The United States is always chastising Venezuela for its conduit role in the trafficking of illicit drugs. What’s Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez to do? Why, of course, criticize Family Guy.
Venezuelan state TV [on Sept. 22] broadcast an excerpt from “Family Guy” as an example of how the U.S. promotes drug use. The clip features Stewie… singing a song extolling the virtues of smoking weed. “We can observe how [the U.S. government] promotes and incites the population to consume that drug there,” said Tarek El Aissaimi, Venezuela’s Interior Minister. “There’s no subliminal message. It’s an animated cartoon where you can observe perfectly how they promote consumption and moreover they foster the legalization of marijuana.”
Considering the United States’ drug czar says legalization is not in his vocabulary, I don’t quite think Venezuela’s interior minister is on the mark here. The accusation that the U.S. government is promoting the legalization of marijuana through an animated baby, though, is the funniest thing I’ll hear all week. Nobody can sit through a Family Guy musical number without being stoned, though.
There’s a video of the clip at Drug WarRant.5 years ago
Most stuff sucks. We all know that. Even when that stuff is something that’s relatively fun to watch (professional American football), a majority of it still sucks. Consecutive false start penalties, injuries on kickoffs, punts that go out of bounds, extraordinarily long replay reviews, running plays into the line for a yard on 1st and 10 and, of course, the dreaded commercial break-kickoff-commercial break combo.
Enter NFL RedZone. Guys in my fantasy league have been chirping about it for weeks, and yesterday I finally gave it a look during the 4 p.m. games.
Wow. Truly, we have our first great accomplishment of the 21st century. RedZone, which has no commercials, takes away almost all the aforementioned drabness of football. The channel’s moniker riffs on football’s red zone (when an offense is in the opposing team’s 20 yard line) and that’s what the channel mainly shows: Possible scoring plays of every game going on at once. If there’s an 80-yard touchdown pass in a game, RedZone shows it to you almost immediately after it happens. When all the games are in commercials, the channel shows highlights from earlier in the day. It’s pro football nirvana.
The channel’s hosted by ex-Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia anchor Scott Hanson, and, despite the hectic pace of covering 5-10 NFL games at once, he does a good job. (He hyped Brett Favre too much yesterday, but what announcer doesn’t?) It’s amazing how quickly every highlight is shown, how quickly the channel goes from a touchdown in Cincinnati to a field goal in Seattle to an interception in Buffalo.
Obviously, the main audience for this is people hoping to keep up with players on their fantasy teams. But I really think it’s the ultimate product for those of us in the ADD-riddled generation. (Too much Sesame Street, a professor of mine in college once explained.) There’s very little downtime, and very little focus needed; once your attention shifts from one game, NFL RedZone is bound to flip to another one.
Frankly, I think this idea needs to be extended to other areas on television. College football is the obvious one. But what about, say, sitcoms? A channel could whip around through all the network sitcoms for a week and just show all the good jokes with none of the pain. Or one could zoom around the local news, showing only the best parts (i.e., the unintentionally funny moments). Or it could only show you the best parts of the movies currently showing on A&E, TNT and TBS (The Matrix, Gone in 60 Seconds and The Bill Engvall Show: The Movie).
The possibilities are endless. I demand this idea be adapted to more widespread use.5 years ago