy has already been clamed by Martha Stewart. Or, and that she'll probably have to wear clothes while incarcerated. :)

Sacré blew!

Remember what your mother said when you were younger: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"? Jacques Chirac may be wondering that right about now as he stews in his subtly sauteed juices in Scotland at the G8 summit, ruing this day as the day that the French capital, Paris, was upset in the chase for the 2012 Summer Olympics by the British capital, London. It may never be clearly known what exactly put London over the top in defeating the heavily favorite Parisian contingent for the right to host the world's biggest athletic event, but many already are pointing the finger at Chirac's comments of a few days' ago, in which he told the leaders of Germany and Russia that a nation that can't cook decent food like the UK could never be trusted. Now, I don't necessarily disagree with Chirac on that one, but it's what he allegedly said next that could have had the IOC scratching its head - he added that English food was the worst in the world, with the exception of the cuisine of Finland.

Having not been to Helsinki for supper recently, I can't say whether that opinion has any validity - but I'm sure the two Finnish members of the IOC committee that votes on who gets the Games couldn't have been pleased. In the final vote, London beat Paris by the tally of 54-50. You do the potential math.

Who says the Finns don't have spunk? Just don't accept their dinner invites until you know what's on the menu, I guess.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

MTV and Live 8: The Video Star Is Dead

Live 8 was touted as being the greatest musical event in the history of this planet. And I saw many indications on Saturday that this was indeed the case. But the brunt of the world may have to wait until the DVD packages hit the stores - if they do - because thanks to MTV et al, the true power of these varied musical acts was blunted by a motley goo of commercials, meaningless audience interviews and copious amounts of the "music" network's patting themselves on the back for bringing Live 8 to our eyes.

It made me pine for the heady days of Live Aid almost exactly 20 years ago. Back then I remember bitching about the many PSAs, hosted by no less than Sally Field, reminding us about why Queen and Led Zeppelin and Phil Collins and all these other legends and newbies of the rock and pop realms had congregated onto the stages of London and Philadelphia - not merely to entertain us, but also to urge us to donate money to the famine-stricken African continent. But, looking back, at least then the music actually was presented just about in its entirety. And, after all, it was a telethon.

This time, to be fair, MTV had some additional hurdles to deal with. Instead of two concert venues, there were 10 to deal with, so presenting every song from every act was an impossibility. But MTV could have tried. After all, they now have several branded networks thanks to that 500-channel universe that's not a reality. Wasn't it worth it to, say, place the Philadelphia portion of Live 8 on MTV, the London venue on VH1, disperse the others on MTV2, VH1 Classic, MTV Hits, etc.? And even if that wasn't part of the plan, how about at lease not cutting into actual songs to tell us what a historic event we were experiencing? When they interrupted the extraordinary Pink Floyd reunion - during David Gilmour's guitar solo in "Comfortably Numb," no less - I nearly threw something at the TV screen. Sure, it was the last song of the band's set, but still, what, they couldn't wait another two minutes?

For many, Live Aid was the peak of MTV's existence, a triumphant melding of music and pop culture with some social consciousness thrown in for good measure. Live 8 may be not only its nadir, but perhaps its death knell as a television network of any importance. They should be ashamed.