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Random Thoughts of the Day

January 19, 2011

Random thoughts of the day . . .

The Biggest Loser
I made the mistake of flipping past NBC last night. Shame on The Biggest Loser for turning individual’s struggles with weight loss and diet into a silly game show. Exploitation at its worst, The Biggest Loser takes people who have extremely dangerous issues with weight, and parades them in front of us as if they were nothing more than circus animals on display for our entertainment, and then subjects them to harmful diet and exercise practices by enticing them with a cash reward. All the while, we sit on the couch and watch, eating snacks, happy we’re not that heavy or in that bad of shape and adding to the contestants shame by holding them up in comparison to, and justification of, our life decisions.

At its best, television can be engaging, entertaining and educational. At its worst, television is The Biggest Loser.

Slippery When Wet
I saw this story on the CBS Evening News last night on insurance fraud and I thought it was interesting. People are falling in stores and suing for big money and in many cases – maybe most cases – they’re faking the falls. What I found most interesting about this story was the people staging the frauds. They seem to be clueless to the fact that they’re being filmed when they’re in the stores and they’re also very obvious in their deception. If you click on the link to the story above you can watch the video at the CBS website.

The National Anthem
This is the best feel good story that’s come along in a while. If the world has you feeling a little down, here’s a wonderfully uplifting video of 8-year-old Elizabeth Hughes singing the National Anthem during an American Hockey League game in Norfolk, Virginia between the Norfolk Admirals and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.

The first surprise for me was hearing how beautiful Elizabeth’s voice is. The second surprise comes about a minute and a half into the anthem when her microphone malfunctions. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, so just watch the video below and see if you don’t feel like I felt when I watched the video. If you care to leave a comment, I’d love to know your thoughts on the video.

Interviewed on NPR’s All Things Considered, Elizabeth said she was disappointed, “because I didn’t get to sing my high note.” All’s well that ends well for Elizabeth, for hockey fans in Norfolk, and for the rest of us, because Elizabeth will be signing the National Anthem again on Saturday February 5th.

And to the one woman in the crowd of nearly 4,700 who thought it was funny and laughed at the girl, you really need to work on finding a way to develop a sense of humor that doesn’t involve laughing at other people’s misfortune.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Craig permalink
    January 19, 2011 11:00 am

    That video was great! I loved how you can see that she was still trying to hit that high note even though her microphone was off. And I always love when I hear people actually sing the national anthem instead of talking over it. I’ve been to too many hockey games where I’ve heard chants during the anthem and it really pisses me off. I think my favorite anthem moment was in the NHL all-star game that took place after 9-11 in Chicago- seemed like everyone in the arena sang that day and it sounded amazing.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 20, 2011 3:25 pm

      What I love so much about that video was that the crowd singing was so spontaneous after they realized there was a problem and everyone knew they couldn’t let the anthem end unfinished. Like in those old war movies where the guy carrying the flag gets shot and as he falls some other guy comes along and grabs the flag and carries it.


  2. January 19, 2011 2:42 pm

    Michael, Someone sent me this stupid joke and I thought of you…I will comment on your later.

    Government surveyors came to Ole’s Minnesota farm last spring and asked if they could do some surveying. Ole agreed, and Lena even served them a nice meal at noontime.

    After their work was done, the surveyors told Ole, “You were so kind to us; we wanted to give you the bad news in person, instead of by letter.”

    “What’s the bad news?” asked Ole.

    “Well, your farm is right on the state line,” the surveyors said, “and after our work was completed, we discovered your farm is not in Minnesota. It’s actually in Iowa.”

    “That’s the best news I’ve had in a long time,” said Ole. “I was just telling Lena this morning that I don’t think I can take another winter in Minnesota !”


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 20, 2011 3:26 pm

      I like that one, Mo! Everyone knows that we have the worst winters of any state in the 5-state area! (And even parts of Canada!)


  3. January 19, 2011 4:36 pm

    Oh my. That actually brought tears to my eyes. That was wonderful.


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 20, 2011 3:26 pm

      I’d say, “Me, too.” if I didn’t have this manly-man image to project.


  4. January 20, 2011 12:01 am

    Michael, I so totally agree with you on the show Biggest Losers. Do they really need to humiliate the people and make them wear such revealing clothes. It is horrible that the contestants must show their bodies to all of America. But maybe that part of the appeal for the viewers. I have never watched it but the commercials for it are enough for me to watch.

    Loved the story on the slip-sliding customers! Idiots!

    And the little girl? Well, what else can you say but “You Go Girl!”



    • Michael Fishman permalink
      January 20, 2011 3:29 pm

      Having them go shirtless doesn’t bother me so much because I think that might be empowering in a way because they’re not hiding anything and are accepting everything about themselves. But that’s just me. I just don’t like that they’ve turned these people’s struggles with weight and health into a game show.


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