Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Caught off guard, sickened, and tempted...way tempted.

Type in the word 'obesity' on the Chicago Tribune's website and 10 pages worth of material becomes immediately available to the reader. Articles ranging from a pill that fights obesity to the way obesity campaigns should not shame a child all point out the fact that there is a problem that affects an enormous amount of people around the world. In 2008 the CDC reported that in the city of Chicago 1 out of every 4 adults were considered obese according to body mass indexes (stat taken from the website in an article published April 4, 2011). According to many BMI figures I am considered obese so I don't always agree with statistics but the point I am trying to make is that there are definitely health-related problems and one's diet is a major issue. A walk through the Loop at lunchtime is evidence enough. The amount of articles published by the Tribune, just in the last month, that deal with diet, obesity, diabetes, and other similar issues is overwhelming. So I found the front page of today's Good Eating section in the print edition rather disturbing and even dangerous. The article about poundcake and all the suggestions of ways to use it is a careless misstep by the powers that be at the newspaper. I thought high-brow suggestions of affordable wines that cost over twenty dollars in a tragic economy with exorbitant unemployment rates was ludicrous but today's article takes the cake...tee effing hee.

I am no dietician but does poundcake offer anything of nutritional value to a human being unless said human being is attempting to fight off freezing cold temperatures without a winter coat? Perhaps I might step out on the very end of a flimsy ice-covered limb and go ahead and state that poundcake is not a healthy subject to write about on page one of Good Eating. My history at devouring all forms of unhealthy food items and the results is well-documented in my family scrapbook. Poundcake played a starring role during the dessert portion of family gatherings at the dining-room table. To combat the effects rendered by poundcake I had to muster up a lot of energy then put my butt in my Buick and drive
that car to the YMCA. I know first hand what can happen and I found this out way before society fell apart and everything started to really suck, like it does now, if you aren't party of the 1%ers. For some reason it seems even harder in contemporary society to combat everything that is unhealthy, especially eating. I think the main reason is that eating healthy is much more expensive but that is a whole other issue. Time to get back to the fools that the Tribune Company hires and pays salaries to...

The poundcake article points out that bread does not really do as much for certain dishes as poundcake does. Such dishes that could use a little more umph to them by adding poundcake are: rum balls, french toast, apple charlotte, croutons, and toad in the hole. None of the items listed do anyone's waistline any good and adding poundcake to them is one of the most irresponsible suggestions I have ever come across in a newspaper.

Reading the directions of how to make these recipes was like a how-to book on how to ruin yourself. "Cut thin slices of poundcake and butter them or dip in melted butter"..."dunk 1/2-inch-thick slices of poundcake in egg mixture and fry in butter"..."fry the slice and the hole in butter or, better yet, bacon fat" ...are all quotes from the article written by the brilliant James P. DeWan. My favorite quote comes from one of the headlines: "When good isn't good enough, use this classic dessert (and break the bread habit) to build unexpected delights." Break the bread habit would only be a good suggestion if the alternative was using a piece of Romane lettuce.

Healthy eating is not an issue that needs any competition. Sweet treats are attractive enough as they are. Who doesn't think about ice cream, M and Ms, and chocolate chip cookies? I think about ice cream, more than sex and that is why I cannot keep a gallon of Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip in the freezer to last a week; it lasts only one sitting. The general public does not need any help creating those cravings for artery-clogging indulgences. In moderation there is nothing wrong with sweet rewards but maintaining moderation in most anything unhealthy, especially things that taste like heaven, often proves to be very difficult. Publishing an article about poundcake front and center on page one is irresponsible reporting and editing. Adding pictures of the dishes makes me wonder if Mr. DeWan is actually trying to bring this country down using incendiary tactics.

I cannot imagine how the First Lady might react reading this article from her hometown newspaper (which is probably why the Tribune printed it). Her campaign to fight childhood obesity should be applauded and backed at every opportunity; even by right-leaning periodicals. Below is a link to her website to combat any talk of poundcake and other sweets:

The only safe thing to take away from this lack of discretion by the Tribune is the fact that nobody reads the print edition anymore. I had a hard time finding the poundcake article online. Bravo for that, Tribune.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sign Bruce on for 5 years of Super Bowls... at least do something

Would it be so bad?

Bruce Springsteen can reach a wide range of audiences. Pair him up with a rapper who has reached a mature age and knows how to deliver a performance instead of an antic and just imagine how much fun an audience would have watching that! Go ahead, NFL, sign him on to take over as half-time entertainment for the next 5 years so we do not have to suffer through more hype and very little delivery. You couldn't do any worse or maybe you could...

Madonna wasn't awful but she should have stood still and Last night's performance was a mixture of mid-tempo aerobics and really well-executed lip-syncing. The Super Bowl should be a test for artists who can deliver a performance that does not need Pro Tools to fix the voice or a strong back up dancer to help them do a cartwheel.

And speaking of in the hell is Blake Shelton a judge for the television show The Voice? His part in "God Bless America" might have been one of the worst performances by an individual I have ever seen. At least Tim McGraw admits he is tone deaf and has to work extremely hard to sing live. If you enjoyed him last night you need to go see an Audiologist.

Interesting pairings make for entertainment. Unfortunately the NFL usually misses the mark on this. Music fans should have known that all the artist involved in the performance last night require a lot of flash to make up for a lack of natural talent. Without tremendously talented designers (and some schemers incorporated into the mix) none of those artists would have ever made it to the top, including Madonna. Then add in the look-at-me antics of some never-will-be and disaster can be the only outcome. Audiences deserve more.

Madonna used to be an excellent entertainer. I thought she would have been smart enough to realize when it was best to take a step back and let the younger performers carry the torch she held so high for so long. Obviously her ego has pushed her into territory where I would have never expected to see her. I cringed watching her perform those moves at such a deliberate and hesitant pace. Even she seemed nervous she was going to break a hip. That was not the performer I grew up watching and last night was the performance I never wanted to see her put on display.

American Football is an American sport so why can't we use American talent, who actually have talent, during the half-time show of the Super Bowl? The Who? M.I.A? What's wrong with Aerosmith and Run DMC? The last time I saw them perform live together it was awesome. Kid Rock...Eminem...Jay Z...Pearl Jam...Katy Perry...Bruce Springsteen...Alicia Keys...Tom Petty...Pitbull...and so many others. It's the Super Bowl. Let the game be the star of the evening.

Lady Gaga would have been awesome last night. I cannot imagine what she would have done with that canvas but I bet I would have been completely entertained.

The best duet I ever watched perform live on television was Tom Petty and Axl Rose when they sang "Free Fallin'." That was completely unexpected and amazing. The second best collaboration I saw was Kid Rock, Steven Tyler, and Run DMC all doing "Walk This Way."

Does the same person pick the entertainment year after year? I hope not because that person must certainly get used to failure.