Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscars Flub...Again

It seems to happen every year. The Oscars telecast stops for 10 minutes to honor and remember contributors to the movie business who have passed away since the last Oscars show. And it also happens annually that they screw it up...not so much the presentation as who is included.

Perhaps you have to have paid a certain amount of dues to some industry organization. Or maybe the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences only recognizes members in good standing...or those who have earned a certain amount in movies. Whatever the formula may be, it needs to be more transparent. Because the current method of choosing those to be remembered invariably ends up snubbing someone who is dear to the memory of most viewers.

This year several names pop to mind, including Andy Griffith. One of the biggest television stars of all time was a movie actor in his early years. Griffith starred in No Time for Sergeants, a huge comedy hit in 1958.

Phyllis Diller was no movie star. But she was a star. And she appeared in several movies. None of them were very good. But shouldn't someone's star status count for something?

Apparently Larry Hagman wasn't a big enough movie star to make this year's list either. He had a reasonable "supporting actor" career prior to becoming a TV star in I Dream of Jeannie and Dallas.

And then...if slighting those folks wasn't enough...they send mega-superstar Barbra Streisand out to sing The Way We Were to honor the memory of Marvin Hamlisch. Well sure, Hamlisch was an accomplished composer and musician, and a strong contributor to the movie business. But an over-the-top and attempted tear-jerking tribute to Marvin Hamlisch? I guess I don't see the priorities.

It would seem that the Academy should make some sort of announcement during the telecast as to what their criteria is for inclusion in the In Memoriam segment if they want to not look like they are either stupid or petty.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Boom Time?

Thoughts on the aging nature of the Baby Boom generation, its place in history, and the state of the union.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

To Name, or not to Name

There's an interesting battle taking place among meteorologists...of all people. These folks, some of whom are actual scientists and others who are television weather-people who call themselves meteorologists, are in a fight over whether to name winter storms like they do hurricanes.

By now, we're all familiar with the thing called Nemo that dropped some three feet of snow and/or ice, depending on the locale, on New England. Actually, the Nemo moniker doesn't come from any official governmental body or agency, it comes from the promotion-minded folks at The Weather Channel. And, many other people who make their living predicting the weather are not at all happy about it.

The Weather Channel decided to start naming winter storms late in 2012 feeling that it would give their viewers an easier time following the developments associated with the named system. Here's a short video they produced to explain their decision.

I'm reading that National Weather Service executives and other weather companies believe it to be a stunt and actually more confusing to the Average Joe. They say that hurricanes, and only hurricanes, should be named so that people don't confuse winter storms with the more potentially devastating effects of a hurricane.

Since The Weather Channel is owned by NBCUniversal, and since they also own the NBC network and provide programming to a sizable number of television stations across the country, it's likely that the policy will be embraced by those entities. It's also just as likely that any station or service not owned by or affiliated with NBCUniversal will dig in their heels against the naming policy. So much like the on-going stalemates on policy in Washington, it looks like this battle will be around for a while.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

What Does Kroenke Want?

After a panel of arbitrators ruled in favor of the Rams on Friday, the picture of professional football in St. Louis is once again a bit cloudy. Essentially, we don't know now if the Rams will make a concerted effort to stay in St. Louis. And we also don't know whether if they do, they will choose to push for an upgrade of the Edwards Jones Dome or put the pressure on local politicians to get an all-new open-air venue. Whatever the choice, the big question will be, "What does billionaire owner Stan Kroenke want?" Kroenke, known for his close-to-the-vest style of doing business, is hard to read in any circumstance. In this story-line  he likely will be even more difficult to judge.

Personally, I'm rooting for the new, open-air stadium option. As for the fans...and what they's a sampling of reaction to Friday's ruling gathered by KSDK-TV

History tells us that the Jones Dome was built with the dual-purpose of attracting the Rams to St. Louis from Los Angeles and also satisfying the taxpaying voters with the notion that the building would also serve as an attractive venue for conventions. In reality, the dome is not serving either purpose all that well. The Convention and Visitors Commission members would tell you that the Rams occupation of the dome on key weekends in the fall and winter prevents them from attracting some of the larger conventions, and the money they would bring.

Most Rams fans, and football watchers everywhere, would say the dome is a horrendous venue for the enjoyment, and television presentation, of the game of professional football. It seems more like a large warehouse where they happen to play sports than a facility designed for the purpose of the sport.

There is already apparently serious talk about three potential sites for a new stadium. The decision on Friday by the group of arbitrators to side with the Rams in the re-modeling dispute with the CVC pushes discussion of the new stadium option to the forefront. Elected officials in Missouri are already saying that they will do what they can to work with the Rams on the new stadium idea, if that's what the Rams want. And now, again, the big question will be..."What does Kroenke want?" Because he now has the hammer.