1) NBC pushes Conan out. NBC has decided that America wants more ‘headlines’ and less old time baseball. And forget about hearing a new and interesting band for the first time on network tv. It’s funny though that America didn’t seem interested in Jay Leno at 10 pm. Is it such a sure thing that these Leno viewers that NBC is courting are going to follow him back to 11:30? Is it a $40 million guarantee? I guess we’ll have to wait to see how NBC’s grand experiment of jerking everyone around turns out. And how about that Andy Richter, who hasn’t been on a show that survived a season since leaving Conan’s side in the 90s.
Michael Ian Black‘s take on the resonance of the NBC late night debacle.
2) Mets botch Beltran surgery. I hate a lot of things about the Mets, but I love a few things. Carlos Beltran is one of them. He’s the best center fielder in baseball, and it’s not particularly close. So how the Mets could discourage him from having surgery in the middle of a lost season to get ready for the next season is incomprehensible. And then after rehab setbacks in December, discouraging him again from having surgery in time to be ready for the upcoming season is incomprehensible. And then when he tells the team he’s having the surgery, nobody seems to know what the hell is going on or even whether he told them about the surgery or not. One minute they say Beltran went behind their backs, and the next they say they knew about the surgery but disapproved, and the next they say they signed off on the whole deal. Of course, this is pissing off Beltran, who is up for free agency after 2011. All I know is that when you have very few players that contribute in a positive fashion, you want them to (A) play baseball and (B) want to continue playing baseball for you. The Mets seem uninterested in either of these scenarios.
It all makes more sense when you look at the Mets’ decision flowchart.
3) Haiti and New Orleans. A while back I heard a homily by a missionary working in Haiti. He said that the poverty was so severe that people were forced to eat mud. I’m not sure how much more impoverished a place can be. So the response of generosity was heartening. But it made me think about Katrina and the response to the devistation in New Orleans. We basically rounded everyone up and put them in the Superdome because “Americans won’t live in tent cities.” We had a former first lady say that people from New Orleans were better off after the hurricane than before. Was there a telethon? I’m probably not remembering completely correctly, but the response to Katrina is a top five American disgrace.
4) Ok Go and the Band of the Fighting Irish. OK Go is best known for their work on treadmills. The University of Notre Dame Marching Band paid tribute as part of their 2008 halftime program. Now they team up for more video gold: This Too Shall Pass.
5) Golden Globes / Ricky Gervais. I hate award shows. There is nothing appealing to me about three hours of inoffensive non-humor and celebrity self-aggrandizement. So it’s a testament to the brilliance of Ricky Gervais that I could watch the entire Golden Globes ceremony, highlighted by calling Mel Gibson a worthless drunk. Here’s the opening monologue.
6) Obama. Let’s see. Entered office with giant messes in the economy, foreign policy, health care, climate change, immigration, etc. Half of his party is useless, and the other party wants to take their ball and go home. Why does anyone want this job again?
7) Lost. We are living in the golden age of television. The fact that there’s enough out there that I missed Lost for five years is ridiculous. Thankfully ABC actually wants people to watch their programming, so they have all five previous seasons of Lost online for free, which Mel and I consumed in a little more than a month, just in time to start the final season. Wow, I love tv.
8) Simon Pegg. The best movie to watch on a plane is either bad movie that you can fall asleep to or funny movie that you’ve seen before, which basically means Simon Pegg’s Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead. I can’t wait to add the next installment to this list, Paul, starring Pegg, Nick Frost, Seth Rogen, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Jane Lynch, Sigourney Weaver, Blythe Danner, Joe Lo Truglio, John Carroll Lynch, David Koechner, and Jeffrey Tambor. This is going to be awesome.
9) Chicago Blackhawks. I leave Chicago, and they turn into an NHL powerhouse. At least I can say that I was at the United Center for Jonathan Toews first career goal.
10) Curling. CURLING IS COMING!!