Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, June 27, 2021

Not content to be merely loud and mindless, director Michael Bay felt that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen needed one more distasteful touch: Offensive African-American racial stereotyping, in Autobot guise.

The reason for the uproar are Skids and Mudflap, two robots designed as compact Chevys, fight each other, and are forced to admit they can’t read. One in particular has a gold tooth but producers aren’t saying which one.

AP Film Critic Christy Lemire described the bots as ‘Jar Jar Binks in car form.’ Harry Knowles of “Ain’t It Cool News” went one step further, encouraging his readers not to see the film…

“They don’t really have any positive effect on the film,” Tasha Robertson, associate editor at The Onion.com, said. “They only exist to talk in bad ebonics, beat each other up and talk about how stupid each other is.”

Interesting that the headlines describe these two characters as “jive-talking”. Because to me, that conjures up forebears that are less Star Wars, and more Airplane!. To wit:

I will say that the sole funny moment from the ill-conceived Airplane II: The Sequel was when Jive Dude Number 2 shows up, and he’s improbably still “talkin’ jive” into the mid-1980s…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/27/2009 07:17:18 PM
Category: Comedy, Movies, Pop Culture
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When does the number 32 actually equal 1? When that 32 represents the number of team franchises in the National Football League, and that 1 represents the hoped-for legal exemption the league hopes to achieve regarding select business dealings:

At the heart of the matter is whether the NFL’s teams constitute 32 distinct businesses or a single entity that can act collectively without violating antitrust law.

The case is important to other professional sports besides football. The National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League both filed friend-of-the-court briefs siding with the NFL.

Notably absent is Major League Baseball, which has an antitrust exemption thanks to a 1922 Supreme Court ruling.

“Member clubs of the NFL have no independent value, no purpose, indeed no meaningful reason for existence but for their participation in the league itself,” the NFL argues. It cited a ruling in an antitrust challenge involving the NBA, in which an appeals court wrote, “A league with one team would be like one hand clapping.”

This is completely self-serving, because the NFL and the other major-professional leagues switch themselves off on this argument as it serves their purposes at any particular moment. The economic benefits in assuming single-entity operating status is obvious when it comes to striking merchandising and licensing deals. It’s less obvious, but just as lucrative, when leagues fall back on the autonomous-team model. For instance, when a particular franchise plays hardball with its home city for a new arena, the league office usually cedes authority (not to mention blame) on the matter to that team owner. Yet when the resolution typically results in a sweet new stadium deal, the ripple effect benefits the rest of the league by raising the bar for future facility rights.

Basically, the NFL and the other leagues want it both ways: The protections of single-entity status to fend off pesky lawsuits, but the option of morphing back to a collective of independently-operating clubs when convenient. Business as usual, pretty much.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 06/27/2009 04:47:23 PM
Category: Football, SportsBiz
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