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The Idolatry of Modern Sports

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Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?   1 Corinthians 1:20

LifeMagazine1960

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a child of the 1980’s, I was a huge baseball fan. My favorite team was the Mets. I also watched many Braves, Reds and A’s games.  I could remember all the rosters, stats, who did what. My interest in basketball and football were casual. I mostly watched the Cowboys and Dolphins. The only other southern teams at that time were the Falcons and Bucs and neither of them were particularly good nor a national draw.

I have a copy of the above issue that I bought at Nostaglia.  In the related article, it expands on the growing popularity of the NFL.  Keep in mind, that the NFL always ran second place to MLB up until about 50 years ago. For the rest of the 20th century, they both had their share of glory, highlights, publicity and all the other elements.  Nowadays, with the exception of perhaps New York, Philadelphia or Boston, football is the topic of daily conversation and especially in the Southeast.  We even have the new SEC Network in order to appeal to the “millions of fans of who can’t get enough coverage of the most powerful conference in college sports, and SEC officials think it will increase revenue.”

My personal opinion is that since about the turn of the century, while there are still some good baseball players and they still try their best, they are overly mechanical (due to fear of failure and paralysis by analysis).  They seem to have forgotten how to swing the bat and pitchers are on pitch counts.  Managers are second fiddle to Sabermetrics and second-guessing in the front office. This is one downturn to relying too much on technology and eliminating the human element altogether.

When it relates to football, I still enjoy the game itself.  I went out for football as a high school sophomore.  Due to being too small, I lasted just one year.  Other than that, I enjoyed the practices, the camaraderie, the studying of the playbooks and game-planning, travel, etc… Sports entails many of the things that I desire to do in a profession or work.  My dream job would be a scout for an NFL team or simply an assistant coach probably mostly with defensive backs or special teams.  I generally don’t care to be a head coach in today’s environment.  They spend more time having to deal with things other than coaching.  Too many bruised egos and wishy-washy personas to soothe over.

Too much of modern sports (as well as society in general) is prone to Bloviation and

Circumlocution 🙂 There is also

Equivocation.  Look it up!

What do we expect football coaches to do aside from winning enough games? Okay so at the college ranks, it is about getting an education, degree, developing people of upstanding character and all the other finer points.  Those are all fine if it were strictly about that.

When it comes to watching games on TV, I will generally pick one college and one NFL game each week. I used to watch back when we basically had just three or four channels to choose from and felt just fine. Today, I think there are way too many channels and most of them are not particularly useful.  In recent years, I have enjoyed going to games in person. I also like diversifying my experiences and have taken in more women’s sports softball and volleyball in particular.

So without much more left to write, I will just say to enjoy the finer things in life. But keep everything in their proper perspective.

Written by chrisforliberty

August 16, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Posted in Media

“I’m as Mad as Hell!”

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You get up on your little twenty-one inch screen and howl about America and democracy. There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. What do you think the Russians talk about in their councils of state, Karl Marx? They get out their linear programming charts, statistical decision theories, minimax solutions, and compute the price-cost probabilities of their transactions and investments, just like we do. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Mr. Beale. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that… perfect world… in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.” Network, 1976

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I am a child of the 70’s-80’s. That could be an entire article or two for another day.  One of the most popular fads of the time was ladies mud wrestling (and its related matches like baby oil and pudding). There is Las Vegas Mud Wrestling Championships (like who would do this today?), “All The Marbles” starring Peter Falk to a scene in CHiPs where Bonnie describes female mud wrestling as “vulgar, demeaning and debasing”. I did not see Stripes during its original run, but have seen it plenty on cable over the years. John Candy was a good sport J Of course, various movie and TV shows took advantage of the fad and it seemed to work pretty well.

My favorite TV show was the Dukes of Hazzard.  It was from this show and the episode “The Treasure of Hazzard” (original air-date January 25, 1980) that the concept of mud wrestling came into mind. The fad started taking a hold beginning in California bars/nightclubs around mid 70’s and gradually grew to other parts of the country.  Granted, it was a rural version of it, but all the same. Daisy in quicksand was interesting too.

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I liked how Daisy performed in these scenes.  She had this fun-loving attitude towards it like “Hey, Daisy, let’s go play in the mud!” “Alright!”  I am merely assuming based on no actual evidence, but my perception that this kind of talk today wouldn’t go over as well today.  The combination of hard times, political correctness and people taking themselves too seriously can take a toll on us.

Mud wrestling while still viewable in various places and on the internet, it has loss some of its appeal since the close of the 80’s.  I think the bad economy, oversaturation of media, political corruption, etc… has worn people down.  People most certainly were livelier then.  You can tell by how they get into the action be it mud wrestling, a baseball game, and a number of other events.  Now people prefer to stay indoors.  All we’ve known for the past 10-15 years has been war, rumors of war, economic depressions, outsourcing, etc…

One of my friends and fellow messy wrestling aficionado Bill King has done a number of articles on messy wrestlers.  We have discussed possibly open a wrestling club of some variety eventually.  But that is another story for another day. I am Facebook friends with several of these former wrestlers.  One of them is Ruby Tuesday.  Here she is wrestling Andy Kaufman.

Again notice how the people follow the action and are participants.

My personal favorite of the catfight/messy wrestlers is Quisha Page.

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She also participated in a spaghetti match against Robin Hendrickson and Thunder and Mud.

In another interview, Quisha states in part:

“WOW! good question, back at the Tropicana I would have to say Lisa. She was my best friend we knew how to wrestle real well together in the mud and oil…What was so cool is when Lisa and me Quisha got matched up to wrestle and fight each other the crowd would go off! Mick had to hold the money I was making because I couldn’t hold on to it with my own two hands it got that crazy. All the wrestlers would come from the dressing room to watch our show in the background rather it was in the mud or oil Lisa and I mastered it. She was a great actor I miss her. I wish I could get her in the ring I would pay her big bucks for that match.”

I also wish they would have another match and I would be willing to pay big bucks to see it.  Hopefully we can prod Lisa into doing so.

I like this match because of the good chemistry between them.  You have your regular competitions just like any other.  But in certain situations like Ricky Steamboat-Ric Flair or Ali-Frazier, the contestants are intimately familiar with and their styles compliment each other.  I would put this match held at the Hollywood Tropicana sometime during the summer of 1989 on the top as far as female oil wrestling matches go.  If I had one particular wish, I would liked for this match to have been a few more rounds.  Plus less interference from the refs.  I never liked it when refs involved themselves too heavily into the matches. It ruins the momentum and intensity.

The pre-match oiling session was a big winner.  You can tell Quisha and Lisa were enjoying themselves and looking forward to this match.  Both of them had a fantastic selection of wrestling attire.  Overall, it was a good match with kicks, holds and various other wrestling moves.  My favorite part was the wedgie Lisa gave Quisha.  I liked the competitiveness of the match and thought both of them were pretty equal. For the record, while my commentary about their attire and oil wrestling itself may seem sexist, I should point out that no one claims that men wrestling in tights and sometimes even blading (something that I personally disapprove of) would be offensive. Men are able to get away with doing certain things that women can’t.

With that being said, what really needs to happen in this country and worldwide is some resurgence of sorts.  It will take not one big step, but many small steps getting pointed in the right direction again.  Entire political systems will have be overhauled.

Local agriculture and currency will become necessary. We will have to adapt and adjust our ways. I would like to see fewer cable cables or at least the option where the customer can pick say 5 channels and be done with it.  People need to get out more. It is sad when I in my late 30’s can outwalk and outhike a 19 year old while carrying 50 pound of gear through an unfamiliar mountain range and manage to finish the course of 20 miles in six hours.  The average foot-speed barring injury is 4 MPH. So you do the math.

Written by chrisforliberty

March 8, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Posted in General, Media

The Staging of Porn: Its Unrealistic Premise and Distortions

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“The love scenes I did years ago were sensitive and romantic, but in today’s (filmed) lovemaking, couples are trying to swallow each other’s tonsils.” Lillian Gish

I’ve seen my share of porn over the past twenty years and and quite frankly, I think it is uninteresting minus a few scenes. Unrealistic and totally staged. Girl on girl porn is done to fulfill most straight guys fantasy. Oddly enough, the biggest increase in gay porn has been married women. They too have a fantasy about seeing their boyfriends/husbands engage in sexual activity with another guy or a threesome. But that is the movie/TV production guy talking. I am keenly aware of what goes on behind the scenes that the average viewer doesn’t. For the very same reason, I can’t stand “reality” TV shows too.Image

Erotica has always been a form of entertainment and pleasure. It is just that technology over the past 40 years or so has added several layers of complexity. Sex used to be a very private matter. Most scenes in x-rated stuff is not what most average people would do during the course of sex. But given that there is so much misinformation out there, people are seeking answers and getting it from bad sources. I don’t blame men for being confused as to what they should do or what women may want. But the sex is taboo stigma hinders any real frank discussion about the issue.

Access to pornography (which is defined as being more explicit sexual acts) usually meant watching at an adult theatre (such as Deep Throat and Behind The Green Door) or walking into an adult bookstore to pick up a VHS tape of your favorite actress.  Today—in addition to bookstores, topless clubs, magazines—it’s available on the internet, with vast amounts of content available at no charge such as RedTube. The pornography industry profits have increased from around 10 billion a year in the late 1990’s to around 100+ billion today mostly due to internet growth.  The desire for sexual content has no limits.  For example, it is no surprise that straight men fantasize about a threesome with two women and gay men watch gay porn. But here is something interesting: the biggest increase in gay porn in the past ten years (percentage-wise) has been married women and we could presume they are mostly straight. Why do men get condemned for having lesbian fantasies, but for women to view gay porn, it is innocent fun? Thus, we have a double standard. But hey, women have been dealing with this for a long time. Besides, gay porn is just as fake as straight porn.

Due to a lack of comfort on the part of parents, misinformation from the mass media and the overall lack of honest discussion about normal human sexual behavior, many teenagers and young adults don’t have a solid understanding of sexual relationships. The majority of pornographic movies don’t even show the face of a man, just his privates with the camera centered on the woman’s “enjoyment” of oral sex.

The thing to keep in mind that when it comes to pornography, 99% of the scenarios are not realistic.  Looking at it from a behind the scenes perspective, here is what happens: you basically have the actors on a set, a natural location or what not. There are crew members numbering usually around 10-20 doing their jobs which involves basically the same aspects of regular motion picture/television production such as set design, hair and makeup, camera operation, etc… The fakery of overacted orgasms, ripped abs, and silicone breast implants, along with the fact that you have a crew of anywhere from 10-20 people on the set — and from that simple fact, the act is obvious. These are people getting paid to perform a job just like anyone else getting paid to perform a job.

The average scene lasts around 10 minutes after it is in the can and edited.  The actual production time usually takes a few hours.  You would get the impression that a porn actor’s erection is about as long as the scene. Actually they are no different than the average man whose erection is usually no more than five minutes at a time. So how does he do it? Basically, when he achieves an erection after being given instructions by he director, the camera is already rolling.  He does his best to hold it and appear to be enjoying it while the actress or actresses do their thing. But should he not rise to the occasion on cue or take longer than desired to get hard, this can be aggravating.  Male porn stars usually last for a few movies.  Only a handful have a long career and what we basically end up with now is 60 year old Ron Jeremy and a 19 year old woman or Randy West having a threesome with women whose combined age is less than his.  But hey if your desire is to make a career out of it, you are welcome to try.

Pornography thrives partially due to people’s desire for Exhibitionism and Voyeurism. Instead assumptions are made based on what has been viewed and what’s shown as “normal” in popular culture.  Endless movies/TV shows and music brag about sexual activities. Men want to be like Ron Jeremy and women want to be any number of countless female porn stars.  Americans keep up with Kim Kardashian  and MTV needlessly replays Miley Cyrus twerking and grinding on Robin Thicke and symbolically stating, “I’m not a Disney Girl anymore! I’m empowered!”  Women are gold diggers and men are useful pawns.

Men end up believing that all women enjoy giving oral sex, like rough intercourse, enjoy being hit, and achieve orgasm without the slightest bit of foreplay, emotional connection, and/or intellectual investment. He’s doing what he was taught women like… so of course she’s going to like it; why wouldn’t she? (To be clear, there are many people who enjoy sex this way. This observation isn’t about them. It’s about the countless others who don’t enjoy sex like this, and don’t say anything, thinking they can’t or shouldn’t because this is “the way it’s done”.) One former porn star, Rebecca Lord commented on her website a few years ago that she had decided to give up doing porn in the United States because she was repulsed by the level of violence in more recent productions.

Here are some distortions from the porn industry:

Women are ALWAYS wanting to have sex. Porn is flawed right from the start. Just rush in, get your clothes off , get it on and rush out.  The average scene is around 10-15 minutes.  There is no or very little dialogue and horrible at that.  It’s going to take a little more than that to get a woman to relax enough to forget about the grind of daily life like work,  the kids, boring chores, etc…

The woman does all the work. In reality, it is the man who should be working to please her.  That would be kissing, massaging, hugging, not receiving a blowjob right off the bat. Like she had been sitting at home all day waiting to perform that act.

Foreplay is not necessary. No need for all that pesky foreplay — kissing is overrated, sensuality is pointless, creating any kind of a mood is just a waste of time. Just give it to me now! We live in a time of instant meals and everybody is in a rush.  Many women would be happier if he rushed home to feed the baby and clean the house instead of walking in expecting oral sex.  Porn leaves the impression that we should have ten minute sessions 5-6 days a week. A more realistic way is once a week or every other week and for it to last for anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. In order to make this work, plenty of foreplay is necessary.  Think of it like piecing a movie together where the grand finale isn’t the first thing you see.

All women are naturally attracted to other women. the Big Bang of sexual fantasy for straight men: The threesome. Generally if she’s into it, that could be fine. But you won’t find most women hanging out a with a friend, waiting around all day just to perform it while dressed up like a Catholic schoolgirl, teacher, secretary while they bang the poolboy.  But like I mentioned, many women are also attracted to gay porn because they have the same fantasy. So all is fair is fair.

These examples highlight the massive disconnect between what most women say they really want from men, and what men have been led to believe women want.

Porn may be good entertainment (maybe).  But great sex requires a more intimate relationship between the people involved. Foreplay is the best way to get it started and that only works if the people have a very good relationship to begin with.  So in a nutshell, you would be better off not watching porn.  People have been having sex for thousands of years and they did just fine. It has actually been in recent decades that this has become an issue.

March1983

Written by chrisforliberty

December 22, 2013 at 1:01 am

Posted in Media

The Use of Technology in Modern Football (and Life) Is A Matter of Perspective

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James Marsters with a teletype machine and acoustic coupler in 1971. 

(Originally published in American Football Monthly Magazine)

“[B]asically, I knew nothing. There were films, lectures and endless drills on fundamentals”. Ken Anderson, former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback (1971-86) commenting on his rookie year

In the old days, coaches basically draw up plays on a chalkboard, the players wrote down notes feverishly in their big three ring notebooks, and if a team happened to have a film projector, they used it occasionally.

However, like with just about everything, things change.  The days of Sid Gillman clipping football footage from film reels that played in movie theatres while he worked as an usher in the 1930’s or Paul Brown and Bill Walsh viewing some grainy film of a college player taken by a spectator have given way to professional recruiting and scouting services, desktop video, iPads and many other technological innovations.  For many years, teams at all levels were slow to adapt technologies for use in their operations.  The reasons varied from being too bulky, too costly or the uncertainty of how to use it.

Gradually as technology improved and the costs were reduced plus dealing with a more tech savvy population, the attitude towards it has shifted to a more positive aspect.  The players of today having been mostly born around the mid 1980’s or later are finely attuned to the daily use of technology and enjoy the rapid advances that are made in terms of applications, features, and upgrades.  They basically expect it!

When determining whether to use a specific technology as part of your team operations, you should ask some basic questions such as “Will I use this on a regular basis?”, “Is the cost for using this product or service justified or is it just a gimmicky thing to have around?” or “How are the company’s customer service, tech support, and overall management?” The old question of “What is the best product?” isn’t so simple anymore.

There are a variety of sports technology companies such as DragonFly Athletics, DVSport, and XOS Digital that each offer their own unique products and fill certain niches in the marketplace.  Over the past year, iPads have been adopted more often for digital playbooks.  Initially beginning in an experimental phase with the Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2011, about half of the NFL teams now use them.  Some of the companies that make iPad apps for the NFL are Global Apptitude LLC, PlayerLync LLC and DragonFly Athletics LLC.

According to Kirk Miller, Founder and CEO of DragonFly, the company’s initial vision was to find a way to exchange video with other teams or the conference that could eliminate the need for a courier or being put on an airplane.  Thus the team could have the video ready by Saturday night or Sunday instead of mid-week. Initiallly the challenges were “Can we do this through the internet?  Can we transfer content that has large data requirements and to do it reliably?” After the intiial prototype was promising, the company landed contracts with several colleges including Alabama and LSU.  “Most other technology companies focus on viewing and editing of video and coaching analysis.  Our purpose is primarily management and distribution of video to different organizations.  Security is good in part because it is not a consumer network. It is an internal network between coaches.  It is not available to the general public.”

Since the company started in 2006, the clients have included teams from a variety of sports and conferences, half a dozen NFL teams and a number of media organizations such as the Big Ten Network and CBS Sports.

XOS Digital’s Matt Marda, Executive Vice President of Product Strategy and Marketing comments that XOS’s focus since its founding in 1999 has shifted from doing some analysis work for the Orlando Magic to focusing on software development for a variety of purposes from software for recruiting, Playbook Applications and its ThunderCloud product which enables media asset management to be utlized via a cloud network.  “We have focused mostly on top of the line, NFL and Division I teams use it. It is used by coaches for video analysis, tag data, and to scout self and opponents. We would like to work down market to high school, smaller colleges with products that are cost effective and could further our reach.” Mr. Marda states that the company attends several conferences yearly such as the AFCA and Collegiate Sports Video Association (CSVA) and has a field team that does training on-site including set-up, webinars and tech support services.

The advances in video production hardware had led to innovations such as digital cameras and disk based camcorders via flash memory cards as opposed the traditional method of shooting on tape.  The advantages cited using this method have been the ease of being able to search for clips and it results in a more streamlined post production effort as footage is imported for editing and viewing.

This in turn directly affects how the post-production process is handled.  One of the major advances over the past 20 years has been the utilization of Non-linear editing systems for both the consumer and professional market.  The first true non-linear editor, the CMX 600, was introduced in 1971 by CMX Systems. However, due to the limited storage space of desktop computers of the time and applications that could be utlized, the move to non-linear editing didn’t really start to gain traction until the 1990’s as both the hardware and software improved to the point where it was feasible to do editing in this manner.

The concept behind Non-linear editing is all assets are available as files on video servers or hard disks, while Linear editing is tied to the need to sequentially view film or hear tape.  Non-linear editing enables direct access to any video frame in a digital video clip, without needing to play or scrub/shuttle through adjacent footage to reach it.  When ingesting audio or video feeds, metadata are attached to the clip. Those metadata can be attached automatically (timecode, take number, name of the clip) or manually (players names or down and distance).  For example at the end of the game, the coach could ask the video production people to retrieve all the clips related to a certain player or a particular quarter and it could be available in as little as five minutes.

The forerunner of the modem and modern text messaging was the acoustic coupler and TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf).  Developed in 1964 by James Marsters and Robert H. Weitbrecht as a way to enable deaf and hearing impaired people to communicate, it wasn’t until the mid 1990’s that these methods would become used on a mainstream basis.  While chat slang such as BRB or OIC are associated with modern internet and text message usage, this is simply a carry-over from deaf and hearing impaired people who were using these devices.

Jackie Morgan, Director of Marketing for Ultratec, Inc. which has made products for deaf and hearing impaired people since 1978 thinks the widespread use of technology that was originally intended for deaf and hearing impaired people has been wonderful.  “It has been good to see that a technology that was intended to solve a specific problem now has widespread use and application.”

The main advantage of using modern technology is that simply today’s players have basically grown up with it their whole lives and are receptible to it.  It should help with communication and being able to complete tasks in less time.  Technology, like weightlifting, practices, and nutrition are methods to help increase your chances of reaching your ultimate goal.  However using technology does have its drawbacks.

Andre Gispert, Assistant Video Coordinator at Florida International who also previously coached at University of Tennessee-Chattanooga and Southern Virginia University, states that handling video and multimedia operations for a sports team can come with many challenges especially at the college level.  Often times, equipment purchases and upgrades can be complicated and involve a number of departments.  Communications involving third parties can at times be an issue especially over what kind of computers or video equipment are to be purchased.

“Protocol is approved by the IT department and sometimes can be a nightmare. They can decide who gets a laptop for editing. Who gets editing equipment and cameras.  They may not deal with the coaches directly.” Gispert said.

The biggest downside is the sense of disorientation and inability to concentrate when you have so many things competing for your attention.  The constant feeling of being rushed to complete tasks and fear of failure if you don’t get your tasks done instantly can in fact causes a downward spiral in quality and the quality particularly as it relates to relationships between people.  There is also the sense that just having technology itself will make your performance better.  There are no gimmicks or secret methods for winning more games or winning championships.  Keeping the horse before the cart is still the most important principle.

While the major selling point of technology like most products is the style, substance is still more important in the long term.  But they in and of themselves are not substitutes for the basics like preparation, execution and teamwork.  After all, while General Neyland, Bear Bryant and Don Shula didn’t exactly have these technologies, but they didn’t fare too badly.

Written by chrisforliberty

June 4, 2013 at 2:28 am

Posted in General, Media

The Music of Misunderstanding

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Sir, do you not see?
What?
Don Quixote battles six merchants from Toledo and saves Dulcinea’s virtue!
Who the devil is Dulcinea?

Mozart

All my life, I’ve taken an interest in certain things: the classics, movies, music and anything historical.  In a major way, I’m a 19th-20th century man.  In learning about the greats of the past, I’ve come to realize that I have some common traits with a number of people.  The ones that connect to me most on a personal level whether in terms of my physical stature, mode of thinking, outlook on life would be James Madison, Stonewell Jackson, Annie Oakley, Nikola Tesla, George Patton and Pappy Boyington. There would be others, but in my current frame of mind, these hit home the most.

Because my mindset and the current times are not in sync, my physical existence therefore is not in sync with the times.  So Kayne West is going to have a baby. This is big news today, yet I’m sitting here studying Patton and all the more thankful for it.  I love movies from just about any decade.  My musical tastes are all over the map: Mozart, 1920’s Jazz, MTV, etc… We live in a world where we are just to be interested in one thing.  We can’t figure out why an attorney would ride a Harley Davidson or why a farmer would read Shakespeare. We can’t figure out why a good Christian girl would work at Hooters’ or why a guy works the graveyard shift.

30 years ago, I was ahead of everyone else in terms of technology.  I knew what a modem was before the word was even in existence.  I thought about technologies that would enable people to speak from distant locations, sending each other a written message via computer which would have made it easier in my case since I have hearing loss and doing school news via a linkup that goes out to the whole school as opposed to listening to it on the intercom all the time.  Nowadays, I am glad the technology exists. But my major concern these days is it is technology for the sake of technology.  The Frankenstein effect.

My childhood consisted of fighting the Soviets (in my mind), running all over the neighborhood, hanging out in arcades, my aunt’s barn in Tennessee, my aunt’s bar in Florida, etc… I would prefer that any time over these modern times that kids are living in. But because they have come into a world that didn’t exactly have my experiences, they can’t relate. Long-term, this can have serious consequences.  I have already decided that if I have children of my own, they will not be getting a cell phone at age 3.

Reflecting back on it, given that my grandparents are of the Great Depression/World War II generation, I can kind of see why my grandmother would have been concerned about men having long hair and listening to rock n’ roll. To go from John Wayne to Jon Bon Jovi was a trend towards the decline of Western Civilization.  🙂 I personally have concerns about the constant rush and over-reliance on technology.  What are you going to do when you can’t just go to the grocery store and buy a loaf of bread for $50? It happened before.  See my point. I study history for a reason.  It is so we can relate and interconnect and perhaps learn from each other no matter the time period.

And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

Written by chrisforliberty

January 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Posted in Media, Movies, U.S. History

A Primer for Video Coordinators

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© April, 2012 Gridiron Strategies
Image(Note: these principles would apply whether you use film or video equipment)

by Chris Fortner
Video Coordinator • Carson-Newman College
I’ve been a video coordinator for Carson-Newman football since 2009. Each part of the year presents its own set of circumstances and challenges. Essentially, they are the recruiting season, August as camp begins, and the football season itself.

Winter and spring football drills are generally handled in the same way as two-a-days in August would be – getting on the same page as the coaches as to what they want videotaped and ready for playback during meetings.

While coaches are primarily focused on recruiting and keeping up with players’s grades and workout regimen during the winter and spring, the individuals who are in charge of the video program should concern themselves with the specifics of their jobs as well. One person should handle overall video operations. This person will oversee a staff-many of which are student workers-and explain to them what should be videotaped during the practics and what isn’t necessary. The Director of Video Operations should also be the contact personf or service providers and suppliers and other video-related matters. Each team needs to assess its own situation as well as what they want to accomplish.

The most important thing is to make sure the equipment is in good working order and that warranties are current. A good time to to get equipment required is between the end of the season and the following July. It would also be good to be acquainted with any upgrades that manufacturers have come out with and, whenever possible, to attend a training seminar when new products are issued. Each program will have to determine for itself which video equipment, hardware, and software should be purchased.

These decisions will ultimately come down to the team’s budget, staff familiarity with specific equipment and overall team goals. We would all like to have unlimited budgets, but limited budgets are a part of life. The most obvious piece of equipment is the camcorder. In most cases, the cost of a camcorder can range from $1,000 to $6,000. The key is to do your job with the camcorder which is within your budget. Especially for new programs or those overhauling equipment, it would be worthwhile to test a camcorder for 3-6 months before making a final purchase. You can tell the manufacturer that you are considering purchasing a specific camcorder and ask if a trial run is doable. Over the last 15 years, camcorders have greatly reduced in both cost and size.

Software that has specific applications such as Webb Gameday and XOS Digital can be used to directly enhance your video operations. One of the major areas of growth in the past decade has been Digital Asset Management. The basic idea behind this is to be able to input, store, and retrieve digital photographs, animations, videos and music. This process makes it easier to backup files, move files from computer to computer, or to save onto specific media usch as DVD. These applications cab be used for importing, video editing, and viewing by coaches and the team during meetings.

Other equipment includes batteries (at least two for each camera or a portable battery back, extension cords and tripods. Since the general trend now is content is going to the internet and uploaded across multiple platforms such as Blackberry, iPhone, etc…, going with a digital-based recording format such as flash memory HD video may be the best alternative long-term. Budget-wise, this can be a great alternative if you don’t have the option to order the higher-end professional camcorders. You can usally purchase handycams for a price range of $300 up to $1,000. If you use a three-camera set up (wide and both end zones), you may consider going iwth two HD cameras and one professional camcorder.

Make sure that the camcorders are AVCHD compatiable. AVCHD (Advanced Video Coding High Definition) first introduced in 2006 is a file-based format that was developed by Panasonic and Sony for digital recording and playback of high-definition video. When it comes to storing on your computer, be it a desktop or laptop, you can never have enough memory. I recommend at least 100 gigabyte hard drives (most current releases have around several hundred GB). They should be set up for importing video/audio directly from the camera or laptop if you choose to record to it. It should also be able to transfer video for recording on multiple platforms such as DVD or backup storage onto external removable drives. This is especially valuable for archival purposes or if coaches/scouts were to request video of a prospect.

Written by chrisforliberty

April 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Posted in Media

Why The “Pig Flu” is Pig Dung

with one comment

(Originally published April, 2009)

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”
Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda

Did you notice all the talk last month about the evil Chinese and Koreans? Then it was the “evil” people of Somalia for the past few weeks?
Have you noticed the recent news about the “Pig Flu”? Basically for the next week or so, we are going to be indundated with stories about people getting pig flu, virus or whatever word you want to use.

It could be the Reichstag Fire. It could be the evil Jews on Monday and the evil Arabs on Friday. Next week, it could be you. So what is going on?

I’ve worked in television and newspapers, so I know first-hand how public information can be manipulated in order to produce a desired result or response. People who work in government are efficient in the sense they can rationalize their responses to a crisis and get the talking points out to the public. The talking points from the memo get repeated around the water cooler, from the talk shows, cook-outs, so on and so on.

This does not mean that every single reporter, newspaper editor or camera man is “in on it”. The media can be used for good purposes as well as bad purposes. It is just that many people in the position to call the shots these days as in the past are agenda driven, adhere to loyalty to political parties or are rather friendly with the people who run the power structure thus ensuring access for exclusive interviews, feeders on stories and invitations to awards dinners among other things.

Nothing gets run unless it has approval. Now it can be anything from football scores, a 5 year old girl winning a spelling bee, to this. The fact of the matter is that we are dealing with nothing more than constant repeating of the same story. Ever notice that all the major media outlooks say the same thing? That is a clue that you are being mislead or lied to. This is called Media Manipulation. Specifically, this is Distraction by phenomenon. Think “Wag The Dog”.

It is also important to keep in mind that it isn’t what they are telling you that is the problem as much as what they are NOT telling you. Hence, lying by omission. Ask yourself this: what other events were going on Saturday? I think it has something to do with the Federal Reserve.

What is going on is that various governments have been keeping core samples derived from lab experiments and at a pre-determined time, they would release it hence the timing of all this aka the anthrax scare. What is also happening is that all the reported cases of pig flu are in fact not pig flu at all, but nothing more than cases of common colds. Essentially a non-event. Keep in mind this is all happening less than a week after Hitler’s 120th birthday.

This “crisis” is all designed to create a crisis and further erode the economy or at least explain why corporate profits are down (other than the corporations own mismanagement), trampling of civil rights, inducing a mass panic, etc… The CDC, FEMA and other agencies in the alphabet soup will claim there is a crisis of “epic proportions” and then use their own manufactured crisis to justify more powers to do these things. Can you say internment camp? Look up H.R. 645 sponsored by Alcee Hastings of Florida.

This particular “crisis” is livestock-related, so expect more push for government oversight of farms. Big industrial farms will welcome this, because they have big lobbies to get exemptions just as Monsanto is welcoming the oversight of seeds and you guessed it, pigs. As in the “Pig Patent“. In 2005, Monsanto had filed two patents for processes which controlled the breeding and the herds of pigs. This resulted in Monsanto being under scrutiny for ownership rights over pigs and their offspring. Monsanto was planning to create improved designer animals for human consumption using special breeding techniques. Monsanto was able to control breeds with specific characteristics as per the patent, and disallowing other breeders and farmers from doing so. The patent, being broad, remained unclear about the ownership of the proceeds from the sale of the pigs by farmers. It did not mention the royalties involved when a food producer produces sausages (as an example) using those pigs which are bred using Monsanto’s process. This was a source of royalty for Monsanto. Monsanto wanted to cash in on the growing consumer demand for meat products globally and many activists question the ethics of Monsanto’s actions.

So live your life and don’t listen to the naysayers. Likewise, be diligent in protecting your rights and liberties.

Written by chrisforliberty

May 8, 2011 at 11:31 am

Posted in Media, Politics