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Honey Boo Boo vs. Duck Dynasty November 4, 2013

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Lifestyle.
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While Conservatives bemoan the crudeness of popular culture, there are 12 million viewers tuning in to watch the Season Premiere of the comparatively-positive  White Trash role model  “Duck Dynasty”.  The largest audience ever for a reality show on cable. They’re even releasing a Holiday record “Duck the Halls”. Now those rich rednecks know how to market themselves.
As reality’s first family, the Kardashians, have seen their ratings steadily decline over the past several years, shows like “Pawn Stars,” “American Restoration” and “Duck Dynasty” have risen to dominate basic cable.

Reality Cable StarsLast year, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” which features a cornucopia of social ills, was TLC’s highest-rated show, attracting more cable viewers than the Republican National Convention, which had the misfortune to share the time slot with the charmers from Georgia. The show’s matriarch, June Shannon, has four daughters by four men, one of whose names she can’t recall.

Students of Arnold Toynbee, the English historian, will recognize what is going on here. In a chapter of his “A Study of History” entitled “Schism in the Soul,” Toynbee argued that it is a sign that a society is disintegrating when it takes its cues for manners and customs from the underclass. He describes such societies as being “truant” to their own values.

Toynbee is the guide to what we see all around us today.

We modern philistines tell ourselves that rejecting the customs and conventions of a stuffy, old elite will release creativity and bring about a renaissance. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to Toynbee, self-expression replaces creativity when disintegrating societies look downward.

Aspiration is replaced by complacency. Shame vanishes. Any criticism becomes “haters gonna hate,” or the White Trash motto: “It don’t make no difference.”

White Trash signifiers have changed of course — the foreclosed McMansion with the mosquito-infested swimming pool has replaced the rusting tractor permanently bivouacked on cement blocks in the front yard. But it’s the same general idea.

Obesity, the product of a lack of discipline, sloppy dressing, loud and intimate cellphone chats broadcast to a captive audience and foul language nonchalantly uttered in the ATM line are all forms of this “self-expression.”

Pre-White Trash, physical intimacy was reserved to private places. Now it’s reserved for the subway. You no longer have to live in a one-room shack to learn the facts of life early. Just walk down the toy aisle at Toys “R” Us for a sexpot Bratz Doll.

Children who see daytime television, broadcast in public areas, are inevitably treated to Jerry Springer reruns. How do you explain “Honey, I’m a Ho,” or “Transsexuals Attack” to a tot? Oh, wait, the tot explains it to you.

Tattoos are form of self-expression that have moved from gangs and prisons to the mainstream.

via When did white trash become normal? | New York Post.

“Fake” Fancy Wine Widespread November 3, 2013

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Food.
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Counterfeit wine accounts for some 20 per cent of international sales, according to unofficial wine industry estimates published in yesterday’s regional French newspaper, Sud Ouest. Investigators said the design on bottles were “near perfect” and that many customers were clearly fooled.

 

This month, Laurent Ponsot, a Burgundy winemaker and famed forgery hunter, estimated that 80 per cent of auctioned wines allegedly coming from Burgundy’s most prestigious domains, including his own, are fakes.

 

Mr Ponsot famously unmasked Rudy Kurniawan, an Indonesian collector said to possess “arguably the greatest cellar on Earth” as an alleged wine fraudster, after Mr Kurniawan tried to auction Ponsot’s Clos-St-Denis vintages dating back decades before the domain started producing them. Decanter said the scale of alleged forgeries found when the FBI raided Kurniawan’s premises last year may “ultimately go down as the wine crime of the century”

via Fifth of wine sold worldwide is ‘fake’ – Telegraph.

Why College Quarter Backs, Like Tim Tebow, Fail In the NFL November 3, 2013

Posted by tkcollier in Sports.
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Well before high school, youth coaches identify big, fast African-American kids and play them at quarterback—often in a system designed to take advantage of their athleticism, not develop the child\’s football ability. The ones who grow into top varsity players get scouted as \”dual-threat quarterbacks\” by the recruiting-industrial complex and play for college coaches who want to use them in similar roles.

Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor told Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group he \”never really knew how to throw a football\” until he hired a personal quarterback coach this past offseason. Yes, Terrelle Pryor: A 6\’4\”, 233-pound, cannon-armed, former No. 1 overall high school recruit, former multiyear BCS-power-program-starting quarterback entering his third year in the NFL, and nobody bothered to teach him how to throw a damned football until he went out and hired a passing coach himself.

Pro football has evolved into a passing game. There’s simply much more upside to throwing, and today’s modern offenses demand a quarterback who excels at breaking down defenses and delivering an accurate ball. It’s hard for someone who’s spent their entire career—really, their entire life—being told their speed and agility are their meal ticket to put them on the back burner. It’s hard to be a consistent, effective, efficient NFL quarterback when you’re blessed, or cursed, with athletic talent

via Is QB Mobility More of a Curse Than a Blessing in the NFL? | Bleacher Report.

If You Also Hate The Time Change… November 3, 2013

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, health, Lifestyle.
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AccordUS Time Zonesing to Time and Date, a Norwegian Newsletter dedicated to time zone information, America started using four time zones in 1883. Before that, each city had its own time standard based on its calculation of apparent solar time (when the sun is directly over-head at noon) using sundials. That led to more than 300 different American time zones. This made operations very difficult for the telegraph and burgeoning railroad industry. Railroads operated with 100 different time zones before America moved to four, which was consistent with Britain’s push for a global time standard.

Now the world has evolved further—we are even more integrated and mobile, suggesting we’d benefit from fewer, more stable time zones. Why stick with a system designed for commerce in 1883? In reality, America already functions on fewer than four time zones.

 Research based on time use surveys found American’s schedules are determined by television more than daylight.  That suggests in effect, Americans already live on two time zones.

via Daylight Saving Time Is Terrible: Here’s a Simple Plan to Fix It – Allison Schrager – The Atlantic.

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