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March 26, 2007

Mid-Afternoon Thoughts on Watching NCAA Midwest Regional Finals

It's tip-off time: Oregon versus Florida. Whom do I root for? Well, I've lived in Florida and I've heard of Oregon. Actually, I'd like to live in Eugene but my friend Dave the Swede (not his real name) tells me that it might be tough to find a good Catholic parish there. Call me neutral.

(Did you know that the Oregon duck is based on Donald Duck? Walt Disney was friends with an Oregon bigwig and gave his personal OK.)

Since when has Florida's all-America center been called "Joe Kim" Noah? I'm not the kind of guy who insists that people trill their "Rs" when pronouncing my name but "Joe Kim" sounds terrible. His father is a French-speaker from Cameroon and his mother is from Sweden. Somehow, I doubt that either of them calls their son "Joe Kim."

Speaking of terrible, it's time for a TV time-out, which can only mean one thing: millions of women across the country are annoyed at their husbands and boyfriends for immediately changing the channel. Sigmund Freud famously asked, "What do women want?" The answer apparently is to watch commercials like the one in which some guy claiming to represent "Coke Zero" wants to sue "Coke." Now, I'm old and somewhat irony-impaired but I don't get it: aren't they both part of the same blood-sucking, culture-trampling, imperialistic multinational? I'm missing something. Help me.

Seriously, what do the ladies expect to happen during the commercial breaks: an announcement of a cure for cancer? The final trumpet? Even if this does happen, I think it would probably merit a mention on other channels, as well. Or does it have to be squeezed between Bud Lite commercials?

Back to the game: reason I love America, number 1347: Both of the announcers, James Brown and Len Elmore, have Harvard degrees and they're both African-American.

Another commercial break, so it's time to see what's on elsewhere. Channel 232, the "Style" Channel, has a show called "How Do I Look?" on. Do you have to ask? This guy is arguing with the resident fashionistas over a burgundy suede (?) jacket that is every bit as hideous as that sounds. While I sympathize with his liberation struggle against the fashion fascists, he should realize that the war was over the minute he agreed to appear on a show named "How Do I Look?"

Over on channel 218, PBS's "Sprout" is showing the "Berenstain Bears." I recall reading somewhere that the Bears were kind of subversive. I have no reason to doubt that just as I have no reason to doubt that if we're reduced to telling people that the "Berenstain Bears" are subversive then the Culture Wars are over, kaput, finis. Despite our best intentions, we're going to look just as ridiculous as the guy on "Who Do I Look?" cruising the Strip in his burgundy suede (?) jacket.

More than any other sport, I find that basketball lends itself to turning the sound and playing music as a kind of score. (Especially when people are calling somebody "Joe Kim.") For this game, Savane by the late great Ali Farka Toure from Mali is perfect. (In my rummaging through the genetic attic, I've discovered some possible DNA links to, among other places, Mauritania and Mali. Perhaps some of my ancestors really did talk Timbuktu.)

Oh, look: the Gators won and "Joe Kim" is yelling "keep hating!" to the crowd. "Keep hating" what? People who mispronounce his name? Teams from the PAC 10 conference (they play UCLA in the national semifinals)? I swear: I just don't get today's kids.

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I think Roberto's Sudafed has definitely kicked in! As a "lady," let me just say, I'm all about changing the channel when yet another (overly loud) commercial comes on. (That drove me nuts watching the "Planet Earth" series on Discovery Channel last night. We're going to bypass commercials and get the 5-DVD set.) No worries, I was still on cloud 9 after my beloved G'town Hoyas beat UNC.

Gina Dalfonzo

Roberto, one of these days I'll have to introduce you to my mom, Trigger Finger Dalfonzo.


Ali farka toure just realise an album that you can see on http://www.niger1.com/mali2.html

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