Monthly Archives: July 2012

Omens of the Twitter-verse Free Speech debate

We have a Twitter account (@RegressiveAnalysis) .  It’s what you do these days as part of your “branding” or getting the word out there that you exist, or simply alerting the odd fan or follower to the latest happenings, or in our case that we’ve written a new blog.  A couple of years ago, if you‘d asked us, we’d have said what is the point of following Shaquille O’Neal’s stream-of-conscious postings in 140 characters or less?  Or Ashton Kutcher or any other minor celebrity that wants to let us know when they’re checking a book out of the library, watching beach volleyball or taking a dump.  Gee thanks for the update.  But now it seems everyone has a Twitter account, and it’s just accepted that it is part and parcel of your online profile.

Well, the other thing Twitter is good for is diarrhea of the mind obviously.  Whatever pops into your head in the moment can pretty much instantly be posted to your Twitter account.

Witness Michel Morganella, a defender for the Swiss men’s soccer team in the Olympics, who posted this after the Swiss lost to the South Koreans ;

“South Koreans are mentally handicapped retards!”

Yikes.  Our first thought is – a little bit angry and a lot of poor sport.  So, he’s been kicked off the team and sent home, and he’s apologizing profusely, but all for naught, he’s about to be tarnished as a racist.

But wait a minute… racist tweets you say?  How about Voula Papachristou the attractive (suppose we’d be considered sexist for pointing this out…) triple-jumper from Greece who also just got booted from the Olympics?  She had this to say, and it wasn’t even in response to anything to do with the Olympics;

“with so many Africans in Greece at least the West Nile mosquitos will eat homemade food.”

OMG – no.  We think she was trying to be funny.  We hope, anyways.  But regardless, FAIL.  No, Voula, no.  You don’t say things like that out loud.  It reminds us of the Simpsons episode where Homer gets confused with the things he’s thinking and the things he is saying out loud and gets them mixed up.  That was funny.   

But racist tweeters abound these days, and you don’t even have to be some Greek nationalist athlete.  How about poor Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United’s captain…. Ashley Cole testified on behalf of John Terry at Terry’s racism trial (and we may have to write about this soon, what a genius defense), and someone alluded to Ashley Cole, being black, as a traitor, to which Rio tweeted;

“I hear you fella! Choc Ice is classic hahahahahahha!!”

Now firstly, Choc-Ice, sounds like a delicious treat when we read about it.  Secondly, Rio Ferdinand is himself black.  And Rio has played beside Ashley Cole for years on the English national team.  Ashley Cole has even said that he took no offense to the comment, and saw the humour in the post.  But, nope, Rio is about to be charged with racist tweeting, and will probably be suspended for a handful of games because someone, somewhere, will no doubt have taken offense to his momentary diarrhea of the mind.  We’re sure Rio has since smashed his smart phone, and gnawed off his own thumbs to prevent his ever tweeting again in the future.  Or better yet, he probably had  Nemanja Vidic break his thumbs just by looking at them.

This brings us to the last mishap.  Some British diver that we could give two farts about lost in the synchronized diving event (what the hell is that by the way… some of the events they invent for the Olympics are beyond silly).  Anyway, one young 17-year old Brit fan was so crestfallen, his hopes for British glory in a real non-event so tragically smashed that he felt compelled to write the following on the diver’s twitter account;

“You let your dad down i hope you know that.”

Ooomph.  See now…. the thing is the diver’s dad just died.  And many stories have been written in that sappy Olympics lead-up kind of way about how the diver owed everything to his now deceased father.  So what is the reaction?  Public disgust, sure, at the low-blow.  But wait – criminal charges are going to be laid against the kid!  No kidding.  The 17-year old was arrested for his tweet.  Now, we see the progression – from self-identification as having no filter on their mouth (thumbs) to now, outright criminal tweeting.

In the end, we don’t know if we actually have a point to this whole recap other than to ask, if people are that thin-skinned in this age where any random thought, good or bad, is encouraged to be shared with the world, where does this end?

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The Olympics Suck

On the eve of the Olympics starting, we ask a quick question – are we alone in not caring a mouse’s fart about the Olympics?

Oh sure, there’s some entertainment and spectacle in the Games depending on the event, but on aggregate, what a massively expensive boondoggle.  Most people couldn’t give a crap about 90% of the events, and that’s not diminishing the skill, dedication and talent that these competitors bring to their event, but really… nobody cares about shot putting.

And in the end, outside of a couple of niche events, like Kenyans dominating the longer distance races, the medal haul is directly proportional to GDP x population size… so we can tell you already, the top 10 medal hauls will likely be the US, China, Russia, Germany, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Japan, South Korea and Italy (in no order).  It’s the rich countries beating up on the poorer countries. 

And then the cost… $20 billion for these London Olympics.  Granted, they will earn a few billion from advertising and ticket sales and corporate sponsorship.  But the difference is being made up by the taxpayers.  And in the meantime we are subjected to stories about threats that anyone wearing a Pepsi shirt into an event will be tossed (Coca Cola is the official sponsor of un-healthy drinks), or the Olympic licensing committee coming down on some poor old Lancashire grandmother knitting doll’s sweaters with the Olympic rings on it for charity.  Horrors.

Or how about the ongoing dispute over who will get the Olympic stadium after the Olympics – Tottenham Hotspurs or West Ham.  Tottenham originally proposed that the stadium wasn’t good for much else other than hosting once-in-a-lifetime track and field events and not very good for soccer matches, so as part of their proposal for taking the stadium over post-Olympics, they were going to tear down half of the stadium, remove the track and then move the field closer to the stands on one side and rebuild the other side… tear down half of a $800 million new stadium – because it didn’t work for much else.  And you know what?  They were right.  But lo and behold the Olympic organizing committee stepped in, and West Ham now seems set to get the stadium, so you’ll have a shit team playing in a field that will look a million miles away from the stands…  This is the kind of crap legacy the Olympics leave.

We could go on.  We haven’t even touched on the security.

But no – every two years, the Olympics, whether they’re Winter or Summer, get shoved down our throats by media networks whose executives in a fit of conformity and group-think bid billions for the rights to broadcast these games, and so they get artificially hyped and what was once a true contest of amateur athleticism, something we all should celebrate, has been sadly transformed into a saccharine melodrama of corporate advertisement, political grandstanding and diluted contests.

We’ll watch the 100m sprint.  That’s it.  Maybe the soccer final if we see it on TV.  That’s it.  We swear.

PS – Not that we find pictures of little kids shooting the finger all that funny… but it looks like a classy Feyenoord fan.  Feyenoord spawned Robin van Persie.  van Persie wants out of Arsenal.  Robin van Persie definitely sucks.  Full circle.  Hakuna matata, baby.

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So Rob Ford and Dalton McGuinty Walk Into a Room…

So Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty had a “summit” meeting yesterday to discuss guns and gun crime in Toronto in the wake of all the recent shootings.  Rob Ford was going to ask for more provincial money for police, while McGuinty was going to ask if there was a way to get 50lbs of fat transplanted onto him off Ford’s belly, because McGuinty’s skeletal body is getting chills in the winter and could use the added insulation.

Anyway, the result is, of course, DRUM ROLL PLEASE, more money for police.  Shockingly imaginative.  Is there a problem, by the way, that would not be resolved by more money for police, jails and law enforcement?  We’ve touched on this subject before.   

Anyone who knows Toronto knows this – you cannot park for 2 seconds illegally, or without putting every coin in that change jar you keep in the glove box into the parking meter, before you get some pseudo-cop materializing out of nowhere and slapping a parking ticket on your windshield.  It’s like the Toronto police have perfected the ninja-cop who can move amongst us undetected, constantly on the lookout for criminal parkers – they’re always there. 

Or how about the ubiquitous speed trap where the cops catch you going 60 in a 50, pull you over for a half –hour while they write your ticket at a pace that would make a 100-year old tortoises envious, and then they let you go, you say, OH SHIT – I’M LATE FOR MY MEETING, put your foot on the gas and then get caught doing 60 in a 50 on the very next box.  Very efficient at catching speeders are these Toronto Police.

But one thing the Toronto police and police in general don’t seem to be very good at these days is stopping actual crime.  Look at the G20 fiasco.  Look at Caledonia.  Look at the London Fanshawe riots.  Look at the Vancouver riots.  So, now putting more police on the streets, when there seem to be plenty already for crap like parking tickets and speeding traps, or when there are $100k/year officers working behind desks at police headquarters, that’s going to solve a gang violence problem?

The last year or so, since the Conservatives have been pushing their Law-and-Order agenda, progressives have been pointing out how the crime rate has been falling in Canada, so these measures are unneeded.  Here’s the dirty little secret – violent crime is not falling.  And when you poll Canadians on the question of “do you feel safer than you did last year/five years ago etc” the majority reply that no, they do not feel safer.  Why?  Because in reality the crime rate has not fallen.  What has fallen is the citizens’ willingness or interest in reporting it.  Who reports a stolen bike or graffiti or car break-in anymore?  Who reports minor arson or threatening panhandling anymore?  Who reports seeing penny-drug deals in the parkette around the corner, or teenage youth loitering in a school yard drinking and smoking weed?  Nobody.  Because what is the point – the police won’t can’t do anything.  They are very good now at documenting crime, but becoming increasingly poor at stopping actual crime or finding culprits.  So we have all given up.  We’ve accepted crime.  And in a case of broken glass syndrome, once you start accepting petty crime, minor lawlessness, you have then given permission for escalation to shootings at block parties.

No… more money for more useless police is not the answer.  But we are so sorely lacking any real leadership in this country that we could have predicted this response the minute the Danzig shootings had finished.

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