The Humanoids: 27

You ever write something and think, “this seems controversial for the sake of controversy but this is actually what I think?” If you said yes, then you’ll get where I’m coming from in this week’s Humanoids. I wrote the first two parts of this column and immediately thought about pulling them because I thought I went too far in trying to say that Western society’s priorities are very wrong. But here we are with an uncut column. I know I’m asking for trouble but I’m not trolling here. There’s a reason why censors are nervous around here.

Why do we care so much about celebrities?
For some reason, I find that the new Humanoids keeps coming back to why society seems to have its priorities so ridiculously screwed up. For example, last Friday, 93 people died in a bombing and a shooting at a youth camp in Norway. The next day, singer Amy Winehouse died of a rumoured overdose. (Of course, the autopsy was inconclusive and we’ll need to wait another two to four weeks before we a conclusive cause of death. But all the stories I’ve read have hinted at OD.) The story that more people cared about? The singer, of course.

There’s nothing wrong with being entertained by celebrities but throwing around words like “tragedy” to describe the death of a singer with drug problems is wrong. The fact that her only very successful song was about her not wanting to go to rehab brings the word “irony” to mind long before “tragedy.” Tragedy should be reserved for something like what happened in Norway. What happened to Amy Winehouse may be unfortunate, if not unexpected, but it doesn’t come anywhere close to tragic.

It amazes me how easily people lose perspective. After only 24 hours, a mass murder is shoved off the top of people’s minds for the death of a one-hit wonder singer. It almost seems as though the outpouring of grief was started by a couple of fans and celebrities only to be popularized by people lacking perspective.

Is Amy Winehouse really a worthy member of the “27 Club?”
I had never heard of the “27 Club” before last Saturday but apparently it has an extensive history. The 27 Club is a group of musicians who died at the age of 27. This group has five very prominent and very successful musicians as its charter members. The five big names of the 27 Club: Rolling Stones founding member and guitarist Brian Jones, legendary guitar player and singer Jimi Hendrix, singer Janis Joplin, singer and songwriter for The Doors Jim Morrison, and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.

You look at those five names and you think of musicians that were certified legends in such a short time. There is no argument that each had a massive impact on music. Amy Winehouse, however, had a good voice and one hit song. Hell, I never even heard a full Winehouse song on the radio until after news broke that Winehouse died. How can someone be likened to legends like Jones, Joplin, Hendrix et al. if she has only one hit song? It’s another case of sensationalizing a story. She is more famous now in death than she seemed to be in life. No one ever referred to her as “one of the greatest singer-songwriters of her generation” (the Daily Telegraph’s words) until now. If she wasn’t a star in the era of Twitter, I don’t think anyone would think of her as being on the same level as the rest of the 27 Club.

Is John Boehner’s deepest fantasy to hire a prostitute dressed as the Statue of Liberty, bend her over and fuck her hard?
Because that’s essentially what the Speaker of the House and the rest of the Republicans are trying to do to America. (See, I used a metaphor there.) I’m not really following the American debt crisis as closely as I should. I do know enough about it to know that I’d believe Obama’s Monday night speech long before Boehner’s rebuttal speech.

Obama said he wanted to raise the debt ceiling while reducing the deficit with spending cuts and tax increases for the highest income earners (both personal and corporate). Maybe it’s the sensible Canadian in me but I like this plan. Boehner’s plan is cut and cut and cut until some arbitrary target has been met and then the Republican controlled House of Representatives will raise the debt ceiling with no new taxes. (Technically, it’s cut spending, cap spending and raise the ceiling but it’s effectively just a bunch of cuts.) Obama mentioned lots of places where cuts would be made, including Defense. Boehner singled out Obama’s health care plan saying it was something Americans didn’t ask for. Because who really thinks they need to ask for help obtaining basic health care coverage from the government?

What no one here seems to realize is that their game of political chicken doesn’t just affect the American economy or the American people. If the USA defaults on their debt, their credit rating gets downgraded. This is what’s happened in Greece, Portugal and Ireland. None of these are economic powerhouses but this caused the European economy to get hammered. The US is one of, if not, the most important economy in the world. If the US gets downgraded, we all get fucked. China becomes the economic powerhouse in the world. Investors worldwide will panic causing stock markets to plummet. We’re talking Great Depression levels of economic catastrophe. And all this because Bush 43’s regime started two wars which trillions of dollars have been sunk into and caused a housing market bubble that destroyed business and consumer spending in the local economy from which no administration could correct overnight. Yeah, maybe Boehner should hire a prostitute wearing a giant globe to fuck over.

Am I the only one who likes the new Winnipeg Jets logo?
For some reason, there is a lot of backlash against the new Jets logo. A lot of the feedback I’ve read describes the new logo as too militaristic and too much like a logo the Air Force would use. But does anyone think that the media, especially US media outlets like ESPN, wouldn’t laugh at a logo that includes a jumbo jet like the old Jets logo?

Canada has a proud military tradition. We were there on D-Day. Our pilots were among the best in the world in World War One. Our national junior hockey championship is called the Memorial Cup in honour of our veterans. How many local arenas are called the Memorial Arena or the Memorial Gardens? The celebration of our military heritage is a prominent part of Canadian culture and this includes as a part of hockey.

So I can’t see why people don’t like the new Jets logo. It keeps the old blue, white and red colour scheme of the vintage Jets. True North Sports and Entertainment didn’t have a choice but to go with that unless they didn’t mind fans showing up all season in old jerseys with the wrong colours. The logo looks aggressive with the militaristic overtones and it’s definitely not like anything else on the front of any jersey in any other major North American sports. Considering some of the recent craptacular logos we’ve seen in the NHL like the Sabre Slug, the Bruin head and anything from Vancouver, this one is absolutely brilliant.

Favre again? Kill me now!
Sorry about doing the asked and answered thing with this question. But I just can’t help but feel as though all the good news about the NFL lockout nearing an end is actually a bad thing. If the lockout ends, the Favre comeback talk picks right back up. Just when he thought that he officially retired, he comes back to torment us for another season. And it looks like he’s aiming to move onto his third team in four season by coming back with the Eagles to backup Mike Vick.

At this point, hasn’t Favre done enough to damage his legacy? He set all his really meaningful records while with Green Bay. At this point, there’s nothing left for him to prove except that he can’t let go. If he retired in 2007, like we were originally meant to believe, he would be a first-ballot hall of famer. Having retired and unretired three times and threatening to do it a fourth, his Hall of Fame credentials are supported only by the football media and the record books. Fans don’t ever want to see him again. Fans see him as that guy who sexually harasses team employees, sends them cock shots, can’t hit his receivers and can’t figure out that he’s four years beyond his best before date. And you wonder why were sick of Favre and the media that performs metaphorical fellatio on him regularly. No wonder why we no longer call him “The Gunslinger” but “The Dongslinger.”

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