Sunday, January 31, 2010

Am I supposed to care about Leno or Conan?

The most dominating entertainment topic in the last 3 weeks (besides Tiger Woods) is the heated rivalry between two late-night talk giants. I'll try to be short, sweet, fair, etc. In short, I was never really a fan of late-night talk. Letterman's okay, but his recent behavior the last two years has not really made me like him anymore. The two NBC guys, Leno and Conan (or as Facebook fans call him 'Coco' for some weird reason) are men who I don't really find that funny. Nothing personal-wise, but just their ways with humor. Leno is just predictable and without the band he's nothing.

Don't get me wrong, I think Leno and Conan are hard-working showbiz men. They both paid their dues to make their dreams possible in tv comedy. In fact, just recently I watched an old rerun of 'Laverne and Shirley' and a then-unknown Leno was a guest star on that show. Conan on the other hand has written for a lot of shows, most notably SNL and the Simpsons.

Overall I don't waste a lot of time with television. I spend so much time here on the web to get my info. I do watch TV when I want to see what movies are playing or any good show I watched when I was little. I also like to get my news and political commentary reports on Fox News. Sometimes I turn on PMSNBC to see what people on the other side of the political spectrum are saying. Hell, I even watch RFD-TV just because its more relaxing. Otherwise, I don't have time to devote catching up on all the current series. (Although I do like watching Degrassi sometimes...) Is it just me, or is television running out of ideas putting out one-word shows like House, Heroes, Lost, and Bones? Just wondering.

Oh, and cheers to Conan O'Brien for actually making a surprise appearance in my hometown of Edwardsville when he made an appearance at the local Dairy Queen. He apparently was filming a promo spot for 'The Tonight Show' in St. Louis that day and what he was doing in The Ville was beyond me

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Obama: 1 year later

{This is actually going to be a 2-part blog. One will talk about Obama's first year in the White House, while the other part will deal with yesterday's Republican win in Massachusetts}

It's amazing what a year brings and how fast it is. It seems like only yesterday where you feel like you and many others have witnessed history. We all know what we were doing one year ago today. The United States swore in their first African-American president, and many were happy to see it. So where am I going here? Well, I plan to give you straight-up commentary. First off, I'm definitely going to try to be fair and balanced on this one. By no means am I going to make him look bad or good. These are just views from a conservative American citizen who is just looking at how he is running the country, along with his allies in Washington. It's also a look at how I think we are looked at internationally.

And yes, I'm also aware that being the Commander-in-Chief is not an easy position. I am aware that Barack Hussein Obama did inherit quite an economic mess that has been built up through the years, even before Bush 43. He also inherited the position where he is leading the country through two unpopular wars. At the same time, I understand he is trying to please the American people. He's made hundreds of promises, but can it really be possible to keep them? Come on now, it doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Coming in to the Presidency, we all knew he was arguably the most liberal-minded person in the Senate. He attended a church with an anti-American preacher for 20 years. He had ideas what his critics considered 'radical' and maybe 'socialist'. He also had to shake off his 'celebrity image' which I believed he eventually did. Americans voted him in mostly because they felt that he could fix the economy. So we gave him a chance.

I respect the guy and in the beginning, I thought that as long as he surrounded himself with some smart and great people who will work with him, he could slowly but surely get the job done. Unfortunately, he's allying himself with the Fed and Wall Street bozos that got us into this mess in the first place. I'm no expert, but I have read alot of financial articles from the experts that believe Obama has so far made wrong decisions in his administration. Heck, even the writers of Rolling Stone magazine (who I consider his cheerleaders), wrote him a huge article of criticism about 'selling out to Wall Street'. There is one thing that I will cut Obama slack on: and that's his honesty at times. Before he was sworn in, he did say that more than one million jobs will be lost, alone in the year of 2009. We all saw it coming (or at least I did), and indeed it happened. On top of that, unemployment rose to 10% by the end of '09.

Obama's part in trying to help occurred just a month after he was named 'President Obama' when a mega-stimulus package was passed. The message behind this was creating jobs. By summer, people were already complaining about it, saying 'Where are these jobs that he promised?'. I quietly thought that it would take more than 5 months for it to happen. I knew as time would tell, this package could create something. Even Nancy Pelosi said in a Rolling Stone interview last March, 'that if nothing happens with job creation, we will apologize and admit we were wrong....'. Of course, I don't see that happening, but Satan's sister from San Fransicko should start getting her speech ready if she hasn't already. This was a debt that unfortunately our children as well as our grandchildren will be paying for, for generations. I do think that Senators and Congressmen and women should have taken the time to know what was in the bill. While watching Fox News, I have heard reports that the money from the package went to unnecessary things. Examples include a railroad station (that has been shut down for 30 years) and 3 villages in New Mexico with no zip codes that exist. So there. Some people believe that this 'stimulus package' will be the mark of Obama's presidency.

All right, health-care. I wasn't a big fan of the health-care bill that he was trying to rapidly pass. Okay, I'll be fair: it was mostly the wacko Harry Reid and his friends, er, senators that were quickly trying to make it happen. For one, I don't think the government has any right to get into our medical system and free enterprise. I don't want this nation to be present-day Venezuela or any socialist country. I've read people's opinions about 'Socialism is around us in America'. Yes, I know the govt. has control of our roads, law enforcement, garbage, postal service, etc.... But health-care is a different area. I don't want to be told what to do or when to die. No, I don't claim to be an expert in this either. I, along with several members of Congress (who passed this bill), have not read the 2,000 page Nancy Pelosi script. Luckily, my local Congressman, John Shimkus, did not support it. Yes, I do believe our hospitals need fixing, and I know health-related material is the #1 cause of personal debt for the people. There is a reason why people from England and Canada come all the way over here to get treated, and we should not ruin that. I could go on about this, but I'll move on to the next issue....

The wars. Just recently, Obama announced at West Point that we would be given a timetable to stay for a limited time overseas fighting terrorism. Excuse me? Stay until the job GETS DONE! He might as well have told the world that he is not committed to winning in Afghanistan. I also forgot this was a guy who has bowed to Saudi's leader and wants terrorists put on trial in NYC. For those reasons, he gets a very low grade on foreign policy.

So while the health-care is still on the mend to getting it together, we witnessed a strange thing yesterday, which happened just on the eve of Obama's year anniversary. A Republican winning Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in the state of Massachusetts! Why the exclamation point, you ask? It's considered a miracle in the first place for a Republican to win in a very liberal state. I don't like to call myself a Republican, but I do consider myself happy to know that Americans like the voters yesterday wanted to turn the tide on the people of Washington. They're already sick of the present-day Congress spending big everyday, and they simply don't want the health-care bill go into passing. It isn't just my opinion, but pretty much all the pundits spoke for the people of Massachusetts. And no, I won't take away the fact that a guy like Scott Brown ran a great campaign. Martha Coakley's people were very slow to responding to things. And we won't forget that she knew that Curt Schilling was a 'Yankee'! That of course did not help, as it offended many Red Sox fans in the state.

Overall, this should have been a 'great awakening' for all powerful Democrats right now, especially the 'big 3 (Obama, Reid, Pelosi)'. If it wasn't, then there's no telling what will motivate them to slow their own. If this big spending behavior continues to happen, its everyone's prediction that the Democrats will suffer major (I mean, major) humiliation in November.

And lastly, my grade for Obama for 1st year: C-

Monday, January 18, 2010

forgiving McGwire

It's been awhile since I wrote about how I felt about 'the steroid era' of professional baseball. Hell, its bad enough these players are getting overpaid! But that's a different ballgame (lol). Mark McGwire is now back in the spotlight since it was announced back in October that he will be a hitting coach for the St. L Cardinals. Yesterday, at the annual Winter Warm-Up, he was greeted with a standing ovation. That proved the public wanted to put his past behind him and the team, and hopefully for this bad era.

What do I think? Well, it's true. I've trashed Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez and many others who I felt have 'cheated' and 'terrorized' a great American sport. Baseball has changed over the decades. Controversy has always been a part of baseball even during the days before artificial turf and back when the average baseball player was paid $20,000 (I learned that this morning while watching Tom Brokaw's 1968 History Channel documentary). Today, we live in an era where baseball players make it look easy to break major records. And of course, we know the sad truth behind it. But the way I look at it is this: I'm almost sure, while it is not known, that the roster for baseball players who have used some sort of 'enhancement' drug is very, very long. I've listened to sports commentators on the radio and they've already believed most players who have played the last 25 years have used some sort of thing that has increased their performance.

I recently listened to a radio interview with Joe Buck, and he was asked what would his father Jack think about McGwire today. He said that Jack would convince people to move forward and forget about all the troubles that McGwire and other players have caused, and start a new day. Just last week, McGwire admitted to using drugs during the 1988-89 season (while he was with the A's). Nothing had been said about other seasons. But whether or not he used any kind of illegal enhancement formulas, he deserves to be given another chance and be a team player.

And speaking of Jack Buck, today I drove on the new 64/40 (which is now named the Jack Buck Memorial Highway), and it felt so smooth and everything, and I was impressed with it of course.

Friday, January 8, 2010

the Elvis blog

Today, Elvis Presley would have been 75 today. I know what you're thinking, 'would have been'? But I saw him at a gas station this morning or I saw him in Greenland chillin' out with Tupac and Jim Morrison!

It's a great celebration of his life. I've been a huge fan of Elvis since my grade-school days. I used to collect his merchandise, but I stopped, knowing it would be very difficult to pack a room with things with Elvis's name on it. I'd rather give that hobby for someone more-obsessed, if you know what I mean. I went to Graceland my freshman year of high school ('96), and I would love to go back. While there, I'd also love to check out many hotspots that relate to Elvis in Memphis, as well as go to that restaurant that makes peanut butter and banana sandwiches the same way Elvis liked them. I'd also love to go to Tupelo (his birthplace), where they have dozens of places devoted to him, including an Elvis-themed McDonalds. He still ranks atop my list as the only man I'd want to meet and conversate with, dead or alive.

Can I picture Elvis still being alive today? Absolutely not. My mom even made the weird comment that 'I just can't picture Elvis being alive', saying 'it would just be creepy'. She's probably used to him being dead. If he were alive today, what would he look like? I could picture him being chubby, but not too overweight as he was at his death. I can also picture him having salt-and-pepper-like hair, while between occasions, he would color his hair to make him look young. He wouldn't have wrinkles, except on his arms, hands and legs. Do I picture him still wearing his jumpsuit? No. People are meant to change their wardrobes, I believe. He would wear something hip for the 'Viagra crowd'. Could he still sing his hits like 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Suspicious Minds'? Maybe. Would he still put out new music? Probably not. He would probably be so disgusted with gangsta rap and rap-metal as well as emo. He would probably, however, take a liking with creative hip-hop and more adult-sounding music.

I think its awesome that Elvis's legacy will continue to go on for generations. Don't believe me? Elvis has been ranked in most years in the past as the richest dead entertainer (including last year, though Michael Jackson might surpass him this year). Millions continue to go to Graceland. His music still sells big. Some of his baby-boomer worshippers/admirers may die, but a new generation might take over. And even if Elvis's superstar fades, they can't take away the fact that he was the first beloved and most-collected dead celebrity (up there with Marilyn Monroe). I think the reason a lot of people respect and admire him is he is the classic Hollywood success story. Everybody loves a great rags-to-riches story, and Elvis is a great example. There are so many different rumors and legends about him, but whether or not they are true, he still holds a place in everyone.

first blog of the decade, and 2010!

Its been one chilling (literally) week so far in 2010. I would have gotten this blog out sooner but I've been sick since the day after Christmas. Sorry, this cold, frigid weather has gotten the best of me so far. In the last ten days, I don't think it has ever gotten higher than 15 degrees. Yesterday we had snow, and its always my least favorite time of the year because, well, I have to drive on it. Of course, it could be a lot worse as it could have been ice galore! I'm just sick of standing outside in 12-degree weather and my throat is just burning. For at least a year, I would like to live in a place where its sunny weather all year long with no cooler change in the weather. I recently read in Sarah Palin's autobio that during her early Alaskan days, she would go jogging leisurely in -10 degree weather. With shorts. Okay, 'nuff ranting!

2010 will definitely be a great big change for me. I know, I say that about every year. If I were to make a New Years Resolution, I would not start right at January 1st. Instead, I will sort out a plan and start it on some random day. Last year, my resolution was to attend as many shows as I could. And boy did I! I'm keeping that resolution this year, too. I've already thought up some goals, and what I would do pros and cons-wise. I'll let you know soon what it is.

On a side note, I'm happy to say my 'other' writing career has finally taken off. Back in October, one of my best friends Josh introduced me to a site called eHow. Its basically a website (obviously) on where people submit How-to articles. Sometimes they get paid for them. I haven't really made much, but I'm glad that people are starting to regularly look at my articles. For those that subscribe (or the word I hate the most, 'follow') to my tweets or statuses, you probably noticed that 'Jason Voigt has published the article.....'. So yes, that means everytime I update or post an article, its there. I hope someday, or by the end of the year (as part of my goal), I would like to make great passive income from that site. If you would like me to tell you more about that site, I would gladly love to show you. I will not make a penny for recommending you, so its not one of those, multi-level marketing or pyramid scheme things. Pretty much I'm at the point right now where me and other members are helping each other out with publicity.

So, there you have it. My first blog of the decade. By the way, when I celebrated the ball dropping for 2010, I was at the same place where I heard the ball drop for the new millennium. Point is, if I'm still at work celebrating the beginning of 2020, I want all of you to bring your guns and blow me to bits. Happy decade and happy 2010, yall!