Monday, February 22, 2010

Bombs Away With Catriona LeMay

Catriona LeMay Doan is lovely. She is talented. Here in Canada, she is a national hero, a splendid speedskater, the greatest sprinter this country has ever produced.

She may also be the worst Olympic commentator in the history of sport.

Paired with Rod Smith on the CTV and TSN telecasts, LeMay Doan and Smith are breaking new ground in bad. They belabor the obvious, repeat themselves ad nauseam and, just to rub it in, have a bad habit of repeating one another, so that you get Smith giving us his regurgitated version of a banal LeMay Doan observation that she has already offered a dozen times, in that annoying sing-song voice that veers off to a screech when things threaten to get exciting.

LeMay Doan gives us an awful glimpse of the old saw, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it. When she was skating her way into our hearts, at least 10 million Canadian men saw themselves cuddled up with her in a nice little love-nest in the Rockies. Trouble is, if you lived with her, you would have to listen to her – and listening to LeMay Doan is worse than water-boarding. She's so bad, she almost makes the wretched Rod Smith look good.

As part of the CTV/TSN package which is so much worse than what the CBC delivered (and what NBC delivers now) LeMay Doan needs to find another career before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Mercifully, there are plenty of options, beginning with LeMay Doan's former rival Susan Auch, who is now doing commentary for the silly sport of short-track skating.

If not Auch, Clara Hughes should be available four years from now. If neither of them wants the most, a macaw would be better than LeMay Doan.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tiger redux: Hypocrisy in the desert

From the time the Tiger Woods tsunami first hit, this much was clear:

It wasn’t the sex, it was the hypocrisy.

It still is. If you really want to buy that apology, I've got a used Ford Pinto that might interest you.

In the first place, is there really such a thing as “sex addiction?” If there is, then 82.9 per cent of all males between 15 and 65 are in need of a 12-step facility. The only difference between us and Tiger is opportunity.

Speaking strictly for myself here, I don't devote a major portion of my day to fighting off super models.

I can’t speak for the other gender but given the number of women linked to Woods, I’d say that roughly 78.5 per cent of adult females are also sex addicts. I can understand why they would throw themselves at Tiger Woods: Good looks, money, fame, adulation and a reputation as a real Tiger in the sack.

What about the hundreds (thousands?) of women who throw themselves at the likes of the vandalized Dennis Rodman? Have you seen the video of Rodman walking through an airport with women rushing up to whisper in his ear and tuck phone numbers in his pocket? What are they thinking?

OK, OK. We know what they're thinking. Off to the 12-step with every last one.

But the hypocrisy is astounding. Tiger Woods. Us. The whole culture.

It’s bizarre, really. We are a society saturated in sex. You can’t step out the door without running smack into a billboard featuring creamy thighs and lace, or a 12-year-old girl on her way to school dressed the way hookers on the Lower Main and every tweenie publication is drenched in the subject that has obsessed Cosmopolitan for 30 years: S-E-X!!! S-E-X!!! AND MORE S-E-X!!

Even The relentlessly self-promoting Beyonce knows where "it" is at. Beyonce actually won a Grammy Award for a song so dumb, you must have a full frontal lobotomy for anyone wishing to endure it from beginning to end. The refrain, repeated ad nauseam? “If you like it, you should a put a ring on it, if you like it, you should a put a ring on it, if you like it, you should a put a ring on it …”

Yup. “It.” And the “it” to which Beyonce unmistakably refers is not her finger but a bodacious booty which would require a ring the size of a hula hoop. Encrusted with diamonds, natch. I agree, that is one fine fanny: but if she really must sing about “it,” could she not favour us with a tune which does not pre-suppose functional idiocy?

Of course, it's all one with the culture. Marching in lock-step. Commercialized sex and slick hypocrisy. And yet, running parallel to this sexual madness is a streak of rigid, stiff-necked, puritanical stuffiness. Don’t teach sex education in the schools. Don’t allow contraception. And heavens to Betsy, don't show us Janet Jackson's nipple (eek! A nipple!) on national television during a Super Bowl halftime.

And above all, the hypocrite's favorite commandment: Thou Shalt Not Stray. Never mind that nine-tenths of every television drama is built around exactly that, from the insipid (Desperate Housewives) to the magnificent (Mad Men.)

Just as I don’t believe there is really such a thing as sex addiction, I also don’t believe there is really a cure. The first time a Tiger Woods in a hotel on the road after a long day on the links is confronted with a knock on the door and a pantherish young lady with an appetite, he does what nature dictates. He always has, he always will, no matter what phony apology he has to cobble together for public consumption.

If Woods really feels he must apologize (and I don’t believe he owes an apology for his sexual behavior to anyone but his wife) can he not find a way to apologize for the hypocrisy? For the real well-spring behind his behaviour, which is not an addiction to sex but an addiction to money? For trotting forth a public persona which bears no resemblance whatsoever to the shady Tiger Woods?

Seriously? Why does anyone have to apologize for sex, especially in a society which is obsessed with the subject from cradle to grave? If not for sex, after all, we wouldn’t be here. Granted, that might be a boon to our planet, but it wouldn’t help the ratings for Charlie Sheen’s insipid non-comedy Two And A Half Men, based on the sort of snickering, eight-grade male obsession with sex that is a staple of prime-time American television.

(Speaking of sex addicts, why don’t we get a major public apology from Sheen, who in addition to his frequent extracurricular excursions is also guilty of smacking females around from time to time? So far as we know, Woods didn’t hit anyone, which in my eyes makes him a virtual saint next to the likes of Charlie Sheen.)

I do believe Tiger Woods owes the world an apology. He should apologize for Nike. Apologize for Buick. Apologize for deliberately attempting to take the attention away from a golf tournament sponsored by Accenture. Apologize for his obsession with money and money and more money, on a planet where tens of millions of people are starving, habitat is shrinking, oceans are rising and daily life for more than half the individuals on this earth is an unending round of misery.

But apologize for sex? Not necessary. Unless the only thing you are really thinking about is how to climb back on the money carousel as soon as possible.

Hypocrisy, sex and Tiger Woods

Select: All, None
Tiger, Tiger, Say G'Night