Duke fatigue

Jane sends along a whiny Arizona columnist tired of seeing Duke basketball all the time on ESPN and ESPN2. I suppose I’d sympathize, but dude, there are other channels on your TV. In fact, we inexplicably get random Pac-10 volleyball matches on our supposedly local Comcast SportsNet.

I understand that people were sick of seeing Battier interviewed every time they turned on the TV, but honestly, have we had a basketball player that interesting since then? Who else is going to chalk up a good performance to getting in touch with his chi? In pro hoops, the most interesting guy is (still) Dennis Rodman. Enough said.

Blink! Flash! Download slowly!

Has anyone ever seen a radio station Web site that wasn’t a monstrous, incomprehensible dud that looked like some 15-year-old Web designer was seeing how many graphics he could cram onto one page? Do any sites actually have links on their DJs that feature something other than fuzzy pictures alleged to show what fun people they are?

Here’s today’s offender: Classic Rock 94.7, where I ventured this morning to get more info on their 15 Years in 15 Days promotion.

Junk mail roundup

Like my AOL account, my physical mailbox is so full of trash that it’s almost not worth the trip. In fact, I plan to base future trips to the mailbox on the weather. Tonight, when it’s maybe 5 degrees wind chill, it wasn’t worth it.

Want proof? Here’s today’s mail:

  • Hallmark solicitation for “Jen Dore”
  • UNICEF: Thanks for the donation, please give more
  • Nationwide insurance ad
  • Subaru’s Drive magazine, which isn’t particularly useful
  • World Wildlife Fund address labels for Jen
  • Interfaith Alliance receipt and decal
  • Credit card offer
  • Cancer research solicitation for Jen
  • Survey from people who want to legalize pot
  • Land’s End catalog, which actually isn’t bad
  • Container Store
  • Home Depot, I don’t even know what the ad’s for
  • Curious Apple learning centers recruiting Brendan
  • Dell catalog
  • Statement on my stock accounts
  • Gerber coupons
  • Alzheimer’s Association: “Thanks, send more”
  • Paul Newman for the International Rescue Committee
  • Virginia Lawyers Weekly solicitation for Jen
  • National Wildlife Federation planned gift solicitation
  • li>Athens Academy annual report (OK, that’s not bad)

Kramer had the right idea — cut me off.

Religion and history in Sunday’s Post

Historians are trying to get the word out, a difficult task in a stupid society.

Beliefnet editor Steven Waldman examines the current trend of “shopping” for religion and how it relates to Howard Dean’s recent confession of faith. He also chatted at Post.com. I’ve always admired Beliefnet, though it took a budgetary hammering a couple of years ago and had to scale back. Waldman right on the money here with a couple of points:

  • Shifting denominations as Dean has done is not the least bit unusual and not a sign of weakness in faith. (Funny how many who would criticize Dean along these lines see nothing wrong with 40 years of debauchery before being “born again.”).
  • It’s not that hard to raise a pious kid with parents of differing faiths.
  • One more time: The God of Christianity is the same God of Judaism and Islam. (A recent Economist article, not available online for free, also points to the special place Islam holds for Mary, which I didn’t realize.)

Speaking of backwards U.S. religious thought, here’s one more tidbit from today’s Post (see last item of roundup): “Abstinence-only” sex ed in Minnesota appears to be backfiring. What a shock.

South Park has it right: Tell kids the truth, and they’ll make better decisions than they will if you hit ’em with smoke and mirrors.

UPDATE: Jane (not my sister, the other one) correctly points out that I meant “sex ed,” not “sec ed.” See, everyone needs an editor.

Adios, MST3K

Mystery Science Theater 3000 hasn’t produced new episodes in several years, but it will still be sad to see them going off the air for good at the end of the month.

Such a simple premise — a guy and a couple of robots making fun of bad movies — but so well-done, even if the Sci-Fi episodes weren’t as good as the classic run on Comedy Central, which still deserves shredding for its mishandling of the series. The history of the show is a fascinating study of the difficulties of doing something creative.

Has it really been 10 years since Joel was on the show? Yikes.