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Columns

July 17, 2010

Chewing on current events can be a sticky situation

This burning question has been puzzling philosophers, scientists, theologians and song lyricists for decades.

Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

In these virulently partisan times, the answer shall likely have to wait for the Supreme Court to weigh in. Meanwhile, I've got several more thoughts attached to question marks.

 Does anybody else feel like I do that after his racist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic and misogynistic diatribes, it's just impossible to enjoy any of Mel Gibson's rather excellent movies?

 For that matter, doesn't the same go for the work of admitted rapist and pedophile Roman Polanski, a movie director who is free to spend the rest of his sordid life frolicking as long as it's not in the United States?

 While I'm at it, can anyone explain the adoration still exhibited toward the late Michael Jackson despite his paying millions of dollars to little boys presumably so they wouldn't testify about what he did with them while they shared a bed?

 What _ or who _ is a Lady Gaga?

 Is there a Lord Gaga?

 Are there any scientists more brilliant than those in the employ of the Gillette company that charges so much for its Fusion razors?

How they can create blades that give you a wonderfully smooth first shave and still self-destruct so quickly that your fifth shave feels like you're using sandpaper is a feat so technologically impressive that you wish these guys were working for NASA.

 I know he has a huge following, but how can all those Republican senators, governors and other serious men and women continue to bow and scrape to radio blowhard Rush

Limbaugh, particularly after the racist stuff he said about George Steinbrenner on the day he died?

"That cracker made a lot of African-American millionaires," Limbaugh said Tuesday on his show. "He fired a bunch of white guys as managers left and right."

We can only speculate why skin color entered into the guy's thought processes right after the Yankees' owner died, but isn't it most likely that it was just because Rush Limbaugh happens to be a racist?

 I can understand taking in your kid's games at the park, but why would anyone watch a pro soccer match on TV if there is a baseball game on at the same time?

  Did you notice that once the American soccer team lost to mighty Ghana in the World Cup that wherever you went around here, nobody was talking about soccer?

All the ESPN horses and all NIKE's men and promotions couldn't put any of the trumped-up interest in the soccer tournament back together again once the Americans were out of it.

So, no, despite the millions of kids who play the sport and its improved but still-paltry TV ratings, professional soccer in this country can go back to the obscurity it deserves until the next World Cup in four years.

  Need any more proof that most Americans watch an international sport more out of patriotism than anything else?

OK, who's leading the Tour de France bicycle race now that Texan Lance Armstrong has faded away?

I don't know, either.

  How much time do you think President Barack Obama spends praying that Sarah Palin is the Republican nominee in 2012?

  Can you watch a network baseball game without giggling when the announcers postulate on why there are fewer home runs than there used to be ... and the subject of steroids never comes up?

  Why are the Drudge Report, Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe and other right-wing deniers of the overwhelming evidence of global warming so silent when it's 90-plus degrees up and down the East Coast?

Of course, it's just as ridiculous to use a hot July day in only one part of the planet as proof of global warming as when Drudge and Inhofe use every February blizzard as evidence that there's no such thing.

Hey, it's hot in the summer and cold in the winter, proving absolutely nothing other than that.

Meanwhile, worldwide, 2000-09 was the warmest decade in recorded history.

  What do I have to say to all those critics who predicted newspapers would be long gone by now?

We'll be around as long as there are folks who want a credible source for local news and reliable material for wrapping fish.

While the critics' gum is on the bedpost, they can chew on that for a while.

Sam Pollak is the editor of The Daily Star. He can be reached at spollak@thedailystar.com or at (607) 432-1000, ext. 208.

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