Friday, August 31, 2007

The Mysterious Tabloid

You see them everywhere. Gas stations, grocery stores, and pharmacies. They represent all that is wrong with the media.

They are the tabloids. Pages and pages of nothing more than straight up lies.

It was not too long ago when I picked one up and began pondering the history and thinking behind these packages of trash. Through further research I began to see that some "famous" tabloids such as the National Enquirer have been around since 1926.

And believe it or not the magazines use to be legit! But why did the owners all of a sudden turn to the dark side and begin manifesting lies?

In the 1950-60s the media industry in the US greatly expanded. More companies were starting up with their own newspapers and tabloids, while the existing ones where seeking more power.

So National Enquirer choose to separate itself from the pack... the most gutless of ways.

The solution was to blatantly lie about current issues. In time, The National Enquirer soon began to have some competition as tabloids such as Star and the World News sprouted up. Regardless of being a complete joke to most of society, the tabloids still bring in lots of profit in America.

You can not help but think do people honestly believe the garbage inside them? Sadly that answer is yes.

The more popular tabloids such as Star are prized by females ranging from teenagers to middle-aged women. As for the outrageous covers such as the black and white World News, which recently proclaimed Vice President Dick Cheney goes to the hospital so often because he needs his gears changed because in fact the Vice President is a robot, they are beloved by the senior citizen class.

It is a shame that in America "news" has come to this, but at the same time you really must analyze how one acquires a position working for one of these newspapers.

I mean really how hard could it be to completely make up a story once a week? Right now I was able to think of one, "Tom Hanks is Caught Cheating With Pamela Anderson!"

That's money is the bank right there. All I need to do now is make up some quotes and photo shop a picture and wa-la you have got your newest tabloid.

I can already see the cover of Star magazine when nuclear war breaks out globally,

"Aliens Attack Planet Earth; Want Revenge!"

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Spark American Soccer Needs

Soccer is the world's most popular sport, and for people like me that is an understandable statement. With that said, I do not find it as exciting as football or basketball, but by all means it surpasses the standing-around sport of baseball.

Even with my satisfaction in watching the sport, most of America still finds the sport not entertaining. Not enough scoring, too long, but really it does not matter because I have the solution; the spark that will make soccer a success in the USA.

(Again, I can not understand the above statement about how soccer is boring, but baseball is not.)

Getting great soccer players to come to America such as David Beckham will greatly help soccer in the USA, but that is not my solution. My solution is to create rivals. Bitter rivals.

Now I am not talking about your D.C. United vs. L.A. Galaxy game. I am talking about international games. Games I am not sure have ever been played. In America, rivals exist everywhere and by all means they are a vital part of a sport.

Examples would be Michigan vs. Ohio State in college football, the Yankees vs. the Red Sox in the MLB, the Colts vs. the Patriots in the NFL, and the Hawks vs. Bobcats in the NBA.

Ha ha, sorry I made that last one up. Thought you might enjoy it. Well, anyway as I was saying a bitter rival in soccer would definitely boost America's interest in the sport even if a viewer did not have much knowledge of the sport. Why? Because as a viewer seeing passion in a sport is one of the most addicting things about a sport.

Here are some great examples of bitter rivals Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) should arrange....

1. North Korea vs. South Korea

These two countries still remain hostile towards each other even though the Korean War ended over 50 years ago. What better way for these two sides to release some anger than on a soccer field? South Korea would love nothing more than to crush their evil brother that always seems to be in the headlines North Korea's Kim Jong Il is ruthless leader, but if he could take down a top 5 team in South Korea he certainly would gain some the soccer world.

Location: Hopefully, the Demilitarized Zone which separates North and South Korea.

2. Iran vs. Iraq

Again, I enter uncharted waters when I suggest former enemies of war should engage in a soccer match, but please remember these match ups are meant as a way for these countries to interact in a nonviolent (non-nuclear war) manner. In the 1980s these two nations engaged in a bloody war that lasted for eight years. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to think he is all big and bad. Well if he indeed is, he will easily be able to defeat his arch nemesis in a friendly game of soccer. As for the Iraq team no American citizen could play on it. Only Iraqis would be able to suit up. Winning this game would be a huge boost for Iraq, it would be a giant step in the right direction for a country in rebuilding mode.

Location: Bahrain, a small island in the Persian Gulf. It's an isolated area, but do not worry plenty of transportation would be provided for the Iraqi and Iranian fans.

3. Pakistan vs. India

Pakistan use to be a part of India, but now find themselves independent. Nonetheless, the two countries are still engaging in hostile situations year in a year out. Nuclear war is even talked about between the two countries. Perfect alternate? A 90 minute game of soccer filled with passion and pride. Come on it could be a yearly showdown! Each year their would be more and more hype for the slug fest on the Indian Ocean.

Location: This would be a tough one considering the ground is not flat where Pakistan and India meet. Solution? China, a country East of Pakistan and North of India. And of course transportation costs would be provided for.

4. Ireland vs. Northern Ireland

Not a lot of love between the Irish and Northern Irish, in fact it is straight bad blood. What better way to settle these constant disputes about religion than a soccer match for some of the world's most passionate fans: the Irish? Unlike any of the previous bitter rivals I have been talking about, this match up would really need top notch security. I am talking about metal gates that separate the two fan bases, and a little limit on how much alcohol one fan is allowed to consume.

Location: Wembley Stadium in London, England. This state of the art structure would definitely fit the needs for a grudge match up to par with the yearly Florida/Florida State fist fight.

5. Israel vs. Palestine

This would be the match up of the century. These two types of people have been fighting since the beginning of time. No end seems to be in sight. It would be a clever way to sort of cease the tension between the two nations. Why do I say this? A soccer game is important, but not nearly as important as say the possibility of a bomb being dropped in your home country. Let me put it this way the loser of the soccer game would not be exterminated.

Location: Security here would have to be the Super Bowl x 50, which would mean one heck of a neutral site. Perfect spot? None other than Cyprus, the small island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is isolated which would mean chaos would be easier to prevent. Contests would be held to select the winners for fans who will attend the game. Transportation costs would be set up by FIFA.

6. Taiwan vs. China

So Taiwan wants to consider itself independent of China? Well then defeat them in the ever important soccer match up. China watches Taiwan's every move, if Taiwan wants to show they are ready to be free of Chinese rule (which will never happen) they will need to take down their big brother. Taiwan wants to prove it is capable of supporting itself, China wants to prove it will squash any oppositions...even if it lies within itself.

Location: If you think this match up is big I can not imagine the importance it would have in Asia. The world wants to see this game and no better place to watch it than Tokyo, Japan. The Japanese are excellent hosts who would love being in the spotlight of a bitter rival.

7. USA vs. Cuba

For the rest of the world this might not be as big of a game as say India vs. Pakistan, but certainly tension is present between the USA and Cuba. Ever since the Cuban Missile Crisis, America has stopped accepting any assets from the Caribbean nation. Furthermore, Castro is on his way out so what better way to end his awful relationship with the US than a soccer match? Absolutely nothing.

Location: I was thinking Mexico City, but as an American I want our national soccer team to get the whole experience. This game is going to be played in Havana, Cuba. Let's give the Cubans the home field advantage they desire. That will make victory even greater.

Hope you enjoyed my dream match ups that will give soccer the necessary spark. Though the more I think about it the more I realize everyone of these matches needs to be in Level 5 security. In no way do I want passionate fans blowing these games out of proportion. I mean a few fistfights after the games will be unavoidable, but let's not overdo it with suicide bombers and guys throwing beer bottles. Sports have no room for sore losers. Except for Terrell Owens, he can do it because he was made fun of in grade school.