Monday, February 20, 2012

Out of Control Political Correctness -- A Chink in The Armor

It's been all over the headlines that a writer from ESPN, who used the headline "A Chink in the Armor" to describe the effect of 9 turnovers by Jeremy Lin on his team's loss, has now been fired.

What?

I've heard the phrase "a chink in the armor" many times in my life.  The Dictionary describes a "chink" as a "crack, cleft, fissure" or "narrow opening."  It's pretty clear what the writer was trying to convey.  This isn't a phrase that is uncommon or rare.

However, because Jeremy Lin is Chinese, everyone jumped to the conclusion that the writer was being a racist jerk.  It's kind of like not being able to use the phrase "that's so gay" anymore, because someone might get offended.  Or "retarded."  Can't use that anymore either.  Guess now we can't use "chink in the armor" unless we are referring to a white person.

This country is out of control.  I feel horrible for the writer who lost his job.  I don't believe for one second he was trying to be offensive or racist toward Jeremy Lin in using that expression.  It's a common expression.  It was everyone else who jumped all over him who are the racists, getting offended over any word -- even a word with an innocent definition that fit the situation.  I'm really getting tired of people seemingly searching for ways to be offended over anything anyone says.  This does not bode well for our country.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Strange Things About the Grammys

I haven't watched the Grammys in years, and only tuned in last night because L.L. Cool J. was hosting and to see what they would do about Whitney Houston's death.  Honestly, it was a fairly entertaining show.  I didn't hate it, and I was thrilled that Adele swept the awards.  She deserved it, and her simple, no gimmicks performance was a welcome relief in light of Katy Perry, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj's backup dancers, dancing, costume, and craziness.  I also thought Jennifer Hudson's tribute to Whitney was nice, considering she had less than 24 hours to prepare.   

But...a few things were strange:

1. Why didn’t Lady Gaga perform or present an award? It seemed odd to me that she was there, she released a new album last year, she is the “darling” of the music world, and yet she sat in her seat the entire time.

2. Why did Paul McCartney, Chris Brown, and Foo Fighters all perform twice? Was there a lack of people who wanted to perform? Couldn’t the Grammy planners have picked someone else who was nominated, or even a lesser known band?

3. Why is everyone acting like Chris Brown isn’t a felon who beat the crap out of Rihanna?

4. LL Cool J must have superpowers to have been allowed by the powers that be to actually read a prayer on national television.

5. Why weren’t Etta James and Don Cornelius included in the Memoriam montage? I realize they were mentioned at other times during the night, but it still seemed strange to not include their picture on the screen.

6. Why did Dave Grohl basically slam electronic music and then show up half an hour later performing with Deadmau5?

7. Why is Nicki Minaj popular? Her desperation was seeping through my television.

8. Why is Coldplay singing with Rihanna? What the hell, Chris Martin?

9. Since when did the Grammys become so countrified? I haven’t watched them in years, but I don’t remember country playing such a big role in the past.

10. Why did no one point out that Bruce Springsteen or Paul McCartney are older than dirt and should hang it up, like so many people were saying about Madonna prior to and during her Superbowl performance? Double standard, much?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Please Let Me Have A Plain Chicago City Sticker

There’s a been a big flap this week about the winning Chicago city sticker design. Every year the city allows kids to submit their artwork based upon some chosen theme.  The city then narrows the submissions down, and the public votes on the finalists. The winning kid gets $1,000, and their artwork is put on the city sticker that every person with a vehicle registered in the city has to buy and place upon their car.  It’s a feel good kind of thing.  The winner gets their picture taken with the Mayor and everything.

This year was no different, except that after announcing the winning design, the city realized that it might have some gang symbols on it.  Oops.  This year's theme is "heros," and this is what the winning design looks like: 


According to the argument, the upreaching hands are flashing a sign used by the Maniac Latin Disciples.  Oh, and the heart is also a symbol used by the Latin Disciples.

The student who created the design, a 15 year old, has sworn up and down that there are no gang signs on this sticker.  I really have no idea whether this is true, but the city has decided to pull his sticker (while still giving him the $1000) and use the second place finisher's design instead on the .  Oh yeah, and Second City Cop stumbled upon some fascinating information, which hasn't caught any airtime on the mainstream Chicago media sites.  The student's Facebook page (now taken down) had photographs of him flashing gang signs as recently as a month ago, and discussion threads mentioning gang life, drugs, and the Maniac Latin Disciples.  Huh.  Seems like the city might have a valid reason for questioning his motives. 

Of course his mother showed up (who also has quite a Facebook page of her own), and gave the usual "he's turning his life around" and "he's a good boy" arguments that we always hear.  And of course the family already has a lawyer and is threatening legal action against the city. 

A lot of people are angry that this "poor child's" success has been taken away from him, and are calling for a petition to reinstate his sticker.  I can say that I don't want this sticker on my car.  I don't know the first thing aboug gang signs, but it looks awfully suspicious to me, the shape of those hands.  It's not a natural hand sign I've seen anyone do.  If the hands were truly reaching out to the hats, the natural shape would be much different.  I can't link directly to the page for some reason, but NBC Chicago has a neat slideshow of the colors, hand signs, etc. of Chicago gangs.  The Maniac Latin Disciples is at slide 33.  Decide for yourself.  It sure looks like a gang sign to me, and given the other information about this kid dredged up by Second City Cop, I'm willing to let another student have the glory.   

So, this is what we get:


Ugh.  I wish I could just get a plain city sticker that didn't have some kid's artwork all over it.