Sunday, September 16, 2007

Three Things That Should Not Have Been Surprises

We'll do the local-interest one first:

I: Wild Animals Are Not Pets

Recently, some folks here in the Beaver State were found to be keeping a couple of deer as pets. The Department of Fish and Wildlife, citing laws against keeping wild animals as pets, confiscated the deer and will try to re-release them back into the wild. Where they arguably belong. In that they are, you know, wild animals and everything.

Good! Except that, at this point the Oregonian, as part of its increasingly constant program of getting people all riled up about stupid shit, ran a fair and balanced top-of-the-front-page story on the affair. In the 'gonian's coverage, the State of Oregon, portrayed thus:

...wanted to take the deer:
...away from the nice people.... order to be mean. And to break their hearts. The word "heartbroken" has been flying around a lot. Public outcry ensued. People who, last week, would have quite sanely opposed the keeping of wild animals as pets, are now coming out as noisily anti-heartbroken. I know autumn is supposed to make people sentimental, but this is just getting ridiculous.

For the record, I would be entirely willing to have my state tax money spent on getting the nice people a new pet to speed their grieving process. Perhaps one of the established, name-brand domestic animals. A dog, say. Or a cat.

II. Britney Spears is Not a Genius of the Performing Arts

Even a recluse like myself, with no television, no commercial radio, and only the thin, thin thread of the aforementioned Oregonian to connect me with the outside world, knew about our nation's collective stunned disbelief last weekend. Britney Spears put in an amateurish performance at an MTV awards shindig. Everyone is reeling. Everyone is afraid this may hurt her comeback efforts.

In the interest of Truth, I journeyed to the MTV website to see video of the performance. And indeed, though it's not the fiasco that internet scuttlebutt had led me to expect, Ms. Spears comes as a modestly talented high school sophomore trying to keep up with the professional entertainers around her.

But People! Exactly when, in her bizarrely long career, did she ever come off as anything else?

III. There's Trouble in the Sub-Prime Lending Market!

Let's ignore for the moment that the credit system in the United States is a creepy Orwellian threat to personal liberty. Don't think so? Order a copy of your credit report; you are entitled to a free one once a year. You'll be dazzled at how much more they know about your finances than you do. But like I said, let's ignore that for the moment.

Our economy has recently been rocked as financial professionals have discovered, to their shock and horror, that if you lend lots and lots of money to people with poor credit, some of them are not going to be able to pay you back!

That's right, the guardians of our economy in both the public and private sectors, men and women in very nice suits, many of whom presumably have degrees in business and finance from expensive colleges, have been caught completely off guard by this development. Which is strange. I, myself, with no knowledge of the sophisticated wheels of finance, found it quite alarming a few years back when mortgage companies were agressively peddling low-interest, no-down-payment mortgages to any strung-out tweaker who could stay out of jail long enough to get to the closing. Didn't you, dear reader?

Doesn't it seem strange that noted financial megagenius Alan Greenspan didn't?

What part of "sub-prime" didn't they understand?

College Football Weekend Roundup

#19 Oregon 52, Fresno State 21. Oh my. Even without showing up for the third quarter, the Duckies still took a perfectly legit FSU team completely to the cleaners. We could be in for a hell of a season here. Although let us not forget, the road to Eugene is paved with broken dreams. (Michael5000's prediction was: UO 33, FSU 24)

Oregon State 61, Idaho State 10. After last week's debacle, it was OSU's game to lose. They didn't. (M5K prediction was: OSU45, ISU 13)

Portland State 35, Sacramento State 24. Two touchdowns in the last 2:04 to squeak out a win. College football, baby!

Other Games of Interest
#3 Oklahoma 54, Utah State 3. Boomer! (M5K's prediction was: OU 59, USU 10)
Michigan 38, Notre Dame 0. Maybe -- just speaking theoretically here -- Michigan doesn't suck. Maybe App State and Oregon are just really, really good.
Utah 44, #11 UCLA 6. What the hell happened here?
#1 USC 49, #14 Nebraska 31. I'm not sure why it always makes me smile when Nebraska loses.
Willamette 14, California Lutheran 7. First victory is sweet for the intrepid Bearcats!


Anonymous said...

I am heartbroken. Darth Vader wants to keep the venison wild. We have the problem here of population control for deer. Due to animal rights activists a plan was set in motion to give the deer birth control instead of allowing hunters to have a day and then give the meats to the poor. Yep, didn't work and finally the venison was served. I don't have a problem with no-kill alternatives but the activists neglected to consider that the food supply was so short that keeping them alive meant starving them to death. Fiasco it was.

I'll back you up on 2 and 3 as well. Hey, you've scored more points than any candidate so far!

ryc: The only way they would still respect me is if I kept that money, also I did not crack a smile. It works to their advantage. I'll spend it on them.

Rebel said...

You know... venison burgers are tasty!

Rex Parker said...

I grew up in Fresno. Went to many a Fresno State football game growing up. Can't remember Ever playing anyone in the Big 10. Program's come a long way in 20 years. But not far enough, apparently.

Also spent 8 years of my life in Ann Arbor. I'm just glad those poor boys finally found someone on whom they could take out their aggression / humiliation. And I'm glad that someone was Notre Dame.

Not that I follow college football at all anymore.

Rex Parker said...

I meant Pac 10. But the Big 10 comment is also true.

Anonymous said...

re. trouble in sub-prime:

everything must be paid for.

the economy consists of profit-taking cycles of varying periods and configurations. profit is not free. it is another form of cost. there is always a sowing phase and a reaping phase. some profit can be generated along the way by passing costs on to greedy parties (investors) seeking to gain but not having a full understanding of the cycle, but ultimately the cost is borne by everyone. in general the word "crisis" can be replaced by "the time when the costs are dispersed to the public." the process is further complicated by the heavy symbolic content of the economy. the public doesn't always pay the symbolic costs (money, etc) as these can be sometimes hidden, but the public/the earth always pays the real costs.

re. dear deer:

open the gate and let the deer decide. excellent illustrative sequence, michael.

chuckdaddy2000 said...

When does Oregon get to have their asses kicked by Oklahoma (I mean, assuming the ref's don't fix it this time)

The [Cherry] Ride said...


* (That's my best Chris Crocker impersonation.)

Michael5000 said...

@boo & rebel: Don't get me started. What kind of culture clears great swathes of critical ecosystem so it can raise an exceedingly high-maintenance ruminent for meat, and refuses to show any interest whatsoever in the low-maintenance, perfectly edible meat animal that is crowding out the rest of the ecosystem? It's nuts. But I'm a vegetarian, so I guess I'm not helping with the deer problem either.

I completely do NOT support the hunting of Britney Spears for meat.

@Rex: Over the last 10 years, Oregon and Fresno State have had a relationship and have played most years. Oregon had won the past six games, I believe, but always by only two or three points. FSU is the real deal. Oregon's dominance this last weekend gladens my Webfoot heart.

@Austin: Just so. Interestingly, though, in this case the costs are not necessarily going to be paid by the economically troubled folks who were issued the loans.

Not to quibble, but a description of the modern economy is not complete unless it concludes with the sentence "And everyone has a share!"

@Chuck: Charles, Charles. You need to let that go. The Sooners and the Ducks are friends now. Haven't you been paying attention at all?

@[Cherry]: Done. From this day forward, I will make no further references to Britney Spears in this forum.

G said...

Totally agree about BritBrit. She's only slightly more talented than *I* was in middle school, and that's saying a lot (or not, depending on if you've ever seen my 7th grade rendition of "Nothin' could Be Finer").

Michael5000 said...

@g: There is much I could say to this, but on the subject of Britney Spears my lips are sealed. An oath to the [Cherry] Ride is not lightly broken.

I think I missed your "Nothin' Could be Finer" performance. But I'm sure its awesome. Youtube?