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May 01, 2009

Naked Ultimate Frisbee Team Causes Uproar in Oregon

With the hot, sunny weather we've been having, Frisbees have come out from hibernation and are once again flying around the St. Mike's campus. I haven't seen any naked people tossing Frisbees around the quad, though.

Trends are different at the University of Oregon, where the school's Ultimate Frisbee team has had its season cut short due to a series of conduct violations, the latest of which involved partial nudity. Previously the team had been busted for throwing big drinking parties and speeding.

The Seattle Times has the scoop, not to mention a brilliant quote from co-captain Dusty Becker:

"Speeding, drinking, nudity — they're not bad things," he said. "They're things a big portion of the community doesn't think are wrong."

Well, can't argue with that.

Meanwhile, opponents of the Leddy Park disc golf course have a whole new set of reasons to fear the coming influx of Frisbee players...

November 19, 2008

Burlington City Council Shows No Love for Burton

Burton You might remember the Burton "Primo" and "Love" lines of snowboards featuring artwork depicting individuals mutilating themselves and also nude Playboy models, respectively. Many community members were upset that Burton, a company that has held fairly high reputation around the area, would not recall the line or even address the concerns of the community.

Well, Burlington's City Council is asking that the snowboarding company hold a meeting with community organizations such as Spectrum Youth and Family Services, The Howard Center, Women's Rape Crisis Center and others who feel the line goes beyond what is reasonable and responsible for a company.

The Council voted 12-1 in favor of passing a resolution requesting such a meeting. The one dissenter, Russ Ellis, a Democrat from Ward 4, felt that it isn't appropriate for the council to be dealing with the issue. He said, "I don't think we want to get into the issue of being a censoring board."

Is it responsible for the city of Burlington to respond to an issue of what some feel is offensive artwork? Where is the line between responsibly serving the citizens and meddling with the 1st amendment?

What do you think?

November 01, 2008

Skiers and Riders Get Ready: Killington Opens Sunday

Yes, you read that right: Killington is opening for skiing and riding on Sunday, making it the first resort in Vermont to open for the season. Two lifts and six trails ain't much, but at least it's something. I've never been a fan of early-season skiing — there are always big crowds on limited terrain, and what snow is there is mostly the cement-like manmade kind, to say nothing of miserable late-autumn weather — but I know more than a few diehards who will likely make the trip south to Rutland County for those first turns. I think I'll just wait until Smugglers' Notch opens for the season, but that surely won't be too long now either.

(And a note to all of you who are already complaining about the snow and the cold: suck it up. Snow is fun. Cold weather builds character. If you don't like it, you should've gone to college in Florida.)

October 16, 2008

Go Away, Frank Caliendo

01frankcaliendoheadshot_2 The Major League Baseball playoffs have been an especially painful viewing experience this year, and not just because my beloved Red Sox are getting thoroughly outplayed by a team that's resurrected the "Mohawks for team unity" trend from Little League. No, it's all made worse by the fact that seemingly every commercial break (and there are a lot of those in baseball), the folks at TBS immediately throw a promo for "FrankTV" at us.

I suppose TBS has no choice but to do this, given that "FrankTV" is about their only piece of original programming during the baseball off-season. It's just that the commercials are so damn annoying. Naturally, the network's chief marketing officer, Jeff Gregor, disagrees.

"This is just a hypothesis on my side: You think there are a lot of (FrankTV) spots, but there's actually not as many as you think," Gregor said. "They're just so good at entertaining and engaging that when they come on you feel like you just saw one not too long ago."

If only that were true, Mr. Gregor. Unfortunately your ads are not entertaining, nor are they engaging. Maybe they would be if you didn't play so damn many of them. Or maybe they would be if Frank Caliendo was actually funny.

See, the thing with impression comedy is that it's hopelessly one-dimensional. Frank Caliendo is great at imitating speech patterns. But where is there to go from there? Yes, George W. Bush talks like an idiot and has a sketchy laugh. John Madden is old and crazy and often gets too worked up to speak clearly. Donald Trump does that smug, pouty thing with his lips. These are all things I already knew and found amusing. Frank Caliendo's imitations don't make them any more funny.

Also, who is the character with the dark purple shirt that Caliendo portrays in a few of the commercials? No one I've asked can figure it out. That can't be a good sign for an impression comedian.

Here's to hoping that Caliendo next chooses to do an imitation of a character from "Arrested Development" — by getting promptly canceled.

October 10, 2008

Preview: The American League Championship Series

October is here, also known as the time of year you can’t help but feel bad for Cubs fans. It almost seemed unfair to them that this team was burdened with top notch starting pitching, a strong middle of the lineup, depth in the bullpen, a rabid, hungry fan base and history on their side. I mean they can’t lose forever, right? Statistically, they were due! And this was the best team they’ve had in decades! Yet, it’s like they didn’t even show up to play in Chicago or Los Angeles. What was I thinking predicting them WS champs? They haven’t won a playoff game in five years!

Compound this with my bitterness with the results of the Yankees season and the very real possibility that Boston is the best team in baseball again and it’s been a rough year. Luckily the Rays and Red Sox will meet in what should go down as one of the most fascinating ALCS series of recent memory. The Phillies, despite weak starting pitching rivaling that of a T-Ball team (think about it), and a shaky bottom of the order, takes on Manny Ramirez, who I theorize is an idiot savant, and whoever else plays on the Dodgers. Not nearly as much pizzazz there so we'll just stick to the mouth-watering ALCS.

But before I do that, I'd like to get something out of the way. I've lived in Burlington now for four years as an unapologetic Yankee fan. I try to ignore arguing with the Boston fans as much as possible. It's useless. To have a reasonable, fact-filled discussion or debate is often an insurmountable challenge to them. And don't get me wrong, Yankee fans are often no better. Throwing D Batteries at opposing teams and fans is a sure-fire way to make yourself look like an asshole. So let's get to the crux of it — arguments like "Yankees Suck," "Yankees F***ing Suck," and my favorite, "F***ing Yankees Yahh Suck," are hard to take.

Continue reading "Preview: The American League Championship Series" »

October 01, 2008

Burton Shreds Progress of Women with New Snowboard Line???

Burton_snowboards_love Burlington’s popular snowboarding company, Burton, is catching flack for their new "Love" line of snowboards, which feature Playboy models. Both Seven Days and the Burlington Free Press have picked up on the controversy.

The art, heavily incorporating vintage Playboy model photos onto the snowboard, is under fire from parents and leaders of women’s groups. The board does not show boobies or (va)Jay(Jay) Peak though the women are naked. Though Burton is attempting to market to the 18-24 male range, parents are upset that women are being depicted only in a sexual manner.

Don’t get me wrong, this is an important issue and advertising’s influence on children is a disturbing phenomenon in America. And clearly these are concerned parents who are most likely very involved with the lives of their children. Here lies the problem: How big a deal is this really?

Continue reading "Burton Shreds Progress of Women with New Snowboard Line???" »

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