Media Blues

My consumption of sports news is about as limited as possible for someone who still follows sports. I scan the baseball news once a week. I’ll scan ESPN and CBS Sports. I say “scan” as most of it is just made up clickbait stuff. The actual  news stories are so poorly written that they are not worth reading once you have gleaned the news nugget. Most sports “journalists” try hard to sound like hyper active teenagers, writing for an audience of semi-literates. We are a long way from Ring Lardner.

As a result, I took some pleasure in the howling and moaning from sports media as ESPN made some small cuts to their on-air talent. Of course, the media covered like it was the end of the world. ESPN cut 100 people from an 8,000 person workforce. Most people reading this have lived through layoffs where ten percent of the labor force is cut. The ESPN cutbacks are trivial, unless you are a media snowflake convinced you are part of a secular priesthood. Then it is the sign of the apocalypse.

What’s surprising is that operations like ESPN have an audience at all. Their “news” converge is mostly jock-sniffing and their created content is so out there on the Progressive fringe, it borders on madness. The people watching sports and following sporting news are men. Most normal men are uninterested in Progressive lunacy. They watch sports for a break or they simply have no interest in other subjects.

The last thing they want to have to suffer through is feminist free verse poetry celebrating lesbianism.

Beneath the bi***h of buzzer, beneath the crowd’s sputtered swear

and bellowed worship, beneath the joint gasping of sweated air as

tree trunk women hurtle fiercely from east net to west, just beneath

the rampaging pummel of their feet on the hardwood and the hurting

screech when they stop short, pivot and slingshot back, beneath

the hissed invective when the wrong swoosh happens, or doesn’t,

beneath vendors who heartlessly hawk the stupid slap of sugar, spirit

and salt, beneath the huge held breath of halftime and the rattling hips

of tambourines, beneath shouts of the beautiful tangled names of

women, beneath the bladed blasts of whistle that signal stop and start,

Poetry is defined as having meter, rhyme or a point. You have to have two of three in order to qualify as verse. What feminist poet Patricia Smith writes has none of those things. There’s no such thing as a “bitch buzzer” and the words conjure no images so the phrase is nonsensical. A “stupid slap of sugar” is supposed to mean what? Who has ever been slapped, stupidly or not, with sugar? The entire word jumble is the sort of thing you would expect from a high school girl, who thinks she is clever. It’s not even doggerel.

The rest is actually worse, if that’s possible. At some point, writing of any kind is so bad it is just terrible. There’s a bottom to terribleness and this junk is there, with all the novels that begin with “it was a dark and stormy night.” It is no surprise to anyone that poetry is dead in America and creative writing is on life support. It’s also no surprise that feminists are terrible writers in addition to being batshit crazy. The question is why is this crap on a sports site? Why would anyone consider such a dumb idea?

What’s happening at ESPN is not unique. Fox News has decided that the way to remedy their high ratings in the cable news wars is to blow up the station, install a gaggle of blue haired lesbians and become a shitty version of the worst rated cable news channels. All over the mass media, it appears the plan is to drive away as many viewers as possible, by offending some and boring the hell out of the rest. That’s thing. Most of it is just boring, not so much offensive. Feminist beat poets are not offensive. They’re stupid and dull.

It’s tempting to go for the reductionist answer and assume it is just proselytizing paid for by the billionaires who own the mass media companies. There’s some of that, but the real issue is that people making editorial decisions are strangers. They don’t know the sort of people who read the sports pages or follow their favorite team. We’re just economic units, who are “out there” on the other side of the walls, so they don’t spend much time thinking about what the typical male sports fan finds interesting about the sporting news.

The people who thought that weird feminist poetry slam was a great idea, probably thought it was a great idea. They have heads full of “theories” about female athletes and “theories” about the twenty people that bother to watch women’s basketball. They just assume everyone is sitting around agonizing about how their vagina defines them. There’s no one in the room willing or able to tell them that feminism is a mental disease and they should be getting professional help, not reading nonsense like this.

The future is female,

we hear,

but the past —

the past is also female.


The past is our beginning

and the future —

is also where we start,

where we come from.


Poetry is a new language.

It is our oldest language.

Before today’s tautology we spoke in tongues,

we painted images on our walls,

we told stories that meant less then than they mean today.

65 thoughts on “Media Blues

  1. I’m amazed you are familiar with Ring Lardner, a favorite of mine that no one has ever heard of. His short story collection came in second to Mark Twain, in my opinion. Of course, Zman is right up added bonus in that I get fresh material almost daily, seeing as Twain and Lardner can no longer contribute. But oh if they could!

  2. the only reason espn still has an audience is because cable companies still have the power to force people to but the channels the cable wants you to have. the time has come for the people to have the right to purchase only the channels we want.

  3. Token hockey fan checking in . . . . .
    Knew sports news had turned a corner when a couple of NYC homos broadcasting on a Boston radio station were agast Tim Thomas would not be visiting obama’s white house.

    Never mind he almost single handedly won a Stanley Cup for the city in almost 30 years !!!

    Sickens me how the PC crowd has ruined the last decent form of entertainment.

    • Yes, it is so sickening that the left ruins sports. They just ooze in and take over. In a field which previously was successfull in repelling them.

      Even though I am a female, and I don’t dislike gals, I just do love the whole viva la difference thing in which men are men and the women are happy they are!! 😉 I have to face the fact that female participation wreaks havoc and destruction. (1.) They get the vote and the political Overton window veers left. (2.) They get a leg up in academia, academia veers sharply left and anti male. (3.) They get paths opened up for them in the military and the corruption of the hard male bastion of the military begins. (4.) They begin to take interest in pro sports and, well Rush Limbaugh refers to the changes in NFL rules as the chickification of the sport. And I don’t really have any knowledge of causation here, as we all know concurrence is not proof of causation.

  4. In the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” Douglas Adams envisioned a race of aliens that wrote such bad poetry it was used as a psychological weapon.

    Who would have thought this would come to pass…

  5. At the very end there is a blurb about a fifth poem being inappropriate for the piece so they removed it. How far out do you have to be to get bounced? It must be colossal not to fit in.

  6. Many years ago I watched a few NFL drafts on ESPN, back then they were able to make a ‘show’ where 90% of the time nothing’s happening other than a clock countdown interesting.
    Then I simply read the paper the next day to see how things shook out. This year I went to and ran a game in a window. Despite the site being owned by the NFL and operated by Disney it manages to stay on-topic (football) nearly all the time. No bad poetry thankfully.

  7. Tom Wolf, in The Painted Word, noted the trend in the visual arts to reduce the visual to text. I don’t remember whether he noted the tendency in literature and poetry paint to “paint” word pictures and in orchestral music to compose “tone poems.”

    It’s all just crap, really. The shock of the new, to take the title of another critic’s attempt to explain it all. This burgher has lost his capacity to be shocked. Couldn’t we just return pleasing landscapes, witty novels, and stirring melodies?

  8. On the bright (?) side, maybe Olberman can get his old job back now.

    Also, that last “poem” sounds more like the ramblings of a stoner than actual ramblings of a stoner.

  9. Supposedly, ESPN lost 12 million subscribers since 2011. That means they only have a gross of $660 million dollars as opposed to $750 million. It should be easy to maintain ESPN as a social engineering mouthpiece, even though their upper management won’t make as much on stock options.

    Poetry is in the ear of the beholder. But, if society can make Maya Angelou a “great” poet because she is black, they can make some unibrow a “great” poet because she is lesbian.

    • The economics of a cable property are interesting. Once ESPN got on the basic package level of cable, they had a license to print money. As more and more people moved to cable and started buying ESPN, the revenue stream grew and grew. My guess is a certain level of delusion crept into the management ranks. They started to confuse the economics of tax farming with business acumen. That opened the door to the SJW problem and led to the terrible deals with the NBA and the NFL.

      It’s hard to think about these things because they span generations. Our frame of reference is too narrow. But, the influence of mass media was on the decline until the birth of cable. It’s sort of like pop music sales. The decline had set in and then CD’s caused everyone to re-buy their music. What was imagined as a savior was just a momentary respite. Digital music wound up hastening the death of Big Music and pop music as a cultural force. Cable TV may turn out to be something similar for mass media. It was a boom that is now going bust and the decline of mass media will return with a vengeance.

      • Even worse for cable are the growing contingent of ”never hads”, those born in the late 90’s-early 2000’s on who think of a TV set as merely a screen for games or movies. It’s one of the reasons the NFL and NASCAR are worried about their inability to attract younger fans.

    • Here’s one of Angelou’s masterpieces:

      Dancin’ the funky chicken
      Eatin’ ribs and tips
      Diggin’ all the latest sounds
      And drinkin’ gin in sips.

      Puttin’ down that do-rag
      Tighten’ up my ‘fro
      Wrappin’ up in Blackness
      Don’t I shine and glow?

      Hearin’ Stevie Wonder
      Cookin’ beans and rice
      Goin’ to the opera
      Checkin’ out Leontyne Price.

      Get down, Jesse Jackson
      Dance on, Alvin Ailey
      Talk, Miss Barbara Jordan
      Groove, Miss Pearlie Bailey.

      Now ain’t they bad?
      An ain’t they Black?
      An ain’t they Black?
      An’ ain’t they Bad?
      An ain’t they bad?

      • Well, that’s not too bad if she wrote it when she was in the 2nd Grade; a Keats or Frost she isn’t.

          • It’s remarkable how little interest black creative types and intellectuals have in anything other than being black. I’ll give Neil DeGrasse Tyson, mediocrity though he may be, credit for devoting himself to a field of study that’s not connected to the black experience.

  10. Poetry evolved as an aid to institutional memory during an early era when reading and writing were rare. Song ballads are an even more effective means of passing knowledge from generation to generation via repetitive mental conditioning. The key is to active multiple centers of the brain simultaneously.

    The original driver was about conveying wisdom to the young in order to make them more robust. Now it’s been deliberately corrupted and is being used to create hive-minded zombies and worker bees. ESPN isn’t just doing sports journalism badly, it’s actively poisoning the species.

  11. as you might expect, as the big sports sites turn political and shitty, new sites — started by people who just love sports — are gaining an audience. espn is just salting the earth for other progressive sports and news sites. but my god are ESPN and FOX SPORTS pieces of crap (leaving out the political shit).

    • For some reason they keep sending me ESPN the Magazine. I’ve never paid for it. I’ve tried to get them to stop sending it, but that was a waste of time. It keeps coming. I usually toss it in the bin without looking at it, but once in a while I’ll thumb through it. It is mostly pictures and the equivalent of grunts and clicks in small brightly colored text boxes. It’s as if schizophrenics were hired to produce a magazine for illiterates. It’s just a jumble of nonsense.

  12. Oh, Ms. Smith’s poem has a point and it is (always) this: bad-ass/kick-ass woman. “There is nothing
    that blares with more foreboding than her outstretched arms, the snort
    of can do, will do, has done — when you are in that huge room where
    magic can only do what it does, she is the sound you must cover your
    ears against, the sound that says no one can, when–hell, she already has.” I am thoroughly sick of this meme and not from envy. They can’t get over themselves.

    • Feminism has caused me to feel this strong loathing of women, and as I am one, it’s an odd spot to find oneself.

  13. Sooo…those ‘poems’ really weren’t satire from some random word associator app_?

    Back in the day, when ‘stuff’ along this line of artsy irrelevance showed up it meant that the boss had a new hot girlfriend. But now they’re serious_?

  14. The past is our beginning
    and the future —
    is also where we start,
    where we come from.

    How progressive, to have a people build something worthwhile, then spend the last of it’s energies tearing itself down.

  15. Don’t forget about advertizing. Even if the programs were worthwhile, the 30% ad. portion is unbearable. Britain used to have strict rules limiting ads to 10% – Bliar did away with them and now the commercial channels are as awful as in the U.S. Only person I know who “watches” ads is my snoozing 85-year old aunt.

    • I find it interesting that there are folks bitching about Trump and how he’s caved on all sorts of things, yet they are willing to give up on big chunks of the country to liberals. We need to fight them for every inch. Even the reddest state has blue cities.

  16. Was all set to post
    those comments on their site but
    no box. Chickenshits.

  17. I’m assuming “bitch buzzer” is some sort of allusion to phrases like “bitch goddess” and perhaps some of its derivatives, which goes at least back to the jazz age as a metaphor for [originally] fame or wealth or glory or any other pursuit so demanding as to basically destroy one’s life. Alcohol or drugs could also be referred to.

    In this case, perhaps the buzzer [I don’t know where it fits here into whatever game she is getting at] signifies the insistent call or demands of the game on the weary athlete. Of course, this implies the athletes are somehow worn down by the demands of the game they play voluntarily for fun or money. Which is a curiously female perspective.

    Similarly, although I can’t come up with a traditional example and consider the verb to be a juvenile choice, the ‘slap’ is presumably a reference to the “hit” one experiences metabolically from the slabs of sugar and salt and buckets of “spirit” [presumably she means beer].

    All in all, weak uses of metaphor and symbolism, childish use of language and imagery, and of course it’s free verse. It might have been Chesterton who mocked it by saying “one might as well call sleeping in a ditch “free architecture””.

    Also, in that latter one, I don’t know what she thinks the meaning of “tautology” is. And if the past stories meant less, why clearly imply they were better?

    • Free verse is a good way to understand how radicals infiltrate organizations. They first seek to de-legitimize the organizing structure. In this case they made what appeared to be a silly war on the rules of poetry. My guess is the sane people of the age just thought it was a stupid fad that could not withstand the test of time. Instead, it was their rules that did not stand the test of time. Once the rules were gone, it was a game of numbers.

  18. We used to watch the Celtics on TV with the volume off and listen to Johnny Most do the play-by-play on the radio. There were no propaganda machines built around sports in those days, no “commentators” in boxes yelling at each other for two hours. ESPN is a joke.

    • Yes! Me too! Particularly if it was a nationally broadcasted game. I was okay with Bob Cousy on the local TV but could not stand Musberger rooting for the Lakers.

      • “Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball!” Unbelievable. I still get chills.

  19. You think you have it bad in the States for sprouts coverage? I put the TV on yesterday here in England to watch some of the final frames of Snooker’s World Championship (like Pool, but on a bigger table) and was confronted with a black yoof making some pointless rap noises about the game of snooker. I turned the volume down, but who in God’s good heaven decided that the watching males are the least interested in rap? It might have been an effort by the BBC (yes, it’s those guardians of all that is crap today) thinking this would attract a younger audience. Well, they were wrong. It just repels those who are already bewildered why the media can’t just show a simple sport and be done with it.

    • Sprouts coverage? What…? I meant sports of course. Oh wait, maybe that’s what it is now…

  20. But…but…Mr. Woodward said “We are not fake news!!!!!”
    You remember Bob. The guy who got a big tip off that made him
    And look at the “Not fake news…” WaPo today…!

  21. In the mornings while she’s getting the kids ready for school, my wife likes to have the TV on in the background. As NBC’s Today Show is bleating the events of the day, I like to use it to teach the kids about media bias. They’re old enough to understand that the MSM doesn’t necessarily lie, but shapes the news to conform to a narrative it wants to present.

    Over the weekend two shootings occurred, one in LA and one in SD. The LA shooting was reported on Sunday morning, but the shooters identity was known but not mentioned at all. I highlighted this to the kids yesterday and told them because of that, I bet the shooter was black or hispanic.

    The second shooting happened yesterday and was reported this morning. The shiny, vacant bobble-head ensured that the first thing the good folks knew were the race of the shooter (white) and the victims (black/hispanic).

    Good times.

    • I’m an ethnic guy and a little bit of an Archie Bunker type sometimes. When we’re sitting here around the house joking about things I am not above blurting the N word out every now and then for emphasis and for chuckles. And I don’t feel guilty about it at all–I’m like a kid in glee that he gets to joke about his pee pee. I don’t necessarily hate blacks, but there are certain times when that word just “fits” and helps turn an otherwise mundane conversation into at least something you can chuckle about.

      The other day, my nephew was over. I was about to blurt out that word and I warned him to put his hands over his ears. I made my joke, the kid laughed and said, “You can’t help yourself, can you?”

      My point is that kids pick up more from these everyday human moments then they do from all the propaganda they’re fed in school. That’s why all this leftist crap they try to shove at kids in school never bothered me. If anything, it helps train the children to be skeptical of those in positions of authority.

  22. Here in the UK you have to buy a license to watch TV, this license funds the State Broadcaster (the BBC). It is very satisfying to simply refuse to pay for the damned thing.

  23. Around 2013 I started noticing I could no longer find any button up shirts that fit. I’d been wearing XL shirts since high school but rather suddenly every XL shirt I tried on at the mall didn’t fit. I finally asked a salesman at a relatively upscale store – his response: slimfit was all the rage. He measured my shoulders and said that I’d need to wait out the trend. I responded with a quip, something like Slim fit, in the US? Who are they kidding. Here the salesman’s response proved instructive – they are making clothes for the customers they want, not the customers they have.

    That’s what appears to be going on with cable tv. ESPN execs want to fit in with the NYC social scene so they offer programming that generates social credit among the people they look up to. I can only figure this impulse is rendered much easier due to cable revenue structure – ratings really don’t matter, so management is free to indulge their programmatic fantasies without any fear of immediate financial ruin. That is, ESPN gets your cable carriage fee whether you watch it or not. That’s all well and good, until everyone tries it and you get cable subscription rates out of all proportion of the value of the content, a sort of Tragedy of the Commons whete increasingly large numbers of people just pull the plug on cable until the whole exercise collapses.

  24. Look, motherfucker. You are going to think the way we want you to think even if it means blowing the whole world up. Got it?

  25. The most interesting bit of news about the present ESPN kerfluffle is to read that they are going to essentially stopped covering hockey.

    Now since I never watch ESPN and certainly never will, I’ll never know just how actually true that is. Or care. I presume they’ll still mention who wins the Stanley Cup at least once.

    But that story seems too truthy to doubt, having watched these weird freaks in action. Most sports have lots of People of Color, being really sporty and athletic, plainly superior to the despised white people who are dying out.

    Hockey, on the other hand, is a sport just full of white people. What decent person would want to watch such a racist sport no doubt enjoyed by racists?

    Not any person ESPN WANTS to watch their enlightening programming, that’s who. Xhir want a better audience.

    Not any person ESPN WANTS to watch their enlightening programming, that’s who. Xhir want a better audience.

    So people who want coverage of hockey will look elsewhere, ratings will fall, ad rates will drop, and more people will cut the cord and abandon cable entirely.

    In other words, it’s just another day.

    • Like most casual fans I don’t watch hockey on tv. How the hell are you supposed to know the guy playing hockey is white or even human? They are covered and padded like crazy.

      • First, my apologies to thezman for posting such a poorly edited comment above.

        Second, I have no doubt that most casual fans of any sport are no more interested in the skin color of the players than they are in feminist poetry slams. But the SJWs who run ESPN are plainly very interested in leftist politics, which rather famously puts skin color uber alles. Hence, my conclusion that they dropped hockey because of what is essentially anti-white racism.

      • I used to watch the Bruins in the days of Bobby Orr. No HD tv back then.

        The thing with hockey watching is that it takes attention and effort. A lot. No multitasking, facebooking, chatting during gameplay as it requires you to follow the play, the buildup of the plays.

        I used to love watching it with my Dad back then. That’s another thing, watching it with an enthusiastic, knowledgeable other person helps you follow the play.

        At 92 years of age he is still avid about watching his beloved Boston Bruins. I guess this year the team qualified for post season playoffs, but didn’t fare, or are not faring, well.

  26. Sitting in their bubble
    Miss Muff-etts with stubble
    Decide we should think as they say

    Little did they know
    We do not wish to emote….it is patriarchy by remote!
    As we press the button that says ‘no’

    It has a sort of ‘end of days’ vibe to it when the distance between the elites, such as they are, and the rest of us, has grown so vast. That said, the wilder excesses of the SJW movement just must be a flash in the pan. Something so crazy must implode of its own accord.

  27. “Poetry is defined as having meter, thyme or a point”

    Thyme is the spice of life.

    • The bleeping autocorrect crap just gets worse over time. I corrected that three times but just it kept reverting to “thyme” for some stupid reason. I have to assume it means hardly anyone uses the word “rhyme” anymore.

  28. ESPN is obviously fully converged. I haven’t listened to a tv announcer in decades if I want commentary I turn on the radio. Mostly I watch local high school stuff.

    Who’s left to listen to that pervertarian junk they spew?

  29. That “poem” makes me think of H.L. Mencken on the speechifying of Warren G. Harding: “So bad a sort of grandeur creeps into it.”

Comments are closed.