Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Stanley Pimp Cup

This morning I had the rare pleasure of spending a few hours stuck in traffic behind the wheel of my wife's automobile. I find this enjoyable because I so rarely drive (subway and cycle) and it gives me a chance to buy a coffee, listen to talk radio and enjoy the positively PoPoZao-ish effects of the seat heaters. But I digress. This morning, as my hind quarters bubbled away atop their leather-clad chaffing dish, Kevin Sylvester of CBC's Olympic Report reported on the "kvetching" over the loss yesterday of the Canadian Men's Olympic Hockey team. Yes, "kvetching" over a loss in a hockey tournament. Now, I realize that if Ellis Island had been in Canada, the Great Hall would have frequently and spontainiously exploded into games of ball hockey. However, the oft-cited Canadianism that hockey is the only thing that binds a nation of immigrants together aside, Yiddish expressions and hockey go together about as well as gefiltafish and maple syrup. Until now.

Sylvester's innovation led me to thinking - why not place ethnicisms in other winter olympic contexts? "Fusion" has long been the buzzword in architecture, music and cuisine, why not the XX winter games? Thank you Kevin Sylvester, for bringing the schtetel to centre ice - look what I for one think you have started:

"Johnny Weir Muthafucka! What!"

"Gretzky, when asked about reports of divisions within the team resulting from both the Todd Burtuzzi lawsuit and his own gambling troubles responded with 'Well, there has been not just one, but a number of meshuggede growing in the dressing room.'"

"This year, the Norweigan nordic delegation has decided to compete with grillz IN."


"For our Muslim friends, Oval Lingotto comes complete with east-facing prayer rooms."

"And, finally, I will remind all competitors that throwing gang signs from the 'kiss & cry' is stictly forbidden by the ISU."

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

"Push Back"

Earlier today, I got an email from a co-worker asking me to "please don't push back on this". My ideal reply to this missive would be to light it on fire and send it along with a piece of dog shit as an attachment. Initially, I thought the use of the term "push back" alone was enough to send me running to the nearest off-leash area. But upon further reflection, I realized that it was actually the fact that said co-worker had in effect said "No matter how wrong I may be on this, I don't want your opinion. In fact, I can't even be bothered to hear it expressed."

I have finally realized the secret to day job success with this exchange: Do NOT give a shit, dog or otherwise. "Push back" is for troublemakers and people who wish to obfuscate the meaning of the word "opinion". Do NOT make yourself conspicuous by (to paraphrase Enron) asking why? End.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Gawker Stalker: Now Boring as Fuck

It was an affair to remember. It was way back in (insert hip, early adopter date relative to Gawker's date of inception) when I first stumbled onto Gawker. This was a celebrity site with a difference. It practiced a cruel to be kind version of idolatry with respect to the celebrities it by turns worshipped and deplored. It turned the unique trick of distancing itself from its readership (unless you are happened to be a 212 hipster, and then you were REALLY hated) and its subjects. Not Vanity Fair, not Inside E, not The Enquirer, none of them could claim that. To top it all off, it wasn't really celebriporn - of course not, that's for flyovers - no, it was a site dedicated to "media". No explanation necessary, if you don't get it, you didn't know who Nan Talese was before James Frey went on Oprah a second time.

But the coup de gras was The Gawker Stalker - random pieces of celebrity sighting floatsam sent in to tips@gawker.com and published almost as written. Honestly, for a long, long time I would breathlessly await the latest word of Tony Danza at Bungalow 8 and the Olsen twins walking out of Starbucks. As a former Megalopolis dweller moved back to the hinterland, it made me feel as though I was back in my old seat on the fringe of the international party set.

Why then does it now seem so fucking ridiculous? Gridskipper, a corporate sibling of Gawker, does an "International" version of the feature with Jim Carey popping up in hotels in Lexington KY and TomKat in bistros in Shanghai. I'm sure other examples are floating around. However, to be honest, I've lost that lovin' feeling. Does that make me provincial? Or provcencal? One thing it doesn't make me is standing in line outside Bungalow 8.